Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cinematic Excursions: Movie Releases For 3/19/10

The Bounty Hunter
Director: Andy Tennant 
Screenwriter: Sarah Thorp 
Starring: Jennifer AnistonGerard ButlerJason SudeikisDorian Missick,Joel Marsh GarlandChristine Baranski 
Genre: Action, Comedy 
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content including suggestive comments, language and some violence)

Plot Summary: Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler), a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly (Jennifer Aniston). He thinks all that's ahead is an easy payday, but when Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo realizes that nothing ever goes simply with him and Nicole. The exes continually one-up each other – until they find themselves on the run for their lives. They thought their promise to love, honor and obey was tough – staying alive is going to be a whole lot tougher. Andy Tennant ("Hitch," "Sweet Home Alabama") directs. 

City Island
Director: Raymond De Felitta 
Screenwriter: Raymond De Felitta 
Starring: Andy GarciaJulianna MarguliesSteven StraitEmily MortimerAlan Arkin 
Genre: Comedy, Drama 
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content, smoking and language) 

Plot Summary: Set in a quaint fishing community on the outskirts of New York City, City Island is a hilarious and touching tale about a family whose comfortable co-existence is upended by surprising revelations of past secrets and present day lies. Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is a lifelong resident of the tiny, tradition-steeped Bronx enclave of City Island. A family man who makes his living as a corrections officer, Vince longs to become an actor. Ashamed to admit his aspirations to his family, Vince would rather let his fiery wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies) believe his weekly poker games are a cover for an extramarital affair than admit he's secretly taking acting classes in Manhattan. When Vince is asked to reveal his biggest secret in class, he inadvertently sets off a chaotic chain of events that turns his mundane suburban life upside down. Inspired by the exercise, he decides to bring his long-lost ex-con son Tony (Steven Strait) home to meet the family, and it soon becomes clear that everyone—including his college student daughter (Dominik García-Lorido), teenaged son Vinnie, Jr. (Ezra Miller), charismatic acting partner (Emily Mortimer) and drama coach (Alan Arkin)— has something to hide. A perfect storm of deception, half truths and confusion makes Vince and his family members realize that the truth may not set them free, but it is easier to keep track of than all their well-intentioned white lies. 

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid
Director: Thor Freudenthal 
Screenwriter: Jeff FilgoJackie FilgoJeff JudahGabe Sachs 
Starring: Zachary GordonChloe MoretzSteve ZahnRachael HarrisRobert CapronDevon BostickGrayson Russell 
Genre: Comedy, Family 
MPAA Rating: PG (for some rude humor and language) 

Plot Summary: Meet the kid who made "wimpy" cool, in a family comedy based on the best-selling illustrated novel "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" by Jeff Kinney, the first in a series that has thus far sold 24 million copies. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" chronicles the adventures of wise-cracking middle school student Greg Heffley, who must somehow survive the scariest time of anyone's life: middle school. 
View The Trailer!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Director: Niels Arden Oplev 
Screenwriter: Nikolaj ArcelRasmus Heisterberg 
Starring: Michael NyqvisNoomi RapaceLena EndrePeter HaberSven-Bertil TaubePeter AnderssonIngvar HirdwallMarika LagercrantzBjörn Granath,Ewa Fröling 
Genre: Crime, Thriller 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 

Plot Summary: Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vanger's are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves. "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is based on the trilogy of books by Stieg Larsson and has sold over 7 million copies worldwide. Tragically, Larsson did not live to see the phenomenon his work has become as he died suddenly in 2004 soon after delivering the manuscripts to his Swedish publisher. 

Director: Noah Baumbach 
Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach 
Starring: Ben StillerGreta GerwigRhys IfansJennifer Jason LeighChris MessinaBrie LarsonJuno Temple 
Genre: Comedy, Drama 
MPAA Rating: R (for some strong sexuality, drug use, and language) 

Plot Summary: Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), single, fortyish and at a crossroads in his life, finds himself in Los Angeles, house-sitting for six weeks for his more successful/married-with-children brother. In search of a place to restart his life, Greenberg tries to reconnect with old friends including his former bandmate Ivan (Rhys Ifans). But old friends aren't necessarily still best friends, and Greenberg soon finds himself spending more and more time with his brother's personal assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig), an aspiring singer and also something of a lost soul. Despite his best attempts not to be drawn in, Greenberg and Florence manage to forge a connection, and Greenberg realizes he may at last have found a reason to be happy. 

Director: Toni Myers 
Screenwriter: Toni Myers 
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio 
Genre: Adventure, Documentary 
MPAA Rating: G 

Plot Summary: Through the power of IMAX® 3D, "Hubble 3D" will enable moviegoers to journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings, and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult and important tasks in NASA's history. The seventh film from the award-winning IMAX® Space Team, "Hubble 3D" will offer an inspiring and unique look into the Hubble Space Telescope's legacy and highlight its profound impact on the way we view the universe and ourselves. 

The Killing Jar
Director: Mark Young 
Screenwriter: Mark Young 
Starring: Michael MadsenHarold PerrineauAmber BensonDanny TrejoKevin GageLew TempleLindsey AxelssonTalan Torriero 
Genre: Thriller 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 

Plot Summary: Seven people are passing time one late evening at a small roadside diner in the middle of nowhere. Among them are Noreen (Amber Benson), a waitress trapped in a loveless marriage; John (Harold Perrineau), a melancholy salesman; Hank (Kevin Gage), a quiet with a secret; Lonnie (Lew Temple), a small-town cop; and Jimmy (Danny Trejo), the ill-tempered owner.

