Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Movie Releases This Week

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The Catechism Cataclysm



Release Date: October 19, 2011 (NY; LA release: Nov. 4)
Studio: IFC Midnight
Director: Todd Rohal
Screenwriter: Todd Rohal
Starring: Steve Little, Robert Longstreet, Wally Dalton
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Storytelling in all its forms is skewered in "The Catechism Cataclysm." In this divinely bizarre and funny tale, wild characters infuse stories within stories until the lines between the Bible, Mark Twain, and campfire tales are hilariously blurred. Father Billy (Steve Little), an eccentric young priest, is forced to take a sabbatical by his superiors when he is discovered telling inappropriate parables to his flock. Billy tracks down his high-school idol Robbie (Robert Longstreet), who begrudgingly agrees to a canoe trip. On the water, the two men reminisce about Billy's days as the keyboardist in a Christian band and Robbie's as a guitarist for a metal band. When night approaches, they realize they have lost their way--and that's when things get weird.

Paul Goodman Changed My Life

Release Date: October 19, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Zeitgeist Films
Director: Jonathan Lee
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Paul Goodman was once so ubiquitous in the American zeitgeist that he merited a cameo in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall." Author of legendary bestseller "Growing Up Absurd" (1960), Goodman was also a poet, 1940s out queer (and family man), pacifist, visionary, co-founder of Gestalt therapy--and a moral compass for many in the burgeoning counterculture of the '60s. "Paul Goodman Changed My Life" immerses you in an era of high intellect (that heady, cocktail-glass juncture that Mad Men has so effectively exploited) when New York was peaking culturally and artistically; when ideas, and the people who propounded them, seemed to punch in at a higher weight class than they do now. Using a treasure trove of archival multimedia--selections from Goodman's poetry (read by Garrison Keillor and Edmund White); quotes from Susan Sontag, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Noam Chomsky; plentiful footage of Goodman himself; plus interviews with his family, peers and activists--director/producer Jonathan Lee and producer/editor Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons) have woven together a rich portrait of an intellectual heavyweight whose ideas are long overdue for rediscovery.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (NY; LA release: Nov. 4)
Studio: Submarine Deluxe
Director: Constance Marks
Screenwriter: Philip Shane, Justin Weinstein
Starring: Kevin Clash, Whoopi Goldberg
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson. Displaying his creativity and talent at a young age, Kevin ultimately found a home on Sesame Street. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this documentary includes rare archival footage, interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O'Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop.

Cargo

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Persona Films
Director: Yan Vizinberg
Screenwriter: Yan Vizinberg, Lee Peterkin
Starring: Natasha Rinis, Sayed Badreya, Philip Willingham
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Human Trafficking – Every year nearly 18,000 women and children are smuggled into the United States as slaves; That number rises to over 2.5 million worldwide.
"Cargo" tells the story of a young Russian woman, smuggled into America by human traffickers, and a notorious Egyptian transporter, hired to drive her from the Mexican border to New York City.
In her breakout debut performance, Natasha Rinis plays a young Russian lured to the United States by the false promise of a modeling career. Vizinberg puts us in Natasha's world: the brutal intimidation; the hours of isolation; the hopelessness reinforced by watching other women give in; the sudden explosive shocks; the disorientation. Without identity or a country to protect her, she will succeed or fail to preserve her freedom alone. This tiny Russian girl does everything in her power to break the bondage she foolishly stepped into.
Natasha's transporter Sayed seems an impenetrable adversary. A devout Muslim who stops to pray five times a day, he gradually emerges as something of a prisoner himself, rigidly honorable as a Muslim, and compelled by love for his family and in his obligation to rescue them from poverty in Egypt.

