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Movie News & Reviews
Movies opening this weekend – May 23
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Photo courtesy of WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Drew Barrymore stars as Lauren and Adam Sandler as Jim in Warner Bros. Pictures' romantic comedy "Blended," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Blended’ pairs Sandler and Barrymore; Singer helms X-Men: Days of Future Past. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release.

Blended

Genre: Comedy and romance
Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Joel McHale, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon, Jessica Lowe, Terry Crews, Dan Patrick, Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann, Alyvia Alyn Lynd, Kyle Red Silverstein and Braxton Beckham
Director: Frank Coraci
Rated: PG-13

After a disastrous blind date, single parents Lauren (Drew Barrymore) and Jim (Adam Sandler) agree on only one thing: they never want to see each other again.

But when they each sign up separately for a fabulous family vacation with their kids, they are all stuck sharing a suite at a luxurious African safari resort for a week.

“Blended” marks the third collaboration between stars Sandler and Barrymore, following their successful onscreen pairings in the hit romantic comedies “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates.”

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Genre: Action and adventure
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halley Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Fan Bingbing, Boo Boo Stewart, Adan Canto, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Lucas Till and Evan Jonigkeit
Director: Bryan Singer
Rated: PG-13

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, “X-Men: First Class,” in order to change a major historical event and fight an epic battle that could save our future.

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

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Rated: R

Some people have bad days. Henry Altmann (Williams) has one every day.

Always unhappy and angry at the world including everyone in it, Henry sits impatiently at the doctor’s office when he is finally seen by Dr. Sharon Gill (Kunis). Sharon, who is enduring her own bad day, reveals that Henry has a brain aneurysm. This news makes Henry even angrier, yelling at Sharon he demands to know how much time he has left.

Faced with Henry’s anger and insults, Sharon abruptly tells him he has only 90 minutes. Shocked and reeling by this news, Henry storms out of the office leaving Sharon stunned by what she has just done in a lapse of judgment. As Sharon goes on a city-wide search, Henry struggles with his diagnosis, determined to make amends with everyone he has hurt in his life.

Cold in July

Genre: Crime and thriller
Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici and Wyatt Russell
Director: Jim Mickle
Not rated

How can a split-second decision change your life?

While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane puts a bullet in the brain of a low-life burglar, Freddy Russell. Although he’s hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben, rolls into town; hell-bent on revenge. However, not all is as it seems. Shortly after Dane kills the home intruder, his life begins to unravel into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Twists and turns continue to pile up as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end.

Directed with an excellent eye for the visual poetry of noir, this pulpy, southern-fried mystery is a throwback to an older breed of action films; one where every punch and shotgun blast opens up both physical and spiritual wounds.

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

Genre: Documentary
Cast: Gore Vidal, Burr Steers, Christopher Hitchens, Jodie Evans, Tim Robbins, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sting, David Mamet, Bob Scheer, William F. Buckley, Jay Parini, Norman Mailer, Nina Straight and Dick Cavett
Director: Nicholas Wrathall
Not rated

No 20th century figure has had a more profound effect on the worlds of literature, film, politics, historical debate, and the culture wars than Gore Vidal.

Anchored by intimate one-on-one interviews with the man himself, Nicholas Wrathall’s new documentary is a fascinating and wholly entertaining portrait of the last lion of the age of American liberalism.

Commentary by those who knew him best – including filmmaker/nephew Burr Steers and the late Christopher Hitchens – blends with footage from Vidal’s legendary on-air career to remind us why he will forever stand as one of the most brilliant and fearless critics of our time.

Gore Vidal’s professional life spans more than 50 years of American politics and letters. His return to America in 2005 marked the last great stage in his creative career and this film represents an extraordinary opportunity to share his view on America in the 21st century. Featuring candid vérité footage of Vidal in his final years, the film explores his enduring global impact on art, politics, and everything in between. His overview of the current state of the Republic and the health of US democracy is unique and incisive.

This is Gore Vidal’s last word and testimony.

The Love Punch

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Louise Bourgoin and Laurent Lafitte
Director: Joel Hopkins
Rated: PG-13

“The Love Punch” brings Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson to the sun-drenched French Riviera in the feel good romantic comedy of the year.

The film is a romantic caper about Richard (Brosnan) and Kate (Thompson), a divorced couple who, after their pension is stolen by an unscrupulous businessman, reunite to steal it back. A whirlwind caper about embezzlement, bankrupt employees’ pension funds and re-discovering old love set in France, “The Love Punch” was a hit with TIFF audiences where it played to full houses with much laughter and great applause.

Words and Pictures

Genre: Drama and romance
Cast: Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche
Director: Fred Schepisi
Rated: PG-13

A witty romantic drama, “Words and Pictures” stars the engaging duo of Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen working together on-screen for the first time.

Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (Owen) laments his students' obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. A one-time literary star, Jack has not published in years filling his spare time with drink versus the art of language. He meets his match in Dina Delsanto (Binoche) – an abstract painter and new teacher on campus, who was once celebrated for her art. From the start, the two flirt and provoke each other with equal relish.

With a performance review looming and his teaching job on the line, Jack hatches an inspired plan for galvanizing student interest in their studies: he declares a war between Words and Pictures, confident that the former can convey greater meaning than the latter. Dina and her art students accept the challenge between Jack and his English students, and the battle lines are drawn.
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