Sequels lead remakes, franchises in dominating summer cinema
There's a lot of No. 2 coming to local movie screens this summer.
"Despicable Me 2." "Grown-Ups 2." "RED 2," "Smurfs 2," "2 Guns" and so on.
Technically speaking, "Star Trek Into Darkness" qualifies as a "Star Trek 2" in J.J. Abrams' rebooted science-fiction franchise. (The title was already taken by "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.")
Even the upcoming sequel "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" could have been shortened to "Percy Jackson 2." The same goes for "300: Rise of an Empire." But perhaps "300 2" would have been 2 confusing.
The annual avalanche of sequels, remakes, reboots and franchise fodder proves once again that Hollywood plays it safe in the summer by counting on the tried and true.
We're already up to "The Hangover 3" and "Fast and Furious 6." Plus, we have another Superman origin movie titled "Man of Steel," filmed in part in the suburbs. (Are we going to get reboots of Superman and Spider-Man every two to three years or what?)
Yet, we have a few bright spots of ingenuity and creativity on the summer docket. We can look forward to more than a dozen documentaries, along with some intelligent-sounding works of science fiction.
So here comes the 33rd annual Daily Herald Guide to the Summer Movies, a listing of every film confirmed to open in the area as of this writing. (Studio executives change release dates the way politicians change positions. So keep reading Time out! for updates.)
When you're done with this, the only question you'll need to answer will be obvious: When you go to a movie, will it be 2-D? Or not 2-D?
"The Great Gatsby" — Baz Luhrmann brings his hyper-visual stylings to F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic story about a would-be writer (Tobey Maguire) who moves next door to the wealthy and mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) in 1922 New York. With Carey Mulligan as Daisy. It has to be better than Jack Clayton's anemic 1974 adaptation with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
"In the House" — François Ozon directs a dramatic thriller about 16-year-old Claude (Ernst Unhauer), who infiltrates the family of his classmate (Bastien Ughetto) and writes about them in essays that blur reality with fiction for his hard-to-impress literature teacher (Fabrice Luchini).
"Love is All You Need" — Erstwhile 007 Pierce Brosnan plays a lonely, middle-aged widower and estranged single father in Susanne Bier's romantic comedy with a bittersweet twist. He falls for Trine Dyrholm's Danish hairdresser, suffering from breast cancer.
"Something in the Air" — Olivier Assayas directs a semi-autobiographical reflection on adolescent life in France during the early 1970s. It focuses on Gilles, a high school student struggling to find a balance between his radical beliefs and his desire to be an artist and filmmaker.
"Peeples" — Tina Gordon Chism writes and directs a Tyler Perry production about a regular guy (Craig Robinson) who invades an upper-class family when seeking the hand of the lovely Grace Peeples (Kerry Washington).
"Star Trek Into Darkness" — Young Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) gets his budding leadership skills severely tested by a renegade commander threatening interstellar war with a personal touch. Astonishing stunts and spectacular effects highlight J.J. Abrams' phenomenal reboot of the science-fiction series. Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles.
"Almost in Love"— Sam Neave's romantic comedy is shot in two 40-minute continuous takes set 18 months apart. Starring Alex Karpovsky, Alan Cumming and Marjan Neshat.
"Black Rock"— Premiered at last month's Chicago Critics Film Festival. Kate Bosworth and Lake Bell star in a horror survival tale about three best female pals who try to get away from their remote island getaway. Directed by Katie Aselton, who plays one of the potential victims. Video on Demand only. Theatrical release date pending.
"The Iceman"— Chicago's own Michael Shannon stars as real-life contract killer Richard Kuklinski from his early days in the mob until his arrest for the murder of more than 100 men. With James Franco, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta and David Schwimmer.
"Leviathan"— An experimental, virtually wordless, nonlinear documentary about the fishing industry, with tiny, waterproof cameras attached to boats, humans and animals for a variety of perspectives.
"Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's"— Bergdorf Goodman's iconic history becomes the subject of Matthew Miele's documentary about New York's high-fashion hot-spot.
