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Entertainment

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kams Kaps

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

BIG BUDGET FILMS    

“Ouija” (PG-13 for disturbing violence, frightening images and mature themes) Horror flick about a tight-knit group of teens who unwittingly awaken a dormant dark force when they decide to investigate the mysterious murder of a friend who perished right after recording herself playing a board game. Ensemble cast includes Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca Santos and Douglas Smith.     


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS  

“23 Blast” (PG-13 for underage alcohol consumption) Fact-based, overcoming-the-odds drama about a high school football star (Mark Hapka) who didn’t let sudden blindness due to a sinus infection derail his dream of gridiron greatness. With Bram Hoover, Stephen Lang and Max Adler.

“1,000 Times Good Night” (Unrated) Marital crisis drama revolving around a celebrated war photographer (Juliette Binoche) whose husband (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) has tired of her dangerous line of work. Support cast includes Chloe Annett, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Eve Macklin. (In Norwegian and English with subtitles)

“Citizenfour” (Unrated) Patriot or traitor documentary featuring interviews with whistleblower Edward Snowden about his leaking thousands of classified documents he had access to in his capacity as an NSA contractor with Top Secret clearance. Featuring commentary by Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and Jacob Appelbaum. (In English, Portuguese and German with subtitles)

“E-Team” (Unrated) Human Rights Watch-sponsored documentary chronicling the exploits of monitors dispatched by the organization to chronicle atrocities being committed by ruthless dictators around the world. (In English, German, French, Russian and Arabic)

“Force Majeure” (R for profanity and brief nudity) Dysfunctional family drama about a Swedish couple (Johannes Kuhnke and Lisa Loven Kongsli) whose marriage hangs in the balance after the cowardly husband just saves himself, ignoring his wife and kids (Clara Wettergren and Vincent Wettergren), when an avalanche hits during their vacation in the Swiss Alps. With Brady Corbet, Jakob Granqvist and Kristofer Hivju.

“Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” (PG for mature themes and brief profanity) Reverential biopic chronicles the legendary country singer’s farewell tour as he struggles with Alzheimer’s.

“The Heart Machine” (Unrated) Romance thriller about a guy (John Gallagher, Jr.) who comes to suspect that the long-distance lover (Kate Lyn Sheil) he met on the internet might actually live in the same town. With David Call, Louis Krause and Libby Woodbridge.

“John Wick” (Unrated) Keanu Reeves handles the title role in this revenge thriller about a former assassin who comes of retirement to track down the gang that robbed him of everything. With Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick and Willem Dafoe.

“Laggies” (R for profanity, sexuality and partying) Romantic comedy revolving around a 28 year-old (Keira Knightley) who regresses and starts hanging out with a 16 year-old (Chloe Grace Moretz) with a handsome single-dad (Sam Rockwell) after her longtime boyfriend (Mark Webber) pops the question. With Gretchen Mol, Jeff Garlin and Ellie Kemper.  

“Life of Riley” (Unrated) The legendary Alain Resnais directed this adaptation of Alan Aykbourn’s play of the same name about three couples left devastated by the news that a mutual friend has only a few months to live. Co-starring Sabine Azema, Hippolyte Girardot, Caroline Silhol, Michel Vuillermoz, Sandrine Kiberlain and Andre Dussollier. (In French with subtitles)

“Low Down” (R for drug use, profanity and sexuality) A warts-and-all biopic about the life of the bebop artist Joe Albany (John Hawkes), who played piano with Charlie Parker and shared Bird’s self-destructive drug habit. Featring Lena Headey, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Peter Dinklage and Flea.  

“Revenge of the Green Dragons” (R for rape, graphic violence, sexuality, drug use and pervasive profanity) Crime drama, set in the Eighties, about a couple of immigrant siblings (Kevin Wu and Justin Chon), new to NYC, who survive by joining a gang in Chinatown. Cast includes Ray Liotta, Harry Shum, Jr. and Carl Li.  

