Movies in Theaters This Friday, October 4, 2013: Gravity, Runner Runner, Parkland, and More
It’s finally here!
As far as anticipation goes, I can’t remember an original movie I’ve been as excited for as Gravity. As one of the two wide releases this weekend, Alfonso Cuarón’s (Children of Men) sci-fi picture graces theaters after four long years of production. Starring just two actors (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), it’s unique in that way. Besides that, it’s looks like the eerie tale of a man and woman cut off from communication while drifting helplessly in space.
The other wide release belongs to Runner Runner. Directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) and starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, the crime drama doesn’t quite hold up on the anticipation scale. Still, Timberlake always seems to be a draw and his acting abilities are actually pretty impressive.
In limited release, the biggest draw for me personally is Parkland. Due to my odd fascination with the J.F.K. assassination, I am curious to see how the film addresses the historic situation. It focuses on the aftermath (and the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas) rather than the actual event. It stars Zac Efron (17 Again), Paul Giamatti (The Illusionist), and more.
Speaking of Paul Giamatti, he also stars in All is Bright with Paul Rudd (Anchorman). The dramedy is about two guys who venture to New York City to sell Christmas trees.
A.C.O.D. is another limited release with some notable starpower. It stands for “Adult Children of Divorce” and stars NBC’s Parks and Recreation’s sweethearts Adam Scott and Amy Poehler, Jessica Alba (The Fantastic Four), and Jane Lynch (Role Models). The comedy is directed by Stu Zicherman. The other comedy, well kind of, is Jacob Vaughan’s Bad Milo! It stars Ken Marino (Starz’s Party Down) and Gillian Jacobs (NBC’s Community) and should be considered a horror-comedy mixture.
The rest of the limited releases are A Touch of Sin, Agento’s Dracula, Concussion, The Dirties, Five Dances, Grace Unplugged, I Used to be Darker, Narco Cultura, Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde, The Summit, and Vikingdom.
Below you can find a trailer and synopsis for each film releasing (wide or limited). Enjoy the weekend!
Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”) star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed by Oscar® nominee Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”).
Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) in command. But on a seemingly routine mission, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left.
But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.
Princeton grad student Richie (Justin Timberlake), believing he’s been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Richie is seduced by Block’s promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce Richie to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmaneuver the two forces closing in on him.
An angry miner revolts against the corruption of his village leaders.
A migrant worker at home for the New Year discovers the infinite possibilities a firearm can offer.
A pretty receptionist at a sauna is pushed to the limit when a rich client assaults her.
A young factory worker goes from job to job trying to improve his lot in life.
Four people, four different provinces. A reflection on contemporary China: that of an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence.
A.C.O.D. follows Carter (Adam Scott), a seemingly well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. Having survived the madness of his parentsâ€™ (Richard Jenkins and Catherine Oâ€™Hara) divorce, Carter now has a successful career and supportive girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But when his younger brother (Clark Duke) gets engaged, Carter is forced to reunite his bitterly divorced parents and their new spouses (Amy Poehler and Ken Howard) for the wedding, causing the chaos of his childhood to return including his wacky therapist (Jane Lynch).
While out on parole, Dennis reluctantly takes a job selling Christmas trees with his old buddy Rene in order to make enough money to buy his estranged daughter the piano she’s always wanted.
The tale begins with Jonathan Harker, journeying by train and carriage from England to Count Dracula’s crumbling, remote castle situated in the Carpathian Mountains on the border of Transylvania. The purpose of his mission is to catalogue the big library of Dracula. At first enticed by Dracula’s gracious manner, Harker soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the castle. He also begins to see disquieting facets of Dracula’s nocturnal life. One night while searching for a way out of the castle, and against Dracula’s strict admonition not to venture outside his room at night, Harker falls under the spell of three wanton female vampires, the Brides of Dracula.
He is saved at the last second by the Count, because he wants to keep Harker alive. Harker barely escapes from the castle with his life. Soon Dracula is tracking Harker’s devoted fiancée, Wilhelmina “Mina” Murray, and her friend, Lucy Westenra. There is a notable encounter between Dracula and Renfield, an insane man who means to consume insects, spiders, birds, and other creatures in ascending order of size in order to absorb their “life force”. Renfield acts as a motion sensor, detecting Dracula’s proximity and supplying clues accordingly.
