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Check out what's showing at cinemas across the region this month...

AIR - CERT tbc (112 Mins)
Released Wed 5 April
Starring Viola Davis, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Gustaf Skarsgård, Chris Messina
Directed by Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck returns to the director’s chair to helm a film in which he also takes his place in an all-star cast. 

Affleck plays Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who, in the mid-1980s, attempts to breathe life into the company’s badly failing basketball-apparel division by bringing in sports-marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon). 

Nike badly need a miracle, and luckily Sonny stumbles across one: a videotape of an up-and-coming rookie with an out-of-this-world talent. 

That rookie is - yep, you guessed it - Michael Jordan.

And so begins the story of the partnership that created Air Jordan, the brand that revolutionised the world of sports and contemporary culture... 

Although Air is a kind-of biopic about the world’s greatest basketball player, it doesn’t actually feature the world’s greatest basketball player - at least not as a character played by an actor: the film instead uses archived footage of Jordan and focuses on his legacy rather than the man himself. 

Released Fri 7 April
With the voices of Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen
Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic

You’ve played the game, now see the film. Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros is brought to the big screen with a voice cast led by Chris Pratt in a story that will be familiar to anybody who’s a fan of the iconic platformer. 

Mario, a plumber from Brooklyn - who the movie’s co-director, Aaron Horvath, describes as “a blue-collar guy from a family of Italian immigrants” - travels through an underground labyrinth with his brother, Luigi, to defeat arch-nemesis Bowser... 

The new release marks the third time Super Mario Bros has been given the film treatment; an animated movie in 1986 was followed by a live actioner in 1993, featuring Bob Hoskins as the lead character. 

Released Fri 7 April
Starring Russell Crowe, Franco Nero, Ralph Ineson, Alex Essoe, Daniel Zovatto
Directed by Julius Avery

Although the canon of films about exorcism is already of a significant size, there’s always room for a new recruit. 

This latest arrival is a historical horror thriller inspired by the case files of the Vatican’s official chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth - a man who performed and documented in excess of 100,000 exorcisms during his lifetime. 

The film finds Amorth - played in traditional deadpan style by Russell Crowe -  investigating a young boy’s terrifying possession. In the process he uncovers a centuries-old conspiracy which the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden. 

Expect spewing blood, twisting heads and the vomiting of dead birds... 

Just your average day in the life of a demon-fighting exorcist really...

Released Fri 7 April
Starring Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Brandon Scott Jones
Directed by Chris McKay

This modern monster movie finds Nicholas Hoult playing the title character of Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss: Count Dracula (Nicolas Cage). 

Forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, Renfield is determined to break free of the vampire’s shackles and find out how life looks beyond the shadow of the Prince of Darkness. 

Problem is, he first needs to figure out how to end his co-dependency... 

Cage’s Dracula is very much a supporting character in the film, but the Oscar-winning actor has made it clear that he’d love to take a bigger, er, bite at the challenge of playing Bram Stoker’s legendary bloodsucker at some stage in the future. 

Released Fri 21 April
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Antony Starr, Dar Salim, Alexander Ludwig, Jonny LeeMiller, Bobby Schofield
Directed by Guy Ritchie

As expected with a Guy Ritchie movie, high-octane action sequences abound in The Covenant. 

But there’s a difference with this one. 

While the London-born director’s familiar authorial stamp is very much in evidence, the film also explores the subjects of friendship, brotherhood and internal conflict. 

Such themes certainly mark an unexpected change of pace and direction for the man who built his reputation on adrenaline-pumping movies like Snatch and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. 

The storyline focuses on an American sergeant in Afghanistan (Gyllenhaal) who, injured during a shootout against militants and saved by his Afghan interpreter, pays the debt by saving the interpreter’s family against all the odds.

Released Fri 28 April
Starring Khris Davi, Forest Whitaker, Jasmine Mathews, Sulican Jones, Lawrence Gilliard Jr
Directed by George Tillman Jr

Subtitled ‘The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World’, Big George Foreman does what it says on the tin: tells the story of the life and times of the Texas-born boxer whose stellar career included the legendary ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ encounter with Muhammad Ali in Zaire in 1974. 

But there’s much more to Foreman’s story than the fight with Ali. When, after a near-death experience that sees him forsaking the boxing ring in favour of the pulpit, he realises his community is struggling both spiritually and financially, Foreman takes the decision to return to the ring... 

He then makes history by reclaiming his title, and in so doing becomes the oldest and most improbable World Heavyweight Boxing Champion ever...  

Released Fri 28 April
Starring Owen Wilson, Stephen Root, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Michaela Watkins, Lusia Strus
Directed by Brit McAdams

TV-watching art fans may well be familiar with Bob Ross, who fronted an instructional television series titled The Joy Of Painting back in the 1980s and early ’90s. 

Bob died in 1995, but his shows continue to be screened - and although he’s not mentioned in Paint, it’s fairly evident that he’s the inspiration behind Owen Wilson’s character of Carl Nargle. 

The much-loved host of a long-running instructional painting series on Vermont public television, Carl finds the colour draining from life’s canvas when a younger painter is hired to attract a different demographic - a development that leaves him feeling more insecure than ever before about his own artistic talents...