Film Friday (2/20): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: February 20, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

Opening this weekend

Nationwide releases
. McFarland USA PG DRAMA/SPORTS Trailers
Kevin Costner stars as the cross country coach at a predominantly Latino high school in this based-on-a-true-story, feel-good Disney drama. Niki Caro (Whale Rider) directs.
. The DUFF PG-13 COMEDY Trailers
This high school comedy stars Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) as Bianca, a Designated Ugly Fat Friend to her prettier, more popular friends played by Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos. But she enlists Robbie Amell’s Wesley to help reinvent herself before her senior year is a total flop. Bella Thorne, Alison Janney, Romany Malco, and Ken Jeong round out the cast of Ari Sandel’s directorial debut.
. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 R COMEDY Trailers
John Cusack is out, but Adam Scott, Gillian Jacobs, and Thomas Lennon are in (along with returning stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke) for this sequel to the surprise 2010 hit Hot Tub Time Machine. You may want to lower your expectations, and then lower them again.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
Argentinian director Damián Szifron’s film impressed Cannes audiences last year with its embrace of explosive violence and black comedy and its omnibus structure—six short films loosely tied together by the theme of revenge. The film is also competing for a foreign-language Oscar this weekend.
. Queen and Country NR DRAMA Trailers
John Boorman's sequel to 1987's Hope and Glory is set during (though not in) the Korean War and stars Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, and David Thewlis.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. All the Wilderness NR DRAMA iTunes Amazon
. Approaching the Elephant NR DOCUMENTARY  
. The Business of Disease NR DOCUMENTARY  
. A Convenient Truth NR COMEDY  
. Digging Up the Marrow NR HORROR/THRILLER iTunes Amazon
. Drunktown's Finest NR DRAMA  
. Hogtown NR DRAMA  
. Kung Fu Elliot NR DOCUMENTARY  

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

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

A quick peek at Crimson Peak

After having some fun with the Kaiju vs. Jaeger battlefest Pacific Rim, director Guillermo del Toro returns to the ghostly environs of The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth with this haunted house tale co-written with Matthew Robbins (Mimic). The story follows Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), a young woman and aspiring author who is wooed by a mysterious man (Tom Hiddleston) to return with him to his house where his sister (Jessica Chastain) also resides. To say the house has secrets would be an understatement. Charlie Hunnam plays an admirer who warns Edith to be careful. Luckily for horror fans, she doesn’t listen. Crimson Peak hits theaters October 16th.

Maps to the Stars gets nasty

While Julianne Moore is the favorite to take home the best actress Oscar this Sunday for her work in Still Alice, she already won best actress honors at last year’s Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Maps to the Stars. Directed by David Cronenberg and written by novelist (I’m Losing You) and sometimes actor (One Crazy Summer) Bruce Wagner, the film follows a collection of unhinged characters in Hollywood. Moore plays an aging actress, haunted by the ghost of her legendary mother (Sarah Gadon), who hires Mia Wasikowska’s Agatha as her personal assistant, not knowing that Agatha has ties to the Weiss family—self-help guru Stafford (John Cusack) and Cristina (Olivia Williams) who manages their child-star son, Benjie (Evan Bird). See it on iTunes/VOD or in select theaters next Friday.

Kill Me Three Times

In Kill Me Three Times, Simon Pegg plays an assassin who discovers he isn't the only one trying to kill the wife of the man who hired him. Alice Braga, Teresa Palmer, Callan Mulvey, Bryan Brown, Sullivan Stapleton and Luke Hemsworth all co-star in this dark comedy from director Kriv Stenders and writer James McFarlan. Early reviews have been mixed, so decide if it’s your cup of tea when it hits iTunes/VOD March 26th and theaters April 10th.

Mad Max: Fury Road goes international

Each trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road has been crazier than the last, and this new Japanese trailer is no different. As Max says, it’s a world of “fire and blood,” and director George Miller (Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two) looks to be returning to the Mad Max story with plenty of both after completing the Mel Gibson-starring trilogy of Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome almost 30 years ago. After gestating for over a decade, this re-telling of the Mad Max story finds Tom Hardy’s Max Rockatansky teaming up with Charlize Theron’s Furiosa. The supporting cast includes Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Look for it in theaters May 15, 2015.

Russell Crowe takes a seat in the director’s chair

Russell Crowe’s feature directorial debut, The Water Diviner, earned eight nominations and three wins at this year’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, sharing the best film prize with The Babadook. The story follows an Australian farmer (Crowe) as he travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli in hopes of finding his three missing sons. Written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios and co-starring Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Yilmaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz, and Ryan Corr, The Water Diviner will come to U.S. theaters on April 24th.

Far from the Madding Crowd

Fourteen years after he won the Jury Prize at Cannes for The Celebration, Thomas Vinterberg made a bit of a comeback with The Hunt in 2012. May 1st will bring the release of his latest film, Far From the Madding Crowd. Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, and Juno Temple star in this adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic 19th century novel about the independent Bathsheba Everdeen’s complicated relationships with three very different men. David Nicholls, who recently adapted another classic novel, Great Expectations, wrote the script.

The Cobbler

In what looks to be the first misstep from writer-director Thomas McCarthy (Win Win, The Visitor, The Station Agent) and just another in a long line of misfires for star Adam Sandler, The Cobbler follows Max Simkin, a shoe repairman who discovers he has the ability to step into the lives of his customers when he puts on their shoes (as long as they are size 10.5 and fixed on a special stitching machine). Hijinks ensue when Method Man, Steve Buscemi, Dan Stevens, Melonie Diaz, and Ellen Barkin all getting involved. Look for it on VOD and in select theaters on March 13th.

Short takes

After earning good reviews at Sundance, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, the latest documentary from director Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks and many others), will premiere March 29th on HBO.

Coming to theaters and VOD next Friday is My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, a documentary directed by Refn’s wife while he was in production on Only God Forgives.

Growing Up and Other Lies follows Jake (Josh Lawson) and his three friends (Adam Brody, Wyatt Cenac, Danny Jacobs) as they traverse Manhattan one last time before Jake heads back to Ohio. Look for it On Demand and in theaters March 20th.

Victoria, co-winner of the Silver Bear for Cinematography at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, is a single take (with no Birdman-like tricks) telling the story of how Victoria’s (Laia Costa) fun night out turns deadly when she hooks up with Sonne (Frederick Lau) and his friends.

Coming to theaters March 20th, Spring stars Lou Taylor Pucci as Evan, an American backpacking through Europe who finds love and much more when he meets Louise (Nadia Hilker) in Italy.

News and notes

  • Director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie) announced this week that his next film will be a sequel to the original Alien franchise—the fifth film in the series.
  • Joel Kinnaman will replace Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, and Jay Hernandez is in talks to join the cast as well. - TheWrap
  • Marion Cotillard will join Michael Fassbender in Justin Kurzel’s live-action Assassin’s Creed. - Deadline
  • Morena Baccarin (Homeland) will play the female lead, and Gina Carano will play the mutant Angel Dust opposite Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool. - Heat Vision
  • Diane Kruger will star opposite Bryan Cranston in The Infiltrator, the story of undercover agent Robert Mazur. Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) will direct. - Deadline
  • Bryan Singer revealed that Kodi Smit-McPhee will play Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Michelle Williams will reunite with Wendy and Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff director Kelly Reichardt in a picture rumored to be akin to Robert Altman’s Short Cuts and Nashville. Laura Dern, Jarred Harris, and Kristen Stewart are also in early talks. - Variety & FilmDivider
  • Scarlett Johansson is attached to star in an adaptation of Jon Ronson’s book, The Psychopath Test. Jay Roach will direct from a script by Kristin Gore. - Deadline
  • Max Martini (Pacific Rim) has joined John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, and Pablo Schreiber in Michael Bay’s Benghazi thriller 13 Hours. - Variety
  • Ewan McGregor will make his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral. He will star alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning.
  • Will Smith will play a man wrongly convicted of murder (and with a $10 million price on his head) in Bounty. - Heat Vision
  • TheWrap reports that another reboot of Shaft is in the works. Samuel L. Jackson played Shaft in John Singleton’s 2000 remake of Gordon Parks’ 1971 original starring Richard Roundtree.
  • Kristen Bell has joined Melissa McCarthy, Kathy Bates, and Peter Dinklage in Michelle Darnell, written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone. Falcone will direct. - THR
  • Gina Carano and Kellan Lutz have joined Bruce Willis in the action-thriller Extraction. - Deadline
  • Author E.L. James wants to write the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker. Kelly Marcel, who adapted Fifty Shades of Grey, and Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed, are not expected to return for the sequel. - Variety
  • Timothy Olyphant (Justified) has joined Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, and Tom Wilkinson in Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic. - Deadline
  • Mission: Impossible 5 doesn’t have an ending, but all is well. - THR
  • This is what Jason Momoa will look like as Aquaman.

Comments (1)

  • MarcDoyle  

    Fired up for "Spring" - Lou Taylor Pucci should be in more flicks...

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