Film Friday (5/8): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: May 8, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

Opening this weekend

. The D Train NR COMEDY Trailer(s)
Opening on just enough screens to count as a "nationwide" release (a rarity for distributor IFC Films) is this Jack Black/James Marsden comedy that debuted at Sundance to somewhat decent but not great reviews—which seems to be the consensus today as well. Black plays the head of his high school reunion committee who becomes obsessed with convincing his most popular classmate, now a nationally known commercial actor (Marsden), to show up with him to their reunion. There's a surprise twist along the way that we won't ruin for you, but beware of spoilers.
Nationwide releases
. Hot Pursuit PG-13 ACTION/COMEDY Trailer(s)
[PICTURED] This week's sole major opener is a dud. A cop (Reese Witherspoon) and the widow of a drug boss (Sofia Vergara) go on the run in Texas in this action-comedy from director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses). Metacritic users predicted a Metascore of 45, but that proved to be wildly optimistic; many critics are bemoaning the film's "lazy" writing, among other flaws.
. I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story NR DOCUMENTARY Trailer(s) Amazon
Critics generally like this new profile of the man who has inhabited the big yellow suit (as well as fellow Sesame Street staple Oscar the Grouch) for the past 45 years.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
. Maggie PG-13 THRILLER/HORROR Trailer(s)
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a desperate father who will stop at nothing to save his daughter (Abigail Breslin) after she is infected by a zombie virus in this low-budget thriller from first-time director Henry Hobson.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. 5 Flights Up PG-13 DRAMA — Also available on VOD iTunes
. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared R FOREIGN/COMEDY
. 1001 Grams NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Bravetown R DRAMA Amazon iTunes
. Hunting Elephants NR COMEDY  
. In the Name of My Daughter R FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Infini NR SCI-FI/THRILLER  
. Intrepido: A Lonely Hero NR FOREIGN/COMEDY  
. Noble PG-13 DRAMA  
. The Ocean of Helena Lee NR DRAMA iTunes
. Playing it Cool R ROM-COM Amazon iTunes
. Preggoland NR DRAMEDY iTunes
. Saint Laurent NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. The Seven Five R DOCUMENTARY  
. Sister Code R DRAMEDY  
. Skin Trade R ACTION/THRILLER Amazon iTunes
. Spike Island NR DRAMA Amazon iTunes
. WARx2 PG-13 DOCUMENTARY  
. Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman NR DOCUMENTARY  

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

Real tomato ketchup, Eddie?

Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are back as Clark and Ellen Griswold, but it’s Rusty’s turn to take the family to Wally World in this sequel starring Ed Helms as Rusty, Christina Applegate as his wife, and Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins as their kids. There are plenty of callbacks to the original Vacation in this first trailer for the directing debut of writing duo John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses), but one new addition is Chris Hemsworth and his... abs. Vacation hits theaters July 31st.

More of Magic Mike XXL

In 2012, Magic Mike was a surprise hit with audiences (and critics). In 2015, Magic Mike XXL takes the crew of Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, and Gabriel Iglesias on the road to Myrtle Beach for one last performance. Gregory Jacobs makes his directorial debut after serving as assistant director on the first film, and Steven Soderbergh, while not directing, returns as cinematographer and editor. Joining the party for the first time are Amber Heard, Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith, Andie MacDowell, Michael Strahan, and Donald Glover. Find XXL in theaters beginning July 1st.

Rocks fly and fall in San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson reunites with his Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director, Brad Peyton, for this disaster pic that imagines what might happen if the Big One finally hit California. Johnson plays a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot who teams up with his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) to save their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario). With six credited screenwriters (Allan Loeb, Carlton Cuse, Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, Jeremy Passmore, Andre Fabrizio), San Andreas has a very 2012 feel, but this trailer has Sia singing “California Dreamin’,” so there’s that. The shaking beings May 29, 2015.

Meryl and the Flash

Ricki and the Flash has a killer lineup in front of and behind the camera. Jonathan Demme directs a script by Diablo Cody, and Meryl Streep stars as Lucinda Williams-like rocker Ricki Rendazzo, while Kevin Kline plays her ex-husband. It seems that Ricki followed her muse back in the day and neglected her children, but now, later in life, she’s getting a chance to redeem herself. Her daughter Julie, played by Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, is the reason for her return. Audra McDonald plays Kline’s current wife, and Rick Springfield plays a member of Ricki’s band, The Flash. See Ricki and the Flash in theaters beginning August 7th.

An Unexpected friendship

A science teacher at a Chicago high school bonds with one of her students when she discovers they are both pregnant. That is the set up for Unexpected from co-writer (with Megan Mercier) and director Kris Swanberg, wife of prolific actor-writer-director Joe Swanberg. Cobie Smulders plays the teacher, and Gail Bean is her student in this film that earned good reviews when it premiered at Sundance. Find it in select theaters beginning July 24th.

An animated Prophet

Produced by Salma Hayek, this adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet adds a framing story and multiple animators to bring the classic book to the big screen. Lending their voices to the animation of Paul and Gaëtan Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar, and Michal Socha are Liam Neeson, Quvenzhané Wallis, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, and Alfred Molina. Written and directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet comes to theaters August 7th.

A new look at Silence

The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s companion film to his highly praised 2013 documentary The Act of Killing, earned similarly great reviews when it premiered in Venice last year. The film focuses on a family of survivors whose youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by confronting the men who killed his brother. Look for this powerful film in select theaters beginning July 17th.

