OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening September 21, 2012
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Dredd 3-D (R for profanity, sexuality, drug use and graphic violence) Karl Urban assumes the title role originally played by Sly Stallone in this reboot of the futuristic, sci-fi franchise which finds America an irradiated wasteland patrolled by a formidable judge/jury/executioner committed to cleansing the country of undesirables with the help of an attractive rookie sidekick (Olivia Thirlby). Supporting cast includes Lena Headey, Wood Harris and Jason Cope.
End of Watch (R for sexual references, drug use, graphic violence, disturbing images and pervasive profanity) Grisly crime saga about a couple of LAPD cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena) who land on a drug cartel’s hit list after confiscating a cache of guns and money during a routine traffic stop. With America Ferrara, Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez.
House at the End of the Street (PG-13 for profanity, terror, intense violence, teen partying, mature themes and brief drug use) Haunted house horror flick about a recent divorcee (Elisabeth Shue) whose hopes for a fresh start after relocating with her daughter (Jennifer Lawrence) to a quaint rural town are dashed by the creepy recluse (Max Theriot) living next-door. Ensemble includes Gil Bellows, Eva Link and Jon McLaren.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
17 Girls (Unrated) Baby mama drama set in Lorient, France but inspired by actual events which transpired in a Massachusetts town where a clique of bored high school coeds entered a pact to get pregnant after one of them (Louise Grinberg) was accidentally knocked up. Cast includes Juliette Darche, Roxane Duran and Esther Garrel. (In French with subtitles)
About Cherry (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and drug use) Coming-of-age drama, set in San Francisco, revolving around a troubled teen (Ashley Hinshaw) introduced to the adult entertainment industry by a sleazy attorney (James Franco) and a washed-up porn star (Heather Graham). With Dev Patel, Lili Taylor and Diane Farr.
Dear Mandela (Unrated) Dream deferred documentary highlighting the efforts of a trio of activists spearheading a revival of the South African civil rights movement on behalf of the black masses yet to benefit from independence. (In English and Zulu with subtitles)
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (PG-13 for nude images) Reverential retrospective takes a fond look back at the life and times of fashionista Diana Vreeland (1903-1989), the influential editor of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Head Games (PG-13 for mature themes) Brain trauma documentary explores the oft-devastating consequences of concussions suffered while playing football, hockey, soccer and other sports.
How to Survive a Plague (Unrated) AIDS documentary chronicling the efforts of ACT UP and other gay organizations which successfully pressured the federal government to fund the research that turned the epidemic from a death sentence into a manageable medical condition. Featuring file footage of Larry Kramer and Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
Knuckleball! (Unrated) Baseball documentary deconstructing the mechanics of the knuckleball with the help of such proponents of the unorthodox pitch as Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey, Charlie Hough and Phil Niekro.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13 for mature themes, profanity, and teen sexuality, fighting drug use and alcohol abuse) Screen adaptation of the Steven Chbosky novel of the same name about a lonely freshman’s (Logan Lerman) attempt to adjust to high school while simultaneously struggling to cope with a crush on a classmate (Emma Watson), a friend’s suicide and his own mental illness. With Paul Rudd, Ezra Miller and Dylan McDermott.
They Call It Myannar: Lifting the Curtain (Unrated) Bamboo Curtain expose’ offering a rare peak at Burma via interviews conducted secretly with over a hundred of the repressive regime’s political dissidents, including recently-released, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
Three Stars (Unrated) Delightful gourmet documentary delineating the culinary philosophy of nine of the world’s greatest chefs. Featuring Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Yannick Alleno and Olivier Roellinger. (In Dutch, English, German, Japanese, Italian and Spanish with subtitles)
Trouble with the Curve (PG-13 for profanity, smoking, mature themes and sexual references) Clint Eastwood stars in this minor league diamond drama about an aging baseball scout with failing eyesight who grudgingly agrees to make one last road trip prior to retiring after his daughter (Amy Adams) agrees to accompany him on the trek. Cast includes Justin Timberlake, John Goodman and Scott Eastwood (Clint’s son).
You May Not Kiss the Bride (PG-13 for sexuality, coarse humor and violence) Romantic comedy about a mild-mannered pet photographer (Dave Annable) forced to marry the daughter (Katharina McPhee) of the Croatian mobster (Ken Davitian) who wants his little girl to become an American citizen. With Mena Suvari, Kathy Bates, Rob Schneider, Tia Carrerre and Vinnie Jones.