Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Movie Releases This Week


El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

Release Date: July 27, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Kino Lorber
Director: Gereon Wetzel
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: El Bulli has been called "the most influential restaurant in the world" and Ferran Adrià, its creator, deemed a brilliant innovator, the father of molecular gastronomy, or sometimes just a crazy chef. Located a few hours drive from Barcelona, El Bulli closes each year for six months, as Adrià and staff sequester themselves to concentrate on creating the new culinary wonders that will become their next 30-course menu. (The restaurant accommodates only 50 for dinner, despite two million annual requests for reservations.) This is cooking as avant-garde art: a cocktail composed of hazelnut oil, salt, and water or a dessert of freeze-dried peppermint and ice shavings. Surrounded by bizarre hi-tech equipment, elaborate containers, chopping blocks and knives, they experiment with making mushroom juice and sweet potato meringue. Gereon Wetzel's elegant, observational documentary captures the razor-sharp, science-fiction sensibility at work.

Life in a Day

Release Date: July 27, 2011
Studio: National Geographic Films
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: People of the World
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their lives to YouTube to take part in "Life in a Day," a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on Earth.
Now, it's time to watch their story unfold on the big screen.
Directed by Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald, "Life in a Day" wowed audiences at the Sundance, Berlin and SXSW film festivals and during its YouTube world premiere in January. This summer, you'll be able to watch the movie in a theater near you.

All In

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: 4th Row Films
Director: Douglas Tirola
Screenwriter: Douglas Tirola
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Why has Poker become so popular? Is the Poker boom just a fad, a trend, or is it now a permanent part of our culture in a way it never was before. What does poker say about who we are, how we live and what we dream of being? What does the game and the aura around it say about us as a people? How does our desire to play poker, the way we play it and our belief that we can win, shape our identity as individuals and as a nation?
This documentary explains what happened within poker and in the world to allow the game to have this unexpected renaissance. It explores the relationship between poker and the American Dream and why, for so many people, playing poker represents the belief that the American Dream still exists in our nation and around the world.

Assassination Games

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Ernie Barbarash
Screenwriter: Aaron Rahsaan Thomas
Starring: Jean Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Kevin Chapman, Ivan Kaye, Valentin Teodosiu, Alin Panc, Serban Celea, Michael Higgs, Kristopher Van Varenberg, Marija Karan, Bianca Van Varenberg, Andrew French, Attila Árpa, Marioara Sterian, George Remes
Genre: Action, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for strong brutal and bloody violence, torture, language and some sexuality/nudity)
Plot Summary: Brazil (Jean Claude Van Damme) is a contract killer, willing to take any job if the price is right. Flint (Scott Adkins) left the assassin game when a ruthless drug dealer's brutal attack left his wife in a coma. When a contract is put out on the same cold-blooded drug dealer, both Brazil and Flint want him dead – one for the money, the other for revenge. With crooked Interpol agents and vicious members of the criminal underworld hot on their trail, these two assassins reluctantly join forces to quickly take out their target before they themselves are terminated.

Attack the Block

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Screen Gems (Sony)
Director: Joe Cornish
Screenwriter: Joe Cornish
Starring: Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, Flaminia Cinque, Joey Ansah, Lee Nicholas Harris, Chris Wilson, Terry Notary, Maggie McCarthy, Jacey Sallés, Adam Leese, Sammy Williams, Karl Collins, Jumayn Hunter, Danielle Vitalis
Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
MPAA Rating: R (for creature violence, drug content and pervasive language)
Plot Summary: From the producers of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" comes "Attack the Block," a fast funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London tower block into a fortress under siege, and a weapon wielding teenage thugs into heroes. It's inner city versus outer space.

Cowboys & Aliens

Release Date: July 29, 2011
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Jon Favreau
Screenwriter: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Noah Ringer, Keith Carradine, Clancy Brown, Ana de la Reguera, Abigail Spencer
Genre: Action, Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference)
Plot Summary: Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: "Cowboys & Aliens." Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers—Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci—he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world.
1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It's a town that lives in fear.
But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.
Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Release Date: July 29, 2011
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Screenwriter: Dan Fogelman
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, John Carroll Lynch, Jonah Bobo, Analeigh Tipton, Josh Groban, Liza Lapira, Joey King
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for coarse humor, sexual content and language)
Plot Summary: At fortysomething, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dream--good job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his "perfect" life quickly unravels. Worse, in today's single world, Cal, who hasn't dated in decades, stands out as the epitome of un-smooth. Now spending his free evenings sulking alone at a local bar, the hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protege to handsome, thirtysomething player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). In an effort to help Cal get over his wife and start living his life, Jacob opens Cal's eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that can't be found at Supercuts or The Gap. Cal and Emily aren't the only ones looking for love in what might be all the wrong places: Cal's 13-year-old son, Robbie, is crazy about his 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica, who harbors a crush on Cal. And despite Cal's makeover and his many new conquests, the one thing that can't be made over is his heart, which seems to keep leading him back to where he began.

