Kam's Kapsules for Movies opening September 30, 2016

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Deepwater Horizon (PG-13 for intense action sequences, disturbing images and brief profanity) Disaster flick recreating the real-life events surrounding the 2010 explosion of the offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico which claimed the lives of 11 crewmen and led to the worst crude oil spill in U.S. history. Co-starring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich.

Masterminds (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, violence and crude humor) Crime caper, inspired by actual events, revolving around an armored car driver (Zach Galifianakis) duped by a flirtatious co-worker (Kristen Wiig) into participating in one of the biggest bank heists in American history. With Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Owen Wilson.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (PG-13 for instense violence, peril and action sequences) Tim Burton directed this adaptation of Ransom Riggs' best-selling children's novel about a 16 year-old orphan (Asa Butterfield) who uncovers a terrifying reality when he travels to a Welsh orphanage located on a mysterious island. Cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Green, Chris O'Dowd, Dame Judi Dench, Allison Janney and Terence Stamp.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

American Honey (R for graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, pervasive profanity and teen drug and alcohol abuse) Raunchy road saga revolving around a troubled runaway (Sasha Lane) who joins a team of door-to-door salesmen who party when not hawking magazine subscriptions while driving across the American Midwest. With Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough and Arielle Holmes.

Among the Believers (Unrated) War on Terror expose' chronicling the efforts of Pakistan's infamous Red Mosque schools to raise a generation of Western-hating radical jihadists. (In English and Urdu with subtitles)

Clinton, Inc. (PG-13 for sexuality and mature themes) Adaptation of Daniel Halper's best seller of the same name offering a behind-the-scenes account of Bill and Hillary Clinton's maneuverings returning them to prominence after leaving the White House. Featuring commentary by Dick Morris, Rich Lowry and Ron Kessler.

Denial (PG-13 for mature themes and brief profanity) Courtroom drama recounting Deborah Lipstadt's (Rachel Weisz) epic legal battle with notorious Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall) over whether or not Hitler and his minions really murdered millions in the gas chambers during World War II. With Tom Wilkinson, Andrew Scott and Jack Lowden.

Do Not Resist (Unrated) Domestic tranquility documentary examining the proliferation of militarized policing across the United States.

Girl Asleep (Unrated) Coming-of-age dramedy about an ostracized social zero (Bethany Whitmore) whose fortunes change dramatically after being thrown a 15th birthday party by her concerned parents (Amber McMahon and Matthew Whittet). With Harrison Feldman, Imogen Archer and Eamon Farren.

Milton's Secret (PG for mature themes, adolescent issues and brief epithets) Family drama revolving around an 11 year-old (William Ainscough) who becomes the victim of a neighborhood bully (Percy Hynes White). Cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Donald Sutherland, David Sutcliffe and Mia Kirshner.

Passage to Mars (Unrated) True tale reenacting the real-life, 2,000-mile trek undertaken across the Arctic's frozen tundra by a half-dozen wannabe astronauts in anticipation of NASA's first manned flight to Mars. Co-starring Zachary Quinto, Charlotte Rampling and Buzz Aldrin.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies opening September 23, 2016

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Magnificent Seven (PG-13 for intense violence, smoking, profanity and suggestive material) Remake of the 1960 classic Western revolving around a rag-tag team of gunslingers recruited by a desperate widow (Haley Bennett) to defend her tiny frontier town from a ruthless gang of outlaws. Co-starring Denzel Washington, Peter Sarsgaard, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.

Storks (PG for mild action and mature themes) Animated comedy about a flock of storks that abandons its traditional mission to deliver packages for a global corporate giant. Plot thickens when a rising star (Andy Samberg) risks a promotion promised by his boss (Kelsey Grammer) by attempting to make his first ever baby drop after accidentally manufacturing an adorable, little bundle of joy. Voice cast includes Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Keegan-Michael key, Jordan Peele and Danny Trejo.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Chronic (R for nudity and profanity) Poignant character study starring Tim Roth in the title role as a caregiver for the terminally-ill who apparently needs his patients as much as they need him. Support cast includes Michael Cristofer, Elizabeth Tulloch and Tate Ellington.

Closet Monster (Unrated) Homoerotic drama, set in Newfoundland, about a gay teen (Connor Jessup) who hides his sexual preference from his intolerant, short-tempered father (Aaron Abrams) after witnessing a hate crime, until he falls in love with a handsome co-worker (Aliocha Schneider). With Isabella Rossellini, Joanne Kelly and Jinji Dawson.

Dirty 30 (PG-13 for sexuality, drug use and debauchery) Female empowerment adventure about a couple of jaded women (Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart) who throw a bawdy birthday party to lift the sagging spirits of a lifelong friend turning 30 (Mamrie Hart), only to see the soiree spiral out of control. Featuring Adam Lustick, Anna Akana and Annie Sertich.

The Dressmaker (R for brief profanity and a scene of violence) Kate Winslet handles the title role in this Prodigal Daughter drama, set in 1926, as a fashion designer who falls in love with a local hunk with a heart of gold (Liam Hemsworth) and transforms her hometown upon returning to Australia to care for her ailing, long-estranged mom (Judy Davis). Cast includes Hugo Weaving, Kerry Fox and Sarah Snook.

Generation Startup (Unrated) Millennials are the focus of this documentary revolving around the entrepreneurial efforts of a half-dozen college grads building businesses in Detroit.

I.T. (Unrated) Cat-and-mouse crime thriller about a successful businessman (Pierce Brosnan) who turns vigilante when his most trusted confidante (James Frecheville) starts sabotaging the company, stalking his teenage daughter (Stefanie Scott) and threatening his family. With Anna Friel, Austin Swift and Michael Nyqvist.

The Lovers and the Despot (Unrated) Bamboo Curtain documentary about a successful South Korean director (Shin Sang-ok) who was kidnapped with his wife/actress (Choi Eun-hee) and delivered to dictator Kim Jong-Il to serve as the North Korean dictator's personal filmmakers. (In Korean, Japanese and English with subtitles)

Made in France (Unrated) Jihadist thriller about an investigative journalist (Malik Zili) who infiltrates a cell of disaffected Islamic youth planning a terrorist attack on Paris. With Dimitri Storoge, Francois Civil and Nassim Si Ahmed. (In French with subtitles)

Queen of Katwe (PG for an accident scene, mature themes and suggestive material) Madina Malwanga portrays the title character of this uplifting biopic, Phionsa Mutesi, the Ugandan chess prodigy who overcomes poverty and misogyny to become a grandmaster with the help of a volunteer (David Oyelowo) who organizes a chess club in her humble village. With Lupita N'yongo, Martin Kabanza and Taryn Kyaze.

The Ruins of Lifta (Unrated) Middle East documentary about a Palestinian village which was abandoned during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War but never repopulated after the founding of the Jewish State.

Seed: The Untold Story (Unrated) Eco-documentary chronicling the David vs. Goliath effort of indigenous peoples and family farmers to preserve thousands of varieties of seeds being destroyed and/or appropriated by agribusiness and chemical conglomerates. (In English, Spanish and Hindi with subtitles)

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening September 16, 2016

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Blair Witch (R for profanity, terror and disturbing images) Found-footage horror sequel revolving around a college student (James Allen McCune) who leads a group of classmates deep into a Maryland forest in search of the long-lost sister who disappeared during a similar expedition. Ensemble includes Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry.

Bridget Jones' Baby (R for nudity, profanity and sexual references) Renee Zellweger reprises the title role in this baby-daddy dramedy which finds the British bachelorette pregnant but uncertain as to whether the father is her ex (Colin Firth) or her new lover (Patrick Dempsey). With Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones and Sally Phillips.

Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (PG for mature themes) Faith-based documentary chronicling the meteoric rise of Hillsong United, the Christian rock band from Australia whose hymns are sung in churches every Sunday by over 50 million people around the world.

Snowden (R for profanity, sexuality and nudity) Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays infamous whistleblower-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden in this cloak-and-dagger thriller directed by Oliver Stone. With Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage, Shailene Woodley, Tom Wilkinson, Joely Richardson and Rhys Ifans.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (Unrated) Ron Howard directed this reverential retrospective featuring found footage from interviews and concert performances by the Fab Four recorded between 1963 and 1966. Including commentary by Whoopi Goldberg, Sigourney Weaver and Elvis Costello.

Cardboard Boxer (Unrated) Bum fight drama about a Skid Row hobo (Thomas Haden Church) pressured by some spoiled-rotten teens to box other homeless men. Featuring Terrence Howard, Marlo Thomas, Macy Gray and Boyd Holbrook.

Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? (R for profanity and sexuality) Battle-of-the-sexes comedy, ostensibly by Spike Lee's Chi-Raq and/or Aristophanes' Lysistrata, revolving around a stay-at-home mom (Andrea Anders) who recruits the women in her Texas town to withhold sex from their husbands until they surrender their weapons. With Cloris Leachman, Horatio Sanz and John Michael Higgins.

Mr. Church (PG-13 for mature themes) Eddie Murphy plays the title character in this bittersweet drama about a chef who befriends a little girl (Natalie Coughlin) while cooking meals for her terminally-ill mother (Natascha McElhone). Cast includes Britt Robertson, Lucy Fry and Xavier Samuel.

Silicon Cowboys (Unrated) American Dream documentary about the trio of entrepreneurial BFFs who founded Compaq Computers over brunch at a Texas diner back in 1981.

Wild Oats (PG-13 for sexuality) Buddy comedy about a widow (Shirley MacLaine) who embarks with her best friend (Jessica Lange) on a hedonistic getaway to the Canary Islands after a life insurance company makes a multimillion dollar error in her favor. With Demi Moore, Alan Arkin, Judd Hirsch and Billy Connolly.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening September 9, 2016

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.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening September 2, 2016

by Kam Williams

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OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Light between Oceans (PG-13 for mature themes and sexuality) Romance drama, set off the coast of Australia in the wake of World War I, about a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander) who decide to adopt a baby (Florence Clery) they rescue from a rowboat adrift at sea. Cast includes Rachel Weisz, Leon Ford and Jack Thompson.

Morgan (R for profanity and brutal violence) Sci-fi thriller revolving around a corporate risk-management consultant (Kate Mara) hired to decide whether to terminate the life of a superhuman cyborg (Anya Taylor-Joy) after it attacks one of the scientists that created it. With Toby Jones, Rose Leslie and Michael Yare.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

In Search of the American Dream (PG-13 for profanity, violence and mature themes) Survival saga about six sibling's attempt to elude the authorities in a race across Texas after their undocumented parents are arrested on the spot and carted away. Co-starring Baldemar Rodriguez, Shaina Sandoval, Kayla Valadez and Jeremy Becerra. (In English and Spanish with subtitles)

Kickboxer: Vengeance (Unrated) High-octane tale action flick about a martial artist (Alain Moussi) who travels from L.A. to Bangkok to avenge the killing of his brother (Darren Shahlavi) by the Muay Thai champion (Dave Bautista). With Jean-Claude Van Damme, Georges St-Pierre and T.J. Storm.

Max Rose (Unrated) Jerry Lewis plays the title role in this skeletons-in-the-closet dramedy as a jazz pianist who has just discovered that his terminally-ill wife (Claire Bloom) has been hiding a big secret that makes their 65-year marriage a big lie. Cast includes Kerry Bishe', Dean Stockwell, Fred Willard, Illeana Douglas and Kevin Pollak.

Naam Hai Akira (Unrated) Crime thriller revolving around a headstrong college coed (Sonakshi Sinha) whose life spirals out of control after she unwittingly gets caught up in a conspiracy being hatched by a quartet of crooked cops. With Amit Sadh, Urmila Mahanta, Teena Singh and Mukesh Hariawala. (In Hindi with subtitles)

Sister Cities (Unrated) Dysfunctional family drama revolving around the reunion of four estranged sisters (Troian Bellisario, Stana Katic, Michelle Trachtenberg and Jess Weixler) for the funeral after their mother's (Jacki Weaver) apparent suicide. Support cast includes Alfred Molina, Tom Everett and Kathy Baker.

Skiptrace (PG-13 for violence, suggestive content, profanity, drug use and brief nudity) Action comedy about a Hong Kong detective (Jackie Chan) who teams up with an American gambler (Johnny Knoxville) to arrest the drug kingpin (Winston Chao) who murdered his partner (Eric Tsang). (In English and Mandarin with subtitles)

Summer of 8 (Unrated) Ensemble dramedy set in Santa Monica where we find an octect of high school grads hanging out on the beach during their last days of freedom before going their separate ways to college. Co-starring Carter Jenkins, Michael Grant, Matt Shively, Nick Marini, Shelly Hennig, Bailey Noble, Rachel DiPillo and Natalie Hall.

There Is a New World Somewhere (Unrated) Romance drama about a struggling, NYC artist (Agnes Bruckner) who returns home to Texas for a friend's wedding only to fall for a seductive stranger (Maurice Compte) who talks her into accompanying him on a road trip across the South. With Ashley Bell, John Robinson and Morgan Krantz.

White Girl (Unrated) New York City saga about a hedonistic college coed (Morgan Saylor) whose life spirals out of control after she falls head-over-heels for a bad boy (Brian 'Sene' Marc) dealing dime bags on her block. Cast includes Chris Noth, Justin Bartha and Adrian Martinez.

Kam's Kapsules

by Kam Williams

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

For movies opening August 26, 2016

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Don't Breathe (R for terror, violence, profanity, sexual references and disturbing content) Suspense thriller about a gang (Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette and Daniel Zovatto) that gets more than they bargained after burglarizing the home of a rich blind man (Stephen Lang) they thought would be an easy target. With Emma Bercovici, Franciska Torocsik and Christian Zagia.

Hands of Stone (R for sexuality, nudity and pervasive profanity) Reverential biopic chronicling the life and career of welterweight boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez). A-list ensemble cast includes Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin, John Turturro, Ruben Blades, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Usher Raymond.

Mechanic: Resurrection (R for profanity and pervasive violence) Jason Statham reprises title role in this high-octane sequel which finds the retired hit man blackmailed into performing a trio of dangerous hits by the kidnapper who's abducted the love of his life (Jessica Alba) .With Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh and Sam Hazeldine.

Southside with You (PG-13 for smoking, a violent image, brief profanity and a drug reference) Day-in-the-life retrospective revisiting the summer day in Chicago in 1989 when Barack (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Obama (Tika Sumpter) went on their first date. Supporting cast includes Vanessa Bell Calloway, Donald Paul and Deborah Geffner.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Black Songbird (Unrated) Revenge thriller revolving around a rookie journalist (Jenique Bennett) recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a nightclub run by the mobsters who murdered her childhood friends. Support cast includes Felicia White, Brynn Mosley and Antwan Mclaurin.

Blood Father (R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity and brief drug use) Mel Gibson stars in the title role of this action thriller about an ex-con's attempt to protect his estranged, 16 year-old daughter (Erin Moriarty) from the drug cartel that wants her dead. With William H. Macy, Diego Luna and Michael Parks.

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life (Unrated) Reverential biopic about 80 year-old Floyd Norman, the first African-American animator hired by Walt Disney Pictures. Featuring commentary by Whoopi Goldberg, Leonard Maltin and Don Hahn.

