Movie Beat – 10.26.12

Confused on what to do this weekend? Go to the movies! Here are ten films opening up this Friday, choose what you will.

Chasing Mavericks – North of Santa Cruz, there is a wave, one of the biggest on Earth, known as Mavericks. A group of surfers try their best to keep the wave a secret, but fifteen year old, Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) discovers the wave and knows that it is his destiny to surf it. He enlists the help of Frosty (Gerard Butler) to mentor him to surf the legendary Mavericks. Based on a true story, and made with help from some of the biggest names in the surfing world, Mavericks looks to be the feel good movie of the week. Directed by Curtis Hanson, who has had one of the most varied careers in Hollywood. Wide release from 20th Century Fox this Friday.

Cloud Atlas – Adapted from the best-selling novel from David Mitchell, and from the writing directing team of The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer comes the universal story played out by twelve actors across six different time periods. This is a film that might benefit from multiple viewings, but with a three-hour running time, I don’t know how feasible that is. A very ambitious effort that falls a little short of its claims that “Everything is Connected”. Out wide this week from Warner Brothers and you can read my review here.

Dinotasia – Well, this just looks awful. Produced in part with Discovery Channel, here comes a CGI narrative about the struggles of being a dinosaur. The graphics are cheap at best, and it looks like an exploitation film, BUT, it comes with voice over narration from the great Werner Herzog. That might just make it worth the rental. Limited release from Revolver Entertainment on Friday, DVD release on November 6th

Fun Size – “Some people just can’t handle Halloween” and some movies are made just for teenagers. Victoria Justice (that can’t be her real name) wants to go to the big Halloween rave, but her no-good mother (Chelsea Handler) needs her to baby-sit her little brother so that Mom can go out with her much younger boyfriend. What do you know, she looses the brother and everyone bands together to search for the little tyke. Featuring a new song from Carly Rae Jepsen and a co-production from Nickelodeon, this film is aimed squarely at the teen or tween audience. And yes, the joke at the end is that the girl is crying because the mechanical chicken is raping her. Classy. Wide release from Paramount Pictures this Friday.

The Loneliest Planet – Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) are young, in love, and engaged to be married. They spend a summer backpacking around Georgia and all is going so well, until one thing, one tiny gesture, unravels everything and alters both of their lives. The biggest events in our lives start very small and ripple forth. Written and directed by Julie Loktev with Tom Bissell as co-writer, The Lonliest Planet looks to be heartbreaking and illuminating. Limited release from IFC Films starting Friday.

Orchestra of Exiles – Documentary from Josh Aronson about Bronislaw Huberman, a celebrated Polish violinist who rescued 70 Jewish musicians from Nazi Germany to construct on the greatest orchestras. Crafted using archival footage, re-enactments, and talking heads, this film tells the tale of the formation of the Palestine Philharmonic, now known as the Israeli Philharmonic. A musician’s Schindler’s List, uplifting and phenomenal. Limited release from First Run Features starting Friday.

The Other Son – Two sons are born to two families at the same time. The hospital must be evacuated, and the two sons are switched at birth by accident. One is raised Jewish, the other, Palestinian. Eighteen years later, the accident is discovered and now these two families must re-evaluate their ideas of who they are, and where they fit in the world. A melodramatic story that could resonate with a lot of people. Limited release from Cohen Media Group this Friday.

Pusher – Directed by Luis Prieto and starring Richard Coyle, Pusher is a UK remake of the Danish film by the same name, which was the start of Nicolas Winding Refn’s career. Centered around Frank, a drug pusher in way over his head when he comes up short on money and drugs. Drug induced paranoia sets in, and Frank slowly isolates himself in hopes of escaping the clutches of a ruthless crime lord. If you liked the original, and Gaspar Noé films don’t give you a headache, check this one out. Limited release from Radius-TWC starting Friday, and available for download and rental on various VOD services.

The Revisionaries – It’s hard not to watch this and laugh, not out of comedy, but out of pain. Texas and California make up the majority of textbook purchasers for grade schools, and their boards of education has the ability to edit and revise the textbooks as they see fit. This documentary focus is on the Texas Board of Education and the people who are re-writing the textbooks used in public schools to teach that evolution does not exist, and that dinosaurs and humans walked side by side. Apparently they were two of every dinosaur on the Ark. Who knew? Limited release from Kino Lorber starting Friday.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – Poor Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens), she just turned eighteen, transferred to a new school, and just wants to make some friends and find her place in this world. Too bad that there is another world, a dark sinister world controlled by a demon, called Silent Hill. That is where Heather belongs. Adapted from the popular video game and utilizing every 3-D trick in the book, writer/director Michael J. Bassett attempts to inject something unique into the franchise. Wide release from Open Road Films this Friday.