For movies opening April 21, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening April 21, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Born in China (G) Nature documentary, narrated by Jon Krasinski, mounting an epic expedition deep into the wilds of China to monitor the daily lives of three elusive species: pandas,  golden monkeys and snow leopards. (In English and Mandarin with subtitles)

Free Fire (R for sexual references, drug use, graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Crime comedy, set in 1978, about a bloody shootout in a warehouse between Boston mobsters and members of the Irish Republican Army in the wake of an arms deal gone bad. Ensemble cast includes Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley and Noah Taylor.

Phoenix Forgotten (PG-13 for terror, peril and profanity) Found-footage horror flick, set in Arizona on March 13, 1997, about three teens (Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews and Luke Spencer Roberts) who mysteriously disappeared while investigating the supposed sighting of a UFO hovering over the desert. With Florence Hartigan, Clint Jordan and Ana Dela Cruz.

The Promise (PG-13 for mature themes, sexuality, violence, disturbing images and war atrocities) Romance drama, set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, about a sophisticated Armenian woman (Charlotte Le Bon) raised in Europe who lands in a love triangle with a med student (Oscar Isaac) and an American photojournalist (Christian Bale) when she returns to Constantinople from Paris. Cast includes James Cromwell, Jean Reno and Shohreh Aghdashloo. (In English, German and French with subtitles)

Unforgettable (R for sexuality, violence, profanity and brief nudity) Revenge thriller revolving around a jealous, jilted divorcee (Katherine Heigl) who becomes unhinged when her ex-husband (Geoff Stults) lets his new fiancee (Rosario Dawson) move into the house they once shared. With Cheryl Ladd, Whitney Cummings and Isabella Rice. 

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Behind the White Glasses (Unrated) Musical tribute to Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller, the first female to land Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Film. Featuring commentary by Martin Scorcese, Sophia Loren and Harvey Keitel. (In English and Italian with subtitles)

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (Unrated) Reverential retrospective about Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist who led the preservation fight in the face of NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses’ plans to flatten urban communities in the name of progress.

Leap! (PG for action and impolite humor) Animated adventure about an 11 year-old orphan (Elle Fanning) living in Brittany who runs away to Paris with a friend (Nat Wolff) to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a prima ballerina. Voice cast includes Mel Brooks, Carly Rae Jepsen and Maddie Ziegler. 

N.O.L.A. Circus (Unrated) Madcap comedy chronicling the cutthroat rivalry between a couple of New Orleans barbershops located across the street from each other. Ensemble includes Dave Davis, Reginal Varice, Vas Blackwood and Taryn Terrell.

The Penguin Counters (Unrated) Eco-documentary about an expedition to Antarctica mounted by a team of scientists attempting to illustrate the impact of climate change on the decimated penguin population.    

Slack Bay (Unrated) Lighthearted whodunit about an eccentric family whose summer vacation at their seaside retreat is ruined by the arrival of a couple of bumbling cops (Didier Despres and Cyril Rigaux) investigating the mysterious disappearance of numerous tourists. Co-starring Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini and Jean-Luc Vincent. (In French and English with subtitles)

For movies opening April 7, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening April 7, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Case for Christ (PG for mature themes, incidental smoking and medical descriptions of crucifixion) Faith-based docudrama based on investigative journalist Lee Strobel’s (Mike Vogel) best seller of the same name chronicling his conversion from a skeptical atheist to a devout believer after two years of trying to convince his Born Again wife (Erika Christensen) that God doesn’t exist. With Faye Dunaway, Robert Forster and Frankie Faison.

Going in Style (PG-13 for profanity, drug use and suggestive material) Remake of the classic crime comedy revolving around a trio of retirees (Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin) who conspire to rob the bank that bankrupted their pension fund. Supporting cast includes Joey King, Ann-Margaret, Matt Dillon, Kenan Thompson and Christopher Lloyd.     

Smurfs: The Lost Village (PG for mild action and rude humor) Reboot of the animated franchise finds Smurfette (Demi Lovato) and BFFs Brainy (Danny Pudi), Hefty (Joe Manganiello) and Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) racing through a forbidden forest filled with magical creatures to find a lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson). Voice cast includes Mandy Patinkin, Julia Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez, Meghan Trainor and Gordon Ramsay.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Aftermath (R for one scene containing graphic violence) Fact-based docudrama about a grief-stricken vigilante (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who seeks to take revenge on the air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) whose mistake led to the crash which claimed the lives of his wife and daughter. Supporting cast includes Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers and Hannah Ware.

