The Battered Bastards of Baseball – Next week is All-Star Week where the best of the National League and American League will take a break from a grueling and long season to play a game, that has some impact on the outcome, but is by and large for fun. The Battered Bastards of Baseball looks back to a time when baseball was a whole lot of fun and money didn’t pollute and convolute everything. How could it? There was none of it to go around! The story of Portland’s Mavericks and Bing Russell, directed by Chapman Russell Way and Maclain Way. Available to everyone with a Netflix Instant account.
Boyhood – Some are calling it one of the greatest achievements of cinema. A child literally grows in front of our eyes. Writer/director Richard Linklater has been filming Ellar Coltrane for a couple of days each year for twelve years. He brought along old friends Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette for the experiment, and now it is time to see what has come of it. A narrative exploration of what Michael Apted has been doing with his 7-Up series made with the kind of slapdash whimsy that Linklater has perfected. In limited release from IFC Films.
Closed Curtain – Jafar Panahi is one of Iran’s greatest filmmakers and he has been banned from the craft since 2010. Not one to rest on his laurels, Panahi has made two non-film movies and Closed Curtain is where Panahi intersects with Pirandello as narrative, reality and dream all merge at Panahi’s beachside town when two wander into a story about a man and his dog. Kambozia Partovi, Maryam Moghadam, Hadi Saeedi and Azadh Torabi also star in something that is not a film and was not directed by Jafar Panahi and Kambozia Partovi. In limited release from Variance Films.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – It’s been several years since the apes, chimps and orangutans broke free from San Francisco and they have been living peacefully north of the Golden Gate Bridge, but mankind hasn’t had it so easily. The simian flu has wiped out a great portion of the population and the survivors turn their blame on those highly developed dirty apes. Andy Serkis reprises his role as Caesar and leads his army against the humans, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Mark Bomback and directed by Matt Reeves. In wide release from 20th Century Fox.
Honour – Mona (Aiysha Hart), a Muslim girl living in West London, is on the run from her family who will not let her marry her Punjabi boyfriend. The family enlists the services of a bounty hunter (Paddy Considine), a dark man with a dark past, to track down Mona and bring her to her senses. I don’t think things will work out quite like they planned. Co-starring Nikesh Patel, Shubham Saraf, Faraz Ayub and William Ruane. Written and directed by Shan Khan and in limited release from 108 Media.
Land Ho! – Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) and Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) are ex-brothers-in-law, in their sixties and need to do something to kick the tires and light the fires. Mitch plans a trip for them, destination: Iceland! From the fast paced city of Reykjavík to the rural countryside and ubiquitous hot springs, these two will find adventure once again. Karrie Crouse, Elizabeth McKee, Alice Olivia Clarke and Emmsjé Gauti co-star in this comedy written and directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens. In limited release from Sony Pictures Classics.
A Long Way Down – Four people (Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul) have all decided to kill themselves on New Year’s Eve. As coincidence would have it, they individually decide to throw themselves off the same building, but upon further inspection, collectively decide to go on living. They form their own little support group and their story makes them all TV and Internet sensations. Co-starring Rosamund Pike and Sam Neill. Written by Craig Hawes and directed by Pascal Chaumeil. In limited release from Magnolia Pictures.
Made in America – 2013’s Rush was director Ron Howard’s return to independent production since his debut film. Now, the studio reigns are off and Howard is testing his boundaries with his first documentary, which also doubles as a concert film. Jay-Z’s concert, “Made in America” is a combination of rock and pop acts designed to bring the disparate lovers of music together for one big celebrations of dreams coming true. Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, The Hives, Skrillex and Santigold all come together for a little fun in the park and Phase 4 Films gives this a limited theatrical release before a DVD rollout.
The Perfect Wave – Ian (Scott Eastwood) grew up in the water. Surfing isn’t just his hobby, it’s his way of life and he’s living the endless summer dream of chasing the perfect wave all over Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa. Then he meets Annabel (Rachel Hendrix) and she firmly grounds him and opens his eyes to a much more earthly paradise. Based on a true story and co-starring Cheryl Ladd, Patrick Lyster and Diana Vickers. Written by Roger Hawkins and Billy Wood, directed by Bruce Macdonald and in limited release from GVN Releasing.
Rage – On the surface, Paul Maguire (Nicolas Cage) seems like he leads a normal family life, but Paul has made some enemies in his past—some very serious enemies—and they have come back to extract their revenge. They take Paul’s daughter to draw him back in, and Paul responds by gathering up the old stomping crew and raising all kinds of hell. Danny Glover and Rachel Nichols co-star in this revenge script penned by Jim Agnew and Sean Keller with Paco Cabezas directing. In limited release from Image Entertainment with a DVD release soon to follow.