Movies in Theaters This Friday, September 6, 2013: Riddick, Hell Baby, Salinger, and More
Although last week seemed like a small weekend for releases (especially given the holiday weekend), the September 6th release date is even less crowded. Well, at least in terms of wide releases. While there are still 19 limited releases, there’s only one wide release.
That wide release belongs to Riddick, the latest film in The Chronicles of Riddick franchise. If you’d like to check out my franchise review, click here. We’ll see if the movie can warrant a sequel (the second one wasn’t very good), but it’s nice to see Vin Diesel back at it. Katee Sackhoff joins the movie that is again directed by David Twohy.
In limited release, there are a few worth mentioning. A Teacher is the one movie I have seen coming into the weekend (even though I didn’t particularly enjoy it). Also, Populaire was a popular choice at one of my hometown film festivals (the Seattle International Film Festival), so I’d check that out if you get the chance.
Hell Baby, the latest from Reno 911’s Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, is a horror-comedy that could garner quite the following. I’m not sure if the movie is actually any good, but if there was a limited release with the most backing, this would be it.
Although it’s a much different movie, the documentary Salinger is one of the buzziest documentaries in quite some time. Normally I don’t include much about them in the introductions, but this is a rare exception. Salinger has been in-the-making for awhile with 5+ years of secretive development. As the title hints, it’ll be about the reclusive author J.D. Salinger (most widely known for “The Catcher in the Rye.”). There’s a chance the movie could end up making some Academy Awards waves, although documentaries are really tough to project.
Finally, I wanted to quickly mention Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely and Darrell Roodt’s Winnie Mandela. Shelton wowed me last year with Your Sister’s Sister and I’m hoping her newest can be up to par. Winnie Mandela, on the other hand, is one of two Mandela-centric pictures this year. As the title implies, this one will focus on Winnie (not Nelson), with Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) starring.
The long list of other limited releases include 99%: The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film, Adore, Bounty Killer, Butcher Boys, Good Ol’ Freda, I Am Breathing, Mission Park, My Father and the Main in Black, Out of the Clear Blue Sky, Red Obsession, Shuddh Desi Romance, Things Never Said, and The Ultimate Life. All these movies (and the ones above) can be explored more below.
Have a great weekend folks.
RIDDICK, THE LATEST CHAPTER OF THE GROUNDBREAKING SAGA THAT BEGAN WITH 2000’S HIT SCI-FI FILM PITCH BLACK AND 2004’S THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK REUNITES WRITER/DIRECTOR DAVID TWOHY (A PERFECT GETAWAY, THE FUGITIVE) AND STAR VIN DIESEL (THE FAST AND FURIOUS FRANCHISE, XXX). DIESEL REPRISES HIS ROLE AS THE ANTIHERO RIDDICK, A DANGEROUS, ESCAPED CONVICT WANTED BY EVERY BOUNTY HUNTER IN THE KNOWN GALAXY.
THE INFAMOUS RIDDICK HAS BEEN LEFT FOR DEAD ON A SUN-SCORCHED PLANET THAT APPEARS TO BE LIFELESS. SOON, HOWEVER, HE FINDS HIMSELF FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL AGAINST ALIEN PREDATORS MORE LETHAL THAN ANY HUMAN HE’S ENCOUNTERED. THE ONLY WAY OFF IS FOR RIDDICK TO ACTIVATE AN EMERGENCY BEACON AND ALERT MERCENARIES WHO RAPIDLY DESCEND TO THE PLANET IN SEARCH OF THEIR BOUNTY.
THE FIRST SHIP TO ARRIVE CARRIES A NEW BREED OF MERC, MORE LETHAL AND VIOLENT, WHILE THE SECOND IS CAPTAINED BY A MAN WHOSE PURSUIT OF RIDDICK IS MORE PERSONAL. WITH TIME RUNNING OUT AND A STORM ON THE HORIZON THAT NO ONE COULD SURVIVE, HIS HUNTERS WON’T LEAVE THE PLANET WITHOUT RIDDICK’S HEAD AS THEIR TROPHY.
A collaborative film about the Occupy Movement, made by independent filmmakers across the US. Premieres Sept 6 in NY and LA.
A high school teacher in Austin, Texas has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end.
