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New on the big screen in September are several scary flicks, a cute dolphin tale, and James Gandolfini in his final role. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and blu-ray this month. Note that release dates are subject to change.
THE GREEN INFERNO
Rated R for aberrant violence and torture, grisly disturbing images, brief graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use | In Theaters 9/05 | Ok for Kids 18+ | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
You know that saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”? The do-gooders in “The Green Inferno” don’t really understand that concept. Directed, co-written, and produced by Eli Roth (he knows horror, having helmed “Hostel” and “Cabin Fever”), this movie follows a group of student activists who travel from New York City to the Amazon to save the rainforest.
But things take a turn for the worse when the group crashes in the jungle and discovers they’re not alone. Filmed in the lush landscape of Peru, this movie will leave even diehard horror fans stumbling out of the theater!
Identical twin brothers (both played by Blake Rayne) are separated at birth during the Great Depression. Their parents (Brian Geraghty, Amanda Crew) can’t afford to raise both, so one is adopted by a loving family. Despite their different upbringings, the boys’ shared passion for music causes their lives to unknowingly intersect as they experience a powerful and mysterious connection often felt by twins.
One of the boys becomes famous rock legend Drexel Hemsley, while Ryan Wade struggles to find balance between his love for music and trying to please his evangelist father (Ray Liotta) and devoted mother (Ashley Judd), who have very different plans for his life in the ministry. Erin Cottrell, Seth Green, and Joe Pantoliano also star in this tale of love, hope, and redemption, which features 20+ original songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s with the soundtrack written and produced by Jerry Marcellino (who produced tunes by Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Supremes and Lionel Richie).
DOLPHIN TALE 2
Who doesn’t love dolphins? They’re amazing. This sequel to 2011’s “Dolphin Tale” continues the story of the brave dolphin Winter, whose miraculous rescue and recovery, thanks to a groundbreaking prosthetic tail, made her a symbol of hope and perseverance to people around the world.
The story picks up several years after young Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) and the Clearwater Marine Hospital team, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick, Jr.), rescued Winter. Now her surrogate mother has passed away, but USDA regulations require that the social mammals be paired with other dolphins. Will the team find Winter a new pal before they lose her to another aquarium? This sweet story about faith, hope and dolphins is directed by Charles Martin Smith and also stars Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Kris Kristofferson.
Not yet rated; Likely R | In Theaters 9/12 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | TheDrop-Movie.com
This haunting crime drama boasts an impressive cast and crew. Directed by Michaël R. Roskam, the Oscar-nominated director of “Bullhead,” and based on a screenplay by Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone”), the story follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters – “money drops” – in the underworld of Brooklyn bars.
Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini in his final film), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and embroiled in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost. Also stars Noomi Rapace, Ann Dowd, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz and James Frecheville.
NO GOOD DEED
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, menace, terror and for language | In Theaters 9/12 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels | Facebook
This thriller follows Terri (Taraji P. Henson), a devoted wife and mother of two whose life takes a dramatic turn when her home and children are threatened by Colin (Idris Elba), a charming stranger who smooth-talks his way into her house, claiming car trouble. (Don’t ever let anyone into the house! Say you’ll make the call for them!)
The unexpected invitation leaves her and her family terrorized and fighting for survival. This is one of those PG-13 movies that probably should have been rated R. Directed by Sam Miller, who helmed season two of Elba’s top-notch BBC show “Luther,” this movie also stars Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo and Henry Simmons.
Rated R for language throughout, drug use, graphic nudity, and sexual content | In Theaters 9/12 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Reel Preview: 2 of 5 Reels | IMDB
24 hours ago, Nardo (Thomas Middleditch) was standing at the altar next to the love of his life. Now he’s shivering in just a pair of gold leggings in the Mexican desert, and the only men who can save him are his best friends (TJ Miller, Adam Pally). Writer Scot Armstrong (“Road Trip,” “Old School” and “The Hangover: Part II”) makes his directorial debut in a comedy that follows a rescue by the guys you call when you’ve run out of all other options.
A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES
Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images, language and brief nudity | In Theaters 9/19 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | AWalkAmongtheTombstones.net | Facebook | Twitter | Google+
Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling mystery novels, “A Walk Among the Tombstones” stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and murdered his wife, the PI learns this isn’t the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime.
Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again. Directed by Scott Frank, this thriller also stars Boyd Holbrook, Astro and Sebastian Roche.
THE MAZE RUNNER
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images | In Theaters 9/19 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | TheMazeRunnermovie.com | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr
When Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape.