Alive and Kicking (Unrated) Musical documentary taking an informative look at both the Depression Era roots as well as the present-day popularity of swing dancing. 

The Assignment (R for profanity, sexuality, violence, drug use and graphic nudity) Crime thriller about a double-crossed assassin’s (Michelle Rodriguez) quest for vengeance against the rogue surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) who performed her gender-reassignment surgery against her will. Featuring Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia and Lia Lam.

Cezanne et Moi (R for profanity, nudity and sexual references) Bifurcated biopic chronicling the lifelong friendship of novelist/philosopher Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet) and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne (Guillaume Gallienne). With Alice Pol, Deborah Francois and Pierre Yvon. (In French with subtitles)

Colossal (R for profanity) Sci-fi comedy about a just-dumped and just-fired slacker (Anne Hathaway) who abandons New York City for her hometown where she suffers a nervous breakdown that leaves her convinced she’s in control of a giant monster making mincemeat of Seoul, South Korea. Ensemble cast includes Jason Sudeikis, Tim Blake Nelson, Dan Stevens and Simon Pegg.

Gifted (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes and suggestive material) Coming-of-age adventure set in a Central Florida coastal town where a 7 year-old orphan (Mckenna Grace) raised by her uncle (Chris Evans) since her mother’s suicide becomes the subject of a custody battle when her grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) learns she’s a promising math prodigy. With Octavia Spencer, Jona Xiao and Jenny Slate.

Graduation (R for profanity) Crime drama, set in Transylvania, about a physician (Adrian Titieni) who loses his moral compass after his 18 year-old daughter (Maria-Victoria Dragus) is left traumatized by a sexual assault right before taking her college entrance exam. Support cast includes Rares Andrici, Lia Bugnar and Vlad Ivanov. (In Romanian with subtitles)

Salt and Fire (Unrated) Strange bedfellows drama about a couple of environmental activists (Gael Garcia Bernal and Veronica Ferres) who grudgingly join forces with the corrupt CEO (Michael Shannon) of a corporate polluter when an active volcano threatens to trigger an ecological disaster. Featuring Anita Briem, Lawrence Krauss and the film’s director, Werner Herzog. (In English, Spanish, Quecha and German with subtitles)

Speech & Debate (PG-13 for teen sexuality, mature themes, profanity and substance abuse) Adaptation of the Off-Broadway play of the same name about a trio of teenage outcasts (Liam James, Sarah Steele and Austin McKenzie) who deal with their hypocritical parents and teachers by reviving their high school’s dormant debate club. With Janeane Garofalo, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kal Penn, Roger Bart, Lucy DeVito (Danny’s daughter) and creator of the Broadway hit Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Their Finest (R for profanity and sexuality) Romantic dramedy, set in London during World War II, about a young woman (Gemma Arterton) enlisted to write scripts for British propaganda films who finds herself falling for the movies’ handsome producer (Sam Claflin). With Bill Nighy, Jake Lacy and Eddie Marsan.

The Ticket (Unrated) Changed circumstances drama about a blind man (Dan Stevens) who turns into a jerk, dumping his plain wife (Malin Akerman) for an attractive young woman (Kerry Bishe), and deserting his blind BFF (Oliver Platt), after miraculously regaining his sight. Supporting cast includes Peter Mark Kendall, Liza J. Bennett and Skylar Gaertner.

  

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening March 31, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening March 31, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Boss Baby (PG for some mildly rude humor) Animated family comedy about a precocious infant (Alec Baldwin) who teams up with his 7 year-old brother (Miles Christopher Bakshi) to foil the dastardly plan of a diabolical CEO (Steve Buscemi) determined to destabilize feelings of love around the world. Voice cast includes Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, ViviAnn Yee and Eric Bell, Jr.

Ghost in the Shell (PG-13 for ) Futuristic sci-fi based on the Japanese comic book series of the same name about a cyborg counter-terrorist commander’s (Scarlett Johansson) deployed to prevent power-hungry computer hackers from purloining powerful, mind control technology. With Pilou Asbaek, Juliette Binoche and Takeshi Kitano.   