Lucy begins to waste away suspiciously. All her suitors fret, and Seward calls in his old teacher, Professor Abraham Van Helsing from Amsterdam. Van Helsing immediately determines the cause of Lucy’s condition but refuses to disclose it, knowing that Seward’s faith in him will be shaken if he starts to speak of vampires. Van Helsing tries multiple blood transfusions, but they are clearly losing ground. On a night when Van Helsing must return to Amsterdam, Lucy and her mother are attacked by a wolf. Mrs Westenra, who has a heart condition, dies of fright, and Lucy apparently dies soon after. Lucy is buried, but soon afterward the newspapers report children being stalked in the night by a “bloofer lady”. Van Helsing knows that this means Lucy has become a vampire. The suitors and Van Helsing track her down, and after a disturbing confrontation between her vampiric self and Arthur, they stake her heart, behead her, and fill her mouth with garlic.
Around the same time, Jonathan Harker arrives home from recuperation in Budapest; he and Mina also join the coalition, who turn their attentions to dealing with Dracula. After Dracula learns of Van Helsing and the others’ plot against him, he takes revenge by visitingand biting Mina at least three times. Dracula also feeds Mina his blood, creating a spiritual bond between them to control her. The only way to forestall this is to kill Dracula first. Mina slowly succumbs to the blood of the vampire that flows through her veins, switching back and forth from a state of consciousness to a state of semi-trance during which she is telepathically connected with Dracula. It is this connection that they start to use to deduce Dracula’s movements.
It is only possible to detect Dracula’s surroundings when Mina is put under hypnosis by Van Helsing. This ability gradually gets weaker as the group make their way to Dracula’s castle. Dracula flees back to his castle in Transylvania, followed by Van Helsing’s group, who manage to track him down just before sundown and destroy him by shearing “through the throat” with a knife and stabbing him in the heart also with a knife. Dracula crumbles to dust, his spell is lifted and Mina is freed from the marks. Quincey Morris is killed in the final battle, stabbed by Gypsies who had been charged with returning Dracula to his castle; the survivors return to England.
Duncan’s (Ken Marino) life is a real pain in the ass. Tormented by a manipulative, crooked boss (Patrick Warburton), a nagging mother (Mary Kay Place), a deadbeat new age dad (Stephen Root), and a sweet, yet pressuring, wife (Gillian Jacobs), his mounting stress starts to trigger an insufferable gastrointestinal reaction.
Out of ideas and at the end of his rope, Duncan seeks the help of a hypnotherapist (Peter Stormare), who helps him discover the root of his unusual stomach pain: a pintsized demon living in his intestine that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have angered him. Out of fear that his intestinal gremlin may target its wrath on the wrong person, Duncan attempts to befriend it, naming it Milo and indulging it to keep its seemingly insatiable appetite at bay.
An auspicious debut effort from writer-director Stacie Passon, CONCUSSION is a poignant sexual examination of Abby Abelman (Robin Weigert, in a star-making, turn), a married and wealthy forty-something lesbian housewife who suffers a blow to the head, only to find herself re-examining every corner of her suburban New Jersey life in an effort to confront a mounting desire for something more. After purchasing a pied-à-terre in Manhattan, which she sets about renovating, Abby roams the city streets, remembering anew what it feels like to be sexy and desirable. Her pent-up libido begins to shake off its inhibitions, but her reawakened desire is not a take-home item, with her divorce-lawyer partner mired in a frenzied work life. Soon Abby sets in motion a double life as a high-end escort. Palpably sensual and deliciously contained, CONCUSSION is a keen observation of the complicated contours in one woman’s epic mid-life crisis.
Two best friends are filming a comedy about getting revenge on the bullies at their high school. One of them isn’t joking.
The classic tale of finding success and romance in the big city is given a contemporary, and unconventional, spin in Alan Brown’s new film, FIVE DANCES. Collaborating with internationally renowned choreographer Jonah Bokaer, writer-director Brown has taken five gifted New York dancers, and fashioned a story about Chip (Ryan Steele in his first film role), an extraordinarily talented 18 year-old recently arrived from Kansas who joins a small downtown modern dance company. In his first weeks of rehearsal, Chip is initiated into the rites of passage of a New York dancer’s life, where discipline and endless hard work, camaraderie and competitiveness, the fear of not being good enough, and the joy of getting it just right, inform every minute of every day.
Shooting in and around a Soho dance studio, Brown and his longtime cinematographer Derek McKane capture the exhilaration and emotional turmoil of a small dance company, and all of Chip’s poignant firsts—the forging of friendships, being chosen for the important solo, his first ever love affair—with the intimacy and immediacy of a documentary. The result, FIVE DANCES, is Brown’s most dynamic film.
