(Note – films featured represent new openings in the Seattle area…regional, limited, and platformed national releases are featured below…).
Five New Films This Week
Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, and a star-studded cast plan a $20 million “Tower Heist”, lovable Harold and Kumar celebrate Christmas in 3D, and Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” arrives in Seattle. A critically heralded French drama receives a noteworthy re-release and Richard Gere is back as well. All this and other national releases after the cut!
(PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images and language.)
Starring: Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Martin Sheen, Stephen Moyer
Directed by: Michael Brandt
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Distributor: Image Entertainment
Tagline: Keep Your Enemies Close.
Synopsis: In The Double, the mysterious murder of a US senator bearing the distinctive trademark of the legendary Soviet assassin “Cassius,” forces Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere), a retired CIA operative, to team with rookie FBI agent, Ben Geary (Topher Grace), to solve the crime. Having spent his career chasing Cassius, Shepherdson is convinced his nemesis is long dead, but is pushed to take on the case by his former supervisor, Tom Highland (Martin Sheen). Meanwhile, Agent Geary, who wrote his Master’s thesis on Shepherdson’s pursuit of the Soviet killer, is certain that Cassius has resurfaced. As Shepherdson and Geary work their way through crimes both past and present, they discover that Cassius may not be the person they always thought him to be, forcing both to re-examine everything and everyone around them. (Courtesy of Image Entertainment).
NOTE: This film is being re-released following its original July 22, 2011 opening.
(PG-13 for thematic material including disturbing situations involving the Holocaust)
Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Melusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup.
Directed by: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Running Time: 111 Minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Tagline: Uncover the Mystery.
Synopsis: Julia Jarmond, an American journalist married to a Frenchman, is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. Julia learns that the apartment she and her husband Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers – especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive – the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. (Courtesy of the film’s website)
THE SKIN I LIVE IN
(R for disturbing violent content including sexual assault, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language)
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet.
Directed by: Pedro Almodovar
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Synopsis: Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed a further three things: no scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was born, is his most faithful accomplice. And as for the human guinea pig. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
(PG-13 for language and sexual content)
Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Michael Pena, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Tea Leoni
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Tagline: It’s Not Just A Robbery. It’s Payback. / Ordinary Guys. An Extraordinary Robbery.
Synopsis: Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in Tower Heist, a comedy caper about working stiffs who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler who stiffed them. After the workers at a luxury Central Park condominium discover the penthouse billionaire has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge: a heist to reclaim what he took from them. (Courtesy of the film’s website).
A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3-D CHRISTMAS
(R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence)
Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris
Directed by: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Tagline: Christmas Comes Prematurely.
Synopsis: Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrives at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempt to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents-and Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree-going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree takes them through party heaven-and almost blows Christmas Eve sky high. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)
ADDITIONAL OPENINGS (may not be playing in your area):
The Bride Wore Black (1968 Release; new 35mm Print for 2011) (The Film Desk)
Charlotte Rampling: The Look (Kino Lorber)
Five Star Day (Breaking Glass Pictures)
Janie Jones (Tribeca Film)
Killing Bono (ARC Entertainment)
The Last Rites Of Joe May (Tribeca Film)
Oranges And Sunshine (Cohen Media Group)
The Other F Word (Oscilloscope Pictures)
Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story (D&E Entertainment)
The Son Of No One (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Stuck Between Stations (Wrekin Hill)
Young Goethe In Love! (Music Box Films)