The Zookeeper’s Wife (PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, mature themes, smoking, sexuality and brief nudity) Jessica Chastain plays the title character in this true tale, set in Poland during World War II, recounting how a fearless woman hid hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust on the grounds of the Warsaw Zoo. Cast includes Daniel Bruhl, Johan Heldenbergh and Timothy Radford.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Aftermath (R for one scene containing graphic violence) Fact-based docudrama about a grief-stricken vigilante (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who seeks to take revenge on the air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) whose mistake led to the crash which claimed the lives of his wife and daughter. Supporting cast includes Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers and Hannah Ware.

All This Panic (Unrated) Coming-of-age documentary, set in Brooklyn, chronicling  the transition of a group of teenage girls from adolescence to adulthood over the course of three years. 

Bwoy (Unrated) Homoerotic drama revolving around a closeted, former physician (Anthony Rapp) who starts cheating on his wife (De’Adre Aziza) with a hunky young Jamaican (Jimmy Brooks) in the wake of their son’s untimely death. Featuring Jermaine Rowe, Drew Allen and Ashton Randle.

Cexanne and I (R for profanity, nudity and sexual references) Bifurcated biopic chronicling the lifelong friendship of novelist/philosopher Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet) and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne (Guillaume Gallienne). With Alice Pol, Deborah Francois and Pierre Yvon. (In French with subtitles)

David Lynch: The Art Life (Unrated) Prestige biopic following David Lynch as he discusses the formative years of his life which helped turn him into an iconoclastic film director.   

God Knows Where I Am (Unrated) Poignant post mortem reenacting the events leading to the death by a starvation of Linda Bishop, a homeless woman who tried to survive a harsh New Hampshire winter in an abandoned farmhouse on apples and rain water.

Here Alone (Unrated) Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller chronicling the struggle of a young woman (Lucy Walters) to survive in the wilderness in the wake of a mysterious epidemic that has decimated civilization. Cast includes Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson and Shane West. (In English and French with subtitles) 

Live Cargo (Unrated) Crime thriller about a couple (Dree Hemigway and Lakeith Stanfield) that retreats to an island in the Bahamas to mourn the loss of a baby, only to become entangled in a turf war between the mayor (Robert Wisdom) and a human trafficker (Leonard Earl Howze). co-starring Sam Dillon, Ayumi Iizuka and Frantz Lecoeur. (In English and Creole with subtitles)

The Prison (Unrated) Action thriller revolving around an ex-cop (Rae-won Kim) who pretends to be a convict in order to infiltrate the crime syndicate operating behind bars responsible for the murder of his younger brother. With Woong-in Jeong, Seok-Kyu Han and Kim Sung Kyun. (In Korean with subtitles)

 

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening March 24, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening March 24, 2017

BIG BUDGET FILMS  Chips (R for crude humor, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Dax Shepard wrote, directed, produced and co-stars in this comedic screen version of the Seventies TV series revolving around the exploits of a couple of California Highway Patrol officers (Shepard and Michael Pena). With Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Vincent D'Onofrio, Maya Rudolph and Jane Kaczmarek.

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Chips (R for crude humor, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Dax Shepard wrote, directed, produced and co-stars in this comedic screen version of the Seventies TV series revolving around the exploits of a couple of California Highway Patrol officers (Shepard and Michael Pena). With Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Vincent D’Onofrio, Maya Rudolph and Jane Kaczmarek.

Life (R for violence, terror and pervasive profanity) Sci-fi thriller chronicling the crew’s ordeal aboard an international space station after a microscopic organism plucked from the surface of Mars starts reproducing rapidly while morphing into a malevolent force. Co-starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Ariyon Bakare, Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada and Olga Dihovichnaya. (In English, Japanese and Chinese with subtitles)

Power Rangers (PG-13 for violence, action, destruction, profanity and crude humor) Reboot of the hyperactive kiddie franchise finds five teens imbued with unique superpowers (Naomi Scott, R.J. Cyler, Ludi Lin, Dacre Montgomery and Becky G.) joining forces to save the planet from an evil witch (Elizabeth Banks) with an army of militant minions. With Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston and Sarah Grey.

Slamma Jamma (PG for violence, mature themes and mild epithets) Tale of redemption about a wrongly-convicted basketball star (Chris Staples) who attempts to get back on his feet after parole by entering a slam dunk competition with a grand prize of $25,000. Cast includes Michael Irvin, Jose Canseco and Michael Hardy.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

American Anarchist (Unrated) Hippie Era documentary catching up with controversial cult figure William Powell, the now regretful author of the anti-establishment manifesto, “The Anarchist’s Cookbook.”

