World War Z, directed by Marc Forster (PG-13, 115 minutes)
Based on the best-selling 2006 apocalyptic novel by Max Brooks, World War Z stars Brad Pitt as former United Nations field agent employee Gerry Lane, who travels the world in a race to stop a zombie invasion that’s overpowering armies and governments and threatens to put an end to mankind as we know it.
Your reaction to the film, which has an explosive opening followed by alternating scenes of intense action and less compelling interludes, will have a lot to do with how you feel about zombies. They certainly have their fans (see AMC’s The Walking Dead, and next season’s True Blood on HBO appears to be transforming infected vampires into zombie-like creatures) as well as those of us who are getting pretty tired of them. But for the nonzombie fans in our midst (and viewers who prefer films that follow some degree of logic), at least we’ve got MireilleEnos (The Killing) and Pitt to keep us company. With James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, David Morse; directed by Marc Forster.
The Blu-ray combo and Blu-ray 3-D combo with an unrated cut include featurettes on the making of the film, the blending of practical and digital effects, the alleged science behind the zombie outbreak and more. The film is also available as a single-disc DVD.
The East (PG-13, 116 minutes) A suspenseful espionage thriller in which undercover investigator Sarah Moss (played with authority by Brit Marling) finds her interpretation of morality changing when she infiltrates the East, a radical eco-activist collective, led by charismatic Benji (Alexander Skarsgard), thought to be responsible for aggressively targeting CEOs of major corporations. With Ellen Page; directed by Zal Batmangli.
Disconnect (R, 115 minutes) Director Henry Alex Rubin (Murderball) explores the destructive potential of the Internet - not on people making bad decisions - in this absorbing ensemble drama that follows hard-working lawyer Rich Boyd (Jason Bateman) who can’t find the time to communicate with his family; a couple (Alexander Skarsgard again, plus Paula Patton) whose marriage disintegrates when their secrets are exposed online; a widowed ex-cop with a mischievous son who cyber-bullies a classmate; and an ambitious journalist who goes after a career-making story about a teen who performs on an adult-only site. With Hope Davis, Michael Nyqvist.
Roadie (R, 95 minutes) A 2011 character study, laden with 1970s-era hard rock, Roadie stars Ron Eldard as Jimmy, who has been fired from a 20-year job as roadie for the band Blue Oyster Cult. Desperate and out of money, he heads home to Queens to visit his mother, where a long, rough night of partying with high school pals makes it clear that some things never change. Critics agree that the material is lightweight but Eldard’s performance makes broken-down, vulnerable loser Jimmy a character worth watching. With Bobby Cannavale, Jill Hennessy; directed by Michael Cuesta.
Slacker (unrated, 100 minutes) This 1991 indie groundbreaker, directed by Richard Linklater and now available on Blu-ray, takes a 24-hour look at an Austin, Texas, subculture populated by eccentric and over-educated young people. Shooting on 16mm on a budget of $3,000, Linklater and his crew of friends eschew anything close to a traditional plot in order to create a funny, unique film about 100 compelling characters who represent a generation of aggressive nonparticipants.
The Bling Ring (R, 90 minutes) Just for fun, three teenagers (Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga) obsessed with luxury-brand fashion and big-name fame burglarize the houses of Los Angeles celebrities to steal Chanel apparel, Louboutin shoes, jewelry and money.But what starts out as a risky pastime eventually gets out of control in this intriguing amoral tale of the fake culture of celebrity obsession. Directed by Sophia Coppola and based on a true story of teenagers who robbed the homes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
Augustine (unrated, 102 minutes) In this subdued, moody psycho-sexual drama set in Belle Epoque Paris, 19-year-old kitchen maid Augustine (well played by singer-turned-actress Soko) suffers an orgasmic seizure that leaves her with a drooping eye and partial numbness on her right side.
Sent to an all-female psychiatric hospital specializing in the treatment of then-fashionable ailment of hysteria, distraught Augustine captures the attention of neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (Vincent Lindon), a mentor of Sigmund Freud. She becomes his principal subject and a leading example of his diagnostic and treatment skills, resulting in the lines between doctor and patient becoming blurred with sexual tension. Directed by Alice Winocour. Subtitled.
MovieStyle, Pages 33 on 09/20/2013
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