Vol. LXIII, No. 43
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Amelia (PG for mature themes, smoking, sensuality, and mild epithets). Mira Nair directed this biopic about the life of Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank), the legendary aviation pioneer who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 while circumnavigating the globe in a twin-engine propeller plane. Cast includes Richard Gere as her husband, Christopher Eccleston as her navigator, Cherry Jones as Eleanor Roosevelt, Ewan McGregor as her lover, Gene Vidal, and William Cuddy, as his son, Gore.
Astro Boy (PG for action, peril, and brief mild epithets). Animated science fiction adventure, narrated by Charlize Theron, about a grieving scientist (Nicolas Cage) who creates a superhuman replica (Freddie Highmore) of his recently deceased son. The boy robot strikes out on his own after being rejected by his inventor, and is eventually called upon to save the day when the planet is invaded by a race of menacing aliens. Voice cast includes Eugene Levy, Samuel L. Jackson, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, Kristen Bell, and Donald Sutherland.
Bright Star (PG for mature themes, sensuality, smoking, and mild epithets). Oscar-winner Jane Campion (The Piano) wrote and directed this 19th century costume drama about the three-year romance of poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and his neighbor Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) which ended prematurely when he contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 25.
Capitalism: A Love Story (Unrated). Iconoclast Michael Moore examines the toll exacted on the American Dream by the country’s unquestioned allegiance to the free market economic system.
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (PG-13 for intense violence, disturbing images, profanity, and mature themes). Horror comedy about a teenager (Chris Massoglia) who runs away from home in order to join a traveling freak show as a vampire’s (John C. Reilly) protégé. With Josh Hutcherson, Salma Hayek, Orlando Jones, Frankie Faison and Ken Watanabe.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (PG for mild epithets). Animated adventure inspired by the beloved children’s best seller of the same name about a town where a mad scientist’s (Bill Hader) atmospheric experiment gone horribly wrong leads to food falling from the sky like rain. Voice cast includes Anna Faris, Mr. T, Andy Samberg, Al Roker, and Will Forte.
Coco before Chanel (PG-13 for sexuality and smoking). Audrey Tautou handles the title role in this biopic about the rise of Coco Chanel from headstrong orphan to the legendary fashion designer. In French with subtitles.
Couples Retreat (PG-13 for profanity and sexuality). Battle-of-the-sexes comedy revolving around four couples vacationing on a tropical island who come to regret booking themselves at the therapy getaway when they learn that participation in the retreat’s relationship counseling sessions is not optional. Cast includes Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Kristin Davis, Faizon Love, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kali Hawk, Kristen Bell, Tasha Smith, and Jean Reno.
The Damned United (R for profanity). Two-time Oscar nominee Peter Morgan wrote the screenplay for this adaptation of David Peace’s best seller recounting Brian Clough’s (Michael Sheen) catastrophic, 44-day reign in 1974 as coach of the legendary Leeds United soccer team.
Gentlemen Broncos (PG-13 for crude humor). Quirky comedy about a home-schooled loner (Michael Angarano) with an eccentric mother (Jennifer Coolidge) who discovers that his science fiction fantasy has not only been ripped off by a famous novelist (Jemaine Clement) he met at a convention but that it’s also being adapted into a feature film.
Good Hair (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, drug references, and partial nudity). Chris Rock emcees this documentary taking a lighthearted look at African-American hair, including styles, straightening, wigs, extensions, salons, and self-esteem issues. With appearances by Maya Angelou, Eve, Meagan Good, Ice-T, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Al Sharpton and Kerry Washington.
Law Abiding Citizen (R for graphic violence, rape, torture, and pervasive profanity). Revenge thriller, set in Philadelphia, about a family man (Gerard Butler) who takes the law into his own hands after his wife’s (Brooke Mills) and daughter’s (Ksenia Hulayev) killers are set free by a plea bargain with the District Attorney (Jamie Foxx). With Viola Davis, Bruce McGill, Roger Bart, and Regina Hall.
Michael Jackson’s This Is It (PG for suggestive choreography and scary images). Posthumously produced biopic chronicles the Prince of Pop’s final days as cobbled from interviews with close friends and colleagues and from footage shot while he rehearsed for his sold-out series of London comeback concerts.
More Than a Game (PG for mild epithets and smoking). Overcoming-the-odds documentary recounting the hoop exploits and tight-knit friendship of LeBron James and the four pals he played on the same basketball team with from junior high through high school graduation.
New York, I Love You (R for profanity and sexuality). Eleven directors, including Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Wen Jiang, Faith Akin, and Allen Hughes contributed segments to this sequel to Paris, Je T’aime, the film is a series of cinematic shorts celebrating life in The Big Apple. Cast includes Orlando Bloom, Chris Cooper, Christina Ricci, Robin Wright Penn, Irfan Khan, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Hayden Christensen, and Shia LaBeouf.
Paranormal Activity (R for profanity). Low-budget horror film about a carefree young couple (Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston) who spend their nights terrified by a demonic spirit after purchasing a haunted starter home in suburbia.
Saw VI (R for profanity, graphic violence, and torture). Latest installment of the gruesome horror franchise finds the FBI closing in on Lieutenant Hoffman (Costas Mandy-lor), the detective-turned apprentice continuing the grisly legacy of the infamous Jigsaw Killer (Tobin Bell). With Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, and Shawnee Smith.
A Serious Man (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity, and brief violence). Semi-autobiographical comedy set in Minnesota in 1967, written and directed by the Coen Brothers, about a college professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) whose life falls apart when he is left by his wife (Sari Lennick) for one of his colleagues (Fred Melamed).
The Stepfather (PG-13 for mature themes, disturbing images, intense violence, and brief sensuality). Remake of the 1987 horror film about a military school student (Penn Badgley) who returns home to find his mother (Sela Ward) engaged to a suspicious man (Dylan Walsh) hiding a checkered past. Cast includes Amber Heard, Skyler Samuels, and Braeden Lemasters.
Surrogates (PG-13 for profanity, disturbing images, sexuality, drug use, and intense violence). Bruce Willis stars in this futuristic science fiction crime thriller as an FBI agent forced to investigate the first murder in what was presumed to be a crime free utopian society filled with robotic clones. Supporting cast includes Radha Mitchell, Boris Kodjoe, Ving Rhames, and James Cromwell.
Where the Wild Things Are (PG for mature themes, brief epithets, and action sequences). Spike Jonze directs this screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s tale about a misunderstood little boy (Max Records) crowned king by the strange creatures inhabiting a magical world created by his vivid imagination. With Catherine Keener, Forest Whitaker, Mark Ruffalo, James Gandolfini, Chris Cooper, and Catherine O’Hara.
Whip It (PG-13 for sexuality, crude humor, profanity, and drug use). Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut and also appears in this adaptation of Shauna Cross’ best seller about a reluctant beauty pageant contestant (Ellen Page) who rebels against her mother (Marcia Gay Harden) by joining a rough-and-tumble roller derby team. Cast includes Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Eve, Daniel Stern, Juliette Lewis and Har Mar Superstar.
Zombieland (R for profanity and gory violence). Horror comedy about a hardy band of survivors (Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin, Jesse Eisenberg, and Emma Stone) who seek sanctuary in an amusement park after America is overrun by man eating zombies. Supporting cast includes Bill Murray, Amber Heard, and Derek Graf.
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