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Entertainment

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kams Kaps

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun 

BIG BUDGET FILM
 
“Nightcrawler” (R for violence, profanity and graphic images) Jake Gyllenhaal stars in the title role of this character-driven thriller as a freelance journalist caught in a cutthroat competition covering the crime beat in Los Angeles. With Rene Russo, Bill Paxton and Ann Cusack (Sister of John and Joan).  
 
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS 
 
“ABCs of Death 2” (Unrated) Horror sequel featuring another 26 short comedies by 26 different directors, each titled for a different letter of the alphabet, from A is for Amateur to Z is for Zygote. Cast includes Martina Garcia, Tristan Risk, Beatrice Dalle and Andy Nyman. (In English, Hebrew, Japanese, French and Portuguese)
 
“All You Need Is Love” (Unrated) Sigourney Weaver narrates this inspirational documentary chronicling the daily lives, dreams and plight of Burmese children attending the Good Morning School in Mae Sot, Thailand in defiance of the dictates of their own country’s repressive regime.
 
“Before I Go to Sleep” (R for profanity and graphic violence) Screen adaptation of the S.J. Watson best seller of the same name revolving around an amnesiac (Nicole Kidman) whose husband (Colin Firth) has to remind her every morning that her memory gets erased every time she falls asleep. With Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff and Adam Levy.
 
“Bitter Honey” (Unrated) Female empowerment documentary exposing the betrayal and violence visited upon abused Balinese women stuck in polygamous marriages. (In Indonesian with subtitles)  
 
“Braddock” (Unrated) Cinematic tribute to a tiny town in Pennsylvania of historical significance as it tries to reinvent itself in order to remain relevant in the 21st Century. 
 
“God the Father” (R for violence) Mafia documentary in which former Colombo crime family mobster Michael Franzese recounts finding his faith and being born again after learning that his own father had taken out a contract on him.   
 
“The Hazda: Last of the First” (Unrated) Anthropological examination one of the world’s last remaining tribe of hunter-gatherers, the Hazda, who have lived in Africa’s Rift valley for the past 50,000 years. Narrated by Alfre Woodard, and featuring commentary by primatologist Jane Goodall and geneticist Spencer Wells.
 
“Hit by Lightning” (Unrated) Romantic comedy about an aspiring writer (Jon Cryer) who gets more than he bargained for when the passionate lover (Stephanie Szostak) he meets online suddenly announces she’s married and pressures him to murder her rabbi hubby (Jed Rees). With Will Sasso, Alexis Maitland and Sean Tucker.
 
“Horns” (R for sexuality, profanity, rape, disturbing violence, drug use and graphic nudity) Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe stars in this horror fantasy as the prime suspect in his girlfriend’s (Juno Temple) murder who wakes up with horns growing out of his head after a night of heavy drinking. Featuring Max Minghella, Joe Anderson and Kelli Garner.
 
“Magical Universe” (Unrated) Retrospective revisiting the final decade in the career of Al Carbee (1914-2005), an eccentric, Barbie-obsessed artist who worked with dolls as his medium.
 
“Missionary” (R for violence, profanity and sexuality) Romance drama about a struggling single-mom (Dawn Olivieri) who embarks on a passionate affair with a Mormon (Mitch Ryan) only to watch him go berserk when she reconciles with her estranged husband (Kip Pardue). Support cast includes Connor Christie, Randy Molnar and Dushawn Moses.
 
“Plot for Peace” (Unrated) Historical documentary chronicling the previously-unknown role played by mysterious, French businessman Jean-Yves Olivier in freeing Nelson Mandela and toppling South Africa’s Apartheid regime. (In English, French, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Spanish)
 
“Private Peaceful” (Unrated) Romance drama, set in Devon, England, and revolving around two brothers (Jack O’Connell and George MacKay) who fall in love with the same girl (Alexandra Roach) before enlisting in the army and being shipped off to fight in Flanders fields during World War I. With Maxine Peake, Frances de la Tour and the late Richard Griffiths.     
 
