Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Movies This Week

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3 Backyards
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Screen Media Films
Director: Eric Mendelsohn
Screenwriter: Eric Mendelsohn
Starring: Embeth Davidtz, Edie Falco, Elias Koteas, Rachel Resheff, Wesley Broulik, Kathryn Erbe, Danai Gurira
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for a scene of sexual content)
Plot Summary: From writer-director Eric Mendelsohn, the only two-time winner of the Directing Prize at Sundance (first for Judy Berlin, also starring Edie Falco) comes "3 Backyards," the story of three residents of the same suburban town over the course of one perfect, glittering Autumn day. Mixing the mundane with the mythic, the film peers into the interior lives of its characters as they embark on seemingly tiny journeys that actually take them vast distances from the familiar. A businessman (Elias Koteas) with marital troubles gets 'lost' on a business trip without ever leaving town. A little girl (Rachel Resheff) steals her mother's jewelry in the morning and finds herself faced with frightening, adult decisions by late afternoon. A well-meaning housewife (Edie Falco) offers her celebrity neighbor (Embeth Davidtz) a lift and the trip detours into unsettling territory. Seen through a prism of shifting light and shimmering leaves, the familiar geography of the suburban landscape dissolves by day's end into a dreamscape where identity can be fractured, destroyed or ultimately reclaimed.




Battle: Los Angeles
Release Date: March 11, 2011
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Screenwriter: Chris Bertolini
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Ne-Yo, Michael Pena
Genre: Action
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction, and for language)
Plot Summary: For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world – Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world's great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It's up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they've ever encountered before.



Black Death
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Magnet Releasing (Magnolia Pictures)
Director: Chris Smith
Screenwriter: Dario Poloni
Starring: Sean Bean, John Lynch, Jamie Ballard, Andy Nyman, Johnny Harris, Tygo Gernandt, Emun Elliott, Eddie Redmayne
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Sean Bean stars as Ulric, a grim emissary from the Church, who leads a young monk (Eddie Redmayne) and a band of violent vigilantes and war veterans through the English countryside. Armed with blood-chilling torture devices, their mission is to stamp out suspected paganism in a village that remains untouched by the black plague, even as the rest of Europe grimly succumbs to the pestilence.



Certified Copy
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (limited)
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Screenwriter: Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Juliette Binoche won the Best Actress prize in Cannes for her performance in this playful and provocative romantic drama from legendary auteur Abbas Kiarostami ("Taste of Cherry," "The Wind Will Carry Us"), his first feature made outside of Iran. Binoche plays a gallery owner living in a Tuscan village who attends a lecture by a British author (opera star William Shimell) on authenticity and fakery in art. Afterward, she invites him on a tour of the countryside, during which he is mistaken for her husband. They keep up the pretense and continue on their afternoon out, discussing love, life and art, and increasingly behaving like a long-married couple. But are they play-acting on a whim or is there more to their seemingly new relationship than meets the eye?



The Desert Of Forbidden Art
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (NY; LA release: March 18)
Studio: Desert of Forbidden Art LLC
Director: Tchavdar Georgiev, Amanda Pope
Screenwriter: Tchavdar Georgiev, Amanda Pope
Starring: Edward Asner, Sally Field, Ben Kingsley
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "The Desert of Forbidden Art" tells the incredible story of how a treasure trove of banned Soviet art worth millions of dollars was stashed in a far-off desert of Uzbekistan, and develops into a larger exploration of how art survives in times of oppression. A fascinating documentary about a group of visionary artists and one man who risked his life to rescue their work.



Electra Luxx
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Screenwriter: Sebastian Gutierrez
Starring: Carla Gugino, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Timothy Olyphant, Kathleen Quinlan, Vincent Kartheiser, Malin Akerman
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Recently retired from the adult film industry, superstar Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino) is pregnant with the child of late rock star Nick Chapel. She is trying to make ends meet by teaching a community college sex education class aimed at housewives when a figure from her past, flight attendant Cora (Marley Shelton), approaches her with a proposition. In exchange for the (stolen) lyrics to Nick Chapel's last record, all of which is about Elektra, Cora needs Elektra to seduce her fiancee. Elektra reluctantly agrees to do this favor, setting in motion a series of hilarious events which will see her come face to face with detectives, sex bloggers, emotionally unstable neighbors and the Virgin Mary herself as she wrestles with the prospect of motherhood and tries to become a person of substance.



