The Place Beyond the Pines/ Evil Dead/ Iron Man 3

First up this month The Place Beyond the Pines (April 12) starring Ryan ‘my body is hot, but my face is not’ Gosling.

Gosling plays Luke, a bad-ass, motorcycling carnival stuntman just looking to provide for his ex Romina (Eva Mendes) and newborn son. He decides to quit the carnival life and embark on a career with more job security, and so becomes a biking bank robber.

This gets him into trouble with local hoodlums, but he doesn’t care; he just pops a wheelie and does a super sweet jump over 6 parked Honda Civics, causing the gangsters to drop their guns and swear off crime in admiration. Not really, but who cares?

Another one out this month id the “reboot” of ’80s classic horror flick The Evil Dead (April 19).

The original movie was a shaky, schlocky, “video nasty” banned in many countries (including my own) for its graphic content and terrible acting (probably). Still, it went on to become a cult hit, beloved by many a gore-loving, pasty-faced nerd.

In a nutshell the plot goes something like this: some people find a book in a deserted cabin, with a note saying ‘don’t read this!’ but they do read it and of course, all hell breaks loose. Literally.

So is the reboot any good? It’s certainly a more attractive movie, slicker, with sharper direction (and better acting) but ultimately it lacks the shaky, Prisoner Cell Block H-esque, low-budget charm of the original.

Also out the month, the eagerly-awaited Iron Man 3 (April 26). Would it have been as eagerly anticipated if the viewing public’s last sight of Tony Stark was battling Mickey Rourke in the terrible Iron Man 2, instead of bantering with Captain America in the excellent Avengers Assemble? Probably not.

And so on to the plot: fun-loving billionaire genius Tony Stark faces off against the villainous Mandarin (who in the Iron Man comics is Chinese but here is played by Ben Kingsley, for some reason).

Anyway, Mandarin smashes up Tony’s penthouse, making things SUPER personal. So off Tony goes to smash up Mandarin’s duplex, or whatever, and the rest is a flurry of explosions, pithy one-liners and ubiquitous ‘staring-into-the-middle-distance-to-signify-inner-conflict’ scenes. Oh, and let’s not forget, more ass-kicking suit upgrades.

Anyway, since Mandarin is a terrorist of the Bane variety – ludicrously loquacious – and since at least some of the plot is dedicated to the old ‘love makes a superhero weak’ cliché, it’s probably not as much of a rip-roaring romp as The Avengers was, but definitely a stronger offering than Iron Man 2.