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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this weekend
‘Red Dawn’ re-boot hits theaters; Ang Lee directs ‘Life of Pi’
Article published on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012
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Photo courtesy of RHYTHM & HUES
Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) and a fierce Bengal tiger named Richard Parker must rely on each other to survive an epic journey in “Life of Pi,” from Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:

Life of Pi
Genre: Drama
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irffan Khan, Gerard Depardieu, Adil Hussain and Rafe Spall
Director: Ang Lee
Rated: PG

Director Ang Lee creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery.

While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor … a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Red Dawn
Genre: Action, drama and war
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise and Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Director: Dan Bradley
Rated: PG-13

In “Red Dawn,” a city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky – shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target.

Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the “Wolverines,” banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.

“Red Dawn” is a re-boot of the 1984 box office cult-classic hit film that made stars of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, Darren Dalton, Brad Savage and Powers Booth. The timing on the release of that action film couldn’t have been better; it was in an era when the Cold War was still kicking and then-President Ronald Reagan was calling the Soviet Union the “evil empire.”

Now under the direction of first-time director Dan Bradley, the 2012 release boasts a cast of Hollywood’s new up and coming actors including Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. And now, the timing of this re-boot couldn’t be better. The essential themes of the original remain the same – fighting for what you believe in and protecting your homeland. Home on leave from the Marines, Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) and his brother Matt (Peck) have the initial instinct to fight back when their small town is attacked by North Korean soldiers – a different take from the Soviet Union invasion of the original film.

The brothers and their friends form an insurgent group to take their fight to the streets in a valiant attempt to outwit and overcome the intruders, save their homes and their country, and take back their freedom.

Silver Linings Playbook
Genre: Drama
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz and Julia Stiles
Director: David O. Russell
Rated: R

Life doesn’t always go according to plan.

Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything – his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet – and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team.

When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.

Rise of the Guardians
Genre: Action, adventure, animation and family
Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law
Director: Peter Ramsey
Rated: PG

“Rise of the Guardians” is an epic and magical adventure that tells the story of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost – legendary characters with previously unknown extraordinary abilities.

When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children everywhere.

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

The Central Park Five
Genre: Documentary
Cast: Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Ed Koch and David Dinkins
Director: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon
Not rated

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned.

Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, “The Central Park Five” will tell the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.

Hitchcock
Genre: Drama
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, James D'Arcy, Michael Wincott, Richard Portnow and Kurtwood Smith
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Rated: PG-13

Lurking behind Alfred Hitchcock, cinema’s “master of suspense” – the extraordinary film icon known for orchestrating some of the most intense experiences of menace and intrigue audiences have ever seen, was a hidden side: his creatively explosive romance with his steadfast wife and filmmaking collaborator, Alma Reville.

Now, for the first time, Sacha Gervasi’s “Hitchcock” lays bare their captivating and complex love story. It does so through the sly, shadowy lens of their most daring filmmaking adventure: the making of the spine-tingling 1960 thriller, “Psycho,” which would become the director’s most controversial and legendary film. When the tumultuous, against-the-odds production was over, nothing about movies would ever be the same – but few realized that it took two to pull it off.

Gervasi and a cast that includes Academy Award winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren starring as Alfred and Alma spin a story rife with surprises, comic ironies and dark twists in the Hitchockian tradition. But at the heart of the film lies not only the obsessions and fears of two people but the distinctively tenacious love that drove Hitchcock’s art behind the curtain.

Rust & BoneGenre: Drama
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenarts, Bouli Lanners and Celine Sallette
Director: Jacques Audiard
Rated: R

Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) finds himself with a 5-year-old child on his hands.

Sam (Armand Verdure) is his son, but he hardly knows him. Homeless, penniless and friendless, Ali takes refuge with his sister Anna (Corinne Masiero) in Antibes, in the south of France. There, things improve immediately. She puts them up in her garage, she takes the child under her wing and the weather is glorious.

Ali, a man of formidable size and strength, gets a job as a bouncer in a nightclub. He comes to the aid of Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) during a nightclub brawl. Aloof and beautiful, Stephanie seems unattainable, but in his frank manner Ali leaves her his phone number anyway.

Stephanie trains orca whales at Marineland. When a performance ends in tragedy, a call in the night again brings them together.

When Ali sees her next, Stephanie is confined to a wheelchair: she has lost her legs and quite a few illusions.

Ali’s direct, unpitying physicality becomes Stephanie’s lifeline, but Ali too is transformed by Stephanie’s tough resilience. And Stephanie comes alive again. As their stories intersect and diverge, they navigate a world where strength, beauty, youth and blood are commodities – but where trust, truth, loyalty and love cannot be bought and sold, and courage comes in many forms.
Article published on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012
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