Film Friday (2/27): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: February 27, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Opening this weekend

Nationwide releases
. Focus R COMEDY/DRAMA Trailers
Will Smith stars as a seasoned con man who becomes romantically involved with a novice con artist played by Margot Robbie in the latest dramedy from the writing and directing team of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love, I Love You Phillip Morris).
. The Lazarus Effect PG-13 THRILLER/HORROR Trailers
Mark Duplass, Evan Peters, Donald Glover, and Sarah Bolger make the mistake of bringing Olivia Wilde back from the dead in the first narrative feature from Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
. '71 R DRAMA/THRILLER  
Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, Unbroken) gives another strong performance as a British soldier who is abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Yann Demange’s well-reviewed feature directorial debut, written by Gregory Burke, follows his struggle to survive the night.
. Maps to the Stars R DRAMA/COMEDY iTunes Amazon
New Oscar winner Julianne Moore stars alongside Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams, and Robert Pattinson in a Hollywood satire from director David Cronenberg and screenwriter Bruce Wagner (Wild Palms).
. Serena NR DRAMA — Pre-theatrical VOD release  
While the pairing of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence usually produces auspicious results, that doesn't seem to be the case for this long-delayed, 1920s-set tale of love in the North Carolina mountains from director Susanne Bier (Things We Lost in the Fire). Poor reviews greeted the film upon its UK release last fall, and it is available now on VOD prior to its American theatrical release next month.
. Everly R ACTION/THRILLER iTunes Amazon
Salma Hayek stars as the ex-girlfriend of a vengeful mob boss who wants her dead. Joe Lynch (Knights of Badassdom) directs and keeps it simple: one woman versus a series of assassins in one room with guns, knives and grenades. Sadly, it appears to be a misfire.
. A La Mala NR FOREIGN/COMEDY  
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. Ana Maria in Novela Land NR COMEDY  
. Bluebird NR DRAMA iTunes
. Deli Man PG-13 DOCUMENTARY  
. Eastern Boys NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Ejecta NR SCI-FI  
. Farewell to Hollywood NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Futuro Beach NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. The Hunting Ground NR DOCUMENTARY  
. My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Out of the Dark R THRILLER/HORROR iTunes Amazon
. The Salvation NR DRAMA/WESTERN  
. Serena NR DRAMA — Pre-theatrical VOD release  
. Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal NR FOREIGN/FANTASY  
. The Widowmaker NR DOCUMENTARY iTunes
. Wild Canaries NR COMEDY/MYSTERY iTunes Amazon
. Young Bodies Heal Quickly NR DRAMA/COMEDY  

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

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

A second look at Sean Penn in The Gunman

Pierre Morel (Taken) directs Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, and Mark Rylance in this adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel The Prone Gunman. Penn stars as Jim Terrier, an international operative who finds himself battling his former organization. Jasmine Trinca plays his girlfriend, who is, rather unsurprisingly, taken kidnapped. Will The Gunman do for Penn what Taken did for Liam Neeson? Find out when it arrives in theaters on March 20th.

The final trailer for Insurgent

The Divergent Series: Insurgent comes to theaters on March 20th with Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) on the run in the ruins of futuristic Chicago, hunted by Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the leader of the Erudite faction. Luckily, they discover new allies in the factionless, led by Naomi Watt’s Evelyn. The sequel finds Robert Schwentke (RED, R.I.P.D.) taking over directing duties from Neil Burger, and Octavia Spencer, Suki Waterhouse and Daniel Dae Kim joining the cast. Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, and Ray Stevenson all return. Author Veronica Roth has already approved of the movie despite the departures it takes from the book.

A look at Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy

Director Bill Pohlad’s look at the life of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson stars Paul Dano and John Cusack as the younger and older Wilson in a bifurcated narrative (written by Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner) that chronicles the reclusive songwriter’s life, from his successes with Pet Sounds to his nervous breakdown and subsequent encounter with controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Landy, played by Paul Giamatti. Elizabeth Banks also stars as Melinda Ledbetter, Wilson’s second wife. Following good reviews from its premiere at TIFF last year, Love & Mercy comes to theaters on June 5th.

