Film Friday (12/5): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: December 5, 2014
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Opening this weekend

. Nightcrawler R THRILLER | Returns to theaters Trailer
In a rare week with no new wide releases, the Jake Gyllenhaal-starring crime thriller Nightcrawler returns to theaters across the country in a bid to drum up support for its Oscar campaign.
Nationwide releases
Notable limited releases
[PICTURED] Reese Witherspoon stars as a recovering addict who, following a divorce, and without any prior experience, attempts a solo 1,000-mile hike of the Pacific Crest Trail on a whim. This true story is adapted from Cheryl Strayed's memoir by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity) and is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club).
. Still Alice PG-13 DRAMA Trailer
Likely Oscar contender Julianne Moore plays a Columbia University linguistics professor struggling with early-onset Alzheimer's in this adaptation of Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel from Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (The Last of Robin Hood).
. Zero Motivation NR FOREIGN/DRAMEDY  
This Tribeca Film Festival hit from Israel is set in a remote desert outpost of the Israeli Army, where best friends Zohar (Dana Ivgy) and Daffi (Nelly Tagar) spend their time in the Human Resources Office playing video games, singing pop songs, and generally frustrating their senior officer, Rama (Shani Klein).
. Life Partners NR COMEDY Trailer iTunes Amazon
Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs play Sasha and Paige, best friends who use their co-dependent relationship as an excuse to avoid the dating world. But when Jacobs’ Paige meets Adam Brody’s Tim, her friendship with Sasha begins to change.
. The Pyramid R HORROR  
The closest thing to a new nationwide release this week (though it will play in fewer than 600 theaters) is Fox's low-budget Egyptian horror tale that serves as the directorial debut for screenwriter Grégory Levasseur. Critics did not screen it in advance.
Additional limited releases (in alphabetical order)
. The Barefoot Artist NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Billy Bates NR DRAMA iTunes
. By the Gun NR DRAMA/THRILLER iTunes
. Comet NR DRAMEDY  
. Concerning Violence NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Dying of the Light R DRAMA/THRILLER  
. The Foxy Merkins NR COMEDY  
. Lap Dance NR DRAMA  
. Miss Julie NR DRAMA  
. Murder of a Cat NR COMEDY/THRILLER iTunes
. Night Will Fall NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Panic 5 Bravo R THRILLER  
. The Physician NR DRAMA  
. Red Knot NR DRAMA  
. She's Beautiful When She's Angry NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Skating to New York PG-13 DRAMA iTunes
. A Small Section of the World NR DOCUMENTARY  
. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Take Care NR ROM-COM iTunes

All movies now in theaters... | Recent DVD/Blu-ray releases... | Recent streaming releases...

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

“I'll be byck!”

There are plenty of familiar aspects to be found in the first trailer for Terminator Genisys, but what exactly is going on in this fifth Terminator feature is a little unclear. Jason Clarke plays John Connor (a role played previously by Edward Furlong, Nick Stahl, and Christian Bale), the leader of the resistance who sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney in a role originated by Michael Biehn and later filled by Anton Yelchin) back in time to save his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke steps in for Linda Hamilton). However, when Reese arrives this time, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator is on Sarah Connor’s side, and she gets to say “Come with me if you want to live,” while Schwarzenegger gets to drop one more “I’ll be back.” Written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier and directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World), and also starring Matt Smith, Byung-Hun Lee, Courtney B. Vance, Sandrine Holt, and J.K. Simmons, Terminator Genisys heads to theatyrs on July 1, 2015.

The red-band trailer for Chris Rock's new comedy Top Five

Chris Rock’s Top Five opens next Friday after creating considerable buzz at TIFF. This week, Paramount has provided one last preview of the comedy prior to its release. Hitting similar beats as the previous trailers, but with a few more f-words, this red-band spot follows Rock’s Andre Allen as he spends a day with a New York Times reporter (Rosario Dawson) assigned to write a story about him. Kevin Hart plays his agent, Gabrielle Union plays his reality star fiancé, and JB Smoove is his bodyguard. Other supporting players include Cedric the Entertainer, Tracy Morgan, Ben Vereen, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharaoh.

Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller re-team for While We’re Young

In Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to Frances Ha, the lives of a documentary filmmaker (Ben Stiller) and his wife (Naomi Watts) take some unexpected turns after they befriend a hipster couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. Good reviews from TIFF and a cast that also includes Dree Hemingway, Charles Grodin (as Stiller’s father), and Adam Horovitz and Maria Dizza (as a couple always encouraging Stiller and Watts to have children), make While We're Young one to look for when it comes to theaters on March 27, 2015.

Bond 24 is Spectre

The twenty-fourth James Bond film will be titled Spectre. Director Sam Mendes made the announcement at Pinewood studios, where shooting begins on Monday. Daniel Craig is back as James Bond, as is Ralph Fiennes as the new M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, and Ben Whishaw as Q. Joining the cast are Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista, and Andrew Scott. Bond will also get a new ride: an Aston Martin DB10. Waltz is rumored to be playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but it was not confirmed at the event. Spectre, written by John Logan, Neil Purvis, and Rob Wade, will have a new editor in Lee Smith (Interstellar), while Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar, Her) will take over for Roger Deakins as cinematographer. As a refresher for old fans or for those that are new to the series, SPECTRE stands for SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.