Naomi Watts and Robin Wright deliver riveting performances in ADORE, a sensual and provocative drama about two lifelong friends who find unexpected happiness in relationships that cross the bounds of convention. An unpredictable tale of misguided love and a heartfelt celebration of the enduring nature of female friendship, the film is the English-speaking directorial debut of distinguished filmmaker Anne Fontaine (COCO BEFORE CHANEL). It is adapted for the screen by Academy Award®-winning writer Christopher Hampton (DANGEROUS LIAISONS), from a novella by Nobel Prize winner for Literature Doris Lessing.
Set in an Australian seaside town of otherworldly beauty and shot in lush 35mm Cinemascope, ADORE establishes an aura of fable as it follows two women’s plunge into uncharted waters. Watts and Wright fearlessly engage with both the physical and psychological components of the story, capturing the complex emotions and powerful desires driving their characters. Strong performances from relative newcomers Xavier Samuel (THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE) and James Frecheville (ANIMAL KINGDOM) complement Watts and Wright’s and add another layer of intricacy to the story. Under the precise gaze of Fontaine’s camera, ADORE radiates with intoxicating sensuality while exploring the intricacies of love, family, morality and passion.
It’s been 20 years since the corporations took over the world’s governments. Their thirst for power and profits led to the corporate wars, a fierce global battle that laid waste to society as we know it. Born from the ash, the Council of Nine rose as a new law and order for this dark age. To avenge the corporations’ reckless destruction, the Council issues death warrants for all white collar criminals. Their hunters — the bounty killer. From amateur savage to graceful assassin, the bounty killers now compete for body count, fame and a fat stack of cash. They’re ending the plague of corporate greed by exterminating the self serving CEO and providing the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution. These are the new heroes. This is the age of the BOUNTY KILLER.
A gut-wrenching, non-stop roller coaster ride through the hellish underbelly of inner-city America. A birthday celebration at an upscale restaurant sets in motion events that bring Sissy, her brother, Mikey, and friends, Kenny and Barbie, face to face with the macabre world of the Boneboys. Inspired by Jonathan Swift’s cannibalistic tale A Modest Proposal, the Boneboys are international predators who deal in human flesh – dead or alive. Their hunting grounds are the cities of the world.
Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her.
History notes that The Beatles were together for 10 years, but Freda worked for them for 11. Many people came in and out of the band’s circle as they grew to international stardom, but Freda remained a staple because of her unfaltering loyalty and dedication. As the Beatles’ devoted secretary and friend, Freda was there as history unfolded; she was witness to the evolution – advances and setbacks, breakthroughs and challenges – of the greatest band in history.
In Good Ol’ Freda, Freda tells her stories for the first time in 50 years. One of few documentaries with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music, the film offers an insider perspective on the beloved band that changed the world of music.
“Hell Baby,” a comedy scripted by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant (Night at The Museum, Reno 911!: Miami) marks their co-directing debut. Jack (Rob Corddry) and Vanessa (Leslie Bibb) are an expectant couple that moves into the most haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans — a house with a deadly demonic curse. Things soon spiral out of control for Jack and Vanessa, as well as their-not-so-helpful neighbor F’Resnel (Keegan-Michael Key), Vanessa’s friendly psychiatrist (Michael Ian Black), Vanessa’s Wiccan sister Marjorie (Riki Lindhome) and the detectives assigned to look into the rising body count (Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer). Only the Vatican’s elite exorcism team (Garant and Lennon) san save them — or can they?
I AM BREATHING reminds us what it is to be alive – a tale of fun and laughs with a smattering of upset and devastation.
Within a year, Neil Platt goes from being a healthy 30-something British bloke with a great sense of humour to becoming completely paralysed from the neck down, thanks to the devastating illness he has inherited – known as ALS, MND, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. As his body gets weaker, his perspective on life changes. His humour remains, but new wisdom emerges:
“It’s amazing how adaptable we are when we have to be.
It’s what separates us and defines us as human beings.”
Knowing he only has a few months left to live, and while he still has the ability to speak, Neil puts together a letter and memory box for his baby son Oscar and communicates his experience and thoughts about life in a blog – and in this film which he was determined to make. The directness of his communication mingles with images of the sensory details of a life well lived, and makes us revalue the ordinary.
