Film Friday (1/23): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: January 23, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Opening this weekend

Nationwide releases
. The Boy Next Door R THRILLER Trailers
Welcome to the January doldrums. (For help coping, here's a list of good movies now playing in theaters.) The "best" of this week's major new releases is this thriller about a divorced woman's (Jennifer Lopez) affair with her stalker-y teenage neighbor (Ryan Guzman). Rob Cohen (Alex Cross) directs.
. Mortdecai R ACTION/COMEDY/DRAMA Trailers
[PICTURED] A mustachioed Johnny Depp stars as Charlie Mortdecai in this adaptation of the fourth book in Kyril Bonfiglioli’s Mortdecai series. The caper follows the titular art dealer’s attempt to track down a stolen painting that could lead to a stash of Nazi gold. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Paul Bettany, Jeff Goldblum, Aubrey Plaza, and Oliver Platt have supporting roles, but don't let those names fool you into thinking this could be a good movie. (More telling: many critics didn't get to see it in advance.)
Produced by George Lucas (and reportedly based on his story idea), this animated fantasy tale is inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream and is loaded with pop songs from the last six decades. One critic deemed it Disney's worst animated film ever, and many of the others would seem to agree.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
. The Duke of Burgundy NR DRAMA  
Director Peter Strickland’s follow-up to Berberian Sound Studio charts the intimate relationship between Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen, star of the acclaimed Danish TV series Borgen) and Evelyn (Chiara D'Anna), lesbian lovers whose lives are beginning to strain under the pressure of their daily, ritualistic S&M games.
Returns to theaters. Gabe Polsky's acclaimed documentary examines one of the 20th century's greatest—yet little-known in much of the world—sports dynasties: the Soviet Union's Red Army hockey team.
. Mommy NR DRAMA Trailers
French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s fifth film shared the Jury Prize at last year's Cannes for its examination of the relationship between a widowed single mother (Anne Dorval, in a critically praised performance), her troubled son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) and their patient neighbor (Suzanne Clément).
Kevin Macdonald (How I Live Now, The Last King of Scotland) directs Jude Law as a rogue submarine captain who recruits a crew of misfits to go after Nazi gold rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea.
. The Humbling R DRAMA iTunes Amazon
Based on the final novel by Phillip Roth, Barry Levinson's drama stars Al Pacino as a fading star of the stage who begins an affair with a much younger woman (Greta Gerwig).
. Song One PG-13 DRAMA iTunes Amazon
Set against the backdrop of the Brooklyn music scene (and featuring original songs by Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice), this romance finds Anne Hathaway returning home and falling for the musician (Johnny Flynn) her brother idolized after her brother is left in a coma following a car accident.
. Cake R DRAMA Trailers
A major awards-season push failed to get Jennifer Aniston an Oscar nomination for her performance (in an otherwise mediocre film) as a woman addicted to painkillers who investigates the suicide of one of the members of her support group.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. Against the Sun PG ADVENTURE iTunes Amazon
. Americons R DRAMA  
. The Atticus Institute NR THRILLER iTunes Amazon
. Bloodsucking Bastards NR HORROR/COMEDY  
. Everly R ACTION/THRILLER – VOD today (theatrical 2/27)  
. The Loft R THRILLER  
. Manny PG-13 DOCUMENTARY/SPORTS iTunes Amazon
. Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Salvation Army NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Son of a Gun NR ACTION/DRAMA  
. Veronika Decides to Die R DRAMA iTunes Amazon
. We'll Never Have Paris R ROM-COM  

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

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

She's Funny That Way: The return of Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich returns to feature directing for the first time in 14 years with a screwball tale about a call girl (Imogen Poots), a famous director (Owen Wilson), his wife (Kathryn Hahn), a therapist (Jennifer Aniston), her boyfriend (Will Forte) and various other characters played by Lucy Punch, Debi Mazar, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Esposito, Cybill Shepherd, Colleen Camp, Tatum O’Neal, and Quentin Tarantino (as himself). Following mixed reviews from its premiere in Venice last year, She’s Funny That Way (originally titled Squirrels to the Nuts) opens in select theaters on April 10th.

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken

In 1983, a group of friends pulled off the crime of the century: kidnapping one of the richest men in the world: the heir of the Heineken beer empire, played here by Anthony Hopkins. They got away with it, but that’s when their troubles began. Directed by Daniel Alfredson from a script by William Brookfield and starring Sam Worthington, Jim Sturgess, and Ryan Kwanten, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken hits VOD and theaters March 6th.

Sean Penn is The Gunman

Can director Pierre Morel (Taken) do for Sean Penn what he did for Liam Neeson? He’ll have the help of an impressive cast (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 the organization he used to work for. Jasmine Trinca plays his girlfriend, who is (not surprisingly) in peril. The Gunman hits theaters March 20th.

