Essence Atkins and Marlon Wayans star in “A Haunted House.”
A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:
A Haunted House
Genre: Comedy, horror and thriller Cast: Marlon Wayans, Nick Swardson, David Koechner, Essence Atkins, Cedric the Entertainer, Bobbie Lee and Dave Sheridan Director: Mike Tiddes Rated: R
In an outrageous send up of the “Paranormal Activity” movies, “The Devil Inside” and other “found footage” movies, “A Haunted House” features young couple Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Kisha (Essence Atkins) who have just moved in to their dream house.
As they settle in, they quickly find they’re not alone. But it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s Malcolm’s girlfriend who is possessed by a demon. Malcolm hires everyone from a priest to modern day ghost-busters to rid her of this unwelcome intruder, determined not to let the evil spirit ruin his relationship ... or, more importantly, his sex life.
Genre: Drama Cast: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Emma Stone and Sean Penn Director: Ruben Fleischer Rated: R
Los Angeles, 1949.
Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and – if he has his way – every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians he has under his thumb. It's enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop ... except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen's world apart.
Zero Dark Thirty
Genre: Action, drama and thriller Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler and Edgar Ramirez Director: Kathryn Bigelow Rated: R
For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden.
“Zero Dark Thirty” reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal for the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man.
The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.
Genre: Drama Cast: Chris Messina, Rich Sommer, Sarah Paulson and Tom O'Brien Director: Tom O'Brien Not rated
A former high school football star and one time college athlete, Jon has landed back in the place of his youth – Fairhaven – a small fishing village on the Massachusetts coast. Now in his mid thirties, and with the promise of younger days seemingly washed ashore, Jon’s vague feelings of dissatisfaction are crystallized by a television interview with his football hero Tom Brady, who proclaims that, even after three super bowl wins, “There’s got to be something more than this.”
Jon recounts his epiphany to Sam, old friend and schoolmate who married early, fathered early, divorced early and never left town. Sam made his own peace with small town life years ago, and is happy enough just to provide a stable home for his loving daughter, Cara, while secretly still pining for his beautiful ex-wife Kate.
Together, Jon and Sam anticipate the return of Dave, the third member of their once-indomitable trio. Having left town seven years ago and never looking back, Dave is finally returning to Fairhaven on the occasion of his estranged father’s death. As tonic to Jon’s soulful self-inquiry and Sam’s stoic loneliness, Dave is determined to inject some heavy-duty, Vegas-style fun into the funeral weekend. But when old dreams and simmering resentments come to the beer and tequila-soaked surface of their reunion, not even Dave can fend off a healthy dose of reality.
My Best Enemy
Genre: Drama Cast: Moritz Bleibtreu and Georg Friedrich Director: Wolfgang Murnberger Not rated
Vienna in the 1930s.
Since his childhood, Victor Kaufmann (Moritz Bleibtreu), the son of wealthy Jewish gallery owners (Udo Samel and Marthe Keller), has been close friends with Rudi Smekal (Georg Friedrich). Victor’s girlfriend, the perky and attractive Lena (Ursula Strauss), rounds off the inseparable trio that vows to stick together come hell or high water.
The Kaufmanns are shocked when Rudi shows up in an SS uniform after the annexation of Austria. The whole family is sent to a concentration camp, against Rudi’s will. Years later, the Nazi bosses in Berlin want to present Italy’s Duce with a confiscated Michelangelo sketch that belongs to the Kaufmanns. But the sketch is a forgery. They want the genuine Michelangelo! Rudi is ordered to get Victor out of the concentration camp and bring him to Berlin for interrogation. Their plane is shot down by partisans, however, and Victor doesn’t have the heart to simply leave the injured Rudi behind. He drags him into a hut and offers to share his concentration camp clothing with him. One gets the pants, the other the jacket, and thus both have nothing to fear from the Polish soldiers.
But while Rudi is putting on the prison camp jacket, Victor hears the alleged partisans speaking German. With great presence of mind, he quickly puts on Rudi’s uniform. When the German soldiers barge into the hut, Victor presents them with his “prisoner,” the wildly protesting Rudi. The Jewish prisoner becomes an SS man, and the Sturmbannführer the prison-camp inmate. A game with reversed roles. A game of life and death, in which Lena must decide on whose side she’s on. Wolfgang Murnberger relates a captivating story of friendship, love and betrayal. Tragedy and humor are close together in this film, which takes on a special human depth through its nuanced and warmhearted character depiction.
Struck by Lightning
Genre: Comedy Cast: Chris Colfer, Allison Janney, Polly Bergen, Rebel Wilson, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland and Angela Kinsey Director: Brian Dannelly Not rated
High school senior Carson Phillips (Chris Colfer) was destined for bigger things than his close-minded small town could ever offer.
He was on a path to greatness, but destiny had a different plan when he was suddenly killed by a bolt of lightning in his school parking lot.
Demonstrating that life is what happens while you’re busy planning your future, Carson recounts the last few weeks of his life via witty, insightful flashbacks, including a blackmail scheme targeting the popular kids in school that he concocts with his best friend (Rebel Wilson) and a home life that includes a mother (Allison Janney) who’s more interested in the bottle than her son’s future and an estranged father (Dermot Mulroney) who suddenly appears with a pregnant fiancée (Christina Hendricks).