OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening January 9, 2015
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Inherent Vice (R for profanity, violence, sexuality and graphic nudity) Five-time Oscar-nominee Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights and Magnolia) wrote and directed this adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon best-seller of the same name about a private eye’s (Joaquin Phoenix) attempt to solve the mysterious disappearance of an ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) and her billionaire boyfriend (Eric Roberts). Ensemble cast includes Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Maya Rudolph, Benicio del Toro and Jena Malone.
Selma (PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, and brief profanity) Civil Rights Era saga, directed by Ava DuVernay, chronicling the historic march led by Dr. Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo) credited with pressuring Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965. With Carmen Ejogo, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Martin Sheen, Giovanni Ribisi, Common and Oprah.
Taken 3 (PG-13 for brief profanity and intense violence) Third installment in the frenetic franchise finds retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) on the run from the authorities while trying to clear his name after being unfairly accused of murdering his wife (Famke Janssen). Co-starring Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker, Jonny Weston and Dougray Scott.
The World Made Straight (R for violence, drug use, sexual references and profanity) Adaptation of the Ron Rash novel of the same name, set in the Seventies, about a troubled young man (Jeremy Irvine) eager to escape a rural Appalachian community stained by the legacy of a Civil War massacre. With Haley Joel Osment, Minka Kelly and Steve Earle.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Beloved Sisters (Unrated) Incestuous romance drama about a couple of aristocratic siblings (Hannah Herzsprung and Henriette Confurius) who opt to share when they both fall in love with poet, philosopher and playwright Friedrich Schiller (Florian Stetter). With Claudia Messner, Ronald Zehrfeld and Maja Maranow. (In German and French with subtitles)
Black November (Unrated) Eco-thriller about a Nigerian community that takes on corrupt politicians and a multinational oil corporation in order to protect itself from spills and over-drilling. With Mickey Rourke, Wyclef Jean, Anne Heche, Kim Basinger and Akon.
Dark Summer (Unrated) Haunted house horror flick about a home alone teenager (Keir Gilchrist) who finds himself spooked by a plethora of paranormal phenomena while grounded for cyber-stalking a classmate (Grace Phipps) he has a crush on. With Maestro Harrell, Peter Stormare and Stella Maeve.
It’s All So Quiet (Unrated) Poignant character study about a closeted farmer’s (Jeroen Willens) struggle with his sexual identity and the meaning of life while caring for his bedridden father (Henri Garcin). Cast includes Wim Opbrouck, Martijn Lakemeier and Lies Visschedijk. (In Dutch with subtitles)
Farewell Herr Schwarz (Unrated) Winner of the Best Documentary Prize at the Haifa International Film Festival, this cinematic journey about the Holocaust and buried family secrets illustrates how it is never too late to reclaim one’s heritage. (In Hebrew, German and English with subtitles)
Ode to My Father (Unrated) Coming-of-age saga revolving around a Korean War refugee’s (Jeong-min Hwang) attempt to provide for his mother (Young-nam Jang) and younger siblings as promised his dearly-departed dad. With Yunjin Kim, Dal-su Oh and Mi-ran Ra. (In Korean with subtitles)
Predestination (R for violence, profanity, nudity and sexuality) Ethan Hawke stars in this sci-fi thriller loosely based on “All You Zombies,” the Robert Heinlein short story about a bartender who travels back in time to thwart a terrorist attack. Support cast includes Noah Taylor, Sarah Snook and Elise Jansen.
Preservation (Unrated) Hunters become the game horror flick about a woman (Wrenn Schmidt) whose hunting trip in the woods with her husband (Aaron Staton) and brother (Pablo Schreiber) turns into a harrowing nightmare when they awaken to find their belongings stolen and their foreheads ominously marked with a big “X.” With Cody Saintgnue, Nick Saso and Michael Chacon.
Valley of Saints (Unrated) Romance drama, set in Kashmir, about a civil war fugitive (Gulzar Ahmed Bhat) who takes temporary refuge at a seaside village only to become torn between a new life and a new love when he falls for a mysterious scientist (Neelofar Hamid) studying the lake’s pollution levels. Featuring Mohammed Afzal. (In Kashmiri with subtitles)