“Showrunners” (Unrated) Behind-the-scenes documentary illustrating everything involved in the making of a TV series, from the creation of the concept, to the production, to the writing, to the casting, to the shooting, to the airing.
 
“True Son” (Unrated) Political documentary chronicling 22-year-old Stanford grad Michael Tubbs’ campaign for a seat on Stockton, California’s City Council.  

The real ‘King of R&B’

Myron

Take U.S. 78 South about 90 miles from Memphis and you come to Tupelo, Mississippi and BancorpSouth Arena, where Robert Sylvester Kelly – widely known as the “King of R&B” put on a show that will have people talking…at least until he returns.

At first, I was a little skeptical about the show. I mean, when I arrived and took my seat, the only thing I saw on stage was a tall thin curtain and the blue lights. There did not appear to be any instruments behind it. Not a drum set. No keyboards. Not even so much as a guitar.

Film review: ‘Plot for Peace’

Peace

In 2009, I reviewed a movie called “Endgame,” a political potboiler which divulged, for the first time, the pivotal role a British professor named Will Esterhuyse played in the end of apartheid. I remember feeling a little skeptical about the veracity of the alleged well-kept secret.

But here it is five years later, and we now have a “Plot for Peace,” a documentary staking a similar claim on behalf of another supposed critical figure who also ostensibly operated under the radar. This picture purportedly recounts how Jean-Yves Ollivier, a French businessman surreptitiously referred to as “Monsieur Jacques” in classified correspondence, orchestrated the dismantling of South Africa’s racist regime as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kams Kaps

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

BIG BUDGET FILMS    

“Ouija” (PG-13 for disturbing violence, frightening images and mature themes) Horror flick about a tight-knit group of teens who unwittingly awaken a dormant dark force when they decide to investigate the mysterious murder of a friend who perished right after recording herself playing a board game. Ensemble cast includes Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Bianca Santos and Douglas Smith.     


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS  

“23 Blast” (PG-13 for underage alcohol consumption) Fact-based, overcoming-the-odds drama about a high school football star (Mark Hapka) who didn’t let sudden blindness due to a sinus infection derail his dream of gridiron greatness. With Bram Hoover, Stephen Lang and Max Adler.

“1,000 Times Good Night” (Unrated) Marital crisis drama revolving around a celebrated war photographer (Juliette Binoche) whose husband (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) has tired of her dangerous line of work. Support cast includes Chloe Annett, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Eve Macklin. (In Norwegian and English with subtitles)

“Citizenfour” (Unrated) Patriot or traitor documentary featuring interviews with whistleblower Edward Snowden about his leaking thousands of classified documents he had access to in his capacity as an NSA contractor with Top Secret clearance. Featuring commentary by Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and Jacob Appelbaum. (In English, Portuguese and German with subtitles)

“E-Team” (Unrated) Human Rights Watch-sponsored documentary chronicling the exploits of monitors dispatched by the organization to chronicle atrocities being committed by ruthless dictators around the world. (In English, German, French, Russian and Arabic)

“Force Majeure” (R for profanity and brief nudity) Dysfunctional family drama about a Swedish couple (Johannes Kuhnke and Lisa Loven Kongsli) whose marriage hangs in the balance after the cowardly husband just saves himself, ignoring his wife and kids (Clara Wettergren and Vincent Wettergren), when an avalanche hits during their vacation in the Swiss Alps. With Brady Corbet, Jakob Granqvist and Kristofer Hivju.

“Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” (PG for mature themes and brief profanity) Reverential biopic chronicles the legendary country singer’s farewell tour as he struggles with Alzheimer’s.

“The Heart Machine” (Unrated) Romance thriller about a guy (John Gallagher, Jr.) who comes to suspect that the long-distance lover (Kate Lyn Sheil) he met on the internet might actually live in the same town. With David Call, Louis Krause and Libby Woodbridge.

