Unfolding in a single cataclysmic day, the story follows Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) -- a 28-year old financial whiz kid and billionaire asset manager -- as he heads out in his tricked-out stretch limo to get a haircut from his father's old barber, while remotely wagering his company's massive fortune on a bet against the Chinese Yuan. Packer's luxe trip across the city quickly becomes dizzyingly hellish as he encounters explosive city riots, a parade of provocative visitors, and is thrust into a myriad of intimate encounters. Having started the day with everything, believing he is the future, Packer's perfectly ordered, doubt-free world is about to implode.
Vitals: Director: David Cronenberg. Stars: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, K'Naan, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Philip Nozuka, Abdul Ayoola.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 108 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.743 million, Entertainment One.
3D stop-motion animated adventure revisits the director Tim Burton's original 1984 short. A heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life -- with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor's fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new "leash on life" can be monstrous. Vitals: Director: Tim Burton. Stars: Voices of Winona Ryder, Robert Capron, Charlie Tahan, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, Conchata Ferrell, Christopher Lee.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 87 min., Animated Adventure, Box office gross: $34.238 million, Disney.
Hit & Run
The story of Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard), a former getaway driver who busts out of the Witness Protection Program to drive his girlfriend (Kristen Bell) to Los Angeles so she can land her dream job. Their road trip grows awkwardly complicated, when they are chased by the feds (led by Tom Arnold), and increasingly dangerous, when Charlie's former gang of criminals (led by Bradley Cooper) enter the fray.
Vitals: Director: David Palmer, Dax Shepard. Stars: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Beau Bridges, Kristin Chenoweth, Joy Bryant, Michael Rosenbaum, Ryan Hansen.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Action-Comedy, Box office gross: $13.746 million, Universal.
House at the End of the Street
Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) and her daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret. Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds, and disappeared -- leaving only a brother, Ryan (Max Thieriot), as the sole survivor. Against Sarah's wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan -- and the closer they get, the deeper they're all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.
Vitals: Director: Mark Tonderai. Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows, Krista Bridges.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Horror, Box office gross: $31.055 million, Fox.
The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One -- a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called "Judges" who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge -- a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of "Slo-Mo" experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed. A heinous crime calls him to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture -- a 200-story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan who will stop at nothing to protect her empire.
Vitals: Director: Pete Travis. Stars: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Rakie Ayola, Jason Cope.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Sci-Fi Thriller, Box office gross: $13.401 million, Lionsgate.
Sequel to the 2009 box office smash. Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a particular set of skills who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from Albanian kidnappers. When the father of one of the kidnappers swears revenge, and takes Bryan and his wife hostage during their family vacation in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape, and uses the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one.
Vitals: Director: Olivier Megaton. Stars: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Rade Serbedzija, Leland Orser, Luke Grimes, Jon Gries, D.B. Sweeney.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Action Thriller, Box office gross: $136.477 million, Fox.
To Rome With Love
Told in four independent vignettes about four characters whose adventures change their lives forever: an average Roman wakes up one day to find himself a well-known celebrity; an American architect revisits the streets on which he used to live as a student; a young couple on their honeymoon are pulled into separate romantic encounters; and an American opera director tries to turn a singing mortician into a star.
Vitals: Director: Woody Allen. Stars: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $16.677 million, Sony.
Won't Back Down
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis portray determined mothers who will stop at nothing to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy and a system mired in traditional thinking, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
Vitals: Director: Daniel Barnz. Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Rosie Perez, Holly Hunter, Ving Rhames, Oscar Isaac.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 121 min., Drama, Box office gross: $5.308 million, Fox.
Farewell, My Queen
Captures the passions, debauchery, occasional glimpses of nobility and ultimately the chaos that engulfed the court of Marie Antoinette in the final days before the full-scale outbreak of the Revolution. Based on the best-selling novel by Chantal Thomas, the film follows one of Marie's ladies-in-waiting, seemingly innocent but quietly working her way into her mistress's special favors, until history tosses her fate onto a decidedly different path.
Vitals: Director: Benoit Jacquot. Stars:.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.2 million, Cohen Media.
Clyde and Stephanie Brenek see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a Dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host. Vitals: Director: Ole Bornedal. Stars: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Grant Show, Madison Davenport, Quinn Lord, Rob LaBelle. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Horror, Box office gross: $48.833 million, Lionsgate.
