"Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man." Starting in 1964 with "Seven UP," The UP Series has explored this Jesuit maxim. The original concept was to interview 14 children from diverse backgrounds from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Every seven years, renowned director Michael Apted, a researcher for Seven UP, has been back to talk to them, examining the progression of their lives. From cab driver Tony to schoolmates Jackie, Lynn and Susan and the enigmatic Neil, we follow these subjects as they turn 56 and more life-changing decisions and surprising developments are revealed. A towering achievement in the annals of cinema, the UP Series is, according to critic Roger Ebert, "an inspired, almost noble use of the film medium. Apted penetrates to the central mystery of life."
Vitals: Director: Michael Apted. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 138 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $.691 million, First Run Features.
In the near future, the Earth has been invaded by an unseen enemy with humans becoming hosts for the invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact, continuing their lives, apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed. When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refuses to relinquish possession of her mind.
Vitals: Director: Andrew Niccol. Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Frances Fisher, Jake Abel, Max Irons, William Hurt.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Sci-Fi Action, Box office gross: $25.866 million, Universal.
Brit (Ashley Benson), Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are best friends anxious to cut loose for spring break, but they don't have the money. After holding up a fast-food restaurant for quick cash, the girls head to the beach in a stolen car for what they think will be the party of a lifetime. At a motel room rager, fun reaches its legal limit and the girls are arrested and taken to jail. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien (James Franco), an infamous local thug, rapper, drug pusher and arms dealer, who takes them under his wing. Rough on the outside but with a soft soul on the inside, Alien wins over the hearts and dreams of the young Spring Breakers, and leads them on a Spring Break they never could have imagined.
Vitals: Director: Harmony Korine. Stars: Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, James Franco, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 92 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $13.831 million, Lionsgate.
Dead Man Down
Niels Arden Oplev, the acclaimed director of the original "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," makes his American theatrical debut, teaming up again with Noomi Rapace. Victor (Colin Farrell), a professional killer and the right hand man to an underground crime lord in New York City, is seduced and blackmailed by Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), a crime victim seeking retribution. Their chemistry and intense relationship leads them to execute a violent and cathartic plan for revenge.
Vitals: Director: Niels Arden Oplev. Stars: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper, Terrence Howard, Armand Assante, Isabelle Huppert.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $10.880 million, Sony.
Comedy about the unexpected detours we encounter on the road to happiness. Year in and year out, Princeton admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) has lived her life by the book. But during her annual recruiting trip, she finds herself reconnecting with a former college classmate, free-spirited teacher John Pressman (Paul Rudd). As she bends the entrance rules for one of his very unconventional students, Portia puts at risk the future she thought she always wanted, and finds her way to a surprising and exhilarating life she never dreamed of having.
Vitals: Director: Paul Weitz. Stars: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Michael Sheen, Lily Tomlin, Gloria Reuben, Wallace Shawn.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $17.873 million, Universal.
Tyler Perry's Temptation
An ambitious married woman's temptation by a handsome billionaire leads to betrayal, recklessness, and forever alters the course of her life. AKA "Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor."
Vitals: Director: Tyler Perry. Stars: Jurnee Smollett, Lance Gross, Robbie Jones, Vanessa Williams, Kim Kardashian, Eric West, Brandy Norwood.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 111 min., Drama, Box office gross: $51.954 million, Lionsgate.
The story of two men -- the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey -- whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball. In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team, breaking Major League Baseball's infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and even other players. Facing unabashed racism from every side, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey's hopes. Instead, Number 42 let his talent on the field do the talking -- ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow.
Vitals: Director: Brian Helgeland. Stars: Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Andre Holland, Lucas Black, Hamish Linklater.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 128 min., Drama, Box office gross: $91.513 million, Warner.
Billed as a new vision of the classic tale about five twentysomething friends who turn a remote cabin in the woods into a blood-soaked chamber of horrors after awakening an ancient demon. The five young friends find the mysterious and fiercely powerful Book of the Dead and, unable to resist its temptation, they release a violent demon on a blood-thirsty quest to possess them all. Who will be left to fight for their survival and defeat this unearthly force of murderous carnage? Produced by the original's Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert.
Vitals: Director: Fede Alvarez. Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Horror, Box office gross: $54.115 million, Sony.
