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About Time - A young man with the ability to time travel discovers that finding true love isn’t as easy as he thought it would be in this romantic comedy from writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Pirate Radio). Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21 and lonely. In the harsh morning light following a depressing New Year’s Eve party, however, he discovers a family secret that will change his life forever. Entrusted by his father (Bill Nighy) with the knowledge that the men in their family can time travel, Cornwall native Tim relocates to London to study law, and find a girlfriend. The moment Tim locks eyes with gorgeous Mary (Rachel McAdams) he knows he’s found the woman of his dreams. But as soon as they’ve fallen in love, an unexpected glitch in the time travel renders them complete strangers again. Now, in order to win back Mary’s heart, Tim will have to travel into the past time and again. Eventually, he seems to master the process, using his unique talent to create an unforgettable marriage proposal, ensure his wedding to Mary goes off without a hitch, and circumvent a massive traffic jam that blocks their route to the hospital when his wife goes into labor, but in time Tim discovers that the true key to happiness lies not in his ability to fix the problems of the past, but instead make the absolute most of his life in the present. Author: Jason Buchanan
Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie; Directed by Richard Curtis; Universal Pictures; Rating: R; 123 minutes; 2013
Captain Phillips - Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks teams with Oscar-nominated director Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Billy Ray to tell the true story of Richard Phillips, a U.S. cargo-ship captain who surrendered himself to Somali pirates so that his crew would be freed. Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) and his crew are carrying freight around the Horn of Africa when four Somali pirates forcefully take over their ship, the MV Maersk Alabama. While Phillips’ team follow his orders to hide until they hear him give the safe word, the captain and a few essential crew members remain on the bridge as the heavily armed pirates make their way up to seize control of the ship. But the interlopers soon discover something that sends them into a furious rage: After effectively shutting down the ship, Phillips explains that the Maersk had malfunctioned when the crew pushed it too hard in an attempt to evade the attackers. In order to appease their leader, the ruthless Muse (Barkhad Abdi), Phillips offers them the $30,000 that’s been locked in the ship safe. But that isn’t enough, and Muse demands that Phillips help him search every corner of the ship to root out the terrified crew. When that plan fails, the pirates agree to take the cash from the safe and flee in the Maersk’s lifeboat. At the last minute, however, they kidnap Phillips in the hope of supplementing their take with a sizable ransom — a decision that leads to a tense standoff with the U.S. Navy, who would sooner see the lifeboat sunk with Phillips inside than allow it to reach Somalia. Author: Jason Buchanan
Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Barkhad Abdi, Michael Chernus, Corey Johnson, Max Martini; Directed by Paul Greengrass; Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; Rating: PG-13; 133 minutes; 2013
Carrie - Stephen King’s Carrie gets a new life in this remake starring Chloë Grace Moretz as a teenager who discovers that she has the extraordinary ability to move objects with the power of her mind, which eventually leads to mayhem and horror at her high-school prom. Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) directs, and Julianne Moore co-stars as Carrie’s overbearing mother. Author: Jeremy Wheeler
Chloe Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Alex Russell, Ansel Elgort, Portia Doubleday; Directed by Kimberly Peirce; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.; Rating: R; 100 minutes; 2013
Chicago - A starry-eyed would-be star discovers just how far the notion that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” can go in this screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Chicago, originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. In the mid-’20s, Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) is a small-time chorus dancer married to a well-meaning dunderhead named Amos (John C. Reilly). Roxie is having an affair on the side with Fred Casley (Dominic West), a smooth talker who insists he can make her a star. However, Fred strings Roxie along a bit too far for his own good, and when she realizes that his promises are empty, she becomes enraged and murders Fred in cold blood. Roxie soon finds herself behind bars alongside Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a sexy vaudeville star who used to perform with her sister until Velma discovered that her sister had been sleeping with her husband. Velma shot them both dead, and, after scheming prison matron “Mama” Morton hooks Velma up with hotshot lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), Velma becomes the new Queen of the scandal sheets. Roxie is just shrewd enough to realize that her poor fortune could also bring her fame, so she convinces Amos to also hire Flynn. Soon Flynn is splashing Roxie’s story — or, more accurately, a highly melodramatic revision of Roxie’s story — all over the gutter press, and Roxy and Velma are soon battling neck-to-neck over who can win greater fame through the headlines. A project that had been moving from studio to studio since the musical opened on Broadway in 1973, Chicago also features guest appearances by Lucy Liu and Christine Baranski. Author: Mark Deming
Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Dominc West; Directed by Rob Marshall; Miramax; Rating: PG-13; 113 minutes; 2002
Dallas Buyers Club - Matthew McConaughey headlines director Jean-Marc Vallée’s biographical drama centering on the story of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, and who subsequently devoted his life to providing fellow HIV patients with non-FDA-approved drugs and supplements during an era when doctors were still struggling to understand the devastating disease. Defying his surprise death sentence, Woodroof set out to procure any and all non-toxic alternative HIV treatments available, and established a “buyers club” to provide the treatments to others afflicted with the disease. But that mission quickly made him a target for both the U.S. medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry, both of which resented his defiance of government sanctions, and joined forces to shut down his operation by any means necessary. Author: Jason Buchanan
Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, Denis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts; Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée; Focus Features; Rating: R; 117 minutes; 2013
86th Academy Awards - Best Actor in a Leading Role (Matthew McConaughey), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jared Leto), and Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Ender’s Game - A brilliant young strategist rises to the top of his class in Battle School while training to defend Earth against hostile aliens intent on exterminating the entire human race in this sci-fi epic based on the celebrated novel. In the not-too-distant future, our planet has come under attack from a malevolent race of aliens known as the Formics. Incredibly, fearless International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) sent them fleeing back into the stars, becoming a living legend in the process. But decorated Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) knows that the Formics will soon return even stronger than they were before, and he’s determined to find a new hero who can meet them head on. Enter Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a modest young man with vast untapped potential. Upon being recruited into Battle School, Ender partakes in a grueling series of simulations, effortlessly mastering every challenge presented to him. Celebrated by his peers and respected by his superiors, Ender is quickly promoted to Command School, where the one and only Mazer Rackham provides him with the knowledge and tools needed to save mankind from certain extinction. As the final battle approaches, Ender prepares to embrace his destiny as one of the greatest heroes in the history of planet Earth. Author: Jason Buchanan
Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis; Directed by Gavin Hood; Summit Entertainment; Rating: PG-13; 114 minutes; 2013
Girl on a Bicycle (Liebe und andrere Turbulenzen) - Every day, bus driver Paolo drives tourists through Paris and fervently explains to them his own point of view: that Paris is nothing more than a second-class Rome! His true passion is his girlfriend and great love Greta until he meets the enchanting Frenchwoman Cécile. The young single mother of two just barely gets by as an advertising model and is always rushing from one appointment to the other on her bicycle. Once he sees her, Paolo can’t think straight anymore. He’s in love with Greta, but this unknown beauty has turned him on his head. His best friend Derek, a smart Brit with a penchant for womanizing, gives him a disastrous piece of advice: the only way to forget this woman is to meet her – because reality is never as wonderful as the fantasy image. But his attempt to talk to Cécile goes wrong – when he hits the girl on a bicycle with his bus. Plagued by a guilty conscience, Paolo decides to take care of Cécile and her little family, of course without telling Greta about it. A small lie that turns his life completely upside down!
Nora Tschirner, Vincenzo Amato, Louise Monot, Paddy Considine, Stéphane Debac, John Friedman; Directed by Jeremy Leven; Monterey Media, Inc.; Rating: R; 101 minutes; 2013; [Subtitled]
Gravity - Director Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a scientist on a space shuttle mission headed by astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), a talkative, charismatic leader full of colorful stories that he shares with his crewmates as well as mission control. As the two are on a space walk, debris hits the area where they are working, and soon the pair finds themselves detached from their ship and stranded in space. While figuring out what steps they can take to save themselves, Stone grapples with a painful past that makes her consider giving up altogether. Gravity screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Author: Perry Seibert
Sandra Billock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen, Phaldut Sharma, Amy Warren; Directed by Alfonso Cuaron; Warner Bros.; Rating: PG-13; 91 minutes; 2013
86th Academy Awards - Best Cinematography, Best Directing, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects
A League of their Own- The All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League was founded in 1943, when most of the men of baseball-playing age were far away in Europe and Asia fighting World War II. The league flourished until after World War II, when, with the men’s return, the league was consigned to oblivion. Director Penny Marshall and screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel re-create the wartime era when women’s baseball looked to stand a good chance of sweeping the country. The story begins as a candy-bar tycoon enlists agents to scour the country to find women who could play ball. In the backwoods of Oregon, two sisters — Dottie (Geena Davis) and Kit (Lori Petty) — are discovered. Dottie can hit and catch, while Kit can throw a mean fastball. The girls come to Chicago to try out for the team with other prospects that include their soon-to-be-teammates Mae Mordabito (Madonna), Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell), and Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh). The team’s owner, Walter Harvey (Gary Marshall) needs someone to coach his team and he picks one-time home-run champion Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), who is now a broken-down alcoholic. After a few weeks of training, as Dugan sobers up, the team begins to show some promise. By the end of the season, the team has improved to the point where they are competing in the World Series (which is no big deal, since there are only four teams in the league). Author: Paul Brenner
Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Lovitz; Directed by Penny Marshall; Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; Rating: PG; 128 minutes; 1992
Space Jam- The entire Looney Tunes gang joins basketball superstar Michael Jordan for this magically entertaining live-action/animated feature about a winners-take-all basketball game with a ruthless group of unsavory outer space creatures. Motion picture funnyman Bill Murray and Wayne Knight are also on hand to save the day in this hilarious romp through the far reaches to the galaxy.
Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Danny DeVito, Billy West, Bradley Baker; Directed by Joe Pytka; Warner Bros.; Rating: PG; 87 minutes; 1996
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