April & May’s Movies
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50/50 - Inspired by personal experiences, 50/50 is an original comedy about friendship, love, survival and finding humor in unlikely places. Two best friends lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston, Serge Houde; Directed by Jonathan Levine; Summit Entertainment; Rating: R; 98 minutes; 2011
American Hustle - Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Adams star in director David O. Russell’s fictional period crime drama about a reckless FBI agent who recruits a con man and his alluring partner into a scheme to ensnare corrupt politicians and gangsters. Smooth-talking Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) is a hustler of the highest order. No mark is off limits for Rosenfeld, especially when his crafty partner Sydney Prosser (Adams) is by his side. When renegade FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) thrusts the deceptive duo into the treacherous world of New Jersey power players and underworld heavies, the thrill of the hunt grows too strong to resist. Meanwhile, New Jersey politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) gets caught in the middle, and Rosenfeld’s capricious wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) holds more power than anyone could imagine. Louis C.K. and Jack Huston costar. Author: Jason Buchanan
Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K.; Directed by David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; Rating: R; 138 minutes; 2013
Analyze This - The blockbuster comedy about a New York mob boss who is having anxiety attacks and secretly seeks out a suburban psychologist for help. The therapist, unnerved but fascinated, can’t resist taking on the most challenging case. Although, soon enough, the mobster and his entourage turn the therapist’s sedate life and impending marriage into a series of hilarious catastrophes….until, ultimately, the two men offer unexpected help to each other.
Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, Chazz Palminteri, Bill Macy; Directed by Harold Ramis; Warner Bros.; Rating: R; 103 minutes; 1999
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax - This animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, Rob Riggle; Directed by Chris Renaud; Universal Pictures; Rating: PG; 93 minutes; 2012
Kick Ass - This film is the story of average teenager Dave Lizewski, a comic-book fanboy who decides to take his obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name—Kick-Ass – assembles a suit and mask to wear and gets to work fighting crime. There’s only one problem standing in his way, Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers. His life is forever changed as he inspires a subculture of copy cats, is hunted by assorted violent and unpleasant characters and meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Chloe Moretz, Omari Hardwick; Directed by Matthew Vaughn; Lions Gate Films, Inc.; Rating: R; 117 minutes; 2010
Mandela Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela’s life story is told in this adaptation of the South African leader’s autobiography that details his early life, education, 27-year imprisonment, and eventual presidency and rebuilding of the previously segregated country. William Nicholson provides the script, with Idris Alba and Naomie Harris heading up the cast. Author: Jeremy Wheeler
Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva, Jamie Bartlett; Directed by Justin Chadwick; The Weinstein Company; Rating: PG-13; 146 minutes; 2013
March of the Penguins - While many people think of penguins as comical birds who look like they’ve been decked out in tuxedos, the truth is they’re among the strongest and most resilient creatures in the animal kingdom. And they have to be — each year, the emperor penguins of Antarctica travel through the most punishing environment on Earth to their nesting grounds, and after the females lay their eggs, the males keep them warm while their mates walk 70 miles back to the sea to fatten themselves with fish for themselves and their young. Filmmaker Luc Jacquet spent over a year braving the frigid temperatures of the South Pole to film this annual ritual of the penguins, and March of the Penguins documents their brave struggle to survive, as well as the close emotional bonds between the penguin families. March of the Penguins was first screened in France as La marche de l’empereur, with a handful of French actors providing a voice-over in which they expressed the “thoughts” of the penguins; for the American edition, Morgan Freeman was brought in to deliver a more straightforward narration. Author: Mark Deming
Morgan Freeman, Jules Sitruk, Romane Bohringer, Charles Berling; Directed by Luc Jacquet; Warner Bros.; Rating: G; 85 minutes; 2005
Philomena - The title character of Stephen Frears’ Philomena is played by Judi Dench. She is an elderly Irish woman who, as a teenager, gave birth while she was working at a convent. The Catholic Church had the child adopted, and now, decades later, Philomena is introduced to Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), onetime government spokesperson who is now working as a freelance journalist. Martin agrees to help Philomena look for her son, and the trail takes them to the United States, and brings them face-to-face with some long-buried secrets. All the while, the type-A Martin and the ceaselessly charming Philomena learn to trust each other. Philomena screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Author: Perry Seibert
Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy-Clark, Anna Mawell-Martin, Ruth McCabe, Barbara Jefford; Directed by Stephen Frears; The Weinstein Company; Rating: PG-13; 98 minutes; 2013
The Skeleton Key - A young woman discovers a terrible secret while caring for an elderly man in this supernatural thriller. Caroline (Kate Hudson) is a care provider for the aged who is hired away from the hospice where she works by Violet Devereaux (Gena Rowlands). Violet needs someone to help take care of her husband, Ben (John Hurt), who is in poor health and doesn’t have long to live. Violet and Ben live in a decaying rattletrap mansion not far from New Orleans, and as she settles into her work, Caroline spends her spare time exploring the house. It isn’t long before Caroline discovers evidence that suggests Ben and Violet are members of a sinister voodoo cult, and that ghosts walk in the Devereaux mansion. The Skeleton Key also stars Peter Sarsgaard and Joy Bryant. Author: Mark Deming
Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Joy Bryant, Maxine Barnett; Directed by Iain Softley; Universal Pictures; Rating: PG-13; 104 minutes; 2005
Stepmom - Mrs. Doubtfire director Chris Columbus continues to explore the family turmoil of divorce in the tearjerker Stepmom, a story that pits the birth mother against the new mother. Jackie (Susan Sarandon), a one-time book editor, is now the consummate soccer mom juggling the schedules of her two kids in her New York ranch outside of Manhattan. Her ex-husband Luke (Ed Harris), who gets weekend custody of the kids, is living in the city with a woman half his age named Isabel (Julia Roberts), a high-fashion photographer with a strong stylistic sense of “what’s hot.” Since Luke is always away at work, the burden of getting the kids ready for school when they are with their father falls on Isabel, and she just isn’t the nurturing type. The story heats up, however, when Jackie learns that she has cancer. Facing the horrors of medical tests and chemotherapy, she realizes that, should something happen to her, her kids will be left with this irresponsible Isabel as their mother, especially after Luke proposes marriage to her. What ensues is part parenting lesson, part competitive parenting, but 100 percent family bonding, as Jackie must learn to allow Isabel to be part of her world and her family. Author: Arthur Borman
Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Ed Harris, Jena Malone, Liam Aiken, Lynn Whitfield; Directed by Chris Columbus; Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; Rating: PG-13; 125 minutes; 1998
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