Movie Beat – 02.21.14

02.21.14 - 3 Days To Kill3 Days To Kill – Kevin Costner is an agent assigned to killing, torturing and blowing-up parts of Paris. I wonder what on his resume landed him the job? He wants out, but his boss (Amber Heard?) wants him to take one last job. He does. Bad idea. His family gets involved, badder idea. He takes his teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) along with him. Baddest idea. What will his wife (Connie Nielsen) think? Directed by that three-lettered Charlie’s Angels guy, McG, and in wide release from Relativity Media.


02.21.14 - Almost Human

Almost Human – Two years ago, Mark (Josh Ethier) was abducted by aliens and now he’s back. Or at least, something resembling Mark is back. He may look like Mark, walk like Mark, talk like Mark, but this Mark has a taste for murder and is out on a rampage. His friends and family are trying to figure out what is going on, let’s just hope they can before Mark gets to them. Co-starring Vanessa Leigh, Graham Skipper, Susan T. Travers and Anthony Amaral. Written and directed by Joe Begos and in limited release from IFC Films.


02.21.14 - Barefoot

Barefoot – The black sheep of a very wealthy Southern family is a womanizer, a degenerate gambler and an aimless drifter. There is a wedding in his family and he needs an excuse to get out of dodge and escape his creditors, so he takes a girl he’s just met. She isn’t used to doing anything outside of the house, but it looks like she is going to pluck up and find some courage and adventure. Starring Scott Speedman, Evan Rachel Wood, J.K. Simmons, Treat Williams and Kate Burton. Directed by Andrew Fleming and in limited release from Roadside Attractions.


02.19.14 - Child's Pose

Child’s Pose – Parents live their lives through the lives of their children. Every accomplishment the child makes is reflected on the face of the parent. Sadly, any mistake a child makes is equally reflected on the face of the parent, or in some cases, even more so. Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu) is an upper-crust Bucharest socialite who is trying to keep her deadbeat son out of trouble after a horrendous car crash. A mother’s love knows no bounds, and that isn’t always a good thing. Co-starring Bogdan Dumitrache, Florin Zamfirescu, Ilinca Goia, Natasa Raab and Vlad Ivanov. Written by Razvan Radulescu and directed by Calin Peter Netzer and in limited release from Zeitgeist Films.


02.21.14 - Elaine Stritch Shoot Me

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me – For some people, work is life. How true that adage is for Elaine Stritch, an actress and singer who is approaching her eighty-seventh year of life and refusing to go gently into the night. Stritch has performed on Broadway and in front of cameras for decades and her signature style hasn’t changed, nor has her charm diminished. A host of Hollywood and New York’s elite pay their respects to Stritch in this loving documentary. Directed by Chiemi Karasawa and in limited release from IFC Films.


02.21.14 - In Secret

In Secret – Émile Zola’s novel, Thérèse Raquin, has spawned more than one adaptation, and in this one, Elizabeth Olson plays Thérèse, the woman forced into a marriage with man who simply does not appreciate her (Tom Felton). Then Laurent (Oscar Isaac) shows up and he is full of sensuality and charm. They fall madly in love and start a very dangerous affair. Especially when they decide to do away with that wet blanket of a husband. Co-starring Jessica Lange, Shirley Henderson and John Kavanagh. Written and directed by Charlie Stratton and in limited release from Roadside Attractions.


02.21.14 - Omar

Omar – Omar (Adam Bakri) is a Palestinian baker who also wants to join rebel forces to end Israel’s occupation. The leader of his group, Tarek (Eyad Hourani) has been Omar’s friend since childhood, and Tarek’s sister, Nadja (Leem Lubany), has been Omar’s secret lover for years. Nothing is easy for Omar, and things become even more complicated when he is picked up by Israeli soldiers for a crime he didn’t commit, but was witness to. This is the first feature fully funded by Palestine, and is a moving portrait of a way of life uncommon to those from American soil. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad and in limited release from Adopt Films.


02.21.14 - Pompeii

Pompeii – It was just another day. The sun was shining, the children were playing, men were discussing battles in the senate and Mount Vesuvius was just sitting there, waiting to go off. The story of Pompeii is the story of a civilization wiped out in a moment with a stroke of nature, a stroke that has preserved the inhabitants of Pompeii for all time. Here is a movie that looks to all the different stories that inhabited Pompeii just days before they became utterly meaningless. Starring Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Jessica Lucas and Jared Harris. Written by Janet Scott Batchler and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. In wide release from Sony Pictures.


02.21.14 - Souldier

Souldier – While watching Lone Survivor, I was impressed and amazed by the conditioning that these soldiers endured to prepare them for battle. The movie (which  is borderline torture-porn) is explicit that this is the type of training necessary for combat. That’s all well and good, but I wondered, “What programs do they put these soldiers through when it’s time to come home?” My sad suspicions are answered in this heartbreaking documentary, which is, they aren’t. Over 62,000 veterans are homeless and 22 veterans commit suicide every day. How sad that we prepare these volunteers for war, but not for life. Directed by Paul Dagostino, Russ Littlefield and Dean Farrell and in very limited release. Information can be found here.


02.21.14 - The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises – Hayao Miyazaki has been writing, directing and animating films since 1979. His entire career has delighted and enchanted children and adults and in each of his movies, there lives a wonder that does not let go easily. In The Wind Rises, Miyazaki-san takes his final bow with the story of Jiro Horikoshi, a man who designed Japanese fighter planes for WWII. The American release features an impressive vocal cast including: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci and on and on and on. Written and directed (one last time) by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by his legendary studio, Studio Ghibli.