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Movie Releases This Week

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Hell_and_Back_Again movie poster
Hell and Back Again

Release Date: October 5, 2011 (NY; LA release: Oct. 14)
Studio: Docurama Films
Director: Danfung Dennis
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: From his embed with US Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis reveals the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris. The film seamlessly transitions from stunning war reportage to an intimate, visceral portrait of one man's personal struggle at home in North Carolina, where Harris confronts the physical and emotional difficulties of re-adjusting to civilian life with the love and support of his wife, Ashley. Masterfully contrasting the intensity of the frontline with the unsettling normalcy of home, "Hell and Back Again" lays bare the true cost of war.


Release Date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Well Go USA / Variance Films
Director: Zhang Li, Jackie Chan
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Jackie Chan, Joan Chen, Lee Bing Bing, Jaycee Chan, Winston Chao
Genre: Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: R (for war violence)
Plot Summary: At the beginning of the 20th century, China is in a state of crisis. The country is split into warring factions, the citizens are starving, and recent political reforms have made matters worse, not better. The ruling Qing Dynasty, led by a seven-year-old emperor and his ruthless mother, Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen), is completely out of touch after 250 years of unquestioned power.
With ordinary citizens beginning to revolt openly, the Qing Dynasty has created a powerful, modern army (the "New Army") to quash any rebellion. But weapons are expensive, and desperate for cash, the Qing leaders are trading anything they can get their hands on with foreign countries... and selling China's future in the process. Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) has recently returned from Japan, where he has studied the art of modern warfare. When he finds his country falling apart, he feels he has no choice but to pick up the sword, leading an increasingly desperate series of violent rebellions against the powerful Qing Dynasty and the New Army- several with tragic consequences. From the walls of the Forbidden City to the battlefields of China, with no expense spared in production and no detail ignored in its quest for historical accuracy, 1911 is a true epic in every sense of the word.

Blackthorn movie poster

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Mateo Gil
Screenwriter: Miguel Barros
Starring: Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega, Stephen Rea, Magaly Solier, Nicolak Coster-Waldau, Padraic Delaney, Dominique McElligott
Genre: Western
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: It's been said (but unsubstantiated) that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian military in 1908. In "Blackthorn," Cassidy (Sam Shepard) survived, and is quietly living out his years under the name James Blackthorn in a secluded Bolivian village. Tired of his long exile from the US and hoping to see his family again before he dies, Cassidy sets out on the long journey home. But when an unexpected encounter with an ambitious young criminal (Eduardo Noriega) derails his plans, he is thrust into one last adventure, the likes of which he hasn’t experienced since his glory days with the Sundance Kid.

Dirty_Girl movie poster
Dirty Girl

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: Abe Sylvia
Screenwriter: Abe Sylvia
Starring: Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, Jeremy Dozier
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: R (for sexual content including graphic nudity, and for language)
Plot Summary: "Dirty Girl" is the story of Danielle (Juno Temple), the dirty girl of Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, circa 1987. When Danielle's misbehavior gets her banished to a remedial class, she is paired on a parenting project with Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), an innocent closet-case with no friends. Danielle is determined to get to California to find the father she's never met, and Clarke is desperate to escape being sent to military school by his homophobic dad. Together, the mismatched misfits light out for California, and discover each other and themselves through a funny and serendipitous friendship.

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (NY; LA release: Oct. 21)
Studio: Pale Griot Films
Director: Lev Anderson, Chris Metzler
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Fishbone, Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, Mike Watt, Les Claypool, Questlove, Vernon Reid, Eugene Hütz, George Clinton
Genre: Documentary, Music
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: From the shifting faultlines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan's America, Fishbone rose to become one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. With a blistering combination of punk and funk they demolished the walls of genre and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation. Telling it like it is, the iconic Laurence Fishburne narrates "Everyday Sunshine," a story about music, history, fear, courage and funking on the one.

The_Human_Centipede_2__Full_Sequence_ movie poster
The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio: IFC Midnight (IFC Films)
Director: Tom Six
Screenwriter: Tom Six
Starring: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yenni
Genre: Horror
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: The story of a man who becomes sexually obsessed with a DVD recording of the first film in the series, "The Human Centipede," and uses sandpaper to pleasure himself whilst watching the film. He decides to create a "human centipede" of his own, this time comprised of twelve victims as opposed to the first film's three.

The_Ides_of_March movie poster
The Ides of March

Release Date: October 7, 2011
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: George Clooney
Screenwriter: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, Evan Rachel Wood
Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for pervasive language)
Plot Summary: "The Ides of March" takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate's shot at the presidency.

