Afternoon Delight – Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) is a stay at home Mom with not a whole lot going on. Her husband, Jeff (Josh Radnor) isn’t the lovey-dovey type and the marriage is on the rocks. Rachel needs something, anything to make her feel important. She met McKenna (Juno Temple), a nineteen-year-old stripper who has been kicked out of her apartment and invites her to come and stay with her family and “act” like the nanny. Inviting a nineteen-year-old stripper into the home when your marriage is on the rocks seems like a bad idea to me. Jane Lynch, Jessica St. Clair, and Michaela Watkins co-star, Jill Soloway writes and directs and The Film Arcade gives this a limited release.
Closed Circuit – Big Brother is watching, but they’re not the only one: corporations, banks, Facebook, your employers, your employees, your neighbors… In fact, Big Brother might be the one watching you the least, but don’t tell that to the conspiracy theorist. All this makes for an excellent setting that binds two lovers together (Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) as defense attorneys for a suspected terrorist (Denis Moschitto). This is one of those movies where the rabbit hole is deep, and no one knows who is on which side. Jim Broadbent, Ciarán Hinds, Riz Ahmed, Anne-Marie Duff, and Kenneth Cranham are the supporting players, Steven Knight wrote it, John Crowley directed it, and Focus Features gives it a limited release.
Empire State – Chris (Liam Hemsworth) is a security guard for an armed car company. While the trucks go out and make the rounds, he stays at the base and monitors the cash. While working one night, the cops show up on a tip, but the place gets robbed anyway. The guys who did it, friends of Chris, are trying to try pull him down with them. The detective working the case, James (Dwayne Johnson) is trying to get Chris to rat on his friends, while hoping that Chris isn’t involved. Doesn’t look good for anybody. Emma Roberts, Nikki Reed, and Michael Angarano co-star. Directed by Dito Montiel and out in limited release from The Film Arcade, DVD release scheduled for September 3rd.
Getaway – Brent (Ethan Hawke) is a former racecar driver who has found himself behind the wheel one last time. His wife was kidnapped, and if he wants to see her again, he is going to have to follow orders and drive. When a kid (Selena Gomez) tries to hijack Brent, she finds herself locked into a mission that Brent must complete, even if that means killing the hapless thief. Jon Voight plays the man pulling all the strings, Sean M. Finnegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker wrote it, Courtney Solomon and Yaron Levy directed it, and Warner Brothers gives this a wide release. Strap in and hold on, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
I Declare War – While playing an epic game of capture the flag, they don’t just play the game, and they go to war. In their hands are sticks and stones, but in their mind, they have AK-47s and grenades. Twelve-years olds have quite the imagination. As is the case with most kids, things get serious very quickly and a little out of hand. Michael Friend, Gage Munroe, Siam Yu, Mackenzie Munro, Aidan Gouveia, and Alex Cardillo are the kids, Jason Lapeyre wrote it and co-directed it with Robert Wilson. Out in limited release from Drafthouse Films, which is beginning to amass quite the library of excellent films.
Instructions Not Included – Valentin (Eugenio Derbez) gets around. He has lady after lady, enjoying himself as best he can, until life drops a bundle right in his lap. A strange woman appears and leaves him with his newborn daughter Maggie (Loreto Peralta) before disappearing again. Valentin raises Maggie, and he is quite the good Dad, but Maggie wants to know what happens to her Mother, so Valentin moves them both to Los Angeles in hopes of find her. While there, he finds work as a stuntman and tries to make his daughter’s life as beautiful as possible. Then Mom shows up, and threatens to destroy everything that he has built up. Written by Guillermo Ríos and Leticia López Margalli, directed by Eugenio Derbez and out in limited release from Lionsgate.
The Lifeguard – Leigh (Kristen Bell) is not having a very good go at things. Her career is in the toilet, her love life is over, and it’s time to leave New York City. Back she heads to the suburbs and her family. She moves back into her old room and picks up right where she left off when she graduated. Not exactly the picture perfect idea of adulthood, but sometimes people just need a restart. In Leigh’s case, it’s really her that keeps getting in her way. Co-starring Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Amy Madigan, and Joshua Harto. Written and directed by Liz W. Garcia, Screen Media Ventures gives this a limited theatrical run with an VOD push.
One Direction: This is Us – Just a few years ago, Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis were just five lads from working class families who dreamed of hitting it big. One stroke from super producer Simon Cowell, and the next thing you know, they are one of the biggest bands in the whole world. Director Morgan Spurlock follows the boy band as they tour the world, perform for screaming girls left and right, and visit their hometowns. An interesting look at what celebrity and fame looks like from the inside. Starring Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and all of their fans. Out in wide release from Sony Pictures.
Our Nixon – Richard Nixon was the most controversial President America saw during the 20th Century. The phrase, “I’m not a crook.” Has become synonymous with back-room dealings, underhanded tactics, and just plain lies. But who was Richard Nixon, and who were the people that surrounded him? During the Watergate hearing, all items pertaining to Nixon and his doings, both political and personal, were seized. That includes the 500 hours of home movie footage. Now that footage can be seen, and director Penny Lane weaves those home movies with archive footage to create a picture of whom Richard Nixon might have been. Out in limited release from Cinedigm.
Passion – Last month, Breaking the Girls, a Hitchcockian thriller about swapping murders with a lesbian love story as the center. This month, Brian De Palma, a man who has made a career by cribbing from Hitch, gives us the story of a perfect murder with a lesbian twist. Oh what the Master of Suspense would have done if the censors were more relaxed back then! The two women (Rachel McAdams & Noomi Rapace) are in the cutthroat business world where stepping on the little guy on the way up is a common practice. Of course when they step on each other, things get a little out of hand. Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth, Rainer Bock, Leila Rozario are the supporting players, Alain Corneau, Natalie Carter co-wrote the script with director DePalma. Out in limited release from Entertainment One, but available everywhere via VOD.