OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening August 15, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Expendables 3 (PG-13 for profanity and violence) Third installment in the high-impact franchise finds the guys reuniting to rescue a former team member (Wesley Snipes) before squaring off with another (Mel Gibson) who has gone rogue with malevolent intentions. Beefcake cast featuring Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz and Jet Li, along with Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas and Kelsey Grammer.
The Giver (PG-13 for action, violence and mature themes) Adaptation of Lois Lowry’s Newbery Award-winning children’s novel about a teen (Brenton Thwaites) who becomes disillusioned upon learning the truth about his supposed utopia upon becoming the protégé of the one person (Jeff Bridges) living there aware of the existence of pain, sadness, war and other woes. Ensemble includes Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush, Taylor Swift and Alexander Skarsgard.
Let’s Be Cops (R for profanity, violence, drug use, sexuality and graphic nudity) Crime comedy about pals (Damon Wayans, Jr. and Jake Johnson) pretending to be police officers at a costume party who later become entangled in a real life web of intrigue involving mobsters and crooked detectives. With Andy Garcia, Angela Kerecz and Nina Dobrev.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Abuse of Weakness (Unrated) Catherine Breillat wrote and directed this semi-auto-biopic about a filmmaker (Isabelle Huppert) who finds herself manipulated by a cruel con artist (Kool Shen) after suffering a stroke. With Laurence Ursino, Christophe Sermet and Ronald Leclercq. (In French with subtitles)
Coldwater (Unrated) Harrowing nightmare chronicling the mistreatment of juvenile inmates at a privatized prison located in the California wilderness. Starring P.J. Boudousque’, James C. Burns, Chris Petrovski and Octavius J. Johnson.
Dinosaur 13 (PG for mature themes, mild epithets and brief smoking) Archeology documentary about a dig in the South Dakota Badlands, led by paleontologist Peter Larson, which unearthed the bones of the biggest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found.
Fort McCoy (R for violence) Fact-based World War II saga, set in Wisconsin in the summer of ‘44, about a barber (Eric Stoltz) who set up shop nearby a U.S. Army base also serving as a German POW camp. Co-starring Kate Connor, Camryn Manheim, Seymour Cassel, Brendan Fehr and Andy Hirsch.
Frank (R for profanity and some sexuality) Musical comedy about an aspiring musician (Domhnall Gleeson) with second thoughts after joining a rock band whose mysterious lead singer (Michael Fassbender) wears a bubble-head mask, 24/7. With Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Tess Harper.
Jake Squared (R for profanity) Elias Koteas stars as the title character of this romantic dramedy about a 50 year-old loser at love who decides to make a movie about his life in order to figure out why he’s screwed up every romantic relationship he’s ever had. Cast includes Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kevin Railsback.
Life after Beth (R for violence, sexuality, nudity, brief drug use and pervasive profanity) Horror comedy about a grief-stricken guy (Dane DeHaan) who gets more than he wished for when his recently-deceased girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) comes back to life as a man-eating zombie. Supporting cast includes John C. Reilly, Anna Kendrick, Paul Reiser, Molly Shannon and Cheryl Hines.
Moebius (Unrated) Oedipal drama revolving around a housewife (Eun-woo Lee) who becomes so enraged about her philandering husband’s (Jae-hyeon Jo) having an affair that she considers performing a taboo act while crying on her son’s (Young-ju Seo) shoulder for support. (In Korean with subtitles)
Mr. X (Unrated) Cat’s out of the bag biopic about Leos Carax, aka Mr. X, a mysterious French filmmaker who enjoys a cult following despite the fact that he does his best to hide his identity. (In French, English and Japanese with subtitles)
The One I Love (R for profanity, sexuality and drug use) Romantic comedy revolving around a couple (Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss) whose weekend getaway intended to revitalize their flagging marriage instead has them confronting an unexpected dilemma. With Ted Danson, and Oscar-winners Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God) and Mary Steenburgen (Melvin and Howard).
Ragnarok (PG-13 for frightening images) Historical adventure about an archaeologist (Pal Sverre Hagen) who leads an expedition to Finnmark, a no man’s land between Norway and Russia, in search of the true meaning of the ancient runes. Featuring Nicolai Cleve Broch, Bjorn Sundquist and Sofia Helin. (In Norwegian with subtitles)
Septic Tank (R for violence, profanity and gory images) Gruesome horror flick about a sewer worker (Jason David Brown) who mutates into a hideous monster after getting trapped in a septic tank while searching underground for the source of the city’s water contamination. With Molly Dunsworth, Robert Maillet and Tim Burd.
The Trip to Italy (Unrated) Road-oriented sequel to The Trip takes the two BFF foodies (Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon) on a six-city tour to sample the cuisine at leading restaurants all around Italy. With Rosie Fellner, Claire Keelan and Marta Barrio.
A Will for the Woods (Unrated) Final wish documentary about a psychiatrist suffering from lymphoma’s plan to minimize his corpse’s carbon footprint by being buried in the forest.
The Word (Unrated) Revenge drama about a corporate executive (Kevin O’Donnell) who is torn between taking the law into his own hands and moving on with his life in the wake of his son’s (Vincent Pavonetti) kidnap and murder. With James Naughton, Maggie Lacey and Natalia Payne.