Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Opening This Week - April 21

Wide Releases:



Disneynature Born in China

Directed by: Chuan Lu
Runtime: 1hr, 16mins
Documentary
G
Trailer

Starring: John Krasinski, Xun Zhou




The Disneynature films have been fairly successful documentaries for Disney. The latest goes to China to spend some time with a panda and her growing cub, a young golden monkey, and a mother snow leopard.



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Free Fire

Directed by: Ben Wheatley  
Runtime: 1hr, 30mins  
Action, Crime, Thriller
R
Trailer

Starring: Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley




I didn't particularly care for Ben Wheatley's 2015 film High-Rise, but it proved what a talented visual artist he is. Now he has his eyes set on blockbuster success with Free Fire, a film that maintains High-Rise's 70's stylings and thriller genre, but in a more mainstream, crowd-pleasing package. It's also a star studded action comedy that looks inspired by the films of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Scorsese served as executive producer on the film.



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Phoenix Forgotten

Directed by: Justin Barber  
Runtime: 1hr, 20mins  
Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
PG-13
Trailer

Starring: Florence Hartigan, Luke Spencer Roberts, Chelsea Lopez




Just when you thought the found footage horror subgenre had been picked clean of ideas, Phoenix Forgotten seems to have popped up out of nowhere. It does have Ridley Scott serving as a producer, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the first you've heard of this film. It follows three girls who disappeared when trying to investigate the source of the suspected UFO sighting in 1997 known as the "Phoenix Lights." 



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The Lost City of Z  

Directed by: James Gray  
Runtime: 2hrs, 21mins  
Action, Adventure, Biography
PG-13
Trailer

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland




The Lost City of Z is based on the true story of explorer Col. Percival Fawcett who disappeared in 1920 while on an expedition in search of a mysterious city in the Amazon. 



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Unforgettable

Directed by: Denise Di Novi
Runtime: 1hr, 40mins
Drama, Thriller
R

Starring: Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Whitney Cummings




Occasionally certain celebrities take a turn towards the darkside and earn themselves a bad reputation. Once in a great while those celebrities embrace that reputation and use it to great effect on screen. That seems to be the goal here for Katherine Heigl. The problem is we've seen this sort of film all too often. Is there really an audience that can't get enough of the love triangle turned horror thriller?




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Limited Releases:




Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent

Directed by: Lydia Tenaglia  
Runtime: 2hrs  
Documentary, Biography
R
Trailer

Starring: Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Francesca De Luc




As you likely know, humans love food. As such, it should come as no surprise that food TV shows and food culture documentaries are slowly taking over the entertainment world. Whether it's food based competitions, or travelogue shows about food around the world there are no shortage of options to stream. Chief among them are the shows created and hosted by Anthony Bourdain, so longtime fans of his (like myself) will be interested to know of his involvement in this project. It's about Jeremiah Tower, a genius among chefs who revolutionized the restaurant industry.



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N.O.L.A. Circus

Directed by: Luc Annest  
Runtime: 1hr, 26mins  
Comedy
Not Rated
Trailer

Starring: Dave Davis, Vas Blackwood, Taryn Terrell




This over-the-top comedy is about two competing barber shops in New Orleans who let their competition spiral out of control.



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Slack Bay  

Directed by: Bruno Dumont  
Runtime: 2hrs, 2mins  
Comedy
Not Rated
Trailer

Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi




A well to do family's summer vacation clashes with an inspector's investigation into several disappearances in a costal town in North France. 



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Somewhere Beautiful  

Directed by: Albert Kodagolian  
Runtime: 1hr, 18mins  
Drama, Romance
Rating
Trailer

Starring: María Alche, Anthony Bonaventura, Robyn Buck








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The Happiest Day in the Life of Ollo Mäki  

Directed by: Juho Kuosmanen  
Runtime: 1hr, 32mins  
Biography, Drama, Romance
Not Rated
Trailer

Starring: Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff, Jarkko Lahti




This is the true story of famous Finnish boxer Olli Mäki, who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title. Though it wasn't nominated, it was the Finnish entry for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Oscars. It did, however, win the Prize Un Certain Regard at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.  



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The Promise

Directed by: Terry George
Runtime: 2hrs, 12mins
Drama, History
PG-13

Starring: Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, Shohreh Aghdashloo, James Cromwell, Jean Reno




Early reviews have not been kind to The Promise, a love triangle during the fall of the Ottoman empire and the Armenian genocide. These types of films hope the backdrop of war will heighten the drama of the central characters, but more often than not the opposite is true. The romance may or may not work, but it almost always lessens the impact of the war happening in the background.



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The Student  

Directed by: Kirill Serebrennikov  
Runtime: 1hr, 58mins  
Drama
Not Rated
Trailer

Starring: Pyotr Skvortsov, Viktoriya Isakova, Aleksandra Revenko




In Russia, a high school student begins to challenge the beliefs and morals of the adults around him after he becomes convinced the world has turned to evil. 



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