Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Richard Raymond
PG-13; 1 hr. 44 min.
Set in Iran, this powerful and unbelievable true story follows the brave ambition of Afshin Ghaffarian. During the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election, where many cultural freedoms were threatened, Afshin and some friends (including Elaheh played by Freida Pinto) risk their lives and form an underground dance company. Through banned online videos, they learn from timeless legends who cross all cultural divides, such as Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev. Afshin and Elaheh also learn much from each other, most importantly how to embrace their passion for dance and for one another. (Synopsis by Relativity)
There is a lot of potential here that all goes to waste. It fails to get past the clichés of other “true” story genre pieces. Too safe, too slow, and too shallow to stick with you. Skip it.
While We’re Young
Director: Noah Baumbach
R; 1 hr. 34 min.
Noah Boaumbach’s comedy While We’re Young stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as Josh and Cornelia, a childless New York married couple in their mid-forties. As their other friends all start having children, the couple gravitates toward a young hipster couple named Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). He’s an aspiring documentary filmmaker, a vocation Josh already has. Soon the older couple begins enjoying the energy they feel haging out with the younger generation, but eventually Josh begins to suspect his new best friend might not be as straightforward and trustworthy as he thought. (Synopsis by A24)
Sharp social satire with shades of vintage Woody Allen. There are some missteps, but this is still one of Baumbach’s better films, showcasing his experience and nuance with humor and perception. See it.
The Longest Ride
Director: George Tillman Jr.
PG-13; 2 hr. 8 min.
Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and feateful connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love. (Synopsis by Fox)
Oh good! Another Nick Sparks travesty! You know the drill. If you are a fan of Sparks then you’ll eat it up. Otherwise, this will test your limits of accepting contrived plot devices. Skip it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
A Most Violent Year
Director: J.C. Chandor
R; 2 hr. 5 min.
Set during the winter of 1981 — statistically one of the most crime-ridden of New York City’s history — A MOST VIOLENT YEAR is a drama following the lives of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. (Synopsis by A24)
A memorizing period piece that, while slow at times, is still a joy to watch. The writing and acting are top notch, alongside an unconventional story. This is what most genre pieces aspire to; something that rises above the limitations of what they are defined as. See it.