Movie Beat – 07.12.13

07.12.13 - Crystal FairyCrystal Fairy – Jamie (Michael Cera) is abroad in Chile and looking to broaden his horizons with one hell of a trip. He meets the bizarre and fun hippie, Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffmann), who joins him on his quest to find a magical cactus and drink the San Pedro on the beach. They make it to the beach, and things take a surprising turn for Jamie. If it weren’t about hallucinogenic drugs, then it would be strange as hell. Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, and Agustín Silva come along for the ride. A lot looser and more easy-going than a Hunter S. Thompson quest, written and directed by Sebastián Silva and out in limited release from IFC Films.

07.12.13 - Fruitvale StationFruitvale Station – He was just another black kid on a camera phone video. From where we were standing, it looked like he was resisting arrest. Maybe he was going for a gun, maybe a knife, who knows? They shot him, I don’t know if he died or what, because the train took off, but I know what I saw. Witnessing an event does little when it comes to actually understanding what happened. What series of events led to this event, and what was the aftermath? These are the questions writer/director Ryan Coogler asks in this impressive debut, starring Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, and Octavia Spencer. This is the not the movie to miss this year. Out in limited release from The Weinstein Company.

07.12.13 - Grown Ups 2

Grown Ups 2 – Apparently a few piss jokes were left on the table when they wrote Grown Ups and it would be such a shame to let those go. Here we are again, a bunch of over-grown teenagers have ditched LA, this time for good, and moved back to their home town to live a simpler life. But guess what? Things have changed! Whoever would have thunk? The usual offenders are back at it, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, but now they are joined by the acting legends that are former Lakers Center Shaquile O’Neal, Andy Samberg, and Taylor Lautner. A whole bunch of people wrote it, Dennis Dugan directed it, and Sony Pictures unleashed it into theaters everywhere.

07.12.13 - The HuntThe Hunt – Accusing someone, anyone, of child molestation is probably the most damming thing one can do to another. So when Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) starts to get his life back together after a messy divorce, he thinks things are going his way. They are, until a child breathes the ‘M’ word. Suddenly, the world turns against him and he must do everything he can to prove his innocence. Sometimes a lie is so powerful, it undoes the truth. Co-starring Thomas Bo Larsen, Anne Louise Hassing, Susse Wold, and Lars Ranthe. Written by Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm with Vinterberg directing. Out in limited release from Magnolia Pictures.

07.12.13 - Killing SeasonKilling Season – For some, war just never ends. They won’t let it. They carry the pain and the grudge with them, allowing it to fester within, devoting every minute moment of their life to prolong the closure. If only they could find a good shrink and a prescription pad. Benjamin Ford (Robert De Niro) keeps to himself up in the Appalachian Mountains and when a European tourist shows up (John Travolta) they decide to drink a little wine, hunt a little deer, and oh-wait, never mind, the tourist is out to kill Ford and finish what the war started. Shame to have a good hunt spoiled. Written by Evan Daugherty and directed by Mark Steven Johnson and in limited release from Millennium Entertainment.

07.12.13 - Pacific RimPacific Rim – They’re here! And this time, they aren’t coming from the sky, and they sure as hell aren’t here to help us deal with divorce or protect us. The Kaiju are giant beast hell-bent on destroying everything, and only the power of the Jaegers can stop them and save humanity. To fight monsters, man is going to have to create monsters. The Jaegers are powered by two humans who are neurologically linked to the giant robot, allowing it to move like a fighter. Ever seen Neon Genesis Evangelion? Maybe man stands a chance with the Jaegers, or maybe the Jaegers will pose a much greater threat. Written by Travis Beacham and directed by the brilliant Guillermo del Toro, this one rolls out into wide release from Warner Bros. Pictures.

07.12.13 - Pawn Shop ChroniclesPawn Shop Chronicles – Three stories (told with the relentless and frenetic pace of a meth trip) all connecting back to a pawn shop in the South that offers people a lot more than they bargained for. Let’s see, we got racist drug addicts, scorned husbands, a bad Elvis impersonator… all of God’s people are represented here. Starring Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood, Vincent D’Onofrio, Matt Dillon, Norman Reedus, Thomas Jane, Lukas Haas, and even Paul Walker, how could they go wrong? Written by Adam Minarovich and directed by Wayne Kramer. From Anchor Bay Entertainment and out in limited theaters and On Demand this Friday with a DVD release scheduled for August 27th.

07.12.13 - Still MineStill Mine – Craig (James Cromwell) loves and is deeply devoted to his wife, Irene (Geneviève Bujold), but Irene is suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. To make their lives a little more manageable, Craig decides to build them a house, this one a lot smaller. Craig owns the land, is good with a saw, and figures, what could go wrong? Of course, this is the 21st Century, and no structure can exist without a series of permits, regulations, and bureaucratic approval. That sort of thing takes time, and time is the one thing Craig doesn’t have. Written and directed by Michael McGowan and in limited release from Samuel Goldwyn Films.

07.12.13 - Terms and Conditions May ApplyTerms and Conditions May Apply – Social media and web searches, Google in particular, have connected you with more people, more events, and more information than you can possibly imagine. They provide this service, free of charge, as long as you agree to their terms and conditions. What are those terms and conditions? That they can use the information you provided them to track you, analyze you, and eventually sell you back to you. That is the end goal of this, easy sales. Documentary exploring how this happens, why it will continue to happen, and the reasons why no one is putting up a fight is directed by Cullen Hoback and out in limited release from Variance Films.

07.12.13 - V_H_S 2V/H/S/2 – Who wants some first-person horror? A couple of kids find a collection of VHS tapes. Harmless as is, but played in the correct order, they unleash a demonic presence contained within. Either that or it’s just torture sitting through these damn videos. Come watch all the magnetic tape glory that contains L.C. Holt, Lawrence Michael Levine, Hannah Hughes, Adam Wingard, Kelsy Abbott, and Hannah Al Rashid. Written and directed by a lot of different people, but released by one company, Magnet Releasing. Limited theaters, but every On Demand place you could want. Hooray.