OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening March 7, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
300: Rise of an Empire (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and pervasive violence) High body-count sequel, set in 480 BC, finds triumphant King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) now leading the Persian army against forces led by Greek General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) in an epic naval showdown over Athens. With Eva Green, Lena Headey and Hans Matheson.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG for mild action and rude humor) Animated adventure about a brilliant beagle inventor (Ty Burrell) who makes his mark on iconic moments in history when he travels back in time via Wayback Machine with his pet boy (Max Charles). Voice cast includes Ariel Winter, Mel Brooks, Stephen Colbert, Dennis Haysbert, Leslie Mann, Allison Janney and Stanley Tucci.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Awful Nice (R for profanity and sexuality) Tale of redemption about a popular college professor (James Pumphrey) who tries to mends fences with his deadbeat brother (Alex Rennie) as they drive cross-country to their father’s funeral. Cast includes Todd Sklar, Yakov Smirnoff and Laura Ramsey.
Bethlehem (Unrated) Middle East drama about an Israeli Secret Service agent (Tsahi Halevi) who induces a Palestinian teenager (Shadi Mar’i) to snitch on his terrorist older brother (Tarik Kopty). With Hitham Omari, Michal Shtamler and George Iskandar (In Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles)
The Face of Love (PG-13 for a drug reference) Romance drama about a widow (Annette Bening) who goes to great lengths to hide from her new boyfriend (Ed Harris) the fact that he’s the spitting image of the husband she lost five years earlier. With Robin Williams, Amy Brenneman and Jess Weixler.
A Farewell to Fools (PG-13 for brief profanity and a violent image) World War II farce, set in a simple Romanian village, highlighting Nazi occupiers’ search for the perpetrator after the body of a German soldier is discovered by a local boy (Bogdan Iancu). Starring Gerard Depardieu, Harvey Keitel and Laura Morante.
A Fragile Trust (Unrated) Journalistic ethics expose about Jayson Blair, the African-American reporter for the New York Times who was dismissed in disgrace after being caught plagiarizing many of his stories.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (R for profanity, sexuality and violence) Droll dramedy, directed by Wes Anderson, chronicling an accommodating concierge’s (Ralph Fiennes) exploits at a legendary European hotel during its heyday in the Thirties prior to the outbreak of World War II. Ensemble includes Owen Wilson, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Tom Wilkinson, Harvey Keitel, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and Jeff Goldblum. (In English and French with subtitles)
Grand Piano (R for profanity) Tale of redemption about a failed child prodigy (Elijah Wood) once crippled by stage fright whose attempted comeback is imperiled by an anonymous death threat if he plays even one wrong note during a performance. With John Cusack, Dee Wallace and Kerry Bishe.
Honey (Unrated) Euthanasia drama about a self-appointed angel of mercy (Jasmine Trinca) who takes it upon herself to help gravely-ill patients commit suicide. Featuring Carlo Cecchi, Libero De Rienzo and Iaia Forte. (In Italian with subtitles)
In Fear (R for profanity, terror and disturbing violence) Primal horror flick about a young couple (Iain De Caestecker and Alice Englert) who gets spooked when they realize they’re not alone after getting lost while driving in the Irish countryside. With Allen Leech.
Interior. Leather Bar. (Unrated) James Franco and Travis Matthews co-wrote, co-directed by and play themselves in this sexually-explicit docudrama reimagining the 40 minutes of lost footage deleted from the homoerotic classic Cruising (1980). Supporting cast includes Val Lauren, Christian Patrick and Brenden Gregory.
Journey to the West (PG-13 for violence, sexuality, bloody images and partial nudity) comedy fantasy about a Buddhist monk (Zhang Wen) who develops feelings for the demon hunter (Qi Shu) helping him protect his village from a trio of evil spirits. With Bo Huang, Show Luo and Shing-Cheung Lee. (In Mandarin with subtitles)
Particle Fever (Unrated) Big Bang documentary tracing six leading physicists’ search for the Higgs boson with the help of the Hadron collider in their attempt to unravel the mystery of the origin of the universe.
Tasting Menu (PG-13 for brief profanity) Romantic comedy about ex-lovers (Stephen Rea and Claudia Bassols) who reunite to keep a reservation made a year earlier at a restaurant billed as the best in the world. With Fionnula Flanagan, Jan Cornet and Togo Igawa. (In English and Catalan with subtitles)