Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Movie Releases


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The Arbor

Release Date: April 27, 2011 (NY; LA release: May 13)
Studio: Strand Releasing
Director: Clio Barnard
Screenwriter: Clio Barnard
Starring: Kate Rutter, Christine Bottomley, George Costigan
Genre: Biography, Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Wildly successful and dead by age 29, British playwright Andrea Dunbar (1961-1990) wrote the screenplay for "Rita, Sue and Bob Too!" based on her own hardscrabble life. Roger Ebert, writing about the film in 1987: "An angry comedy... If it were an American film, it would be an R-rated sex romp without a brain in its head, a soft-core baby-sitter saga... But this is a movie about two tough, deprived girls... and an irresponsible feather-brained adult who thinks he's taking advantage of them, when in fact they're a whole lot more worldly and cynical than he is." "The Arbor" revisits this material through a innovative technique known as verbatim theater: actors lip-synching documentary recordings of the people they're playing. Dunbar's daughters update a family saga of alcoholism, drugs, prostitution, sexual abuse and violence. Rarely has the cyclical nature of poverty been so brilliantly and believably dramatized.

13 Assassins

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Magnet Releasing (Magnolia Pictures)
Director: Takashi Miike
Screenwriter: Daisuke Tengan
Starring: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Gorô Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura, Mikijiro Hira, Hiroki Matsukata, Ikki Sawamura, Arata Furuta, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Masataka Kubota, Sosuke Takaoka, Seiji Rokkaku, Yûma Ishigaki, Kôen Kondô
Genre: Action
MPAA Rating: R (for sequences of bloody violence, some disturbing images and brief nudity)
Plot Summary: Cult director Takeshi Miike ("Ichi the Killer," "Audition") delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan's feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a wartorn future.

Bride Flight

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Music Box Films
Director: Ben Sombogaart
Screenwriter: Marieke van der Pol
Starring: Waldemar Torenstra, Karina Smulders, Anna Drijver, Elise Schaap, Rutger Hauer, Pleuni Touw
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for a strong sex scene and some graphic nudity)
Plot Summary: Three young women – Ada (Karina Smulders), Esther (Anna Drijver), and Marjorie (Elise Schaap) – emigrate from post-WWII Holland to New Zealand for what they hope will be a better life. They are all awaited by their fiancés, who have already settled in Christchurch. On the plane trip overseas – dubbed the "Bride Flight" – the three become fast friends and meet a dashing young man, Frank (Waldemar Torenstra), who will come to play a large role in each of their lives. They part ways on arrival in their new country and begin their new lives, but their paths continue to cross in the years to come. Chance meetings result in love affairs, betrayal and impenetrable bonds, leading up to a final reunion fifty years later. The film's screenplay and the best-selling Dutch novel "Bruidsvlucht" on which it was based were both written by Marieke van der Pol. 

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Werner Herzog
Screenwriter: Werner Herzog
Starring: Werner Herzog
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: G
Plot Summary: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," a breathtaking new 3D documentary from the incomparable Werner Herzog ("Encounters at the End of the World," "Grizzly Man") follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. A hit at this year's Toronto Film Festival, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" is an unforgettable cinematic experience that provides a unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back to human hands over 30,000 years ago -- almost twice as old as any previous discovery. 

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Release Date: April 29, 2011
Studio: Omni/FSR
Director: Kevin Munroe
Screenwriter: Joshua Oppenheimer, Thomas Dean Donnelly
Starring: Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Anita Briem, Peter Stormare, Taye Diggs
Genre: Comedy, Horror
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of creature violence and action, language including some sexual references, and some drug material)
Plot Summary: "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" is a new horror/comedy film based on one of the world's most popular comics (60 million copies worldwide). Brandon Routh stars as Dylan Dog, world famous private investigator specializing in affairs of the undead. His PI business card reads "No Pulse? No Problem." Armed with an edgy wit and carrying an arsenal of silver and wood-tipped bullets, Dylan must track down a dangerous artifact before a war ensues between his werewolf, vampire and zombie clients living undercover in the monster infested backstreets of New Orleans. 

