April is the month where you’ll get bang for your buck at the cinema. This month, apart from the much-awaited Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, which assembles some of your favourite superheroes together for the last hurrah, there are plenty of Asian films, horror flicks and comedy hits.

Also, anime and manga fans, don’t miss a number of GV Exclusive Japanese titles releasing this April. Learn more about Pakistani films through the Pakistani film festival happening from April 2-6 at GV Grand! A total of five blockbuster movies will be screened at the festival.

 

Shazam!

Release date: April 4, 2019
Cast: Zachary Levi, Mark Stong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel
Genre: Action/Adventure

Say the magic word. Photo credit: IMDB

The superhero movie based on the comics published by DC tells a story about teenage boy Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a streetwise foster kid with a difficult history. One day, Billy meets an ancient wizard who bestows superpowers upon him. Uttering the magic word “SHAZAM!” turns him into the adult cape-wearing hero Shazam, who doesn’t quite know what he’s capable of.

With his newfound self, Shazam and his new foster brother Freddy Freeman sets out to test Billy’s new powers and the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana and prevent him from destroying Earth.

 

Friend Zone (Thai)

Release date: April 4, 2019
Cast: Naphat ‘Nine’ Siangsomboon, Pimchanok ‘Baifern’ Luevisadpaibul
Genre: Romantic/Comedy

Friends or lovers? Photo credit: IMDB

Thai comedy Friend Zone hit the no.1 box office in Thailand recently, featuring Naphat ‘Nine’ Siangsomboon and Pimchanok ‘Baifern’ Luevisadpaibul in the lead roles. For 10 years, Palm (Nine) has been stuck in the friend zone situation with his best friend, Gink (Baifern) where he can’t really stay friends with her, or move forward to be lovers. When they were in high school together, he attempted to confess his love for Gink but was rejected with “being friends is good enough”. Fast forward to the present, and they have grown closer as true best friends. Palm will always be there whenever Gink needed her, even if she was in another country. One day, Gink asks Palm out of the blue, “What if we were an item?” Right then, sparks flew wildly inside Palm’s mind, because this might be the only chance for him to cross the friend zone.

 

Hotel Mumbai

Release date: April 4, 2019
Cast: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher
Genre: Drama/Thriller

Peeping out may cost your life. Photo credit: IMDB

This movie is based on the true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai by a group of terrorists in 2008. Starring Academy Award-nominee Dev Patel, Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name) and Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland), the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. When the attacked happened, hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone as safe as possible, and as the world watched, desperate people were forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to protect their loved ones.

 

The Lady Improper (Mandarin)

Release date: April 4, 2019
Cast: Charlene Choi (蔡卓妍), Kang Ren Wu (吴慷仁)
Genre: Drama/Romance

A touch of lust. Photo credit: emp

Starring Charlene Choi and Wu Kang Ren, this romantic drama tells the story of a repressed young lady Siu Man (Choi) who goes through a sexual awakening with a free-spirit new chef working at her café. Even though she has been married, Siu Man is not able to consummate her marriage, and it has ended in divorce. She decides to reboot her life by taking over her father’s café and taking up pole dancing lessons as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and sexual liberation.

Choi has been nominated for numerous awards, including a Best Actress nomination at the Hong Kong Film Awards for her performance in this film.

 

Pet Sematary

Release date: April 4, 2019
Cast: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
Genre: Horror/Drama

Stand in line, children. Photo credit: IMDB

Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, this is the second film adaption of the same name, directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, and stars Jason Clarke as Louis Creed, Amy Seimetz as Rachel Creed and John Lithgow as Jud Crandall. The horror film delves into the corrupting power of grief and the very human plague of thanatophobia – the fear of death.

Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbour, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.

 

Romeo Akbar Walter (Hindi)

Release date: April 5, 2019
Cast: John Abraham, Jackie Shroff, Mouni Roy, Sikander Kher, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Raghubir Yadav, Anil George
Genre: Drama/Action

It’s a gathering. Photo credit: IMDB

Based on actual historical events, the espionage action thriller is written and directed by Robbie Grewal and stars John Abraham, Jackie Shroff, Mouni Roy and Sikander Kher. Romeo Ali has been recruited by India’s External Intelligence Agency, his dream job since he was a boy. His journey begins with a new identity, a Pakistani national who goes by the name Akbar Malik. Akbar Malik makes his way to the top ranks of the power corridor in Karachi, only to land in a situation where a small mistake blows his cover. Desperate, Akbar decides to play one last move – a move that will endanger his life and cause him to lose all his friends. Akbar Malik could become the biggest villain… Or the biggest hero that people of India would ever know.

 

Hellboy

Release date: April 11, 2019
Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, Penelope Mitchell
Genre: Action/Adventure

All hell breaks loose. Photo credit: IMDB

Hellboy is a superhero film based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, featuring David Harbour  (Stranger Things) in the title role. It is a reboot of the Hellboy film series and the third live-action movie that is said to be darker and more focused on the comic material, drawing inspiration from the comic books Darkness CallsThe Wild Hunt, and The Storm and the Fury.

