Film Friday (5/1): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: May 1, 2015
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Opening this weekend

Nationwide releases
. Avengers: Age of Ultron PG-13 ACTION-ADVENTURE/SCI-FI Trailer(s)
Joss Whedon's sequel to 2012‘s The Avengers follows Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as they try to clean up after one of their own, Tony Stark, after his peacekeeping program (voiced by James Spader) goes rogue. Joining returning stars Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson are Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Andy Serkis. The film grossed $27.6 million in the U.S. on Thursday night alone, so, yes, it's a bit of a hit.
. Iris PG-13 DOCUMENTARY Trailer(s)
Legendary documentarian Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) returns with a profile of 93-year-old New York fashion maven Iris Apfel.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
. Far From the Madding Crowd PG-13 DRAMA Trailer(s)
The latest adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 19th century novel comes from director Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration, The Hunt). Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdeen, while her three suitors are played by Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Tom Sturridge.
. Welcome to Me R DRAMEDY Trailer(s) Amazon iTunes
Kristen Wiig stars as 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 unique film earned very good reviews when it premiered in Toronto last fall.
. Soul Boys of the Western World NR DOCUMENTARY/MUSIC — Also on VOD Trailer(s) Amazon iTunes
1980s New Wave hitmakers Spandau Ballet are the focus of a documentary.
. Reality NR COMEDY Trailer(s) Amazon iTunes
The latest oddball offering from French director/musician Quentin Dupieux (Wrong, Rubber) bears little in common with its title. Jon Heder and Eric Wareheim star.
. Barely Lethal PG-13 ACTION-COMEDY — DirecTV exclusive Trailer(s)
Imagine Kick-Ass's Hit-Girl in high school and you have something akin to this action-comedy that stars Hailee Steinfeld as a teenage special ops agent who decides to switch gears and attempt to live a normal life as a high school student—which proves to be just as difficult as her day job. Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba also star. The film is available now on DirecTV before opening in theaters on May 29th.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. Any Day NR DRAMA/THRILLER — Also on VOD Amazon iTunes
. Cas & Dylan NR DRAMA/COMEDY Amazon iTunes
. Chic! NR FOREIGN/COMEDY  
. Days of Grace NR FOREIGN/THRILLER  
. The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Far From Men NR DRAMA Amazon iTunes
. Gerontophilia NR ROM-COM  
. Hyena NR DRAMA Amazon iTunes
. Marie's Story NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Maya the Bee Movie G ANIMATION/FAMILY iTunes
. Natural Resistance NR FOREIGN/DOCUMENTARY  
. Private Number R THRILLER/HORROR — Also on VOD  
. Ride R COMEDY — Also on VOD Amazon iTunes

All movies now in theaters... | New on DVD/Blu-ray... | New on Netflix... | New on Amazon Instant Video...

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

A final peek at Mad Max: Fury Road

It may be called Mad Max: Fury Road, but in the final trailer Tom Hardy’s Max takes a backseat to Charlize Theron’s Furiosa. But, after a brief introduction, the insanity common to the film’s trailers return as Max tries to outrun the memory of his dead wife and child, and Furiosa races across the post-apocalyptic desert with multiple war parties made of cars like these in pursuit. Who will survive in the end? Find out when director George Miller’s latest Mad Max adventure crashes theaters on May 15th.

A red band trailer for Ted 2

After taking a drubbing from critics (and at the box office) for A Million Ways to Die in the West, Seth MacFarlane returns to the more comfortable, modern confines of talking teddy bears, porn, and weed with Ted 2. In this sequel to Ted, MacFarlane is once again writer, director, and voice star in a story about Ted’s fight for equality. Mark Wahlberg returns as his best buddy (and sperm donor) Johnny, and Jessica Barth is back as Tami-Lynn (now Ted’s wife). New to the comedy are Amanda Seyfried as a lawyer who defends Ted, John Slattery as an opposing lawyer, plus Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, and Dennis Haysbert. Ted 2 opens on June 26th.

Vin Diesel is The Last Witch Hunter

Going from flying cars to flaming swords, Vin Diesel stars as Kaulder, an immortal witch hunter who teams up with his enemy, a female witch played by Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), in order to battle his centuries-old nemesis, the reincarnated Queen Witch (Julie Engelbrecht). Directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies) from a script by Cory Goodman (Priest) and also starring Elijah Wood and Michael Caine, The Last Witch Hunter hits theaters October 23rd.

