Well, GAME OF THRONES is underway and I suspect that HBO and this post is going to have a difficult time proving to the many fans of that show that there is other fare on the channel worth watching as well. Might I suggest you take a breather from the proceedings in Westeros for some non-fiction or some comedy? Okay, okay don’t have the dragons torch me for the thought.
But, there is plenty to offer in April. You will find sports events, documentaries, a comedy special, a new original film, a new series and not one, but two returning series all packed into thirty days. There is a lot to explore so let’s get to the HBO Schedule for April 2013.
Theatrical Movies: Four weekends in April means four Saturday movie premieres and the titles are PROMETHEUS, THE CAMPAIGN,
HBO Films: MARY AND MARTHA and ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT.
Cool, PROMETHEUS is on. It premieres on 04.06. That means I can watch it again and see if I can grasp this Sci-Fi opus better the second time around or maybe, the third or fourth. It is rich and stylized and epic and from the mind of the one and only Ridley Scott. If you haven’t seen it the movie is only an epic telling about the origins of humankind. It centers on the crew of the spaceship Prometheus as they follow a star map discovered among the artifacts of several ancient Earth cultures. It leads them to an alien world and to the brink of humanity’s extinction. It stars Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace. There is a thick mythology to absorb so have at it.
Or wait until the following weekend, 04.13 for a different kind of movie altogether. It is the political comedy THE CAMPAIGN. It is by a number of people who have been associated with HBO. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis (BORED TO DEATH) star in this comedy written by Shawn Harwell (EASTBOUND AND DOWN) and is directed by a man no stranger to political movies Jay Roach. He directed HBO Films: RECOUNT and HBO Films: GAME CHANGE. In this theatrical work the two leads play southerners vying for a congressional seat and they use any means necessary to get it. Critic Richard Roeper awarded the film an A- and described it as “one of the best comedies of the year” where “the material is offensively funny, but the laughs are very consistent”. The third theatrical premiere is not until 04.27. It is ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT the fourth in the series. I’m sure you have seen at least one of these movies so the characters are not unfamiliar. In this one Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure to find Manny’s family, after their continent is set adrift. Did you know the continents drift to their current position because of Scratte’s scramble for the elusive acorn? Who knew? An entertaining family movie I am sure but is there much more life in this franchise?
I didn’t get to see a movie on HBO in March; too busy posting I guess. But I do hope to catch PROMETHEUS in the equally busy month of April. As usual, I will share what I’ve watched monthly.The trailer for the month comes from THE CAMPAIGN. It doesn’t offer a lot of laughs in it but it might whet your appetite for a bit of political humor opposite the political intrigue of GAME OF THRONES in April. Here it is.
Originals: The original programming offered in April is the bulk of the schedule. There is something for everyone here. I don’t even know where to begin. Oh, yeah I guess it should be the return of GAME OF THRONES entering Season 3.
The episodes airing in April are Episode #22 – Dark Wings, Dark Words which includes Arya running into the Brotherhood Without Banners on 04.07; Episode #23 – Walk of Punishment which includes Jaime striking a deal with his captors on 04.14; Episode #24 – And Now His Watch Is Ended which includes The Watch taking stock of the situation on 04.21 and Episode #25 – Kissed By Fire which includes Robb being betrayed on 04.28. It, of course, airs Sunday nights at 9:00pm ET. Also Sunday nights, beginning at 10:00pm, will be the second season of VEEP starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It starts on 04.14 and gives us the first of three (3) episodes called Midterms which includes Gary Cole as the president’s icy senior strategist Kent Davison. That is followed by Signals on 04.21 and Hostages on 04.28. Can Selina Meyer handle an international hostage crisis? We will just have to wait for that to play out in a sure-fire hilarious manner. That takes care of Sunday nights.
Now let’s take a look at the originals on Fridays. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER gives us his take on the world in three more installments of his comedy/commentary series. In April he is up to episodes 277 – 280 which air 04.05, 04.12, 04.19 and 04.26 at 10:00 pm ET. His guests, via satellite or at his round table are not confirmed until closer to air dates. Though his show is usually interesting the show premiering after his will, I hope, take control of the night. It is VICE starting its first season on Friday, 04.05 at 11:00pm ET. It is a news magazine that takes us around the globe for news not found from any mainstream source.