Mr. Holmes

After earning good reviews when it premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, Mr. Holmes will come to U.S. theaters July 17th. Set in 1947, the film stars Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes and reunites the star with his Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon. Adapted from Mitch Cullin's novel A Slight Trick of the Mind and also starring Laura Linney and Milo Parker, Condon’s latest looks to be an improvement on his last film, the misfire The Fifth Estate.

Another segment of The Human Centipede saga

Director Tom Six finally gets to the final sequence of his Human Centipede trilogy with this story of a prison warden (Dieter Laser of The Human Centipede (First Sequence)) who, along with his loyal right-hand man (Laurence R. Harvey of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)), decides to solve his unruly prisoner problem by creating a 500-prisoner centipede. Yes, the trailer hints at how gross the film could be, but, hey, it’s being critical of our prison system, right? Well at least Eric Roberts plays the Governor, and Tom Six appears as himself. The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) comes to select theaters and VOD on May 22nd.

Short takes

Opening June 5th is Amy Berg’s An Open Secret, a look at accusations of teen sex abuse in Hollywood.

The Little Death, written and directed by Josh Lawson, comes to iTunes, VOD and select theaters June 26th. Here’s a red-band trailer for the sex comedy.

Absolutely Anything stars Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale and a talking dog (played by a non-talking dog and voiced by Robin Williams). A U.S. release date has not been set.

News and notes

  • Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) will no longer direct the second Star Wars anthology film, a Boba Fett origin story with a planned release date in 2018. - StarWars.com & TheWrap
  • Yes, there will be another Indiana Jones movie, but it’s not happening anytime soon. - Vanity Fair
  • With Sony/Marvel looking for a movie with “John Hughes humor and emotion,” a new crop of directors are being considered for their new Spider-Man movie: Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), Ted Melfi (St. Vincent), Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), and the team of John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein (the upcoming Vacation sequel). - Deadline
  • Will Poulter (We’re the Millers) is in talks to play the clown Pennywise in director Cary Fukunaga’s two-film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. - Variety
  • Amy Ryan has joined Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in We’re the Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s comedy Central Intelligence. - Deadline
  • Jason Momoa and Byung-hun Lee have joined Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke,Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura and Haley Bennett in Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven. - Heat Vision & Deadline
  • Jon Hamm will star in the Brad Anderson-directed and Tony Gilroy-scripted High Wire Act, a 1980s set story about a “former U.S. diplomat who is called back into service to save a former colleague from the group possibly responsible for his own family's death.” - THR
  • Blake Lively has joined Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Bruce Willis in Woody Allen’s 2016 film. Deadline
  • Billy Crudup will play Frank Langella’s son in actor-turned-director Joel David Moore’s Youth in Oregon. - THR
  • Regina Hall and Nicki Minaj have joined Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer in Barbershop 3. - Variety
  • Sela Ward will play the President of the United States in Independence Day 2. - Deadline
  • Louis C.K. will write, direct and star in I’m a Cop, a feature comedy about a middle-age volunteer police officer who’s spurred on by the death of his mother, a decorated cop, to become a real officer. - THR
  • Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses 2) will direct Mean Moms, and Jennifer Aniston is circling the lead. - Deadline
  • Marvel announced the full cast of Captain America: Civil War. Surprise additions include Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, and Martin Freeman in an unknown role.
  • Juliette Binoche will play Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Pearl S. Buck in the Roxanne Messina Captor-directed biopic Pearl. - Variety
  • John Wick 2 is happening. Keanu Reeves will return as the title character, and directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad will reprise their roles as well.
  • Rob Corddry, Kal Penn, and Matt Barr have joined Alexandra Daddario and Kate Upton in actor-director William H. Macy’s comedy The Layover. - THR
  • Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (The Stanford Prison Experiment) will helm an adaptation of Graham McNamee’s young adult thriller Acceleration. - Variety
  • CBS Films will release Comancheria, an action-thriller directed by David Mackenzie (Starred Up) and starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. - THR
  • Jason Clarke, Rosamund Pike, Jack O’Connell, Mia Wasikowska, and Jack Reynor will star in The Connection director Cedric Jimenez’s HHHH, a WWII-set drama about the assassination of Nazi officer and “Final Solution” architect Reinhard Heydrich. - Variety
  • Kevin James will play an accountant/author mistaken for an assassin in The True Memoirs of an International Assassin. Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) will direct based on a script by Jeff Morris. - Heat Vision
  • Christoph Waltz will star in and make his directorial debut with The Worst Marriage in Georgetown. Screenwriter David Auburn (Proof) will adapt Franklin Foer’s New York Times Magazine article about Albrect Muth, a social climber whose wife was found murdered. - Screen Daily
  • Natalie Portman is in early negotiations to star in Ex Machina director Alex Garland’s next film, an adaptation of Annihilation, the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s sci-fi trilogy. - Variety
  • Toa Fraser (The Dead Lands) will direct Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, and Abbie Cornish in 6 Days, a dramatization of the 1980 hostage crisis at the the Iranian Embassy at London’s Princess Gate. - Deadline
  • Lily James (Cinderella) will play the female lead opposite Ansel Elgort in writer-director Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. - Variety
  • A new set of photos from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens were released on Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you). Find them all, plus a video of the shoot, at Vanity Fair.

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