Movie Beat – 03.15.13

03.15.13 - The CallThe Call – It must take a lot of fortitude to stomach being a 911-phone operator. Jordan (Halle Berry) answers the call of a woman in the middle of being abducted. The man is never caught and Jordan is haunted by the one that got away. Time passes, the phone rings and once again Jordan picks up mid-kidnap. Jordan tries to help as best as she can, but it becomes clear that it’s the same man at work. If Jordan can save this one, she can also right the wrong from her past as well. Abigail Breslin, Michael Imperioli, Michael Eklund, and Morris Chestnut costar. Script by Richard D’Ovidio, Nicole D’Ovidio, and Jon Bokenkamp, Brad Anderson directs and Sony Picture gives the movie a wide release.

03.15.13 - From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill – Hayao Miyazaki is handing over the reigns to the next generation. Last year, The Secret World of Arrietty, was written by Miyazaki and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. This time, Miyazaki writes with Keiko Niwa and his son, Goro, is steering the ship. Set in the seaside town of Yokohama in Post War Japan, Umi is dealing with life sans her father. Shun might just be the right guy to help her out and the two of them will have to navigate a world that is being reshaped right before their eyes. Originally in Japanese with English subtitles, the version that is being released in theaters host a bevy of American vocal talent. Out in limited release from Independent Producers.

03.15.13 - The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone – How ripe the world of magic is. How rich the characters, how ridiculous the outfits and stage shows, it’s almost too difficult to parody something that takes itself so seriously to begin with. Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are two life long friends that have grown to resent each other. They maintain the act in hopes of keeping their Las Vegas magic show going, but when a guerrilla street performer Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) challenges the public’s perception of magic, Burt and Anton are going to have to step up their game. Olivia Wilde and Alan Arkin co-star in a script by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Chad Kultgen, and Tyler Mitchell. Don Scardino directs and Warner Brothers releases this one  everywhere.

03.15.13 - K-11

K-11 – K-11 refers to a special cell block in the Los Angeles jail cell where transgender and gay inmates are kept from the general population. That might make it sound like K-11 might be safer than Gen-Pop, but as Raymond Saxx (Goran Visnjic) quickly finds out, it’s no easier in K-11 than it is anywhere else. Wrongly accused of murder and placed in K-11 after he awakes from a drug induced coma, Raymond has to navigate the murky and deadly waters to try to get out of K-11 before the inmates of K-11 get him first. Kate del Castillo, Portia Doubleday, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, and D.B. Sweeney co-star. Script by Jared Kurt and direction from Jules M. Stewart. Out in limited release from Broken Glass Pictures.

03.15.13 - The Kitchen

The Kitchen – Set entirely in a kitchen, which seems unnecessary, Jennifer’s (Laura Prepon) 30th Birthday party is not going well. There are love triangles, mouthy little sisters, ex-boyfriends, hanger-ons, acquaintances, friends who are desperately in love with other friends, misspelled cakes, booze, and dueling bands. Just another Saturday night at my house. Turning thirty isn’t easy and tends to bring out the worst in those that haven’t lived up to their full potential, which makes this particular party the perfect pressure cooker for disaster. The ensemble cast includes Dreama Walker, Bryan Greenberg, Matt Bush, Tate Ellington, and Pepper Binkley. Written by Jim Beggarly and directed by Ishai Setton. Out in limited release from Monterey Media with a DVD release on April 8th.

03.15.13 - My Amityville Horror

My Amityville Horror – Documentary exploring The Amityville Massacre and the novel and subsequent films that were inspired by it. Daniel Lutz speaks his side of the story for the first time in over thirty-five years and the scars he carries from the events that shaped his psyche and warped the world around him. Some may consider his side of the story a work of fiction, but is it fiction if the storyteller believes it fully? Written and directed by Eric Walter this documentary utilizes talking head interviews, archival photographs, and testimony to weave all plausible threads together. Out in limited release from IFC Films.

03.15.13 - Reality

Reality – Aim for the moon. If you miss, at least you will land among the stars. What lovely advice we were given as children, dream big and you can do anything you set your mind too. What the older generation may not have foreseen, was how obsessed and demented we might become by this desire to dream big, to be a star, to be somebody. Take Luciano (Aniello Arena) for example, he wants to be a reality star so badly that it actually warps his own sense of reality. Obsessed and possessed by the drug of fame, Luciano goes down a very dark rabbit hole and the probability that he will come out the other side, is remote. From director Matteo Garrone and a script by Garrone, Ugo Chiti, Maurizio Braucci, and Massimo Gaudioso comes a surrealistic and disturbing look at fame. Out in limited release from Oscilloscope Laboratories.

03.15.13 - Reincarnated

Reincarnated – Snoop Dogg has been famous for rapping, famous for being acquitted of murder, and famous for smoking weed. A lot of weed. Turning forty-one, Snoop Dogg suffered a mid-life crisis of sorts and looked to Jamaica and Trench Town for answers. Andy Capper documented Snoop Dogg’s spiritual journey to Jamaica and captured his transformation from rapper and hustler Snoop Dogg to Rastafarian Snoop Lion.  Leaving rap and the Dogg behind, Snoop Lion was born and cut a reggae album. It is amazing to consider that Snoop Dogg or Lion has been a figure that has permeated and persisted in pop culture. Out in limited release from AEC.

03.15.13 - Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers – The usual ritual of Spring Break involves going down to Florida, wearing skimpy bathing suits, sleeping around, drinking, doing loads of blow, getting arrested, and robbing to keep the habit alive. It’s about time that someone stepped up and showed the reality of Spring Break, and none of that pansy “I just met the guy/girl of my dreams but now I have to go back to my nothing life in Wisconsin.” James Franco plays Alien, a rapper with connections to a very dark and demented underworld, and he takes on four accomplices: Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), and Cotty (Rachel Korine). Maybe the girls allow themselves to be seduced into this world, or maybe they this is what they have been looking for all along. Written and directed by Harmony Korine and out limited release from A24 Films this week and everywhere next Friday.

03.15.13 - Upside Down

Upside Down – If you are a fan of Hipstamatic photography, then you know that the Salvador Dali lens will split the image along the X or Y axis, and duplicating that image like a mirror. I wonder if that was the inspiration for this movie? Two planets, each with their separate gravity constructs, have invaded each other’s territory so that the floor is one world  and on the ceiling is the other world. Naturally, a pair of star-crossed, or should I say, gravity-crossed loves meet and try to overcome their situations and limitations. This looks like a serious sci-fi take on a Dr. Seuss story. I can only imagine what his Jewish Mother would say, “Can’t you find a nice girl down here? Yeesh, always with your head in the clouds!” Starring Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst with a script by Juan Diego Solanas, Santiago Amigorena and Solanas directing. Out in limited release from Millennium Entertainment.