The Hollars (PG-13 for brief profanity and mature themes) John Krasinski directed and stars in this Prodigal Son dramedy as a struggling, NYC artist who moves back home to the Midwest with his pregnant girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) to help care for his ailing mom (Margo Martindale). With Richard Jenkins, Sharlto Copley, Randall Park and Josh Groban.

In Order of Disappearance (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Dark comedy revolving around a mild-mannered milquetoast-turned-bloodthirsty vigilante (Stellan Skarsgard) who embarks on a revenge-fueled killing spree after his son is murdered by mobsters. With Bruno Ganz, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen and David Sakurai. (In Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, Serbian and German with subtitles)

Is That You? (Unrated) Romance drama revolving an unemployed, 60 year-old, film projectionist (Alon Aboutboul) who moves from Israel to America to search for his long-lost childhood sweetheart. featuring Rani Blair, Patrick Michael Kelly and Naruna Kaplan de Macedo.

Kate Plays Christine (Unrated) Sobering biopic chronicling Kate Lyn Sheil's preparations to portray Christine Chubbuck, the suicidal, TV news anchor who shot herself in the head on the air in 1974.

Mia Madre (R for profanity) Bittersweet dramedy, set in Rome, revolving around a film director's (Margherita Buy) attempt to care for her terminally-ill mother (Giulia Lazzarini) while shooting a movie with a disappointing leading man (John Turturro). With writer/director Nanni Moretti, Beatrice Mancini and Stefano Abbati. (In English, Italian and French with subtitles)

Remember the Goal (PG for mature themes and and drug references) Faith-based drama revolving around the efforts of the cross-country coach (Allee Sutton Hethcoat) at an all-girls, Christian prep school to prepare the team for a big track meet while simultaneously ministering to their personal life issues. Co-starring Quinn Alexis, Sydney Marks and Jayla Palmer.

The Sea of Trees (PG-13 for mature themes, disturbing images and brief profanity) Character-driven drama about two suicidal men (Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe) who have second thoughts about taking their own lives after making friends in a forest at the base of Mount Fuji. With Naomi Watts, Katie Aselton and Jordan Gavaris. (In English and Japanese with subtitles)

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening August 19, 2016

by Kam Williams  

 

 

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OPENING THIS WEEK

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Ben-Hur (PG-13 for violence and disturbing images) Remake of 11 Oscar-winning classic, a faith-based tale of revenge revolving around a prince (Jack Huston) forced into slavery after being falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. With Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro and Nazanin Boniadi.

Collide (PG-13 for violence, profanity, sexuality and drug use) Action thriller about a couple of American tourists (Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones) backpacking across Europe who end up on the run from drug smugglers in Germany. With Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley and Nadia Hilker.

Hell or High Water (R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity and brief sexuality) Modern Western chronicling the cat-and-mouse pursuit of a couple of siblings (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) on a bank-robbing spree by an aging Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) and his half-breed partner (Gil Birmingham). Featuring Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon and Dale Dickey.

Kubo and the Two Strings (PG for action, mature themes, scary images and peril) Animated fantasy, set in ancient Japan, about a young boy (Art Parkinson) who must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his fallen samurai father to defeat an inadvertently-revived, evil spirit with a vengeful agenda. Voice cast includes Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara and George Takei.

War Dogs (R for drug use, sexual references and pervasive profanity) Fact-based tale about a couple of young businessmen (Miles Teller and Jonah Hill) who get more than they bargained for after landing a $300 million contract to arm America's allies in Afghanistan. With Ana de Armas, Barry Livingston and Bradley Cooper.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Billionaire Ransom (Unrated) Survival saga set on a remote island where a boot camp for spoiled-rotten rich kids is taken hostage by a gang of kidnappers. With Jeremy Sumpter, Phoebe Tonkin, Sebastian Koch and Ashley Walters.

Imperium (R for pervasive profanity) Crime thriller about an idealistic FBI agent (Daniel Radcliffe) who goes undercover to infiltrate a radical, white supremacist group. Cast includes Toni Collette, Tracy Letts and Sam Trammell.

Kampai: For the Love of Sake (Unrated) Foodie documentary exploring the critical contribution of rice wine to Japanese cuisine. With commentary by sake experts John Gauntner, Philip Harper and Kosuke Kuji. (In English and Japanese with subtitles)

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (PG-13 for mature themes and brief profanity) Cyber documentary examining the impact of the internet on humanity. Featuring commentary by Elon Musk, Lawrence Krauss, Kevin Mitnick and Lucianne Walkowicz.

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA (Unrated) Constitutional law documentary asserting that the National Rifle Association lobbies to prevent the passage of sensible gun legislation more for the sake of profit than to protect citizens' Second Amendment.rights.

Mia Madre (R for profanity) Bittersweet dramedy, set in Rome, revolving around a film director's (Margherita Buy) attempt to care for her terminally-ill mother (Giulia Lazzarini) while shooting a movie with a disappointing leading man (John Turturro). With writer/director Nanni Moretti, Beatrice Mancini and Stefano Abbati. (In English, Italian and French with subtitles)

Morris from America (R for sexuality, brief nudity, teen drug use and partying, and pervasive profanity) Markees Christmas plays the title character in this coming-of-age comedy about a 13 year-old, African-American's adjustment to life in Germany after his father (Craig Robinson) takes a job in Heidelberg as a pro soccer coach. With Carla Juri, Lina Keller and Jakub Gierszal. (In English and German with subtitles)

The People vs. Fritz Bauer (R for sexuality) Historical drama, set in 1957, revolving around the German Attorney General (Burghart Klauszner) who brought Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann (Michael Schenk) to justice. With Rudiger Klink, Andrej Kamnsky and Jorg Schuttauf. (In English, German, Yiddish and Spanish with subtitles)

Spaceman (R for drug use and pervasive profanity) Josh Duhamel handles the title role in this biopic chronicling the life after baseball of eccentric Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee. Cast includes Ernie Hudson, W. Earl Brown and Sterling K. Brown.

A Tale of Love and Darkness (PG-13 for mature themes and disturbing, violent images) Natalie Portman wrote, directed and stars in this adaptation of Amos Oz's (Amir Tessler) memoir about growing up Jewish in Jerusalem prior to Israeli statehood. With Shira Haas, Ohad Knoller and Makram Khoury). (In Hebrew with subtitles)

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening August 12, 2016

by Kam Williams  

 

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

OPENING THIS WEEK

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Florence Foster Jenkins (PG-13 for brief suggestive material) Meryl Streep handles the title role in this biopic about a New York City socialite-turned-tone deaf opera star who cultivated a loyal following despite singing off key. Cast includes Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg and Christian McKay.

Hell or High Water (R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity and brief sexuality) Modern Western about the pursuit of a couple of sibling bank robbers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) by an aging Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) and his half-breed partner (Gil Birmingham). Featuring Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon and Dale Dickey.

Pete's Dragon (PG for action, peril and brief mild epithets) Oakes Fegley plays the title character in this remake of the 1977 Disney classic fantasy about the adventures of an orphan befriended by a dragon (John Kassir). With Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Karl Urban and Wes Bentley.

Sausage Party (R for ethnic humor, graphic sexuality, drug abuse and pervasive profanity) Raunchy animated comedy, set in a supermarket, revolving around the struggle of a sausage (Seth Rogen) and some fellow groceries to learn the truth about what awaits them after being purchased. Voice cast includes James Franco, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd and Danny McBride.

