Movie Beat – 05.16.14

05.16.14 - Ai Weiwei The Fake CaseAi Weiwei: The Fake Case – Reactionary and revolutionary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei is out on bail. Apparently the Chinese government is taking cues from The Untouchables, because Weiwei was thrown in solitary confinement for 81 days due to Tax Evasion. Ai Weiwei tries his best to dismantle the system from the inside, but the battle is taking its toll. Andreas Johnsen directs the documentary that follows China’s infamous political activist. International Film Circuit gives it a limited release.


05.16.14 - Chinese PuzzleChinese Puzzle – Marriage can sometimes be very complicated. Especially when you toss lesbian-lovers, green cards and psychotics into the mix. Xavier’s (Romain Duris) mother moves his two kids to New York City and Xavier can’t stand the idea of everyone being apart. Time to pack everything up and brave the big city. Kelly Reilly, Audrey Tautou, Sandrine Holt, Cécile De France and Margaux Mansart are as wacky as they come and get in on the fun. Cédric Klapisch writes and directs and Cohen Media Group puts this into a limited release.


05.16.14 - The DiscoverersThe Discoverers – History professor Lewis Birch (Griffin Dunne) is having a hard time. His kids (Madeleine Martin & Devon Graye) take him about as seriously as his peers, and that doesn’t say much. Birch hopes that attending this particular conference will help things out, but probably not. Especially when his father (Stuart Margolin) goes AWOL during a Lewis & Clarke re-enactment. When it rains, it pours. Co-starring Cara Buono, David Rasche, Dreama Walker and John C. McGinley. Justin Schwarz wrote and directed and Submarine Entertainment gave it a limited release.


05.16.14 - GodzillaGodzilla – That giant beast from the age of the atom is back and he’s wrecking everything in sight. The beast was discovered in 1948 and they tried to destroy it with nukes, but that only pissed it off. Now, it has awoken and the whole damn city better watch out. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins first try to stop the monster, then they try to get out of it’s way. Script by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham, direction by Gareth Edwards and released from Warner Brothers.


05.16.14 - Half of a Yellow SunHalf of a Yellow Sun – Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are two wealthy and privileged sisters who make very different choices. Olanna takes a revolutionary professor, Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), as her lover and Kainene selects a British writer, Richard (Joseph Mawle), and a career in business. With the backdrop of the 1960’s Nigerian revolution, Olanna and Kainene represent the two ways the nation might go. John Boyega and Chris Chrisafis also star in the movie written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and directed by Biyi Bandele. In limited release from Monterey Media.


05.16.14 - Hannah RanchHanna Ranch – Ranching has changed a great deal in the past twenty-years and for it to survive, it must evolve. Colorado Rancher, Kirk Hanna, foresaw that change coming and became an early adopter of eco-friendly ranching. It requires more work and more planning, but it also makes ranching possible without destroying the land. Family issues and financial struggles stood in Hanna’s way and director Mitch Dickman interviews other ranchers, family members and ecologist to construct a portrait of Hanna Ranch. In limited release from Gravitas Ventures.


05.16.14 - The ImmigrantThe Immigrant – Two sisters (Marion Cotillard and Angela Sarafyan) have come to America, but sickness will make sure that neither travels past Ellis Island. A man (Joaquin Phoenix) offers a way, but it is a costly way, and one of the sisters will have to prostitute herself for the good of the two. Another man, a magician (Jeremy Renner) points to another way, a much better way. Writer/director James Gray’s (and co-writer Ric Menello) sprawling American epic finally gets the international release courtesy of The Weinstein Company.


05.16.14 - Million Dollar ArmMillion Dollar Arm – Sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) lost his last client and was about as down on his luck as Jerry Maguire. Jerry had Rod Tidwell, JB has… no one. Then an idea struck: travel to India, recruit a new pitcher from a pool of cricket players, spruce him up for the big leagues and unleashed him on the MLB. Sounded great in theory, but was difficult in practice. Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Madhur Mittal, Suraj Sharma and Alan Arkin star in this true story of Southern California sports. Tom McCarthy wrote it, Craig Gillespie directed it and Walt Disney Pictures gives it a wide release.


05.16.14 - A Short History of DecayA Short History of Decay – Nathan Fischer (Bryan Greenberg) is a wanna-be writer in his thirties and life isn’t going his way. He can’t seem to finish what he starts, focus on what he finishes, or accept that maybe life has different plans for him. Then he gets a call that his father is in the hospital and his mother can’t help on account of her Alzheimer’s. Nathan heads down to Florida and finds himself smack-dab in some familial entanglements. Co-starring Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Benjamin King and Kathleen Rose Perkins. Written and directed by Michael Maren and in very limited release from Arc Entertainment.


05.16.14 - Wolf Creek 2Wolf Creek 2 – The Australian Outback is a rough place. Doubly rough when it is lorded over by a murderous cannibal. Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is the ruthless serial killer that also eats his catch and two very unfortunate backpackers cross his path and things get worse from there. Ryan Corr, Philippe Klaus, Shannon Ashlyn and Shane Connor star in the sequel directed by Greg McLean and written by McLean and Aaron Sterns. In limited release from RLJ Entertainment.