Now Playing (1/13/2012)

“Now Playing” provides you with a quick and easy breakdown of all the new movies opening each and every weekend!

(Note – films featured represent new openings in the Seattle area…regional, limited, and platformed national releases are featured below…).

FIVE New Films This Week!

We’re back with our weekly guide of what’s new in Seattle-area theaters, as well as links to what is opening on a smaller scale in and around North America.

A tale as old as time returns to the big screen in 3D, Mark Wahlberg’s takes one last job, Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah square off, four of the most celebrated actors of our time battle it out in the confines of a Brooklyn apartment, and Meryl Streep brings her Oscar hopeful to a wide audience on the weekend Oscar ballots are due.¬† Detailed information, trailers, and all you need to know after the cut!

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D

(G)
Starring Voices of: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Angela Lansbury
Directed by: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Tagline: Experience It Again / For The First Time In Theaters In 3D.

Synopsis: Walt Disney Animation Studios’ magical classic Beauty and the Beast returns to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D(TM), introducing a whole new generation to the Disney classic with stunning new 3D imagery. The film captures the fantastic journey of Belle (voice of Paige O’Hara), a bright and beautiful young woman who’s taken prisoner by a hideous beast (voice of Robby Benson) in his castle. Despite her precarious situation, Belle befriends the castle’s enchanted staff-a teapot, a candelabra and a mantel clock, among others-and ultimately learns to see beneath the Beast’s exterior to discover the heart and soul of a prince. (Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios).

Trailer:

Additional content here:
Film Website
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

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CARNAGE

(R for language.)
Starring: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz.

Directed by: Roman Polanski
Running Time: 79 Minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Tagline: A New Comedy Of No Manners.

Synopsis: Carnage is a razor sharp, biting comedy centered on parental differences. After two boys duke it out on a playground, the parents of the “victim” invite the parents of the “bully” over to work out their issues. A polite discussion of childrearing soon escalates into verbal warfare, with all four parents revealing their true colors. None of them will escape the carnage. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics).

Trailer:

Additional content here:
Film Website
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

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CONTRABAND

(R for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use.)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna.

Directed by: Baltasar Kormakar
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Tagline: What Would You Hide To Protect Your Family?

Synopsis:¬†Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best- running contraband-to settle Andy’s debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), for one final run to Panama and back, hoping to return with millions in counterfeit bills. Things quickly fall apart and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must use his rusty skills to successfully navigate a treacherous criminal network of brutal drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and sons become their target. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures).

Trailer:

Additional content here:
Film Website
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

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THE IRON LADY

(PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity.)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman
Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Tagline: Never Compromise.

Synopsis: The Iron Lady is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century’s most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world. (Courtesy of The Weinstein Company).

Trailer:

Additional content here:
Film Website
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

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JOYFUL NOISE

(PG-13 for some language, including a sexual reference.)
Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan
Directed by: Todd Graff
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Tagline: Dream A Whole Lot Louder.

Synopsis: The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old. Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.’s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose’s beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more heat between G.G. and Vi Rose. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures).

Trailer:

Additional content here:
Film Website
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

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ADDITIONAL OPENINGS (may not be playing in your area):

ALBATROSS (Unrated, 90 minutes)

  • Directed by BAFTA-nominated Niall MacCormick (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Road to Finchley), Albatross is a funny and moving coming-of-age story starring Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Black Book), Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction), Julia Ormond (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and newcomer Jessica Brown-Findlay, a leading light in Screen International’s prestigious UK Stars of Tomorrow list. My Summer of Love meets An Education, the film tells the story of a family whose world is turned upside down when the beautiful and rebellious Emelia explodes into their lives. (Courtesy of the film’s website).

DON’T GO IN THE WOODS (Unrated, 83 Minutes)

  • Don’t Go in the Woods is sound advice, especially when there’s a killer on the loose. First-time director Vincent D’Onofrio explores love, greed and ruthlessness in this twisted musical/horror hybrid, telling the story of a young band who heads to the woods to get away from their everyday lives in order to focus on writing new songs. Hoping to walk away from the trip with new tunes that will score them their big break, they instead find themselves in the middle of a nightmare beyond comprehension. (Courtesy of Tribeca Films).

HOW MUCH DOES YOUR BUILDING WEIGH, MR. FOSTER (Unrated, 78 Minutes)

  • A portrait of one of the world’s premier architects, How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? follows Norman Foster’s unending quest to improve the quality of life through design. By investigating his origins to how his dreams and influences inspired the design of emblematic projects such as the world’s largest building to its tallest bridge, Foster offers some striking solutions to humanity’s increasing demand on urban centers. (Courtesy of First Run Features).

LOOSIES (PG-13 for some violence, sexual content, and language, 89 Minutes)

  • A young New York pickpocket Bobby (Peter Facinelli) is confronted by a woman (Jamie Alexander) with whom he has a passionate one-night affair. She tells him she’s pregnant, and Bobby is forced to reevaluate a lifetime of missteps, take responsibility for his new child and win over the girl who might just be perfect for him. (Courtesy of IFC Films).

LULA, THE SON OF BRAZIL (Unrated, 130 minutes)

  • Lula, Son of Brazil is a richly produced, deeply moving story of the early years of Brazil’s most beloved president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula). Born into extreme poverty in 1945, Lula was guided by a strong mother (Gloria Pires) who faced overwhelming obstacles to raise her children with the drive and courage to live life without fear. Lula spent the better part of his childhood growing up just outside of Santos, Brazil. When he wasn’t in school, he helped support the family. As a full-fledged member of the union, Lula found his path to a life in politics. However it wasn’t until he experienced an intense personal transformation following the startling death of his first wife and unborn son, that Lula found the courage and ambition he needed to take full control of his destiny. (Courtesy of New Yorker Films).

MAN ON A MISSION (Unrated, 94 Minutes)

  • Best known as the father of early computer games like Ultima and Ultima Online, Richard Garriott always wanted to follow in his astronaut father’s footsteps. But when eye problems made a career at NASA impossible, he turned to private space travel to make his dream come true. Man On A Mission captures everything from Garriott’s training in Russia to his launch aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as life aboard the International Space Station, resplendent views of the earth from space, and a never-before-seen view from inside the capsule during the fiery re-entry to Earth. (Courtesy of First Run Features).

VETTAI (Unrated, 168 Minutes)

  • Vettai is a powerful story of two brothers, Thiru Murthy and Guru Murthy who are poles apart in character. Their father was a constable but after his demise, Thiru takes on the same duty. Due to his lack of bravery, Thiru find it difficult to fight crime in his town. It is in these times that Guru who is not a cop steps up and assists his elder brother. As Guru wins many of his brother’s battles with crime, the accolades are showered though on Thiru to an extent that he is promoted as the Superintendent of Police. The turning point in the story arises when Thiru is caught off guard and brutally thrashed. It now becomes imperative for Guru to build his brothers courage to face his fears and overcome them. This point onwards we see Thiru stand tall and brave and how he along with Guru tackle the villains who are out to hunt them down. (Courtesy of UTV Communications).

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (R for disturbing violence and behavior, some sexuality, and language, 112 Minutes)

  • A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva’s own culpability is measured against Kevin’s innate evilness. (Courtesy of Oscilloscope).
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