 

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Anthropoid (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based World War II saga recounting the top secret mission to assassinate Nazi General Reinhard Heydrich (Detlef Bothe), the architect of Hitler's Final Solution. With Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, Brian Caspe and Karel Hermanek, Jr. (In English and German with subtitles)

Blood Father (R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity and brief drug use) Mel Gibson stars in the title role of this action thriller about an ex-con's attempt to protect his estranged, 16 year-old daughter (Erin Moriarty) from the drug cartel that wants her dead. With William H. Macy, Diego Luna and Michael Parks.

Emily & Tim (Unrated) Romance drama, narrated by Kathleen Turner, deconstructing the tumultuous, 50-year marriage of an alternately loving and antagonistic couple. Ensemble cast includes Alexis Bleidel, Phylicia Rashad, Thomas Mann, Andre Braugher, Kal Penn, Dominic Fumusa, Zosia Mamet, Drena De Niro and Olympia Dukakis.

The Fight Within (PG-13 for sports violence and brief menacing) Faith-based drama about a Mixed Martial Arts fighter's (John Major Chandler) who retires after being Born Again with the help of a new love (Lelia Symington) only to find himself forced back into the cage by a revenge-minded foe (Matt Leddo) he once beat. Supporting cast includes Wesley Williams, Mike H. Taylor and Dan Severn.

Ghost Team (PG-13 for profanity, sexual references and drug use) Ensemble comedy about a jaded, copy store clerk (Jon Heder) who lead a rag-tag team of misfits on a search for proof of paranormal activity. With David Krumholtz, Melonie Diaz, Justin Long and Amy Sedaris.

The Lost Arcade (Unrated) Inspirational documentary about Chinatown Fair, the legendary game arcade located in Manhattan's Chinatown which served as a community shelter for a diverse group of kids from all around the city.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening August 5, 2016

by Kam Williams

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

OPENING THIS WEEK

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Nine Lives (PG for profanity, rude humor and mature themes) Kiddie comedy revolving around a narcissistic, real estate tycoon (Kevin Spacey) who mysteriously finds himself trapped in the body of the cat he's just bought as a last-minute birthday present for his neglected, 11 year-old daughter (Malina Weissman). With Jennifer Garner, Christopher Walken and Robbie Amell.

Suicide Squad (PG-13 for profanity, suggestive content, disturbing behavior and pervasive action and violence) Adaptation of the DC Comics superhero series about a team of convicts recruited by the government yo conduct dangerous missions in exchange for clemency. Ensemble includes Will Smith, Jared Leto, Ben Affleck, Viola Davis, Margot Robbie and Common.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Amateur Night (Unrated) A day in the life comedy about a cash-strapped architecture student (Jason Biggs) who reluctantly takes a gig chauffeuring call girls around town after learning that his wife (Jenny Mollen) is expecting a baby. With Ashley Tisdale, Janert Montgomery and Steven Woo.

Bazodee (Unrated) PG-13 for suggestive material and brief profanity) Bollywood-style romantic musical, set in Trinidad, revolving around an East Indian bride-to-be (Natalie Perera) who falls head-over-heels for a local soca singer (Machel Montano) hired to perform at her engagement party. Featuring Kabir Bedi, Staz Nair and Valmike Rampersad.

The Brooklyn Banker (R for violence and profanity) Fact-based mob saga about an ambitious banker (Troy Garity) who comes to regret allowing himself to be recruited by the Mafia. Cast includes Paul Sorvino, David Proval and Elizabeth Masucci.

Five Nights in Maine (Unrated) Character-driven drama revolving around a grieving widower's (David Oyelowo) visit to his estranged mother-in-law (Dianne Wiest) in the wake of the untimely death of his wife (Hani Furstenberg). With Teyonah Parris, Rosie Perez and Faith Fay.

Front Cover (Unrated) Bittersweet romantic dramedy, set in Manhattan, about an openly-gay fashion stylist (Jake Choi) who falls in love during a photo shoot with a supposedly-straight movie star (James Chen) from Beijing. Supporting cast includes Elizabeth Sung, Jennifer Neala Page and Ming Lee.

Little Men (PG for smoking, mature themes and mild epithets) Coming-of-age drama, set in Brooklyn, about a couple of teen BFFs (Theo Taplitz and Michael Barbieri) whose friendship is tested by the tension between their parents locked in a landlord-tenant battle over rent. With Paulina Garcia, Greg Kinnear, Alfred Molina and Jennifer Ehle. (In English and Spanish with subtitles)

The Little Prince (PG for mature themes) Animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's beloved novella about an overprotected little girl (Mackenzie Foy) who is introduced to the wonders of the world by her eccentric, aviator next-door neighbor (Jeff Bridges). Voice cast includes Albert Brooks, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervaise and Paul Giamatti.

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice (Unrated) Reverential documentary recounting the exploits of the 18 African-American athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny (Unrated) Unabashed homage highlighting the life and career of the five-time, Oscar-nominated writer/director of Boyhood, Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

Sun Choke (Unrated) Suspense thriller about a woman (Sarah Hagan) recovering from a mental breakdown whose demons start to resurface when she develops an unhealthy obsession with a young stranger (Sara Malakul Lane). With Christina Amber, Derek Bevil and Jim Boeven.

The Tenth Man (Unrated) Prodigal Son drama about a Jew (Alan Sabbagh) who returns to Buenos Aires to reconcile with his estranged father (Usher Barilka) while exploring the cultural traditions that originally alienated them from each other. Support cast includes Julieta Zylberberg, Elvira Onetto and Uriel Rubin. (In Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish with subtitles)

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening July 29, 2016

by Kam Williams

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Bad Moms (R for full frontal nudity, pervasive profanity, and drug and alcohol use) Female empowerment comedy about a trio of overstressed, burnt-out supermoms (Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell) in need of fun and freedom who embark on a self-indulgent binge of hedonistic partying. Cast includes Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay Hernandez and Kesha.

Cafe Society (PG-13 for violence, suggestive material, smoking and a drug reference) Woody Allen romantic dramedy, set in the 1930s, revolving around a New Yorker (Jesse Eisenberg) who relocates to Los Angeles hoping to work for his uncle (Steve Carell), only to fall in love with the powerful Hollywood agent's secretary (Kristen Stewart). With Sheryl Lee, Jeannie Berlin and Richard Portnow.

Jason Bourne (PG-13 for brief profanity and intense action and violence) 5th installment in the Robert Ludlum espionage series finds the amnesia-plagued protagonist (Matt Damon) uncovering truths about his past at a time when the planet is plunged into political instability. With Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles and Ato Essandoh.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Equity (R for pervasive profanity) High finance drama about an investment banker's (Anna Gunn) attempt to untangle a web of corruption in order to avoid the scandal that threatens to derail her career. With James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner.

Gleason (R for profanity) Uplifting documentary chronicling ex-NFL star Steve Gleason's inspirational battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil (Unrated) Reverential retrospective revisiting the work of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516), medieval artist famous for paintings illustrating the struggle between good and evil. (In Dutch, English, Spanish and Italian with subtitles)

Hollywood Beauty Salon (Unrated) Against-the-odds documentary about a beauty parlor located in Northwest Philly where both the clients and the staff are in recovery from mental illness.

Homo Sapiens (Unrated) Unplanned obsolescence documentary highlighting forgotten structures built by human beings and long since abandoned.

Indignation (R for sexuality and profanity) Adaptation of Philip Roth's coming-of-age novel, set in 1951, revolving around a Jewish kid (Logan Lerman) from Newark, New Jersey's adjustment to life on the campus of a conservative college in Ohio. With Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts and Ben Rosenfield.

The Land (Unrated) Coming-of-age saga, set in Cleveland, unfolding over the course of a summer when four teens pursue their dream of becoming professional skateboarders. Co-starring Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Jorge Lendeborg., Jr. and Ezri Walker.

