Movie Beat – 09.28.12

The Hole –Two brothers (Chris Massoglia & Nathan Gamble) looking for excitement in the sleepy town of Bensonville discover a trap door covering a hole in their basement. Once opened, the hole brings their inner most fears to life. Their next-door neighbor (Haley Bennett) becomes involved and the two brothers have to work together to close the hole once and for all, reconcile growing up, and deal with an increasingly distant mother (Teri Polo). Joe Dante’s 3-D family horror film sees a limited engagement on 9/28 from Hole LLC., followed by a DVD release on 10/2. This is how a studio dumps a film made in 2009.

Hotel Transylvania – Animated film in 3-D directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and starring the voice talents of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, and David Spade among others. Hotel Transylvania is a five-stake resort hotel that caters to all form of mythological and horror creatures. Everything is going according to plan until an average kid (voiced by Andy Samberg) wanders into the hotel by accident, and falls for Drac’s daughter, Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez). Kids will probably like this one, but I doubt that adults will. Everywhere starting 9/28, from Sony Pictures.

The Iran Job – Documentary about Kevin Sheppard, an America who took an offer to play basketball in Iran. While abroad, Sheppard began a friendship with three outspoken Iranian women, and found himself during the height of the Green Movement. Directed by Till Schauder, the documentary receives a one-week release at The Laemmle Encino Town Center in Los Angeles. Paladin Films is still taking contributions on its Kickstarter page:

Looper – Writer/director Rian Johnson returns to cinemas with his third feature, this one involving time travel. Set in the future, time travel is possible and controlled by the mob. When they need someone whacked, the target is sent back in time to be killed of and disposed by Loopers. Once a Looper is deemed no longer useful, they are sent back in time to be killed by their past selves. It’s no surprise that when a Looper is sent back to be dispatched, he doesn’t go quietly. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play the present and future versions of the character respectively. Wide release on 9/28, from Sony Pictures and you can read my review here.

The Other Dream Team – Documentary from Marius A. Markevicius about the Lithuania basketball team that competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. 1992 was the first year professionals were allowed to compete in the Olympics and it was also the first year Lithuanians were allowed to compete for Lithuania. Up to that point, Lithuania had been under the thumb of Soviet Russia and forced to compete for the USSR until the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the ’92 Summer Olympics, two former poster boys for the Soviet Empire (Sarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis) became symbols of freedom for the Lithuanians. Limited release from The Film Arcade.

Pitch Perfect – In the vein of Glee comes a full-length movie about karaoke competitions. Becca (Anna Kendrick) can’t find her place in college cliquedom, until she stumbles across a group of rag-tag a cappella competitors (Brittany Snow & Rebel Wilson among others). Together they form a rebel alliance and embark on the cutthroat circuit of college a cappella competitions. This is one of those movies where you cheer for the underdog, leave the theater and then realize that they never were the underdog in the first place. Written by Kay Cannon and directed by Jason Moore. Limited release from Universal Pictures on 9/28.

Solomon Kane – From author Robert E. Howard, most known for Conan the Barbarian, comes another tale of violence, hell, redemption, and honor. Solomon Kane (James Purefoy) was once the most fearsome bandit of the 16th Century. After a confrontation with the devil’s own reaper, Kane devoted his life to peace and purity to save his hopeless soul. Now he must fight again to protect those close to him. Also starring Pete Postlethwaite, Rachel Hurd-Wood, and Max Von Sydow. This movie received an international release in 2009, and is now available in limited theaters starting 9/28 and On Demand rentals from Radius TWC.

Tales of the Night – In French with English subtitles and from acclaimed animator Michel Ocelot, comes a tapestry of six tales woven together. This is his first foray into 3-D animation, but he continues the use of black-silhouetted characters against vibrant and colorful backgrounds. The stories are six exotoic fables in six vibrant landscapes: Tibet, Mideval Europe, Aztec Kingdom, African Plains, and the Land of the Dead. Complete with dragons, talking bees, werewolves, princesses, sorceres, you know the deal. Ocelot puts an ironic twist on each fable. Limited release on 9/26 from GKIDS

Won’t Back Down – Targeting the inner city school system, Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal play two mothers who will stop at nothing to make sure that the schools don’t fail their children. Mid-level filmmaking that tackles complex issues and offers overly simplified solutions. Written by Brin Hill, Daniel Barnz and directed by Daniel Barnz. Opens wide on 9/28 from 20th Century Fox