Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Movie Releases This Week

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The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (NY)
Studio: The Film Desk
Director: Andrei Ujica
Screenwriter: Andrei Ujica
Starring: Nicolae Ceausescu, Elena Ceausescu, Leonid Brezhnev
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: The masterwork by Romanian filmmaker Andre Ujica, which concludes his trilogy that began with the groundbreaking Videograms of a Revolution. An official selection of the Cannes, New York and Toronto Film Festivals, "The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" is a genre-shattering cinematic work of the "new non-fiction" that culls decades of propaganda films from the Romanian national archives, synthesizing them into a taught, tragic, sprawling epic that seems recounted from the megalomaniacal point of view of the brutal 20th century dictator himself. Opening with the chilling mock trial of Ceaucescu and his wife Elena just before their execution in 1989, the film drifts back in time to glean the leader's rise from the son of a backwater peasant to international statesman, surreally embraced with high pageantry and pomp by world leaders of every political denomination, including Queen Elizabeth, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Charles de Gaulle, Kim Jong Il and Mao Tse-tung. We witness the demolition of downtown Bucharest to make way for a colossal presidential palace, the vast, failed construction projects of the '70s and '80s, glimpses of Kodachrome home movies from Black Sea vacations and the silent torture of Rumanian people and politicians enduring Ceaucescu's rambling, disconnected speeches in a famished land where dissent is punishable by death. Ujica breaks the bounds of traditional documentary form revealing this draconian autocrat's fabricated cinematic version of a nation's reality as a delusional, scathing and dreamlike self-portrait.

Beware the Gonzo

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Tribeca Film
Director: Bryan Goluboff
Screenwriter: Bryan Goluboff
Starring: Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Jesse McCartney, Amy Sedaris, Campbell Scott, Judah Friedlander
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Eddie "Gonzo" Gilman (Ezra Miller) is starting a revolution. When the wild-eyed rebel journalist is ousted from his prep school's newspaper by its über-popular editor Gavin Riley (Jesse McCartney), Gonzo starts an underground paper, "The Gonzo Files," to give a voice to all the misfits victimized by Gavin and his cronies. With help from the mysterious Evie (Zoe Kravitz), "The Gonzo Files" becomes a runaway hit and turns the school upside down, but Gonzo soon learns that the truth comes with consequences in this fresh teen-angst comedy. 

The Black Power Mixtape 1967 - 1975

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (NY, LA)
Studio: Sundance Selects
Director: Göran Hugo Olsson
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, Erykah Badu, Harry Belafonte, Talib Kweli, Melvin Van Peebles
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975" mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement-Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver among them - the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews. Thirty years later, this lush collection was found languishing in the basement of Swedish Television. Director Göran Olsson and co-producer Danny Glover bring this footage to light in a mosaic of images, music and narration chronicling the evolution one of our nation's most indelible turning points, the Black Power movement. Music by Questlove and Om'Mas Keith, and commentary from prominent African- American artists and activists who were influenced by the struggle -- including Erykah Badu, Harry Belafonte, Talib Kweli, and Melvin Van Peebles -- give the historical footage a fresh, contemporary resonance and makes the film an exhilarating, unprecedented account of an American revolution.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

Release Date: September 9, 2011
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Tom Brady
Screenwriter: Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, Nick Swardson
Starring: Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson, Stephen Dorff
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: R (for pervasive crude sexual content, language and some nudity)
Plot Summary: "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star" is a new comedy starring Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson, and Stephen Dorff. Bucky (Swardson) is a small town grocery bagger, going nowhere in life – until he discovers that his conservative parents were once adult film stars! Armed with the belief that he has found his destiny, Bucky packs up and heads out to LA, hoping to follow in his parents' footsteps.

Burke & Hare

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: IFC Films
Director: John Landis
Screenwriter: Piers Ashworth, Nick Moorcroft
Starring: Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Tom Wilkinson, Isla Fisher, Tim Curry, Jessica Hynes, Ronnie Corbett, Reece Shearsmith, David Schofield, Allan Corduner, Bill Bailey, Hugh Bonneville, Michael Smiley, Christopher Lee
Genre: Comedy, Horror
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "Burke & Hare" is a comedic take on the true story of the 1828 Edinburgh body-snatchers William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis). These two Irish entrepreneurs discover that a dead body can fetch a hefty price when the demands of the leading medical professors Dr. Knox (Tom Wilkinson) and Dr. Monroe (Tim Curry) reach beyond that of the local supply.

