Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Kam's Kapsules:
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening March 14, 2008


Doomsday (R for profanity, nudity, sexuality and graphic violence) Neil Marshall (The Descent) wrote and directed this sci-fi thriller about an elite squad of scientists dispatched to a quarantined hot zone in Scotland to find a cure for a lethal virus which has already claimed millions of lives. Cast includes Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowell.

Horton Hears a Who (G) Jim Carrey provides the voiceover for the title character in this animated adaptation of the Dr. Seuss kiddie classic about an elephant determined to come to the assistance of the inhabitants of a tiny planet when he hears cries for help coming from a speck of dust floating through the air. Voice cast includes Steve Carrell, Carol Burnett, Jonah Hill, Jamie Pressly, SNL’s Amy Poehler, Isla Fisher, Will Arnett and Seth Rogen.

Never Back Down (PG-13 for mature themes, intense violence, profanity, teen partying and premarital sexuality) Overcoming-the-odds drama, set in Orlando, stars Sean Faris as the hot-headed new kid in town who starts studying mixed martial arts after being beaten up by a bully (Cam Gigandet) for flirting with his girlfriend (Amber Heard) at a party. Karate Kid-inspired adventure features Djimon Hounsou in the Mr. Miyagi role as the lad’s mild-mannered mentor.


Blind Mountain (Unrated) Sex slave saga, set in the Nineties in China’s Shaanxi Province, chronicles the harrowing ordeal of a college coed (Huang Lu) who is drugged and sold to a mountain man (Huang Degui) as a bride. (In Mandarin with subtitles)

Flash Point (R for graphic violence) Set in the Nineties in pre-annexation Hong Kong, this martial arts saga follows the efforts of a police sergeant (Donnie Yen) and his undercover partner (Louis Koo) to infiltrate and take down a Vietnamese crime syndicate being run by a trio of vengeful brothers (Lui Leung-Wai, Collin Chou and Xing Yu) thirsty for blood. (In Mandarin, Cantonese and English with subtitles)

Funny Games (R for terror, violence and some profanity) German director Michael Haneke’s English language remake of his 1997 thriller of the same name now stars Naomi Watts and Tim Roth as a couple whose vacation with their young son (Devon Gearheart) is disrupted when their lakeside summer home is invaded by a couple of sadistic psychopaths (Brady Corbet and Michael Pitt).

The Heartbeat Detector (Unrated) Thought-provoking social satire about a psychologist (Mathieu Amalric) at a petrochemical company who comes to be troubled by disturbing parallels he observes between big business tactics and those employed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. (In French with subtitles)

My Father, My Lord (Unrated) Modern morality tale, ostensibly inspired by the Biblical parable of Abraham, revolves around a respected rabbi (Assi Ayan) in an Orthodox community who is forced by circumstances to balance the competing demands of his faith and his family. (In Hebrew with subtitles)

Sleepwalking (R for profanity and a violent scene) Dysfunctional family drama about the bond which develops between an 11 year-old girl (AnnaSophia Robb) and her uncle (Nick Stahl) after her irresponsible mother (Charlize Theron) unexpectedly skips town with her latest boyfriend.

Sputnik Mania (Unrated) Live Schreiber narrates this space race documentary about the USSR’s launch of Sputnik satellite in 1957. Archival footage features Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev along with U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower.

Towards Darkness (Unrated) Crime thriller about the son (Roberto Urbina) of a Colombian banker (Tony Plana) who ends up kidnapped for ransom when he returns home from New York for the Christmas holidays. (In Spanish and English with subtitles)

War Made Easy (Unrated) Narrated by Sean Penn, this anti-war documentary exposes the perils of America’s Military-Industrial Complex which have kept the country embroiled in military conflicts all across the planet over the past half century. With appearances via archival footage by Presidents Bush I and II, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, and by former Secretaries of Defense Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld.

Wetlands Preserved (Unrated) Flash-in-the-pan documentary laments the closing of Wetlands Preserved, a defunct SoHo nightclub which supported the environment and other social causes between 1989 and 2001 while providing a platform for an eclectic assortment of musical performers ranging from Phish to Dave Matthews to The Roots.

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