Salma Hayek is Everly

Available on VOD today and coming to theaters on February 27th, Everly stars Salma Hayek 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. Good luck, Everly.

Hugh Grant Rewrites

Hugh Grant reunites with his Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics, and Did You Hear About the Morgans? director, Marc Lawrence, for this romantic comedy about Keith Michaels (Grant), an award-winning Hollywood screenwriter who finds himself struggling after a string of flops and a divorce. Desperate, he takes a job as guest screenwriting professor at a university in upstate New York and finds himself becoming invested in his students lives, including single mom Holly (Marisa Tomei). The Rewrite, with a supporting cast of J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Chris Elliott, and Bella Heathcote, earned mixed reviews when it opened in the UK. It comes to VOD and some North American theaters on February 13th.

It Follows, even internationally

It Follows, director David Robert Mitchell’s (The Myth of the American Sleepover) well-received horror film, tells the story of Jay (Maika Monroe), who after her first sexual encounter learns that something will follow her until she passes it on to someone else. What it is, nobody knows, but Jay and her friends try to find a way to escape it. It Follows opens in the U.S. on March 27th, but the British moviegoers get to see it a month sooner. Here’s a trailer for the international release.

All the Wilderness

In this writing and directing debut from Michael Johnson, Kodi Smit-McPhee play James, a restless teenager rebelling against his single mother (Virginia Madsen) despite visits to a psychiatrist (Danny DeVito). But when he takes a liking to fellow patient Val (Isabelle Fuhrman) and meets a mysterious kid (Evan Ross), James begins to wrestle with his problems. All the Wilderness comes to select theaters February 20th.

Foosball Underdogs

Directed by  Juan José Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes) and originally released in Argentina back in 2013 as Metegol, this animated foosball movie will open in North America on April 10th with the title Underdogs and a new English-language cast. The film follows Jake, voiced by Matthew Morrison, as he tries to save his town and the love of his life, Laura (Ariana Grande) from childhood bully turned soccer star, Ace (Nicholas Hoult). Luckily, Jake’s foosball friends come to life to help out. Also providing voices are Bella Thorne, Katie Holmes, and John Leguizamo.

Short takes

Here’s another NSFW preview of the February 20th release Hot Tub Time Machine 2.

Dustin Hoffman plays a choir master in Boychoir, directed by François Girard (The Red Violin). A U.S. release date has not been set.

News and notes

  • The boxing drama Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Antoine Fuqua, will be released on July 31st.
  • Director Bryan Singer announced that Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), Tye Sheridan (Mud, Joe), and Alexandra Shipp (Drumline: A New Beat) have been cast as the young Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Marvel wants Chiwetel Ejiofor to join Benedict Cumberbatch in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange. - Heat Vision
  • Simon Pegg will co-write Star Trek 3 with Doug Jung, co-creator of the TV series Dark Blue. - Deadline
  • Noam Murro (300: Rise of an Empire) is on the list with Jeff Nichols to direct Jason Momoa in Aquaman.  - Latino Review
  • Joel and Ethan Coen will head the jury at the 68th Cannes Film Festival this May. - Variety
  • Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Rooney Mara, Felicity Jones, and Kate Mara are rumored to be testing for Gareth Edwards’ stand-alone Star Wars movie. - Heat Vision & Justin Kroll
  • Jake Gyllenhaal will not replace Tom Hardy as Rick Flag in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Rumors now have Joel Edgerton and Jon Bernthal in the running. - Variety & Cinemablend
  • Emily Blunt is in talks to play the main villain, the Snow Queen (sister to Charlize Theron’s Ravenna), opposite Chris Hemsworth in The Huntsman, the upcoming prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, the first film’s visual effects supervisor, will replace Frank Darabont as director. - TheWrap & Variety
  • Forbes reports that Ben Affleck’s Batman will appear in Suicide Squad, setting up a solo film with the Joker as his protagonist.
  • Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) will play Olympic skier Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, and Hugh Jackman will play his coach, Chuck Berghorn, in an untitled biopic about the feel-good failure of the 1988 Winter Olympics. - TheWrap
  • Zac Efron will star in the comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, “the story of two brothers who place an online ad to find dates for a wedding and the ad goes viral.” - Variety
  • Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner) is in talks to play the female lead in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. - Deadline
  • Nicolas Cage will star in Larry Charles' hunt for Osama bin Laden comedy, Army of One, loosely based on Chris Heath's GQ magazine article about the adventures of Gary Faulkner. - THR
  • Director Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2, Wild Card) has been tapped to helm the remake of The Blob. - Deadline
  • Jennifer Lawrence will re-team with her Hunger Games director, Francis Lawrence, for The Dive, the true story of freedivers Francisco “Pipin” Ferraras and his wife Audrey Mestre. James Cameron will produce. - TheWrap
  • Now that he has funding, Martin Scorsese will begin filming his adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel, Silence, next week. Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Tadanobu Asano will star. - Deadline

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