“John Wick” (Unrated) Keanu Reeves handles the title role in this revenge thriller about a former assassin who comes of retirement to track down the gang that robbed him of everything. With Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick and Willem Dafoe.

“Laggies” (R for profanity, sexuality and partying) Romantic comedy revolving around a 28 year-old (Keira Knightley) who regresses and starts hanging out with a 16 year-old (Chloe Grace Moretz) with a handsome single-dad (Sam Rockwell) after her longtime boyfriend (Mark Webber) pops the question. With Gretchen Mol, Jeff Garlin and Ellie Kemper.  

“Life of Riley” (Unrated) The legendary Alain Resnais directed this adaptation of Alan Aykbourn’s play of the same name about three couples left devastated by the news that a mutual friend has only a few months to live. Co-starring Sabine Azema, Hippolyte Girardot, Caroline Silhol, Michel Vuillermoz, Sandrine Kiberlain and Andre Dussollier. (In French with subtitles)

“Low Down” (R for drug use, profanity and sexuality) A warts-and-all biopic about the life of the bebop artist Joe Albany (John Hawkes), who played piano with Charlie Parker and shared Bird’s self-destructive drug habit. Featring Lena Headey, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Peter Dinklage and Flea.  

“Revenge of the Green Dragons” (R for rape, graphic violence, sexuality, drug use and pervasive profanity) Crime drama, set in the Eighties, about a couple of immigrant siblings (Kevin Wu and Justin Chon), new to NYC, who survive by joining a gang in Chinatown. Cast includes Ray Liotta, Harry Shum, Jr. and Carl Li.  

“Stonehearst Asylum” (PG-13 for violence, sexuality, profanity and disturbing images) Horror film inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe short story about a med school grad (Jim Sturgess) who mistakenly falls for a patient (Kate Beckinsale) at the mental hospital where he’s just started working. With Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Brendan Gleeson.  

“White Bird in a Blizzard” (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and drug use) Screen adaptation of the Laura Kasischke novel of the same name about a repressed 17 year old (Shailene Woodley) who is eventually forced by circumstances to come to grips with her mother’s (Eva Green) mysterious disappearance. With Angela Bassett, Thomas Jane, Gabourey Sidibe, Christopher Meloni and Sheryl Lee.

‘Rainbow in the Cloud/The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou’

Maya

‘Words mean more than what is set down on paper,’ Maya Angelou wrote in her groundbreaking memoir ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.’ Indeed, Angelou’s words have traveled the world and transformed lives—inspiring, strengthening, healing…

“Now, in this collection of sage advice, humorous quips, and pointed observations culled from the author’s great works… Maya Angelou’s spirit endures... A treasured keepsake as well as a beautiful tribute to a woman who touched so many, Rainbow in the Cloud reminds us that ‘If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.’” – Excerpted from the book jacket

Gina the dreamer

Beyond the Lights

Born on June 10, 1969, Gina Maria Prince-Bythewood studied film at UCLA before beginning her career as a writer for the TV sitcom, “A Different World.” In 2000, she made a noteworthy directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed “Love & Basketball,” which netted a dozen accolades during awards season, including a couple of NAACP Image Awards, a BET Award and several Black Reel Awards.

Gina’s next feature was “The Secret Life of Bees (2008),” which also earned its share of trophies, including Image Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Here, she talks about making her third movie, “Beyond the Lights,” a romance drama co-starring Gugu Mbata-Raw and Nate Parker.

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kams Kaps

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun   

BIG BUDGET FILMS    

“The Best of Me” (PG-13 for sexuality, violence, brief profanity and some drug use) Romance drama based on the Nicholas Sparks best-seller of the same name and revolving around the reunion of a couple of high school sweethearts (James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan) for the first time in years when they return to their hometown for a friend’s funeral. With Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey and Caroline Goodall.   

“The Book of Life” (PG for mild action, rude humor, mature themes and scary images) Animated adventure about a young man (Diego Luna) who finds himself torn between fulfilling his family’s expectations and following his heart. Ensemble voice cast featuring Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman and Cheech.