Preview This! “Pan”

Opening this week at a theatre near you:

Pan

Courtesy of Warner Brothers

“Pan”  (2015)

An orphan named Peter  (Levi Miller) has always dreamed that his mother would someday come back and save him from his life at the orphanage. In the middle of the night, he is stolen by Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) and his men.  They take him to the magical Neverland, where he meets James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) and the beautiful Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara). The legend is that Blackbeard will die at the hands of a boy who can fly. Could Peter be the foretold boy sent to save Neverland from Blackbeard? “Pan” Website

What to Watch For:  This is a new storyline on the origins of Peter Pan and Captain Hook.  The film will use some elements of the Steampunk genre which combines modern technology with the Victorian era.

Word on the Street:  Tiger Lily and her tribe have always been depicted in the past as Native Americans. This film is calling Tiger Lily and her tribe Native Neverlanders. Director Joe Wright is creating a “very international and multi-racial” world.

My Take:  I am a big fan of Rooney Mara, so I am looking forward to this film.

99 Homes

Photo courtesy of Broad Green

“99 Homes”  (2014)

Dennis (Andrew Garfield) starts working for business person Rick (Michael Shannon) after Rick threatens to evict Dennis and his family from their home. Dennis soon discovers that the world that Rick works in can be a dark and rough trip. “99 Homes” Website

What to Watch For:  The film has been well received at a number of Film Festivals, including the Venice International Film Festival where it won the SIGNIS Award Honorable Mention. It also won Grand Prix at the 2015 Deauville American Film Festival.

Word on the Street: Critics have been praising the script calling it “a taut, patiently constructed narrative.”

My Take:  Michael Shannon makes any film he is in worth watching.

Big Stone Gap

Photo courtesy of Picturehouse

“Big Stone Gap”  (2014)

In a small town up in the Appalachian Mountains, Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd)  is the town’s pharmacist and its self-proclaimed spinster. She is leading a quiet life until she discovers a long-held secret, discovering she’s not who she always thought she was. “Big Stone Gap” Website

What to Watch For:  The film is based on writer / director Adriana Trigiani’s best -selling novel.

Word on the Street:  The film has a brilliant cast including Patrick Wilson, Jane Krakowski, Jenna Elfman, Jasmine Guy, and Judith Ivey.

My Take:  I have always felt that Ashley Judd is a very underrated comedic actor.

Finders Keepers

Photo courtesy of The Orchard

“Finders Keepers”  (2015)

Documentary about a man, Shannon Whisnant, who purchased an outdoor grill at a storage locker auction.  When he got home, he opened up the grill and discovered an amputated leg inside it.  What happens next would change his life. “Finders Keepers” Website

What to Watch For:  The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and won the Founders Prize at the Traverse City Film Festival.

Word on the Street:  The film was the talk of the SXSW Film Festival this year.

My Take:  I missed the film at SXSW but won’t miss it this time.

Coming Home

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

“Coming Home”  (2014)

Lu (Daoming Chen) and Li (Feng Wanyu) are a loving couple with a young daughter when Lu is sent to labor camp during the Cultural Revolution as a political prisoner. Years later he returns to find his family changed in more ways than just age. “Coming Home” Info

What to Watch For: The film has won over eight awards at different film festivals in China.

Word on the Street:  The film has done well internationally at the box office.

My Take:  The film has been getting great reviews from my fellow film critics.

Freeheld

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

“Freeheld”   (2015)

Laurel (Julianne Moore) is a no-nonsense police detective who works with her partner, Dane (Michael Shannon). She meets and starts dating Stacie (Ellen Page), a car mechanic. They start a long term relationship that is cut short when Laurel is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Laurel wants her pension benefits to go to Stacie after her death, but the county does not recognize Stacie as a legitimate benefactor. Laurel and Stacie fight for their right to be seen as a real couple. “Freeheld” Website

What to Watch For:  The film is based on a true story and was the subject of a 2007 documentary of the same name.

Word on the Street: This is the film that Ellen Page says gave her the confidence to come out as a lesbian.

My Take:  Looking forward to seeing the talented Julianne Moore in this film.

He Named Me Malala

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

“He Named Me Malala”

Documentary about the young Pakistani girl who stood up to the Taliban over education for young girls. She was targeted by Taliban gunmen and shot in the head. She survived and went on the write about her story. “He Named Me Malala” Website

What to Watch For:  Malala won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and for the past three years has been one of Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World’.

Word on the Street:  Audiences that have seen this film talk about how poised and confident Malala is.

My Take:  I love the tag line of this film: “One Child, One Teacher, One Book and One Pen Can Change the World.”

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Photo courtesy of Firelight Media

“The Black Panthers:  Vanguard of the Revolution”  (2015)

Documentary tells the story of one of the most controversial organizations in American history, The Black Panthers. “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” Website

What to Watch For:  Filmmaker Stanley Nelson and former Black Panther leader Kathleen Cleaver will  be conducting a Q&A at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema after Friday’s (Oct. 9) 7:20 pm showing and Saturday’s (Oct. 10) 1:30 pm, 4:30 pm and 7:20 pm screenings.

Word on the Street:  The film is part of a three-part documentary series about African-American history.

My Take:  This film took seven years to make and contains footage that has never been seen before.

 

If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, then stay at home and watch movies on Atlanta’s CW.

Sunday

1:00 pm

“Hide and Seek”   (2005)  A widower (Robert De Niro) and his daughter (Dakota Fanning) move to a new home. The daughter creates a new imaginary friend named, Charlie.  At first it seems like Charlie is good for the daughter, until mysterious occurrences start happening in the home.

3:00 pm

“Perfect”  (1985)  A Rolling Stone reporter (John Travolta) is in town to write about how fitness clubs are the singles bars of the 80s.  He about to meet workout instructor Jessie (Jamie Lee Curtis) who will change his world.

 

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