Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Movie Releases


By: Mass



City of Life and Death

Release Date: May 11, 2011 (NY) 
Studio: Kino International 
Director: Lu Chuan 
Screenwriter: Lu Chuan 
Starring: Liu Ye, Gao Yuanyuan, Hideo Nakaizumi, Wei Fan, Yiyan Jiang, Ryu Kohata, Bin Liu, Yuko Miyamoto, Lan Qin, John Paisley 
Genre: Drama 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: A dramatization of the 1937 invasion and rape of Chinese capitol Nanking by Japanese troops.

The Big Bang

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Anchor Bay Films 
Director: Tony Krantz 
Screenwriter: Erik Jendresen 
Starring: Antonio Banderas, James Van Der Beek, Snoop Dogg, Autumn Reeser, Sam Elliot, Jimmi Simpson, Thomas Kretschmann, William Fichtner, Robert Maillet, Delroy Lindo 
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: Late one night, Los Angeles private investigator, Ned Cruz (Antonio Banderas) gets a visit from a recently paroled Russian boxer with an intriguing job offer: find Lexie, his missing girlfriend—and the 30-million dollar stash of diamonds she's hiding. As Detective Cruz sets out to find her, the clues send him into the city’s seediest corners, from a Hollywood action star with a dirty little secret (James Van Der Beek), to an enterprising porn producer who takes a personal interest in his own work (Snoop Dogg), and a kinky waitress with an unusual fetish for particle physics (Autumn Reeser). Lexie proves to be as elusive as she is beautiful and Cruz becomes obsessed with finding her. With time running out, Cruz discovers the trail leads to reclusive billionaire (Sam Elliot), and his physicist (Jimmi Simpson), intent on recreating The Big Bang underneath the New Mexico desert. Tailed by a trio of cops also looking to find the missing diamonds, and with the body count piling up, Cruz soon realizes that what appeared to be a standard missing person's case is anything but, and could quite possibly bring about the end of the world as we know it. 

The Bleeding House

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Tribeca Film 
Director: Philip Gelatt 
Screenwriter: Philip Gelatt 
Starring: Alexandra Chando, Patrick Breen, Betsy Aidem, Charlie Hewson, Nina Lisandrello, Richard Bekin 
Genre: Horror 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: Meet the Smiths - parents, Marilyn and Matt, and teens, Gloria, 16, and Quentin, 18 - a family full of secrets who keep themselves to themselves living on a back road outside a small Midwestern town. In this tightly wound and visceral horror/thriller, their lives are turned upside down when a sweet-talking Texan arrives on their doorstep on a mission for retribution. Will he succeed in his goal to bleed them of their sins or will the family's haunted past prove to be even more deadly than he bargained for? 

Bridesmaids

Release Date: May 13, 2011 
Studio: Universal Pictures 
Director: Paul Feig 
Screenwriter: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo 
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Matt Lucas, Jill Clayburgh, Rebel Wilson, Michael Hitchcock 
Genre: Comedy 
MPAA Rating: R (for some strong sexuality, and language throughout) 
Plot Summary: This spring, Universal Pictures and producer Judd Apatow ("Knocked Up," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin") invite you to experience "Bridesmaids." Kristen Wiig leads the cast as Annie, a maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colorful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony.
Annie's life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian's maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she'll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you'll go for someone you love. 

Brother's Justice

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Tribeca Film 
Director: Dax Shepard, David Palmer 
Screenwriter: Dax Shepard 
Starring: Dax Shepard, Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper, David Koechner, Michael Rosenbaum, Nate Tuck 
Genre: Comedy 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: In an attempt to reinvent his career, actor/comedian Dax Shepard ("Punk'd," "Parenthood") makes the rash decision to abandon comedy in pursuit of his true dream: to become an internationally renowned martial arts star. With no formal martial arts training or adequate funding for his "blockbuster" action movie script, Dax enlists the help of his buddies including producer Nate Tuck and actors, Tom Arnold and Bradley Cooper. Together, they fight to realize Dax's true passion while facing rejection at every turn. With maniacal conviction, Dax journeys on a bizarre but hilarious path that becomes increasingly nonsensical and destructive, all at the expense and exploitation of his personal and professional relationships.

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (NY; LA release: June 3) 
Studio: Strand Releasing 
Director: Craig McCall 
Screenwriter: Not Available 
Starring: Jack Cardiff, Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Lauren Bacall 
Genre: Documentary 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: Jack Cardiff's career spanned an incredible nine of moving picture's first ten decades and his work behind the camera altered the look of films forever through his use of Technicolor photography. Craig McCall's passionate film about the legendary cinematographer reveals a unique figure in British and international cinema. 