I Called Him Morgan (Unrated) Reverential retrospective revisiting the life of Lee Morgan (1938-1972), the legendary jazz great murdered by his wife between sets during a late-night gig at Slug’s Saloon in Greenwich Village. Featuring commentary by contemporaries Albert “Tootie” Heath, Wayne Shorter, Benny Maupin and Billy Harper. 

I, Olga Hepnarova (Unrated) Crime blotter docudrama, set in Prague, deconstructing the series of events triggering 22 year-old, mass murderer Olga Hepnarova’s (Michalina Olszanska) 1973 killing spree. With Martin Pelchat, Klara Meliskova and Marika Soposka. (In Czech with subtitles)

In Search of Israeli Cuisine (Unrated) Foodie documentary examining the 70+ cultures contributing to Israeli eating habits at home and in restaurants.

The Levelling (Unrated) Haunting, modern parable of Biblical proportions chronicling a grief-stricken Prodigal Daughter’s (Ellie Kendrick) attempt to reconcile with her long-estranged father (David Troughton) while performing a post mortem on her brother’s (Joe Blakemore) untimely death. Featuring Jack Holden.

Prevenge (Unrated) Horror comedy, set in Wales, about a pregnant mom in mourning (Alice Lowe), who is prodded by her fetus to embark on a homicidal rampage against the people responsible for the baby-daddy’s fatal, mountain climbing accident. With Kate Dickie, Gemma Whelan and Jo Hartley.

Wilson (R for sexuality and pervasive profanity) Woody Harrelson plays the character in this dysfunctional family comedy about a lonely misanthrope who decides to reconcile with his estranged ex-wife (Laura Dern) upon learning that he has a teenage daughter (Isabella Amara) he never knew existed. With Brett Gelman, Judy Greer and Toussaint Morrison.    

 

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening March 17, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK
Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening March 17, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Beauty and the Beast (PG for action, peril, violence and frightening images) Emma Watson and Dan Stevens co-star as the title characters in this musical adaptation of the French fairy tale about a young woman taken prisoner by a monstrous, young prince.Supporting cast includes Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen, Josh Gad and Emma Thompson.

The Belko Experiment (R for profanity, sexual references, drug use and pervasive gory violence) High-body count thriller set inside a locked corporate office in Bogota, Columbia where 60 American employees are directed via intercom by an anonymous voice to participate in a grisly game of kill or be killed. Ensemble cast includes Melonie Diaz, John C. McGinley, Tony Goldwyn and Adria Arjona. 

T2: Trainspotting (R for violence, drug use, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity and pervasive profanity) Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (for Slumdog Millionaire) reassembled his principal cast for this gritty sequel, set in Edinburgh 20 years later, which finds the gang resuming their shocking, anti-social antics. Co-starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Johnny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

All Nighter (R for sexuality, brief nudity, drug use and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about a hard-boiled businessman (J.K. Simmons) who grudgingly joins forces with his missing daughter’s (Analeigh Tipton) slacker ex-boyfriend (Emile Hirsch) after she mysteriously disappears. With Taran Killam, Shannon Woodward and Kristen Schaal.

Betting on Zero (Unrated) Incendiary Wall Street documentary chronicling billionaire, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s crusade exposing Herbalife as the biggest pyramid scheme in history. Featuring appearances by corporate raider Carl Icahn, grass roots organizer Julie Contreras and Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson. 

  

Burn Your Maps (PG-13 for sexual material, mature themes and brief profanity)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Adaptation of the Robyn Joy Leff short story of the same name about an 8 year-old trans-ethnic (Jacob Tremblay), born white in America, who comes out to his parents (Vera Farmiga and Martin Csokas) as a Mongolian goat herder before embarking on a trip to Asia in search of his roots. With Suraj Sharma, Virginia Madsen and Ramon Rodriguez.

The Devil’s Candy (Unrated) Haunted house horror flick about an artist (Ethan Embry) who becomes possessed by demonic forces soon after moving into his  dream home with his wife (Shiri Appleby) and teen daughter (Kiara Glasco). Featuring Craig Nigh, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Oryan West.

Frantz (PG-13 for mature themes and brief violence) Bittersweet romance drama, set in the wake of World War I, about the grief-stricken fiancee (Paula Beer) of a  late German soldier (Anton von Lucke) who forges a friendship with the mysterious Frenchman (Pierre Niney) she finds placing flowers on his grave. Cast includes Marie Gruber, Johann von Bulow and Ernst Stotzner. (In French and German with subtitles)

Mean Dreams (R for violence and profanity) Coming-of-age drama about a fed-up15 year-old girl (Sophie Nelisse) who runs away from home with her protective new boyfriend (Josh Wiggins) to escape being beaten by her corrupt cop father (the late Bill Paxton). With Colm Feore, Ryan Blakely and Joe Cobden.

