New Releases for the Week of April 7, 2017


SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE

(Sony Animation) Starring the voices of Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, Mandy Patinkin, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper. Directed by Kelly Asbury

Has anyone ever wondered why there is only one girl Smurf? Neither have I but I’m sure someone has. Smurfette sets out with her friends through the Forbidden Forest to find a mysterious village before the evil sorcerer Gargamel does and when they do, we find out where all the girl Smurfs are. How Smurfy is that?

See the trailer, clips, interviews, featurettes, premiere footage and B-Roll video here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard, 3D
Genre: Animated Feature
Now Playing: Wide Release

Rating: PG (for some mild action and rude humor)

1 Mile to You

(Gravitas) Melanie Lynskey, Tim Roth, Billy Crudup, Stefanie Scott. When a teenage boy’s friends die in a car accident, he is completely devastated. He takes up running to deal with the pain and also to remember his friends. His running however catches the attention of track coaches who recognize his raw potential. Can they bring him from dwelling on his past into creating a bright future?

See the trailer and a clip here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: Sports Drama
Now Playing: AMC Loew’s Universal Cineplex

Rating: NR

The Case for Christ

(Pure Flix) Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway, Robert Forster. Based on the experiences of Lee Strobel, an award-winning journalist and atheist, he sets out to disprove the existence of Christ after his wife undergoes a faith renewal. What he discovers in his investigation is not what he expected at all.

See the trailer and clips here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: Faith Drama
Now Playing: Wide Release

Rating: PG (for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking)

Going in Style

(New Line) Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Ann-Margaret. Three retirees, lifelong friends all, are startled when their pension fund is wiped out by the greed of a bank. Desperate to make ends meet, they decide to not only solve their financial problems but exact a little justice as well when they determine to rob the very bank that stole their money. Poetic justice, yes, but much easier said than done when you consider that none of them has committed a crime in their lives.

See the trailer, a clip and a featurette here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: Comedy
Now Playing: Wide Release

Rating: PG-13 (for drug content, language and some suggestive material)

Mine

(Well Go USA) Armie Hammer, Tom Cullen, Annabelle Wallis, Clint Dyer. After their assignment ends in failure, a U.S. Marine sniper and his spotter are forced to cross the desert when the helicopter assigned to evacuate them from the enemy zone is grounded due to sand storms. Nearing the village where they will be driven back to their base, the two find themselves in a field of land mines where the sniper has stepped on a mine and cannot move without setting it off. Low on food and water with no way to go even a step further, he is forced to contemplate what got him there in the first place. Look for a review of this in Cinema365 tomorrow.

See the trailer here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: War
Now Playing: AMC Disney Springs

Rating: NR

My Life as a Zucchini

(GKIDS) Starring the voices of Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Ellen Page, Amy Sedaris. Nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar in the most recent Academy awards, this charming French stop-motion film follows an imaginative young boy who is sent to an orphanage after his mother passes away suddenly. Lonely in a sometimes hostile environment, he searches for a family to call his own while learning to trust once again. The Enzian will be presenting the film both in its original French with subtitles as well as an English language version. Be sure and check which version is playing when you head out to the theater.

See the trailer and a clip here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: Animated Feature
Now Playing: Enzian Theater

Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements and suggestive material)

Queen of the Desert

(IFC) Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damian Lewis. The true story of Gertrude Bell, a English woman in the early years of the 20th century who chafed at the role she was relegated to in Victorian England. She traveled to the Middle East and fell in love with the culture and the freedoms it afforded her. Her views on the Bedouin helped shape the course of the century and indeed the modern world itself.

See the trailer here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: Biographical Drama
Now Playing: AMC Loew’s Universal Cineplex

Rating: PG-13 (for brief nudity and some thematic elements)

Raw

(Focus World) Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas. A vegetarian who is following in her family’s footsteps to become a veterinarian undergoes a ritual hazing involving eating meat. This awakens a taste for flesh inside her that becomes more and more irresistible until it threatens to consume her. This French film was the talk of the most recent Cannes Film Festival.

