Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Disappointments Room (R for sexuality, profanity, violence and bloody images) Haunted house thriller about a family (Kate Beckinsale, Duncan Joiner and Mel Raido) that moves from Brooklyn to a mansion in the country only to unwittingly unleash demonic forces sitting dormant in the attic. With Gerald McRaney, Lucas Till and Michaela Conlin.
Sully (PG-13 for peril and brief profanity) Tom Hanks portrays Sully Sullenberger in Clint Eastwood's re-enactment of the US Airways pilot's heroic crash landing of his crippled plane on the Hudson River in January of 2009. Cast includes Laura Linney, Aaron Eckhart and Anna Gunn.
When the Bough Breaks (PG-13 for violence, sexuality, mature themes, profanity, disturbing images and partial nudity) Psychological thriller about a couple (Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall) forced to resort to desperate measures when the surrogate mom (Jaz Sinclair) hired to bear their baby suddenly develops feelings for the father. With Theo Rossi, Justin Lebrun and Sue-Lynn Ansari.
The Wild Life (PG for peril, mild action and rude humor) Animated adventure unfolding from the perspective of the peaceful creatures living on a tropical island whose tranquility is disrupted by the arrival of Robinson Crusoe (Matthias Schweighofer). Voice cast includes Kaya Yanar, Ilka Bessin and Aylin Tezel.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Author: The JT Leroy Story (R for sexuality, drug use, violent images and pervasive profanity) Out-of-the-closet documentary revealing that fiction writer Laura Albert is the real person behind the pen name JT Leroy .
Cameraperson (Unrated) Reverential documentary chronicling the career of Kirsten Johnson, cinematographer of the Oscar-winning, documentary Citizenfour and other groundbreaking exposes.
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War (Unrated) Ken Burns co-directed this documentary recounting the heroic mission mounted in 1939 by American minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha to rescue scores of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi occupation of Europe. Voice cast includes Tom Hanks and Marina Goldman.
For the Love of Spock (Unrated) Obsessed fan biopic chronicling the enduring appeal of the late Leonard Nimoy, as well as the beloved character he originated on Star Trek, Dr. Spock. Featuring commentary by Williams Shatner, J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto.
Ithaca (PG for mature themes, smoking and a violent image) Meg Ryan makes her directorial debut with this adaptation of The Human Comedy, William Saroyan's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, set in 1942, revolving around a 14 year-old's (Alex Neustaedter) attempt to provide for his widowed mother (Ryan) and siblings (Spencer Howell and Christine Nelson) after his older brother (Jack Quaid) goes off to fight in World War II. With Sam Shepard, Hamish Linklater and Nick Williams.
Kicks (R for pervasive profanity and for teen drug and alcohol abuse, sexuality and violence) Coming-of-adventure, set in inner-city Oakland, revolving around a 15 year-old's (Jahking Guillory) attempt to retrieve a pricey pair of sneakers stolen right off his feet. With Christopher Wallace, Jr. (Biggie's son), Christopher Meyer, Kofi Siriboe and Mahershala Ali.
London Road (Unrated) Crime drama recounting real-life events which transpired in 2006 when the peace of the quaint town of Ipswich, England was rocked by the murders of five women. Co-starring Olivia Colman, Clare Burt and Rosalie Craig.
Starving the Beast (Unrated) College tuition expose examining the push to reform America's public universities so that the cost of a higher education will be borne directly by its student beneficiaries rather than by the general public.