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Opens Friday, Oct 17, 2014 Synopsis: Guillermo Del Toro presents this forbidden love tale during the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration with this computer animation feature from Reel FX and Fox Animation. Jorge R. Gutierrez penned the script with Doug Langdale. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi Cast: Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Kate del Castillo, Ron Perlman Movie Details Movie Review
Opens Friday, Jun 6, 2014 Synopsis: Tom Cruise stars as a soldier who lives out the last day of his life over and over again in this Warner Bros. sci-fi production from driector Doug Liman. Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton co-star, with Dante Harper and Joby Harold providing the script. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
Opens Friday, Mar 14, 2014 Synopsis: A young Iranian-American woman from the "Tehrangeles" section of L.A. questions her engagement to a prominent plastic surgeon after falling for a ruggedly handsome man who lives in a northern California lighthouse. Despite having been engaged for years, wedding bells still haven't rung for pretty Shirin Nazanin Boniadi. Although her traditionally minded parents remain convinced she's on the right path, Shirin begins to have her doubts upon meeting a man who makes her feel truly loved. Amy Madigan, George Wallace, and Maz Jobrani co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Nazanin Boniadi, Riley Smith, Maz Jobrani, George Wallace, Anahita Khalatbari Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
Opens Friday, May 9, 2014 Synopsis: Richard Ayoade's stylized adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novella The Double stars Jesse Eisenberg as James Simon, a meek office drone who bumbles his way through his day, forever pining for a pretty girl (Mia Wasikowska) who lives near him and working hard for a boss (Wallace Shawn) who doesn't see any of his accomplishments. One day James discovers that he has a new co-worker, Simon James (also Eisenberg), who looks just like him and possesses all of the confidence and charisma that James lacks. James befriends this new person, and soon the put-upon man is asserting himself. However, soon he fears he's becoming just another pawn in Simon's relentless self-interest. The Double screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
Opens Friday, Mar 14, 2014 Synopsis: Rachel Boynton's documentary Big Men details how the economic interests of oil companies causes serious ramifications for people in African countries where the precious substance has been discovered. The film profiles citizens of Ghana and Nigeria whose lives are held hostage as American corporations finagle to maximize their profits while exploiting the natural resources found in their countries. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
Opens Friday, Mar 14, 2014 Synopsis: A towering bear named Ernest befriends a tiny mouse named Celestine in this gentle adaptation of the beloved children's book by author Gabrielle Vincent. Celestine (voice of Mackenzie Foy) is an orphaned mouse who lives underground. An artist at heart, Celestine is training to become a dentist when she meets cantankerous bear Ernest (voice of Forest Whitaker), who has emerged from his remote woodland cottage in search of food, and nearly becomes his breakfast. Instead of being frightened by Ernest like most mice, however, Celestine strikes up a friendship with the misunderstood giant. Before long Ernest and Celestine are inseparable, but can their friendship last in a world where mice have been taught to fear bears, and bears have been taught never to play with their food? Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffrey Wright also lend their voices to this traditionally animated children's fantasy that was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2014 Academy Awards. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Forest Whitaker, Lambert Wilson, Mackenzie Foy, Pauline Brunner, Lauren Bacall, Anne-Marie Loop, William H. Macy, Dominique Collignon, Megan Mullally, Brigitte Virtudes, Nick Offerman, Patrice Melennec, Jeffrey Wright, Féodor Atkine, Paul Giamatti Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
Opens Friday, Apr 18, 2014 Synopsis: This landmark juvenile-delinquent drama scrupulously follows the classic theatrical disciplines, telling all within a 24-hour period. Teenager Jimmy Stark (James Dean) can't help but get into trouble, a problem that has forced his appearance-conscious parents (Jim Backus and Ann Doran) to move from one town to another. The film's tormented central characters are all introduced during a single night-court session, presided over by well-meaning social worker Ray (Edward Platt). Jimmy, arrested on a drunk-and-disorderly charge, screams "You're tearing me apart!" as his blind-sided parents bicker with one another over how best to handle the situation. Judy (Natalie Wood) is basically a good kid but behaves wildly out of frustration over her inability to communicate with her deliberately distant father (William Hopper). (The incestuous subtext of this relationship is discreetly handled, but the audience knows what's going on in the minds of Judy and her dad at all times.) And Plato (Sal Mineo), who is so sensitive that he threatens to break apart like porcelain, has taken to killing puppies as a desperate bid for attention from his wealthy, always absent parents.