Contagion

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (conventional theaters and IMAX)
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriter: Scott Z. Burns
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Sanaa Lathan, Jennifer Ehle
Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for disturbing content and some language)
Plot Summary: An international traveler reaches into the snack bowl at an airport bar before passing her credit card to a waiter. A business meeting begins with a round of handshakes. A man coughs on a crowded bus...
One contact. One instant. And a lethal virus is transmitted.
When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis from business in Hong Kong, what she thought was jet lag takes a virulent turn. Two days later, she's dead in the ER and the doctors tell her shocked and grieving husband (Matt Damon) they have no idea why.
Soon, others exhibit the same mysterious symptoms: hacking coughs and fever, followed by seizure, brain hemorrhage...and ultimately, death. In Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, the numbers quickly multiply: one case becomes four, then sixteen, then hundreds, thousands, as the contagion sweeps across all borders, fueled by the countless human interactions that make up the course of an average day.
A global pandemic explodes.
At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers mobilize to break the code of a unique biological pathogen as it continues to mutate. Deputy Director Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) tries to allay the growing panic despite his own personal concerns, and must send a brave young doctor (Kate Winslet) into harm's way. At the same time, amid a rising tide of suspicion over a potential vaccine—and who gets it first—Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) of the World Health Organization works through the network of connections that could lead back to the source of what they're dealing with.
As the death toll escalates and people struggle to protect themselves and their loved ones in a society breaking down, one activist blogger (Jude Law) claims the public isn't getting the truth about what's really going on, and sets off an epidemic of paranoia and fear as infectious as the virus itself.

Creature

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: The Bubble Factory
Director: Fred M. Andrews
Screenwriter: Fred M. Andrews, Tracy Morse
Starring: Mehcad Brooks, Serinda Swan, Amanda Fuller, Dillon Casey, Lauren Schneider, Aaron Hill, Daniel Bernhardt, Sid Haig
Genre: Horror
MPAA Rating: R (for bloody violence, grisly images, some sexual content, graphic nudity, language, and brief drug use)
Plot Summary: An ex-Navy seal (Mehcad Brooks), his girlfriend (Serinda Swan) and their friends head out on a road trip to New Orleans. The group decides to stop at a roadside convenience store owned by Chopper (Sid Haig), who tells them the tale of Lockjaw, a fabled god-like creature who is half-man, half-alligator.
The legend has it that an inbred local man by the name of Grimley (Daniel Bernhardt) lost his family to a monstrous white alligator, which then drove him to madness and some believe he was transformed into that very creature that now haunts the depths of the swamps. Their curiosity peaked, the group decides to play along with the local tourist trap and journey deep into the backwoods to find the old dilapidated cabin which is supposed to be the birthplace of the creature.
As they set-up camp for the night, their faith is put to the test when Lockjaw turns out to be more than just a myth and they realize the locals are hiding a horrifying secret that jeopardizes them all.

Echotone

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Not Available
Director: Nathan Christ
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: The Apesh*ts, Belaire, The Black Angels, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Dana Falconberry, The Octopus Project, The Pity Party, Sound Team, Sunset, Ghostland Observatory, Ume, The White White Lights
Genre: Documentary, Music
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: A dazzling cultural portrait of Austin, TX (internationally known as "The Live Music Capital of the World") as examined through the lyrics and lens of its creative class. With a telescopic view, director Nathan Christ and cinematographer Robert L. Garza catch vibrant young musicians grappling with questions of commercialism, experimentation, and the future of their beloved city amidst economic downfall.
Rising star soul revivalist Black Joe Lewis sells out concert halls by night and delivers fish by day. Cari Palazzolo (of synth pop sensation Belaire) is poised for commercial success but conflicted over the thought of her music being commodified. Avant-garde troubadour Bill Baird, whose band Sound Team enjoyed a major label deal with Capitol Records, were subsequently dropped after one album. A modern parable on integrity set against the backdrop of global paradigm shifts, "Echotone" interweaves the tales of these emerging artists as a mosaic to illustrate the universal struggle many contemporary fringe cultures are experiencing.
"Echotone" features appearances by The Apesh*ts, Belaire, The Black Angels, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Dana Falconberry, The Octopus Project, The Pity Party, Sound Team, Sunset, Ghostland Observatory, Ume, and The White White Lights.

Grave Encounters

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (NY, limited)
Studio: Tribeca Film
Director: The Vicious Brothers
Screenwriter: The Vicious Brothers
Starring: Ben Wilkinson, Sean Rogerson, Ashleigh Gryzko, Juan Riedinger
Genre: Horror
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Lance Preston and the crew of "Grave Encounters," a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena has been reported for years.
All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera.They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted - it is alive - and it has no intention of ever letting them leave. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorized by the ghosts of the former patients. They soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness, ultimately discovering the truth behind the hospital's dark past...and taping what turns out to be their final episode.

