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Movies with Sean Means for September 15, 2016

Artsies:

Complete Unknown (R) 90 Minutes – 2 1/2 Stars

This shape-shifting tale of the perils and pleasures of self-reinvention begins at a dinner party, when Tom’s (Michael Shannon) co-worker arrives with an intriguing date named Alice (Rachel Weisz). Tom is convinced he knows her, but she refuses to acknowledge their history. And when Alice makes a hasty exit, Tom sets off after her. What follows is an all-night odyssey shared by two people, one needing to change his life, the other questioning how to stop changing.

Director: Joshua Marston

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates

 

A Tale of Love and Darkness (PG-13) 95 Minutes – 3 Stars

A Tale of Love and Darkness is based on the memories of Amos Oz, growing up in Jerusalem in the years before Israeli statehood with Arieh, his academic father and Fania, his dreamy, imaginative mother. They were one of many Jewish families who moved to Palestine from Europe during the 1930s and 40s to escape persecution. Arieh was cautiously hopeful for the future but Fania wanted much more. The terror of the war and running from home had been followed by the tedium of everyday life, which weighed heavily on Fania’s spirit.

Director: Natalie Portman

Starring: Natalie Portman

 

Howards End *4k Restoration* (PG) 143 Minutes – 4 Stars

One of the best Ismail Merchant/James Ivory films, this adaptation of E. M. Forster’s classic 1910 novel shows in careful detail the injuriously rigid British class consciousness of the early 20th century. The film’s catalyst is “poor relation” Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson), who inherits part of the estate of Ruth Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave), an upper-class woman whom she had befriended. The film’s principal characters are divided by caste: aristocratic industrial Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins); middle-echelon Margaret and her sister Helen (Helena Bonham Carter); and working-class clerk Leonard Bast (Sam West) and his wife (Nicola Duffett). The personal and social conflicts among these characters ultimately result in tragedy for Bast and disgrace for Wilcox, but the film’s wider theme remains the need, in the words of the novel’s famous epigram, to “only connect” with other people, despite boundaries of gender, class, or petty grievance. Filmed on a proudly modest budget, Howards End offers sets, spectacles, and costumes as lavish as in any historical epic. Nominated for 9 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, the film took home awards for Thompson as Best Actress, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s adapted screenplay, and Luciana Arrighi’s art direction.

Director: James Ivory

Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins

 

Fartsies:

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (NR) – Not Screened

We all know the moment. February 9th, 1964, 8:12pm EST – after a brief commercial break, four young men from Liverpool step onto the Ed Sullivan stage, changing culture forever. Seventy-three million people watched The Beatles perform that night, the largest audience in television history. It was an event that united a nation and signaled the birth of youth culture as we know it today. But while this single performance introduced The Beatles to America, what the band did next would introduce them to the entire world, permanently transforming the music industry and forever ingraining them into the fabric of popular culture… They went on tour.

Director: Ron Howard

 

Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (PG) 103 Minutes – Not Screened

This documentary chronicles the spectacular and unlikely rise to prominence of the Australian-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED, which emerged out of the life of Hillsong Church. The music of Hillsong Church is so popular it is estimated that on any given Sunday, more than 50 million churchgoers around the world are singing their songs. The film follows the band as they labor to record their next album and explores the history of Hillsong, a 30-year journey from a tiny church in the Sydney suburbs to a vibrant international ministry. The movie culminates in a transformational concert experience spotlighting the humble hearts behind this worldwide sensation.

Director: Michael John Warren

Mr. Church (PG-13) 104 Minutes – 2 Stars

Set 1965 Los Angeles, Mr. Church begins with a stranger arriving on the doorstep of 10-year-old CHARLOTTE “CHARLIE” BRODY and her single mother MARIE BRODY (40), who is battling breast cancer. They soon learn that the quiet man, HENRY CHURCH (40), has been hired by Marie’s recently deceased former lover to cook for them and help maintain the household. As Mr. Church’s time with the Brodys extends from months into years, he becomes a father figure for Charlie during her formative years, nurturing her love of literature and making a lasting impact on her life. Even as Mr. Church tries to keep his own life separate from the Brodys, he eventually learns that the connection he feels to Charlie is what family is all about.

Director: Bruce Beresford

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Natascha McElhone

 

Bridget Jones’s Baby (R) 122 Minutes – 2 1/2 Stars

Bridget Jones returns for this third entry in the romantic comedy series that once again features Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant. Author Helen Fielding co-wrote the script with David Nicholls, with David Nicholls handling directing duties

Director: Sharon Maguire

Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey

 

Snowden (R) 138 Minutes – 3 Stars

Academy Award (R)-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.

Director: Oliver Stone

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

 

The Last Descent (PG) 105 Minutes – 3 1/2 Stars

The Last Descent tells the story of John Edward Jones and the tragic rescue attempt at Nutty Putty Cave in 2009. But John’s story neither begins, nor ends in that cave. The Last Descent is a reflection on love, loss and the meaning of life.

Director: Isaac Halasima.

Starring: Alexis Johnson, Landon Henneman

 

Blair Witch (R) 89 Minutes – 3 1/2 Stars

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

Director: Adam Wingard

Starring: Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry


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