The next morning, Jimmy tries to start clean at a new high school, only to run afoul of local gang leader Buzz (Corey Allen), who happens to be Judy's boyfriend. Anxious to fit in, Jimmy agrees to settle his differences with a nocturnal "Chickie Run": he and Buzz are to hop into separate stolen cars, then race toward the edge of a cliff; whoever jumps out of the car first is the "chickie." When asked if he's done this sort of thing before, Jimmy lies, "That's all I ever do." This wins him the undying devotion of fellow misfit Plato. At the appointed hour, the Chickie Run takes place, inaugurated by a wave of the arms from Judy. The cars roar toward the cliff; Jimmy is able to jump clear, but Buzz, trapped in the driver's set when his coat gets caught on the door handle, plummets to his death. In the convoluted logic of Buzz' gang, Jimmy is held responsible for the boy's death. For the rest of the evening, he is mercilessly tormented by Buzz' pals, even at his own doorstep. After unsuccessfully trying to sort things out with his weak-willed father, Jimmy runs off into the night. He links up with fellow "lost souls" Judy and Plato, hiding out in an abandoned palatial home and enacting the roles of father, mother, and son. For the first time, these three have found kindred spirits -- but the adults and kids who have made their lives miserable haven't given up yet, leading to tragedy. Out of the bleakness of the finale comes a ray of hope that, at last, Jimmy will be truly understood.
Rebel Without a Cause began as a case history, written in 1944 by Dr. Robert Lindner. Originally intended as a vehicle for Marlon Brando, the property was shelved until Brando's The Wild One (1953) opened floodgates for films about crazy mixed-up teens. Director Nicholas Ray, then working on a similar project, was brought in to helm the film version. His star was James Dean, fresh from Warners' East of Eden. Ray's low budget dictated that the new film be lensed in black-and-white, but when East of Eden really took off at the box office, the existing footage was scrapped and reshot in color. This was great, so far as Ray was concerned, inasmuch as he had a predilection for symbolic color schemes. James Dean's hot red jacket, for example, indicated rebellion, while his very blue blue jeans created a near luminescent effect (Ray had previously used the same vivid color combination on Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar). As part of an overall bid for authenticity, real-life gang member Frank Mazzola was hired as technical advisor for the fight scenes. To extract as natural a performance as possible from Dean, Ray redesigned the Stark family's living room set to resemble Ray's own home, where Dean did most of his rehearsing. Speaking of interior sets, the mansion where the three troubled teens hide out had previously been seen as the home of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Of the reams of on-set trivia concerning Rebel, one of the more amusing tidbits involves Dean's quickie in-joke impression of cartoon character Mr. Magoo -- whose voice was, of course, supplied by Jim Backus, who played Jimmy's father. Viewing the rushes of this improvisation, a clueless Warner Bros. executive took Dean to task, saying in effect that if he must imitate an animated character, why not Warners' own Bugs Bunny? Released right after James Dean's untimely death, Rebel Without a Cause netted an enormous profit. The film almost seems like a eulogy when seen today, since so many of its cast members -- James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Nick Adams -- died young. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Cast: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Corey Allen, Sal Mineo, Dennis Hopper Movie Details Movie Review
Opens Friday, May 2, 2014 Synopsis: Adapting Humphrey Cobb's novel to the screen, director Stanley Kubrick and his collaborators Calder Willingham and Jim Thompson set out to make a devastating anti-war statement, and they succeeded above and beyond the call of duty. In the third year of World War I, the erudite but morally bankrupt French general Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his troops to seize the heavily fortified "Ant Hill" from the Germans. General Mireau (George MacReady) knows that this action will be suicidal, but he will sacrfice his men to enhance his own reputation. Against his better judgment, Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) leads the charge, and the results are appalling. When, after witnessing the slaughter of their comrades, a handful of the French troops refuse to leave the trenches, Mireau very nearly orders the artillery to fire on his own men. Still smarting from the defeat, Mireau cannot admit to himself that the attack was a bad idea from the outset: he convinces himself that loss of Ant Hill was due to the cowardice of his men. Mireau demands that three soldiers be selected by lot to be executed as an example to rest of the troops. Acting as defense attorney, Colonel Dax pleads eloquently for the lives of the unfortunate three, but their fate is a done deal. Even an eleventh-hour piece of evidence proving Mireau's incompetence is ignored by the smirking Broulard, who is only interested in putting on a show of bravado. A failure when first released (it was banned outright in France for several years), Paths of Glory has since taken its place in the pantheon of classic war movies, its message growing only more pertinent and potent with each passing year (it was especially popular during the Vietnam era). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Cast: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready, Wayne Morris Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
Opens Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 Synopsis: A young boy suffers a near-death experience in which he claims to have visited heaven in this earnest inspirational drama based on the best-selling book of the same name. When their young son Colton (Connor Corum) enters the hospital with a life-threatening illness, devastated parents Todd (Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear) and Sonja Burpo (Kelly Reilly) are uncertain whether he will make it out of the operating room alive. But in what Colton's doctors credit as "a miracle," he survives -- and with an incredible story that seems to confirm the existence of heaven. Later, despite Colton's accurate and intimate revelations about people he has never encountered -- including his sister who died in utero and his late grandfather -- skeptics hastily dismiss any possibility that the young boy's fantastical claims could be true. Meanwhile, his astonished parents seek meaning in the alleged miracle that has turned their once-peaceful lives completely upside down. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Cast: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Margo Martindale, Thomas Haden Church Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
Opens Thursday, Dec 25, 2014 Synopsis: Angelina Jolie directs this true life tale of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic track star who survived a plane crash in World War II, only to fight for his life against nature and eventually as a prisoner of war. Joel and Ethan Coen provide the script. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi Cast: Jack O'Connell Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
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