Movies in Theaters This Friday, March 1, 2013: 21 & Over, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Last Exorcism Part II, Phantom, and Many, Many More
Holy movies Batman! March 1, 2013 will go down as the biggest opening weekend – in terms of number of releases – for the entire year. Not only are there 4 wide releases, but there are at least 11 limited ones, too.
Starting with the wide releases, The Hangover-wannabe 21 & Over looks to capitalize on the college demographics. It is written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore who, yes, were the screenwriters of The Hangover. Here is Sandrine’s review.
If I had to guess, the most anticipated movie is Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, a mixture of Jack the Giant Killer and Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tales. It stars some familiar actors, including Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, and Ewan McGregor.
Next, The Last Exorcism Part II follows the critical success of The Last Exorcism. However, since I’m a big baby, I will probably never see this movie. To each their own, though! The last wide release is the Cold War military thriller Phantom, starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny.
In limited release, there are a number of choices, including some of the longest titles of the year – The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek, A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, and The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone. Also, movies like Day of the Falcon, Genius on Hold, Leviathan, A Place on the Table, The Playback Singer and War Witch are available.
The two releases that interest me the most, though, are Stoker and The Sweeney. Stoker was interestingly written by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller (under a pseudonym) and is a psychological thriller that got pretty positive reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The Sweeney is a more action-oriented movie, and it is based on a British TV series of the same name. When it released in Britain, it claimed the top weekend box office spot. I had mixed feelings overall, but I liked it more than I hated it. Here is my review.
Full synopses and trailers are below for the rest. Enjoy your weekend!
Straight-A college student Jeff Chang has always done what’s expected of him. But when his two best friends Casey and Miller surprise him with a visit for his 21st birthday, he decides to do the unexpected for a change, even though his critical medical school interview is early the next morning. What was supposed to be one beer becomes one night of chaos, over indulgence and utter debauchery in this outrageous comedy.
An ancient war is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants.
Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack (Nicholas Hoult), into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom and its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend… and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
Continuing where the first film left off, Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) is found terrified and alone in rural Louisiana.
Back in the relative safety of New Orleans, Nell realizes that she can’t remember entire portions of the previous months only that she is the last surviving member of her family. Just as Nell begins the difficult process of starting a new life, the evil force that once possessed her is back with other, unimaginably horrific plans that mean her last exorcism was just the beginning.
Academy Award® nominee Ed Harris (A Beautiful Mind, The Abyss), David Duchovny (“The X-Files,” “Californication”) and William Fichtner (The Dark Knight, Black Hawk Down) star in PHANTOM, a Cold War-era suspense thriller about a Soviet submarine captain, haunted by his past, who is forced to lead a covert mission that could spark a global nuclear war. Written and directed by Todd Robinson (Lonely Hearts, White Squall) and inspired by true events, PHANTOM is a riveting deep-sea adventure about extraordinary men facing impossible choices.
No comprehension of history is possible without an understanding of those who forged it. By tracing the biographies of Pussy Willow Creek’s heroes – Colonel Jonathan Franklin Hale, General Li Shao-zu, Captain Elijah Swan, and drummer boy Nick Brody (aka, Rowena Harris) – this important film illustrates how their exceptional life stories inevitably led them to that day long ago when they faced an enemy fifty times their strength and somehow prevailed, buying the Union two more interminably tedious years in which to wage war until the Confederacy finally gave up from exhaustion and the Civil War was over.
This landmark documentary demonstrates how Hale’s fight for honor, Li’s fight for glory, Swan’s fight for freedom, and Harris’ fight for revenge were really one fight, the fight for us – the heirs and heiresses of the American legacy.
A must-see for anyone who values truth over lies, the movie also exposes the reasons why such a momentous event – the most pivotal engagement of the entire Civil War – is so little known today, unearthing the malicious cover-up that ensured its absence from the history books. In this way, The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek is also a cautionary tale, for if we fail to accurately record our history, it will likely be recorded inaccurately by the unscrupulous, the self-serving, the capricious, and the very confused.
