Theatrical Releases This Week
Director: John Madden
The espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stephan (Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1966, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, and Sam Worthington tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel (Jesper Christensen) in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team’s mission was accomplished – or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations. (Synopsis by Focus Features)
The best movie of the week is being released early in the week. Reviews are mostly positive for the film (with the exception of its ending), but audience interest is low. A remake of a 2007 Israeli film, Mirren is sure to shine, but can she overcome the films shortcomings?
Shark Night 3D
Director: David R. Ellis
Arriving by boat at her family’s Louisiana lake island cabin, Sara (Sara Paxton) and her friends quickly strip down to their swimsuits for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when star football player Malik (Sinqua Walls) stumbles from the salt-water lake with his arm torn off, the party mood quickly evaporates. Assuming the injury was caused by a freak wake-boarding accident, the group realizes they have to get Malik to a hospital on the other side of the lake, and fast. But as they set out in a tiny speedboat, the college friends discover the lake has been stocked with hundreds of massive, flesh-eating sharks! As they face one grisly death after another, Sara and the others struggle desperately to fend off the sharks, get help and stay alive long enough to reach the safety of dry land. (Synopsis by Relativity Media)
Imagine everything good about “Jaws.” Now imagine a movie that is the exact opposite, but still with a shark. That’s “Shark Night 3D.” No one wants to (or should) see this.
Director: Trevor Cawood
Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972, was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon. (Synopsis from the movie’s official Web site)
At what point did this make the leap from being a Syfy Channel original movie to an actual theatrical release? The only excuse to see this is alcohol and lots of it.
DVD Releases This Week
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family
Director: Tyler Perry
Adapted from the multi-talented playwright/filmmaker’s hit stage play of the same name, Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family” finds the cantankerous family matriarch using her unique brand of tough love to help her family weather some particularly rough waters. Madea’s niece Shirley has received a frightening medical diagnosis, and she’s having a hard time figuring out how to break the news to the rest of the family. Unfortunately she’s not the only one in the midst of a crisis, either: Kimberly is suffering from anger issues that are threatening to destroy her marriage; Tammy’s marital problems are being compounded by her disobedient children; and Byron is struggling to stay out of the drug trade after spending two years behind bars. Later, as a skeleton in the family closet pops into the picture, Madea and Aunt Bam show that love and laugher can help to overcome even the biggest obstacles. (Synopsis by Jason Buchanan)
Yes. He’s still making these. See it if you like Tyler Perry in drag.
In a Better World
Director: Susanne Bier
Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian?s mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy. (Synopsis by Sony Pictures Classics)
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, this is the only sure bet this week. Susan Bier is best known for her high-concept films, and this one delivers.