Caught between the worlds of the supernatural and the mortal, Hellboy is recruited by the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence, and tasked to work with his closet allies to battle an ancient sorceress who intends to destroy the world.

 

Fighting With My Family

Release date: April 11, 2019
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden
Genre: Comedy/Drama

A family that fights together, stays together. Photo credit: IMDB

Based on an incredible true story of WWE Superstar Paige, Fighting With My Family is a comedy-drama adapted from the 2012 documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting with my Family. Paige (Florence Pugh) and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden) are born into a tight-knit wrestling family who lives and breathes wrestling. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for WWE comes their way, only Paige is selected for the competitive training program. She must leave her family and face this cut-throat journey alone. Not only does she have to push herself and excel in the sport, she ultimately has to prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.

Dwayne Johnson acts and executive produces the film under his own production company. Fun fact: He came across Paige’s actual true story when he was flipping channels in a hotel room in London while filming Fast & Furious 6.

 

Missing Link

Release date: April 11, 2019
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Timothy Olyphant, Emma Thompson, David Walliams
Genre: Animation

Humans and creatures can live together. Photo credit: IMDB

The animated family comedy, Missing Link is a stop-motion animation from the animators of the Oscar-nominated Kubo and the Two Strings. Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis) is a fun and adorable 8 ft-tall furry creature that is known to be the world’s most lovable legend. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with free-spirited adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), the trio sets off across the world to help their new friend reconnect with his cousins.

 

Breakthrough [GV Exclusive]

Release date: April 11, 2019
Cast: Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Mike Colter, Marcel Ruiz, Sam Trammell, Dennis Haysbert
Genre: Drama

Just believe. Photo credit: IMDB

Faith drama Breakthrough is based on the Christian novel The Impossible, an account of true events about a mother’s unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. In January 2015, Joyce Smith’s adopted teenage son, John, slipped and fell through an icy Missouri lake. He had no pulse for nearly 45 minutes. As John lay lifeless, Joyce refused to give up. Her steadfast belief inspired those around her to continue to pray for John’s recovery, even though no one in the same circumstances had done so before. John’s recovery becomes a reminder that love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle.

 

The Curse Of The Weeping Woman

Release date: April 17, 2019
Cast: Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Raymond Cruz
Genre: Horror/Thriller

Pay no attention to the sobs of a weeping woman when you walk past a river at night. Photo credit: IMDB

This supernatural horror film is the sixth film in the Conjuring Universe about La Llorona, also known as the weeping woman. The mere mention of her name has struck terror around the world for generations. In life, she drowned her children in a jealous rage, throwing herself in the churning river after them as she wept in pain. Now as a tearful ghost, she uses her lethal tears to prey on children, desperate to replace her own. And those who hear her death call in the night are doomed.

 

Touken Ranbu 2019 Movie (Japanese) [GV Exclusive]

Release date: April 18, 2019
Cast: Hiroki Suzuki, Yoshihiko Aramaki, Ryō Kitamura, Masanari Wada, Taizo Shiina
Genre: Action/Fantasy

Warriors ready to battle. Photo credit: IMDB

Adapted from a video game series of the same name, Touken Ranbu tells a story about a sage who travels to the past and collects a set of eight legendary swords. These great swords morph into eight talented but dysfunctional young warriors as they fight a battle against evil to protect Earth and its history.

 

Marvel Studio’s Avengers: Endgame

Release date: April 24, 2019
Cast: Brie Larson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo
Genre: Action/Adventure

Don’t cry, Cap! Photo credit: IMDB

The highly-anticipated sequel to 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War is finally here, and it is said to be more than three hours long. After Thanos snapped his fingers, the universe is now in ruins. With the help of the remaining superheroes, the Avengers assemble once more to undo Thanos’ actions in one final stand.

 

City Hunter the Movie: Shinjuku Private Eye (Japan)

Release date: April 25, 2019
Cast: Ryou Saeba, Kaori Makimura, Saeko Nogami, Hayato Ijuuin, Hitomi Kisugi
Genre: Anime

“Stand back!” Photo credit: IMDB

Hit manga City Hunter has been adapted into a string of anime series and films throughout the years since 1987. This new adaptation, City Hunter the Movie: Shinjuku Private Eye, puts a spin on the classic, set in present-day Shinjuku. This is the first City Hunter film in two decades, bringing Ryo Saeba and company into the 21st century. Shinjuku is now a squeaky-clean city where sniper Ryo and his partner Kaori Makimura serve as bodyguards to a range of clients. Their latest client is Ai Shindo, a model who’s being attacked by mysterious people and unknowingly holds the key to a vast city-wide conspiracy.

 

Sources: IMDB, emp.hk

 

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