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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this weekend - October 5
In ‘Taken 2’ Neeson returns as ex-CIA agent; Burton reanimates ‘Frankenweenie’
Article published on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012
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Photo by MAGALI BRAGARD/EUROPACORP
Liam Neeson returns to the role of an ex-CIA operative with set of very special skills, in “Taken 2.”
A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:

Taken 2
Genre: Action and thriller
Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Sherbedgia and Luke Grimes
Director: Olivier Megaton
Rated: PG-13

Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent who stopped at nothing to save his abducted daughter in “Taken.”

When he is targeted by a mysterious figure seeking vengeance, Bryan must employ his “particular set of skills” to protect his family against an army out to kill them.

Audiences cheered Neeson as Bryan Mills, an overprotective father whose skills – forged through years of covert ops – were put to the test long after his retirement from the CIA. Resolute in his quest to rescue his daughter, Bryan took extreme measures, making sure her kidnappers paid the ultimate price.

Two years later, their family is seeking vengeance against Bryan and his family.

Frankenweenie
Genre: Animation and comedy
Cast: Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron and Conchata Ferrell
Director: Tim Burton
Rated: PG

“Frankenweenie” is a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog.

After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life – with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

“Frankenweenie” harkens back to the classic horror films of Tim Burton’s influential youth, not only by filming in black and white, but also in the expression of innocence embodied by the use of stop-motion animation, which respects the simplicity of the story and adds both depth and texture to its presentation.

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

Butter
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Rob Corddry, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Schaal and Yara Shahidi
Director: Jim Field Smith
Rated: R

In small-town Iowa, an adopted girl discovers her talent for butter carving and finds herself pitted against an ambitious local woman in their town's annual contest.

The Paperboy
Genre: Crime and thriller
Cast: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman
Director: Lee Daniels
Rated: R

A sexually and racially charged film noir from Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels, “The Paperboy” takes audiences deep into the backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida, as investigative reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) chase a sensational, career-making story.

With the help of Ward’s younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) and sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), the pair tries to prove violent swamp-dweller Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) was framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff. Based on the provocative bestselling novel by Pete Dexter, “The Paperboy” peels back a sleepy small town’s decades-old façade of Southern gentility to reveal a quagmire of evil as dark as a Florida bayou.

V/H/S
Genre: Horror and thriller
Cast: Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Sophia Takal, Kate Lyn Sheil, Calvin Reeder and Lane Hughes
Director: Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg and Ti West
Rated: R

V/H/S is a point-of-view, found-footage horror film from the perspective of America's top genre filmmakers.

In “V/H/S,” a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house in the countryside and acquire a rare tape. Upon searching the house, the guys are confronted with a dead body, a hub of old televisions and an endless supply of cryptic footage, each video stranger and more inexplicable than the last.

Wuthering Heights
Genre: Drama
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Nichola Burley and Steve Evets
Director: Andrea Arnold
Unrated

Andrea Arnold's “Wuthering Heights” is an excitingly fresh and distinct take on the classic novel by Emily Brontë.

An epic love story that spans childhood well into the young adult years, the film follows Heathcliff, a boy taken in by a benevolent Yorkshire farmer, Earnshaw. Living in Earnshaw's home, Heathcliff develops a passionate relationship with the farmer's teenage daughter, Catherine, inspiring the envy and mistrust of his son, Hindley. When Earnshaw passes away, the now-grown characters must finally confront the intense feelings and rivalries that have built up throughout their years together.

Arnold's film is a beautiful and evocative visual masterpiece that brings out the powerful emotions at the heart of Brontë's classic novel, resulting in a viscerally affecting love story. It is a sweepingly old-fashioned tale of family, class, and romance told in a bracingly modern way by one of contemporary cinema's most gifted and unique filmmakers.
Article published on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012
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