I Am
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (LA; NY release: March 18)
Studio: Paladin
Director: Tom Shadyac
Screenwriter: Tom Shadyac
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "I Am," a prismatic and probing exploration of our world, what's wrong with it, and what we can do to make it better, represents Tom Shadyac's first foray into non-fiction following a career as one of Hollywood's leading comedy practitioners, with such successful titles as "Ace Ventura," "Liar Liar," and "Bruce Almighty" to his credit. "I Am" recounts what happened to the filmmaker after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged a changed man. Disillusioned with life on the A-list, he sold his house, moved to a mobile home community, and decided to start life anew. Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a camera crew, Shadyac embarks upon a journey to discover how he as an individual, and we as a race, can improve the way we live. Appearing on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig, Shadyac meets with a variety of thinkers and doers--remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, and faith--including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch. An irrepressible Everyman who asks many questions but offers no easy answers, he takes the audience to places it has never been before, and presents even familiar phenomena in completely new and different ways.



Jane Eyre
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Focus Features
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Screenwriter: Moira Buffini
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Holliday Grainger, Sally Hawkins, Tamzin Merchant, Imogen Poots, Judi Dench
Genre: Drama, Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content)
Plot Summary: Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland") and Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds") star in the romantic drama based on Charlotte Brontë's classic novel, from acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre"). In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. As she reflects upon the people and emotions that have defined her, it is clear that the isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester's coldness – have sorely tested the young woman's resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. She must now act decisively to secure her own future and come to terms with the past that haunts her – and the terrible secret that Mr. Rochester is hiding and that she has uncovered... 



Kill The Irishman
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Anchor Bay Films
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Screenwriter: Jonathan Hensleigh
Starring: Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Paul Sorvino, Fionnula Flanagan, Laura Ramsey, Steve Schirripa, Linda Cardellini, Bob Gunton, Jason Butler Harner, Robert Davi
Genre: Crime, Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity)
Plot Summary: Over the summer of 1976, thirty-six bombs detonate in the heart of Cleveland while a turf war raged between Irish mobster Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) and the Italian mafia. Based on a true story, "Kill the Irishman" chronicles Greene's heroic rise from a tough Cleveland neighborhood to become an enforcer in the local mob. Turning the tables on loan shark Shondor Birns (Christopher Walken) and allying himself with gangster John Nardi (Vincent D'Onofrio), Greene stops taking orders from the mafia and pursues his own power. Surviving countless assassination attempts from the mob and killing off anyone who went after him in retaliation, Danny Greene's infamous invincibility and notorious fearlessness eventually led to the collapse of mafia syndicates across the U.S. and also earned him the status of the man the mob couldn't kill.



Making The Boys
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (NY)
Studio: First Run Features
Director: Crayton Robey
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Edward Albee, Mart Crowley, Michael Cunningham, Robert Wagner
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement, the film explores the drama, struggle and enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to successfully reach a mainstream audience. Beloved by some for breaking new ground, and condemned by others for reinforcing gay stereotypes, The Boys in the Band sparked heated controversy that still exists four decades later.



Mars Needs Moms
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, ImageMovers Digital
Director: Simon Wells
Screenwriter: Simon Wells, Wendy Wells
Starring: Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon, Joan Cusack
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG (for sci-fi action and peril)
Plot Summary: Take out the trash, eat your broccoli—who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she's nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind "Disney's A Christmas Carol" and "The Polar Express," "Mars Needs Moms" showcases Milo's quest to save his mom—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). With the help of a tech-savvy, underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom—in more ways than one. Based on the book by Berkeley Breathed. 



Monogamy
Release Date: March 11, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Director: Dana Adam Shapiro
Screenwriter: Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener
Starring: Chris Messina, Rashida Jones, Meital Dohan
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Increasingly anxious about his impending marriage to Nat (Jones) and thoroughly bored with his day job as a wedding photographer, Theo (Messina) establishes a hobby: he's hired by clients to clandestinely snap voyeuristic photos of them as they go about their days. Things go smoothly until a sexy exhibitionist (Dohan) leads him into an all-consuming obsession. Stalking her day and night, the woman's mysterious public trysts send Theo reeling, forcing him to confront uncomfortable truths about his sex life at home. "Monogamy" is an acutely observed portrait of a relationship on the brink, a timely tale of masculinity in crisis in the face of fantasy and fear of commitment. 



Red Riding Hood
Release Date: March 11, 2011
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriter: David Leslie Johnson
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Julie Christie
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for violence and creature terror, and some sensuality)
Plot Summary: Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie's older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village. For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon's arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. Panic grips the town as Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast--one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect...and bait. 

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