"Sightseers"— Ben Wheatley directs a romantic comedy/road movie about Chris (Steve Oram) who takes his girlfriend Tina (Alice Lowe) on a trip through the British Isles.
"Stories We Tell"— Sarah Polley directs a highly personal, revelationary documentary on her family using multiple perspectives and reinventing the narrative process. It's about 40 percent archival footage, 60 percent re-enacted events. Premiered at last month's Chicago Critics Film Festival.
"The Unspeakable Act"— Inspired by the works of the late Rohmer and Maurice Pialat, critic/blogger Dan Sallitt directs a drama about a charismatic, intelligent adolescent woman whose affections for her older brother spill over into incest.
"Epic"— From the creators of "Ice Age" and "Rio," this computer-animated 3-D tale focuses on a forest battle between the forces of good who fight to preserve the natural world and the evil forces out to destroy it. Voices by Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler and Beyoncé Knowles.
"Fast & Furious 6"— Does anyone care about the plot or characters by now? Really? Amazing martial arts sensation Gina Carano joins original cast members Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in another Justin Lin-directed race thriller, with Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez.
"Frances Ha"— Indie mumblecore cult fave Greta Gerwig stars in Noah Baumbach's comedy about an eternally optimistic New Yorker who never lets her numerous disappointments stop her from looking on the bright side of life.
"The Hangover Part III"— No wedding. No bachelor party. For his second "Hangover" sequel, Todd Phillips is going commando as his characters head out on a road trip to hilarity. Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong and Heather Graham return.
"One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna"— Jeremy Frindel's documentary traces the trek of Jeffrey Kagel, who turned down the lead singer gig for Blue Oyster Cult, sold his possessions and moved to the Himalayas to find peace with a guru.
"Post Tenebras Lux"— Aka "Light After Darkness," Carlos Reygadas' spooky exploration of the human condition, seen through the eyes of an upscale family moving into the Mexican countryside.
"What Maisie Knew"— Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan star in a contemporary re-imagining of Henry James' novel about a 6-year-old girl (Onata Aprile) weathering the emotional storm of her parents' bitter custody fight.
"After Earth"— Remember M. Night Shyamalan? He's back, directing the father/son team of Will Smith and Jaden Smith in a science-fiction thriller about a teenager who must undertake a perilous journey to save his father, stranded on Earth 1,000 years after humanity was forced to flee the planet.
"Before Midnight" — Filmmaker Richard Linklater rejoins cast members/writers Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in their third chapter of their trilogy ("Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset"). Former lovers Jesse and Celine meet once more at a Greek writers convention and discover how children, work, ambition and disappointments have affected their lives.
"The East"— Eco-terrorism is the subject of Zal Batmanglij's drama starring co-writer Brit Marling as a corporate spy sent to infiltrate an anti-corporation cell until she starts to see their point of view. With Ellen Page and Julia Ormond.
"Now You See Me"— Call it a modern Robin Hood movie. The FBI goes after a team of illusionists who pull off daring heists of corrupt businesses during their performances, but they share the spoils with their appreciative audiences. With Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher.
"Shadow Dancer" — An MI5 officer gives single mother Collette McVeigh living in Belfast a choice: go to prison for an aborted IRA bombing or spy on her family. When authorities bust her brothers' secret IRA operation, Collette and her family become targets. The alluring Andrea Riseborough joins Clive Owen and Chicago's own Gillian Anderson.
"The Source Family" — This documentary chronicles the life and times of controversial spiritual leader Father Yod, a visionary health food restaurateur, war hero and judo champion who had 13 wives and fronted the now legendary psych band Ya Ho Wa 13.
"We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" — From Alex Gibney, the guy who gave us the superb doc "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," comes this look at controversial Australian Internet activist Julian Assange, noted for posting top-secret military and political information on his site WikiLeaks.
"Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie" — Believe it or not, I used to be Morton Downey Jr.'s movie critic every Friday when the controversial talk show host was starting out in Chicago radio. This was before he went psycho on television and radio with his controversial confrontational blow-smoke-in-your-face style of discussion hot-button issues. With Pat Buchanan and Chris Elliott.