The Devil's Double

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Lee Tamahori
Screenwriter: Michael Thomas
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi
Genre: Biography, Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for strong brutal bloody violence and torture, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language)
Plot Summary: Based on a gripping, unbelievable true story of money, power and opulent decadence, Lionsgate's "The Devil's Double" takes a white-knuckle ride deep into the lawless playground of excess and violence known as Bagdad, 1987. Summoned from the frontline to Saddam Hussein's palace, Iraqi army lieutenant Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper) is thrust into the highest echelons of the "royal family" when he's ordered to become the 'fiday' - or body double - to Saddam's son, the notorious "Black Prince" Uday Hussein (also Dominic Cooper), a reckless, sadistic party-boy with a rabid hunger for sex and brutality. With his and his family's lives at stake, Latif must surrender his former self forever as he learns to walk, talk and act like Uday. But nothing could have prepared him for the horror of the Black Prince's psychotic, drug-addled life of fast cars, easy women and impulsive violence. With one wrong move costing him his life, Latif forges an intimate bond with Sarrab (Ludivine Sangier), Uday's seductive mistress who's haunted by her own secrets. But as war looms with Kuwait and Uday's depraved gangster regime threatens to destroy them all, Latif realizes that escape from the devil's den will only come at the highest possible cost.
Featuring a riveting double performance by Dominic Cooper ("An Education," "Mamma Mia!") in the roles of Latif Yahia and Uday Hussein, "The Devil's Double" is a dynamic, chilling adaptation of Latif Yahia's autobiographical novel, charting one man's defiant struggle to survive a viper's pit of corruption and brutality. The film is directed by Lee Tamahori ("Die Another Day," "XXX: State of the Union") and written by Michael Thomas ("Backbeat," "Scandal").

The Future

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Roadside Attractions
Director: Miranda July
Screenwriter: Miranda July
Starring: Hamish Linklater, Miranda July, David Warshofsky, Isabella Acres, Joe Putterlik
Genre: Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for some sexual content)
Plot Summary: "The Future" tells the story of a thirty-something couple who, on deciding to adopt a stray cat, change their perspective on life, literally altering the course of time and testing their faith in each other and themselves.

Golf in the Kingdom

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Golf in the Kingdom, LLC
Director: Susan Streitfeld
Screenwriter: Susan Streitfeld
Starring: David O'Hara, Mason Gamble, Tony Curran, Frances Fisher, Catherine Kellner, Julian Sands, Jim Turner, Joanne Whalley, Rik Young, Malcolm McDowell
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild language)
Plot Summary: Enroute to India in 1956 in search of enlightenment, a young American philosophy student, Michael Murphy (Mason Gamble), takes a detour to the legendary Links of Burningbush. While on the windblown links, he is paired with a mysterious, mischievous teacher named Shivas Irons (David O'Hara), who leads him through a round of inner discovery that elevates his game and his life. During his wild twenty-four hour ride Michael dines with a motley crew of Shivas's friends, who sing the praises of golf in between shots of whiskey, at the midnight hour he follows Shivas down to the underbelly of the golf course where the elusive Seamus resides and as the dawn breaks he is led into a meditation with Shivas Irons, before being deposited back on his way to India...or did he just experience the journey he was meant to have?

Good Neighbors

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (NY, LA)
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Jacob Tierney
Screenwriter: Jacob Tierney
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire
Genre: Crime, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for some strong violence, sexual content, graphic nudity and language)
Plot Summary: Neighbors Spencer (Scott Speedman) and Louise (Emily Hampshire) have bonded over their fascination with a recent string of murders terrorizing their community. When a new tenant named Victor (Jay Baruchel) arrives in the building, all three quickly hit it off. But as they soon discover, each of them has their own dark secret. As the violence outside mounts, the city retreats indoors for safety. But the more time these three spend together in their apartment building, the clearer it becomes that what they once thought of as a safe haven is as dangerous as any outside terrors they could imagine. Smart dialogue, strong performances and jarring thrills give this film all the elements of a great mystery.