Nerve (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, underage drug and alcohol use, dangerous and risky behavior and teen nudity) Crime thriller about a high school senior (Emma Roberts) who finds herself swept up into a deadly online game of "Truth or Dare." Cast includes Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis and Kimiko Glenn.

Tallulah (Unrated) Ellen Page plays the title character in this dysfunctional family drama as a homeless babysitter who, against her better judgment, impulsively abducts the neglected infant (Liliana Ellis) in her care. With Tammy Blanchard, Allison Janney, Evan Jonigkeit, Zachary Quinto and Uzo Aduba.

The Tenth Man (Unrated) Prodigal Son drama about a Jew (Alan Sabbagh) who returns to Buenos Aires to reconcile with his estranged father (Usher Barilka) while exploring the cultural traditions that originally alienated them from each other. Support cast includes Julieta Zylberberg, Elvira Onetto and Uriel Rubin. (In Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish with subtitles)

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening July 22, 2016

by Kam Williams

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Ice Age: Collision Course (PG for mild rude humor, action and scenes of peril) 5th installment in the prehistoric fantasy franchise finds woolly mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), ground sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) and smilodon Diego (Denis Leary) and company on an epic trek to prevent impending asteroid strikes inadvertently triggered by saber-toothed squirrel Scrat's (Chris Wedge) pursuit of that ever-elusive acorn. Voice cast ensemble includes Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Simon Pegg, Michael Strahan, Keke Palmer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Wanda Sykes, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nick Offerman and Adam DeVine.

Lights Out (PG-13 for violence, mature themes, disturbing images, incessant terror and brief drug use) Haunted house horror flick revolving around a family which finds itself preyed upon by a malevolent ghost (Alicia Vela-Bailey) that only strikes in the dark. With Maria Bello, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia and Billy Burke.

Star Trek Beyond (PG-13 for action and violence) 13th episode in the intergalactic, sci-fi franchise finds Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the USS Enterprise stranded on an uncharted planet after being forced to abandon ship following an alien attack. With Idris Elba as the new nemesis, and Zachary Quinto as Dr. Spock, John Cho as Lt. Sulu, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Zoe Saldana as Lt. Uhuru, Karl Urban as Bones and the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Absolutely Fabulous (R for profanity, sexuality and drug use) Adaptation of the British TV sitcom revolving around a couple of flamboyant, aging fashionistas (Jennnifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley) who flee London for the French Riviera after creating a media storm by accidentally knocking now-missing supermodel Kate Moss off a balcony and into the River Thames. With Rebel Wilson, Joanna Lumley, John Hamm and Alexa Chung, with cameos by Jerry Hall and Joan Collins.

Don't Think Twice (R for profanity and drug use) Ensemble dramedy about the emotional fallout visited upon a fledgling, improv comedy troupe when one of its members (Keegan Michael-Key) gets a big break on a Saturday Night Live-type TV show. Cast members include Gllian Jacobs, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and the film's writer/director Mike Birbiglia.

Don't Worry Baby (Unrated) "Who's the daddy?" dramedy about a philandering husband (Christopher MacDonald) who unknowingly cheats on his wife (Talia Balsam) by sleeping with the same woman (Dreama Walker) as their son (John Magaro), only to learn that one of them is the father of her daughter (Rainn Williams). With Tom Lipinski, Britt Lower and Phil Burke.

For the Plasma (Unrated) Buddy dramedy, set in Maine, about the friendship rekindled betwen a forest fire lookout (Rosalie Lowe) and the former BFF (Anabelle LeMieux) she hires as her assistant. Support cast includes Tom Lloyd, Ryohei Hoshi and Erica Jennifer Hill.

Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (PG-13 for violence, mature themes and smoking) Political documentary, written and directed by arch-conservative Dinesh D'Souza, incriminating Hillary Clinton while uncovering shady skeletons in the Democrats' closet. Featuring commentary by D'Souza, Jonah Goldberg and Peter Schweizer..

Madaari (Unrated) Revenge thriller revolving around a grieving widower's (Irfan Khan) search for answers after losing his family and everything he owns in a man-made disaster. With Jimmy Shergill, Vishesh Bansal, Nitish Pandey and Tushar Dalvi. (In Hindi with subtitles)

Quitters (R for sexuality, profanity, and teen drug and alcohol abuse) Coming-of-age dramedy, set in San Francisco, about a troubled teen (Ben Konigsberg) who finds a better family to live with after his parents' (Mira Sorvino and Greg Germann) marriage falls apart. Featuring Kara Hayward, Morgan Turner and Kieran Culkin.

The Seventh Fire (Unrated) Native American documentary, set in Minnesota, about a jaded gang leader (Rob Brown) just sentenced to prison who rethinks his violent lifestyle role while his impressionable teen protege (Kevin Fineday) still dreams of becoming the biggest drug dealer on their Ojibwe reservation.

Summertime (Unrated) Homoerotic romance drama, set in 1971, revolving around the love which unexpectedly blossoms between a feminist Spanish teacher (Cecile De France) and an unassuming farmer's daughter (Izia Hegelin). With Noemie Lvovsky, Jean-Henri Compere and Loulou Hanssen. (In French with subtitles)

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening July 15, 2016

by Kam Williams

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OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Ghostbusters (PG-13 for action and crude humor) Gender-bent reboot of the classic comedy revolving around a scientist (Melissa McCarthy), a professor (Kristen Wiig), a nuclear engineer (Kate McKinnon) and a subway token booth clerk (Leslie Jones) who join forces to save Manhattan from a demonic disembodied spirit (Neil Casey). Ensemble cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Cecily Strong, Andy Garcia and Michael Kenneth Williams, with cameo appearances by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and Ernie Hudson.

The Infiltrator (R for pervasive profanity, graphic violence, drug use and some sexuality) Bryan Cranston plays the title character in this fact-based drama, set in 1985, about a U.S. Customs Agent who posed as a money-launderer in order to infiltrate Pablo Escobar's Colombian drug cartel. With Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger and Amy Ryan.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

C Street (R for sexuality and drug use) Freewheeling farce about a U.S. Senate intern (Evan Hall) who pimps out his crib to sex-starved politicians only to catch his boss (Dylan Walsh) in bed with the object of his affection (Shaun Licata). Cast includes Bruce Altman, Carey Lowell and Don Stark.

Cafe Society (PG-13 for violence, suggestive material, smoking and a drug reference) Woody Allen romantic dramedy, set in the 1930s, revolving around a New Yorker (Jesse Eisenberg) who relocates to Los Angeles hoping to work for his uncle (Steve Carell), only to fall in love with the powerful Hollywood agent's secretary (Kristen Stewart). With Sheryl Lee, Jeannie Berlin and Richard Portnow.

Don't Blink: Robert Frank (Unrated) "Say cheese!" biopic chronicling the enduring career of 91 year-old Robert Frank, legendary photojournalist and independent filmmaker.

Equals (PG-13 for sensuality, mature themes, partial nudity and disturbing images) Futuristic tale of forbidden love, set in a dystopia devoid of disease and human emotion, about a couple of co-workers (Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart) who find themselves falling head-over-heels for each other after becoming infected with a mysterious new virus. Cast includes Guy Pearce, Jacki Weaver, Scott Lawrence and Kate Lyn Sheil.

Free to Run (Unrated) Fitness documentary revisiting the rise of running as a popular form of exercise 50 years ago. (In French and English with subtitles)

Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (PG-13 for violence, mature themes and smoking) Political documentary, written and directed by arch-conservative Dinesh D'Souza, incriminating Hillary Clinton while uncovering shady skeletons in the Democrats' closet. Featuring commentary by D'Souza, Jonah Goldberg and Peter Schweizer..

