Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Hunger Games : Mockingjay – Part 1 (PG-13 for intense violence, disturbing images and mature themes) Third installment in the vaunted sci-fi franchise, based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling series of young adult novels, finds intrepid heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) reluctantly serving as a symbol of courage and hope for a nation in revolt. Ensemble cast includes Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Jeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
All Relative (Unrated) Romantic dramedy, set in NYC, about a couple (Sara Paxton and Jonathan Sadowski) whose budding relationship becomes imperiled by the arrival of her folks for a weekend visit. With Connie Nielsen, Al Thompson, Liz Fye and David Aron Baker.
Bad Hair (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Caracas, Venezuela, where a 9 year-old (Samuel Lange Zambrano) becomes so obsessed with straightening his kinky hair that his mother starts to wonder whether he might be gay. Supporting cast includes Beto Benites, Nelly Ramos and Maria Emilia Sulbaran. (In Spanish with subtitles)
Extraterrestrial (Unrated) Not a remake of E.T., but a horror flick about a young couple (Brittany Allen and Freddie Stroma) whose romantic getaway to a cabin in the woods is rudely interrupted when a UFO crash lands nearby. With Melanie Papalia, Jesse Moss and Anja Savcic.
Food Chains (Unrated) Forest Whitaker narrates this politically progressive documentary chronicling the exploitation of farm workers by supermarkets. Featuring commentary by Robert Kennedy, Jr., Eve Ensler, Eva Longoria, Kerry Kennedy and Eric Schlosser.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Unrated) Horror flick, set in an Iranian ghost town whose denizens are being stalked by a lonely vampire (Sheila Vand). With Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh and Mozhan Marno. (In Persian with subtitles)
Happy Valley (Unrated) Pedophilia at Penn State is the subject of this shocking documentary examining why legendary football coach Joe Paterno looked the other way for years while his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was raping young boys right in the locker room.
Little Hope Was Arson (Unrated) Bible Belt documentary about the 2010 reign of terror in East Texas when 10 churches were burned to the ground by God-hating arsonists in just one month.
Pulp (Unrated) Rockumentary chronicling the reunion of the British group Pulp for the first time in 25 years in order to stage a farewell concert in Sheffield, England.
Reach Me (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, violence, drug use and smoking) Serendipitous drama about the positive effect a motivational book has on a variety of readers in need of help confronting their fears. Ensemble includes Sly Stallone, Nelly, Lauren Cohan, Terry Crews, Danny Aiello, Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Sizemore, Omari Hardwick, Thomas Jane and Danny Trejo.
The Sleepwalker (Unrated) Psychological thriller about the sibling rivalry which re-erupts violently when a woman (Gitte Witt) renovating a country home with her husband (Christopher Witt) gets a surprise visit from her sister (Stephanie Ellis) and future brother-in-law (Brady Corbet).
Stones in the Sun (Unrated) Author Edwidge Danticat stars in this American Dream drama about a family driven from Haiti to New York where they are forced to confront the skeletons in their closet. Co-starring Michele Marcelin, Diana Masi and Thierry Saintine. (In Creole, English, French and Haitian)
V/H/S: Viral (R for profanity, sexuality, graphic violence, gore and drug use) Third installment in the found-footage horror series revolves around fame-obsessed teens who get more than they bargained for when they unwittingly become the latest internet sensation. Co-starring Justin Welborn, Emmy Argo, Amanda Baker and Rim Basma.