Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening April 18, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Bears (G) John C. Reilly narrates this nature documentary, set in the Alaska wilderness, chronicling a year in the life of a family of brown bears with a couple of young cubs just learning how to survive the elements, including avalanches, predators and the bitter cold.
A Haunted House 2 (R for violence, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, drug use, ethnic slurs and pervasive profanity) Irreverent spoof of recent horror flicks featuring Marlon Wayans as a newlywed who moves his bride (Jaime Pressly) and step-children (Ashley Rickards and Steele Stebbins) into a dream home only to be plagued by the ghost of his ex-girlfriend (Essence Atkins) as well as a series of paranormal phenomena. With Cedric the Entertainer, Gabriel Iglesias, Affion Crockett and Missi Pyle.
Heaven Is for Real (PG for mature themes) Screen adaptation of Pastor Todd Burpo’s (Greg Kinnear) #1 New York Times best-seller recounting his son’s (Connor Corum) meeting Jesus Christ (Mike Mohrhardt) up in Paradise during a near-death experience. Supporting cast includes Thomas Haden Church, Kelly Reilly and Lane Styles.
Transcendence (PG-13 for violence, action, bloody images, sensuality and brief profanity) Sci-fi thriller starring Johnny Depp as a terminally-ill scientist who turns into a power-hungry megalomaniac after uploading the contents of his brain onto a computer. Ensemble cast includes Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Rebecca Hall, Cory Hardrict, Cillian Murphy and Clifton Collins, Jr.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
13 Sins (R for violence, profanity and bloody images) Remake of Game of Death (2006), a horror flick revolving around a down on his luck salesman (Mark Webber) manipulated to perform a series of increasingly sinister tasks for a promised prize of $6.2 million. With Devon Graye, Rutina Wesley and Ron Perlman.
Authors Anonymous (PG-13 for suggestive material) Ensemble comedy about the envy which shows its ugly face in a support group of aspiring writers when their most recent member (Kaley Cuoco) becomes an overnight sensation. Cast includes Chris Klein, Teri Polo, Dylan Walsh and Dennis Farina.
Bank$tas (Unrated) Buddy comedy about a couple of recent finance grads (Michael Seater and Joe Dinicol) who hatch a plan to prevent their crooked boss (Alan Thicke) from implementing a bank loan scheme designed to cheat millions of college students. With Grace Lynn Kung, Laura Vandervoort and Brandon Firla.
Cesar’s Last Fast (Unrated) Farm workers’ rights are the focus of this documentary
chronicling the 36-day water fast which would prove to be Chicano labor leader Cesar Chavez’s final act of protest.
Fading Gigolo (R for profanity, sexuality and brief nudity) John Turturro wrote, directed and stars in the romantic comedy as a dashing Don Juan who woos wealthy widows in order to help out a cash-strapped pal (Woody Allen). Cast includes Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber, Jill Scott, Vanessa Paradis and Aida Turturro.
The Final Member (R for graphic nudity, phallic images, sexual references and brief profanity) Genitalia on ice documentary, set 30 miles from the Arctic Circle, extolling the effort of the world’s only museum dedicated to the display of penises to add its first human specimen to its prized collection.
Half the Road (Unrated) Female empowerment documentary exploring the world of women’s professional cycling.
Kid Cannabis (Unrated) Idaho crime caper revisiting the real-life exploits of an 18 year-old, high school dropout (Jonathan Daniel Brown) who quit his job as a pizza delivery boy to build a multimillion dollar Marijuana empire. Featuring Ron Perlman, John C. McGinley, Aaron Yoo and Kenny Warmald.
A Promise (Unrated) Romance drama, set in Germany prior to the outbreak of World War I, revolving around a woman (Rebecca Hall) who falls in love with her husband’s (Alan Rickman) young protégé (Richard Madden) and vows to wait for his return before the war separates them for a half-dozen years. With Toby Murray, Maggie Steed and Shannon Tarbet.
small time (R for sexual references) Coming-of-age drama revolving around a high school grad (Devon Bostick) from a broken family who frustrates his mother (Bridget Moynahan) by deciding to skip college in favor of working on his estranged-father’s (Christopher Meloni) used car lot. With Dean Norris, Garcelle Beauvais, Amaury Nolasco and Ken Davitian.
Tasting Menu (PG-13 for brief profanity) Romantic comedy about ex-lovers (Stephen Rea and Claudia Bassols) who reunite to keep a reservation made a year earlier at a restaurant billed as the best in the world. With Fionnula Flanagan, Jan Cornet and Togo Igawa. (In English and Catalan with subtitles)
Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe a la Hache (Unrated) David vs. Goliath documentary, detailing a tiny, Louisiana fishing village’s desperate struggle for justice since having their way of life ruined by the BP oil spill of 2010.