Pick of the Litter – April 2016

BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book

(Disney) Neel Sethi, Scarlett Johansson (voice), Bill Murray (voice), Christopher Walken (voice). The Rudyard Kipling classic spawned a classic Disney cartoon; now director Jon Favreau Is bringing his sensibilities to a live action version, with an impressive cast voicing the various animals. The story, however is basically the same; a young orphan boy is raised by jungle animals and fights the evil Kaa to save the creatures of the forest that he loves. April 15

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Francofonia

Francofonia

(Music Box) Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Benjamin Utzerath, Vincent Nemeth, Johanna Korthals Altes. From the director of Russian Ark comes this magnificent film that examines perhaps the most famous museum in the entire world – the Louvre in Paris. Through the centuries, from the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte to the Nazi occupation of Paris, the Louvre has struggled to protect the priceless art that resides therein. This film takes us inside, showing rare photographs and news footage as well as re-enactments of the most notable events in the history of the museum. April 1

Miles Ahead

Miles Ahead

(Sony Classics) Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, Lakeith Lee Stanfield. One of the great musicians in the history of modern jazz was Miles Davis. However, for several years he released no new music; many contemporary pundits figured his career was finished. What he was doing was creating music that would change the face of not only jazz but contemporary music overall. As he was coming out of what some have called his silent years, his difficult temperament and resolute perfectionism would get him into hot water as there were those who wanted to keep him silent. A passion project for Cheadle, this is listed as a biography – which may or may not be entirely accurate. April 1

Louder Than Bombs

Louder Than Bombs

(The Orchard) Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Amy Ryan, David Strathairn. When a famed war photographer passes away, her husband and two sons who are left behind are left to pick up the pieces, which isn’t easy when you have feelings of abandonment. Three years later, for a celebration of her life, they are all three together under the same roof for the first time since she passed, forcing them to confront their feelings. This will be a spotlight feature at the upcoming Florida Film Festival.  April 8

 Neon Bull

 Neon Bull

(Kino-Lorber) Juliano Cazarré, Maeve Jinkings, Josinaldo Alves, Roberto Berindelli. Iremar works in the rough and tumble world of the rodeo of Northeast Brazil, taking down bulls by their tail in a back-breaking and dangerous event. With an exotic dancer, her two children and a round compadre in the ring, they make up a tight-knit family. However, Iremar finds his dreams changing as he longs to design sexy new fashion and as the economy of the region begins to change as well, his new dream may eventually come true – at the expense of his family. April 8

The Adderall Diaries

The Adderall Diaries

(A24) James Franco, Ed Harris, Amber Heard, Christian Slater. A writer, plagued by writer’s block and substance abuse, is working on a book based on a lurid murder case, is suddenly confounded by the appearance of his father who claims that most of what the writer has written about his own rotten childhood are all manufactured lies. Starring new indie darling Franco and based on a bestselling novel, this has a good chance to make at least limited appearances in most metropolitan areas. April 15

 A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King

(Roadside Attractions) Tom Hanks, Ben Whishaw, Sarita Choudhury, Tom Skerritt. The latest from acclaimed German director Tom Tykwer is based on a novel by Dave Eggers. It concerns Alan Clay, an American businessman who has lost everything. Desperate, he goes to Saudi Arabia to pull off a deal that might just rescue his career. However, he finds that it won’t be so easy as he has to contend with major cultural differences, his own anxiety and desperation and the potential for a life-saving romance that might be truly forbidden. April 22

A Beautiful Planet

A Beautiful Planet

(IMAX) Jennifer Lawrence (narrator). This co-production between NASA and IMAX shows our planet Earth from a unique vantage point – the International Space Station. Capturing our planet using different cameras and filters, it gives us not only a bird’s eye view (if the bird happened to be orbiting the Earth) but a stark understanding of how what we do affects our planet and what can be done to conserve our home. April 29

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