Week of Friday September 26th 2014
The Calling (2014) C-108min. D: Jason Stone. Susan Sarandon, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, Donald Sutherland. A detective inspector who lives with her mother enjoys a quiet home life, until she chances onto a gruesome crime scene at a neighbor’s house. A religious madman may be the serial killer responsible. Based on the 2008 mystery by Inger Ash Wolfe (available at the SFe Public Library). [R]
David Cross: Bigger & Blackerer (2010) C-90min. D: Lance Bangs. Stand-up comedy with Cross (“Duane Bailey” on Modern Family and “Tobias Funke” on Arrested Development). [NR]
David Cross: Let America Laugh (2003) C-93min. D: Lance Bangs. A new set of stand-up routines. [NR]
Ida (2013-Polish-Danish) B&W-80min. D,CoSc: Pawel Pawlikowski. As she’s about to take her vows, a young Catholic novitiate finds out she really Jewish. What to do? A Sundance and Telluride favorite, austerely and sincerely filmed. [NR]
Ilo Ilo (2014-Singapore) C-99min. D,Sc: Anthony Chen. Yeo Yann Yann. Day by day account of a family set during the 1997 Asian financial meltdown. A major hit at Cannes. [NR]
Last of the Unjust (2013-France) C/B&W-220min. (two discs) D: Claude Lanzmann. The director of Shoah (1985) returns to the subject of the Holocaust, this time focusing on Benjamin Murmelstein, the only Jewish Elder not to have died in WW2, and his memories of the Ghetto and his observations on Adolph Eichmann. [NR]
Moscow on the Hudson (1984) C-117min. D,CoSc: Paul Mazursky. Robin Williams. Fresh new DVD copies. [R]
Neighbors (2014) C-96min. D: Nicholas Stoller. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Lisa Kudrow, Andy Samberg. A happily married suburban couple with a new baby girl is horrified when a raucous frat house moves in next door. Raunchy comedy ensues as attempts to get along fade quickly, leading to an all-out neighborhood war. [R]
Paris-Manhattan (2012-France) C-77min. D,Sc: Sophie Lellouche. Alice Taglioni, Patrick Bruel. Woody Allen-esque French comedy about a young Jewish pharmacist who is obsessed with Woody Allen, much to the consternation of her frustrated suitor. Rom-com is the writer-director’s first feature film. [NR]
The Rover (2014-Australia) C-102min. D,Sc: David Michôd. Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson. A decade after world collapse, a grizzled loner crosses the Outback searching for the only thing that matters to him, lately stolen by a band of thieves. Something of a small-scale Mad Max. The title is a clue to what he’s after, in a way. [R]
The Signal (2014) C-97min. D,CoSc: William Eubank. Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Laurence Fishburne. Sci-fi about two buddies searching out a remote reclusive computer genius, only to stumble into a whole mess of survival. What’s really going on is the big secret in the movie, so no spoilers here. [PG-13]
Tales From the Script (2009) C-105min. D: Peter Hanson. Shane Black, John Carpenter, Frank Darabont, William Goldman, Paul Schrader et al. Documentary about the art and the craft of screenwriting, told by the successful writers themselves, some 50 of them, many name-brand. Based on the best-selling non-fiction book co-written by the director (available at the SFe Public Library). [NR]
Very Good Girls (2012) C-91min. D,Sc: Naomi Foner. Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Ellen Barkin, Richard Dreyfuss, Demi Moore. Two best friends who have just graduated from high school make a pact to lose their virginity before summer’s end. Unfortunately, each has set her sights on the same guy. [NR]
We Are the Best! (2013-Sweden-Denmark) C-102min. D,Sc: Lukas Moodysson. In 1980s Stockholm, three misfit 13-year-old girls decide to form a punk band, despite the fact that they have no instruments and no apparent musical ability. An affectionate and optimistic movie, co-produced by Zentropa Films (owned by Lars von Trier!). [NR]
The Signal (2014)
New TV series and mysteries:
Hunted (2013-Cinemax) Melissa George as a security operative threatened from within the organization. Written and produced by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files). Season 1, 8 episodes, 2 discs.
Reign (2014-CBS) Mary Queen of Scots gets her own weekly TV show. Season 1, 22 episodes, 5 discs.
Scandal (2014-ABC) Kerry Washington. Season 3, 18 episodes, 5 discs.
Vera (2010-GB) Brenda Blethyn as a Northumberland detective, a loner who takes on the solving of unspeakable crimes using methods of her own. Based on the novels by Ann Cleeves (available at the SFe Public Library). Season 1, 4 separate mysteries (“Hidden Deaths,” “Telling Tales,” “The Crow Trap,” “Little Lazarus”), 4 discs.
Vera (2011-GB) Season 2, 4 mysteries (“The Ghost Position,” “Silent Voices,” “Sanddancer,” “A Certain Samaritan”), 4 discs.
Vera (2013-GB) Season 3, 4 mysteries (“Castles in the Air,” “Poster Child,” “Young Gods,” “Prodigal Son”), 4 discs.