Madaari (Unrated) Revenge thriller revolving around a grieving widower's (Irfan Khan) search for answers after losing his family and everything he owns in a man-made disaster. With Jimmy Shergill, Vishesh Bansal, Nitish Pandey and Tushar Dalvi. (In Hindi with subtitles)

Outlaws and Angels (R for profanity, disturbing sexuality and graphic violence) Western tale of vengeance about the game of cat-and-mouse which ensues after a criminal gang invades the home of a frontier family. Co-starring Luke Wilson, Francis Fisher, Francesca Eastwood and Teri Polo.

Tulip Fever (Unrated) Romance drama, set in 17th Century Amsterdam, about a portrait artist (DaneDeHaan) who embarks on a passionate affair with a married woman (Alicia Vikander) he's been hired to paint. With Christoph Waltz, Zach Galifiniakis and Dame Judi Dench.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening July 8, 2016

by Kam Williams

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OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (R for crude sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive profanity) Romantic comedy revolving around slacker siblings (Zac Efron and Adam Devine) who find a couple of party animals (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza) to take to their sister's (Sugar Lyn Beard) wedding in Hawaii after advertising for dates. With Wendy Williams, Stephen Root and Chloe Bridges.

The Secret Life of Pets (PG for action and some rude humor) Animated comedy about a pampered terrier (Louis C.K.) whose life is turned upside-down when his owner (Ellie Kemper) brings home a big, sloppy mongrel (Eric Songstreet) found at the dog pound. Voice cast includes Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell and Bobby Moynihan.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

At the Fork (Unrated) Agri-business documentary examining the mechanization of the processes involved in the raising and harvesting of farm animals for human consumption.

Captain Fantastic (R for profanity and brief graphic nudity) Viggo Mortensen stars in the title role of this survivalist saga as a widower raising a half-dozen kids off the grid in the forest of the Pacific Northwest until they are forced by circumstances to rejoin mainstream civilization. With George MacKay, Samantha Isler and Annalise Basso.

Fathers and Daughters (R for sexuality) Character-driven drama about a Pulitzer Prize-winning widower's (Russell Crowe) struggle with parenting issues following a mental breakdown. Ensemble cast includes Amanda Seyfried, Quvenzhane Wallis, Jane Fonda, Octavia Spencer, Diane Kruger and Bruce Greenwood.

Indian Pont (Unrated) Investigative expose' exploring whether New York's aging nuclear power plant at Indian Point is still safe.

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (Unrated) Reverential retrospective revisiting the career of one of the most successful television producers of all time, including such groundbreaking shows as All in the Family and The Jeffersons. Featuring commentary by George Clooney, Bill Moyers, John Amos and Jay Leno.

Our Little Sister (PG for mature themes and brief mild epithets) Dysfunctional family dramedy about three sisters (Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa and Kaho) living in their late grandmother's home who invite a half-sibling (Suzu Hirose) they meet at their father's funeral to move in with them. Cast includes Ryo Kase, Ryohei Suzuki and Takafumi Ikeda. (In Japanese with subtitles)

Under the Sun (Unrated) Bamboo curtain documentary chronicling a year in the life of an ordinary North Korean family from Pyongyang. (In Korean with subtitles)

Zero Days (PG-13 for profanity) Malware documentary detailing the blowback visited on the internet after the deployment of the Stuxnet virus against Iran by the U.S. and Israel in order to cripple the country's nuclear enrichment program.

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening July 1, 2016

by Kam Williams  

 

 

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The BFG (PG for action, peril, scary images and rude humor) Steven Spielberg directed this adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's novel about the unlikely friendship forged between a little girl (Ruby Barnhill) and the only member of a hostile race of invading giants (Mark Rylance) who won't eat children. With Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader and Rafe Spall.

The Legend of Tarzan (PG-13 for action, violence, sensuality and brief crude dialogue) Alexander Skarsgard handles the title role in this adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure about a British boy born an aristocrat but raised in the Congo by apes. Ensemble includes Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jim Broadbent and Djimon Hounsou. (In English and Bantu wuth subtitles)

The Purge: Election Year (R for profanity and disturbing, graphic violence) Third episode in the horror franchise finds a U.S. presidential candidate (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her bodyguard (Frank Grillo) on the run from government operatives during The Purge because of her campaign promise to discontinue the gruesome annual ritual. Cast includes Edwin Hodge, Kyle Secor and Mykelti Williamson.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Buddymoon (Unrated) Road comedy about a just-jilted groom-to-be (David Giuntoli) who honeymoons anyway, but with his incessantly-optimistic best man (Flula Berg). Cast includes Claire Coffee, Brian T. Finney and Jeanne Syquia.

The Innocents (PG-13 for disturbing mature themes, sexual assault, bloody images and brief suggestive content) Post-World War II saga, set in Poland in 1945, about a Red Cross intern (Lou de Laage) who discovers a convent containing a number of liberated Benedictine nuns impregnated while imprisoned in a concentration camp. With Agata Buzek, Jaonna Kulig and Anna Prochniak. (In French, Polish and Russian with subtitles)

Life, Animated (PG for mature themes and a suggestive reference) Heartwarming documentary chronicling how Disney cartoons and supportive parents helped an autistic boy overcome a host of his challenges.

Microbe & Gasoline (R for teen sexuality) Coming-of-age comedy about a couple of high school outcasts (Ange Dargent and Theophile Baquet) who embark on a summer road trip across France in an automobile they built themselves. With Diane Basnier, Audrey Tautou and Vincent Lamoureux. (In French with subtitles)

Our Kind of Traitor (R for violence, sexuality, frontal nudity, brief drug use and pervasive profanity) Adaptation of the John le Carre international thriller of the same name about a naive Britsh couple (Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris) duped into helping a powerful Russian mobster (Stellan Skarsgard) while vacationing in Morocco. With Damian Lewis, Alicia von Rittberg and Mark Stanley.

Roseanne for President! (Unrated) Prestige biopic recounting comedienne Roseanne Barr's unsuccessful run for president during the 2012 campaign. Featuring Michael Moore, Rosie O'Donnell and Sandra Bernhard.

Kam's Kapsules

For movies opening July 1, 2016

by Kam Williams

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OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The BFG (PG for action, peril, scary images and rude humor) Steven Spielberg directed this adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's novel about the unlikely friendship forged between a little girl (Ruby Barnhill) and the only member of a hostile race of invading giants (Mark Rylance) who won't eat children. With Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader and Rafe Spall.

The Legend of Tarzan (PG-13 for action, violence, sensuality and brief crude dialogue) Alexander Skarsgard handles the title role in this adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure about a British boy born an aristocrat but raised in the Congo by apes. Ensemble includes Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jim Broadbent and Djimon Hounsou. (In English and Bantu wuth subtitles)

The Purge: Election Year (R for profanity and disturbing, graphic violence) Third episode in the horror franchise finds a U.S. presidential candidate (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her bodyguard (Frank Grillo) on the run from government operatives during The Purge because of her campaign promise to discontinue the gruesome annual ritual. Cast includes Edwin Hodge, Kyle Secor and Mykelti Williamson.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Buddymoon (Unrated) Road comedy about a just-jilted groom-to-be (David Giuntoli) who honeymoons anyway, but with his incessantly-optimistic best man (Flula Berg). Cast includes Claire Coffee, Brian T. Finney and Jeanne Syquia.

The Innocents (PG-13 for disturbing mature themes, sexual assault, bloody images and brief suggestive content) Post-World War II saga, set in Poland in 1945, about a Red Cross intern (Lou de Laage) who discovers a convent containing a number of liberated Benedictine nuns impregnated while imprisoned in a concentration camp. With Agata Buzek, Jaonna Kulig and Anna Prochniak. (In French, Polish and Russian with subtitles)

Life, Animated (PG for mature themes and a suggestive reference) Heartwarming documentary chronicling how Disney cartoons and supportive parents helped an autistic boy overcome a host of his challenges.