Having just turned 18, Grace Trey aspires to more than just singing at her church, where the worship leader is her father—a former pop star. So, with the help of Mossy, her dad’s former manager, Grace records a cover version of her dad’s old Top-10 hit, runs off to Los Angeles, and begins to taste the kind of stardom she’s always dreamed about.
Yet with each rung of the ladder she climbs, Grace feels more and more pressure to compromise her values, further straining her relationship with her parents. Will everything she experiences lead her to reject her faith … or rediscover it? GRACE UNPLUGGED opens in theaters October 4.
When Taryn, a Northern Irish runaway, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, MD, she seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. But Kim and Bill have problems of their own: they’re trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter Abby, just home from her first year of college.
A story of family revelations, people finding each other and letting each other go, looking for love where they’ve found it before and, when that doesn’t work, figuring out where they might find it next.
To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco traffickers have become iconic outlaws and the new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto – a new form of the American Dream, fueled by the war on drugs. NARCO CULTURA looks at this explosive phenomenon from within; cycles of addiction to money, drugs and violence that are rapidly gaining strength on both sides of the US/Mexican border.
November 22, 1963. The day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It’s also the day that a handful of ordinary individuals were thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Parkland recounts the tragic day using the perspectives from those who witnessed it first hand.
Running Wild includes breathtaking scenery shot in the Black Hills Wild of South Dakota; western Oregon and Michigan’s Lake District. Footage of captured wild horses presents a stark contrast to the horses running free on the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Through a series of interviews with Dayton, his family and the volunteers at the sanctuary, Running Wild reveals Dayton Hyde’s extraordinary life and vision conveying the emotional healing that the sanctuary nurtures in Dayton, the volunteers and each and every horse that now runs free. Beyond telling this intimate story we are creating a film that also serves as an enduring record of tales from “a West that was and will never be again.”
In August of 2008, 22 climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on Earth. 48 hours later, eleven had been killed or simply vanished into thin air. Like a horror movie come-to-life, it was as if the mountain began stealing lives, one climber at a time.
At the feet of the heavens the body is literally dying with each passing second and the mind can play tricks. Morality in the death zone, above 8,000 metres, is skewed 180 degrees from the rest of life. When a climber falls or wanders off the trail, the unwritten code of the sport is to leave them for dead. Survival depends on self-preservation at all costs.
At the heart of The Summit lies a mystery about one extraordinary man, Ger McDonnell, the first Irishman to summit K2. His team leader left him behind in the death zone. His best friend on the mountain searched in vain to find him, rescuing several others. Ger’s final moments have been called into question by the last climber to talk to him alive. By all accounts, he was faced with a heart-breaking dilemma— at the very limit of his mortal resources, he stumbled onto a disastrous scene: three climbers tangled up in ropes and running out of time. Had Ger McDonnell stuck to the climbers’ code, he might still be alive.
In a century of assaults on K2, only about 300 people have ever seen the view from the second highest peak on the planet. More than a quarter of those who made it didn’t live long enough to share the glory or even tell the tale. They were killed simply trying to get down. The Summit is about the very nature of modern adventure. Those who survive carry with them a commodity to sell, The Story. This one remains contentious and fiercely debated, at the expense of the memory of Ger McDonnell and the 10 others who died with him. In this way, the monster of K2 feeds itself. As the legend grows, new climbers are drawn to test themselves against the deadliest mountain on Earth.
The Summit is told with all the tension, pace and suspense of a Hollywood narrative. The visual experience will put the audience in the boots of those facing life and death decisions on the mountain and show how a band of like-minded adventurers can be torn apart by the elements and the glory at hand.
In the midst of time comes the clanging of steel against steel, a collision of myth, history and fiction…. “Vikingdom”. Loosely based on Viking legends and the epic poems they left as record, with a creative interpretation, “Vikingdom” is a fantasy, action adventure about a forgotten king, Eirick, who was tasked with the impossible odds to defeat Thor, the God of Thunder.
Thor is on a mission to gather the key ancient relics – “Mjolnir” – his hammer from Valhalla, “Necklace of Mary Magdalene” from Mitgard and the “Horn” from Helheim. This needs to be accomplished before the Blood Eclipse, which happens once every 800 years, failing which, the pagan Viking Gods will never be able to rule and conquer mankind ever again.
Only one man can stop him… Eirick, the undead.
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