The Guard

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Screenwriter: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, Fionnuala Flanagan, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan, Pat Shortt, Katarina Cas
Genre: Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Brendan Gleeson ("Harry Potter" series) stars as an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins forces with a straitlaced FBI agent, played by Don Cheadle (upcoming Iron Man 2), to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.
Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a small-town cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door.
However, despite the fact that Boyle seems more interested in mocking and undermining Everett than in actively working to solve the case, he finds that circumstances keep pulling him back into the thick of it. First his tiresomely enthusiastic new partner McBride disappears, then his favourite hooker attempts to blackmail him into turning a blind eye, and finally the drug-traffickers themselves try to buy him off as they have every other member of the local police force.
These events unwittingly offend Boyle's murky moral code. He realizes that he needs to take matters into his own hands, and the only person he can trust is Everett. And so the scene is set for an explosive finale.

The Interrupters

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (NY)
Studio: The Cinema Guild
Director: Steve James
Screenwriter: Steve James, Alex Kotlowitz
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: An unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities, "The Interrupters" tells the stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their communities from the brutality they once employed. Shot over the course of a year out of Kartemquin Films, the film captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for violence in America.
Ameena, Eddie and Cobe are all active in Chicago's CeaseFire organization, which aims to stop the spread of inner-city violence with a unique, dangerous, and controversial method of insinuating its members personally into the fray. Intervening in disputes before they turn violent, they employ lessons learned from their own complicated pasts to gain access and credibility within local gang and drug communities, forming personal bonds and offering alternatives to those who until now have had no hope of either. With extraordinary access, director James' camera follows the three dedicated Interrupters as they go about their work, and while doing so reveal their own inspired journeys of hope and redemption.

Point Blank

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (NY, LA)
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Fred Cavayé
Screenwriter: Fred Cavayé, Guillaume Lemans
Starring: Gilles Lellouche, Roschdy Zem, Gérard Lanvin, Elena Anaya
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for strong violence and some language)
Plot Summary: Samuel (Lellouche) is a happily married nurse working in a Paris hospital. When his very pregnant wife (Anaya) is kidnapped before his helpless eyes, everything falls apart. After being knocked unconscious, he comes to and his cell phone rings: he has three hours to get Sartet (Zem), a man under police surveillance, out of the hospital. Samuel quickly finds himself pitted against rival gangsters and trigger-happy police in a deadly race to save the lives of his wife and unborn child.

Sleep Furiously

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Microcinema International
Director: Gideon Koppel
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "Sleep Furiously" is set in a small farming community in Wales, about 50 miles from Dylan Thomas' fictional village of Llareggub. There is a sense in which this is a film "for" Dylan Thomas, if not a contemporary translation of "Under Milk Wood." This is a place where Koppel's parents- both Jewish refugees found a home. It is a landscape and population that is changing rapidly as small-scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanized world is dying out. Gideon Koppel leads us on a poetic journey into a world of endings and beginnings; a world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire featuring an inventive soundtrack by renowned musician Aphex Twin.

The Smurfs

Release Date: July 29, 2011 (3D/2D theaters)
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Raja Gosnell
Screenwriter: J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick, David Ronn
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, Hank Azaria, Anton Yelchin, Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen, George Lopez, Paul Reubens, John Oliver, Kenan Thompson, B.J. Novak, Jeff Foxworthy, Wolfgang Puck, Gary Basaraba, Tim Gunn
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild rude humor and action)
Plot Summary: Audiences everywhere are in for a Smurfy good time as the Smurfs make their first 3D trip to the big screen. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours – in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.
Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, and Hank Azaria star on camera opposite an all-star voice cast. Anton Yelchin will play Clumsy Smurf; comedy legend Jonathan Winters, who voiced roles in the "Smurfs" television series, will voice Papa Smurf; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Katy Perry will play Smurfette; Alan Cumming will play Gutsy Smurf; "SNL's" Fred Armisen will voice Brainy Smurf; and George Lopez will play Grouchy Smurf.
In the live-action roles, Azaria will play the Smurfs' nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel. Harris and Mays star as an expectant couple whose lives are turned upside down when the Smurfs cross over from their magical village to New York City. Vergara plays Odile, Harris's boss, a cosmetics executive.

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