OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Frozen (PG for action and mild rude humor) Disney animated adventure about a fearless princess (Kristen Bell) who embarks on an epic journey with a gruff mountain man (Josh Gad) in order to reverse the curse of eternal winter accidentally inflicted upon the kingdom by her queen-to-be sister (Idina Menzel) with cryogenic powers. Voice cast includes Ciaran Hinds, Jonathan Groff and Edie McClurg.
Homefront (R for graphic violence, drug use, pervasive profanity and brief sexuality) Sly Stallone wrote the screenplay for this adaptation of the Chuck Logan novel of the same name about a DEA Agent (Jason Statham) who retires to a quiet town for the sake of his family only to have their lives turned upside-down by a ruthless meth dealer (James Franco). With Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Izabela Vidovic and Omar Benson Miller.
Oldboy (R for nudity, profanity, graphic sexuality, brutal violence and disturbing images) Spike Lee directed this remake of the Korean revenge thriller revolving around an advertising exec’s (Josh Brolin) quest for vengeance after being kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years. With Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Michael Imperioli.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Black Nativity (PG for menacing, mature themes and mild epithets) Kasi Lemmons wrote and directed this adaptation of the Langston Hughes musical of the same name about a single-mom (Jennifer Hudson) who sends her teenage son (Jacob Latimore) to Harlem to stay with her long-estranged parents (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) when she’s evicted from her Baltimore apartment. Supporting cast includes Mary J. Blige, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Tyrese Gibson and Nas Jones.
Bullett Raja (Unrated) Saif Ali Khan stars in the title role of this action adventure, set in the Hindi heartland, about a mild-mannered Average Joe’s transformation into an anti-establishment outlaw in response to India’s corruption. With Raj Babbar, Gulshan Grover and Vidyut Jamwal.
Caught in the Web (Unrated) Cultural evolution drama about a young Chinese woman (Yuanyuan Gao) who’s ostracized after a cell phone video of her failing to yield her bus seat to a senior citizen goes viral. Co-starring Chen Yao, Mark Chao and Xueqi Wang. (in Mandarin with subtitles)
Journey to the South Pacific (G) Eco-documentary, narrated by Cate Blanchett, advocating the preservation of such undersea creatures as whale sharks and giant rays.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (PG-13 for sexuality, intense violence, disturbing images and brief profanity) Epic biopic based on the autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) chronicling the South African leader’s transition from outlawed freedom fighter to political prisoner to president. With Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge and Riaad Moosa. (In English, Afrikaans and Xhosa with subtitles)
Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey (Unrated) Daryl Hannah narrates this climate change documentary lamenting the melting of the Himalayan glacial region as a consequence of global warming.
The Punk Singer (Unrated) Retrospective rockumentary revisiting the 20-year career of activist and musical pioneer Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the band Bikini Kill. Featuring commentary by Joan Jett, Kim Gordon and Carrie Brownstein.
Reaching for the Moon (Unrated) Bittersweet biopic recounting the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Gloria Pires). Featuring Tracy Middendorf, Marcello Airoldi and Lola Kirke. (In English and Portuguese with subtitles)