OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening April 22, 2011
BIG BUDGET FILMS
African Cats (G) Disney nature documentary, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, chronicling events in the lives of a trio of felines running free on the savannah: a little lion cub learning to imitate its mother, a momma cheetah patiently teaching her five mischievous newborns how to survive, and a fearless lion protecting his pride from a rival.
Madea’s Big Happy Family (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes and drug use) Tyler Perry’s back in drag for the 6th time as the trash-talking, pistol-packing granny. This installment of the morality play franchise revolves around a niece (Loretta Devine) in failing health who has just received a distressing diagnosis. Ensemble includes Bow Wow, David and Tamela Mann, Cassi Davis, Lauren London, Cheryl “Pepsi’ Riley, and popular, Old Spice pitchman Isaiah Mustafa.
Water for Elephants (Unrated) Robert Pattinson stars in the screen adaptation of Sara Gruen’s Depression-era novel of the same name about a vet student who drops out of school to join the circus after his parents perish in a car accident. With Reese Witherspoon and, Christoph Waltz and Hal Holbrook.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
The Bang Bang Club (Unrated) South African saga recounting the daring exploits of a quartet of intrepid combat photographers (Taylor Kitsch, Ryan Phillippe, Frank Rautenbach, Neels Van Jaarsveld) determined to document the fall of the country’s Apartheid regime. With Malin Akerman, Patrick Lyster and Russel Savadier.
Cougar Hunting (R for nudity, profanity, drug use, crude humor and pervasive sexuality) Buddy comedy revolving around three losers at love (Robin Blazak, Matt Prokop and Randy Wayne) who try to improve their odds by dating desperate, older women at an Aspen resort. With Vanessa Angel, Jillian Murray and Lara Flynn Boyle.
Dumbstruck (PG for suggestive humor) Dummy documentary featuring the highlights of the annual ventriloquists’ convention staged in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. With appearances by Bob Ashman, Willie Brown and Jennifer Burdette.
Exodus Fall (Unrated) Dysfunctional family drama, set in Texas in 1974, about three teenage siblings (Jesse James, Adrien Finkel and Devon Graye) grieving the death of their father (Christopher Atkins) who decide to run away from home when their abusive mom (Rosanna Arquette) mistreats her son with autism. With Dee Wallace, Leo Rossi and Duane Whitaker.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (PG-13 for profanity and sexuality) Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) wrote, produced, directed and stars in this documentary exposing the widespread corporate financing of movies via prominent product placements and other forms of advertising.
Incendies (R for profanity and graphic violence) Oscar-nominated, return to roots drama about a twin brother (Maxim Gaudette) ands sister (Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin) born in the middle East who travel from Canada back to their homeland to fulfill their late mother’s (Lubna Azabal) last request that they find the presumed-dead father they’ve never met and a sibling they never even knew existed. With Remy Girard, Allen Altman and Mohamed Majd. (In French, Arabic and English with subtitles)
Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (Unrated) Martial arts adventure, set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the Twenties, and revolving around a mysterious stranger (Donnie Yen) who infiltrates a gang of mobsters in order to assassinate everyone collaborating with the enemy. With Shu Qi, Anthony Wong, Huang Bo and Kohata Ryu. (In Mandarin, Japanese and English with subtitles)
Stake Land (Unrated) High body-count horror flick about a vampire hunter (Nick Damici) accompanied by an orphaned teen (Connor Paolo) on a perilous trek across a post-apocalyptic America in search of a monster-free sanctuary. Cast includes Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis and
St. Nick (Unrated) Survival drama about sibling runaways (Tucker and Savanna Sears) who take refuge in an abandoned house in the woods to escape from the elements during harsh Texas winter. With Riley Cole, Monique Byars and Brooke Devenney.
Tied to a Chair (Unrated) Screwball comedy about a miserable housewife (Bonnie Loren) who leaves her husband (Richard Franklin) of 25 years to resume the acting career she gave up to marry him. The plot thickens at her first audition when she’s left bound to a chair in a hotel room by a kinky cult film director (Mario Van Peebles) who subsequently turns up dead. With Robert Gossett, Kim Cristo and Daniel Farag.
What on Earth (Unrated) Whodunit documentary examining the mystery of crop circles as debated at an annual convention in England by scientists, farmers, philosophers and paranoid conspiracy buffs baffled by the phenomenon.
Friday, April 15, 2011
OPENING THIS WEEK