Under the unforgiving desert sky, two warring leaders come face to face.
The victorious Nesib, Emir of Hobeika, lays down his peace terms to his rival Amar, Sultan of Salmaah. The two men agree that neither can lay claim to the area of no man’s land between them called The Yellow Belt. In return, Nesib will adopt Amar’s two boys Saleeh and Auda as a guarantee that neither man can invade the other.
Twelve years later, Saleeh and Auda have grown into young men. Saleeh, the warrior, itches to escape his gilded cage and return to his father’s land. Auda cares only for books and the pursuit of knowledge. One day, their adopted father Nesib is visited by an American from Texas. He tells the Emir that his land is blessed with oil and promises him riches beyond his wildest imagination.
Nesib imagines a realm of infinite possibility, a kingdom with roads, schools and hospitals all paid for by the black gold beneath the barren sand. There is only one problem. The precious oil is located in the Yellow Belt.
The stage is now set for an epic showdown for control of the Yellow Belt, for control of the two kingdoms, for control of the future.
Act 1 focuses on the conservation movement of the ‘60s, the Sierra Club, David Brower and the battle to halt dams in the Grand Canyon. It grows out of three earlier battles to halt dams: Hetch Hetchy, which was lost; Dinosaur Monument, which was won; and Glen Canyon, which was sacrificed. Saving the Grand Canyon looks like a lost cause until David Brower places ads denouncing the dams. The IRS retaliates and the uproar becomes front-page news. Opposition grows until Congress bows to pressure – canceling and finally prohibiting dams. It is the biggest victory yet, a pivotal battle that brings the flowering of conservation. However, Brower is soon forced out of the Sierra Club. He is coming to a larger vision, just as Earth Day heralds a new environmental consciousness.
Act 2 looks at ‘70s environmentalism around pollution, focusing on the battle led by Lois Gibbs over Love Canal. We connect Rachel Carson and Silent Spring to the golden era of legislation and groups like NRDC that arose to enforce regulations. But it takes Love Canal to put toxic waste on the map. Lois Gibbs leads angry housewives in a two-year battle to save their children from 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals. They are relentless, protesting and conducting health studies and demanding relocation, even taking EPA officials hostage until President Carter agrees to buy them out. However it’s just the beginning. President Reagan counterattacks. Grassroots activists fighting toxics in their own backyard arise all over the country; and environmental racism gives birth to an environmental justice movement.
Act 3 is about alternative ecology strands, with the main story being Greenpeace’s campaign to save the whales. We begin with going back to the land, building ecological alternatives and exploring renewable energy. Greenpeace starts by protesting nuclear bombs. But it is putting themselves in front of harpoons to stop whaling that launches Greenpeace on the wildest ride of any environmental group. Soon they are fighting on every front all over the world. Paul Watson, thrown out of Greenpeace for tossing a sealer’s club in the water, is reborn as Sea Shepherd and takes on whalers. Radicals and mainstream come together for a moratorium on whaling, one of environmentalism’s greatest victories, yet a battle that must be fought again and again.
Act 4 tells of the rise of global issues in the ‘80s. It focuses on the struggle to save the Amazon, led by Chico Mendes and the rubbertappers. They campaign for extractive reserves. The pivotal battle comes in 1988 over a plantation called Cachoeira. Chico wins – but is assassinated. His death proves to be the turning point, to an era of reserves that now total a third of the Amazon. Yet deforestation still threatens to turn the Amazon into a semi-desert. We expand to look at movements of the global south like Chipko in India and Wangari Maathai’s Greenbelt Movement in Kenya — then close with questions of equity and sustainability.
Act 5 concerns climate change. First we look at its scientific origins. Then comes more than 20 years of frustration from Rio to Kyoto to Copenhagen. We explore opposition; how the movement failed to deal with the issue; and the role of disasters like Hurricane Katrina in bringing it back. COP15 ends in breakdown and our focus shifts from top-down politics to bottom-up movements. Paul Hawken relates his Blessed Unrest revelation: two million groups working on environmental and social justice issues. We explore environmentalism as civilizational transformation, then close with movements all over the world up to the present.
