News Column

New DVDs Releases Feature Cusak, Horror

May 23, 2013

Duane Dudek and other reviewers for the Journal Sentinel

May 23--DARK SKIES (Anchor Bay) A suburban family finds itself under siege by some pretty scary stuff -- and discovers it's not by coincidence. Supernatural thriller from the producer of "Paranormal Activity" and "Insidious," with Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, J.K. Simmons. (PG-13; violence, horror, sexual material, langauge, drug use) Not reviewed.

GENERATION UM... (Phase 4) Facing the reality that his life is going nowhere, a guy steals a camera and uses it to get his two girlfriends and himself to face some hard truths. Indie drama with Keanu Reeves, Bojana Novakovic, Adelaide Clemens. (R; sex, drug use, language) Not reviewed.

LORE (Music Box) In the days after the end of World War II, five German children, setting out on foot to their grandmother's home after their Nazi parents disappear, find an unexpected protector in a young Jewish concentration camp survivor. In English and German, with English subtitles. (Not rated; mature themes) Not reviewed.

THE NUMBERS STATION (Image) A spy sent to protect the woman who broadcasts secret messages to agents in the field discovers a greater, darker conspiracy. Thriller with John Cusask, Malin Akerman. (R; violence) Not reviewed.

TOMORROW YOU'RE GONE (Image) A criminal just out of prison has to commit a murder to repay a debt, but has second thoughts when he meets a girl who sees good in him. Crime drama with Stephen Dorff, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Monaghan. (Not rated; violence, sex, language) Not reviewed.

DORFMAN IN LOVE (Virgil) A young woman trying to put her life together juggles potential romance with handling her father, who's decided to move in with her. Indie romantic comedy with Sara Rue, Elliott Gould, Haaz Sleiman. (PG-13; sex, language, brief drug use) Not reviewed.

COMING SOON

JUNE 4

IDENTITY THIEF (Universal), A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (Fox), WARM BODIES (Lionsgate/Summit), ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (Starz/Anchor Bay), THE LAST RIDE (Fox), MENTAL (Universal), THE HORDE (Entertainment One), MOSQUITA Y MARI (Wolfe), THE COMPANY WE KEEP (Entertainment One), SADAKO 3D (Well Go USA)

JUNE 11

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney), HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (Paramount), SNITCH (Summit/Lionsgate), JUST LIKE BEING THERE (Virgil), RING OF FIRE (Gaiam Vivendi/Sonar), KNIFE FIGHT (MPI), FRED WON'T MOVE OUT (Virgil), NINJA MASTERS (Lionsgate), CLIP (Artsploitation/Kino Lorber), MASQUERADE (Inception/CJ)

RECENTLY RELEASED

STAND UP GUYS Al Pacino as an aging bank robber who, upon his release from prison, is greeted by an old pal who's a hit man, played by Christopher Walken -- who's been ordered to bump off his buddy. Geriatric buddy-mobster comedy, with Alan Arkin. (R; sex, violence, drug use) ??1/2

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES A hocus-pocusy date night for teenage witches everywhere. Star-crossed teens -- he's human, she's a witch (they call themselves "casters") -- fall in love in a sleepy Southern town, as her 16th birthday, when she has to choose between the light and dark sides of her powers, looms. Movie based on the popular series of young-adult books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is hobbled by the lack of chemistry between young stars Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich, and a simultaneously confusing and derivative plot. With Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis and Emma Thompson. (PG-13; violence, scary images, some sex) ??

SIDE EFFECTS A young woman with depression issues following her husband's imprisonment for insider trading turns to a new psychologist, whose prescription for a new wonder drug may or may not have some dangerous side effects. Director Steven Soderbergh says this medical thriller will be his final feature film. With Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones. (R; sex, nudity, violence, drug use) Not reviewed.

PARKER This may sound familiar: A tough, smart criminal, turned on by his confederates, comes back from the nearly dead to get what's due to him. Action movie, based on a Donald Westlake novel, with Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez. (R; violence, pervasive language, brief sex, nudity) Not reviewed.

THE LAST STAND Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback vehicle has the Terminator turned small-town sheriff who has to stop a fugitive drug lord from getting through his town to the border -- by any violent, comical means necessary. With Luis Guzman, Johnny Knoxville, Forest Whitaker. (R; pervasive violence, language) Not reviewed.

HATING BREITBART Blogger-activist-provocateur Andrew Breitbart's rise as one of the rock stars of the tea party movement is chronicled in this documentary by Andrew Marcus, Fox Point native and son of Marcus Corp. Chairman Steve Marcus. Breitbart's in-their-face style -- taking on the Democratic establishment and the mainstream media through direct confrontation and his own brand of citizen journalism -- made him a lightning rod for liberals and a hero for some conservatives in the two years before his death this March at the age of 43. The film, however, sheds more sparks than light on his battles, but in an election year when video shot at a candidate fundraiser loomed large, it shows he might have been on to something. R (some language) ??

STRUCK BY LIGHTNING To launch a literary magazine at his high school -- and boost his chances of getting into the college of his dreams -- a cynical student blackmails the school's most popular kids into writing for it. Black comedy written by and starring Chris Colfer, based on his novel. With Rebel Wilson, Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks. (Not rated; language, sex) Not reviewed.

OPEN ROAD A young Brazilian artist on the run finds connections -- and direction -- when she makes friends in a small town. With Camilla Belle, Collin Egglesfield, Andy Garcia, John Savage, Juliette Lewis. (Not rated) Not reviewed.

DARK CIRCLES Sleep-deprived parents of a newborn are driven to the brink by hallucinations that may not be hallucinations after all. Horror movie with Pell James, Johnathon Schaech. (R; violence) Not reviewed.

23RD PSALM: REDEMPTION After being denied parole, a murderer escapes from prison and sets out to take hostage the family of the man -- a police detective turned minister -- who helped convict him. Faith-based drama with Tatyana Ali, Clifton Powell, Jason Burkey, Leslie Mills. (Not rated) Not reviewed.

NIGHTFALL A Hong Kong detective on the trail of a celebrity's murderer stumbles into deception, suspicion and a deep, dark secret. Crime thriller with Simon Yam, Nick Cheung. In Cantonese with English subtitles. (Not rated; violence) Not reviewed.

THE ABCS OF DEATH A grisly, grim and campy trip through the alphabet, with 26 different ways to kill. (Not rated; violence, gore, nudity, language, extremely disturbing images) Not reviewed.

CLOUD ATLAS (Warner) One way to regard this film is as six short stories set from 1849 to a post-apocalyptic Hawaii, with a common thread. But the sprawling, non-sequential time poem shuffles and folds elements of each of these stories together to create a nonlinear leitmotif of recurring thoughts, ideas, dreams, premonitions and moral truths, in which different characters in each story are played by the same actors -- Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant among them. (R; language, violence, nudity, sexuality, drug use) ???

Compiled by Chris Foran.Star ratings are from reviews by film critic Duane Dudek and other reviewers for the Journal Sentinel. For more, see jsonline.com/movies.

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