Film Friday (5/15): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: May 15, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Opening this weekend

Nationwide releases
. Mad Max: Fury Road R ACTION/SCI-FI/THRILLER Trailer(s)
After a series of action-filled trailers that seemed to hold little back, expectations were fairly high for George Miller's fourth Mad Max film (and first since 1985's Beyond Thunderdome). Surprisingly, not only have those expectations been met, they've been exceeded: Fury Road looks increasingly likely to be summer's highest-scoring major film. There's no Mel Gibson to be found, but there is Tom Hardy in a mostly non-speaking leading role as Max; he's joined by Charlize Theron’s Furiosa as they try to escape the clutches of the masked villain Immortan Joe, played by Hugh Keays-Byrne (Toecutter in the original Mad Max).
. Pitch Perfect 2 PG-13 COMEDY/MUSICAL Trailer(s)
This sequel to the surprise 2012 hit Pitch Perfect finds the Bellas taking on the world (especially the German team Das Sound Machine) at an international a cappella competition. Original stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, and Adam DeVine return, as do judges John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks (in what looks like slightly more prominent roles). Banks also makes her feature directing debut from a script by Kay Cannon, who adapted the original film from Mickey Rapkin’s book. New additions to the cast include Hailee Steinfeld, Katey Sagal, and David Cross.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
. Slow West R WESTERN — Also on VOD Trailer(s) iTunes
When it premiered at the Sundance in January, writer-director John Maclean’s debut feature won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize. Set at the end of the 19th century, the film stars Kodi Smit-McPhee as Jay Cavendish, a 16-year-old boy on a journey across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves (Caren Pistorius). He's joined by a mysterious traveler (Michael Fassbender) while being pursued by an outlaw (Ben Mendelsohn).
. Good Kill R DRAMA/THRILLER Trailer(s)
Director Andrew Niccol reunites with his Gattaca star, Ethan Hawke, for a look at the life of a fighter pilot who, after six tours of duty, now fights the enemy by guiding drones from a bunker in the Nevada desert. As he begins to question his new job, his relationships with is wife (January Jones) and commanding officer (Bruce Greenwood) become increasingly strained.
. Area 51 NR HORROR/SCI-FI — Also on VOD Trailer(s)
Screening exclusively in Alamo Drafthouse theaters this weekend (and also available now On Demand) after sitting on the shelf for a few years, this found-footage horror film comes from Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli. Critics did not see the film in advance.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. Absolution R ACTION/THRILLER  
. Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story R HORROR Amazon iTunes
. Animals NR DRAMA iTunes
. Bombay Velvet NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Childless R DRAMA  
. The Connection NR FOREIGN/THRILLER  
. Dark Star: HR Giger's World NR DOCUMENTARY  
. (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Echoes of War R WESTERN  
. Every Secret Thing R DRAMA — Also on VOD Amazon iTunes
. The Film Critic NR FOREIGN/DRAMEDY  
. Forbidden Films NR FOREIGN/DOCUMENTARY  
. Groundswell Rising NR DOCUMENTARY  
. I'll See You in My Dreams PG-13 DRAMEDY  
. Know How NR DRAMA/MUSICAL iTunes
. One Cut, One Life NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Our Man in Tehran NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Pound of Flesh R ACTION iTunes
. The Surface NR DRAMA/THRILLER  
. Time Lapse NR SCI-FI/THRILLER iTunes
. Two Shots Fired NR FOREIGN/DRAMEDY  
. Where Hope Grows PG-13 DRAMA  

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

Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak

After having some fun with the Kaiju vs. Jaeger battle-rama 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). Crimson Peak 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 on October 16th.

Robert De Niro is The Intern

In the latest from writer-director Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give), Robert De Niro stars as Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower who becomes an intern for Anne Hathaway’s Jules Ostin, the founder of an online fashion site. With a strong supporting cast that includes Rene Russo, Andrew Rannells, Anders Holm, Adam Devine, Celia Weston, Nat Wolff, Linda Lavin, and Zack Pearlman, The Intern comes to theaters September 25th.

Jem and the Holograms heads to the big screen

Jon Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) returns to his music and dance roots of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Step Up 2: The Streets to helm this adaptation of the '80s animated TV show about Jerrica Benton, owner of Starlight Music, who uses her alter-ego, Jem (and her hologram computer, Synergy) to sing with her band the Holograms. But it looks like Chu and writer Ryan Landels have veered from the original to make a more grounded coming-of-age story about Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples) and her three sisters (Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko) gaining fame in the internet age. Jem and the Holograms opens on October 23rd.