Based on the best-selling novel by James Dashner, this movie is directed by Wes Ball and also stars Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Aml Ameen. With the hush-hush approach to making the film, Twentieth Century Fox is following the blueprint that turned 2012’s “Chronicle” into a breakout hit.
Not yet rated | In Theaters 9/19 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | IMDB
Inspired by a true story, “Pride” is set in the summer of 1984. Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families.
Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all. Directed by Matthew Warchus, this movie stars Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton.
THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, worn out by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and assorted spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
Confronting their history and frayed relationships, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotional ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption. Directed by Shawn Levy, the all-star cast includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Abigail Spencer, Dax Shepard and Jane Fonda.
When his best friend and podcast co-host goes missing in the backwoods of Canada, a young guy joins forces with his friend’s girlfriend to search for him. It’s another twisted tale from the mysterious mind of Kevin Smith, who also directs. Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, and Justin Long star.
From the creators of “Coraline” and “ParaNorman” comes this cute animated movie about a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who’ve lovingly raised an orphaned boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge.
When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley), dreams up a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he teams up with fabulously feisty Winnifred (Elle Fanning). Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family. Directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, the voice cast also includes Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Tracy Morgan Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY
Not yet rated | In Theaters 9/26 | Ok for Kids 16+ | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | EleanorRigby-movie.com
Once happily married, Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) suddenly find themselves as strangers longing to understand each other in the wake of tragedy. The film explores the couple’s story as they try to reclaim the life and love they once knew and pick up the pieces of a past that may be too far gone. Screened at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival as two films, director Ned Benson combined the two into this movie, which screened at Cannes this year. Also stars Viola Davis, Ryan Eggold, Bill Hader, Ciaran Hinds and William Hurt.
If anyone can recapture the magic of the 1980s TV show starring Edward Woodward as a vigilante out for justice, it’s Denzel Washington and his “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua. Washington plays Robert McCall, a man with a mysterious past intent on living a quiet, peaceful life. But when he meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by.
Armed with special skills and good contacts, McCall comes out of retirement to seek justice. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, The Equalizer is ready to help. Also stars Marton Csokas, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo and Haley Bennett.
PG-13 for thematic elements, including some substance abuse, smoking and rude references | In Theaters 9/26 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels | The Song | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram
“The Song” follows aspiring singer-songwriter Jed King (Alan Powell) as he struggles to catch a break and escape the shadow of his father, a country music legend. After reluctantly accepting a gig at a local vineyard harvest festival, Jed is love-struck by the vineyard owner’s daughter, Rose (Ali Faulkner), and romance blooms.
Soon after their wedding, Jed writes Rose “The Song,” which becomes a breakout hit. Thrust into a life of stardom and temptation in the form of fellow performer Shelby Bale (Caitlin Nicol-Thomas), Jed’s marriage begins to fall apart. Directed by Richard Ramsey, “The Song” blends a compelling biblical narrative (it’s based on the Song of Solomon) with a modern-day love story.
NEW ON DVD | BLU-RAY:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and sexual references | On DVD/Blu-ray/Digital 9/02 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
It’s the annual NFL Draft day, and Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide whether to go with his gut or choose a player based on what everyone else is telling him. A solid sports movie that also stars Jennifer Garner, Tom Welling, Denis Leary and Frank Langella. Read Jane’s full review here.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language | On DVD/Blu-ray/Digital 9/16 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Reel Review: 5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, as the two met in a cancer support group. Josh Boone directs this romantic drama based on the book by John Green. Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff and Laura Dern co-star. Read Jane’s full review here.
PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence | On DVD/Blu-ray/Digital 9/16 | Ok for kids 13+ | Reel Review: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
He’s baaaaccckkk. Directed by Gareth Edwards, this reboot of the Godzilla franchise retells the monster’s origin in modern times, but in a style that’s faithful to the Toho series of Godzilla films. You know the story … the world’s most famous monster, malevolent creatures, humanity’s scientific arrogance … all of which threaten our very existence. But this is no cheesy Japanese movie. The cast includes Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and David Strathairn. More Shakespeare than Godzilla, which is why it’s awesome. Read Jane’s review here.
THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY
Not Rated | On DVD/Blu-ray 9/16 | Ok for kids 8+ | Reel Review: 5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
For his latest PBS project, Ken Burns brings us “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” which tells the story of Teddy, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, stretching from Teddy’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962. Prior to the DVD/Blu-ray release, the 14-hour film will debut on Sept. 14 and air for seven straight nights in two-hour bursts. It features the voices of Meryl Streep as Eleanor, Edward Herrmann as Franklin, and Paul Giamatti as Teddy. Don’t miss it.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.