See the trailer and clips here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: Horror
Now Playing: Enzian Theater

Rating: R (for aberrant behavior, bloody and grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, language and drug use/partying)

Your Name

(FUNimation) Starring the voices of Michael Sinterniklaas, Stephanie Sheh, Kyle Hebert, Cassandra Morris. This beautiful anime, the number one movie in Japan last year, concerns two young people who randomly switch bodies from time to time. They learn to communicate with each other and eventually, bond for each other. At last that realize that they need to meet face to face but making that happen proves to be a much thornier problem than either one could anticipate.

See the trailer here.
For more on the movie this is the website.

Release Formats: Standard
Genre: Animated Feature
Now Playing: AMC Altamonte Mall, AMC Disney Springs, Cinemark Artegon Marketplace, Regal Waterford Lakes, Regal Winter Park Village

Rating: PG (for thematic elements, suggestive content, brief language and smoking)

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Pick of the Litter – April 2017


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

The Fate of the Furious

(Universal) Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron. The first post-Paul Walker film in the franchise shakes things up quite a bit. Dominic Toretto does the unthinkable; he turns on his gang, his family. He has thrown his lot in with a manipulative cyber terrorist. Stopping the two of them becomes a big priority and they’re going to have help from an unexpected quarter – the man they just put away. April 14

INDEPENDENT PICKS

The Transfiguration

(Strand) Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Lloyd Kaufman, Anna Friedman. This is a unique take on vampire films. Milo is a young African-American teen who is fascinated with vampires to the point of obsession. He meets Sophie who is also an outsider and the two form a strong bond but that bond is beginning to push Milo further into the belief that drinking human blood will transform him into an actual vampire. April 7

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

(Abramorama) Denzel Washington (voice), Common, Bill Clinton, Carlos Santana. John Coltrane is without question one of the brightest lights in the jazz pantheon. His music transcends boundaries or even description – it is music that is felt and experienced more than listened to. He remains today as influential a musician as he has ever been and his story deserves to be told and his music heard by those who haven’t yet had a chance to experience the miracle that is John Coltrane. April 14

Queen of the Desert

(IFC) Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis, Robert Pattinson. There are few things in life that make me as happy as hearing “a new Werner Herzog film.” While this isn’t strictly new (it was originally released in 2015 and is only now making it to the US) it is at least new to us. This is based on the extraordinary but true story of Gertrude Bell, a British woman of many talents who held a particular fascination for the Bedouin on whose affairs she advised the British government during the early years of the 20th century. As policies changed, she found herself at odds with her own government – and taking the side of the people whom she cherished. April 14

Demain

(Under the Milky Way) Melanie Laurent, Cyril Dion, Olivier De Schutter, Michelle Long. When French actress Laurent was pregnant, her activist husband told her that her child could live in a world of food shortages, clean water shortages, overpopulation and scarce energy. She was determined not just to find a way to avoid this future but to seek out alternatives to it. This is a documentary Laurent and her husband made looking for viable solutions to all of those problems now before it is too late. April 14

Finding Oscar

(FilmRise) Kate Doyle, Scott Greathead, Sebastian Rotella, Fredy Peccerelli. In 1982, a massacre occurred in the tiny Guatemalan village of Dos Erres. In the 35 years since the tragedy, justice has yet to be served and the victims lie in unquiet graves. There is hope in the form of a little boy who may have survived the massacre and may be able to finally shed light on what happened and bring those that perpetrated this heinous crime to justice. The search for that boy – now a man – is not an easy one however. April 14

Phoenix Forgotten

(Cinelou) Matt Biedel, Ana Dela Cruz, Florence Hartigan, Jeanine Jackson. While many feel that found footage horror films have run their course, it has to be said that having an A-list director like Ridley Scott involved in the production is at least intriguing. The incident that this is based on – the Phoenix lights – actually did happen. The footage of three teens who disappeared shortly thereafter did not. Doesn’t mean it can’t be a cool and scary movie though. April 21

 

 Bang! The Bert Berns Story

(Abramorama) Steven van Zandt (narrator), Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Van Morrison. Bert Berns was a songwriter and producer of some of the biggest rock and soul hits of the Sixties. Songs like “Twist and Shout,” “Hang on Sloopy” and “Another Piece of My Heart” all sprung from his fertile mind. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 and some say it would have been sooner but for his association with Tommy Ryan – a high ranking member of the mob – which threw a cloud over his career. April 26