2011 December Movies

Cook County

Cook County

  • 38%
  • R
  • 93 min
  • Drama

Xander Berkeley, Anson Mount, and Ryan Donowho explode on the screen in this visceral tale about three generations of meth addicts living in the piney woods of East Texas. Living in a small town and amongst a house full of crystal meth abusers, seventeen year-old Abe (Donowho) wrestles to beat an addiction to meth and struggles to protect himself and his young niece from an abusive Uncle Bump (Mount). When Sonny (Berkeley) returns home from prison seeking redemption from his son, Abe, the two must navigate the treacherous waters created by Bump, who will do almost anything to maintain a dangerous lifestyle fueled by crystal meth. The tension and suspense build up to an electrifying ending where harrowing choices are made by all three men leading each of them to a different fate. Unlike any other movie, Cook County unflinchingly tells a raw and real story of rural life where crystal meth dictates the family dynamic.

Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel

Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel

  • 92%
  • R
  • 90 min
  • Documentary

This film tracks the triumphant rise of the true “godfather” of independent filmmaking, Roger Corman. The single most prolific writer-director-producer, Corman financed hundreds of profitable low-budget films and helped launch the careers of Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, and many more. With archival footage of American culture and countercultures from the 1950’s to present day, and dynamic interviews with alumni of Corman’s cutthroat school of filmmaking, Corman’s World takes us back to the days when Corman was King. The film also shows the rise of the recent Corman renaissance featuring Indiewood’s new school of filmmakers - including Quentin Tarantino, Paul W.S. Anderson and Eli Roth. And of course it follows Roger himself as he successfully continues to produce and distribute films outside the studio system the Corman way: fast, cheap and out-of-this-world!

Cut

Cut

    • Unrated
    • 133 min

    A man is willing to sacrifice his body for the sake of the art that feeds his soul in this unusual drama from director Amir Naderi. Shuji (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is an independent filmmaker who is a fervent believer in what he calls "pure cinema," and loathes commercial movies that are made to satisfy the lowest common denominator without engaging the creative spirit. When he isn't trying to put his next project together, Shuji is lecturing passer-bys about important films and hosting screenings of cherished classics on the roof of a building. After Shuji's brother, who helped bankroll his movies, turns up dead, the filmmaker makes a shocking discovery -- his brother borrowed the money from a loan shark, and his failure to pay caused gangsters to murder him. Mobster Masaki (Shun Sugata) tells Shuji it's up to him to pay off the loan; the film buff doesn't have the cash, so instead he arranges for the gangsters to pummel him for the amusement of others for ten days, using his passion for cinema as a distraction to get him through the experience. A collaboration between an Iranian director and a Japanese cast and crew, Cut was an official selection at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Documentary of AKB48: To Be Continued

    Documentary of AKB48: To Be Continued

      • NONE
      • 119 min
      • Documentary

      The new music biopic follows the unstoppable all-female Japanese pop idol group, AKB48, on their incredible rise to fame.

      AKB48 was conceived in 2005 by Yasushi Akimoto, one of Japan’s most respected music producers. Beginning as a small all-girl singing group based in the Akihabara district of Tokyo – the city’s bustling electronics and anime/pop culture shopping Mecca – AKB48 topped Japan’s Oricon music charts with the two best-selling pop singles in 2010 as well as another two singles ranking in the Top 10.

      Dog Jack

      Dog Jack

        • PG-13
        • 113 min
        • Drama

        "Dog Jack" is the story of a slave boy and his dog who escape the master's plantation, join the union army, and have to face their former master on the battlefield. The story is inspired by the historical true-life adventures of the beloved mascot of the Pennsylvania 102nd, who was so prized by his regiment for his skills in battle that he was twice exchanged for a Confederate prisoner of war.