Everything Must Go

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Roadside Attractions
Director: Dan Rush 
Screenwriter: Dan Rush 
Starring: Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Michael Peña, Christopher C.J. Wallace, Glenn Howerton, Stephen Root, Laura Dern 
Genre: Comedy, Drama 
MPAA Rating: R (for language and some sexual content) 
Plot Summary: Adapted and directed by Dan Rush, and based on a short story by Raymond Carver, "Everything Must Go" tells the story of Nick Porter (Will Ferrell) a career salesman whose days of being on top are long gone. The same day Nick gets fired, for falling off the wagon one last time, he returns home to discover his wife has left him, changed the locks on their suburban home and dumped all his possessions out on the front yard. Faced with his life imploding, Nick puts it all on the line - or more properly, on the lawn - reluctantly holding a yard sale that becomes a unique strategy for survival. 

The First Grader

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: BBC Films 
Director: Justin Chadwick 
Screenwriter: Ann Peacock 
Starring: Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Sam Feuer 
Genre: Drama 
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some disturbing violent content and brief nudity) 
Plot Summary: In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school. He is Maruge, an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life. He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long denied—even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds.
Moved by his passionate plea, head teacher Jane Obinchu, supports his struggle to gain admission and together they face fierce opposition from parents and officials who don't want to waste a precious school place on such an old man.
Full of vitality and humour, the film explores the remarkable relationships Maruge builds with his classmates some eighty years his junior. Through Maruge' s journey, we are taken back to the shocking untold story of British colonial rule 50 years earlier where Maruge fought for the freedom of his country, eventually ending up in the extreme and harsh conditions of the British detention camps. 

Go For It!

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Carmen Marron 
Screenwriter: Carmen Marron 
Starring: Aimee Garcia, Al Bandiero, Jossara Jinaro 
Genre: Drama 
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content, language, brief violence and drug material) 
Plot Summary: Carmen is a good student with a bad attitude who lives for dancing in the underground clubs of Chicago. She yearns to be 'somebody' but is afraid to believe in herself. Her immigrant Mexican, working-class parents want her to stay in school and get an education, so she attends junior college while working at a grocery store. Carmen's professor catches her performing one day in the neighborhood and challenges her to audition to a formal dance school in California. She gets into a fight with her chaotic family and runs away to her best friend Gina's place only to find out Gina's been getting beat up by her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Carmen's boyfriend, Jared wants her to commit and move in with him. Pulled apart in every direction, her dream of dancing fades. Can Carmen overcome her fears and take the biggest chance of her life, or will she succumb to her self-doubt?

Hesher

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Wrekin Hill 
Director: Spencer Susser 
Screenwriter: Spencer Susser, David Michod 
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Devin Brochu, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie 
Genre: Comedy, Drama 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: Loud music. Pornography. Burning stuff to the ground. These are a few of Hesher's favorite things. And they are what Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) brings into the lives of 13-year-old TJ (Devin Brochu) and his father, Paul (Rainn Wilson) when he unexpectedly takes up residence in their garage uninvited. Told through the eyes of TJ, HESHER is a dark fairy tale about an eccentric unhinged drifter who appears out of nowhere to help a struggling family deal with loss in the most unconventional of ways. TJ is simply going through the motions of his daily life, quietly grieving throughout each day, until Hesher arrives like a force of nature, not stopping for anything in his path. Paul is also so grief-stricken the he can't muster the strength to evict the strange squatter, and soon the long-haired, tattooed Hesher becomes a fixture in the household. Hesher also befriends TJ's grandmother (Piper Laurie), who lives with them. She's extremely lonely as her son and grandson are unable to snap out of their fog. When Hesher arrives and appreciates her cooking and listens to her stories, it's as though she found a new friend, under very odd circumstances. The only friend TJ really has is Nicole (Natalie Portman), who is a supermarket cashier who comes to TJ's rescue when he first encounters Hesher. They have an odd relationship that's based, in part, on TJ's infatuation with Nicole. Although initially a rather terrifying character, over time Hesher's anarchy shakes the family out of their grief and helps them embrace life once more. 

