Pick of the Litter – February 2017


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

The Great Wall

The Great Wall

(Universal/Legendary) Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, Tian Jing. Zhang Yimou is one of China’s most influential and visionary directors. He’s created some of the most visually appealing films of the past 20 years (Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, House of Flying Daggers, Hero etc). This is his first Hollywood production and it promises to be a doozy – a European mercenary goes to China to find that a desperate battle is taking place at the Great Wall against a mysterious menace the Wall was meant to keep out. This could well be humanity’s last stand. February 17

INDEPENDENT PICKS

War on Everyone

War on Everyone

(Saban) Michael Peña, Alexander Skarsgǻrd, Theo James, Tessa Thompson. A pair of corrupt L.A. cops has no problem extorting money from criminals and framing them for crimes they didn’t commit. Hoping to make that big score, they go after the manager of a seedy strip club and his whacko boss but end up uncovering a darker secret that’s way out of their league. This is from the Irish director John Michael McDonagh whose previous films The Guard and Cavalry showed an eccentric black humor. February 6

I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro

(Magnolia) James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. When author and social activist James Baldwin passed away in 1987, he was working on a manuscript called Remember This House which detailed the history of race relations in America through the lens of the death of three of his close friends – Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Director Raoul Peck has created a documentary based on the manuscript and extrapolates how it might have turned out in finished form. Given the tensions that continue to plague this country, this documentary is as timely now as it would have been in Baldwin’s day. February 3

David Brent: Life on the Road

David Brent: Life on the Road

(Netflix) Ricky Gervais, Jo Hartley, Mandeep Dhillon, Andrew Brooke. Before there was The Office there was The Office, the BBC version of a comedy that masqueraded as a documentary. Now, Gervais (who created the show) is back as David Brent, the absolutely clueless and somewhat misogynistic boss who has since moved on to become – wait for it – a singer/songwriter. He’s on the road but that doesn’t stop him from a return to his old stomping grounds.  February 10

From Nowhere

From Nowhere

(FilmRise) Juliana Nicholson, Denis O’Hare, Jim Norton, Anita Petry. With President Trump’s controversial executive orders regarding immigration very much in the news, this timely feature puts a human face on illegal immigrants. Three Bronx teenagers, undocumented immigrants all, are close to graduating high school but navigating the tricky procedures of getting their papers in order proves to be an almost insurmountable challenge. February 17

As You Are

As You Are

(Votiv) Charlie Heaton, Owen Campbell, Amandla Stenberg, Mary Stuart Masterson. The events leading to a tragedy are pieced together from the friendship of three teens in the 1990s. Two boys, whose parents are dating, develop a particularly close bond that becomes unexpectedly sexual and begins an inexorable journey towards a single gunshot. Using the music of Kurt Cobain as a link, this intense film wowed audiences at the 2016 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. February 24

My Life as a Zucchini

My Life as a Zucchini

(GKIDS) Starring the voices of Will Forte, Amy Sedaris, Nick Offerman, Ellen Page. A young orphan with the intriguing nickname of Zucchini comes to an orphanage after his mom disappears. With the help of a kindly police officer, Zucchini turns a hostile environment to one of love and affection with his friendship and courage. He even may find his one true love. The film has been nominated for an Oscar as Best Animated Feature and was Switzerland’s submission for Best Foreign Film. February 24

 

February 2017


the-great-wallFEBRUARY 1, 2017

Mr. Gaga – New York City

FEBRUARY 2, 2017

Mistaken – Vimeo
The Plateau – Limited

FEBRUARY 3, 2017

Rings
The Space Between Us

Arbor Demon – Limited
Bunyan and Babe – Limited
Chapter & Verse – New York City
The Comedian – Limited
Confidential Assignment – Limited
Don’t Knock Twice – Limited
Eloise – Limited
The Grace of Jake – Limited
I Am Not Your Negro – Limited
Journey to the West: The Demons Strike back – Limited
Nakom – New York City
On the Rocks – Los Angeles
The Trouble with Terkel – Limited
Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset of All Time – Showtime
War on Everyone – Limited
Wheeler – Limited

FEBRUARY 7, 2017

Deadly Virtues: Love Honour Obey – Amazon/Google Play/Vimeo/Vudu
Valley of the Sasquatch – Limited

FEBRUARY 8, 2017

Hunter’s Cove – Limited
Kensho at the Bedfellow – Limited

FEBRUARY 9, 2017

The Dark Military – New York City

FEBRUARY 10, 2017

Fifty Shades Darker
John Wick Chapter Two
The LEGO Batman Movie

Chapter & Verse – Expands to Los Angeles/Select Cities
1 Night – Limited
A United Kingdom – Limited
Adventure Club – Limited
Bigger Than the Beatles – Limited
Bornless Ones – Limited
David Brent: Life on the Road – Netflix
Duckweed – Limited
God Bless the Broken Road – Limited
Havenhurst – Limited
Jolly LLB 2 – Limited
Keep Quiet – Limited
Running Wild – Limited
Stray Bullets – Limited

FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Darkness is Coming – Amazon
Girl Followed – Limited

FEBRUARY 17, 2017

A Cure for Wellness
Fist Fight
The Great Wall

American Fable – Limited
Everybody Loves Somebody – Limited
From Nowhere – Limited
Ghost of New Orleans – Limited
Land of Mine – Limited
Lovesong – Limited
My Name is Emily – Limited
XX – Limited

FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Country: Portraits of an American Sound – VOD
The Great and the Small – Limited

FEBRUARY 24, 2017

Collide
Get Out
Rock Dog

As You Are – Limited
Bitter Harvest – Limited
Drifter – Limited
Dying Laughing – Limited
The Girl With All the Gifts – Limited
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore – Netflix
Lost Cat Corona – Limited
The Many – Limited
My Life as a Zucchini – Limited
Offshore Incorporated – Limited
VooDoo – Limited
Within – Limited

FEBRUARY 28, 2017

Cut to the Chase – Limited/VOD
Decanted: A Winemaker’s Journey – Amazon/iTunes