Thursday, August 13, 2009

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 August 21, 2009





Inglourious Basterds (R for profanity, graphic violence and brief sexuality) Brad Pitt stars in Quentin Tarantino’s long-anticipated World War II saga about a U.S. Army lieutenant from the South who recruits a squad of Jewish GIs for a bloody mission to hunt down Nazis behind enemy lines. Ensemble includes Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent and Jacky Ido.


Post Grad (PG-13 for brief profanity and sexual situations) Dysfunctional family comedy about a recent college graduate (Alexis Bledel) who has to move back home to live with her eccentric relatives after her dream job in publishing fails to pan out. Cast includes Carol Burnett, J.K. Simmons, Fred Armisen, Michael Keaton and Jane Lynch.


Shorts (PG for mild action and crude humor) Modern fairytale about the ruckus raised in a suburban, Texas town when a rainbow-colored rock found by an 11 year-old (Jimmy Bennett) suddenly starts granting the every wish of anybody holding it. With William H. Macy, James Spader and Kat Dennings.   





Art & Copy (Unrated) The advertising industry is the subject of this deferential documentary examining some of the most successful and manipulative marketing campaigns (from “Just Do It.” to “Where’s the Beef?”) launched on behalf of mega-corporations since the inception of Madison Avenue’s “Creative Revolution” in the Sixties.


The Baader-Meinhof Complex (R for profanity, sexuality, graphic nudity, disturbing images and gory violence) Historical drama revisits the exploits of the Red Army Faction, the anti-imperialist group of German revolutionaries behind a bloody reign of terror in the Seventies including bombings, kidnappings and assassinations perpetrated in pursuit of a more humane society. Featuring Moritz Bleibtreu as Andreas Baader and Martina Gedeck as Ulrike Meinhof.


Casi Divas (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality and mature themes) Mexican musical comedy focusing on the fate of four women among hundreds of hopefuls caught up in the frenzy triggered by a powerful movie producer (Julio Bracho) who decides to conduct a nationwide talent search for a lead actress to star in his next picture. (In Spanish with subtitles)


Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-Itchy Footed Mutha (Unrated) Melvin Van Peebles wrote, directed, narrated and stars in this serendipitous, semi-autobiographical sojourn recounting his escaping the slums of Chicago en route to becoming an internationally-renown filmmaker, actor, singer, producer, scriptwriter and composer.  


Fifty Dead Men Walking (Unrated) Action thriller, set in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the Eighties, based on double agent Martin McGartland’s (Jim Sturgess) memoir detailing his infiltration of the IRA at the age of 22 on behalf of the British until he was exposed as a spy and nearly tortured to death. With Ben Kingsley, Rose McGowan and Tom Collins.


Five Minutes of Heaven (Unrated) Truth and reconciliation in Ireland is the theme of this character study revolving around the face-to-face meeting, arranged by the press, of an anguished Protestant assassin (Liam Neeson) and the revenge-minded, younger  brother (James Nesbitt) of a Catholic teenager he had murdered over three decades earlier.  


The Mark Pease Experiment (PG-13 for brief sexuality) Jason Schwartman stars as the title character in this musical comedy about a guy who is stuck mentally in his glory days ten years earlier when he was the star of his high school’s theater productions. With Ben Stiller, Anna Kendrick, Gabrielle Dennis and Jay Paulson. 


The Headless Woman (Unrated) Psychological thriller, set in Salta, Argentina, about a dentist (Maria Onetto) who becomes increasingly haunted by an existential dread after accidentally running over what might have been a young boy when distracted while driving alone on a country road. (In Spanish with subtitles)


My One and Only (PG-13 for profanity and sexuality) Road comedy, set in the Fifties, based on terminally-tan actor George Hamilton’s (Logan Lerman) teenage remembrance of his and his brother’s (Mark Rendall) accompanying their narcissistic mother (Rene Zellweger) on a cross-country trip in search of a wealthy suitor to replace her philandering husband (Kevin Bacon).  


Passing Strange (Unrated) Spike Lee directs this filmed stage production of Stew’s play about a young black musician (Daniel Breaker) who travels from L.A. to Europe in the Seventies to find himself.


Sikandar (Unrated) Political potboiler, set in Kasmir, about a 14 year-old orphan (Parzan Dastar) whose parents were killed by militants a decade earlier who unwittingly gets involved with religious extremists after finding a gun lying in the woods.(In Hindi with subtitles)


World’s Greatest Dad (R for profanity, sexuality, drug use, disturbing images and crude humor) Dark comedy starring Robin Williams as a struggling writer who finally finds a measure of success when he decides to cover-up his teenage son’s (Daryl Sabara) death from auto-erotic asphyxiation by posthumously ghostwriting and then publishing a sentimental journal in the late lad’s name

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