OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening July 18, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Planes: Fire & Rescue (PG for action and peril) Animated sequel finds crop duster-turned-air racer Dusty (Dane Cook) joining forces with a team of smoke-jumping helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to fight a massive forest fire. Voice cast features Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Cedric the Entertainer, Ed Harris, Teri Hatcher, Regina King, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.
The Purge: Anarchy (R for profanity and graphic violence) Serendipitous horror sequel follows a quintet’s (Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez and Zoe Soul) struggle to survive on the annual national holiday during which crime is legal, even murder. Cast includes John Beasley, Michael K. Williams, Justina Machado and Jack Conley.
Sex Tape (R for nudity, profanity, graphic sexuality and drug use) Romantic comedy revolving around a jaded couple (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) that comes to regret recording a steamy lovemaking session when the video meant to be kept private inexplicably goes missing. With Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper and Nat Faxon.
Wish I Was Here (R for profanity and sexuality) Zach Braff co-wrote, directed and stars in this midlife crisis dramedy about a cash-strapped family man who finds a new purpose in life after being forced by circumstances to homeschool his kids (Pierce Gagnon and Joey King). Ensemble cast includes Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Jim Parsons, Donald Faison, Ato Essandoh and the late James Avery.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Aftermath (Unrated) Post-apocalyptic thriller, set in rural Texas, about nine strangers’ stuck in a farmhouse fallout shelter attempt to survive radiation sickness and a horde of starving refugees in the wake of the devastation wrought by a nuclear holocaust. Co-starring Edward Furlong, William Baldwin, Monica Keena, Andre Royo, C.J. Thomason, Luis Da Silva, Jr., Bo Mitchell, Randall Reeder and Christine Kelly.
Alive Inside (Unrated) Dementia documentary demonstrating music’s magical ability to combat memory loss while restoring a sense of self to Alzheimer’s patients.
Among Ravens (Unrated) Fact-based dramedy about a 4th of July reunion in Idaho disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious nature photographer (Will McCormack) who proceeds to touch the lives of all the assembled guests. With Amy Smart, Christian Campbell and Calum Grant.
Double Play (Unrated) Poignant profile of visionary filmmakers Richard Linklater and James Benning’s enduring friendship.
Fanny (Unrated) Second installment in director Daniel Auteuil’s Marseille trilogy finds the title character (Victoire Belezy) seduced, impregnated and abandoned before deciding to marry a wealthy sugar daddy (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) for the sake of the baby. Cast includes Nicolas Vaude, Daniel Russo, Georges Neri. (In French with subtitles)
I Origins (R for sexuality, nudity and profanity) Sci-fi thriller about a molecular biologist (Michael Pitt) studying the evolution of the eye who makes a stunning scientific discovery with spiritual implications with the help of his lab partner (Brit Marling). With Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Steven Yeun and Archie Panjabi.
Mood Indigo (Unrated) Romantic fantasy, written and directed by Michael Gondry, about a wealthy bachelor (Romain Duris) who marries a young woman (Audrey Tautou) after a whirlwind romance only to learn that she’s suffering from a rare illness caused by a flower that’s growing in one of her lungs. Featuring Omar Sy, Gad Elmaleh, Charlotte Le Bon and Aissa Maiga. (In French and English with subtitles)
Persecuted (PG-13 for violence and mature themes) Fugitive road thriller about a popular televangelist (James Remar) who ends up on the run after being framed for murder by a vindictive politician (Bruce Davison) with religious reform at the top of his agenda. With Dean Stockwell, former Senator Fred Thompson and Fox TV’s Gretchen Carlson.
Video Games: The Movie (Unrated) Joystick documentary chronicling the history of seminal computer games from creation to consumption.