Earthwork

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (NY; LA release: May 20)
Studio: Shadow Distribution
Director: Chris Ordal
Screenwriter: Chris Ordal
Starring: John Hawkes, Bruce MacVittie, Chris Bachand
Genre: Biography, Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "Earthwork" is the true story of real-life crop artist Stan Herd (played by Oscar nominee and Spirit Award Winner for "Winter's Bone" John Hawkes, in his first starring role), told through a single episode of his life. In 1994, Stan traveled from Kansas to New York City and risked everything to create a massive environmental artwork on land owned by Donald Trump. The multi-acre piece was made from soil, rock, plants and vegetation near an underground railway tunnel. Stan recruited a number of homeless individuals living in the tunnel as his crew. Over the months it took to complete the earthwork, Stan dealt with the difficulties of bringing his unique, rural art form to an urban canvas and the many costs exacted upon his life. In an effort to show his unique perspective to a larger audience, Stan unexpectedly encountered the true meaning of his art and it's ultimate, lasting rewards. 

Exporting Raymond

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Philip Rosenthal
Screenwriter: Philip Rosenthal
Starring: Philip Rosenthal
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Phil Rosenthal created one of the most successful sitcoms of all-time, "Everybody Loves Raymond." He was a bona-fide expert in his craft. And then.... the Russians called. In the hilarious "Exporting Raymond," a genuine fish-out-of-water comedy that could only exist in real life, Phil travels to Russia to help adapt his beloved sitcom for Russian television. The Russians don't share his tastes. They don't seem to share his sense of humor. But what Phil did discover was a real comedy, filled with unique characters and situations that have to be seen to be believed. An audience award winner at multiple film festivals across the country, "Exporting Raymond" proves that even if you've never seen "Everybody Loves Raymond", you'll still enjoy this wildly entertaining film. 

Fast Five

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (conventional theaters and IMAX)
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Justin Lin
Screenwriter: Chris Morgan
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Elsa Pataky, Joaquim de Almeida, Dwayne Johnson
Genre: Action, Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language)
Plot Summary: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed in "Fast Five." In this installment, former cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) on the opposite side of the law. Dwayne Johnson joins returning favorites Jordana Brewster, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderon and Don Omar for this ultimate high-stakes race.
Since Brian and Mia Toretto (Brewster) broke Dom out of custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, the unlikely allies know their only shot of getting out for good means confronting the corrupt businessman who wants them dead. But he's not the only one on their tail.
Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can't separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey... before someone else runs them down first.

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (3D/2D theaters)
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: Mike Disa
Screenwriter: Cory Edwards, Tony Leech, Todd Edwards, Mike Disa
Starring: Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, David Alan Grier, Andy Dick, Brad Garrett, Martin Short, Patrick Warburton, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild rude humor, language and action)
Plot Summary: From the team that brought you "Hoodwinked," the comedic portrayal of the fairy tale Red Riding Hood, comes the all-new animated family comedy "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil" in 3D. The sequel finds our heroine, Red (Hayden Panettiere), training with a mysterious covert group called the Sisters of the Hood. But Red is forced to cut her training short when she gets an urgent call from Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), who returns as head of the super-secret Happily Ever After Agency, aka the HEA. A wicked witch (Joan Cusack) has abducted two innocent children, Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler), and Nicky needs Red for the search-and-rescue mission. Of course, what is a sequel without guest stars from the original? Thankfully, Granny (Glenn Close) and the rest of the "Hoodwinked" gang—including the ever-clueless Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and his over-caffeinated little partner, Twitchy (Cory Edwards), join Red to solve the forest's latest caper. Fracturing fairy tales and pop culture with good-natured glee, "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil" in 3D takes viewers on a rollicking rollercoaster ride combining edge-of-the-seat adventure with classic, zany cartoon antics. 

