As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner is one of America’s greatest treasures. His words dance across the page with like a hot summer breeze on a muggy summer evening. Can these words be transcribed to the screen? Possibly in meaning and spirit, maybe not in the literal sense. Writer-director-star-art project enthusiast James Franco is certainly going to give it a shot. Adapting one of Faulkner’s novels about brothers taking their mother to her final resting place and the difficulties before them and the secrets behind them. Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Danny McBride, Ahna O’Reilly, and Logan Marshall-Green co-star with Franco on this quest. Out in limited release from Millennium Entertainment.
Baggage Claim – One sister gets engaged, that pretty much means the other one needs to as well. Montana Moore (Paula Patton) has only thirty days to find the lucky guy. Thankfully, Montana is a flight attendant, so she will have ample opportunities to traverse the friendly skies and find the guy that’s right for her. Too bad that before she can find him, she is going to have to find an awful lot of Mr. Wrongs. This could be one of those faux-Hollywood movies that Johansson’s character in Don Jon just loves. Co-starring Djimon Hounsou, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, and Boris Kodjoe. Written and directed by David E. Talbert and out in limited release from Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 – Get ready for some serious pun action, Flint Lockwood (Bill Hayder) and company are back at it. Flint’s machine that turned water into food in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs has now created every possible food/animal combination and it needs to be stopped. Time for Lockwood and his crew to sail into the artichoke heart of darkness and stop the foodimals before the whole world is taken over. Vocal performances from Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, and Terry Crews. Script by Judi & Ron Barrett and Erica Rivinoja with direction from Cody Cameron & Kris Pearn. Out in wide release from Sony Pictures.
Don Jon – Jon’s got his whole life going for him. He works hard and maintains all the important things in life: his body, his car, his church, his family, his ladies, and his porn. Yep, Jon’s got himself of a little addiction here, but he doesn’t see it as unhealthy. Then the girl enters his life, and draws an issue with the porn watching. But she has her own issues, she has confused the line between movies and reality and thinks that life should be and is one sappy Hollywood romantic movie. It’s the 21st Century and we are all having some difficulty distancing ourselves from the screens that control and represent us. Joseph Gordon-Levitt leads a first-rate cast of Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza, Julianne Moore, and Brie Larson in his debut as a writer/director. Out in wide release from Relativity Media.
Inequality For All – Even though we Americans try so hard to debunk it, we are a class system. Our three classes are upper, middle, and lower. The upper class has been well documented as of late, those lovely one-per centers. The lower class certainly gets it’s fair share of attention, but most of the focus has been on the middle class. That is because it is the largest and most important of the three, and it’s also the one that is disappearing the fastest. No, they are not being promoted to the upper class, they are slipping down into the lower. They are making the same or less money for more work than they have in the past, and that is becoming a problem. Former department of labor, Robert Reich is on a mission to stop the middle class from being bullied by the upper class and has a few ideas on how to take care of all of America. From documentarian Jacob Kornbluth and out in limited release from RAiDUS-TWC.
Rush – Formula One racing in 1976 saw one of the greatest rivalries in sports. James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two of the greatest drivers were neck and neck, constantly pushing each other. Playboy Hunt and methodical and meticulous Lauda (also a fan of the party scene) were constantly chasing each other, often racing against each other in a manner that made all the other cars on the track superfluous. Director Ron Howard re-teams with writer Peter Morgan to make his first independent film since his days with Roger Corman about this legendary duo. Chris Hemsworth stars as Hunt and Daniel Brühl steps into the role of Lauda. Co-starring Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, and David Calder. Out in wide release from Universal Pictures.
Metallica Through the Never – Trip (Dane DeHaan) is a roadie for one of the biggest bands in the world, Metallica. He does what is asked of him and he goes where he is told to go. On one run, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world where civilians battle the establishment and everybody looks like they stepped out of a heavy metal epic. That’s because they just did. Metallica music and concert footage colors the world that Trip traverses and man-oh-man is that some bombastic music to find yourself in the middle of. James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Lars Ulrich, who have been rocking since the early 80s recruit writer/director Nimród Antal for this IMAX 3D spectacle. Out in limited release from Picturehouse Films this week, but soon to be everywhere.
On The Job – Using prisoners to commit murders, why didn’t anyone think of that before? You take a convict who will never see the light of day again, release him under supervision, he does the hit, and by the end of the day, he’s back in lock-up. Two cops who are hot on the trail are thrown for a loop when the body count starts to pile up. Just who is doing all these hits? The lines between he good and the bad are blurred as the investigators try to uncover the corruption that is right under their nose. Piolo Pascual, Joel Torre, Angel Aquino, Gerald Anderson, Michael De Mesa, and Joey Marquez star, Erik Matti and Michiko Yamamoto write, and Matti directs. Out in limited release from Well Go USA, which is doing an excellent job bringing Asian films to the states.
Shepard & Dark – Sam Shepard is one of the best American playwrights and a pretty damn good actor. Johnny Dark is one of his closest friends, and for the past forty years, they have been communicating through long and detailed letters. In these letters, you can see a life develop. Wants, needs, desires, and mistakes. A lot of mistakes. The same mistakes, over and over again. Oh well, such is life. Come eavesdrop on two old buddies as they reflect on their lives and what their friendship has meant to them. Directed by Treva Wurmfeld and out in limited release from Music Box Films.
We Are What We Are – Oh, the backwoods, how they terrify me. Not just because there are all of these movies about the creepy folks of the backwoods, but because they must be based on something. The Parker family has lived in the backwoods of Delaware County and upheld a bizarre and creepy family tradition. Now that Mother Parker has passed, it is up to the eldest daughter to continue the tradition. Compound this with an ongoing investigation about some human remains that wash up downstream from the Parkers, and they are going to have to do some explaining. Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, and Julia Garner are the Parkers, Michael Parks is the doctor, and Wyatt Russell is the deputy. Written by Nick Damici and Jim Mickle with Mickle in the director’s chair. Out in limited release from One Entertainment. Please wait 30 minutes after eating before seeing this one.