The High Cost of Living

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Tribeca Films 
Director: Deborah Chow 
Screenwriter: Deborah Chow 
Starring: Zach Braff, Isabelle Blais, Patrick Labbe, Aimee Lee, Julian Lo, Sean Lu, Kyle Switzer, Mylene Savoie, Paula Jean Hixson 
Genre: Drama 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: What do you do when the best and the worst moment of your life happens at the exact same time? Henry (Zach Braff) is not a particularly nice guy. He is a drug dealer because he is good at it. Nathalie (Isabelle Blais) is a beautiful young woman, married and about to have her first child. One night, Henry makes a wrong turn and their lives tragically collide. As Natalie's life unravels, Henry becomes her unlikely guardian angel - compassionate, charming and some much needed calm in the storm of her life. She finds a welcome relief in the tall, rumpled stranger that seems only too willing to offer her refuge. But Henry has his own problems. His past misdeeds are catching up to him and he soon discovers that he is no longer able to outrun his past or his present. The inevitable impact of his choices force both Henry and Nathalie to confront loss, love and life, and to ultimately decide whether the high cost of living is worth the price. 

How to Live Forever

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (NY) 
Studio: Variance Films 
Director: Mark Wexler 
Screenwriter: Mark Wexler 
Starring: Jack LaLanne, Ray Kurzweil, Ray Bradbury, Phyllis Diller, Willard Scott, Suzanne Somers, Pico Iyer 
Genre: Documentary 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: Filmmaker Mark Wexler is not going down without a fight. Faced with the devastating loss of his mother and his own advancing age, Mark takes off on a curious, lively, sometimes troubling enquiry into how he might live forever. His search takes him to the places where people live longest, from Okinawa to Iceland. He journeys to Las Vegas to attend a funeral directors convention and the Ms. Senior America pageant. He contemplates a future in cold storage at a cryonics facility in Arizona. He receives exercise tips from Jack LaLanne, hormone replacement advice from Suzanne Somers, and promises of eternal life from biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey. Yet the more he travels into the strange worlds of laughter yoga, elder porn, calorie restriction, and old-fashioned religion, the less sure he becomes of his goal. Can it be that life's true meaning is found in the humble chili dog? A fun, provocative, and searching look at the deepest mystery of life. 

L'Amour Fou

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (NY) 
Studio: First Film Co. 
Director: Pierre Thoretton 
Screenwriter: Not Available 
Starring: Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Betty Catroux 
Genre: Documentary 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: The public life of Yves Saint Laurent was an extravagant spectacle, as a design prodigy and then the grand coutourier of a fashion empire, he influenced fifty years of style and was an icon to millions -- but few are familiar with the private life of the legend. In Pierre Thoretton's "L'Amour Fou," Pierre Berge, the man with which YSL shared four decades of his life, reflects on the equally extravagant history of their personal relationship. Framed around the 2009 auction of the priceless, elaborate art collection amassed by Yves and Pierre personally over several decades, this extraordinary documentary provides an unprecedented look at the life of a mythic personality, whose personal life matched his public for elegance, decadence and passion. Winner of the International Critics Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival and an official selection of the TriBeCa and San Francisco Film Festivals, "L'Amour Fou" is riveting film event perfect for fans of documentary and fashion die-hards alike. 

Make Believe

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Crowd Starter 
Director: J. Clay Tweel 
Screenwriter: Not Available 
Starring: Krystyn Lambert, Bill Koch, Hiroki Hara, Derek McKee, Siphiwe Fangase, Nkumbozo Nkonyana 
Genre: Documentary 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: A coming of age journey set in the quirky subculture of magic, "Make Believe" follows six of the world's best young magicians as they pursue the title of Teen World Champion and take us on their personal journeys of transformation through magic. The film travels from back rooms of the world famous Magic Castle in the Hollywood Hills to the most important international magic competition, the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas, as the teens face the mounting pressure to win the competition and move to the next stages of their careers.
Director J. Clay Tweel follows six adolescent outsiders who all share an extraordinary passion: the art of magic. We meet Krystyn Lambert, a member of the Magic Castle, a classic beauty who hails from Malibu and seems to have it all but she just doesn’t fit in; Bill Koch, a 19 year old from Chicago who has no time for second best and has one last shot to win the title before he ages out; Hiroki Hara, who lives in a remote Japanese village where he practices magic 8 hours a day and dreams of performing around the world; Derek McKee, the youngest, a very serious 14 year old from Colorado who has found the one skill he has that makes people take notice is magic; and Siphiwe Fangase and Nkumbozo Nkonyana from Capetown, South Africa whose energy and excitement for the art is contagious to all. Along the way, "Make Believe" incorporates interviews with Neil Patrick Harris, Lance Burton and several magicians who share these teens passion. 

Priest

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (3D/2D theaters) 
Studio: Screen Gems (Sony) 
Director: Scott Stewart 
Screenwriter: Cory Goodman, Scott Stewart 
Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins, Steven Moyer, Brad Dourif, Christopher Plummer 
Genre: Horror, Thriller 
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and brief strong language) 
Plot Summary: "Priest," a western-fused post-apocalyptic thriller, is set in an alternate world -- one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest (Paul Bettany) from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece (Lily Collins) is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on an obsessive quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece's boyfriend (Cam Gigandet), a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess (Maggie Q) who possesses otherworldly fighting skills. 

