Google+

For movies opening December 13, 2013

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules:

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

 

American Hustle (R for sexuality, pervasive profanity and brief violence) David O. Russell wrote and directed this crime drama about a couple of con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) forced by an overzealous FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to infiltrate a New Jersey underworld inhabited by mobsters protected by a crooked, big city mayor (Jeremy Renner). Support cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K. and Michael Pena.

 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (PG-13 for intense violence and frightening images) Second installment of the fantasy trilogy The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-Of-Smaug-Poster-600x817based on the J.R.R. Tolkien classic finds Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and company continuing their epic journey to Lonely Mountain for a showdown with a fearsome dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch). Cast includes Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett and Stephen Fry.

 

A Madea Christmas (PG-13 for profanity, crude humor and sexual references) Tyler Perry’s back in drag in this adaptation of his holiday-themed play, set in a small Southern town, as a moralizing, motor-mouthed granny straightening out sinners while spreading Christmas cheer. Ensemble includes Tika Sumpter, Larry the Cable Guy, Anna Maria Horsford, Kathy Najimy and Chad Michael Murray.

 

Saving Mr. Banks (PG-13 for mature themes and unsettling images) Period piece recounting Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) bending over backwards to secure the film rights to Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the overprotective author of the beloved children’s book. With Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell, Rachel Griffiths, Ruth Wilson and Jason Schwartzman.

 

 

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

 

Brave Miss World (Unrated) Female empowerment biopic recounting how Miss Israel Linor Abargil first went on to win the Miss World beauty pageant just six weeks after being abducted, raped and stabbed. She subsequently spoke out about sexual assault over the course of her reign.

 

The Crash Reel (Unrated) Daredevil documentary chronicling the fierce rivalry between fellow snowboarders Shaun White and Kevin Pearce culminating in the former’s winning a gold medal at the Olympics the year after the latter suffered a near-fatal injury during a training run.

 

Here Comes the Devil (Unrated) Psychological horror flick, set in Mexico, about a couple (Francisco Barreiro and Laura Caro) whose kids (Michele Garcia and Alan Martinez) vanish while on a family vacation in Tijuana only to behave strangely different when found. With Jessica Iris, Dana Dorel and David Arturo Cabezud. (In Spanish with subtitles)

 

Hours (PG-13 for violence, mature themes and drug use) Recently-deceased Paul Walker stars in this tale of survival, set in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, as a father who tries to keep his premature baby daughter alive after his wife (Genesis Rodriguez) dies during childbirth. With Nick Gomez, Judd Lormand and Michelle Torres.

 

The Last of the Unjust (PG-13 for mature themes) Holocaust documentary about Theresienstadt, a model ghetto designed by Hitler henchman Adolf Eichmann to mislead Jews about its true function as the final stop before the gas chambers. (In German, French and English with subtitles)

 

Liv & Ingmar (Unrated) Reverential retrospective revisiting the decades-long relationship of Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann and Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

 

Nuclear Nation (Unrated) Tsunami documentary chronicling the continuing fallout for Japanese refugees displaced by the meltdown at the Fukushima power plant in the wake of the 2011 Earthquake.

 

Some Velvet Morning (Unrated) Neil LaBute wrote and directed this midlife crisis drama about a married man (Stanley Tucci) who becomes obsessed with his estranged mistress (Alice Eve) after failing to convince her that he’s finally left his wife for her.

 

Tricked (Unrated) Absurdist farce about a businessman (Peter Blok) whose life starts to spin out of control at a 50thbirthday party thrown for him by his wife (Ricky Koole) when his pregnant mistress (Sallie Harmsen) shows up uninvited. With Robert de Hoog, Carolien Spoor and Pieter Tiddens. (In Dutch and English with subtitles)

 

The Unbelievers (Unrated) Flat Earth documentary featuring peripatetic scientists’ Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss’ globetrotting campaign promoting science and reason over religion and superstition. With commentary by Woody Allen, Cameron Diaz and Ricky Gervais.

 

The Unknown Known (Unrated) Errol Morris directed this 20/20 hindsight

documentary in which he grills former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about the War in Iraq and other political issues.

 

 

,

Entertainment

Historical Drama Recreates 1939 Attempt to Assassinate Hitler

  13 Minutes Film Review by Kam Williams Historical Drama Recreates 1939 Attempt to Assassinate Hitler Believe it or not, over a dozen different attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler (Udo Schenk) were made before he took his own life in April of 1945. The year before, he only suffered minor injuries in the bombing that was the focus of … [Read More its Good For You...]

Books

Author Expounds on Labor of Love

  Peter Brav The “331 Innings” Interview with Kam Williams Author Expounds on Labor of Love Peter Brav is not much of a baseball player but he's written three novels where the diamond provides a setting for triumph over adversity in one way or another. Sneaking In (set during the 1999 Yankees championship season), The Other Side Of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of. I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is […]

Real Estate

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Ejogo’s Largo!

  Carmen Ejogo The “It Comes at Night” Interview with Kam Williams Ejogo's Largo! Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay's universally acclaimed SELMA … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Fishing for swordfish in Louisiana? You bet

  Fishing for swordfish in Louisiana? You bet by Craig Lamb The Mississippi River delta and surrounding offshore waters are without a doubt some of the richest fishing waters in the world. Venice, Louisiana, is the hub for reaching … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic

You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic by Amy Lignor   No, the sport is not called ‘Zorba’, but it most definitely fits for this article’s title. This most unusual sport is actually called ‘Zorbing’, and has caught on like … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

  Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects by Amy Lignor   There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

    Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All by Amy Lignor   It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and … [Read More its Good for You...]