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THIS IS NOT A FILM – This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone, and smuggled out of Iran in a cake for a last minute submission to the Cannes Film Festival, depicts the day-to- day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence of 6 years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking, Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer, discussing his plight with fellow director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking. This was ranked #5 in the 2012 National Film Critics poll.
RUST AND BONE – From director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) comes this tale of two souls finding strength in each other after tragedy reunites them. Marion Cotillard gives a tour-de-force performance as Stephanie, an orca trainer whose life is transformed dramatically. Faced with unbearable circumstances, she turns to Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a street boxer who is having his own battle with life changing events. As their stories intersect, they navigate their relationship through a world where love and courage appear in many forms. In French with English subtitles.
KILLING THEM SOFTLY – Brad pitt delivers an explosive performance as Jackie Cogan, an enforcer for the Mob in director Andrew Dominik’s gritty yet stylish thriller. Cogan must restore order in the criminal underworld after a Mob protected card game is robbed by a group of inexperienced crooks. James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, and Richard Jenkins round out the great supporting cast.
HITCHCOCK – Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren star in this provocative story about the making of one of cinema’s most iconic films. Plagued by both a reckless ego and nagging self-doubt, Alfred Hitchcock becomes obsessed with a grisly murder story that the Hollywood studios won’t back. Determined to make “Psycho” he risks his reputation and his home as he collaborates with his wife Alma to create an influential cinematic masterpiece. Available in Bluray and regular dvd.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER – One of the best films of 2012, this bittersweet coming of age tale is the feel good movie of the year. Logan Lerman plays Charlie, a High School freshman, and the eponymous “wallflower” of the title who is always watching from the sidelines until two charismatic seniors (Emma Watson & Ezra Miller) take him under their wing. Great writing, terrific performances, and a remarkable directorial debut from Stephen Chbosky, adapting his own novel, has resulted in what will be considered, in years to come, a classic of the genre. Not to be missed! Highly recommended!
LINCOLN – Daniel Day-Lewis’ Oscar winning turn as Abraham Lincoln is just one of the many highlights in Steven Spielberg’s inspiring and revealing drama focusing on the 16th president’s tumultuous final four months in office as he pursues a course of action to end the Civil War, unite the country and abolish slavery. It also won an Oscar for it’s Production Design. If you didn’t see it in the movies you really need to see it now.
THIS IS 40 – From director Judd Apatow comes this sort- of -sequel to his previous film Knocked Up. Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) reprise their characters from the first film as they try to balance romance, careers, parents and children in various humorous and candid ways. Melissa McCarthy, Jason Segel, Megan Fox, and John Lithgow lend able comedic support.
THE INTOUCHABLES – France’s biggest Box Office hit of all time finally comes to dvd. When an ex-con from the projects is hired to take care of an eccentric French aristocrat his newfound job quickly becomes an unpredictable adventure. Racing a Maserati through Paris streets, seducing women and paragliding over the Alps are just the beginning as the two men turn the world of Parisian society upside down. This is a real crowd- pleaser of a film. In French with English subtitles.
THE COLLECTION – From the twisted minds of the writers of the “Saw” movies comes this riveting and macabre tale of horror. A group of friends attending an underground warehouse party find themselves caught in a nightmarish trap when a masked psychopath sets in motion a series of contraptions that kill the revelers in various ingenious and disgusting ways. For fans of the ghoulish and gory.
PARENTAL GUIDANCE – Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are old school grandparents who get more than they bargained for when they get stuck babysitting their daughter’s (Marisa Tomei) over- protected kids.
A LATE QUARTET – After 25 years together, the members of a world renowned string quartet learn that their beloved cellist (Christopher Walken) may soon be forced to retire. But the news stirs up equally painful challenges when competing egos, resentments, and secrets threaten to derail the group as they struggle to maintain harmony in their music and their lives. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener also star.