Road to Nowhere

Release Date: May 13, 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. 

Skateland

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Freestyle Releasing 
Director: Anthony Burns 
Screenwriter: Anthony Burns, Heath Freeman, Brandon Freeman 
Starring: Ashley Greene, Haley Ramm, James LeGros, Shiloh Fernandez, Taylor Handley, A.J. Buckley 
Genre: Drama 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: "Skateland" explores the rupture of charismatic Ritchie Wheeler, brother and sister Brent and Michelle Burkham, and wise-cracking lady-killer Kenny Crawford's seemingly complacent existence as they struggle with the collapse of their tumultuous home lives, the alcohol-induced idling of reckless adolescence, and the wane of their hometown hangout, the local roller rink. A story syncopated with moments of violent turbulence, of heartbreak and of new beginnings, "Skateland" immerses the audience in the brutal, but beautiful vastness of East Texas blue skies and the emotional claustrophobia of the Bible belt. Enveloped by the brooding melodies and incendiary rock riffs of the early '80s, "Skateland" is a place where aging values wrestle with contemporary pop culture to create a paradoxical balance between old and new. 

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (NY) 
Studio: Argot Pictures 
Director: Leanne Pooley 
Screenwriter: Not Available 
Starring: The Topp Twins 
Genre: Documentary 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: "The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls" is a documentary by Leanne Pooley. The film tells the story of the world's only comedic, singing, yodeling lesbian twin sisters, Lynda and Jools Topp, whose political activism and unique brand of entertainment has helped change New Zealand's social landscape. In the process they have become well-loved cultural icons.
This is the first time that the irrepressible Kiwi entertainment double act, Jools and Lynda Topp's extraordinary personal story has been told. As well as rarely seen archive footage and home movies, the film features a series of special interviews with some of the Topp's infamous comedy alter-egos including candid chats with the two Kens, Camp Mother and Camp Leader, the Bowling Ladies and the Posh Socialite sisters, Prue and Dilly. The Topp Twins have attained a unique status within New Zealand culture, and their fans range from hard core political activists, to sheep farmers and 'Ladies who Lunch.' Their ability to relate to all kinds of people, and their natural gift for humor, has helped them cross from the fringes to the mainstream.
"The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls" follows the girls from their happy childhood on a Waikato dairy farm - where they grew up singing to the cows - to the Territorial Army where they quickly became the Vera Lynns of their battalion. They came of age performing on the streets of Auckland during the heady days of the political protest marches in the early '80s, and quickly joined the forefront of progressive social change campaigning for a Nuclear-Free NZ, Maori Land Rights, a halt to the 1981 Springbok Tour, and Homosexual Law Reform. By 1998 only a decade later, Lynda Topp, as Camp Mother, came close to winning the mayoral elections in Auckland, and the Topp Twins were firmly entrenched in the bosom of Kiwi culture with their own prime time TV Series 'Do Not Adjust Your Twinset'.
"The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls" is not just the story of two sisters but also of 50 years of New Zealand history. Half a century of cultural changes and the foundation of a national identity. Part concert film, part biopic, part historical record, part comedy, the Twins share their journey from “coming out‟ to Jools' recent brush with Breast Cancer with much laughter, honesty and wisdom. It is a film about two truly unique New Zealanders, which ends up saying as much about us as it does about them.

True Legend

Release Date: May 13, 2011 (limited) 
Studio: Indomina Releasing 
Director: Yuen Woo Ping 
Screenwriter: Christine To 
Starring: Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Andy On, Guo Xiaodong, Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh, David Carradine, Gordon Liu, Cung Le 
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 
Plot Summary: Yuen Woo Ping ("The Matrix" trilogy, "Kill Bill" Volumes I and II, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Hero") brings you "True Legend," a heart pounding epic about the timeless battle between good and evil. Su Can's (Vincent Zhao) respectable life is obliterated when his vengeful brother, Yuan (Andy On), returns from war armed with the deadly Five Venom Fists. Weakened but not destroyed, Su Can learns a never-before-seen form of martial arts: the Drunken Fist. Armed with this new power, he returns home to honor his family through retribution by taking on his brother in a battle to become the ultimate warrior. Packed with distinct fighting styles--including MMA, knife combat and sweeping aerial stunts-- and starring martial arts legends Michelle Yeoh, David Carradine and Jay Chou. 

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