New on the big screen in April, Kevin James returns as everyone’s favorite mall cop, Scott Eastman and Britt Robertson get romantic in a new Nicholas Sparks movie, and DisneyNature reveals the life of some adorable monkeys.
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and Blu-ray this month. Note that release dates are subject to change.
WOMAN IN GOLD
PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language | In Theaters 4/3 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Weinstein | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Facebook
“Woman in Gold” is the remarkable true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after fleeing Vienna during World War II, a Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), embarks on a mission to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting “The Lady in Gold.”
Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), their journey takes them to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court, forcing her to confront difficult truths about the past. Directed by Simon Curtis, this movie also stars Daniel Bruhl and Katie Holmes.
PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language | In Theaters 4/3 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Furious 7 | Facebook | Twitter
They’re back! Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the next chapter in the “Fast & Furious” franchise built on speed. James Wan directs, with new and returning favorites Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey and Kurt Russell.
The plot really isn’t important, is it? Let’s be real, we see these movies for the wild stunts — including, in this movie, a car crashing into a high rise building (and I don’t mean at floor level!). But for anyone keeping track, the story follows Deckard Shaw (Statham) as he seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his family for the death of his brother.
THE LONGEST RIDE
PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action | In Theaters 4/10 | Ok for Kids 13+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | The Longest Ride | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+
Horses, romance and Nicholas Sparks. What could be better? Based on the bestselling novel by Sparks, this romantic drama centers on star-crossed lovers Luke (Scott Eastwood), a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia (Britt Robertson), a college student embarking on her dream job in New York City’s art world.
As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and fateful connection with Ira (Alan Alda), whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, “The Longest Ride” explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love. Sigh … dreamy…
PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug material and violence | In Theaters 4/10 (limited; expands 4/17) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Relativity Media | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Set in Iran, this powerful and unbelievable true story follows the brave ambition of Afshin Ghaffarian (Reece Ritchie). During the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election, where many cultural freedoms were threatened, Afshin and some friends, including Elaheh (Freida Pinto), risk their lives to form an underground dance company.
Through banned online videos, they study timeless legends who cross all cultural divides, including Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev, and learn how to embrace their passion for dance and each other.
PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2
PG for some violence | In Theaters 4/17 | Ok for Kids 7+ | Columbia, Sony | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 | Facebook | Twitter
The first “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” movie was super fun and silly (because we need that sometimes, right?), and this sequel is more of the same. After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation.
So he heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter Maya (super cute Raini Rodriguez) before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers. Neal McDonough, D.B. Woodside and Nicholas Turturro also star in this movie directed by Andy Fickman (“The Game Plan”).
Rated G | In Theaters 4/17 | Ok for Kids 5+ | DisneyNature | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Facebook | Twitter
This year’s “Earth Day” movie from Disneynature is “Monkey Kingdom,” throwing a spotlight on a newborn monkey and its mother. Struggling to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins in the jungles of South Asia, they’re joined by a rich cast of forest characters.
Life is grand, food is plentiful, and safety is assured — but only if you’re lucky enough to be born on the higher rungs of the Troop’s social ladder. But this young mother and her infant find themselves in a constant state of hunger and peril from higher-ranking monkeys. It’ll take a lot of ingenuity, hard work, and a little luck to change their place in the world.
THE AGE OF ADALINE
PG-13 for a suggestive comment | In Theaters 4/24 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Lionsgate | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Age of Adaline | Facebook | Twitter
After miraculously remaining 29 years old for nearly eight decades, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance.
When a weekend with his parents (Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker) threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever. Directed by Lee Toland Krieger, this romantic drama also stars Amanda Crew and Ellen Burstyn.
PG-13 for some thematic material and violence | In Theaters 4/24 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Open Road Films | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Little Boy
This powerful and moving film set in the 1940s follows a little boy (Jakob Salvati) who’s willing to do whatever it takes to bring his dad home from World War II alive. Directed by Smithsonian Institute Award winning director Alejandro Monteverde, this “lift your spirits” movie highlights themes of faith, hope and love in the face of adversity, and also stars Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, and Ben Chaplin.
It’s executive produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (“Son of God,” the upcoming NBC series “A.D.,” and Paramount’s remake of “Ben-Hur”).
NEW ON DVD/BLU-RAY:
THE JUNGLE BOOK: WATERFALL RESCUE
Not Rated | On DVD 4/7 | Ok for Kids 3+ | Reel Review: 3 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
Your favorite Jungle Book characters — Mowgli, Baloo and Lali — embark on a brave mission to rescue their animal friends and save their jungle home. Get ready for more than 60 action-packed minutes of the most exciting jungle adventure yet! Jimmy Hibbert and Emma Tate lend their voices to this cute movie.
PG for mild peril | On DVD 4/7 | Ok for Kids 5+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
This cute animated movie follows a group of birds set to migrate to Africa, but suddenly the flock’s elder, Darius (voiced by Danny Glover), is wounded. He has no choice but to share all his secrets, wisdom and new flying routes with the first bird that happens to come along. That candidate is none other than Yellowbird (Seth Green), an eccentric little fellow who’s super excited about the challenge, but has no knowledge or natural talent for migrating whatsoever. Also features the voices of Dakota Fanning and Christine Baranski.
PG for rude humor | On DVD 4/14 | Ok for Kids 5+ | Reel Review: 3 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
Two kids and their trusty dog, Barkley (voiced by Jon Lovitz), stumble across a treasure map while playing in an abandoned ranger station. They set out on the adventure of a lifetime in search of a forgotten gold mine, but things take a turn for the worst when they come across a pair of bumbling crooks hiding out from the police!
MY LITTLE PONY TALES: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Not Rated | On DVD 4/28 | Ok for Kids 3+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
Ponyland is full of excitement, if you know where to find it, and now all your favorite “My Little Pony Tales” are collected in one amazing set! Join the seven Pony Friends – Starlight, Sweetheart, Melody, Bright Eyes, Patch, Clover and Bon Bon – for 13 fun-filled episodes (26 adventures total). Games, picnics, ice cream shops, roller derbies and even UFOs … nothing is off-limits when it comes to grand Pony adventures. Bonus features include sing-alongs.
FRANKLIN & FRIENDS: DEEP SEA VOYAGE
Not Rated | On DVD 4/28 | Ok for Kids 3+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
All aboard! A tropical island vacation with the Turtle family and Bear turns into an underwater exploration adventure! Franklin learns that new isn’t always better and that everyone has their special way to help out. Little ones can journey along as the group navigates their way through the great blue seas of the Caribbean in this fun-filled submarine adventure.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.