Bettie Page Reveals All – She was the original pin-up girl. That magnificent cocktail of beauty, innocence, naughty and nice. What was so compelling about a picture of Betty Page was her joyous approach to sexuality. Anyone looking at her picture would immediately let their mind wander to possibilities and what a good time it would be. Of course, the notorious Mrs. Page came along in a very reserved and conservative time, and she disappeared from view, but her image and legacy lived on. Writer/producer/director Mark Mori found Mrs. Page and got her to narrate her life story, and here it is for you. Out in limited release from Music Box Films.
Contracted – Samantha (Najarra Townsend) is depressed and just a little drunk, a terrible combination when you are at a party. She is picked up by a stranger and taken back to the car for a little slap and tickle, but one moment of passion gives way to a lifetime of burning. Although, this is not your typical venereal disease, this is something that body horror master, Cronenberg, would loved to have thought up. The moral of the story, always use protection. Co-starring Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald, Katie Stegeman, Matt Mercer, and Simon Barrett. Written and directed by Eric England and out in limited release from IFC Midnight.
Delivery Man – He’s forty-something, a slob, a loser with no future, and his pregnant girlfriend just dumped him. To make matters worse, he just found out that he has fathered 500 children from the sperm he donated twenty-years ago, and over one hundred of them have filed a lawsuit against him. If any of this sounds like that Canadian film Starbuck that hit the states in March, it’s because writer/director Ken Scott remakes his story and cast Vince Vaughn as the lovable loser. Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Britt Robertson, Dave Patten, and Bobby Moynihan get in on the fun and Walt Disney Pictures gives this one a wide release.
Everyday – We don’t know why Ian (John Simm) is locked up, but we do know that Shirley (Shirley Henderson) is having a hard time raising her four children without him. Shirley does her best to juggle work and family, but she needs some assistance. Shot over the course of five years in two-week intervals, director Michael Winterbottom tries to create a very delicate, very human portrait of a family and a life. Written by Laurence Coriat and Winterbottom and out in limited release from IFC Films.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) may have won The Hunger Games, but her war is far from over. While taking her victory tour, she senses the unrest building while the Capitol clamps down. If that wasn’t bad enough, there has been a change to this year’s Hunger Game, all the contestants will be composed of former winners. Things don’t look good for a Mocking Jay. Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and Jena Malone join in on the games. Written by Michael Arndt, Simon Beaufoy, and Suzanne Collins with this installment directed by Francis Lawrence. Out in wide release from Lionsgate.
Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky – Noam Chomsky, philosopher, activist, political commentator, and linguist is one of the most important minds of our time. He sits down with director and animator Michel Gondry for a discussion about life and ideas. Gondry then puts his pencils to use and animates those conversations and ideas. Out in limited release from IFC Films.
It’s Better to Jump – Akka is a city in Northern Israel. This walled city is home to Palestinians, Jews, and Arabs alike, and has been since the time of the Pharaohs. Now these factions have all felt pressure since May 1948, when the State of Israel was ushered into the modern world. Economic hardship has also hit the city, and the Arabs are being forced to leave. Hard to leave a place that your family has called home for over two hundred years. Written by Gina Angelone and directed by Gina Angelone, Mouna Stewart, and Patrick A. Stewart. Out in very limited release from Patrick Stewart Productions.
Narco Cultura – If you keep even half of one eye on the news, then you know they shenanigans that have been going on in Juarez, Mexico. Massive gun violence, kidnappings, beheadings, and thousands of murders. The drug cartels have taken over, but there are those that stand and fight. Those that fight don’t have a very long lifespan, and they’re not getting any help from a new threat, Narco Cultura. Combining traditional Mexican mariachi and hip-hop’s glorification of violence, Narco looks to paint the cartels as folk heroes, and once you gotta a catchy song honoring you, suddenly everyone wants to get in on the fun. Directed by Shaul Schwarz and out in limited release from Cinedigm.
Philomena – Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) used to be a journalist and an advisor to the Labour party, but after a humiliating misunderstanding and a very public sacking, he is looking for his way back in. A human-interest story lands in his lap, and he may not want to take it, but beggars can’t be choosers. The story is of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) and her search for the son that was taken from her fifty years ago. Their search will take them from Ireland to Washington and back to Ireland again, and hopefully Martin will learn something in the process. Adapted from Sixsmith’s book by Coogan and Jeff Pope and directed by Stephen Frears. Out in limited release from The Weinstein Company.
Weekend of a Champion – Film director and Formula 1 fan, Roman Polanski travels to Monaco for the crème-de-la-crème of racing, the Grand Prixe. Jackie Stewart is his guide and driver, and what a driver! If Rush gave you an itch that you just can’t scratch, here is documentary footage from the good old days of racing. Written and co-directed by Frank Simon along with Polanski. Out in limited release from Submarine Media.