Movie Maniac

Spring movies include ‘Us,’ ‘Avengers,’ ‘Dumbo’ and ‘John Wick’

We finally made it though one of the bleakest winters at the box office in quite some time, as “Captain Marvel” officially opened the spring movie season with a bang and turned things around.

But we’re just getting started. Here’s a look at what’s coming in the next couple of months before the big blockbusters of summer arrive (as always, release dates are subject to change).

Friday, March 22

“Us” — Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning “Get Out” looks absolutely frightening, about a family whose serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgangers begin to terrorize them. This was the opening night film of the recent SXSW Film Festival and played to a rapturous audience.

March 29

“Dumbo” — Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland”) directs this live-action take on Disney’s beloved animation, about a young elephant whose oversized ears enable him to fly, making him the star of a circus. Eva Green, Michael Keaton, Colin Farrell and Danny DeVito star.

“Hotel Mumbai” — This tells the true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai, where hotel staff risked their lives to save themselves and their families. Dev Patel (“Lion”) and Armie Hammer (“Call me By Your Name”) star.

April 5

“Shazam!” — Adaptation of the comic book about a streetwise 14-year-old foster kid who can turn into an adult superhero by shouting the word Shazam! Starring Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou and Mark Strong.

“Pet Sematary” — Another film version (after the terrible 1989 one) of Stephen King’s terrifying novel about a family that moves to the country and discovers an eerie cemetery with strange powers in their back yard.

“The Best of Enemies” — The real-life story of civil rights activist Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson), who faces off against Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell) in 1971 North Carolina over the issue of school integration.

“The Beach Bum” — Comedy about a rebellious stoner named Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) who lives life by his own rules. Also starring Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Jonah Hill and Snoop Dogg. Yeah, Snoop Dogg in a stoner movie, imagine that.

April 12

“Hellboy” — Another take on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, about a demon named Hellboy (David Harbour from Netflix’s “Stranger Things”), caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, who battles an ancient sorceress (Milla Jovovich, the “Resident Evil” movies) bent on revenge.

“After” — The much buzzed-about book becomes a much buzzed-about movie, following a young woman who falls for a guy with a dark secret as the two embark on a rocky relationship. Kinda looks like “Fifty Shades” for the young adult set.

“Missing Link” — This family-friendly animation follows a “myths and monsters investigator” who sets off on an adventure to the Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature known as Mr. Link.

April 26

“Avengers: Endgame” — After the devastating events of “Avengers: Infinity War,” you know, when Thanos wiped out most of the world, the remaining Avengers assemble once again to restore order to the universe. And set up a whole new storyline for more sequels, probably.

May 3

“The Intruder” — Psychological thriller about a young couple who buys a beautiful Napa Valley house on several acres of land only to find that the previous owner (Dennis Quaid, going the villain route) refuses to leave. So he’s not really an intruder if he was already there, right?

“Long Shot” — Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron star in this comedy about a presidential candidate and the speechwriter who has had a crush on her since childhood. Alexander Skarsgard and O’Shea Jackson Jr. also star.

“UglyDolls” — Animated musical with the voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas and Janelle Monae about a group of imperfect dolls who try to find their place in what they think is a perfect world, but find that their imperfections make them unique. Got all that?

May 10

“All is True” — Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this look at the final days in the life of renowned playwright William Shakespeare. The cast doth also includith Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.

“The Hustle” — Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star in this gender-swapped remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” as scam artists who try to take down the men who have wronged them.

“Poms” — Comedy about a group of women (Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman) who form a cheer-leading squad at their retirement community and enter a competition.

May 17

“John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum” — Lethal assassin Keanu Reeves returns to face his most difficult foe yet: that unwieldy title. Halle Berry joins the action as John tries to outrun a $14 million price tag on his head.

“The Sun Is Also a Star” — The best-selling romance novel gets the movie treatment. Two teens fall for each other during 12 intense hours together in New York City.

“A Dog’s Journey” — From the cute and cuddly department comes this tale of a dog who discovers the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets. Josh Gad is the pooch’s voice.

May 24

“Aladdin” — Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes”) directs this live-action take on Disney’s animated classic about a street urchin who finds a magical lamp and uses it to turn himself into a prince to win the heart of a beautiful princess. It seems that all the chortles have settled down since Will Smith’s debut as the Genie in the teaser trailer that played during the Super Bowl.

“Ad Astra” — An astronaut (Brad Pitt) journeys across a lawless solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) — a renegade scientist who poses a threat to humanity.

“Brightburn” — Elizabeth Banks stars as the mother of a child from another world who crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind he proves to be something far more sinister. A politician perhaps?

Rod Pocowatchit is an award-winning independent filmmaker and SAG/AFTRA-eligible actor who has written and directed four feature-length films, all made in Kansas. He has been a journalist for 29 years and is also an internationally award-winning page designer.