New Releases for the Week of October 23, 2009


Sadly, despite all the hoopla the Airstream with wings never really took off.

Sadly, despite all the hoopla the Airstream with wings never really took off.

AMELIA

(Fox Searchlight) Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Mia Wasikowska, Joe Anderson. Directed by Mira Nair

One of the most iconic figures of the 20th century was aviatrix Amelia Earhart. She blazed a trail for women back in the Depression for women to follow; she was fearless, confident and just as competent as any man in her chosen field. Sadly, that’s not what she is mostly remembered for today – not how she lived but rather, the mystery around how she (presumably) died. Acclaimed director Mira Nair intends to change that. While there have been biographical films about Earhart in the past, Nair seems to be out to show the human side of the hero and present her many accomplishments, many of which have been overshadowed by her mysterious disappearance during an attempted flight around the globe in 1937. This may very well be the first major entry in the Oscar sweepstakes for 2009.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: PG (for some sexuality, language, thematic elements and smoking)

A Serious Man

(Focus) Michael Stuhlbarg, Fred Melamed, Richard Kind, Adam Arkin. This is the latest from the Coen Brothers; that should be all you need to know to want to go see it right away. However, if you need a little more to get you into the theater, this is about a very neurotic Jewish professor at a small university in Minnesota during the 1960s who finds his life falling apart. His wife wants to leave him for an overbearing colleague; his feckless brother seems destined to spend the rest of his life on the couch in his living room, his children seem to be deliberately going out of their way to make him miserable and a mysterious letter-writer is trying to undermine his quest for tenure. He has come to realize he is a nebbish and needs advice on how to be a mensch – a serious man. However, the rabbis he consult cloud up the issue even further.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: R (for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence)

Astro Boy

(Summit) Starring the voices of Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Charlize Theron. Based on one of the very first Japanese animes, this sci-fi animated feature is about a young robot with amazing powers that has been given a more or less human face and form. However, the boy robot is isolated because he is different. He goes on a journey to find acceptance, battling killer robots and aliens on the way.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: PG (for some action and peril, and brief mild language)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

(Universal) John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe, Chris Massoglia, Salma Hayek. Based on a popular series of young adult fantasy novels, Universal is hoping this will kick off a new franchise for them. A bored young teen, feeling his wife is being mapped out and ultimately wasted in his dreary suburban existence, is drawn to a strange sideshow full of creatures as misunderstood as he feels himself to be. In a moment of clarity, he realizes he belongs with the Cirque and becomes one of the undead. However, his inexperience at being a vampire inadvertently breaks a 200-year-old truce between warring factions and threatens his new found home. Perhaps he should have read the Twilight series first.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language)

Good Hair

(Roadside Attractions) Chris Rock, Maya Angelou, Nia Long, Kerry Washington. Hair is not merely what covers our head; it is our own personal signature. In the African-American community, hair can go even further, as a symbol of individual identity and often a tribute to African heritage. Comedian Chris Rock take an occasionally poignant and often hilarious look at the role of hair in African-American culture and tries to determine, once and for all, just what determines how hair can be “good.”

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: PG-13 (for some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity)

Saw VI

(Lionsgate) Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Shawnee Smith. The most successful horror franchise of the 21st century returns with more diabolical traps, more gruesome murders, more elaborate games and, well, just more.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Rating: R (for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language)

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