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April Movie Preview: 'Leatherheads,' 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' & More

April 3rd, 2008 9:41am EDT
LeatherheadsMarch was filled with a plethora of great films. April Fools. Still, it finished stronger than it started with Run Fatboy Run and 21, which is still gathering steam and threatening to be a player this month as well. April is looking to pick up right where "21" leaves off. It even features another numbered film, 88 Minutes. What's not to like?

This Friday, Leatherheads boasts George Clooney's first direction since he flirted with Oscar for Goodnight and Goodluck. The cast is star studded - no shocker there, since Clooney once again stars in his own feature. He brings along fellow Academy Award winner Renee Zellweger and newly budding star John Krasinski (The Office). "Leatherheads" is an old Clooney friend, a film he was attached to in the 90s. It was written in the late 80s but has been getting pushed around and revised for nearly 20 years. It's a period piece about the early days of American football, a charming time in our history that is always seen with the "grass in greener" perspective.

Leatherheads

What is a bit surprising is that the film hasn't been getting a lot of great press from the critics. The combination of classic filmmaking techniques and the charm that oozes out of Krasinski, Zellwiger, and Clooney's ear holes seems to suggest that "Leatherheads" might be worth a shot anyway. It will at least make for a decent date movie.

George will be competing with two B-type horror flicks this month:

The first of these death romps will be The Ruins (also out April 4), which is based off a Stephen King novel that he could have banged out one day while waiting for the bus. The story centers on a group of spring breakers who decide to go on a hike instead of getting drunk, which is just asking for trouble. They discover a temple, which houses something evil, and they are soon trapped. Then bugs crawl inside their skin. It sounds fun, but only in that "as if you needed one more reason not to go into the jungle" sort of way. For some, the Discovery Channel's "World's Deadliest Ants," is reason enough.

The Ruins

On April 11, if you haven't been significantly grossed out yet, go check out Prom Night. It's one of those movies where a bunch of high school kids are clearly being played by 25 year olds. At least they're fun to look at. Maybe the ugly guy's the killer?

Years ago, Scream was so successful because it broke down movies like these. Will "Prom Night" be the new "Carrie," or will it just make you wish you were being stabbed yourself?

Prom Night

In the middle of the month, April 18, there's Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the latest adventure from Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, 40-Year-Old Virgin). This is a big movie for Apatow, who is on a hot streak and has earned the benefit of packed theaters regardless of how good his new film looks. Just ask Will Ferrell or Owen Wilson, that's not a privilege you want to relinquish. You'll see some of Judd's favorites actors, but Marshall will depend on Jason Segel (a side character from "Knocked Up") stepping out of Seth Rogan's shadow and carrying the day.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

That same weekend, don't miss 88 Minutes. Al Pacino stars in this psychological drama thriller, with a plot synopsis so complicated that it has to be good. Pacino is essentially given 88 minutes to solve his own murder. It's not easy to see how that can work, but how smart is it to bet against Scarface?

If you make it to the end of the month, you've laughed with "Leatherheads" and "Marshall," you've "enjoyed" "The Ruins" and "Prom Night," and you've sweated it out with Al in "88 Minutes," then it would seem you've earned a treat.

Harold and Kumar are back! This time, they aren't trying to find White Castle, they're trying to escape from Guantanamo Bay!

Now, part of what made Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle so successful was how identifiable it was at the outset, even if things at times got out of control. They're going over the top for this one, escaping the authorities while they try to sneak a bong into the country. Still, the first was such a cult classic that it may be worth giving Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay a shot. Maybe queue this one for Netflix. It's probably best enjoyed from your couch with a case of the munchies and a sack of ten.

Story by James Fagan
Starpulse.com contributing writer