*BIG BUDGET FILMS
The American (R for violence, sexuality and nudity) George Clooney stars in the title role of this international thriller as an assassin who reports to a tiny Italian town for his last assignment before retiring only to befriend a priest (Paolo Bonacelli) and woo a local lass (Violante Placido) against his better judgment while awaiting further instructions from his Belgian contact (Thekla Reuten). (In English and Italian with subtitles)
Going the Distance (R for sexuality, profanity, drug use and brief nudity) Bicoastal romantic comedy about the trials and tribulations of a journalist (Drew Barrymore) and a music scout (Justin Long) trying to maintain their relationship after she moves to San Francisco while he stays behind in New York City. With Christina Applegate, Ron Livingston and Kelli Garner.
Machete (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity and pervasive graphic violence) Revenge thriller about a renegade hit man (Danny Trejo) who embarks on a bloody rampage after being fleeced by a drug kingpin (Steven Seagal) and double-crossed by the Texas businessman (Jeff Fahey) who hired him to assassinate a Senator (Robert De Niro) sending illegal aliens back to Mexico. With Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Cheech Marin.
The Winning Season (PG-13 for profanity, sexual references, alcohol abuse, smoking and mature themes) Sports comedy about a divorced, deadbeat dad (Sam Rockwell) who makes the most of a shot at redemption after taking a job coaching a girls’ high school basketball team whose members give him some good advice about how to relate to his estranged teenaged daughter (Shana Dowdeswell). Cast includes Emma Roberts, Shareeka Epps, Mara Rooney and Rob Corddry.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Clear Blue Tuesday (Unrated) Transcendental rock musical examines the fallout of 9/11 visited upon eleven New Yorkers in the first seven years following the
terrorist attack. Ensemble cast includes Becca Ayers, Julie Danao, Vedant Gokhale, Erin Hill, Cassandra Kubinski, Brother Love, Greg Naughton, Jan O’Dell, Jeremy Schonfeld and Asa Somers.
Etienne! (Unrated) Unlikely-buddy, road comedy about a pet owner (Richard Vallejos) who decides to take his hamster on a sightseeing bicycle trip after learning that the critter is terminally-ill with cancer. With Jeremiah Turner, David Fine and Courtney Halverson.
Last Train Home (Unrated) Melancholy documentary highlights how modernization has contributed to the disintegration of the Chinese family by chronicling the arduous annual migration home undertaken by 130 million peasants just to celebrate the New Year. (In Mandarin with subtitles)
Mesrine: Killer Instinct (Unrated) Bio-pic revisiting the exploits of France’s Public Enemy #1 Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) and sidekick Jeanne Schneider (Cecile de France), vicious mobsters dubbed the French Bonnie and Clyde by the gendarmes during their globetrotting reign of terror over the Sixties and Seventies. (In French with subtitles)
My Dog Tulip (Unrated) Adult-oriented animated feature based on J.R. Ackerley’s 1956 memoir about the enduring friendship forged between a lonely, British gentleman (Christopher Plummer) and the German shepherd whose life he saved. Voice cast includes Lynn Redgrave, Isabella Rossellini and Brian Murray.
Prince of Broadway (Unrated) Immigration drama revolving around a couple of struggling street hustlers, an African (Prince Adu), and an Arab (Karren Karagulian), selling counterfeit merchandise in midtown Manhattan whose lives are complicated when the Ghanaian’s baby-mama (Kat Sanchez) suddenly shows up, dumps an infant in his lap (Aiden Noesi), and takes off.
White Wedding (Unrated) It’s The Hangover, South African style, in this road comedy about a groom (Kenneth Nkosi) and a best man (Rapulana Seiphemo) who get waylaid en route to the wedding while driving from Durban to Cape Town. With Grant Swanby, Jodie Whittaker and Zandile Msutwana, as the blushing bride. (In Zulu, Afrikaans, English and Xhosa)
A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (R for violence) Chinese-language remake of the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple, overhauled as a screwball comedy about a noodle shop owner (Ni Dahong) whose plans to murder his adulterous wife (Yan Ni) and her lover (Xiao Shen-Yang) go terribly awry. (In Mandarin with subtitles)