His blog posts form the film’s narration as he tells his own story through memories and impressions of his life – the sheer joy of falling in love, of partying with his mates, of fast motorbike rides. Through his determination to share his final journey, he makes us ask questions about our own lives.
Set in San Antonio, TX, where a drug syndicate has taken control of the region, “Mission Park” follows the lives of four best friends who choose very different paths. Torn apart over time by their ambitions, their choices ultimately bring them back together on different sides of the law. In this urban crime drama, two young F.B.I. agents, Bobby Ramirez (Jeremy Ray Valdez) and Julian Medina (Will Rothhaar), go undercover to infiltrate and take down an illegal drug organization run by the untouchable drug lord Jason Martinez (Walter Perez) and his right-hand man Derek Hernandez (Joseph Julian Soria).
Jonathan Holiff’s new documentary is more than just another addition to the bottomless pit of archival footage dedicated to legend, man, myth and flawed mortal that was Johnny Cash.
This film is a universal and troubling tale of the very real walls that parents can build around themselves (Jonathan’s father, Saul Holiff, was Cash’s manager in the 1960s and 70s).
There is much great music, oodles of exclusive visuals (stills and film clips) and – think panelled dens, tiki bars and vintage 60s and 70s décor – seamless re-creations of the past. With more plot points and twists than a Syd Field screenwriting seminar, the narrative is strong, exposing more faces of the multifaceted Man In Black himself than ever before. It seems that drugs and drink weren’t the real cause of Cash’s professional self-destruction.
Refreshingly, My Father and the Man In Black does not slip into the realm of tabloid. It’s an intense personal adventure with universal themes and appeal that just happens to feature one of 20th-century music’s great icons.
“Out of the Clear Blue Sky” tells the riveting, behind-the-scenes story of Cantor Fitzgerald. It’s a story of disaster without precedent. What do you do when everything – and almost everyone – is gone?
On September 10, 2001, financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald was headquartered on the top 5 floors of the World Trade Center. With offices soaring 100 stories above downtown Manhattan, the Wall Street powerhouse was unknown to the public until tragedy struck. On September 11, 2001, 658 of their employees were missing – presumed dead – in the nation’s worst terrorist attacks. Overnight, Cantor became world famous for the worst of all possible reasons.
One of the few who survived was their notorious CEO Howard Lutnick, who had been taking his son to his first day of kindergarten when the planes hit. On September 13th, Lutnick’s emotionally raw, tear-filled interviews transfixed the nation. His distraught television appearances struck a deep personal chord with millions of traumatized Americans reeling and shell-shocked by the unprecedented attacks.
But, within a week, in a move that was to become very controversial, Lutnick stopped the paychecks of his missing employees. It was an act that has been praised by some – as a necessary decision to save the company to help the widows of his fallen friends — but severely lambasted by more — as a self-serving, heartless betrayal by a man well known for his ruthlessness. Lutnick’s prior reputation as cut-throat – even by Wall Street standards – preceded him.
The media turned on him and Lutnick went from sympathetic face-of-the-tragedy to vilified pariah over night. Then he completely withdrew from the public eye. Though Cantor suffered almost twice the casualties of the FDNY, their story soon disappeared.
Directed by a September 11th family member, “Out of the Clear Blue” tells twin stories – not only the saga of the ravaged business and surviving employees, but also an insider’s take on the unusual community of families that formed in the aftermath. Cantor’s loss was not only the largest loss by a single entity, it also created the largest single group of mourners, over 6000 people bound by their horrific common experience. This was tragedy writ large. People too young to die, all knowing each other, lost on one day. There wasn’t one memorial to attend; there were 10 a day for over two months, forcing people to choose whose funeral to go to. It wasn’t one dead per family; it was doubles or even triple losses in a family. This wasn’t a private loss; this was as public as could be, with television images played and re-played endlessly and inescapably. A true stranger-than-fiction account, from the jittery and stunned first days — a time unlike any other in American memory — then unfolding over months and years, the film captures what it’s like being caught in the crosshairs of history.
