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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this weekend – Oct. 4
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Photo courtesy of WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Sandra Bullock stars as Ryan Stone in Warner Bros. Pictures' dramatic thriller “Gravity,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Sci-fi thriller “Gravity” pairs Bullock, Clooney; Affleck stars in “Runner Runner,” a number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release.

Gravity

Genre: Science fiction and thriller
Cast: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Rated: PG-13

Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space.

Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuarón directed the film.

Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone – tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness.

The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth … and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left.

But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

Runner Runner

Genre: Drama and thriller
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton and Anthony Mackie
Director: Brad Furman
Rated: R

Princeton grad student Richie (Justin Timberlake), believing he’s been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Richie is seduced by Block’s promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce Richie to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmaneuver the two forces closing in on him.

Richie is chasing a new version of the American dream: easy, instant and limitless wealth. Once on the Wall Street fast track, Richie lost everything when the market crashed and is now starting over, hustling his way through graduate school. After being cheated by an online gambling site and watching his tuition money disappear, Richie flies to Costa Rica to confront the gambling legend behind the site: Ivan Block.

Block is impressed by Richie’s savvy and takes the younger man under his wing, promising to show Richie the ropes. Soon thereafter, Richie falls for Block’s associate – sophisticated COO Rebecca Shafran (Gemma Arterton) – and he embraces a world that sees all of his fantasies come to life. But Richie soon learns that Block is wanted for racketeering, extortion and bribery, and that FBI Special Agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie) is obsessed with bringing Block and his associates to justice. Block decides to pull up stakes and leave Richie behind as the fall guy.

With Shavers closing in, Richie must figure out a way to stay a step ahead of Block and Shavers – or risk a future behind bars.

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

Bad Milo

Genre: Horror and comedy
Cast: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton, Mary Kay Place, Stephen Root and Peter Stormare
Director: Jacob Vaughn
Rated: R

Duncan’s (Ken Marino) life is a real pain.

Tormented by a manipulative, crooked boss (Patrick Warburton), a nagging mother (Mary Kay Place) with a boyfriend a third her age, a deadbeat new age dad (Stephen Root), and a sweet, yet pressuring, wife (Gillian Jacobs), his mounting stress starts to trigger an insufferable gastrointestinal reaction. Out of ideas and at the end of his rope, Duncan seeks the help of a hypnotherapist (Peter Stormare), who helps him discover the root of his unusual stomach pain: a pintsized demon living in his intestine that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have angered him.

Out of fear that his intestinal gremlin may target its wrath on the wrong person, Duncan attempts to befriend it, naming it Milo and indulging it to keep its seemingly insatiable appetite at bay.

Concussion

Genre: Drama
Cast: Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Emily Kinney and Laila Robins
Director: Stacie Passon
Rated: R

Abby is a 40 something, wealthy, married, lesbian housewife who – after getting smacked in the head by her son’s baseball – walks around every corner of her suburban life to confront a mounting desire for something else. She takes on a new project and purchases a pied-à-terre in Manhattan. Walking around the city streets reminds Abby what it feels like to be sexy, and her pent-up libido shakes off its inhibitions. Her desire is not a take-home item for the minivan ride back home, so Abby inaugurates a double life that draws her deeply into a world of prostitution for women.

In an auspicious debut effort, director Stacie Passon draws out a pitch-perfect performance from her lead actor, Robin Weigert, as a sexy, shut-down family woman stretching to bloom again. Palpably sensual and deliciously contained, “Concussion” is a keen observation of the complicated contours of midlife crisis.

Grace Unplugged

Genre: Drama and music
Cast: AJ Michalka, James Denton and Kevin Pollak
Director: Brad J. Silverman
Rated: PG

A talented young singer and aspiring songwriter's Christian faith and family ties are tested when she defies her worship-pastor father and pursues pop-music stardom in “Grace Unplugged,” a moving and inspiring new film that explores the true meaning of success.

Grace Trey (AJ Michalka) has just turned 18 and aspires to do more than sing in her church's worship band, which is led by her father, Johnny Trey (James Denton), a one-time pop star who gave up his life in secular music when he became a Christian. Grace longs to escape his shadow and make a name for herself singing songs about something other than God, but Johnny warns her that fame is not as glamorous as it looks and reminds her that serving and worshipping God with the talent she's been given is a far more worthwhile goal.

When Johnny's former manager, Frank "Mossy" Mostin (Kevin Pollak), shows up 20 years after the two parted ways to offer him another shot at the big time, Johnny declines the opportunity. But Grace takes it – without telling her parents. She records a cover version of her father's old Top 10 hit, runs away to Los Angeles and, under Mossy's guidance, begins to taste the kind of success she's always dreamed of. But with each rung of the ladder she climbs, Grace feels pressure to compromise her Christian values and learns not everyone who says they're on her side really is. The one exception is Quentin (Michael Welch), an intern at her record company and a fellow Christian who urges Grace to reassess her choices and put God first again in her life. Will everything she experiences lead her to reject her faith ... or rediscover it?

Parkland

Genre: Drama
Cast: Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, Paul Giamatti, James Badge Dale, Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks, David Harbour, Ron Livingston, Jeremy Strong and Tom Welling
Director: Peter Landesman
Rated: PG-13

Exclusive Releasing “Parkland” recounts the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

“Parkland” weaves together the perspectives of a handful of ordinary individuals suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances: the young doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital; Dallas' chief of the Secret Service; an unwitting cameraman who captured what became the most watched and examined film in history; the FBI agents who nearly had the gunman within their grasp; the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, left to deal with his shattered family; and JFK's security team, witnesses to both the president's death and Vice President Lyndon Johnson's rise to power over a nation whose innocence was forever altered.

The Summit

Genre: Documentary
Director: Nick Ryan
Rated: R

In August 2008, 18 mountain climbers reached the top of K2 – 48 hours later, 11 people were dead.

While memorials paid tribute to those killed, there were also condemnations about “the why” – why do these athletes risk everything to reach a place humans are simply not meant to go?

With breathtaking cinematography and jaw dropping reenactments based on the testimony of those who survived the climb, this thrilling film is about the very nature of adventure in the modern world.
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