Song to Song (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity and drug use) Tawdry tale of seduction and betrayal, set in Austin, revolving around the love triangles which develop when a couple of struggling songwriters (Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara) enlist the assistance of a music mogul (Michael Fassbender) with a trophy waitress girlfriend (Natalie Portman). Cast includes Cate Blanchett, Benicio del Toro, Val Kilmer and Holly Hunter with cameos by Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Flea.

 

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening March 10, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening March 10, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Kong: Skull Island (PG-13 for action, intense violence and brief profanity) Reboot of the King Kong franchise, set in 1971, revolving around an ill-fated expedition to an uncharted Polynesian island inhabited by a horde of monsters led by a giant ape. Ensemble cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins and Tom Hiddleston.   

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Actor Martinez (Unrated) Quirky mockumentary, set in Denver, highlighting the futile attempt of aspiring actor/computer repairman Arthur Martinez to kickstart his fledgling showbiz career. With Mike Ott, Cory Zacharia and Nathan Silver.

Betting on Zero (Unrated) Incendiary Wall Street documentary chronicling billionaire, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s crusade exposing Herbalife as the biggest pyramid scheme in history. Featuring appearances by corporate raider Carl Icahn, grass roots organizer Julie Contreras and Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson. 

  

Brimstone (R for profanity, grisly violence, graphic sexuality, disturbing images and frontal nudity) Gruesome Western about a wrongfully-accused, frontier woman (Dakota Fanning) who tries to clear her name while on the run from a vengeful preacher (Guy Pearce). Support cast includes Emilia Jones, Carice van Houten and Kit Harington.    

My Scientology Movie (Unrated) Faux documentary employing actors to recreate revealing incidents reported by disenchanted members of the Church of Scientology. Co-starring Andrew Perez, Stacia Roybal and Conner Stark as Tom Cruise.   

The Other Half (Unrated) Romance drama, set in Toronto, revolving around the love affair between a grief-stricken cab driver (Tom Cullen) and a manic depressive with a bipolar disorder (Tatiana Maslany). With Diana Bentley, Henry Czerny and Emmanuel Kabongo.

The Ottoman Lieutenant (R for violence) Romance drama, unfolding at the outbreak of the First World War, about the love which blossoms between a Turkish lieutenant (Michiel Huisman) in the Imperial Army and a headstrong, American nurse (Hera Hilmar) stationed at a medical mission inside the Ottoman Empire. Supporting cast includes Josh Hartnett, Haluk Bilginer and Sir Ben Kingsley.     

Personal Shopper (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity and a bloody image) Supernatural suspense thriller, set in Paris, about a grief-stricken American’s (Kristen Stewart) attempt to communicate with the ghost of her recently-departed twin brother. With Sigrid Bouaziz, Ty Olwin and Lars Eidinger. (In English, French and Swedish with subtitles) 

Raw (R for aberrant behavior, gruesome images, nudity, graphic sexuality, profanity, drug use and partying) Grisly horror flick about a 16 year-old vegan (Garance Marillier) who develops an insatiable taste for flesh after being forced to eat meat during a vet school hazing ritual. Featuring Laurent Lucas, Ella Rumpf and Joana Preiss. (In French with subtitles)

Suntan (Unrated) Romantic dramedy revolving around a middle-aged physician (Makis Papadimitrou) who jeopardizes his new position on a trendy resort island when he becomes obsessed with a flirtatious tourist (Ellie Tringou) about half his age. With Dimi Hart, Hara Kotsali and Marcus Collen. (In Greek and English with subtitles)

This Beautiful Fantastic (PG for mature themes and mild epithets) Unlikely-buddies dramedy about a cash-strapped, reclusive writer (Jessica Brown Findlay) befriended by the filthy-rich, cranky old codger (Tom Wilkinson) who lives next door. Supporting cast includes Jeremy Irvine, Anna Chancellor and Andrew Scott. 

Uncertain (Unrated) Warts-and-all documentary taking a lighthearted look at the colorful denizens of Uncertain, Texas (popu. 94), a tiny town in the middle of nowhere you’ve got to be lost to find. 