Spring, 1958. 21-year-old Rose Pamphyle lives with her grouchy widower father who runs the village store. Engaged to the son of the local mechanic, she seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife. But that’s not the life Rose longs for. When she travels to Lisieux in Normandy, where charismatic insurance agency boss Louis Echard is advertising for a secretary, the ensuing interview is a disaster. But Rose reveals a special gift – she can type at extraordinary speed. Unwittingly, the young woman awakens the dormant sports fan in Louis. If she wants the job she’ll have to compete in a speed typing competition. Whatever sacrifices Rose must make to reach the top, Louis declares himself her trainer. He’ll turn her into the fastest girl not only in the country, but in the world! But a love of sport doesn’t always mix well with love itself.
A film about power, passion, and the fine wine game.
For centuries Bordeaux has commanded a mythical status in the world of fine wines as a leitmotif of wealth, power and influence.
Recently, prices for its prestigious ‘first growth’ red wines – including names like Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Latour – have been breaking all records.
Something unprecedented is happening to the fine wine market and that something is China.
While the dragon economy could bring untold wealth to the revered wine-making region, the terms of engagement are different from any other customer in the past. This market is young, voracious and unpredictable. Demand is massively outstripping supply. The product is finite and this new client wants it all.
For better or worse, Bordeaux is hitching itself to this new, infinitely wealthy client. RED OBSESSION sets out to explore this phenomenon and the link between China and Bordeaux.
An unprecedented look inside the private world of J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye.
What happens when three young people in today’s changing India try to figure out what love, attraction and commitment mean to each of them? Raghu (Shushant Singh Rajput) needs a woman in his life -the rest he’s going to figure out along the way. Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra) has been around the block a few times and knows the scene, warts and all. Tara (Vaani Kapoor) knows what’s right for her, but a little experimenting never did hurt anybody, did it? When their lives crisscross, their beliefs get challenged, and their loves, tested. We all want it all…the love, the sex, the relationship, the commitment. But when we get it, it may not be in the way we recognize.
KALINDRA STEPNEY (Kal) is an aspiring poetess, but truthfully she’s an artist who’s lost. Haunted by dreams deferred and a dangerous marriage, this Los Angelean yearns of bringing her poetry to New York. Wounded by a miscarriage and saddled with RONNIE, an angry husband, Kal tries desperately to find an outlet for her struggling artistic voice. Adding to her distress is best friend and compatriot DAPHNE, also grappling with love issues. Daphne’s boyfriend STEVE is a lout who willfully and regularly takes advantage of Daphne and Kal doesn’t approve. This turmoil, coupled with the surprise and uncertainty of new love CURTIS JACKSON, hits Kal where she’s most vulnerable. Just as Kal helps Curtis with his unchallenged perceptions about his damaged past relationship and estranged young daughter, Curtis’ influence leads Kal to dig deeper, to find her voice, and ultimately, a sense of self worth.
TOUCHY FEELY is a closely observed examination of a family whose delicate psychic balance suddenly unravels. Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt), is a sought after massage therapist and a free spirit, while her brother Paul (Josh Pais) thrives on routine and convention, running a flagging dental practice and co-dependently enlisting the assistance of his emotionally stunted daughter Jenny (Ellen Page). Suddenly, transformation touches everyone. Abby develops an uncontrollable aversion to bodily contact, which not only makes her occupation impossible but severely hinders the passionate love life between her and her boyfriend (Scoot McNairy.) Meanwhile, rumors of Paul’s “healing touch” begin to miraculously invigorate his practice as well as his life outside the office. As Abby navigates her way through a soul-searching identity crisis, her formerly skeptical brother discovers a whole new side of himself. TOUCHY FEELY is about the experience of living in one’s own skin, both literally and figuratively. The film, written and directed by Shelton, and co-starring Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, and newcomer Tomo Nakayama (of the indie rock band Grand Hallway), is filmed on location in Shelton’s hometown and urban muse of Seattle.
Between the pressure of running a foundation started by his late grandfather, being sued by his greedy extended family, and seeing his beloved Alexia leave on an extended mission trip to Haiti, Jason Stevens’ world is unraveling. But when Jason discovers the lifelong journal his grandfather began as a Depression-era lad, Red Stevens’ writings transport Jason to a front-row seat on an incredible rags-to-riches ride. With everything he loves hanging in the balance, Jason hopes he can discover THE ULTIMATE LIFE. Opening in theaters September 6, THE ULTIMATE LIFE reminds us some things are worth more than money!
A drama that chronicles the life of Winnie Mandela from her childhood through her marriage and her husband’s incarceration.
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