Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Big Hero 6 (PG for action, peril, crude humor and mature themes) Animated family comedy inspired by the Marvel Comics series about a 14 year-old inventor (Ryan Potter) who teams with his inflatable robot (Scott Adsit) and his close friends to solve a string of crimes. Voice cast includes Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans, Jr., Maya Rudolph and James Crowell.
Interstellar (PG-13 for intense action and brief profanity) Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about an outer space expedition undertaken through a wormhole by scientists searching for a habitable planet in the wake of climate change that has left Earth devastated by drought and famine. Ensemble cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Casey Affleck, David Oyelowo, Topher Grace, Bill Irwin and William Devane.
The Theory of Everything (PG-13 for suggestive material and mature themes) Bittersweet biopic focused on the relationship of physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and wife Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), the friend of his sister (Charlotte Hope) he met while they were students at Cambridge in the Sixties. With Emily Watson, Charlie Cox and Simon McBurney.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
21 Years: Richard Linklater (Unrated) Reverential biopic chronicling the first 21 years in the career of indie filmmaker Richard Linklater.
The Better Angels (PG for mature themes and brief smoking) Abraham Lincoln Braydon Denney) biopic about how a challenging Indiana childhood marked by traumas and tragedy helped shaped the future president for greatness. With Diane Kruger, Jason Clarke and Brit Marling.
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (Unrated) 30th anniversary retrospective revisiting the Union Carbide industrial accident in India which claimed over 10,000 lives in just a few hours. (In English and Hindi with subtitles)
Death Metal Angola (R for profanity) Musical documentary about the heavy metal scene in war-ravaged Angola, the richest country in Africa in terms of natural resources.
Elsa & Fred (PG-13 for brief profanity) Shirley Maclaine and Christopher Plummer co-star in the title roles of this remake of the 2005 Argentine romantic comedy about a widower who gets a new lease on life when he falls in love with a free-spirited septuagenarian. Cast includes Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Noth, George Segal and James Brolin.
Jessabelle (PG-13 for terror and violence) Sarah Snook portrays the title character in this haunted house flick about a young woman who returns to Louisiana to recuperate in her family’s waterfront mansion after a car accident, only to come face-to-face with a demonic spirit that’s been awaiting her return. With Mark Webber, Joelle Carter and Amber Stevens.
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (PG-13 for profanity and violence) Dark comedy about an estranged father (Robin Williams) and son (Joel McHale) who grudgingly share an eight-hour road trip to retrieve forgotten Christmas presents. Support cast includes Candice Bergen, Wendi McClendon-Covey, Clark Duke, Oliver Platt and Lauren Graham.
National Gallery (Unrated) Art documentary giving a guided tour around a- London’s museum housing thousands of masterpieces painted between the 13th and 19th Centuries.
On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (PG for crashes, peril and mild epithets) International motorcycle racing is the subject of this documentary inspired by another on the same sport released in 1971.
Open Windows (Unrated) Stalker thriller about a frustrated fan (Elijah Wood) who starts monitoring an actress’ (Sasha Grey) every move over the internet after she refuses to honor a dinner date won in a contest. With Neil Maskell, Nacho Vigalondo and Ivan Gonzalez. (In English and Spanish with subtitles)
Pelican Dreams (Unrated) Ornithological documentary, directed by Judy Irving (The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill), follows a wayward pelican from the Golden Gate Bridge to a San Francisco rehab facility.
Sex Ed (Unrated) Haley Joel Osment stars in this romantic comedy as a health teacher in an inner city school who finds himself falling in love with the older sister (Lorenza Izzo) of one of his students (Kevin Hernandez). With Retta Sirleaf, Laura Harring, Abby Elliott and George Eads.
Virunga (Unrated) Endangered species documentary chronicling conservationists’ efforts to save the last of the gorillas in the midst of a civil war over the Congo’s natural resources. (In English, French and Swahili with subtitles)
The Way He Looks (Unrated) Homoerotic romance drama about a blind teenager (Ghilherme Lobo) who develops unexpected feelings for the new kid in town (Fabio Audi). With Tess Amorim, Julio Machado and Selma Egrei. (In Portuguese with subtitles)