End of Watch
In their mission to abide by their oath to serve and protect, Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena) have formed a powerful brotherhood to ensure they both go home at the end of watch. But nothing can prepare them for the violent backlash that happens after they pull over the members of a notorious drug cartel for a routine traffic stop: they're marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms. The action unfolds through footage from the handheld HD cameras of the police officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, and citizens caught in the line of fire to create a riveting portrait of the city's most dangerous corners, the cops who risk their lives there every day, and the price they and their families are forced to pay.
Vitals: Director: David Ayer. Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera, Cody Horn, Natalie Martinez, Frank Grillo.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 120 min., Drama, Box office gross: $38.853 million, Universal.
A sexually and racially charged film noir from director Lee Daniels ("Precious") that takes audiences deep into the backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida. Miami Times reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his sleepy home town of Lately, Florida, where a decades-old fašade of Southern gentility strains against the sweeping social changes of the 60s. Accompanied by his writing partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo), Ward is chasing the career-making story of violent swamp rat Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), who claims to have been framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff. Drafting his younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) to serve as his driver, Ward tries to unravel the mystery of the crime, aided by a mountain of evidence amassed by sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), who turns out to be Van Wetter's fiancé. As the odious Van Wetter awaits the electric chair, the Jansen family's longtime black maid Anita (Macy Gray) watches in alarm as Jack becomes more and more infatuated with the alluring Charlotte. But when Ward's investigation reveals a web of deception it sets off an explosive chain reaction that pulls everyone involved into a quagmire of evil as dark as the Everglades themselves. Inspired by a true story, "The Paperboy's" tale of obsession, violence and ambition earned a nomination for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival's highest prize, the coveted Palme d' Or. Vitals: Director: Lee Daniels. Stars: Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey, Scott Glenn, Nikolette Noel, David Oyelowo, Ned Bellamy, Macy Gray.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $.692 million, Millennium Films.
Searching for Sugar Man
The true story of Rodriguez, the greatest 70s rock icon who never was. Rodriguez was discovered in a Detroit bar in the late 1960s by two celebrated producers who were struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics. They recorded an album, which was expected to secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation, but in contrast, the album bombed and Rodriguez disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. Nonetheless, a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, his music became a phenomenon and an anthem for the people. "Searching for Sugar Man" follows two South African fans setting out to discover what really happened to their hero, leading them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.
Vitals: Director: Malik Bendjelloul. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 86 min., Music Documentary, Box office gross: $2.670 million, Sony.
A chilling factual thriller that chronicles the story of a 13-year-old boy who disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas in 1994. Three and a half years later he is found alive, thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a story of kidnapping and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems. The boy bears many of the same distinguishing marks he always had, but why does he now have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? Any why doesn't the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It's only when an investigator starts asking questions that this strange tale takes an even stranger turn. The stranger than fiction mystery, which features many twists and turns, is told in a cinematic language that combines documentary and stylized visualizations. Perception is challenged at every turn, and just as the truth begins to dawn on you, another truth emerges leaving you even more on edge.
Vitals: Director: Bart Layton. Stars: Adam O'Brian, Anna Ruben, Alan Teichman.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Bio-Drama-Doc, Box office gross: $.731 million, Indomina Releasing.
Keep the Lights On
In his autobiographically inspired, fictional relationship drama, filmmaker -- and recipient of Sundance's Grand Jury Prize in 2005 for his film "Forty Shades of Blue" -- Ira Sachs chronicles the emotionally and sexually charged journey through the love, addiction, and friendship of two men. When documentary filmmaker Erik (Danish leading man Thure Lindhardt) and closeted lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth) meet through a casual encounter, they enjoy each other's company for what they think will be a short time. But the two men soon find a deeper connection and become a couple. Individually and together, Erik and Paul are risk takers -- compulsive, driven, emotional and frequently fueled by drugs and sex. And their nearly decade-long relationship is defined by the highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns that are found not only among contemporary New York City relationships, but in couples around the world.
Vitals: Director: Ira Sachs. Stars: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Souleymane Sy Savane, Miguel Del Toro, Justin Reinsilber.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 102 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.239 million, Music Box Films.
For A Good Time, Call ...
The reserved Lauren (Lauren Miller) and the irrepressible Katie (Ari Graynor) are polar opposites ... and past enemies. But when both come up short on the funds needed to afford their dream New York City apartment, a mutual friend (Justin Long) re-introduces them and they reluctantly agree to room together. These apartment-mates have nothing in common -- until Lauren discovers that Katie is working as a phone-sex operator, and recognizes a good business opportunity. But as their business partnership takes off, their new found friendship finds unexpected challenges that may leave them both, as they say, hanging on the line.