"The Internship" — Those wild "Wedding Crashers" Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reteam as out-of-work salesmen who can only get a job at a tech firm if they compete for it as interns. With Will Ferrell.
"The Kings of Summer" — Three teenage pals experience a coming-of-age trial when they build their own house in the woods and try to live independently of their parents and society. Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and Nick Robinson star. Premiered at last month's Chicago Critics Film Festival.
"The Purge"— A home invasion tests the strength and courage of a father (Ethan Hawke) to protect his family. There's one catch: The U.S. government allows 12 hours in which citizens can commit any crime without fear of capture or punishment. No cops. No doctors. No pity?
"Syrup" — A man creates a brilliant new product that will assure his fortune, if he can persuade his boss to market it. He doesn't figure on the high cost of his humanity in the deal. With "Twilight" star Kellen Lutz, Amber Heard, Rachel Dratch and Brittany Snow.
"This is the End"— Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg direct a comic thriller about six pals whose friendship gets tested after catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles, putting them into severe survival mode. Rogen, Jason Segal, Emma Watson, James Franco and Paul Rudd star.
"Dirty Wars"— Richard Rowley's documentary uses the work of the Nation's investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill to create a virtual thriller set in a remote corner of Afghanistan.
"Fill the Void" — When a woman dies during childbirth, her 18-year-old younger sister Shira (Hadas Yaron) is expected to marry her widowed brother-in-law so that he will keep his child in the country for the sake of the family's wishes.
"Man of Steel"— The newest Superman reboot was filmed in Naperville, Plano, Sugar Grove, Oswego, Chicago and other places in Canada. It falls to a superpowered alien lad (Henry Cavill as an adult) to save Earth from annihilation after his adopted human dad (Kevin Costner) tells him he's just a little bit different from the other boys. Directed by Zack "Dawn of the Dead" Snyder. Amy Adams, Chicago's Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe and Laurence Fishburne co-star.
"Pandora's Promise"— Three years in the making, Robert Stone's documentary examines the energy needs of future generations and wonders if the best and most eco-friendly answer might just be ... nuclear power.
"Stuck in Love"— A comic drama about a novelist (Greg Kinnear) who obsesses over how his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly) dumped him. Meanwhile his fantasy writer son (Nat Wolff) and novelist daughter (Lily Collins) have their own relationship issues to handle.
"Augustine" — Paralyzed by a seizure, Augustine goes to an all-female psychiatric hospital specializing in detecting the womanly phenomenon of "hysteria." A 27-year-old singer-turned-actress named Soko creates a breakout performance as the 19-year-old illiterate kitchen maid in Alice Winocour's drama.
"The Bling Ring" — Sofia Coppola directs the fact-based tale of fashion- and celebrity-obsessed teens who burglarize celebrities' L.A. homes, after tracking their targets' locations online. Starring Emma Watson, Leslie Mann and real-life Bling Ring victim Paris Hilton.
"A Highjacking" — Somali pirates hijack the cargo ship MV Rozen in the Indian Ocean. A psychological drama unfolds between the CEO of the shipping company and the pirates, demanding $1 million in ransom for the ship and crew.
"Monsters University" — Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) couldn't stand each other at first. This CGI comedy shows how they became buds long before they met Boo in "Monsters, Inc."
"Much Ado About Nothing"— Is there no end to Joss Whedon's wonderfulness? He directs a modern update of the Bard's classic romantic comedy starring Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof as Shakespeare's sparring lovers. Nathan Fillion co-stars. The screenplay is from the original text.
"World War Z"— If Brad Pitt's zombie apocalypse thriller has half the impact of its eye-grabbing poster art (frantic humans scrambling to reach a hovering rescue helicopter), we're in for a good time. Pitt plays a journalist covering the plague of the undead. Directed by Marc "Quantum of Solace" Forster.
"The Heat"— A buddy comedy of sorts. An uptight FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) gets paired with a feisty Boston cop (Plainfield's Melissa McCarthy) to take down another one of those "ruthless" drug lords who apparently have lost their ruth.