Inside Out

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: WWE Studios
Director: Artie Mandelberg
Screenwriter: Dylan Schaffer
Starring: Paul 'Triple H' Levesque, Michael Rapaport, Parker Posey, Bruce Dern, Julie White, Juliette Goglia
Genre: Crime, Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Paul 'Triple H' Levesque stars as AJ, a parolee determined to go straight after serving 13 years for the murder of a man who intended to kill his best friend.
For the last thirteen years AJ has been behind bars, convicted of manslaughter for killing a man who intended to kill his best friend, Jack (Michael Rapaport) high-strung low-level mobster. Now released, AJ wants nothing more than to start a small business and live a life free of crime. Unfortunately, within hours of leaving prison, Jack involves AJ in an accidental shooting leaving a man dead.
When Jack's father, local mob boss Dr. Vic (Bruce Dern), hears the news he wants the mess cleaned up, and fast. Meanwhile, Martha (Julie White) an agent for the Louisiana Tax Board, has been investigating Dr. Vic for smuggling counterfeit cigarettes into Louisiana and determined to bring Dr. Vic down and Jack. With the authorities hot on his trail, Jack is now forced to skip town.
Dr. Vic's patience is wearing thin and he decides to take things into his own hands, looking for retribution. Well aware of Dr. Vic's violent past, AJ will stop at nothing to protect Jack’s wife, Claire (Parker Posey), the woman he's always loved and her daughter Pepper (Juliette Goglia).

Laugh at My Pain

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: CODEBLACK Entertainment
Director: Leslie Small
Screenwriter: Joey Wells
Starring: Kevin Hart
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT!
Funnyman Kevin Hart is BACK and starring in the theatrical version of his 2011 "Laugh at My Pain" comedy tour that swept the nation and earned more than $15,000,000 in ticket sales! The 90-city "Laugh at My Pain" tour is one of the most successful Comedy Concerts in history. Hart's 2-day performance of "Laugh at My Pain" (at LA Live's Nokia Theatre), raised the bar and broke Eddie Murphy's long standing record of being the first African-American Comedian to surpass over $1.1 million two-day live Comedy show ticket sales.
Experience "Laugh at My Pain," the show that quickly became a national phenomenon. Catch the original, never-before-seen Raw and Uncut backstage footage, and travel back to Philly with Kevin Hart where he began his journey to become one of the funniest and most successful comedians of all time.
Get an up-close and personal look at Kevin Hart and get ready to laugh 'til it hurts.

Love in Space

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: 20th Century Fox, China Lion
Director: Tony Chan, Wing Shya
Screenwriter: Lucretia Ho, Tony Chan
Starring: Aaron Kwok, Fan Xu, Eason Chan, Guey Lun-mei
Genre: Comedy, Romance
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: The story follows a mother and her three grown daughters as they juggle their assorted love lives. Each woman is successful in everything except love — until they unexpectedly encounter new romances in Beijing, Sydney and even farther away.

Main Street

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Director: John Doyle
Screenwriter: Horton Foote
Starring: Colin Firth, Ellen Burstyn, Patricia Clarkson, Amber Tamblyn, Orlando Bloom
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: From Horton Foote, Oscar winning screenwriter of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Tender Mercies, comes "Main Street," a moving ensemble drama starring Oscar winner Colin Firth, Orlando Bloom, Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, and Andrew McCarthy. The lives of the residents of a small Southern city are changed forever by the arrival of a stranger with a controversial plan to save their decaying hometown.

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Yash Raj Films
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Screenwriter: Ali Abbas Zafar
Starring: Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Zafar
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan" is a quirky romantic comedy set in the world of the upper middle class in Northern India. Kush Agnihotri (Imran Khan) is looking for the ideal Indian bride for his brother Luv Agnihotri (Ali Zafar) who stays in London. In his quest, Kush goes through an array of wacky encounters with several families until he finally finds that perfect girl in Dimple Dixit (Katrina Kaif), the craziest / wackiest girl he has ever known. Both the families meet. Formalities completed. Preparations proceed in full swing. And just then, our hero Kush falls in love with Dimple... his brother's dulhan. What follows is a comical and unpredictable series of events in this unusual topsy-turvy tale of love. 

One Fall

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (LA; NY release: Sep. 16)
Studio: Paladin
Director: Marcus Dean Fuller
Screenwriter: Marcus Dean Fuller
Starring: Marcus Dean Fuller, Zoe McLellan, Seamus Mulcahy, James McCaffrey, Mark La Mura, Dominic Fumusa, Mark Margolis, Phyllis Somerville
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "One Fall" is a powerful story about a man who is both blessed and cursed with an unusual power. Set in the rustic Midwestern town of One Fall, the film tells the story of a man who miraculously survived a terrible fall from a spectacular 200 foot- high precipice that is the area’s major attraction. After recovering, he abruptly abandoned friends and family and disappeared without explanation. The secret he couldn't share with them was that, while recovering, he had suddenly developed the power to heal others. Tired of running away, he returns home after a long absence and decides to use his gift-- but not altruistically. If people pay him, he will cure them. Though he appears to be doing the right thing, he is doing it for all the wrong reasons, and risks driving away anyone who ever loved or trusted him. As his moral crisis peaks, he must figure out why he survived his fall, and what he is really meant to do with his life.

