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There are some great new releases this month: Genius is a masterful drama about the complex friendship and transformative professional relationship between the world-renowned book editor Maxwell Perkins and the larger-than-life literary giant Thomas Wolfe; The Meddler is a charming coming-of-age story with Susan Sarandon in top form as a woman who discovers that it is never too late to find true love; Woody Allen conjures up a 1930s world that has passed to tell a deeply romantic tale of dreams that never die in Café Society; Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story with The Magnificent Seven;From director Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) comes War Dogs, a comedic drama based on true events, following two friends in their early 20s living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows smaller businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts; Nobody’s Died Laughing is a documentary on Pieter-Dirk Uys, one of South Africas most prolific writers, satirists and activists; Life On The Line is a riveting action thriller and family drama centered on Beau (John Travolta), his beloved niece Bailey (Kate Bosworth) and the hardworking men who risk their lives to work “on the line” and keep the electric grid running; and Sausage Party, the world’s first R-rated CG animated comedy, is definitely for adults only.
Genius – an intelligent masterwork for discerning viewers
From Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, Hugo, Skyfall) and acclaimed, Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage (former artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse) in his feature film debut, comes the masterful drama about the complex friendship and transformative professional relationship between the world-renowned book editor Maxwell Perkins (who discovered F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway) and the larger-than-life literary giant Thomas Wolfe. If there’s one reason to see this film, besides Logan’s intelligent screenplay and brilliant interpretation by director Grandage, it’s for the commanding performances delivered by Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) as Max Perkins, alongside Jude Law (Anna Karenina, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Thomas Wolfe. Finding fame and critical success at a young age, Wolfe was a blazing talent with a larger-than-life personality to match. Perkins was one of the most respected and well-known literary editors of all time, discovering such iconic novelists as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Wolfe and Perkins develop a tender, complex friendship. The film is based on the biography “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg, it also stars Guy Pearce (The Rover, Lawless) as F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dominic West (Testament of Youth, Pride), as Ernest Hemingway. Watch The Trailer / Go behind the scenes of Genius
Café Society – Woody Allen at his best
Woody Allen fans will indulge in this superb journey into the allure of fame and fortune in Hollywood during the roaring 30s. Allen’s vibrant and panoramic tale of New York and Hollywood features a kaleidoscopic cast of characters that range from movie stars to millionaires, playboys to professors, and working girls to wise guys. This bittersweet romance follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life. Centering on events in the lives of Bobby’s colorful Bronx family, the film is a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age.
Poignant, and often hilarious, Café Society, a film with a novel’s sweep, takes us on a journey from pastel-clad dealmakers in plush Hollywood mansions, to the quarrels and tribulations of a humble Bronx family, to the rough-and-tumble violence of New York gangsters, to the sparkling surfaces and secret scandals of Manhattan high life. With Café Society, Woody Allen conjures up a 1930s world that has passed to tell a deeply romantic tale of dreams that never die. Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes of Café Society
The Meddler is a charming coming-of-age story with Susan Sarandon in top form as a woman who discovers that it is never too late to find true love. Armed with a new iPhone, an apartment near the Grove, and a comfortable bank account left to her by her beloved late husband, Marnie Minervini (Susan Sarandon) has happily relocated from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be near her daughter Lori, a successful (but still single) screenwriter, and smother her with motherly love. But when the dozens of texts, unexpected visits, and conversations dominated by unsolicited advice force Lori to draw strict personal boundaries, Marnie finds ways to channel her eternal optimism and forceful generosity to change the lives of others – as well as her own – and find a new purpose in life. Watch the trailer / Read an interview with writer-director Lorene Scafaria
Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story with The Magnificent Seven, from a screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople, led by Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. “When MGM asked me about making a Western, I got excited about the possibility of it, because I grew up with Westerns,” says Antoine Fuqua, who re-teams with Denzel Washington in the story of seven outlaws, gunslingers, gamblers and bounty hunters who band together to save a town under the thumb of corruption in The Magnificent Seven. “So I asked myself, ‘Why make a Western now? Why would it be important?’ And the answer was, the idea of tyranny, happening in our world today – that’s what made it timely. You’d need a special group of people to come together to fight tyranny.” Watch the trailer/ Go behind the scenes of The Magnificent Seven
Nobody’s Died Laughing is a documentary on Pieter-Dirk Uys, one of South Africas most prolific writers, satirists and activists. Having written and performed over 20 plays and over 30 revues and one-man shows throughout the world, and been awarded South Africas prestigious Truth and Reconciliation Award in 2001, the film covers his many achievements including his travels around South Africa, visiting over 1.5 million school children, as well as prisons and reformatories, with a free AIDS-awareness entertainment programme. Watch the trailer
Life On The Line is a riveting action thriller and family drama centered on Beau (John Travolta), his beloved niece Bailey (Kate Bosworth) and the hardworking men who risk their lives to work “on the line” and keep the electric grid running. These unsung heroes brave raging storms and dangerously dizzying heights in their dedication to keeping the populace safe. Toiling hundreds of feet in the air on wires carrying as much as 500,000 volts of electricity, tragedy is often inches away. Haunted by the electrocution death of his brother, Beau is devoted to Bailey and determined to see her go off to college and away from the life of linemen. Bailey has other plans, which include the strapping second-generation lineman Duncan (Devon Sawa), whom Beau despises. A deadly tempest is brewing and headed straight to their Texas town. Beau, Duncan and a legion of linemen are thrust into the eye of the storm and must face down impending disaster to keep their community connected. This compelling action drama also stars Sharon Stone, Ryan Robbins, Julie Benz and Gil Bellows. Watch the trailer
From director Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) comes War Dogs, a comedic drama based on true events, following two friends in their early 20s living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows smaller businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. The screenplay is by Stephen Chin and Todd Phillips & Jason Smilovic, based on the Rolling Stone article titled “Arms and the Dudes,” by Guy Lawson. War Dogs grew out of the story of two stoner kids, barely into their 20s, who became multi-millionaires as the most improbable of international arms dealers. But just as they reached what should have been the pinnacle of success, it all came crashing down in spectacular fashion. Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes
Sausage Party, the world’s first R-rated CG animated comedy, is definitely for adults only. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been the masterminds behind some of the world’s most outrageous, inventive, and hilarious comedies – from Superbad to Pineapple Express to This Is the End to The Interview. Now, they go into the world of animation for Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures’ Sausage Party, the world’s first R-rated CG animated comedy, about a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store.“The concept of the movie was ‘what if sausages could live out their dreams of getting in buns?’” says executive producer Kyle Hunter, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. “It’s about a sausage, Frank, that’s in love with a bun named Brenda,” says Shaffir. “They believe they’re going to get ‘chosen’ to leave the store together, and getting out of the store is their version of what they believe to be heaven. But then Frank overhears a product who has actually been out of the store, who says it’s not what everyone thinks – it’s actually terrible, more akin to going to hell. They fall out of the shopping cart instead of getting chosen, and Frank goes on a journey to find out the truth about what actually happens.” “It’s a very bizarre take on a hero’s journey….an outrageous, anything-goes animated movie about the raunchy life of our food.” Watch the trailer / Go behind the scenes