Movie Beat – 12.25.13

12.25.13 - 47 Ronin47 Ronin – A ronin is a master-less samurai, a drifter, a wanderer who makes his way from village to village, performing meaningless tasks for room and board. Kai (Keanu Reeves) joins up with a bunch of other ronin, 46 to be exact, to defeat a bunch of evil spirits and demons plaguing the land. Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, and Min Tanaka co-star. Writers Hossein Amini and Chris Morgan retell the legendary tale with direction from Carl Rinsch. Out in wide release from Universal Pictures.


12.25.13 - August Osage County

August: Osage County – Holidays mean family time. Some of us have loving, caring families. Some of us have destructive families full of madness and insanity. The Weston Sisters fall into the latter category. A death in the family brings everyone back to the Midwestern home where they grew up and it does not bode well for anyone. Meryl Streep leads a very impressive cast that includes: Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dermot Mulroney, and Sam Shepard. Written by Tracy Letts and directed by John Wells. Out in wide release from The Weinstein Company.


12.25.13 - Grudge Match

Grudge Match – For years the world debated, what was the greatest boxing film, Rocky or Raging Bull? Which actor was a better fighter, which fighter was a better fighter, and which movie did you like better? Well, 2013 decided to answer that question and cast an aging Robert De Niro and an aging Sylvester Stallone as two aging boxers in one last-ditch effort at glory and fame. Why the hell not? Co-starring Kevin Heart, Alan Arkin, and Kim Basinger. Directed by Peter Segal and out in wide release from Warner Brothers Pictures.


12.25.13 - The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman – We often credit Charles Dickens with inventing the modern celebration of Christmas, so what better day than to watch a movie about the prolific writer? Director/star Ralph Fiennes explores the secret and tortured romance Dickens (Fiennes) had with Nelly (Felicity Jones), an actress that quickly became his muse and obsession until his death. Kristin Scott Thomas, Michael Marcus, Tom Hollander, and Joanna Scanlan co-star, Abi Morgan adapts Claire Tomalin’s book and Sony Pictures Classics gives this a limited release.


12.25.13 - Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor – “No man ever won a war by dying for his country. Wars were won by making the other poor bastard die for his.” Patton was right on the money, and here is the true story of Operation Red Wings and the lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell, a man who witnessed those other poor bastards dying for their country right alongside his brothers in arms. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch, and Alexander Ludwig. From writer/director Peter Berg and based on Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. Out in limited release from Universal Studios.


12.25.13 - Justin Bieber's Believe

Justin Bieber’s Believe – He was once just another kid busking on the streets, then he was a YouTube star, then he became a pop phenomenon and an arena staple, now he is heading into unknown territory. Will Justin Bieber grow up, will his writing grow up, will his music grow up, or will he crash and burn? Starring Bieber, Scooter Braun, Usher, Ludacris, and more. Directed by Jon M. Chu and David Scheinman and in wide release from Open Road Films.


12.25.13 - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – James Thurber’s classic story was only three pages long, but that was enough to spawn two movies. The 1947 version starred Danny Kaye as the legendary daydreamer, but in 2013, director/star Ben Stiller is going to give it a go. This version has Mitty searching for a lost negative that will be the final cover image of Life magazine. On his adventures/daydreams, Mitty will do everything he can to woo the lovely Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) and save the day. Co-starring Patton Oswald, Adam Scott, and the great Shirley MacLaine. Written by Steve Conrad and directed by Stiller, Mitty is back and dreaming in wide release from 20th Century Fox.


12.25.13 - The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street – Ah, the 90s, those were the days. The towers were still standing, suburban schools weren’t being shot up ever week, and the word ‘recession’ was the furthest things from people’s minds. It was a time of opulence, criminality, and excess, and few did it quite as well as Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). Belfort was young, resourceful, imaginative, and completely out of control. Who better to bring this story to life than the master of cinema, Martin Scorsese? Supporting performances from Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner, Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, and Margot Robbie. Based on Belfort’s memoir with a script by Terrence Winter and directed by our dear friend Marty. Out in wide release from Paramount Pictures.