OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening July 31, 2015
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (PG-13 for action, violence and brief partial nudity) Fifth installment of the espionage franchise finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) reassembling his crack team of spies to take out the international syndicate of deadly assassins targeting IMF agents. Cast includes Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson.
Vacation (R for brief male frontal nudity, sexuality, crude humor and pervasive profanity) Seventh installment in the National Lampoon franchise revolving around now-grown Rusty Griswold’s (Ed Helms) nostalgic, cross-country road trip back to Walley World amusement park, family in tow. Featuring Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins, with Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Regina Hall, Keegan-Michael Key and Michael Pena in support roles, as well as cameo appearances by original cast members Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. .
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Best of Enemies (R for sexuality, nudity and profanity) File footage documentary featuring the series of nine, nationally-televised, live-TV debates between liberal Gore Vidal and arch-conservative William F. Buckley covering such hot-button topics as politics, religion and sexuality, which degenerated into name-calling affairs where the pair referred to each other as a “crypto-Nazi” and a “queer.” Includes commentary by Dick Cavett, Kelsey Grammer, Noam Chomsky, John Lithgow and the late Christopher Hitchens.
The End of the Tour (R for profanity and some sexual references) Road flick revolving around the five-day interview conducted by Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) with the late David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) while the troubled scribe was on a book tour for his inscrutable, 1,000-page best-seller, “Infinite Jest.” With Ron Livingston, Anna Chumsky and Joan Cusack.
I Am Chris Farley (Unrated) Reverential retrospective about the life of the late comedian from his meteoric rise to an early demise. Featuring reminiscences by colleagues like Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, David Spade, Bob Saget, Molly Shannon and Jon Lovitz.
Jenny’s Wedding (PG-13 for mature themes and a crude sexual reference) Katherine Heigl plays the title character in this out-of-the-closet comedy about a lesbian who only informs her homophobic parents (Linda Emond and Tom Wilkinson) that she’s gay the day she and her longtime “roommate” announce their engagement. Ensemble cast includes Grace Gummer, Alexis Bledel and Matthew Metzger.
The Kindergarten Teacher (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, revolving around a kindergarten teacher (Sarit Larry) who takes a special interest in a precocious, five year-old poet (Avi Shnaidman). With Lior Raz, Jil Ben David and Ester Rada. (In Hebrew with subtitles)
A LEGO Brickumentary (G) More than a toy documentary, narrated by Jason Bateman, examining LEGO as a cultural phenomenon.
Listen to Me Marlon (Unrated) Vanity biopic chronicling the life and times of Marlon Brando from the late screen icon’s own perspective as preserved in his personal archive of home videos and audio recordings.
The Pilgrim: Paulo Coelho’s Best Story (Unrated) Against-the-odds biopic tracing the Brazilian writer’s (Julio Andrade) rise from humble roots and mental illness to best-selling author of”The Alchemist” and dozens of other novels. (In Portuguese and Spanish with subtitles)
The Seventh Dwarf (Unrated) Animated variation of the Snow White fairytale finds the seven dwarfs embarking on a perilous adventure in search of a prince to revive a sleeping princess (Peyton List) with a kiss and thereby awaken the somnolent kingdom from a century-long slumber. Voice cast includes Nina Hagen, Cameron Elvin and Norm MacDonald.
Staten Island Summer (R for sexuality, nudity, crude humor, drug use, teen partying and pervasive profanity) Raunchy teensploitation flick revolving around a couple of recent high school grads (Graham Phillips and Zack Pearlman) who take summer jobs as lifeguards while trying to decide what to do next with their lives. With Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Will Forte, Method Man, Fred Armisen, Cecily Strong and Jim Gaffigan.
That Sugar Film (Unrated) Super Size Me-style expose’ written and directed by Damon Gameau in which the Aussie actor conducts an experiment on his own body to illustrate the deleterious effects of a high-sugar diet.