        El Sicario, Room 164

        El Sicario, Room 164

        • 92%
        • 80 min
        • Documentary

        In an anonymous motel room on the U.S./Mexico border, a Ciudad Juarez hitman speaks. He has killed hundreds of people and is an expert in torture and kidnapping. He was simultaneously on the payroll of the Mexican drug cartels and a commander of the Chihuahua State Police. There is currently a $250,000 contract on his life and he lives as a fugitive, though he has never been charged with a crime in any country. With his face obscured by a black mesh hood, he tells his story to the camera inside the very motel room he once used to hold and torture kidnapped victims. Aided only by a magic marker and notepad, which he uses to illustrate and diagram his words, the sicario (hitman) describes, in astounding detail, his life of crime, murder, abduction and torture.

        Fanny, Annie & Danny

        Fanny, Annie & Danny

        • 67%
        • Unrated
        • 82 min
        • Drama

        We first meet Fanny, an obsessive-compulsive who lives in a group home and works at a candy factory about to go bankrupt. Fanny brings this secret to the Christmas dinner, where she reconnects with her self-absorbed sister Annie and their too-perfect-to-trust brother Danny. Mother Edie hosts the party with an iron fist, insisting at an ever-increasing pitch that everyone have fun. Their Vietnam vet father may act like his emotions died with his friends on the battlefield, but director Brown continually lets his audience glimpse the last few pulses of compassion the broken man has for those around him. As with a storm building strength silently offshore, we sense the impending climax without knowing exactly when or where it will hit - or how hard. -- (C) Official Site

        Footprints

        Footprints

        • 41%
        • NONE
        • 80 min
        • Drama

        From award-winning writer Steven Peros, author of the play and screenplay for The Cat’s Meow (directed by Peter Bogdanovich) and twice-published Samuel French playwright, comes Footprints, a haunting, hopeful and unforgettable mystery. The film chronicles a young woman’s journey of discovery in one day, from sunrise to sunset.

        Sybil Temtchine (Ten Benny, Passion of Ayn Rand) stars as a young woman who wakes up at dawn on the footprints and handprints of the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood with no idea who she or how she got there. Upon awakening, she wonders if she isn’t, in fact, lost in a dream. And perhaps she is…

        Regardless of whether she is dreaming or wide awake, Our Gal sets off on her journey, from one person to the next, one famous locale after the other. Among the Hollywood fringe denizens with whom she comes into contact are a pair of tour guides (Charley Rossman, John Brickner), two super hero impersonators (Catherine Bruhier, Riley Weston), a Scientology auditor (Joe Roseto), and a memorabilia shop owner (R.J. Cantu). She also finds herself disquietingly followed by a Stranger (Kirk Bovill) who may be real or a figment of her unsteady imagination.

        Although her feet only fleetingly leave Hollywood Boulevard, by sundown Our Gal will piece together the revelatory truth about her existence and the reason for her awakening, forcing her to make choices that will literally result in either her life… or death.

        In their heart-breaking portrayals of two veterans of the boulevard and all it represents, Footprints marks the return to the big screen of The Searchers’ Pippa Scott and H. M. Wynant (The Twilight Zone, Sam Fuller’s Run of the Arrow, Budd Boetticher’s Decision at Sundown).

        Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie

        Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie

        • 82%
        • NONE
        • 93 min
        • Documentary

        David Suzuki, Canadian scientist, activist, environmentalist and educator, delivers a 'last lecture' -- what he describes as "a distillation of my life and thoughts, my legacy, what I want to say before I die". Filmed before a live audience, accompanied by a memory box of moving, distilled images, he articulates a core, urgent message: we have exhausted the limits of the biosphere and it is imperative that we re-think our relationship with the natural world. Suzuki looks unflinchingly at the strains on our interconnected web of life - and out of our dire present circumstances, he offers up a blueprint for sustainability and survival.

        Girl Walk: All Day

        Girl Walk: All Day

          • 75 min
          • Musical

          A feature-length dance music film that combines freestyle dance with the daily chaos of New York City, set to Girl Talk's recent mashup album, All Day.