"100 Bloody Acres" — They're not psycho killers. They're just small business operators. Who use human flesh as their "secret ingredient" processed through their meat grinder. A horror tale no doubt inspired by "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
"White House Down"— Also referred to as "the instant remake of last month's 'Olympus Has Fallen.'" Action director Roland "Godzilla" Emmerich assaults the president's home with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx as the good guys defending the first family home. DeKalb actor Richard Jenkins co-stars.
"Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me" — A documentary about the legendary Memphis band Big Star, a group that never earned mainstream success, but its three albums have become critically lauded touchstones of rock music.
"Despicable Me 2" — The 2010 original animated comedy was pretty thin, even though it became the 10th highest grossing animated feature in Hollywood history. Steve Carell returns as Gru, joined by Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand and the omnipresent Ken Jeong.
"Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain"— Comedian Kevin Hart stars in the doc version of his "Let Me Explain" concert in front of a sold-out, 2012 Madison Square Garden performance.
"The Lone Ranger" — Maybe Gore Verbinski's take on the classic western vigilante will finally erase the fetid memory of 1981's "Legend of the Lone Ranger" or the WB's misguided 2003 TV adaptation. Armie Hammer plays Lone with Johnny Depp as his loyal sidekick Tonto. Just the casting alone makes it a wanna-see event.
"Hammer of the Gods" — A young Viking warrior, Steinar (Charlie Bewley), is sent by his father the king on a quest to find his estranged brother, an epic journey that sees Steinar emerge as the man his father wants him to be: a ruthless and unforgiving successor to his throne.
"I'm So Excited"— Passengers aboard Peninsula Flight 2549 flying to Mexico City confront their own mortality when a technical failure threatens to crash the jet in Pedro Almodovar's comedy. It's up to the flight attendants and chief steward to make things comfortable for the passengers in what might be their final moments.
"The Wall" — When a mysterious, invisible wall suddenly surrounds the countryside, a woman and her dog become trapped in a world ruled by Mother Nature.
"The Way, Way Back"— A summer coming-of-age comedy about a teenager (Liam James) who finds a friend in a Water Wizz water park manager (Sam Rockwell) where he's arrived for a vacation with his mom (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend (Steve Carell) and his strange daughter (Zoe Levin). With the always watchable Allison Janney.
"Dealing With Idiots" — Jeff Garlin directs his own comedy movie! And it stars Fred Willard, Christopher Guest and Naperville's Bob Odenkirk.
"Grown Ups 2" — Dennis Dugan, one of the most talent-challenged directors in Hollywood, returns for the sequel to his comedy about childhood friends reassembling for a reunion. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade are back for more lowbrow shenanigans.
"The Hunt" — An untruthful remark throws a small community into a collective state of hysteria as Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a highly regarded schoolteacher, must fight for his dignity, respect and job in the face of a full-blown witch hunt.
"Pacific Rim"— The trailers make this look like Guillermo del Toro's take on Michael Bay's "Transformers," or more like Chicago director Stuart Gordon's 1989 sci-fi action film "Robot Jox." A washed-up pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and a trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) in a giant robotic fighter are the only hope to save mankind from monstrous, sushi-looking creatures.
"Turbo"— Never judge an animated movie by the size of its hero. A snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) dreams of becoming the fastest snail alive! Co-starring Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph and the omnipresent Ken Jeong.
"Blackfish" — Never-before-seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts are part of this documentary on orcas, the 8,000-pound "killer whales" performing at amusement parks. The movie investigates the orcas' cruel treatment in captivity and the growing disillusionment of workers.
"The Conjuring"— The supposedly true story of husband-and-wife paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) on the trail of an entity haunting a farmhouse. Call it "The Harrisville Horror."
"Girl Most Likely" — Kristen Wiig stars in this coming-of-middle-age comedy about a playwright who fakes her own suicide and winds up with her gambling-addicted mother (Annette Bening) to deal with. Matt Dillon and Natasha Lyonne co-star.