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening March 3, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening March 3, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Before I Fall (PG-13 for mature themes, bullying, sexuality, violent images, profanity and underage drinking) Adaptation of Lauren Oliver’s young adult novel of the same name about a recently-deceased teen (Zoey Deutch) who is afforded an opportunity to relive her last day on Earth over and over until she untangles the circumstances surrounding her death in a tragic car accident. Cast includes Liv Hewson, Logan Miller and Jennifer Beals.

Logan (R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity and brief nudity) Hugh Jackman’s last go-round as the Marvel Comics superhero finds a weary Wolverine withdrawn from the world and caring for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) until he is recruited by a mysterious stranger (Elizabeth Rodriguez) to come to the assistance of a young mutant (Dafne Keen) on the run from dark forces. With Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Eriq La Salle and Stephen Merchant.

The Shack (PG-13 for violence and mature themes) Faith-based drama adapted from William P. Young’s best seller of the same name about a grief-stricken family man (Sam Worthington) mourning the loss of a young daughter (Amelie Eve) who receives an invitation from God (Aviv Alush) to meet at the site of the murder, deep in the Oregon wilderness. Featuring Octavia Spencer, Radha Mitchell and Tim McGraw.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Burlesque: The Heart of the Glittter Tribe (Unrated) Revealing documentary showcasing the resurgence in popularity of striptease in Portland, Oregon. With Babs Jamboree, Angelique Devil and Zora von Pavonine. 

Contemporary Color (PG-13 for brief profanity) Concert flick staged by David Byrne during the summer of 2015 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and featuring performances by ten color guard teams from across the U.S. and Canada. With Nelly Furtado, Ad-Rock and Ira Glass.

The Freedom to Marry (Unrated) Gay rights documentary chronicling the hard fought advances achieved over the past 40 years by the Same Sex Movement. Featuring commentary by Evan Wolfson, Marc Solomon and April DeBoer. 

The Institute (R for gory violence, disturbing images and graphic nudity) Suspense thriller, set in 19th C. Baltimore, revolving around the ordeal experienced by a grief-stricken orphan (Allie Gallerani) after she checks herself into a mental institution conducting pseudo-scientific, mind control experiments. Big name cast includes James Franco, Topher Grace, Josh Duhamel, Pamela Anderson, Eric Roberts and Tim Blake Nelson. 

Kiki (Unrated) Anti-bullying documentary highlighting the efforts of minority members of the LBGTQ community to find a safe space to congregate in New York City.   

The Last Word (R for profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about the friendship forged between an elderly control freak (Shiley Maclaine) and a truth-seeking reporter (Amanda Seyfried) assigned to write her obituary. Supporting cast includes Anne Heche, Phillip Baker Hall and AnnJewel Lee Dixon.

Lavender (Unrated) Psychological thriller about a photographer (Abbie Cornish) suffering from amnesia who finds evidence in her portfolio suggesting she might have murdered relatives she never knew she had. With Justin Long, Dermot Mulroney and Lola Flanery.

My Scientology Movie (Unrated) Faux documentary employing actors to recreate revealing incidents reported by disenchanted members of the Church of Scientology. Co-starring Andrew Perez, Stacia Roybal and Conner Stark as Tom Cruise.   

Nakom (Unrated) Character-driven drama about a promising medical student (Jacob Ayanaba) forced to return home to his village in Ghana to provide for his family in the wake of his father’s death. With Grace Ayanga, Justina Kulidu and Shetu Musah.

Table 19 (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, mature themes, drug use and brief nudity) Ensemble comedy about a maid of honor (Anna Kendrick) who finds herself relieved of her duties and relegated to a remote table full of reluctantly-invited losers at the wedding reception after being dumped by the bride’s (Rya Meyers) brother (Wyatt Russell)  With Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson and June Squibb.

Wolves (Unrated) Dysfunctional family drama about a high school basketball star (Taylor John Smith) whose recruitment by Cornell is jeopardized by his gambling- addicted and compulsive liar of a father (Michael Shannon). Cast includes Carla Gugino, Chris Bauer and Zazie Beetz. 

SOURCE:  GIG News

La La Land, I Mean Moonlight, Wins Best Picture

 

2017 Oscar Recap

by Kam Williams

La La Land, I Mean Moonlight, Wins Best Picture

Climactic Moment Ruined by Monumental Blunder 

The Academy Awards ended on a sour note when Faye Dunaway announced that favorite La La Land had won the Oscar for Best Picture. Trouble is, she and co-presenter Warren Beatty had been handed the wrong envelope.