“Genius on Hold” is a Documentary film that is based on corporate corruption. It is a true “David and Goliath” story. It is a film that recounts the epic story of Walter L. Shaw, an engineering genius who, almost half a century ago, invented the technology that transformed the rudimentary telephone system of the early 1900s into the foundation of today’s cutting-edge global telecommunications industry. It is narrated by
This film is the story a man with the visionary genius, passion and integrity that should have made him the quintessential candidate for achieving the ‘American Dream.’ But a monopoly-controlled telecommunications company made sure his revolutionary inventions never saw the light of day.
Instead, Walter L. Shaw’s life took another direction, when, in order to provide for his family, he invented the infamous ‘black box,’ exposing his son Walter T. Shaw to the world of organized crime, and creating a ripple effect that would damage their family for generations to come.
Shaw’s quiet revolution against The Bell Companies, the largest domestic corporation, helped bring down the telephone monopoly and release the stranglehold it had on American telecommunications for almost 100 years. However, Shaw’s recognition for his achievements still eludes him, while his inventions of the speakerphone, conference calling, call forwarding, touch tone dialing, and voice print recognition, are used today by billions of people around the world every moment of every day.
One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, from the directors of Sweetgrass and Foreign Parts, LEVIATHAN is a thrilling, immersive documentary that takes you deep inside the dangerous world of commercial fishing. Set aboard a hulking fishing vessel as it navigates the treacherous waves off the New England coast-the very waters that once inspired Moby Dick- the film captures the harsh, unforgiving world of the fishermen in starkly haunting, yet beautiful detail. Employing an arsenal of cameras that pass freely from film crew to ship crew, and swoop from below sea level to astonishing bird’s-eye views, LEVIATHAN is unlike anything you have ever seen; a purely visceral, cinematic experience.
The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone is a feature movie opening in theaters March 1 2013. This faith-based, family, action/adventure film will thrill children and tweens, six through fourteen, their parents and grandparents. When Daniel Anderson (Alex Kendrick, Courageous, Fireproof and Facing the Giants) visits a foster home to drop off some donations he is quickly roped into telling the kids a story.
The story he tells is about Billy Stone and Allie, two teen-age-friends, who uncover a long- lost-medallion and then accidentally wish themselves back in time. Will the experience give them a new understanding of who they are and what their lives really mean? Daniel finishes his story to the foster children with the Truth about their tremendous value to God, who loves them and created them. The story not only changes the children, but is bound to change all who see the movie.
Fifty million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.
Ultimately, A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides — as they have in the past — that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all.
Ray and Priya are a middle class married couple in their 30s living in Van Nuys, California. Priya – a public interest lawyer – is the rock of the couple: hard working, responsible, and caring. Ray is madly in love with his wife, but has spent his entire life trying to figure out what he wants to be, and, much to Priya’s frustration, still hasn’t decided. Their marriage is on shaky ground.
After India’s (Mia Wasikowska’s) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Sometimes you have to act like a criminal to catch a criminal. Ray Winstone (The Departed) and Ben Drew (aka Plan B) star as part of an elite police unit in explosive action film, THE SWEENEY. Also starring Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger).
Komona (Rachel Mwanza) is only 12 years old when she is kidnapped by rebel soldiers and enslaved to a life of guerrilla warfare in the African jungle. Forced to commit unspeakable acts of brutality, she finds hope for survival in protective, ghost-like visions (inspiring a rebel chief to anoint her “War Witch”), and in a tender relationship with a fellow soldier named Magician (Serge Kanyinda). Together, they manage to escape the rebels’ clutches, and a normal life finally seems within reach. But after their freedom proves short-lived, Komona realizes she must find a way to bury the ghosts of her past.
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