Eden

Mia Hansen-Løve’s last two features, Father of My Children and Goodbye First Love, were critical successes, and her latest looks to be the same, having already earned good reviews when it premiered in Toronto last year. Based on real events, Eden follows two decades of the life and loves (Greta Gerwig, Laura Smet, Pauline Etienne) of a French DJ (Felix de Givry). It will finally make its way into North American theaters on June 19th. Here’s the first music-filled trailer.

Sign on for The Tribe

Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's daring feature debut uses sign language without subtitles or voiceover to tell its story, giving the viewer a very unique experience. The story follows Sergey, a new student, who falls in with the tribe, a student gang dealing in crime and prostitution. After passing their hazing rituals, he takes part in several robberies and begins to work his way up the chain of command to become pimp-protector for two of the girls. But when he falls in love with one of them, Sergey breaks the unwritten rules of the tribe, with tragic consequences. With excellent early reviews, The Tribe comes to select theaters June 17th.

A look at Sundance documentary winner The Wolfpack

Crystal Moselle’s documentary looks at the life of the Angulo brothers, who were raised in their apartment in the New York projects by their overprotective mother and Hare Krishna father. So far, so normal—until you learn that the Angulo children would go up to a year without leaving the apartment, and even when they did head outside, it would be for just a brief amount of time. To satisfy their curiosity, creativity, and imagination, they turned to film, re-enacting many of them. Winner of the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, The Wolfpack hits select theaters on June 12th.

More Minions

The Despicable Me minions are back in this prequel to their adventures with Gru. It’s 1968, and the Minions are headed to Villain-Con in hopes of finding a new master. They do—in the form of Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), the first ever female super-villain. She wants Queen Elizabeth’s crown, leading three minions (Kevin, Stuart and Bob) to London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind from annihilation. Co-directed by Kyle Balda (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax) and Pierre Coffin (Despicable Me 2) from a screenplay by Brian Lynch (Hop), Minions comes to theaters July 10th.

Short takes

Adrien Brody and Hayden Christensen play brothers trying to pull off one last job in American Heist, coming to On Demand June 19th and select theaters July 24th.

Stéphane Lafleur's well-reviewed, black-and-white comedy Tu Dors Nicole follows a 22-year-old girl (Julianne Côté) during her summer vacation. Look for it in select theaters May 29th

Based on true events, June 12 release Set Fire to the Stars stars Elijah Wood as John Malcolm Brinnin, an aspiring poet in 1950s New York who embarks on a week-long retreat to save his hell-raising poet hero, Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones).

Into the Grizzly Maze stars Billy Bob Thornton, James Marsden, Piper Perabo, Scott Glenn, Adam Beach, and Thomas Jane. Find it On Demand beginning May 19th and in limited theatrical release on June 26th.

News and notes

  • Diego Luna has joined Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Claflin, and Riz Ahmed in director Gareth Edward’s Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. - Variety
  • Kate Beckinsale will be back as Selene in Underworld 5. Anna Foerster will direct from a script by Cory Goodman. - Heat Vision
  • Luc Besson announced his next project, an adaptation of the French comic series Valerian and Laureline titled Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne.
  • Matt Bomer has joined Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura, Haley Bennett, and Jason Momoa in director Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven. - Heat Vision
  • Ava Duvernay (Selma) is being courted by Marvel to direct either Black Panther or Captain Marvel. - TheWrap
  • Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) will co-write and direct the X-Men spin-off The New Mutants. - Deadline
  • Leigh Janiak (Honeymoon) will co-write and direct a remake of 1996’s The Craft. - Heat Vision
  • Nicolas Cage will reunite with his Leaving Las Vegas director, Mike Figgis, to star in the thriller Exit 147. - Variety
  • Anne Hathaway will star in Open Windows director Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal, a film described as “Transformers versus Adaptation and Godzilla meets Being John Malkovich.” - THR
  • Dwayne Johnson will star in the sci-fi action-comedy Alpha Squad Seven. - Heat Vision
  • Liam Neeson is in talks to star in A Willing Patriot. Martin Zandvliet will direct the story of a CIA agent’s attempt to thwart a terrorist attack. - THR
  • Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) will star with Tom Hanks in writer-director James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle.
  • Chris O’Dowd is in talks to join Julianne Moore in Can You Ever Forgive Me, the story of forger Lee Israel, for director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said). - Variety
  • Laura Dern is in talks to play Ethel Kroc opposite Michael Keaton’s Ray Kroc, in John Lee Hancock’s The Founder. - THR
  • Michelle Williams will play Matthew McConaughey’s wife in writer-director Stephen Gaghan’s Gold. Edgar Ramirez also stars. - Variety
  • Asa Butterfield is now the favorite to become the next Spider-Man. - Deadline

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