When a radio reports the disturbing murders of a family in a nearby county, the patrons immediately suspect new arrival Doe (Michael Madsen) as the killer. A bloody confrontation ensues, and the patrons become hostages as the troubled Doe decides their fates. As secrets are revealed, the desperate survivors slowly realize that one of the hostages may be even more dangerous than their captor. 

Director: N.C. Heikin 
Screenwriter: N.C. Heikin 
Starring: Not Available 
Genre: Documentary 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 

Plot Summary: N.C. Heikin's unblinking indictment of life in North Korea under the dictatorship of Kim Jong Il. This searing examination of the communist dictatorship established by Kim Il-sung and continued today by his son Kim Jong-il dispels the illusion of a Worker's Paradise peddled by the North Korean government and exposes the injustice, tragedy and famine that has prevailed over the past forty years.

Heikin compiles a series of testimonies – and daring escape stories – from concentration camp refugees, to defectors to former Korean Army officers. The result is a collage of firsthand witnesses to the unrepentant pain caused by a tyrannical leadership. The courageous individuals documented here have risked everything in the hope of exposing the truth about this cloistered, xenophobic territory. Their testimonies are supplemented by interpretive dance and a riveting score, indicative of the filmmakers keen interest in Korean art – both the propagandistic genre sanctioned by the government and the forbidden artistic expression that can result in execution. Footage of cheery government agitprop is juxtaposed with survivor testimonies and cold, hard facts. The film's practice of exposing the truth through ironic exhibition extends to its title, "Kimjongilia," being the name of the gorgeous red flower symbol created to celebrate Kim Jong Il's 46th birthday. This feature-length documentary is a damning condemnation of a regime founded upon total oppression of its people. 

Repo Men
Director: Miguel Sapochnik 
Screenwriter: Eric GarciaGarrett Lerner 
Starring: Jude LawForest WhitakerLiev SchreiberRZAAlice BragaCarice van Houten 
Genre: Action, Thriller 
MPAA Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity) 

Plot Summary: In the futuristic action-thriller "Repo Men," humans have extended and improved our lives through highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created by a company called The Union. The dark side of these medical breakthroughs is that if you don't pay your bill, The Union sends its highly skilled repo men to take back its property... with no concern for your comfort or survival.

Jude Law plays Remy, one of the best organ repo men in the business. But when he suffers a cardiac failure on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the company's top-of-the-line heart-replacement... as well as a hefty debt. But a side effect of the procedure is that his heart's no longer in the job. When he can't make the payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer, Remy's former partner Jake (Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker), to track him down.

Now that the hunter has become the hunted, Remy joins Beth (Alice Braga), another debtor who teaches him how to vanish from the system. And as he and Jake embark on a chase across a landscape populated by maniacal friends and foes, one man will become a reluctant champion for thousands on the run.

The film is based on the novel "The Repossession Mambo" by Eric Garcia. 

The Runaways
Director: Floria Sigismondi 
Screenwriter: Floria Sigismondi 
Starring: Kristen StewartDakota FanningMichael ShannonDanielle Riley KeoughScout Taylor-ComptonStella MaeveTatum O'Neal 
Genre: Biography, Drama, Music 
MPAA Rating: R (for language, drug use and sexual content - all involving teens) 

Plot Summary: Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star in this music-fueled story of the ground-breaking, all girl, teenage rock band of the 1970s: The Runaways. The film follows two friends, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, as they rise from rebellious Southern California kids to rock stars of the now legendary group that paved the way for future generations of girl bands. Joan and Cherie fall under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley, played by Michael Shannon, who turns the group into an outrageous success and a family of misfits. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earns a name for itself—and so do its two leads: Joan is the band’s pure rock 'n' roll heart, while Cherie, with her Bowie-Bardot looks, is the sex kitten. Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, the film chronicles Joan and Cherie's tumultuous relationship on and off stage, as the band starts to break out. 

Director: Marco Bellocchio 
Screenwriter: Marco Bellocchio 
Starring: Filippo TimiGiovanna MezzogiornoCorrado InvernizziFausto Russo AlesiMichela CesconPier Giorgio Bellocchio 
Genre: Drama 
MPAA Rating: Not Available 

Plot Summary: A cinematic tour—de—force, "Vincere" is Italian master Marco Bellocchio's ("Fists in the Pocket") portrait of Benito Mussolini (Filippo Timi), and the fiery woman who was his secret wife and the mother of his abandoned child (Giovanna Mezzogiorno). The film was a standout selection of the 2009 Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, New York, AFI film festivals, and received awards for Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor at the Chicago IFF. In "Vincere," the closely guarded story of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's secret lover and son is revealed in fittingly operatic proportions. Thunderstruck by the young Mussolini's charisma, Ida Dalser gives up everything to help champion his revolutionary ideas. When he disappears during World War I and later resurfaces with a new wife, the scorned Dalser and her son are locked away in separate asylums for more than a decade. But Ida will not disappear without a fight... 

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