Diagnosis:Film-Weekend of April 22

It’s an odd weekend for films as there aren’t all that many choices. The top contenders this weekend are Incendies and Stake Land, which have a bunch of good reviews floating around. Legend of the Fist, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and The Warring State all look interesting, but you can probably catch those in the rental phase if and when they make their way to Netflix or Redbox. Are you planning on seeing anything this weekend? Any of these films? Let us know!

Films after the jump!

African Cats (2011)AFRICAN CATS

Directed By: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey
Written By:
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (1,200 screens)
Synopsis: A nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild.

Thoughts: Not really my cup of tea.

Diagnosis: Pass.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family (2011)TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY

Directed By: Tyler Perry
Written By: Tyler Perry
Starring: Tyler Perry, Loretta Devine and Bow Wow
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (2,100 screens)
Synopsis: Madea jumps into action when her niece, Shirley, receives distressing news about her health. All Shirley wants is to gather her three adult children around her and share the news as a family. But Tammy, Kimberly and Byron are too distracted by their own problems: Tammy can’t manage her unruly children or her broken marriage; Kimberly is gripped with anger and takes it out on her husband; and Byron, after spending two years in jail, is under pressure to deal drugs again. It’s up to Madea, with the help of the equally rambunctious Aunt Bam, to gather the clan together and make things right the only way she knows how: with a lot of tough love, laughter … and the revelation of a long-buried family secret.

Thoughts: Also not my cup of tea. And wasn’t there already a Madea film out this year? Or does it just FEEL like there was?

Diagnosis: Pass.

Water for Elephants (2011)WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Written By: Richard LaGravenese
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (2,700 screens)
Synopsis: A veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet.

Thoughts: As much as I appreciate Robert Pattinson branching out from the Twilight series and as much as I like Cristoph Waltz, this just doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Looks like a solid film, however, so your mileage will no doubt vary.

Diagnosis: Pass.

Deep Gold (2011)DEEP GOLD

Directed By: Michael Gleissner
Written By: Michael Gleissner, Frederick Bailey
Starring: Bebe Pham, Jaymee Ong and Michael Gleissner
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (20 screens)
Synopsis: Shortly after free diver Amy Sanchez breaks an important freediving record, her boyfriend – Air Force Pilot Tony – mysteriously vanishes together with a flight that was bringing millions of dollars worth of gold to the Central Bank. Determined to discover the truth, Amy goes off with her sister to find out. Is Tony actually dead? Or if not, is the man she loved really part of the plot to steal the gold? But she has no idea that she is about to discover the unexpected, and entangles herself in a web of lies and deceit before she finds out that somebody used her for what turns out to become a much larger conspiracy.

Thoughts: The trailer for this is terrible, over-using stock explosion sounds to ramp up the film’s copy. I’m willing to guess the film itself isn’t that great either, nor will it be much in the way of “so bad it’s good.”

Diagnosis: Pass.

Dum Maaro Dum (2011)DUM MAARO DUM

Directed By: Rohan Sippy
Written By: Shridhar Raghavan, Purva Naresh
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Bipasha Basu
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (96 screens)
Synopsis: Goa. Paradise on Earth. But every Paradise has a few snakes. Multiple lives collide brutally one day at Goa Airport… and change forever.

Thoughts: The trailer looks cool, and tells you virtually nothing about the film other than there will be sex and violence and intrigue. In that regard, this could be fun.

Diagnosis: Netflix Instant.

Incendies (2011)INCENDIES

Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Written By: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (3 screens)
Synopsis: A mother’s last wishes send twins Jeanne and Simon on a journey to Middle East in search of their tangled roots. Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad’s acclaimed play, Incendies tells the powerful and moving tale of two young adults’ voyage to the core of deep-rooted hatred, never-ending wars and enduring love.

Thoughts: I’ve heard good things about the film, and the trailer looks interesting.

Diagnosis: Curious to see.

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2011)LEGEND OF THE FIST: THE RETURN OF CHEN ZHEN

Directed By: Wai-keung Lau
Written By: Gordon Chan
Starring: Donnie Yen, Alex Ahlstrom and Qi Shu
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (5 screens)
Synopsis: Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher’s death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious stranger arrives from overseas and befriends a local mafia boss. That man is a disguised Chen Zhen, who intends to infiltrate the mob when they form an alliance with the Japanese. Disguising himself as a caped fighter by night, Chen intends to take out everyone involved as well as get his hands on an assassination list prepared by the Japanese.

Thoughts: Hate to dog on a Gondry film, but this looks more interesting than Green Hornet. Not that you can really make a comparison other than Kato having the same mask and suit. Still, Donnie Yen kicking ass and some great action scenes? I’ll bite.

Diagnosis: Netflix Instant.

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)POM WONDERFUL PRESENTS: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD

Directed By: Morgan Spurlock
Written By: Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick
Starring: Ralph Nader and Morgan Spurlock
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (18 screens)
Synopsis: A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.

Thoughts: The concept is amusing, but I’m not sure it’s something that would hold me for an entire film. Still, you could do worse.

Diagnosis: Netflix Instant.

Stake Land (2010)STAKE LAND

Directed By: Jim Mickle
Written By: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle
Starring: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici and Kelly McGillis
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (1 screen)
IFC On-Demand: April 27, 2011
Synopsis: Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation’s abandoned towns and cities, and it’s up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden.

Thoughts: I’ve heard good things about this film as well, and that’s probably the main reason I’m interested in seeing this. The film also comes out on IFC On-Demand on the 27th, so if you have access to that with your cable provider, I suggest you give this one a try. Might be a little bit before it expands to more screens.

Diagnosis: Curious to see.

The Warring States (2011)THE WARRING STATE

Directed By: Chen Jin
Written By: Shen Jie
Starring: Degang Guo, Huang Haibing and Wu Jiang
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (23 screens)

Thoughts: Looks interesting, but don’t know much about it and couldn’t find a good synopsis.

Diagnosis: Netflix Instant, maybe.

Zokkomon (2011)ZOKKOMON

Directed By: Satyajit Bhatkal
Written By: Satyajit Bhatkal
Starring: Manjari Fadnis, Anupam Kher and Akhil Mishra
Release Date: April 22, 2011 (24 screens)
Synopsis: A boy named Kunal is abandoned by his uncle and embarks on an epic journey to become a superhero.

Thoughts: I’m kind of burned out on super hero films right now, and I’m especially not too interested in a kid-oriented super hero film imported from Disney. Still, the trailer gives the impression that this will be a solid film.

Diagnosis: Pass.