Peeking at spring's movies

“April showers bring to the local cinemas few blossoming films of any great beauty. Most of them are reserved for the initial summer push in May. But a pair of directors, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, opted to beat the summer traffic with their double-feature gore fest.”

April showers bring to the local cinemas few blossoming films of any great beauty. Most of them are reserved for the initial summer push in May.

But a pair of directors, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, opted to beat the summer traffic with their double-feature gore fest. The duo teamed up to bring the three-hour Grindhouse, which is filled with gruesome guts and shameless sexuality in their homage to the inspirational films of the 1970s.

In Tarantino’s half, Death Proof, victims are hunted down and slaughtered, not with a knife or gun, but by a car. In Planet Terror, Rodriguez enters into an alien world of buxom babes and Rose McGowan with a machine-gun leg. Could there be a better combination? Grindhouse hits theaters tomorrow.

Next week offers a less-than-desirable lineup as Shia LaBeouf headlines in Disturbia. LaBeouf plays a young man on house arrest who is sullen and depressed following the death of his father. His lethargy and life of boredom in suburbia is disrupted when paranoia sets in and cabin fever creeps over the house. Is his neighbor a serial killer? Or is his mind simply caving in as the walls close in around him?

Competing for the box office bucks that same weekend is the dismally reviewed Perfect Stranger. Check out the Buchtelite online for the review and interview with stars Halle Berry and Giovanni Ribisi.

Just as in the great state of Ohio, the sun shines intermittently throughout the gray and darker days of April.

On April 20, another ray breaks through. From the creators of the international smash Shaun of the Dead – the romantic comedy…with zombies – comes a new era of law enforcement. Director Edgar Wright enters as the new sheriff of humor and thrills with Hot Fuzz. Simon Pegg stars as Nicholas Angel, a cop whose arrest record far surpasses the records of every other member of his squad.

He’s so good, in fact, that the rest of the squad appears as an embarrassment to the force. To raise the morale of the rest of the squad, Angel is transferred to the seemingly quiet provincial town of Sandford. There, he teams up with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), an unrelenting, trigger-happy bumbling rent-a-cop. But when several horrendous accidents begin occurring around the city, Angel breaks out some big-city justice to get to the bottom of these mysterious happenings.

I’d love to tell you that April goes out with a bang, but there are absolutely no wide-release films worth mentioning for the finale weekend.

Luckily, the movies of May are just a few weeks away.

The month starts the beginning of the end with a summer chock-full of sequels and trilogies. Some have promising buzz and others could fail to live up to the hype. The premiere weekend of May spins out the third installment of the popular webbed franchise with Spider-Man 3 on May 4.

This time around, the battle rages within as Peter Parker weaves together an elaborate balancing act of his pending engagement with Mary Jane and his duties of saving his fellow citizens from not one, but two, villains in the Sandman and Venom.

Just seven days later, the men who brought us the sleeper hit 28 Days Later return to the big screen, new director at helm, with 28 Weeks Later. Set six months after the box office smash, Weeks follows a family of Brits who return to the British Isles after the United States claims that the virus has been completely eradicated. But one member of the family carries a deadly secret. Weeks rages into theaters May 11.

Haven’t had enough of your friendly neighborhood ogre? Fear not as Shrek returns to theaters May 18. Hail, hail, the gang’s all here with the cast of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy. Shrek the Third returns to the land of Far Far Away as Shrek and Fiona must assume the throne of Fiona’s parents’ kingdom.

Hopefully, the humor from the first two installments won’t wear thin on yet another parody of modern day animated adventures. I mean, really, how many more flatulence-related jokes and pop culture parodies can society stomach?

To round off May, Disney sets sail for the final chapter (hopefully) in the swashbuckling adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

For the final voyage, Captain Barbossa, Ms. Elizabeth Swan and Master Turner must sail to the ends of the earth to rescue Jack Sparrow. They must fight through the alliances of Lord Beckett and Davey Jones who are attempting to stamp out the last of the East India Trading Company. Chow-Yun Fat joins Depp, Knightly and Bloom. Pirates sets sail May 25.