So, while La La’s producers were taking turns delivering heartfelt acceptance speeches, they were abruptly interrupted so that the audience could be informed that Moonlight was the real winner. Immediately, that film’s cast and crew descended upon the stage while the suddenly-deflated La La entourage quietly exited via the wings.

Emcee Jimmy Kimmel confronted Warren Beatty with “What did you do?” But the epic flub wasn’t Warren or Faye’s fault, since the card inside the envelope was actually for Best Lead Actress and read “Emma Stone – La La Land.”

Besides Best Picture, Moonlight landed awards for Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Adapted Screenplay. La La can take some solace in the fact that it nabbed the most honors overall, 6, including Best Director (Damien Chazell), Score and Song (“City of Stars”).

VIOLA DAVIS, JULIUS TENNON

Otherwise, Hollywood’s biggest night represented a remarkable reversal of its recent lily-white preferences, picking the predominantly-black cast Moonlight as Best Picture, along with African-Americans Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actress), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Barry Jenkins (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Ezra Edelman (director of O.J.: Made in America).

Mahershala Ali

Edelman, the son of legendary children’s rights attorney, Marian Wright Edelman, dedicated his victory to Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson as  well as to victims of police brutality. His wasn’t the only politicized acceptance speech, with many recipients hurling thinly-veiled barbs at Donald Trump.

The most virulent attack on the President came from came from Iranian  Ashgar Farhadi, writer and director of Best Foreign Film-winner, The Salesman. He boycotted the festivities, but had a spokesman read a statement excoriating Trump for issuing an executive order temporarily banning travelers from his country and a half-dozen other Muslim countries.    

Jimmy Kimmel took a lot of indirect potshots at the president, too, like when he asked Meryl Streep whether her gown was from Ivanka’s fashion line. When the O.J. Simpson doc won, he quipped, ” O.J., you can get an extra slice of baloney on your sandwich tonight.” Kimmel was very smooth delivering his funny but never mean-spirited jokes, so don’t be surprised if he’s asked to host again next year, especially given that the Oscars air on ABC, the same network as his late night show.    

Complete List of Oscar Winners            

Best Picture: Moonlight     

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight

Animated Feature: Zootopia

Foreign Language Film: The Salesman

Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America

Cinematography: La La Land

Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Production Design: La La Land

Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad

Original Score: La La Land

Best Song: La La Land (“City of Stars”)

Sound Editing: Arrival

Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge

Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Animated Short: Piper

Documentary Short: The White Helmets

Live-Action Short: Sing

Images: Disney ABC Press

Source:  GIG News

American Masters — Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

 

Maya Angelou,  PBS-TV Review, by Kam Williams, African-American icon, poet,author,actress,director,civil rights activistAmerican Masters — Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Premieres nationwide Tuesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

PBS-TV Review by Kam Williams

PBS’ American Masters Broadcasts Revealing Retrospective about the Late Icon

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was born Marguerite Annie Johnson,in St. Louis, Missouri on April 4, 1928 to parents for whom she and her big brother Bailey soon became a burden. When Maya was just 3, the siblings were sent alone by train to live with their paternal grandmother in Arkansas where they would be terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan.

At 7, Maya moved back to St. Louis, only to be molested by her now single mother’s boyfriend. When she  reported the rape, the perpetrator was soon murdered under mysterious circumstances.

Maya subsequently fell mute and was shipped back to her grandma’s house. Although she couldn’t talk, she did take to reading like a fish to water. And by the time she spoke again at the age of 12, she’d become very acquainted with the classics ranging from Shakespeare to Langston Hughes to Edgar Allan Poe. 

Unfortunately, exposure to great literature didn’t save Maya from further trauma, as she would become a single-mom at 17 after being pressured into a sexual encounter with a boy who wanted nothing more to do with her. She subsequently supported herself and her son, Guy, by holding an array of odd jobs, including work in the sex trade industry as a stripper, prostitute and even a madam.

Yet somehow, Maya would overcome her humble roots and checkered early career to become an African-American icon and a very respected writer in her own right. That miraculous recovery is the subject of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, a reverential retrospective offering an intimate look at the life of the late poet/author/actress/director/civil rights activist.