Microbe & Gasoline (R for teen sexuality) Coming-of-age comedy about a couple of high school outcasts (Ange Dargent and Theophile Baquet) who embark on a summer road trip across France in an automobile they built themselves. With Diane Basnier, Audrey Tautou and Vincent Lamoureux. (In French with subtitles)

Our Kind of Traitor (R for violence, sexuality, frontal nudity, brief drug use and pervasive profanity) Adaptation of the John le Carre international thriller of the same name about a naive Britsh couple (Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris) duped into helping a powerful Russian mobster (Stellan Skarsgard) while vacationing in Morocco. With Damian Lewis, Alicia von Rittberg and Mark Stanley.

Roseanne for President! (Unrated) Prestige biopic recounting comedienne Roseanne Barr's unsuccessful run for president during the 2012 campaign. Featuring Michael Moore, Rosie O'Donnell and Sandra Bernhard.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening June 17, 2016

by Kam Williams

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

OPENING THIS WEEK

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Central Intelligence (PG-13 for violence, sexuality, nudity, crude humor and brief profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about a nerdy accountant (Kevin Hart) who is lured into the world of international espionage by a childhood friend-turned-crack CIA agent (Dwayne Johnson). With Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet and Aaron Paul.

Finding Dory (PG for mild mature themes) Ellen DeGeneres plays the title role in this animated sequel to Finding Nemo which finds the forgetful fish embarking on an epic journey to find her long-lost family. Voice cast includes Albert Brooks, Idris Elba, Kate McKinnon, Albert Brooks, Bill Hader, Ed O'Neill, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Argentina (Unrated) Folklore documentary exploring the heart of the Argentine culture, including the nation's dance and musical heritage. (In Spanish with subtitles)

Cosmos (Unrated) The late Andrzej Zulawski's final film, an adaptation of Witold Gombrowicz's novel of the same name, reinterpreted as an exploration of desire at a rural retreat by a law school dropout (Jonathan Genet), his unemployed friend (Johan Libereau) and the newlywed daughter (Victoria Guerra) of the owner (Sabine Azema) of the guesthouse. With Clementine Pons, Jean-Francois Balmer and Andy Gillet. (In French with subtitles)

The Last King (Unrated) Costume drama, set in Norway in 1206, revolving around how the birth of the monarch's (Benjamin Helstad) illegitimate son touched off a civil war which altered the country's course of history. With Anders Dahlberg, Asmund Brede Elke and Elg Elgesem. (In Norwegian with subtitles)

My Love, Don't Cross That River (Unrated) Tale of undying love about 100 year-olds Jo and Gye-Yeoi Kang, a Korean couple that's been happily married for 76 years and counting. (In Korean with subtitles)

No Stranger than Love (R for profanity) Romantic comedy about a married man (Colin Hanks) who mysteriously disappears into a hole in his mistress' (Alison Brie) living room floor when she tells him she loves him. With Justin Chatwin, Mark Forward, Lisa Berry and Christopher Cordell.

Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (Unrated) "The Making of" documentary revisiting a couple of Mississippi adolescents' seven-year effort to remake their favorite film: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Seoul Searching (Unrated) Fact-based coming-of-age dramedy, set in the Eighties, recounting how the Korean government created special summer camps where foreign-born kids from mixed backgrounds might learn about their roots. Co-starring Jessika Van, Justin Chon and Teo Yoo. (In Korean, English and German with subtitles)

Tickled (R for profanity) Journalistic documentary revolving around reporter David Farrier's hard-hitting investigation into L.A.'s little-known world of competitive tickling.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening 6-10-16

by Kam Williams

 

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

(R for violence and terror) Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles as peripatetic investigators of paranormal activity in this suspense thriller, set in London, where the couple comes to the assistance of a family whose house is haunted by evil spirits. With Frances O'Connor, Lauren Esposito and Franka Potente.

Now You See Me 2 (PG-13 for violence and some profanity) Mind-bending sequel finds the Four Horsemen (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco and Lizzy Caplan) reuniting for another illusion-driven adventure in order to clear their names while exposing the unethical practices of a young tech magnate (Daniel Radcliffe). A-list ensemble includes Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Sanaa Lathan and Mark Ruffalo.

Warcraft (PG-13 for intense violence) Fantasy adventure, inspired by the video game series of the same name, revolving around an epic showdown between the peaceful inhabitants of an idyllic realm and a race of warlike invaders from a dying world facing extinction. Starring Paula Patton, Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Be Somebody (PG for mature themes, suggestive comments and mild epithets) Romance drama about a jaded pop star (Matthew Espinosa) burdened by fame who finds love with an ordinary, small-town girl (Sarah Jeffery) while taking a break from the limelight. With Allison Paige, LaMonica Garrett and Mahaley Patel and Caitlin Keats.

De Palma (R for sexuality, profanity, violent images and graphic nudity) Reverential portrait of iconoclastic filmmaker Brian De Palma, director of such screen classics as Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito's Way, Carrie, Blow Out and Mission Impossible.

Genius (PG-13 for mature themes and suggestive content) Prestige biopic chronicling the career of Max Perkins (Colin Firth), the legendary editor at Scribner's who discovered such literary giants as Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce) and Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law). Supporting cast includes Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney and Vanessa Kirby.

Germans & Jews (Unrated) Truth and reconciliation documentary chronicling the cultural transformation of Berlin, the European city with the fastest growing Jewish population.

King Jack (Unrated) Charlie Plummer plays the title character in this coming-of-age tale, set over the course of a very eventful weekend, about an ostracized 15 year-old outcast being bullied by a sadistic, bigger boy (Danny Flaherty). With Cory Nichols, Christian Madsen, Chloe Levine and Erin Davie.

Last Cab to Darwin (Unrated) Bittersweet dramedy about a terminally-ill loner (Michael Caton) who embarks on a long trek to the Australian Outback in order to pass away on his own terms. Featuring Ningali Lawford, Mark Coles Smith and Emma Hamilton and Jacki Weaver.

The Music of Strangers (PG-13 for brief profanity) Multicultural documentary in which renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Silk Road Ensemble expound upon their musical philosophies.

Puerto Ricans in Paris (R for profanity and sexual references) Fish-out-of-water comedy about a couple of Latino NYPD detectives (Luis Guzman and Edgar Garcia) who travel to France to track down some stolen designer handbags. With Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez and Ravi Patel.

Traded (Unrated) High body-count Western, set in Kansas in the 1880s, about a gunslinger-turned-rancher's (Michael Pare) attempt to rescue his 17 year-old daughter (Brittany Elizabeth Williams) from the clutches of an evil adversary (Trace Adkins) with the help of a wily, old sidekick (Kris Kristofferson). Cast includes Tom Sizemore, Martin Kove and Quinton Aaron.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening June 3, 2016

by Kam Williams

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OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Me Before You (PG-13 for suggestive material and mature themes) Adaptation of Jojo Moyes' romance novel about the love which blossoms between a small town nurse (Emilia Clarke) and a wealthy gentleman (Sam Claflin) left paralyzed and depressed by a recent motorcycle accident. Supporting cast includes Vanessa Kirby, Charles Dance and Jenna Coleman.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (R for sexuality, drug use, graphic nudity and pervasive profanity) Musical mockumentary revolving around the trials and tribulations of a desperate one-hit wonder (Andy Samberg) whose second album is flopping. Ensemble cast includes Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph, and features cameo appearances by Simon Cowell, Jimmy Fallon, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Adam Levine, Usher and Seal.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PG-13 for sci-fi violence) Live-action adaptation of the video game of the same name finds the crime-fighting quartet (Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Alan Ritchson and Jeremy Howard) battling their revenge-minded nemesis, Shredder (Brian Tee), who has joined forces with a diabolical mad scientist (Tyler Perry). With Megan Fox, Laura Linney, Will Arnett and Brad Garrett.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Approaching the Unknown (R for profanity) Sci-fi thriller about an American astronaut (Mark Strong) on a one-way mission to Mars. With Luke Wilson, Sanaa Lathan and Charles Baker.

