A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release.
Photo courtesy of DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC.
Chet (left, voiced by Paul Giamatti) is the older brother – and voice of reason – to Turbo (Ryan Reynolds), an underdog snail whose dreams suddenly kick into overdrive in “Turbo.”
Turbo Genre: Animation and family Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Snoop Lion and Samuel L. Jackson Director: David Soren Rated: PG
Turbo is a little guy with big dreams.
Not satisfied with living life at a snail’s pace, he has a powerful and resolute need for speed. Turbo trains tirelessly, measuring his progress with a yardstick. His new record: covering the 36-inch-long “track” … in 17 minutes. Turbo’s single-minded goal is to compete in the greatest race in the world: the Indy 500.
When we meet Turbo, he’s somewhat of an outcast in the snail community, which is less about big dreams and more about punching a time clock at their place of employment (and principal source of nourishment) – the [tomato] “plant.” Turbo’s brother Chet, whose credo is, safety first, last and only, shares the community’s insistence on a snail-paced routine. Chet loves his brother, but he is concerned that Turbo’s obsession with all things fast could lead to disaster – or worse!
Leaving the plant behind, Turbo begins his journey to fulfill his dreams when he is swept from a freeway overpass onto the hood of a sports car, and is then propelled into the muscle car’s air intake valve. Explosive nitrous oxide charges every atom of Turbo’s body, altering his molecular structure. The freak accident infuses Turbo with incredible speed – he can reach 200 miles per hour – and he now blazes across the streets of Los Angeles like a neon bullet.
But even a turbo-charged Turbo can’t accomplish miracles on his own. Luckily, fate intervenes again, when Turbo and Chet are captured by Tito, the co-proprietor (with his brother Angelo) of a Van Nuys, California-based taco stand. Tito’s sideline – and his true passion – is pitting snails against one another in not-so-fast-and-furious racing competitions.
At the race’s home base, the Starlight Plaza, Turbo meets the “Racing Snails,” a ragtag group with shells that look like mini-street racing cars. Their pimped-out exteriors are complemented by their trash-talking personalities.
The Racing Snails make fast friends with Turbo, and together they begin a journey of adventure, bonding and family,
The Conjuring Genre: Supernatural thriller Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Joey King, Shanley Caswell, Haley McFarland, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver and Sterling Jerins Director: James Wan Rated: R
Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville.
Based on the true-life story, “The Conjuring” tells the tale of how world-renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse.
Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.
R.I.P.D. Genre: Supernatural action thriller Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, Robert Knepper, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Mike O’Malley and Devin Ratray Director: Robert Schwentke Rated: PG-13
Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline the 3D supernatural action-adventure “R.I.P.D.” as two cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side.
Veteran sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Bridges) has spent his career with the legendary police force known as R.I.P.D. tracking monstrous spirits who are cleverly disguised as ordinary people. His mission? To arrest and bring to justice a special brand of criminals trying to escape final judgment by hiding among the unsuspecting on Earth.
Once the wisecracking Roy is assigned former rising-star detective Nick Walker (Reynolds) as his junior officer, the new partners have to turn grudging respect into top-notch teamwork. When they uncover a plot that could end life, as we know it, two of R.I.P.D.'s finest must miraculously restore the cosmic balance ... or watch the tunnel to the afterlife begin sending angry souls the very wrong way.
Red 2 Genre: Action and comedy Cast: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Brian Cox and Neal McDonough Director: Dean Parisot Rated: PG-13
In “Red 2,” the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing, next-generation lethal device that can change the balance of world power.
To succeed, they'll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the technologically advanced super weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world – and stay alive in the process.
The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.
Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000-pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers.
Yet this mighty black and white mammal has many sides – a majestic, friendly giant, seemingly eager to take trainers for a ride around the pool, yet shockingly – and unpredictably – able to turn on them at a moment’s notice. “Blackfish” unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who – unlike any orca in the wild – has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what went wrong?
Shocking, never before seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans truly know about these highly intelligent, and surprisingly sentient, fellow mammals that we only think we can control.
When you look into their eyes, somebody’s home. Somebody’s looking back at you … but it may not be what you think.
Girl Most Likely Genre: Comedy and drama Cast: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald and Darren Criss Director: Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman Not rated
Kristen Wiig stars as Imogene, a failed New York playwright awkwardly navigating the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year's News.
After both her career and relationship hit the skids, she's forced to make the humiliating move back home to New Jersey with her eccentric mother and younger brother (Annette Bening and Christopher Fitzgerald). Adding further insult to injury, there's a strange man sleeping in her old bedroom (Darren Criss) and an even stranger man sleeping in her mother's bed (Matt Dillon). Through it all, Imogene eventually realizes that as part of her rebuilding process she must finally come to love and accept both her family and her Jersey roots if she's ever going to be stable enough to get the hell away from them.