Elevate

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (NY; expands: Nov. 4)
Studio: Variance Films
Director: Anne Buford
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: From a basketball academy in West Africa to the high-pressure world of American prep schools, "Elevate" documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African teenagers with big hearts, open minds, and NBA dreams. The SEEDS Academy in Dakar, Senegal, sits on a small plot of land leased from the government. There, the best young basketball players from across West Africa gather to take part in a strenuous program of academics and athletic training. For those who stand out, the potential reward is huge: full scholarships to the top prep schools in the United States, where the right combination of skill and dedication will earn them a great education, pave the way to college, and open the door to basketball at the NCAA level... and maybe even a shot at the NBA.
For the four young men who make the cut, receive scholarships, and head off to the USA, their lives are changed forever. Filmed over four years and across two continents, "Elevate" documents the daunting challenges they face, from the alienation that comes with being a seven foot tall Muslim at a Christian prep school (in an American culture rife with African stereotypes) to mastering English, adapting to aggressive American-style basketball... and navigating the vagaries of high school, girls, and drivers ed. A heartwarming documentary that inspires without preaching, "Elevate" challenges the audience's conception of Africa, America, and athletes – while putting a smile on their face at the same time.

Johnny English Reborn

Release Date: October 21, 2011
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Oliver Parker
Screenwriter: Hamish McColl, William Davies
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Kaluuya
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action violence, rude humor, some language and brief sensuality)
Plot Summary: Rowan Atkinson returns to the role of the improbable secret agent who doesn't know fear or danger in the comedy spy-thriller Johnny English Reborn. In his latest adventure, the most unlikely intelligence officer in Her Majesty's Secret Service must stop a group of international assassins before they eliminate a world leader and cause global chaos.
In the years since MI-7's top spy vanished off the grid, he has been honing his unique skills in a remote region of Asia. But when his agency superiors learn of an attempt against the Chinese premier's life, they must hunt down the highly unorthodox agent. Now that the world needs him once again, Johnny English is back in action.
With one shot at redemption, he must employ the latest in hi-tech gadgets to unravel a web of conspiracy that runs throughout the KGB, CIA and even MI-7. With mere days until a heads of state conference, one man must use every trick in his playbook to protect us all. For Johnny English, disaster may be an option, but failure never is. 

Klitschko

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Corinth Releasing
Director: Sebastian Dehnhardt
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary, Sports
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Six-foot-six Ukrainian brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko moved to Germany to begin careers in heavyweight boxing in 1996, and the sport was never the same. After a 15-year reign over the ring, they made history in 2008, becoming the first brothers in the sport to hold world titles at the same time. Through an engaging mix of candid interviews and absorbing fight footage, "Klitschko" offers a captivating glimpse into the makings of these champion boxing brothers.
Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are two exceptional boxers, both icons and role models in their native Ukraine and around the world. But they also represent the original Cold War nightmare: The Mighty Russian Boxer. The myth of the strongest man in the world has a new face now; actually two, The Klitschkos.
But who are these smart gentlemen of boxing, each with a PhD and fluent in four languages? Will Wladimir dominate Heavy Weight Boxing for another five years; and will Vitali, the politician, someday become the President of Ukraine? Will they really stick with the promise they made to their mother, never to fight against each other?
Award winning German director Sebastian Dehnhardt followed the Klitschkos on their most personal journey. Included in the film is long forgotten archival footage; interviews with people around the world who shared never-before-heard details; time spent with the brothers in the sacred locker room just minutes before their fights. The result is an incredible and intimate portrait of these two boxers.
This feature documentary showcases the childhood of both brothers marked by socialist drills in the midst of the Cold War, growing up on Soviet Military Bases, and the impact that the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster had on their family. The film traces their path through life, their move from Germany to the United States and back to Europe and their rise to International Boxing Super-Stardom.

Le Havre

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (LA)
Studio: Janus Films
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Screenwriter: Aki Kaurismäki
Starring: André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel
Genre: Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: An audience favorite at this year's Cannes Film Festival, "Le Havre" finds legendary Finnish director Aki Kaurismaeki working in France for the first time in nearly twenty years. In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (Andre Wilms), a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoeshiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that mixes the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carne with wry Kaurismaekian comedy, "Le Havre" is a charming, deadpan delight. 