"Only God Forgives" — Ryan Gosling plays a Bangkok drug kingpin out to avenge the murder of his brother. But he has this psycho cop (Luke Evans) breathing down his neck at every turn. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who directed Gosling in the excellent "Drive."
"R.I.P.D." — Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds star as two cosmic cops committed to capturing caustic criminals cleverly camouflaged as common folk when they are in fact malevolent supernatural entities. With Kevin Bacon and Mary-Louise Parker.
"RED 2" — A sequel to the action comedy about retired secret agents pulled back into action. John Malkovich and Bruce Willis must stop a madman from detonating a nuclear bomb. But its flaky designer (Anthony Hopkins) doesn't remember much about making the device. With Helen Mirren.
"Fruitvale Station" — The true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of Dec. 31, 2008, and wants to start on his resolutions to be a better son, a better partner to his girlfriend and a better father. Then police at the Fruitvale BART station shoot him in the back, killing him and outraging Americans everywhere. Michael B. Jordan plays Oscar. Octavia Spencer plays his mom.
"The Wolverine" — Wolverine's first solo movie away from the "X-Men" franchise. Hugh Jackman returns as the sharp-edged mutant fighting ninjas in Japan.
"Smurfs 2" — Katy Perry is the alluring Smurfette. Neil Patrick Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Hank Azaria, George Lopez, Christina Ricci and the late Jonathan Winters star in this computer-animated comedy sequel. Be ready for "Smurfs 3" coming in 2015.
"Blue Jasmine" — Woody Allen's next comedy (under wraps, of course) stars Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay. Uh,Andrew Dice Clay???
"300: Rise of an Empire" — Yes, we know that all 300 Spartans in Zack Snyder's stylish "300" died at the end of the movie. But there's still this sequel from Noam Murro starring Sullivan Stapleton as the Greek general leading the naval charge against his country's enemies. The fetching Eva Green co-stars.
"2 Guns" — There are these corrupt undercover cops, see? One is DEA and one is U.S. Navy, see? And each corrupt cop doesn't know the other corrupt cop has been assigned to investigate him, see? It's a drama/mystery/action/adventure, see? Starring Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington and Bill Paxton. See?
"Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" — For viewers who couldn't get enough of the dumbness of "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson reprise their roles as Greek demigods stuck in the bodies of modern adolescents.
"Elysium" — The fight for affordable health care gets examined in this futuristic thriller about a guy named Max (Matt Damon) who opposes a hard line government secretary (Jodie Foster) in a time when the Have-Everythingers live in a luxurious space station while the Have-Nothingers stay trapped on a crime-infested, poverty-stricken Earth.
"I Give It a Year" — No one — not family members, friends and even the minister who marries them — is convinced that Nat (Rose Byrne) and struggling novelist Josh (Rafe Spall) can last as married folks, despite being deliriously happy while dating. Josh's ex-girlfriend Chloe (Anna Faris) and Nat's handsome client Guy (Simon Baker) offer tempting distractions.
"In a World ..." — Lake Bell writes, directs and stars in the story of an underachieving voice coach whose father — the king of movie trailer voice-overs — pushes her to become a voice-over star like him. Nick Offerman, Geena Davis and Jeff Garlin co-star.
"Planes" — Walt Disney gave us "Cars." Now it's "Planes" starring the voice of Dane Cook as a vertically challenged airplane with dreams of becoming an air racer.
"Prince Avalanche" — David Gordon Green's movie stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch in an offbeat comedy about two men painting traffic lines on a desolate country highway that's been ravaged by wildfire. Adapted from the Icelandic film "Either Way."
"The Spectacular Now" — Charming high school senior Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) falls in love with "the good girl" Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley). What starts as an unlikely romance becomes a straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth, written by Scott and Michael (just Scott and Michael) those clever guys who gave us "500 Days of Summer." Premiered at last month's Chicago Critics Film Festival.
