Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening May 2, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PG-13 for action and sci-fi violence) Second installment in re-booted Marvel Comics franchise finds your friendly neighborhood superhero (Andrew Garfield) wooing Gwen (Emma Stone) while protecting New York from a few, formidable new foes (Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan and Paul Giamatti). With Sally Field, Chris Cooper, Denis Leary, Colm Feore and Embeth Davidtz.
Belle (PG for mature themes, mild epithets and brief smoking) Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in this biopic about the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761-1804), the illegitimate offspring of an African slave and a British ship captain (Matthew Goode) who sent his daughter to England to be raised in polite society by his aristocratic aunt (Emily Watson) and uncle (Tom Wilkinson). Cast includes Penelope Wilton, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, Tom Felton and Bethan Mary-James.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Altered States of Plaine (Unrated) Sci-fi thriller revolving around a young fugitive (George Gallagher) on the run from the government who is desperate for a cure from a mysterious affliction that has him waking up in a different place whenever he falls asleep. (In English and French with subtitles) With Kether Donohue, Michael P. Mathis and Donald Pritt.
The Bachelor Weekend (Unrated) Buddy comedy, set in Dublin, about a bride-to-be (Amy Huberman) who recruits her ex (Andrew Scott) to plan her fiance’s bachelor party, an overnight camping trip to the Irish countryside (Hugh O’Conor) with his friends and her obnoxious brother (Peter McDonald). Featuring Brian Gleeson, Michael Legge and Andrew Bennett.
Bad Johnson (Unrated) Battle-of-the-sexes comedy about a charming womanizer (Cam Gigandet) who finally gets what’s coming when his penis leaves his body and takes human form. Cast includes Jamie Chung, Nick Thune and Katherine Cunningham.
Decoding Annie Parker (R for profanity and sexuality) Samantha Morton handles the title role in this fact-based drama about a woman’s fight against the same hereditary form of breast cancer that claimed the life of her mother and sister. With Helen Hunt, Rashida Jones, Marley Shelton, Maggie Grace and Alice Eve.
Farmland (Unrated) Generation Next documentary taking a look at the lives of some farmers and ranchers who have assumed the reins of the family business while still in their twenties.
For a Woman (Unrated) Romance drama, exploring the mystery of undying love from the perspective of a daughter (Sylvie Testud) deconstructing her parents’ (Benoit Magimel and Melanie Thierry) enduring marriage. Cast includes Nicolas Duvauchelle, Julie Ferrier and Denis Podalydes. (In French with subtitles)
Friended to Death (R for profanity and crude sexual references) Dark comedy revolving around a social media junkie (Ryan Hansen) who fakes his own death online just to see whether any of his supposed friends come to the funeral.
With James Immekus, Zach McGowan, Pancho Moler and Angela Bullock.
Ida (PG-13 for mature themes, sexuality and smoking) Skeleton-out-of-the-closet drama, set in Poland in 1962, about an orphan (Agata Trzebuchowska) raised in a Catholic convent who learns that she was born Jewish just as she’s set to take her vows as a nun. Co-starring Jerzy Trela, Halina Skoczynska and Agata Kulesza. In Polish with subtitles)
Jobriath A.D. (Unrated) “It’s better to flame out than to fade away” biopic recounting the brief career of Bruce Wayne Campbell (1946-1983), aka Jobriath, the first openly-gay rock star, and the first to die of AIDS.
The M Word (R for profanity and sexual references) Ensemble comedy, written and directed by the legendary Henry Jaglom, following three middle-aged sisters (Frances Fisher, Mary Crosby and Eliza Roberts) as they make the awkward adjustment to the onset of menopause. Co-starring Corey Feldman, Tanna Frederick and Gregory Harrison.
More than the Rainbow (Unrated) Shutterbug retrospective highlighting the eclectic portfolio of eccentric cabbie-turned-NYC street photographer Matt Weber.
Mr. Jones (PG-13 for terror, frightening images, sexuality and brief profanity) Harrowing horror flick about an aspiring filmmaker (Jon Foster) who moves to the country with his girlfriend (Sarah Jones) where they get more than they bargain for when they sneak into the home of their new next-door neighbor (Mark Steger), a reclusive sculptor with a weird agenda. With Faran Tahir, Stanley B. Herman, Jordan Byrne and Ethan Sawyer.
The Protector 2 (R for profanity and violence) Tony Jaa reprises the title role in this martial arts sequel, set in Thailand, as a retired Royal Guard now enlisted to crack a terrorist conspiracy to disrupt peace talks in Bangkok. With RZA, Marreese Crump and JeeJa Yanin. (InThai with subtitles)
Speak the Music (Unrated) Reverential biopic chronicling the 51-year career of classical violinist Robert Mann, a founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet.
Walk of Shame (R for profanity and sexuality) Elizabeth Banks stars in this romantic comedy, set in L.A., as an ambitious reporter whose dream of becoming a news anchor is imperiled after a one-night stand which leaves her stranded downtown without a phone, cash or car. With James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs and Sarah Wright.
Whitewash (Unrated) Convoluted crime thriller, set in the wintry woods of rural Quebec, about a drunk snowplow operator (Thomas Haden Church) who decides to hide in the forest the body of a man he accidentally hit while driving under the influence. Co-starring Anie Pascale, Marc Labreche and Isabelle Nelissse.