Margin Call

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Roadside Attractions
Director: J.C. Chandor
Screenwriter: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, "Margin Call" is a thriller entangling the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When entry-level analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Expanding the parameters of genre, "Margin Call" is a riveting examination of the human components of a subject too often relegated to partisan issues of black and white.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (NY, LA)
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Sean Durkin
Screenwriter: Sean Durkin
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson
Genre: Drama, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity and language)
Plot Summary: "Martha Marcy May Marlene" is a powerful psychological thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a young woman rapidly unraveling amidst her attempt to reclaim a normal life after fleeing from a cult and its charismatic leader (John Hawkes). Seeking help from her estranged older sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy), Martha is unable and unwilling to reveal the truth about her disappearance. When her memories trigger a chilling paranoia that her former cult could still be pursuing her, the line between Martha's reality and delusion begins to blur.

The Mighty Macs

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Freestyle Releasing
Director: Tim Chambers
Screenwriter: Tim Chambers
Starring: Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton, Ellen Burstyn
Genre: Action, Drama, Sports
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages.
Recently hired as the coach of tiny Immaculata College, Cathy's challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams her Macs will face. There is no gymnasium, no fan support, and no money. To top it off, Cathy may not even have enough players for a team!
While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Cathy creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.
Will the unrelenting drive of this first-year coach spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will it create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

Norman

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (limited)
Studio: AMC Independent
Director: Jonathan Segal
Screenwriter: Talton Wingate
Starring: Dan Byrd, Emily VanCamp, Richard Jenkins
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Norman Long is a high school loner, a self-aware and darkly funny teen who's just trying to handle his daily existence. In the wake of his mother's sudden death, Norman must now also deal with the reality that his father is starting to lose his battle with stomach cancer.
Norman, depressed and angry, unintentionally gets caught in a lie that he, in fact, has stomach cancer. Soon his complete distortion of the facts spirals out of control. Part coping mechanism, partially as a way to feel closer to his father, and to a certain degree to prepare others for his possible suicide, Norman begins to imitate his father's debilitating physical symptoms, dramatically affecting his life and the world around him.
Emily, a magnetic girl with one of those rare enchanting smiles, gets caught up in Norman's fabrication and struggles with her deep rooted romantic feelings in the face of Norman's "impending" death. Ultimately, Norman must confront a burning set of conflicting emotions as he struggles to define his relationship with his father, his love for Emily, and ultimately who he will be as a young man.

Oranges and Sunshine

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (NY, LA)
Studio: Cohen Media Group
Director: Jim Loach
Screenwriter: Rona Munro
Starring: Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "Oranges and Sunshine" tells the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals of recent times: the deportation of thousands of children from the United Kingdom to Australia.
Almost single-handedly, against overwhelming odds and with little regard for her own well-being, Margaret reunited thousands of families, brought authorities to account and drew worldwide attention to an extraordinary miscarriage of justice. Children as young as four had been told that their parents were dead, and been sent to children's homes on the other side of the world. Many were subjected to appalling abuse. They were promised oranges and sunshine: they got hard labour and life in institutions.

Paranormal Activity 3

Release Date: October 21, 2011
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Screenwriter: Christopher B. Landon
Starring: Katie Featherston, Sprague Grayden, Lauren Bittner
Genre: Drama, Supernatural Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for some violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use)
Plot Summary: The third film is being envisioned as an origin story set in the 1980s that will follow a new family.

Retreat

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Carl Tibbets
Screenwriter: Carl Tibbets
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Bell, Thandie Newton
Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Kate and Martin escape from personal tragedy to an Island Retreat. Cut off from the outside world, their attempts to recover are shattered when a man is washed ashore, with news of airborne killer disease that is sweeping through Europe. But is this mysterious stranger who he says he is and can he be trusted?