Art Bastard (Unrated) Reverential biopic about maverick artist Robert Cenedella, an inveterate iconoclast who has managed to enjoy an enduring career without compromising his rebellious spirit.

The Final Master (Unrated) Martial arts adventure, set in China before World War II, about an ambitious Wing Chun practitioner (FanLiao) who must defeat 8 dojos in order to open his own karate school. With Jia Song, Wenli Jiang and Shih-Chieh Chin. (In Mandarin and English with subtitles)

The Fits (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Cincinnati, chronicling an 11 year-old tomboy's (Royalty Hightower) attempt to find acceptance by joining a tight-knit dance team at the local rec center. With Alexis Neblett, Inayah Rodgers and Makyla Burnam.

The God Cells (Unrated) Healthcare documentary exploring the viability of fetal stem cell injection therapy for a variety of neurological and immunological ailments.

It's So Easy and Other Lies (Unrated) Warts-and-all biopic about Guns N' Roses' bass player Duff McKagan, chronicling his fame and fortune as well as his near-fatal struggle with alcohol and drugs. featuring commentary by Slash, Nikki Sixx and Benny Urquidez.

Time to Choose (Unrated) Eco-documentary, directed by Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson (Inside Job) and narrated by Oscar Isaac, exploring solutions for the climate change crisis.

Urge (R for disturbing violence and sexual behavior, drug use and pervasive profanity) Suspense thriller about a mysterious nightclub owner (Pierce Brosnan) who introduces some revelers to a new designer drug which strips them of their inhibitions. With Ashley Greene, Alexis Knapp and Danny Masterson.

The Witness (Unrated) Bystander Effect documentary revisiting the murder of 28 year-old Kitty Genovese in Queens in the wee hours of March 13, 1964 which awakened 38 of her neighbors, all of whom failed to call the police.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening May 27, 2016

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

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OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Alice through the Looking Glass (PG for fantasy action, scenes of peril and mild epithets) Adaptation of Lewis Carroll's sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland finds Alice (Mia Wasikowska) traveling backwards in time in order to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) from losing his mind. Ensemble cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans and the late Alan Rickman.

X-Men: Apocalypse (PG-13 for violence, action, destructon, suggestive images and brief profanity) 9th installment in the franchise based on the Marvel Comics series finds Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) recruiting a team of young X-Men to prevent a seemingly immortal and invincible mutant (Oscar Isaac) from triggering an extinction-level event. With Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and Rose Byrne.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Holy Hell (Unrated) Mind control documentary revisiting The Buddhafield, an ill-fated, religious sect located in L.A. in the Eighties which was run by a charismatic cult leader called Michel.

The Idol (Unrated) Against-the-odds biopic about Mohammed Assaf (Tawfeek Barhom), the Palestinian kid from Gaza who used a forged visa to enter Egypt where he proceeded to win the 2013 Arab Idol competition. With Ahmed Al Rokh, Hiba Attalah and Kais Attalah. (In Arabic and Spanish with subtitles)

Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang (Unrated) Reverentail biopic about Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke unfolding from the perspective of his Brazilian colleague, Walter Salles. (In Mandarin with subtitles)

Ma Ma (R for some nudity and brief sexual references) Character-driven drama, set in the Canary Islands, revolving around a young mother (Penelope Cruz) recently diagnosed with cancer who forges a friendship with a soccer scout (Luis Tovar) who just lost his wife and daughter in a car accident. With Asier Etxeandia, Teo Planell and Anna Jimenez. (In Spanish with subtitles).

Presenting Princess Shaw (Unrated) Prestige biopic about Samantha Montgomery, New Orleans healthcare worker-turned-Youtube singing sensation with the help of a stranger, Kutman, a pioneering composer/musician/video artist located half a world away in Israel.

Unlocking the Cage (Unrated) Animal rights documentary chronicling the efforts of attorney Steven Wise to secure personhood status for primates, elephants and whales.

Kam's Kapsules for Movies Opening May 20, 2016

by Kam Williams

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OPENING THIS WEEK

BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Angry Birds Movie (PG for action and rude humor) Animated adventure, inspired by the video game series of the same name, set on an island inhabited by a flock of flightless birds with anger management issues whose patience is suddenly tested by an overwhelming pig invasion. Voice cast includes Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Sean Penn, Keegan-Michael Key, Peter Dinklage, Hannibal Buress and Bill Hader.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (R for crude sexuality, brief graphic nudity, pervasive profanity and drug use) Teensploitation sequel finds young marrieds Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) expecting their second child just as the out of control fraternity next door is replaced by a sorority full of party animals. With Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez and Lisa Kudrow.

The Nice Guys (R for violence, profanity, sexuality, nudity and brief drug use) Unlikely-buddies crime comedy, set in L.A. in '77, about a pair of private eyes (Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe) who grudgingly join forces to investigate a fading porn star's apparent suicide. Support cast includes Kim Basinger, Keith David, Matt bomer, Yaya DaCosta and Hannibal Buress.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Art Bastard (Unrated) Reverential biopic about maverick artist Robert Cenedella, an inveterate iconoclast who has managed to enjoy an enduring career without compromising his rebellious spirit.

Hard Sell (Unrated) Dysfunctional family dramedy, set on Long Island, about a poor, prep school student (Skyler Gisondo) who comes to the aid of his unstable single-mom (Kristin Chenoweth) by fleecing spoiled-rotten rich kids with the help of a debutante classmate (Katrina Bowden) With Kevin Kilner, Amy Rutberg and Hannah Marks.

Holy Hell (Unrated) Mind control documentary revisiting The Buddhafield, an ill-fated, religious sect located in L.A. in the Eighties which was run by a charismatic cult leader called Michel.

Ma Ma (R for some nudity and brief sexual references) Character-driven drama, set in the Canary Islands, revolving around a young mother (Penelope Cruz) recently diagnosed with cancer who forges a friendship with a soccer scout (Luis Tovar) who just lost his wife and daughter in a car accident. With Asier Etxeandia, Teo Planell and Anna Jimenez. (In Spanish with subtitles).

Maggie's Plan (R for profanity and sexuality) Greta Gerwig plays the title character in this romantic comedy about a woman who has second thoughts about having a baby with a married professor (Ethan Hawke) three years after stealing him from his wife (Julianne Moore). Support cast includes Travis Fimmel, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph.

A Moment of Silence (Unrated) "A Man of the People" documentary revisiting the 2005 election of Evo Morales, Bolivia's first President of indigenous extraction. (In Spanish with subtitles)

The Other Side (PG for mature subject matter and mild epithets) Political science documentary examining how the American people have become more Balkanized than ever before.

Song of Lahore (PG for mature themes, smoking and violent images) Cross-cultural documentary chronicling the musical collaborations of a Pakistani classical orchestra and Wynton Marsalis' big band. (In Urdu with subtitles)

Weiner (R for profanity and sexuality) Warts-and-all documentary chronicling disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner's second fall from grace when caught sexting during the 2013 campaign for Mayor of New York. Featuring Weiner's wife Huma Abedin, his spokesperson Barbara Morgan, and his text message recipient, aspiring porn star Sydney Leathers.