Incendiary: The Willingham Case

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Truly Indie, Yokel
Director: Joe Bailey Jr., Steve Mims
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Equal parts murder mystery, forensic investigation and political drama, Steve Mim and Joe Bailey, Jr's "Incendiary: The Willingham Case" documents the Cameron Todd Willingham case and surrounding legal and political battles in intimate detail. Willingham was convicted and executed for the arson murders of his daughters who perished in a 1991 Corsicana, Texas house fire.
Mims and Bailey initially set out to pick up where David Grann's New Yorker piece on the case had left off, focusing on the evidence of a crime and the dynamics of fire, but an unexpected political dynamic was injected into the story when Governor Rick Perry shuffled the membership of a state commission investigating the case.
The film pits science against speculation, steeping audiences in the practice of arson investigation, dissecting evidence, then immersing them in a struggle over the reputation of a dead man. With no surviving witnesses to the alleged crime, audiences are treated to explorations of the case background by trial attorney David Martin, Willingham advocate Elizabeth Gilbert, appeals lawyer Walter Reaves, arson expert John Lentini, family members and others, all of whom offer their own revealing insights into Willingham's fate.

Real_Steel movie poster
Real Steel

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (conventional theaters and IMAX)
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures
Director: Shawn Levy
Screenwriter: John Gatins
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand
Genre: Action, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some violence, intense action and brief language)
Plot Summary: A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech, "Real Steel" stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback. 

The Sons of Tennessee Williams

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (NY; LA release: Oct. 15)
Studio: First Run Features
Director: Tim Wolff
Screenwriter: Tim Wolff
Starring: Not Available
Genre: Documentary
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Mardi Gras, drag royalty and a glittering civil rights revolution - where else could these elements come together but in the city of New Orleans? Interweaving archival footage with contemporary interviews, Tim Wolff's documentary film "The Sons of Tennessee Williams" tells the story of New Orleans' outrageous gay Mardi Gras over five decades and uncovers the history of the earliest civil rights for gay people in the U.S. In January 1959, during the height of anti-gay laws that criminalized public association for gay people in this country, a group of men in New Orleans decided to throw a Mardi Gras ball of their own. Mardi Gras organizations in New Orleans, called Krewes, are social clubs comprised of members who celebrate the annual Carnival season together. Every Krewe has their own festivities, including parties and parades, usually ending with a formal ball and the coronation of a King and Queen. But years of travails ensued...
"The Sons of Tennessee Williams" is the result of 15 years of research through 120 hours of archival ball footage, still pictures and interviews from some 20 of the "SONS" themselves, ending with contemporary HD coverage of the Krewe of Armeinius 40th anniversary ball in 2008. We travel through the pathos of 1950s era persecution and arrest to the uncommon freedoms in the decades that followed as the gay krewes' popularity and political power began to emerge. A full decade before the Stonewall riots, these men, who are the embodiment of the archetypal "southern bachelor gentleman," complete with the cast-iron fortitude, worked directly with the public to create an open, accepted gay cultural event. Soon, "society matrons begged for ball tickets from their hairdressers and everyone in New Orleans wanted to go to the ball, gay, straight, even the Mayor of the city!"

The Swell Season

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (LA; NY release: Oct. 21)
Studio: Seventh Art Releasing
Director: Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová
Genre: Documentary, Music
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: In 2008, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova captivated audiences and earned two Academy Awards for their musical collaboration in the film "Once," which reached $10 million at the box office and grew their popularity and fan base by tens of thousands in North America and throughout the world. As their fictional romance blurred with reality, they fell in love, recorded an album, and embarked on a world tour. Fueled by two years of exhilaration, performance, and psychological turmoil, "The Swell Season" is much more than a music documentary. It is a volatile and intimate portrait of a romance that fractures in the face of life on the road and personal tragedy. As Glen and Marketa's relationship unhinges, ultimately music prevails as their enduring connection. With incredible performances from around the world and an intimate seat on Glen and Marketa's tour, "The Swell Season" will resonate with film fans and music fans alike.

The_Way movie poster
The Way

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio: ARC Entertainment, Producers Distribution Agency
Director: Emilio Estevez
Screenwriter: Emilio Estevez
Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Yorick van Wageningen, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Driven by his profound sadness and desire to understand his son better, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage, leaving his "California bubble life" behind. Armed with his son's backpack and guidebook, Tom navigates the 800 km pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees, to Santiago de Compostela in the north west of Spain, but soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. While walking The Camino, Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, all broken and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen) a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt) who is suffering from a bout of "writer's block." From the hardship experienced along "The Way" this unlikely quartet of misfits create an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again, and discovers the difference between "The life we live and the life we choose". "The Way" was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago. 

The Woman on the 6th Floor

Release Date: October 7, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Strand Releasing
Director: Phillipe Le Guay
Screenwriter: Phillipe Le Guay, Jérôme Tonnerre
Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain, Mademoiselle Chambon, Natalia Verbeke, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Berta Ojea, Nuria Sole, Concha Calan
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini, "Potiche") lives a bourgeois existence absorbed in his work, cohabitating peacefully with his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain, "Mademoiselle Chambon") while their children are away at boarding school. The couple's world is turned upside-down when they hire a Spanish maid Maria (Natalia Verbeke). Through Maria, Jean-Louis is introduced to an alternative reality just a few floors up on the building's sixth floor, the servants' quarters. He befriends a group of sassy Spanish maids (Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Berta Ojea, Nuria Sole, Concha Calan), refugees of the Franco regime, who teach him there's more to life than stocks and bonds. The women's influence on the house brings change... muy rápido!


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