"Kick-Ass 2" — Chloë Grace Moretz returns as firecracker crime-fighter Hit-Girl with Aaron Johnson as the costumed hero. Nicolas Cage also makes a remarkable comeback (killed in the first movie, so he might be a flashback). Jim Carrey stars as Colonel Stars and Stripes.
"Paranoia" — In this high-stakes thriller, regular guy Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) tries to get ahead in his entry-level job at Wyatt Corporation, only to become a pawn of his ruthless CEO (Gary Oldman) out to crush his corporate rival (Harrison Ford).
"Drinking Buddies" — Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) work together at a craft brewery. Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick). And Jill wants to know if Luke is ready to talk about marriage. The answer to that question becomes crystal clear when Luke and Kate unexpectedly find themselves alone for a weekend. Yikes! Filmed in Chicago at the Revolution Brewery and other locations.
"The Grandmaster" — Wong Kar Wai's epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai). "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" star Ziyi Zhang co-stars.
"Haute Cuisine" — Based on the extraordinary true story of President Francois Mitterand's private cook Hortense (Catherine Frot), who becomes a political target.
"The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" — Teenager Clary Fray (Lily Collins) discovers she's the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect the world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headey), Clary joins a group of Shadowhunters fighting in Downworld, an alternate universe filled with deadly creatures.
"The World's End" — Director Edgar Wright reunites with his "Shaun of the Dead" (2004) and "Hot Fuzz" (2007) actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. After attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends come together when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again.
"You're Next" — Allegedly, this horror film puts a fresh twist on the home invasion genre. When axe-wielding killers come into the Davison household, they have no idea one of the family members is a far more lethal assailant than they. With "The Re-Animator" star Barbara Crampton. Directed by Adam Wingard.
"Closed Circuit" — This international thriller concerns two ex-lovers, Martin (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall), whose loyalties are tested and their lives at risk when they join the defense team in a terrorism trial.
"Getaway" — When his wife is kidnapped, race car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) gets thrust into a do-or-die mission behind the wheel with a young hacker (Selena Gomez). To save his wife, he must follow the orders of a mysterious man (Jon Voight) who's watching his every move.
"One Direction: This is Us" — The documentary feature about the band One Direction, discovered by Simon Cowell on the U.K.'s "The X Factor" in 2010.
"Satanic" — Haley Bennett plays a college co-ed who stays on campus over Thanksgiving break. Bad move.
"Cuban Fury" — James Griffiths directs a comedy about a former salsa prodigy attempting a big comeback after his career was ruined by a rival terpsichorean. Starring Chris O'Dowd, Rashida Jones and Ian McShane.
"Europa Report" — When probes suggest an ocean exists underneath the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, a private company sends six astronauts to confirm the data. When things go wrong, they're trapped and must survive a discovery more profound than they ever imagined.
"Here Comes the Devil" — A couple's preteen son and daughter inexplicably reappear after being lost overnight on a desolate mountainside. Then, mom and dad begin to realize that their children may have fallen prey to some dark, unstoppable evil that came home with them.
"Passion" — Brian DePalma returns to the mystery/suspense field to direct a thriller about a no-nonsense businesswoman who plots revenge against her boss and her mentor for stealing her ideas. Sounds like a concept inspired by "Dilbert."
"Populaire"— A woman named Rose has her unexciting 1958 life changed when she discovers a talent for speed typing and decides to compete for a coveted secretarial position in Normandy. With Deborah Francois and "The Artist" star Berenice Bejo.
"The To-Do List" — A 1993 valedictorian Brandy Klark (Rachel Bilson) creates a to-do list of things to accomplish before going to college, among them to become sexually experienced. With Andy Samberg and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
"Unfinished Song"— Terrence Stamp plays a crusty old senior whose uninhibited wife (Vanessa Redgrave) likes to sing her heart out with the local choir. When he loses her, it's up to the choir director (Gemma Arterton) to coax him out of his funk.
"V/H/S 2" — Sequel to the low-budget, low-impact horror anthology that offered a mixed bag of quality kills. The press release calls this "the rarest of all tapes: a second generation with no loss of quality!" That might be true, but maybe not in a good way.
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