Shaolin

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Well Go USA, Variance Films
Director: Benny Chan
Screenwriter: Chi Kwong Cheung, Zhang Tan, Alan Yuen
Starring: Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Fan Bingbing, Jackie Chan
Genre: Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: As feuding warlords fight to expand their power, the noble monks of the Shaolin temple clean up the mess left behind, tending to the injured while trying their best to protect the poor and weak. The young general Hao Jie (Andy Lau from "Warlords" and "Infernal Affairs") has caused much of this mess, with his violent and ruthless tactics that rarely discriminate between soldiers and civilians.
When Hao is betrayed by fellow general Cao Man (Nicolas Tse from "The Promise" and "Shaolin Soccer"), he is forced into hiding, and takes refuge with the monks (including Jackie Chan) at their hidden mountain temple. As the days pass, he finds himself more and more at ease, as he learns the ways of peace. But Cao is not far behind, and war soon reaches the temple, where the monks are ready to fight back with a fierce style that none of the warlords have ever seen- their unstoppable Shaolin Kung Fu.

Tanner Hall

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Anchor Bay Films
Director: Francesca Gregorini, Tatiana von Furstenber
Screenwriter: Francesca Gregorini, Tatiana von Furstenber
Starring: Rooney Mara, Georgia King, Brie Larson, Amy Sedaris, Chris Kattan, Tom Everett Scott
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: As Fernanda (Rooney Mara) enters her senior year at Tanner Hall—a sheltered boarding school in New England—she's faced with unexpected changes in her group of friends when a childhood acquaintance, the charismatic yet manipulative trouble-maker Victoria (Georgia King), appears. Shy and studious, Fernanda is usually the voice of reason among her friends—adventurous and sexy Kate (Brie Larsen) and tomboy Lucasta (Amy Ferguson)—but when she begins a complicated friendship with Gio (Tom Everett Scott), an older family friend, she decides it's finally time to take some risks. Jealous of Fernanda's exciting relationship, Victoria begins to sabotage Fernanda’s plans and plots to publicly humiliate her. Meanwhile, Lucasta struggles with her newfound feelings towards another classmate, and mischievous Kate is too preoccupied with making her teachers nervous to pay much attention to her actual classes. However, as each of the girls flirt with adulthood, they realize they still need each other to help get through their first grown-up decisions—and the consequences they bring.

Warrior

Release Date: September 9, 2011
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Screenwriter: Gavin O'Connor, Anthony Tambakis, Cliff Dorfman
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison, Nick Nolte, Maximiliano Hernandez, Frank Grillo, Erik "Bad" Apple
Genre: Action, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of intense mixed martial arts fighting, some language and thematic material)
Plot Summary: Rising stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton command the screen as two estranged brothers facing the fight of a lifetime in Lionsgate's "Warrior," a moving, inspirational action drama from acclaimed director Gavin O'Connor ("Miracle").
Haunted by a tragic past, Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for Sparta, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. But when Brendan's unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed.
A rousing ode to redemption, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit, "Warrior" is also a moving testament to the enduring bonds of family.

We Were Here

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (NY; LA release: Sept. 16)
Studio: Red Flag Releasing
Director: David Weissman, Bill Weber
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "We Were Here" is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the impact of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco when it was first identified 30 years ago this year. It explores how the city's inhabitants were affected by, and responded to the calamitous epidemic. Reaching beyond San Francisco and the human toll of AIDS itself, it inspirationally speaks to the human capacity of individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible collective power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination.

Where Soldiers Come From

Release Date: September 9, 2011 (NY)
Studio: International Film Circuit
Director: Heather Courtney
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Dominic Fredianelli, Cole Smith, Matt "Bodi" Beaudoin
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, "Where Soldiers Come From" follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war.
A documentary about growing up, "Where Soldiers Come From," is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from. Returning to her hometown in Michigan's Upper Penninsula, director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access following these young men as they grow and change from restless teenagers to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles of returning home.
Enticed by a $20,000 signing bonus and the college tuition support, best friends Dominic and Cole join the National Guard after graduating from their rural high school. After persuading several of their friends to join them, the young men are sent to Afghanistan, where they spend their days sweeping for roadside bombs. By the time their deployment ends, they are no longer the carefree group of friends they were before enlisting; repeated bombs blowing up around their convoys have led to the new silent signature wound of the Afghan war, Traumatic Brain Injury, and they have all become increasingly disillusioned about their mission.
The challenges really begin to surface when they return to their families and communities in Michigan and try to fit back into their daily routines. "Where Soldiers Come From" looks beyond the guns and policies of an ongoing war to examine the war's effect on parents, loved ones and the whole community when young people go off to fight.

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