Prom

Release Date: April 29, 2011
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Joe Nussbaum
Screenwriter: Katie Wech
Starring: Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, Danielle Campbell, Yin Chang, Kylie Bunbury, Nicholas Braun, Jared Kusnitz, Jonathan Keltz, De’Vaughn Nixon, Nolan Sotillo, Cameron Monaghan­, Joe Adler, Janelle Ortiz, Raini Rodriguez
Genre: Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild language and a brief fight)
Plot Summary: At "Prom," every couple has a story and no two are exactly alike. Several intersecting stories unfold at one high school as the big dance approaches; "Prom" portrays the precarious passage from high school to independence as some relationships unravel and others ignite. For Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden), it's a battle of wills as she finds herself drawn to the guy (Thomas McDonell) who gets in the way of her perfect prom. Fellow seniors Mei (Yin Chang) and Tyler (De'Vaughn Nixon) harbor secrets, while others face all the insecurity and anticipation that surrounds one of high school's most seminal events. There are hundreds of nights in high school, but there's only one "Prom." 

Road to Nowhere

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Monterey Media Inc.
Director: Monte Hellman
Screenwriter: Steven Gaydos
Starring: Shannyn Sossamon, Tygh Runyan, Cliff De Young, Waylon Payne, Dominique Swain, Rob Kolar, John Diehl
Genre: Romance, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for some language and brief violence)
Plot Summary: There's a murky tenuous balance between reality and fiction; particularly when it involves a beautiful young woman, murder, a powerful politico, a missing fortune and suicide. A passionate filmmaker creating a film based upon a true crime casts an unknown mysterious young woman bearing a disturbing resemblance to the femme fatale in the story. Unsuspectingly, he finds himself drawn into a complex web of haunting intrigue, obsessed with the woman, the crime, her possibly notorious past and the disturbing complexity between art and truth. From the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to Verona, Rome and London, new truths are revealed and clues to other crimes and passions, darker and even more complex are uncovered. 

The Robber

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Kino International
Director: Benjamin Heisenberg
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Andreas Lust
Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: A champion marathoner leads a double life as a serial bank robber, sprinting between fixes (and away from police cavalcades) as many as three times a day. Based on the real-life story of Austria's most-wanted bank robber of the 1980s, Benjamin Heisenberg's thriller is a lean, visceral study of pathological compulsion, featuring a riveting central performance by Andreas Lust ("Revanche"). 

Sympathy for Delicious

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Maya Entertainment
Director: Mark Ruffalo
Screenwriter: Christopher Thornton
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney, Christopher Thornton
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "Sympathy for Delicious" follows a paralyzed DJ, struggling to survive on the streets of L.A., who turns to faith healing and mysteriously develops the ability to cure the sick -- although not himself. The DJ then decides to cash in on his gift in exchange for his rock 'n' roll dreams. 

That's What I Am

Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Michael Pavone
Screenwriter: Michael Pavone
Starring: Ed Harris, Chase Ellison, Molly Parker, Daniel Roebuck, Randy Orton, Daniel Yelsky, Alexander Walters, Mia Rose Frampton, Amy Madigan
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Set in California against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, "That's What I Am" is a coming-of-age story that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers.
Everyone's favorite teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs Andy with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley aka "Big G" (Alexander Walters), on a critical school project. Sporting thick orange hair, a head too big for his body and ears too big for his head, "Big G" has been the object of ridicule since grade school. Before long, Andy will learn that there was truly a method behind Mr. Simon's madness as to why he teamed these two up.
When Andy watches "Big G" fearlessly confront the school bully about the incident, a series of events are triggered. Much to Andy's surprise, he learns that "Big G" is a brilliant, kind, tolerant human being, who has more dignity than anyone Andy has ever encountered. "Big G" personifies Mr. Simon's four word answer on how to obtain world peace: HUMAN DIGNITY + COMPASSION = PEACE.

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