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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this weekend - April 8
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Photo by BARRY WETCHER
Helen Mirren stars as Hobson and Russell Brand as Arthur in Warner Bros. Pictures' comedy "Arthur,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Brand stars in ‘Arthur’ remake while Franco, Portman team up for ‘Your Highness’. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:

Arthur
Genre: Comedy, romance and remake
Cast: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig, Nick Nolte and Luis Guzman
Director: Jason Winer
Rated: PG-13

In this fresh new look at a classic story, Russell Brand re-invents the role of loveable billionaire Arthur Bach, an irresponsible charmer who has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and the good sense of lifelong nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) to keep him out of trouble.

Now he faces his biggest challenge – choosing between an arranged marriage to ambitious corporate exec Susan (Jennifer Garner), that will ensure his lavish lifestyle, or an uncertain future with the one thing money can’t buy, Naomi (Greta Gerwig), the woman he really loves. With Naomi’s inspiration and some unconventional help from Hobson, the one person who always believed in him, Arthur will take the most expensive risk of his life and learn what it means to be a man, in this re-imagining of the romantic comedy “Arthur.”

Hanna
Genre: Drama and thriller
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander and Olivia Williams
Director: Joe Wright
Rated: PG-13

The title character of this adventure thriller, filmed in Europe, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is a teenage girl.

Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland.

Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Cate Blanchett).

As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

Soul Surfer
Genre: Drama, family, adaptation and biopic
Cast: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Kevin Sorbo and Lorraine Nicholson
Director: Sean McNamara
Rated: PG

“Soul Surfer” is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her left arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, through her sheer determination and unwavering faith.

Bethany (AnnaSophia Robb) was born to surf. A natural talent who took to the waves at a young age, she was leading an idyllic life on Kauai, participating in national surf competitions with her best friend Alana (Lorraine Nicholson), when everything changed. On Halloween morning, a 14-foot tiger shark came out of nowhere and seemed to shatter all her dreams.

“Soul Surfer” reveals Bethany's fight to recover from her ordeal and how she grappled with the question of her future. Strengthened by the love of her parents, Tom (Dennis Quaid) and Cheri (Helen Hunt), and supported by her youth group leader Sara (Carrie Underwood), Bethany refuses to give in or give up, and begins a bold return to the water.

Your Highness
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel and Justin Theroux
Director: David Gordon Green
Rated: R

Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. Danny McBride and James Franco team up for an epic comedy adventure set in a fantastical world--Your Highness. As two princes on a daring mission to save their land, they must rescue the heir apparent's fiancée before their kingdom is destroyed.

Thadeous (McBride) has spent his life watching his perfect older brother Fabious (Franco) embark upon valiant journeys and win the hearts of his people. Tired of being passed over for adventure, adoration and the throne, he's settled for a life of wizard's weed, hard booze and easy maidens. But when Fabious' bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux), the king gives his deadbeat son an ultimatum: Man up and help rescue her or get cut off.

Half-assedly embarking upon his first quest, Thadeous joins Fabious to trek across the perilous outlands and free the princess. Joined by Isabel (Natalie Portman)--an elusive warrior with a dangerous agenda of her own--the brothers must vanquish horrific creatures and traitorous knights before they can reach Belladonna. If Thadeous can find his inner hero, he can help his brother prevent the destruction of his land. Stay a slacker, and not only does he die a coward, he gets front row seats to the dawn of an all-new Dark Ages

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

Born to be Wild 3D
Genre: Documentary
Cast: Morgan Freeman
Director: David Lickley
Rated: G

“Born to be Wild 3D” is an inspired story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals.

This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them – saving endangered species one life at a time. Stunningly captured in IMAX 3D, “Born to be Wild 3D” is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Birute Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.

Ceremony
Genre: Comedy and romance
Cast: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace and Jake Johnson
Director: Max Winkler
Rated: R

Sam Davis (Michael Angarano) convinces his former best friend to spend a weekend with him to rekindle their friendship at an elegant beachside estate owned by a famous documentary filmmaker (Lee Pace).

But it soon becomes clear that Sam is secretly infatuated with the filmmaker's fiancée, Zoe (Uma Thurman), and that his true intention is to thwart their impending nuptials. As Sam's plan begins to unravel, he is forced to realize how complicated love and friendship can be.

Meet Monica Velour
Genre: Comedy, drama and crime
Cast: Kim Cattrall, Dustin Ingram, Brian Dennehy, Keith David and Sam McMurray
Director: Keith Bearden
Rated: R

When Tobe Hulbert (Dustin Ingram) sets off on a journey to track down his favorite adult star from the ‘80s, Monica Velour (Kim Cattrall), he is confronted with a case of harsh reality.  

From writer-director Keith Bearden comes a film about growing up, growing old and opening your heart against all odds.

Tobe Hulbert’s life sucks. He’s a recent high-school graduate living in Washington with his grandfather.  He works out of a vintage hot dog truck, and his only friend is his overweight 12-year-old neighbor. In the dog-days of summer, his only escape is obsessively watching videos of his fantasy girl: Monica Velour, the most famous adult-film star of the 1980s.

Browsing her fansite one afternoon, Tobe discovers that Monica is making a rare live appearance at a strip club in rural Indiana. With nothing stopping him, he hits the road to meet the woman of his dreams. Expecting his fantasy, Tobe is instead confronted with a harsh reality: Monica is a 49-year-old mom who lives in a trailer park, and her life is nothing like he imagined it would be. The last thing Monica needs is another complication in her life, but Tobe is determined to do whatever it takes to get close to her.
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