The Reunion

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Mike Pavone
Screenwriter: Mike Pavone
Starring: John Cena, Ethan Embry, Michael Rispoli, Boyd Holbrook, Amy Smart
Genre: Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for violence, sexual content and language)
Plot Summary: The Cleary brothers, Sam (John Cena), Leo (Ethan Embry) and Douglas (Boyd Holbrook) take dysfunctional families to a new level: Sam and Leo have grown up hating each other and neither likes their juvenile kid brother, Douglas, to whom they've only recently been introduced. The three boys share the same father, but all have different mothers. Their father died a rich man and when they're brought together by their sister Nina (Amy Smart) to learn which one of them will inherit the old man's fortune, they are handed an unpleasant surprise. A requirement of the will is that the three estranged siblings go into business together as bail bondsmen. Their first job takes them into the mountains of Mexico where they encounter a drug lord and uncover a kidnapping plot, masterminded by an embittered entrepreneur (Michael Rispoli) that will endanger them all.

Revenge of the Electric Car

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (limited)
Studio: WestMidWest Productions, Area23A
Director: Chris Paine
Screenwriter: Chris Paine, P.G. Morgan
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: In 2006, as many as 5,000 modern electric cars were destroyed by the major car companies that built them. Today, less than 5 years later, the electric car is back... with a vengeance.
Director Chris Paine ("Who Killed the Electric Car") takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors, and an independent car converter named Greg "Gadget" Abbott to find the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Without using a single drop of foreign oil, this new generation of automobiles is America's future: fast, furious, and cleaner than ever.
With almost every major carmaker now jumping to produce new electric models, "Revenge of the Electric Car" follows the race to be the first, the best, and to win the hearts and minds of the public around the world. We watch as these cars are developed from a concept into a working product, and see the car makers themselves struggle with the economy, the press, each other, and the car buying public.
We follow the electric car renaissance through the eyes of four industry pioneers. First, there's Bob Lutz, the larger than life General Motors executive who inspires the Volt, GM's newest electric car program. Bob is a gruff, cigar-smoking maverick who seems to have stepped straight off the set of Mad Men. After years of skepticism, he's now convinced that "Electric Cars are back with a vengeance." But can GM overcome years of corporate doubt and public hostility and make a viable electric vehicle? This is the company that killed off the EV1, after all.
Then there's Elon Musk, the young dot-com billionaire and head of Tesla Motors. Somewhere between launching rockets toward the moon with his private space program, Elon decides that Silicon Valley can teach Detroit a few lessons about car making. We're with Elon for every step and misstep as Tesla Motors swerves from initial excitement into near bankruptcy -- and then comes back from the dead with a triumphant IPO.
Our third protagonist is the dynamic head of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn. A former EV skeptic, Ghosn astonishes the car world in 2009 by announcing the launch of the Nissan LEAF: an affordable electric vehicle meant for mass market. We are at Carlos's side as he steers the LEAF through Nissan's corporate culture -- and as he attempts to sell the car across the world. It's a bold gamble. If Nissan succeeds, they will corner the market in mass-produced electric cars. If they fail, then the company will fail too.

Snowmen

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (limited)
Studio: ARC Entertainment
Director: Robert Kirbyson
Screenwriter: Robert Kirbyson
Starring: Bobby Coleman, Ray Liotta, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Josh Flitter, Christopher Lloyd
Genre: Comedy, Family
MPAA Rating: PG (for thematic material, some rough bullying and peril, language and brief juvenile)
Plot Summary: "Snowmen" is a humorous and heartfelt coming-of-age story about three unlikely heroes and the winter that changed their lives forever. After a surprising discovery in the snow catapults three small-town boys into the spotlight, the best friends hatch a plan to be remembered forever by setting a Guinness World Records title. Along the way, the trio battles schoolyard bullies, unites their community and discovers that - while fame may be fleeting - true friendship lasts forever.

The Three Musketeers

Release Date: October 21, 2011 (3D/2D theaters)
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Screenwriter: Andrew Davies, Alex Litvalk
Starring: Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Mads Mikkelsen, Gabriella Wilde, Juno Temple, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz
Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of adventure action violence)
Plot Summary: The hot-headed young D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman) joins forces with three rogue Musketeers (Matthew MacFadyen, Luke Evans and Ray Stevenson) in this reboot of Alexandre Dumas' story. They must stop the evil Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) and face off with Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) and the treacherous Milady (Milla Jovovich). The action adventure is given a state of the art update in 3D. 

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