Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: John Erick Dowdle and John E. Dowdle
R; 1 hr. 41 min.
An intense international thriller, NO ESCAPE centers on an American businessman (Wilson) as he and his family settle into their new home in Southeast Asia. Suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a violent political uprising, they must frantically look for a safe escape as rebels mercilessly attack the city. (Synopsis by Weinstein)
The xenophobia is particularly bad and the writing is even worse. Wilson should be embarrassed to be a part of this film. Not just because of the racial overtones, but the sheer idiocy of the entire production. Skip it.
We Are Your Friends
Director: Max Joseph
R; 1 hr. 36 min.
Set in the world of electronic music and Hollywood nightlife, an aspiring 23-year-old DJ named Cole spends his days scheming with his childhood friends and his nights working on the one track that will set the world on fire. All of this changes when he meets a charismatic but damaged older DJ named James, who takes him under his wing. Things get complicated, however, when Cole starts falling for James’ much younger girlfriend, Sophie. With Cole’s forbidden relationship intensifying and his friendships unraveling, he must choose between love, loyalty, and the future he is destined for. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
A weak attempt at parlaying the club scene into the mainstream. Too much drama and weak direction make this forgettable. Skip it.
Director: Noah Baumbach
R; 1 hr. 26 min.
In MISTRESS AMERICA, Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a lonely college freshman in New York, having neither the exciting university experience nor the glamorous metropolitan lifestyle she envisioned. But when she is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig) – a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town – she is rescued from her disappointment and seduced by Brooke’s alluringly mad schemes. (Synopsis by Fox Searchlight)
A smarter film than it first appears. The comedy is deftly self-aware and unafraid to pursue the excesses of the characters. A mostly successful take on a farce comedy. See it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Laura Poitras
R; 1 hr. 54 min.
In January 2013, Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) was several years into making a film about surveillance in the post-9/11 era when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes. Executive Produced by Steven Soderbergh. (Synopsis by Radiu)
An excellently-orchestrated documentary by Poitras. By not conforming to any political viewpoint, she cuts to the core of the message and the man behind it. See it.