A vampire comedy for Flight of the Conchords fans

Written and directed by Jemaine Clement (one half of the music-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi, and starring them, along with Jonathan Brugh and Ben Fransham, as vampires living in the 21st century, What We Do in the Shadows plays like MTV’s The Real World for actual bloodsuckers, as the four flatmates try to woo women, avoid the sun, and battle their rivals (werewolves). This well-reviewed New Zealand comedy will finally make it into select North American theaters on February 13, 2015.

Meet the Suicide Squad

This week, Warner Bros. announced the cast for David Ayer’s adaptation of Suicide Squad. The film will star Will Smith as Deadshot; Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg; Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn; Jared Leto as the Joker; Jai Courtney as Boomerang; and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress. Leto follows standout performances by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger in bringing the Joker to the big screen, and Jesse Eisenberg could reprise his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice role of Lex Luthor in a cameo. Variety also reports that Oprah Winfrey is the studio’s first choice to play Amanda Waller, the woman who puts the squad together. Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 5, 2016.

Black or White

Titled Black and White when it premiered at TIFF, where it received mixed reviews, Black or White stars Kevin Costner as an attorney drawn into a custody battle over his 7-year-old granddaughter (Jillian Estell) after the deaths of his wife and daughter spur the girl’s paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) to bring a case against him with the help of her nephew, a lawyer played by Anthony Mackie. Andre Holland plays the young girl’s troubled father. Writer-director Mike Bender previously worked with Costner on 2005‘s The Upside of Anger. Their latest collaboration is in Los Angeles theaters this week only for an Oscar-qualifying run before it opens across the country on January 30, 2015.

Bruce Willis in Vice

The team behind this year’s poorly reviewed The Prince (director Brian A. Miller, writers Andre Fabrizio & Jeremy Passmore, and star Bruce Willis) return next year with Vice. Willis plays Julian Michaels, the man behind a resort which allows people to indulge their wildest fantasies. Trouble arises when an "artificial" played by Ambyr Childers escapes and becomes a target of Willis’s henchmen and a cop played by Thomas Jane. Luckily, her designer (Bryan Greenberg) can make a few upgrades. Look for Vice on VOD and in theaters beginning January 16, 2015.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Starring Stephen Tyrone Williams, Elvis Nolasco, Zaraah Abrahams and Rami Malek, Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-funded Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a remake of Bill Gunn’s 1973 horror classic Ganja & Hess. Williams plays Dr. Hess Greene, who develops a lust for blood after being stabbed by an ancient dagger. The story focuses on his dangerous romance with Abrahams’ Ganja. While reviews have been mixed, Lee’s latest joint will find its way into select theaters on February 13, 2015.

May the parodies be with you

A certain trailer for a certain film was released last week while we were vacationing. Here it is, along with some of the parodies that followed.

Short takes

Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom comes to theaters on April 17, 2015. Here’s the latest trailer.

Peter Capaldi plays Leonardo Da Vinci in Inside the Mind of Leonardo, a 3D investigation of the inventor’s private journals. Look for it in select theaters on December 19th.

News and notes

  • Early award winners include A Most Violent Year (National Board of Review), Boyhood (New York Film Critics Circle) and Birdman (Gotham Independent Film Awards). Find all our film awards coverage here.
  • Marvel confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch will star in Doctor Strange.
  • A Source Code sequel is in the works with director Anna Foerster (Outlander) - Variety
  • Jonah Hill and Miles Teller are in talks to replace Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf in Todd Phillips’ Arms and the Dude, about two Miami Beach stoners who become arms dealers. - Variety
  • Ryan Reynolds will officially play Deadpool in Fox’s Tim Miller-directed stand-alone film. - Deadline
  • Original Kickboxer Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sara Malakul Lane have joined Dave Bautista and Alain Moussi in John Stockwell’s remake. - THR
  • Chris Pratt is in talks to join Denzel Washington in Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven. - Deadline
  • Dave Green (Earth to Echo) will direct Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. - Variety
  • Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) will play Esther opposite Jack Huston in Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur remake. - Deadline
  • Director Matt Reeves is expected to follow his upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel with an untitled bank heist thriller written by Matt Charman, who scripted Steve Spielberg’s upcoming Cold War thriller St. James Place. - THR
  • Corin Hardy has replaced F. Javier Gutiérrez as director of The Crow remake. Star Luke Evans could be dropping out as well. - Deadline & Den of Geek
  • Kerry Washington and Kate Hudson are in talks to star in Unforgettable, a thriller from director Amma Asante (Belle). - THR
  • Amber Heard is in talks to join Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in Tom Hooper’s adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel, The Danish Girl. - Deadline
  • Baltasar Kormákur is in talks to direct, and Cate Blanchett might star in Cascade, the story of an oil tanker collision in the Persian Gulf. - THR
  • Felicity Jones is in talks to play Sienna Brooks opposite Tom Hanks’ Henry Langdon in Ron Howard’s Inferno, the third film based on Dan Brown’s book series that began with The Da Vinci Code. - Deadline
  • Jason Fuchs (Pan) will write the screenplay for Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot. - Heat Vision
  • Check out the 2015 Sundance Film Festival lineup at
  • After years of public silence, Lars von Trier speaks.

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