Vitals: Director: Jamie Travis. Stars: Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Nia Vardalos, Seth Rogen, Justin Long, Mark Webber, Mimi Rogers, James Wolk.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 85 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $1.243 million, Universal.
The boundless imagination and physical marvels of the work of the German modern-dance pioneer Pina Bausch leap off the screen in this exuberant tribute by Wim Wenders. A long-planned film collaboration between the director and the choreographer was in preproduction when Bausch died in 2009. Two years later, Wenders decided to go ahead with the project, reconceiving it as an homage to his late friend. The result, shot in 3D, is a remarkable visual experience and a vivid representation of Bausch's art, enacted by a group of staggeringly talented dancers from her company, the Tanztheater Wuppertal. "Pina" is an adventurous work of cinema that highlights the bold legacy of one of the world's true creative visionaries.
Vitals: Director Wim Wenders:. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 103 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $3.520 million, The Criterion Collection.
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free from meddling from the human world. But here's a little known fact about Dracula: He's not only the Prince of Darkness, he's also a dad. Over-protective of his teenage daughter, Mavis, Dracula fabricates tales of elaborate dangers to dissuade her adventurous spirit. As a haven for Mavis, he opens the Hotel Transylvania, where his daughter and some of the world's most famous monsters can kick back in safety and peace.
One special weekend, Dracula has invited all his best friends -- Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Werewolf family, and more -- to celebrate Mavis's 118th birthday. For Dracula, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem, but the party really starts when one ordinary pesky human stumbles into the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis. Vitals: Director: Genndy Tartakovsky. Stars: Voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Cee-Lo Green, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, Jon Lovitz.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 91 min., Animated, Box office gross: $142.734 million, Sony.
The Cold Light of Day
When Will Shaw (Henry Cavill) goes to Spain for a week-long sailing vacation with his family, his whole world turns upside down when the family is kidnapped by intelligence agents hell-bent on recovering a mysterious briefcase. Will suddenly finds himself on the run as he uncovers a government conspiracy and its connection to his father's secrets.
Vitals: Director: Mabrouk El Mechri. Stars: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Echegui, Jim Piddock, Joseph Mawle, Caroline Goodall, Rafi Gavron, Emma Hamilton, Colm Meaney.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 93 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $3.749 million, Summit/Lionsgate.
Directed by writer-director Martin McDonagh ("In Bruges"), this black comedy follows a Hollywood screenwriter and his oddball friends, who all end up embroiled in an outrageous kidnapping scheme gone wrong. Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, "Seven Psychopaths," and all he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Billy (Sam Rockwell) is Marty's best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. Hans (Christopher Walken) is Billy's partner in crime, a religious man with a violent past. The pair decide to steal psychopathic gangster Charlie (Woody Harrelson)'s beloved shih tzu but Charlie is unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn't think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale.
Vitals: Director: Martin McDonagh. Stars: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Pitt, Gabourey Sidibe, Harry Dean Stanton.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Crime Comedy, Box office gross: $14.989 million, Sony.
Paranormal Activity 4
This sequel takes place in 2011, five years after Katie killed her boyfriend Micah, sister Kristi, her husband Daniel and took their baby, Hunter (now named Robbie). Story focuses on Alice and her mom, experiencing weird stuff since the new neighbors (Katie and Robbie) moved in the town.
Vitals: Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman. Stars: Kathryn Newton, Katie Featherston, Matt Shively, Brady Allen, Alisha Boe, Tommy Miranda.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 87 min., Horror, Box office gross: $53.808 million, Paramount.
London 1921. In post-WWI England, haunted by the death of the fiance, Florence Cathcart, Cambridge's first female PhD, spends her time debunking supernatural claims, using methodical and rational explanations to disprove the notion that the dead can still haunt us. She feels compelled to accept a request to go to Rookwood, a boarding school in the countryside where a boy has recently been found dead and rumors about a ghostly boy haunting the school are causing panic amongst pupils and parents alike. Florence sets to work immediately, laying traps, gathering scientific evidence, uncovering secrets and seemingly unraveling the mystery. However, as Florence is about to leave, she has a chilling spectral encounter which defies all of her rational beliefs and sets her on a journey toward a heartbreaking climax. Vitals: Director: Nick Murphy. Stars: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Lucy Cohu, John Shrapnel.
2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Horror, Box office gross: $.438 million, Cohen Media Group/Universal.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.