OPENING THIS WEEK: For Movies Opening April 27
'Bernie ,' 'The Five-Year Engagement,' '96 Minutes,' and more
Kam Williams Special to The Skanner News
April 26, 2012BIG BUDGET FILMS
Bernie (PG-13 for violent images and brief profanity) Jack Black plays the title character in this crime comedy about a small-town, Texas mortician who goes to great lengths to keep up the illusion that the wealthy widow (Shirley MacLaine) he’s killed is still alive. With Matthew McConaughey, Rick Dial and Veronica Orosco.
The Five-Year Engagement (R for pervasive profanity and sexuality) Battles-of-the-sexes comedy chronicling the increasingly strained relationship of a very busy bride and groom-to-be (Emily Blunt and Jason Segel) who keep having to put off their wedding plans. Support cast includes Kevin Hart, Rhys Ifans, David Paymer and Mindy Kaling.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG for action, mild epithets and crude humor) Animated kiddie adventure about a competition among three buccaneer swashbucklers (Hugh Grant, Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek) to capture the coveted Pirate of the Year Award by wreaking the most havoc on the high seas. Voice cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Martin Freeman and Brian Blessed.
The Raven (R for graphic violence and grisly images) 19th Century murder mystery which finds poet Edgar Allen Poe (John Cusack) joining forces with a young detective (Luke Evans) to apprehend the serial killer on the loose in his beloved Baltimore. Featuring Alice Eve, M. Emmet Walsh and Brendan Gleeson.
Safe (R for profanity and graphic violence) Action thriller about a retired Mixed Martial Arts fighter (Jason Statham) who comes to the rescue of a 12 year-old Chinese girl (Catherine Chan) who’s been abducted by the same mobsters who murdered his wife and children. With Chris Sarandon, James Hong and Anson Mount.
Sound of My Voice (Unrated) Mind control drama about an investigative journalist (Christopher Denham) who, with the help of his girlfriend (Nicole Vicius), infiltrates a religious cult only to fall under the spell of the charismatic leader (Brit Marling) he had hoped to expose as a charlatan. Supporting cast includes Avery Kristen Pohl, Davenia McFadden and Kandice Stroh.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
96 Minutes (pictured above, R for violence and pervasive profanity) Fact-based crime thriller about a couple of college coeds (Brittany Snow and Christian Serratos) who find themselves carjacked and kidnapped by a wannabe gangster (J. Michael Trautmann) with a reluctant accomplice (Evan Ross). With David Oyelowo, Sylvia Jeffries and Hosea Chanchez.
The Broken Tower (Unrated) James Franco stars in this bittersweet biopic recounting the abbreviated life and career of Hart Crane (1899-1932), a celebrated gay poet who took his own life by jumping off an ocean liner right after being assaulted for making a pass at a crew member. Support cast includes Michael Shannon, Stacey Miller and Vince Jolivette.
Citizen Gangster (Unrated) Diminished dreams saga, set in the wake of World War II, revisiting the real-life exploits of Eddie Boyd (Scott Speedman), a decorated Army veteran who began robbing banks to support his family when his fledgling acting career failed to pan out. Featuring Kelly Riley, Kevin Durand and Brian Cox.
Dolphin Boy (Unrated) Overcoming-the-odds documentary, set in Israel, about an Arab teenager left mute by a brutal beatdown who makes a miraculous recovery after his therapist prescribes a rehab regimen that involves swimming with dolphins in the Red Sea for four weeks. (In Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles)
Elles (NC-17 for explicit sexuality) Juliette Binoche stars in this midlife crisis drama about a Parisian journalist inspired to reevaluate her own sexuality while researching an article about college coeds who enjoy supporting themselves by moonlighting as prostitutes. With Anais Demoustier, Joanna Kulig and Louis-Do de Lencquesaing. (In French and Polish with subtitles)
The Giant Mechanical Man (pictured at left, PG-13 for sexuality and brief profanity) Quirky romantic comedy about a soft-spoken zookeeper (Jenna Fischer) who falls for a struggling street performer (Chris Messina) in spite of pressure from her domineering sister (Malin Akerman) to date a pompous, self-help guru (Topher Grace). With Lucy Punch, Bob Odenkirk and Rich Sommer.
Headhunters (R for nudity, graphic sexuality and gruesome violence) Multi-layered mystery, set in Norway, about a corporate headhunter (Aksel Hennie) who risks his career to steal a priceless painting by Rubens from a well-heeled client (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). With Julie Olgaard, Eivind Sander and Synnove Macody Lund. (In Norwegian and Danish with subtitles)
The Highest Pass (Unrated) Fate-tempting documentary about Adam Schomer, a defiant 27 year-old who takes to riding a motorcycle around the Himalayas without a helmet after an Indian guru predicts his imminent, untimely demise in an automobile accident.
Inventing Our Life (Unrated) Communal living documentary examining the rise and decline of Israel’s 100 year-old Kibbutz Movement.
Payback (Unrated) Screen adaptation of visionary Margaret Atwood’s game-changing rumination of the same name explores various forms of debt: not only economic, but societal, spiritual, environmental, personal and criminal.
Restless City (pictured above, R for drug use and brief sexuality) New York City tale of survival about an African immigrant (Sy Alassane) who sells bootlegged CDs on the street of Manhattan while trying to make it as a musician and encouraging his hooker girlfriend (Sky Grey) to find a respectable line of work. With Herve Diese, Ger Duany and Danai Gurira. (In English, French, Wolof and Yoruba with subtitles)