Hailee Steinfeld stops kicking ass in Barely Lethal

Softer in tone than the somewhat similarly themed Kick Ass, action-comedy Barely Lethal stars Hailee Steinfeld as Megan Walsh, a teenage special ops agent who fakes her own death and enters high school as a foreign exchange student. There, she learns that being a normal teenager can be just as dangerous as the world of international espionage. Directed by Kyle Newman (Fanboys), the film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner, Thomas Mann, Jaime King, Dan Fogler, and Steve-O. Find it on DirecTV right now and in theaters May 29th.

Woody Allen’s Irrational Man

Woody Allen’s yearly output continues with his latest older man/younger woman relationship comedy. (As they say, write what you know.) Joaquin Phoenix stars as a philosophy professor in crisis, but with the help of one of his students (Emma Stone), he finds a way out of it. If the trailer is to be believed, the film will also feature voice-over narration from Phoenix and Stone. Irrational Man also stars Parker Posey and Jamie Blackley. Look for it in theaters beginning July 24th after it premieres at the Cannes Film Festival later this month.

Tangerine, shot by an Apple

Shot entirely using an iPhone 5S outfitted with an anamorphic lens adapter, writer-director Sean Baker’s follow-up to 2012’s Starlet tells the story of Sin-Dee (Kiki Kitana Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), two transgender prostitutes, and an Armenian cabbie (Karren Karagulian) on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. Tangerine earned excellent reviews when it premiered at Sundance in January, and it heads to select theaters beginning July 10th.

Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy are Legend

In Legend, Brian Helgeland (42, A Knight’s Tale) directs Tom Hardy as Ronald and Reginald Kray, the notorious gangsters who terrorized London in the 1950s and 60s. The film doesn’t have a North American release date yet, but with a strong supporting cast that includes Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Chazz Palminteri, Tara Fitzgerald, and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), the U.S. shouldn’t have to wait too long.

Strangerland

Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes play parents tormented by the disappearance of their two teenage children (Maddison Brown and Nicholas Hamilton) in Strangerland. Hugo Weaving plays the cop investigating the case. Early reviews have been mixed for Kim Farrant’s debut feature, but judge for yourself when it hits VOD and select theaters on July 10th.

Short takes

Coming to VOD, iTunes and theaters July 31st is A LEGO Brickumentary, a look at the global phenomenon of everyone’s favorite building bricks.

SPECTRE hits theaters on November 6th, but this week we get an early look at some of the cars being used in the 24th Bond film.

Welcome to Jurassic World. The park opens June 12th.

News and notes

  • Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) will direct Warner Bros.'s adaptation of the Japanese manga Death Note. - Heat Vision
  • Aubrey Plaza has joined Zac Efron, Adam Devine, and Anna Kendrick in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. - Variety
  • Jeff Daniels is in talks to join the cast of The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1 and Part 2 as the villain David, the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. - Heat Vision
  • A sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service is on the way. - TheWrap
  • James Wan (Furious 7) is in early talks to direct Sony’s Robotech adaptation. - Heat Vision
  • Brian Tee (The Wolverine) will play Shredder, and Laura Linney is in talks to join Megan Fox and Will Arnett, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. - Variety
  • Studio Canal is developing a remake of Nicolas Roeg’s stylish 1973 horror film Don’t Look Now (also known for its Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie sex scene). - THR
  • SNL cast member Cecily Strong will join Melissa McCarthy, Kathy Bates, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Bell, and Annie Mumolo in the Ben Falcone-directed comedy Michelle Darnell. - Deadline
  • Wild Tales writer-director Damián Szifron will write the Six Billion Dollar Man screenplay for director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg.
  • Sony is working on a female-driven Jump Street spin-off with Broad City writers Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs working on the script. - TheWrap
  • Paul Giamatti, Toby Jones, and Boyd Holbrook have joined Kate Mara and Anya Taylor-Joy in Luke Scott’s (Ridley Scott’s son) feature debut, the sci-fi thriller Morgan. - Heat Vision
  • A sequel to Ouija will hit theaters on October 21, 2016. Oculus writers Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard are working on the script.
  • Jennifer Garner will star in director Patricia Riggen’s adaptation of Christy Beam’s faith-based novel Miracles From Heaven. - Variety
  • Lionsgate is developing a remake of Vincenzo Natali’s sci-fi thriller Cube. - Heat Vision
  • Sam Worthington will star opposite Octavia Spencer in Lionsgate’s adaptation of William Paul Young’s best-selling Christian novel The Shack. - Variety
  • A24 announced that Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) will direct a drama based on the true story of Joe and Jadin Bell. Joe Bell walked across America to raise awareness about the dangers of prejudice after his gay 15-year-old son, Jadin, committed suicide. Brokeback Mountain screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana will write the script.

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