Pick of the Litter – January 2017

BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

(Screen Gems) Milla Jovovich, Ruby Rose, Ali Larter, Ian Glen. The most successful movie franchise to be built on a video game franchise is calling it a day – at least until the inevitable reboot, or should this make bank, yet another sequel with or without helmer Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich. Here Alice, the superhuman creation who battles her amoral creators in the Umbrella Corporation, the apocalypse is nearly complete and Alice has only one play – to take down the Umbrella before they destroy what little of humanity remains. January 27

INDEPENDENT PICKS

The Ardennes

The Ardennes

(Film Movement) Kevin Janssens, Jeroen Perceval, Veerle Baetens, Jan Bijvoet. Two Belgian brothers are involved in a home invasion robbery that goes sideways. One brother is left holding the bag and is sent to prison; the other cleans up his life and tries to get on the straight and narrow. When the incarcerated brother is released, he wants to reclaim what was his including his girlfriend Sylvie. His now reformed brother tries to help him but is slowly getting sucked back into his former life of crime. This was Belgium’s official submission for this year’s foreign language Oscar. January 6

Alone in Berlin

Alone in Berlin

(IFC) Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl, Mikael Persbrandt. In Nazi Germany, a factory worker and his wife receive word that their only son, an infantryman in the army, had been killed in action. This sets off a chain reaction in the grieving father who leaves cards criticizing the Third Reich and even urging citizens to rise up against the Fuehrer. The story is all the more incredible because it actually happened. January 13

The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle

(Sony Classics) Michael Dudok de Wit. A shipwreck survivor washes up on the shore of a beautiful island – but an empty one, save for turtles, birds and crabs. His battle to survive becomes a metaphor for the human cycles of life. This film, which is completely without dialogue, is the first film released by Studio Ghibli that is not a Japanese production.  January 20

The SalesmanThe Salesman

(Cohen Media Group) Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi, Mina Sadati. In this tense drama, a married couple who are rehearsing for a performance of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman are forced to move when their house begins to crumble. They rent an apartment from one of their fellow cast members, unaware that the previous tenant was a woman of ill repute. While bathing alone one day, the wife is visited by one of the previous tenant’s clients, leading to a complete breakdown in their marriage. From Asghar Farhadi, the acclaimed director of A Separation. January 27

 

 

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