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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this week
Article published on Tuesday, March 8, 2011
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[Image]
Photo by RICHARD CARTWRIGHT
Michelle Rodridguez stars in Columbia Pictures' "Battle: Los Angeles."
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Photo by IMAGEMOVERS DIGITAL LLC
Milo (left) and Gribble visit Mars.
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Photo by KIMBERLY FRENCH
Max Irons stars as Henry and Amanda Seyfried as Valerie in the thriller "Red Riding Hood”.
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Photo by LAURIE SPARHAM
Michael Fassbender stars as Mr. Rochester and Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre in “Jane Eyre”.
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Photo courtesy of MAGNET RELEASING
Sean Bean, left, and Johnny Harris star in “Black Death,” a Magnet Release.
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Photo courtesy of SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS
Adrianne Palicki stars as Holly Rocket in “Elektra Luxx.”
Aliens invade, Martians abduct a mom and a werewolf plagues a village. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:

Battle: Los Angeles
Genre: Action, adventure and science fiction
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Bridget Moynahan, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Pena and Adetokumboh M. Cormack
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Rated: PG-13

For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world – Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany and China.

But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It’s up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before.

Mars Needs Moms
Genre: Action, adventure, comedy, science fiction and animated
Cast: Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling and Joan Cusack
Director: Simon Wells
Rated: PG

When his mom (Joan Cusack) is nabbed by Martians, 9-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs her.

The Martians plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind “Monster House” and “The Polar Express,” “Mars Needs Moms” showcases Milo’s quest to save his mom – a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their Supervisor (Mindy Sterling).

With the help of a tech-savvy, gadget-happy, ’80s-speaking underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom – in more ways than one.

Red Riding Hood
Genre: Romance, suspense and horror
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Julie Christie and Gary Oldman
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Rated: PG-13

Amanda Seyfried stars in the fantasy thriller “Red Riding Hood.”

The film also stars Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas and Julie Christie.

For decades, the people of the village of Daggerhorn have maintained an uneasy truce with the werewolf, who prowls at every full moon, by offering the beast a monthly animal sacrifice to quench its appetite.

But under a blood red moon, the wolf changes the stakes by taking the life of one of their own.

The victim is the older sister of Valerie, a beautiful, young woman, who has just found out that her parents have arranged for her to marry Henry, the scion of the town's wealthiest family. But Valerie wants only Peter, the poor woodcutter she has loved all her life. Unwilling to be parted, the couple was planning to run away together, but, in a horrifying instant, the wolf changes everything.

As the townspeople hunger for revenge, famed werewolf hunter Father Solomon is summoned to Daggerhorn to kill the beast once and for all. But Solomon's arrival brings only more turmoil as he warns everyone that the werewolf takes human form by day and could be any one of them. No one is above suspicion. Panic grips the town as the death toll rises with each red moon, tearing apart the once close-knit village. But it is Valerie who discovers she has a unique connection to the wolf that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect ... and bait.

The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.

Jane Eyre
Genre: Drama, romance and adaptation
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench and Sally Hawkins
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Rated: PG-13

In the 19th Century-set story, Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) suddenly flees Thornfield Hall, the vast and isolated estate where she works as a governess for Adèle Varens, a child under the custody of Thornfield's brooding master, Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

The imposing residence – and Rochester's own imposing nature – have sorely tested her resilience. With nowhere else to go, she is extended a helping hand by clergyman St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his family. As she recuperates in the Rivers' Moor House and looks back upon the tumultuous events that led to her escape, Jane wonders if the past is ever truly past ...

Aged 10, the orphaned Jane (Amelia Clarkson) is mistreated and then cast out of her childhood home Gateshead by her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed (Sally Hawkins). Consigned to the charity school Lowood, Jane encounters further harsh treatment but receives an education and meets Helen Burns (Freya Parks), a poor child who impresses Jane as a soulful and contented person. The two become firm friends. When Helen falls fatally ill, the loss devastates Jane, yet strengthens her resolve to stand up for herself and make the just choices in life.

As a teenager, Jane arrives at Thornfield. She is treated with kindness and respect by housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench). Jane's interest is piqued by Rochester, who engages her in games of wit and storytelling, and divulges to her some of his innermost thoughts. But his dark moods are troubling to Jane, as are strange goings-on in the house – especially the off-limits attic. She dares to intuit a deep connection with Rochester, and she is not wrong; but once she uncovers the terrible secret that he had hoped to hide from her forever, she flees, finding a home with the Rivers family. When St. John Rivers makes Jane a surprising proposal, she realizes that she must return to Thornfield – to secure her own future and finally, to conquer what haunts both her and Rochester.

Black Death
Genre: Foreign, horror and thriller
Cast: Sean Bean, Kimberly Nixon, Carice Van Houten, Eddie Redmayne and Andy Nyman
Director: Chris Smith
Rated: R

The year is 1348 – Europe has fallen under the shadow of the Black Death.

As the plague decimates all in its path, fear and superstition are rife. In this apocalyptic environment, the church is losing its grip on the people. There are rumors of a village, hidden in marshland that the plague cannot reach. There is even talk of a necromancer who leads the village and is able to bring the dead back to life.

Ulric (Sean Bean), a fearsome knight, is charged by the church to investigate these rumors. He enlists the guidance of a novice monk, Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) to lead him and his band of mercenary soldiers to the marshland, but Osmund has other motives for leaving his monastery. Their journey to the village and events that unfold take them into the heart of darkness and to horrors that will put Osmund’s faith in himself and his love for God to the ultimate test.

Elektra Luxx
Genre: Comedy and drama
Cast: Carla Gugino, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Timothy Olyphant, Malin Akerman and Adrianne Palicki
Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Rated: R

Pregnant porn star Elektra Luxx is trying to make a split from the adult film industry by making a living teaching sex classes to housewives. But her life is thrown into disarray when a flight attendant with ties to Elektra's past approaches her for a favor. Chaos and hilarity ensue as fiancees, private investigators, a twin sister, best selling authors and even the Virgin Mary force her to face up to an unexpected series of decisions and revelations.
Article published on Tuesday, March 8, 2011
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