Maya Angelou,  PBS-TV Review, by Kam Williams, African-American icon, poet,author,actress,director,civil rights activist

Co-directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, the film features heartfelt reflections by an array of luminaries, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, John Singleton, Cicely Tyson, Dave Chappelle and Valerie Simpson, to name a few.  For example, we hear Secretary Clinton refer to her as “a phenomenal woman” while Lou Gossett, Jr. credits her with raising his political consciousness.

A poignant portrait of a sex abuse survivor’s unlikely path from abandoned street urchin to consummate poet laureate!

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 114 minutes

Distributor: PBS

For a behind-the-scenes peek at Common on the set with Maya Angelou, visit: https://youtu.be/O8pLATICKq8

For an excerpt featuring Maya Angelou speaking about her role in a production of Porgy and Bess, visit: https://youtu.be/TYIzoL5bJmI

To order a copy of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise on DVD, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01N3UHKU7/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Source:  GIG News

For movies opening February 24, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening February 24, 2017

MOVIES OPENING THIS WEEK,   Kam's Kapsules,  Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun,  by Kam Williams

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Collide (PG-13 for violence, profanity, sexuality and drug use) Action thriller about a couple of American tourists (Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones) backpacking across Europe who end up on the run from drug smugglers in Germany. With Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley and Nadia Hilker.

Get Out (R for violence, profanity, bloody images and sexual references) Psychological thriller about a black college student (Daniel Kaluuya) who goes home with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford) only to uncover the suburban town’s sordid history marked by a string of African-American male disappearances. Supporting cast includes Lakeith Stanfield, Caleb Landry Jones and Erika Alexander.

Rock Dog (PG for action and mild epithets) Animated adventure about a Tibetan Mastiff (Luke Wilson) torn between guarding a flock of sheep and pursuing his dream of Rock & Roll stardom. Voice cast includes K.K. Simmons, Kenan Thompson, Matt Dillon, Sam Elliott, Eddie Izzard and Lewis Black.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Bitter Harvest (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based drama, set in the Ukraine in the early Thirties, revolving around the efforts of a young artist (Max Irons) to save his childhood sweetheart (Samantha Barks) from the state-sanctioned famine orchestrated by Stalin (Gary Oliver) that would claim millions of lives. With Terence Stamp, Barry Pepper and Lucy Brown. 

Drifter (Unrated) Horror flick about a couple of outlaws (Aria Emory and Drew Harwood) who unwittingly take refuge in a ghost town inhabited only by a hungry clan of psychotic cannibals. Support cast includes Monique Rosario, James McCabe and Anthony Ficco.

Dying Laughing (Unrated) Behind-the-scenes documentary offering a revealing look at the complicated lives and creative process of stand-up comedians. Featuring Jerry Seinfeld, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, 

Fabricated City (Unrated) Action thriller about an unemployed gamer (Chang-wook Ji), framed for murder, who tries to clear his name with the help of a computer hacker (Eun-kyung Shim). With Jae-hong Ahn, Sang-ho Kim and Jeong-se Oh. (In Korean with subtitles)

Lost Cat Corona (Unrated) Ensemble comedy about an uptight nerd (Ralph Macchio) forced to interact with some shady characters while searching the neighborhood for his wife’s (Gina Gershon) missing cat. Cast includes Sean Young, Paul Sorvino and Tom Wopat.

My Life as a Zucchini (PG-13 for mature themes and suggestive material) Coming-of-age tale, nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category, about a 9 year-old’s (Gaspard Schlatter) attempt to adjust to life in an orphanage after the mysterious disappearance of his mother (Natacha Koutchoumov). Voice cast includes Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud and Raul Ribera. (In French with subtitles)

Punching Henry (Unknown) Quirky character study about a struggling standup comedian (Henry Phillips) who comes to regret being lured to L.A.  by a TV producer (J.K. Simmons) to star in a reality show revolving around the life of a loser. Featuring Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro and Mike Judge.

Tulip Fever (Unrated) Romance drama, set in 17th Century Amsterdam, about a portrait artist (DaneDeHaan) who embarks on a passionate affair with a married woman (Alicia Vikander) he’s been hired to paint. With Christoph Waltz, Zach Galifiniakis and Dame Judi Dench.

Year by the Sea (Unrated) Adaptation of Joan Anderson’s memoir of the same name about a jaded housewife who opted to move to a Cape Cod cottage rather than accompany her husband of 30 years to his new job in Kansas. Supporting cast includes S. Epatha Merkerson, Yannick Bisson and Celia Imrie. 

 

 Source:  GIG News