Bullet to the Head
A New Orleans hit man and a New York City cop form an alliance to bring down the killer of their respective partners. Based on Alexis Nolent's French graphic novel, "Du Plomb Dans La Tete."
Vitals: Director: Walter Hill. Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jon Seda.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 92 min., Action, Box office gross: $9.483 million, Warner.
Ginger & Rosa
London, 1962. Two teenage girls -- Ginger & Rosa -- are inseparable. They skip school together, talk about love, religion and politics and dream of lives bigger than their mothers' domesticity. As the Cold War meets the sexual revolution and the threat of nuclear holocaust escalates, the girls face the clash of desire and the determination to grow up. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is drawn to poetry and protest, while Rosa (Alice Englert) shows Ginger how to smoke cigarettes, kiss boys and pray. Both rebel against their mothers: Rosa's single mum, Anoushka and Ginger's frustrated painter mother, Natalie. Meanwhile, Ginger's pacifist father, Roland, seems a romantic, bohemian figure to the girls. He encourages Ginger's Ban-the-Bomb activism, while Rosa starts to take a very different interest in him. As Ginger's parents fight and fall apart, Ginger finds emotional sanctuary with a gay couple, both named Mark', and their American friend, the poet Bella. Finally, as the Cuban Missile Crisis escalates -- and it seems the world itself may come to an end -- the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered. Ginger clutches at one hope; if she can help save the world from extinction, perhaps she too will survive this moment of personal devastation.
Vitals: Director: Sally Potter. Stars: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.05 million, Lionsgate.
Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a $27 million Goya painting, but after suffering a blow to the head during the heist, he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang's leader, Frank (Vincent Cassel), hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon's psyche. As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon's broken subconscious, the lines between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.
Vitals: Director: Danny Boyle. Stars: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel, Tuppence Middleton, Sam Creed.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $2.310 million, Fox.
A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl, a story that could be source material for his next novel. That night in a dream he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He's unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. But as he investigates the killing, he uncovers more horrifying revelations, and is ultimately led to the truth of the story, finding that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated. This Gothic horror tale follows three self-imposed mandates that Coppola requires in all of his new work: That it be his own original story and screenplay, have some personal element, and be self-financed. This particular story came to Coppola during a vivid dream he had while on a trip to Istanbul and is inspired by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The film also brings Coppola back to his horror roots that began during his apprenticeship with Roger Corman.
Vitals: Director: Francis Ford Coppola. Stars: Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Whalley, David Paymer.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Horror Thriller, Fox.
In this intensely haunting story, a loan shark lives an isolated and lonely existence, using brutality to threaten and collect paybacks from desperate borrowers for his moneylender boss. He mercilessly collects the debts without regard to the pain he causes his countless victims. One day, a mysterious woman appears, claiming to be his long-lost mother. Coldly rejecting her at first, he gradually accepts her in his life and decides to quit his cruel job and seek a decent, redemptive life. However, he soon discovers a dark secret stemming from his past and realizes it may be too late to escape the horrific consequences already set in motion from his previous life. Winner of Best Picture trophies from 2012 Venice Film Festival, 2012 Blue Dragon Awards, 2013 Fantasporto Festival and the 2012 Satellite Awards, and Best Director nods at the 2012 Dubai International Film Festival and a Jury Award at South Korea's 2012 Grand Bell Awards.
Vitals: Director: Kim Ki-Duk. Stars: Lee Jung-jin, Cho Min-soo.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 104 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.020 million, Drafthouse Films.
At 42, David lives the life of an irresponsible adolescent. He coasts through life with minimal effort and maintains a complicated relationship with Valerie, a young policewoman. Just as she tells him she's pregnant, David's past resurfaces. Twenty years earlier, he began providing sperm to a fertility clinic in exchange for money. He discovers he's the father of 533 children, 142 of whom have filed a class action lawsuit to determine the identity of their biological father, known only by the pseudonym Starbuck. In French with English subtitles.
Vitals: Director: Ken Scott. Stars: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand, Dominic Philie.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $.241 million, Entertainment One.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
In this sequel, the G.I. Joe team is not only fighting their mortal enemy COBRA; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.
Vitals: Director: Jon M. Chu. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, D.J. Cotrona, Jonathan Pryce, Arnold Vosloo.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 110 min., Action, Box office gross: $121.196 million, Paramount.
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.