“Stonehearst Asylum” (PG-13 for violence, sexuality, profanity and disturbing images) Horror film inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe short story about a med school grad (Jim Sturgess) who mistakenly falls for a patient (Kate Beckinsale) at the mental hospital where he’s just started working. With Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Brendan Gleeson.  

“White Bird in a Blizzard” (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and drug use) Screen adaptation of the Laura Kasischke novel of the same name about a repressed 17 year old (Shailene Woodley) who is eventually forced by circumstances to come to grips with her mother’s (Eva Green) mysterious disappearance. With Angela Bassett, Thomas Jane, Gabourey Sidibe, Christopher Meloni and Sheryl Lee.

‘Rainbow in the Cloud/The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou’

Maya

‘Words mean more than what is set down on paper,’ Maya Angelou wrote in her groundbreaking memoir ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.’ Indeed, Angelou’s words have traveled the world and transformed lives—inspiring, strengthening, healing…

“Now, in this collection of sage advice, humorous quips, and pointed observations culled from the author’s great works… Maya Angelou’s spirit endures... A treasured keepsake as well as a beautiful tribute to a woman who touched so many, Rainbow in the Cloud reminds us that ‘If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.’” – Excerpted from the book jacket

Gina the dreamer

Beyond the Lights

Born on June 10, 1969, Gina Maria Prince-Bythewood studied film at UCLA before beginning her career as a writer for the TV sitcom, “A Different World.” In 2000, she made a noteworthy directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed “Love & Basketball,” which netted a dozen accolades during awards season, including a couple of NAACP Image Awards, a BET Award and several Black Reel Awards.

Gina’s next feature was “The Secret Life of Bees (2008),” which also earned its share of trophies, including Image Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Here, she talks about making her third movie, “Beyond the Lights,” a romance drama co-starring Gugu Mbata-Raw and Nate Parker.

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kams Kaps

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun   

BIG BUDGET FILMS    

“The Best of Me” (PG-13 for sexuality, violence, brief profanity and some drug use) Romance drama based on the Nicholas Sparks best-seller of the same name and revolving around the reunion of a couple of high school sweethearts (James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan) for the first time in years when they return to their hometown for a friend’s funeral. With Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey and Caroline Goodall.   

“The Book of Life” (PG for mild action, rude humor, mature themes and scary images) Animated adventure about a young man (Diego Luna) who finds himself torn between fulfilling his family’s expectations and following his heart. Ensemble voice cast featuring Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman and Cheech.

WHAT’S HAPPENING MYRON?: Memphis was full of high-profile entertainment options this past weekend.

Myron

Ever woke up on a Monday morning and felt so tired that you were absolutely sure that getting out of bed was one of the hardest things you ever had to do? Of course you have, that’s what happens to most of us on Monday.

Occasionally, the challenge of Monday is muted by a mitigating factor – the lingering vibes and memories from a busy, soul-satisfying weekend like the one I just experienced.

Movie Review: ‘Dear White People’

Dear white people

The academics are tough enough at Winchester University, a mythical Ivy League institution. It’s too bad that black students there also have to worry about making themselves comfortable socially.

That’s precisely the predicament we find a quartet of African-American undergrads facing at the point of departure of Dear White People, a sophisticated social satire marking the directorial and scriptwriting debut of Justin Simien. Earlier this year, the thought-provoking dramedy won the Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the Sundance Film Festival. 

This ‘mom’ knows best: Sophia Livingston

Livingston
Sophia Livingston of Memphis will play Margaret Miles, a mom who can’t be fooled and a wife who knows how to out-flank her husband, in ‘The Suburban Itch,’ a comedy short which will be filmed in Memphis in coming weeks.
 
Livingston has wide experiences as a Mid-South actor, from feature films to local stages, including many productions at Hattiloo Theatre.  She portrayed Clairee Belcher in Hattiloo’s production of “Steel Magnolias” and was nominated for an Ostrander Award for her supporting role as Mrs. Pauline Breedlove in “The Bluest Eye.”
  
  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom