Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Free State of Jones (R for brutal battle scenes and disturbing images) Civil War saga about a white Mississippian (Matthew McConaughey) who leads fellow farmers and former slaves in an uprising against the Confederacy. Supporting cast includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali.
Independence Day: Resurgence (PG-13 for action, violence, destruction and profanity) Epic sci-fi sequel, set two decades after the events of the original, finds humanity bracing for an invasion by a better-equipped fleet of hostile alien forces. Ensemble cast includes Maika Monroe, Joey King, Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Vivica A. Fox and Bill Pullman.
The Shallows (PG-13 for bloody images, intense scenes of peril and brief profanity) Harrowing tale of survival revolving around a pro surfer's (Blake Lively) stuggle to reach the beach safety after being stalked by a great white shark 200 yards offshore. With Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen and Sedona Legge.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Breaking a Monster (Unrated) Rockumentary recounting the rise in 2007 of Unlocking the Truth, a heavy metal trio of 13 year-old, African-American boys from Brooklyn: Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins and Alec Atkins.
The Duel (R for profanity and graphic violence) Classic Western, set in the 1880s, pitting a Texas Ranger (Liam Hemsworth) against the deranged preacher (Woody Harrelson) terrorizing a frontier town. With Alice Braga, Emory Cohen and William Sadler.
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (R for profanity, sexual references and brief nudity) Reverential biopic revisiting the life and career of the avant-garde musician, filmmaker, composer and producer best remembered as the bandleader of The Mothers of Invention.
Misconception (PG-13 for mature themes and some sexual references) Population Boom documentary questioning the conventional assumptions about humanity's exponential growth rate.
Nuts! (Unrated) "Snake oil" biopic Dr. John Romulus Brinkley (1885-1942), a charlatan with a phony medical degree who made a fortune by performing goat testicle transplants on men all across the country as a cure for impotence.
Septembers of Shiraz (PG-13 for mature themes, brutality, torture, disturbing images, partial nudity and brief profanity) Fact-based drama, set in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, chronicling the desperate efforts of a Jewish family to flee the country before they might be persecuted by Islamic fundamentalists. Starring Adrien Brody, Salma Hayek and Gabriella Wright.
Vigilante Diaries (R for sexuality, nudity, graphic violence and pervasive profanity) High-octane thriller revolving around a team of black-ops agents-turned crime fighters' series of revenge-fueled, rescue missions. Cast includes Jason Mewes, Quinton Rampage Jackson, Michael Jai White and Michael Madsen.
Wiener-Dog (R for profanity and disturbing content) Todd Solondz wrote and directed this sequel to Welcome to the Dollhouse about a dachshund taken by its owners on an eventful, episodic road trip. Co-starring Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig, Julie Delpy, Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, and Clara and Zosia Mamet.