I won’t give you deep plot descriptions here as I hope to cover this series pretty thoroughly for HBOWatch weekly but, here is a link to the Season One featurette and the title of the first few segments that air in April. Episode 1 – Assassination Nation takes us to the Philippines and Killer Kids of the Taliban reports from Afghanistan on 04.05; Episode 2 airs Escape from North Korea and World’s Most Dangerous Border on 04.12. Episode 3 airs 04.19 and Episode 4 on 04.26. Look for more detailed posts on VICE forthcoming.
There is still more original programming to air in April. There is an original film, some documentaries and a comedy event on the horizon. So, let’s keep forging ahead with our look at HBO Films: MARY AND MARTHA. First, here is the trailer. This film seems to offer an emotional character study of the two ladies of the title. Hilary Swank stars as Mary and Brenda Blethyn stars as Martha, an American interior designer and British housewife who have little in common apart from the one thing they wish they didn’t – both have lost sons to malaria. We will see them grieve, bond and make a difference when the film debuts on 04.20. We will also get some laughs in April via the wit of Louis C. K. His HBO comedy special is called LOUIS C. K.: OH MY GOD. It is a full-length stand-up performance from the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. The show, his fourth for HBO, will feature a no-holds-barred set of stand-up as he touches on topics such as the food chain, animals, divorce, strange anecdotes, broken morality, murder and mortality. It is sure to be a laugh riot when it premieres Saturday, 04.13 at 10:00pm ET.
And we still have more information to go. We cannot forget the documentaries that will air in April. The first one debuts Monday, 04.08. It is called 50 CHILDREN: THE RESUCE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUSE. The next one begins on Thursday, 04.18; it is WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TIM HETHERINGTON. Two more non-fiction films get major play on HBO Family but also appear on the main HBO channel as well. They are AN APOLOGY TO ELEPHANTS airing on Monday, 04.22 and another installment from the Masterclass series called PATTI LUPONE: A YOUNGARTS MASTERCLASS which appears on Monday, 04.01. The subjects contained within are interesting and diverse. Respectively, they are about a daring WWII rescue from the Nazis; an in-depth portrait of a war photojournalist killed in action; the plight of elephants and the hands of harsh humans and a musical theatre workshop with one of Broadway’s finest.
Sports: A change in gears now as we focus on the sports airing on HBO in the coming month. That means some new boxing bouts. HBO Sports’ flagship boxing series HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING with a card headlined by two of the sport’s fastest-rising stars. New York City’s Radio City Music Hall houses the NONITO DONAIRE VS.GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX event on 04.13. HBO Sports then heads south of the border for a double header in Argentina. That event is billed as WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: SERGIO MARTINEZ VS. MARTIN MURRAY and LUIS CARLOS ABREGU VS. ANTONIN DECARIE. It debuts on 04.27. Also on the schedule is another installment of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. The latest edition premieres 04.16.
Other Movies & Shows: This post is proving pretty dense so I’ll go easy on you at this point. Here is a quick look at some other titles appearing on HBO in April. Pick and choose what you like: ANCHORMAN THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY; ELEKTRA; THE HURRICANE; LOUIS C. K.: SHAMELESS; PATCH ADAMS and WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT are just a few random choices.
HBO’s Other Platforms: As usual we offer a few items from the other channels in the HBO network. HBO Latino has a new film called EL RUMOR DE LAS PIEDRAS (RUMBLE OF THE STONES) in which a young woman struggles through life after surviving a flooding river. It premieres 04.05. Also debuting 04.05 is PREAMAR a series about a successful banker who loses it all and starts life over as a vendor on the beach. HBO Family has LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, JOHNNY ENGLISH and HOWARD THE DUCK in April if you are looking for family movies. HBO Signature finishes up THE SOPRANOS in April. Monday, 04.01 offers Episode # 84 “The Second Coming” and ends two nights later with Episode # 86 “Made In America.” HBO Comedy: I’ve noticed Wanda Skyes, Tracey Ullman and Lewis Black all appear on this channel in April. HBOGO: If you are interested you can watch all five of the ROCKY movies here. Also, listed are BIRD ON A WIRE, MR. BASEBALL and THE FULL MONTY. Listed as “Last Chances” before exiting the site are BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY and CHRONICLE among others. Cinemax : The movies they highlight for April are DARK SHADOWS with Johnny Depp on 04.06; Jason Biggs in AMERICAN REUNION on 04.13; the offbeat romance SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, debuting 04.20 and THE WATCH on 04.27
I know, I know, that is enough….I just wanted to prove that there was more to HBO than just GAME OF THRONES. Enjoy your April with HBO and HBOWatch.