Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt, Casey Bond
Brad Pitt is Billy Beane. Who, you say? Well, unless you are well versed in the behind the scenes strategizing of big league baseball, you probably don’t recognize the name of the Oakland Athletics vaunted General Manager. Celebrated for the changes he brought to the business of America’s former pastime (if very few playoff wins/ World Series appearances), the film version of the popular tell-all tome has been embroiled in a bit of controversy since it was announced. Original, Steven Soderbergh was set to direct, but budget and time constraints got in the way. Now, Capote‘s Bennett Miller is behind the lens. An interesting choice for an unusual subject, to say the least.
Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Sigourney Weaver
Ever since hitting it big—really big—some three years ago with the Twilight saga, shoulder shrug himbo Taylor Lautner has been looking for the right starring vehicle. Apparently, life as a ripped Native American werewolf is not all it’s cracked up to be. Here, the more than capable John Singleton puts the poster boy through his paces as a young man who discovers his entire life is a lie. The title seems to refer to the fact that he was kidnapped and declared missing as a child. One has to assume lots of amped up action ensues.
Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic Purcell, Robert De Niro
Not to be confused with Sam Peckinpah’s action thriller The Killer Elite (the man’s legacy can only handle one unnecessary remake per cinematic cycle), this is actually based on the book The Feather Men by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. The novel tells the tale of the British Special Air Service and the assasination of their membership by a group of hitmen called the Clinic. The “Feather” Men are actually a group that comes together to counteract the threat. With the titanic testosterone talents of Jason Statham and some solid supporting work from Clive Owen, Robert DeNiro, and Dominic Purcell, this could be the jolt September always seems to need.
Machine Gun Preacher
Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon, Madeline Carroll, Kathy Baker
Machine Gun Preacher
It sounds like an exploitation title from 1973. The premise even plays like Walking Tall relocated to the Sudan. However, with a little more research, it turns out that this Gerard Butler vehicle is actually based on the true story of Sam Childers, a motorcycle riding former gang member who traveled to Africa to defend and rescue children trapped in the aforementioned country’s contentious war zone. We get the typical backstory—drugs, alcohol, violence, run-ins with the law—but then Childers straightens out his life, heads to the embattled country, and begins his new mission. He currently have over 300 kids in his care. That being said, this film better do his story justice. He apparently deserves it.
Charles Martin Smith
Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble, Morgan Freeman
It’s based on a true story: a bottlenose dolphin which had lost its tail is taken in by a Florida Aquarium and eventually retrofitted with a prosthetic. Of course, this being Hollywood, we have to have a cute little tow-headed kid involved to provide the necessary Free Willy waterworks. While the cast includes Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, most of the heavy lifting here is being done by Harry Connick, Jr. and interchangeable child star Nathan Gamble. While it’s perhaps unfair to criticize something sight unseen, here’s imagining a syrupy, saccharine five handkerchief time for audiences everywhere.
Ami Horowitz, Matthew Groff
David Bosco, Ken Cain, Roberta Cohen, Norm Coleman, Simon Deng
This is nothing new. Back in the ‘60s, road signs along American highways used to read “Get the US out of the UN.” Still, first-time filmmakers Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff believe they have stumbled upon some sort of investigative truth—that the United Nations no longer supports the principles upon which it was founded—and are walking away with film festival prizes because of it. This documentary, which hopes to expose the organization’s highly politicized and pandering positions, has been accused of the very same thing. While we can accept such from someone like Michael Moore, these two novices have their work cut out for them.
// Short Ends and Leader
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