Welcome to Me

In Welcome to Me, Kristen Wiig plays Alice Klieg, a woman with borderline personality disorder who wins the lottery, stops taking her meds, and pays $15 million to star in her own talk show. With a strong supporting cast that includes James Marsden, Tim Robbins, Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Linda Cardellini, Loretta Devine, and Thomas Mann, Shira Piven’s film, from a script by Eliot Lawrence, earned very good reviews when it premiered in Toronto last fall. See it in select theaters beginning May 1st.

Another look at Noah Baumbach's 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, Adam Horovitz, and Maria Dizza make While We’re Young one to look for when it hits theaters March 27th.

Alex of Venice

Actor Chris Messina’s directorial debut stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Alex, a workaholic mom trying to keep her life together after her husband (Messina) asks for a break. Don Johnson stars as Alex’s father, Katie Nehra (a co-writer on the film with Jessica Goldberg, Justin Shilton) plays Alex’s younger sister, and Derek Luke and Reg E. Cathey have supporting roles. Alex of Venice comes to select theaters and VOD on April 17th.

An education in the Riot Club

Lone Scherfig (An Education) directs, and Laura Wade adapts her own play (Posh), to mixed results, according to early reviews of The Riot Club. The story follows two first-year students (Max Irons and Sam Claflin) at Oxford University who join the infamous Riot Club. Also starring Natalie Dormer, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Douglas Booth, the film hits theaters and VOD March 27th.

Infinitely Polar Bear

In Maya Forbes’ autobiographical debut feature, Mark Ruffalo plays Cam Stuart, a bipolar father trying to care for his two children while his wife (Zoe Saldana) is away at school. When the film premiered at Sundance last year, reviews were mixed to positive, with praise going to Ruffalo’s performance. Look for Infinitely Polar Bear in theaters beginning June 19th.

Short takes

Daniel Brühl (Rush) stars as a cybernetic engineer in Eva, a sci-fi thriller released in Spain in 2011 and finally coming to North American theaters March 13th.

Director Sam Mendes talks about his return to the James Bond universe in the latest peek behind-the-scenes of SPECTRE.

The Dead Lands looks at the violent life of a Maori chieftain’s son. Find it on iTunes, VOD and in select theaters April 17th.

News and notes

  • Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) will direct the sequel to Blade Runner. Harrison Ford will return as Deckard in a story that takes place several decades after the original ended. /Film has the full press release.
  • Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt will star alongside Chris Hemsworth in the Snow White and the Huntsman prequel The Huntsman. Charlize Theron will reprise her role of Ravenna. - Deadline
  • Richard Linklater is in talks to direct an adaptation of Maria Semple’s best-selling novel Where’d You Go Bernadette. - THR
  • Haley Bennett (The Equalizer) has joined Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven remake. - Deadline
  • Simon West will direct Henry Cavill in Stratton, a British special forces thriller based on a series of books by Duncan Falconer. - Screen Daily
  • Nicolas Cage has joined Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson, and Timothy Olyphant in Oliver Stone’s Snowden. - Deadline
  • A new Pee-wee Herman film, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, is heading to Netflix as an exclusive. The film will be produced by Judd Apatow and Paul Reubens, written by Reubens and Paul Rust, and directed by John Lee (Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer).
  • Adam DeVine (Workaholics) will co-star with Zac Efron in the comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. - Variety
  • Warner Bros. announced that Rob Schrab (Community, The Mindy Project) will make his feature directorial debut with The LEGO Movie sequel.
  • In the comedy House, Will Ferrell will play the husband of a married couple who lose their daughter’s college fund and decide to start a casino in their basement to earn the money back. - THR
  • Warner Bros. is moving ahead with a Tomb Raider reboot, and Evan Daugherty (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Snow White And The Huntsman) will write the script. - Deadline
  • Rosamund Pike will star alongside Christian Bale in director James Mangold’s adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s first Travis McGee novel, The Deep Blue Good-by. - Variety
  • Jack Huston is the latest actor to be eyed for The Crow reboot. - Deadline
  • Virginia Madsen has joined Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Edgar Ramirez in David O. Russell's Joy, the story of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano. - THR

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