New movies this week include Into the Woods (Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep), The Gambler (Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman), Unbroken (Jack O’Connell), American Sniper (Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller), Big Eyes (Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz), and Leviathan (Alexeï Serebriakov). I saw a screening of Into the Woods (review) last week. I really liked it, but the film isn’t for everyone because it’s a musical like Les Misérables. BTW, if you have not heard, Sony decided to release The Interview (James Franco, Seth Rogen) after all. The Interview will only be shown at the few theaters who have the guts not to be bullied by another country. Continue reading for a summary of the new films for this weekend.
New Movies for December 25-26, 2014
Into the Woods is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them.
Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett’s future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance.
Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII — only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s (Seabiscuit: An American Legend) enormously popular book Unbroken brings to the big screen Zamperini’s unbelievable and inspiring true story about the resilient power of the human spirit. Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII — only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
From director Clint Eastwood comes American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter. U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya Renae Kyle (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind. A two-time Oscar nominee for his work in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Cooper heads the cast, which also includes Sienna Miller (HBO’s The Girl), Jake McDorman, Luke Grimes, Navid Negahban and Keir O’Donnell.
In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
Big Eyes tells the outrageous true story of one of the most epic art frauds in history. In the 1960s, painter Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) had reached success beyond belief, revolutionizing the commercialization of popular art with enigmatic paintings of waifs with big eyes. The bizarre and shocking truth would eventually be discovered: Walter’s works were actually created by his wife Margaret (Amy Adams). The Keanes, it seemed, had been living a colossal lie that had fooled the entire world.
The latest drama from Andrey Zvyagintsev, the acclaimed director of The Return (Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner and Golden Globe nominee). Kolya (Alexeï Serebriakov) lives in a small fishing town near the stunning Barents Sea in Northern Russia. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya (Elena Liadova) and his son Roma (Sergueï Pokhodaev) from a previous marriage.