New Movie Friday: 28 Weeks Later..., Delta Farce, The Ex, Waitress + more!
Welcome to the lull between Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third, when studios and indie distributors alike unload little known films to sate audiences' hungry to be entertained by the fleeting magic of cinema.
28 Weeks Later... - Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto, Psicotaxi) picks up where Danny Boyle left off in 28 Days Later with most Londonites infected by a "rage virus" that turns them into violent zombies and prompts the great debate of our time: Which do you prefer? The Old School Zombies of George Romero movies (relentless but slow-moving and generally mellow as long as they get a steady diet of brains) or the New School Zombies like the ones envisioned by Danny Boyle (fast-moving, rage-filled and hyper-aggressive)?
Six months after the rage virus first struck, London is being carefully repopulated by the U.S. Army (I smell political allegory), when a carrier of the virus is admitted to the city and unknowingly causes a second deadly outbreak. Boyle executive produced this movie, so it could actually be a good sequel instead of a crass attempt to cash in on a successful franchise.
American Pastime - Set during WWII, Kaz (Masatoshi Nakamura) and his wife Emi (Judy Ongg) struggle to maintain a normal life after being forcibly relocated to an internment camp in the remote town of Abraham, Utah. His younger son Lyle is a talented baseball player whose chance to attend college on a full baseball scholarship was cut short by the war. He falls in love with the white daughter of one of the camp guards. A baseball game is organized pitting the Japanese-American detainees against the residents of Abraham.Americanizing Shelley - The CEO of a Hollywood management company (Beau Bridges) challenges an American country boy and wannabe Hollywood player to Americanize an Indian girl from the Himalayas. Cultures clash, wackiness ensues, romance blossoms.
Chalk - A mildly funny mockumentary distributed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) about the experience of being a high-school teacher.
Delta Farce - A military spoof about three guys (Larry The Cable Guy, Bill Engvall & DJ Qualls) who are mistakenly identified as Army Reservists and shipped off to Iraq. Luckily for them, they don't have to spend much time dodging RPGs and suicide bombers, because they're conveniently and hilariously ejected somewhere over Mexico and crash land in the middle of a village run by a local warlord.
More new movie releases after the jump.
Downtown - A Street Tale - Chad Allen and Genevieve Bujold star in this drama about homeless teenagers who've bonded on the streets of Manhattan.
The Ex - A broad romantic comedy starring Zach Braff as a slacker who faces some stiff competition for his wife (Amanda Peet) from her wheelchair-bound former suitor (Jason Bateman). Charles Grodin co-stars as Braff's father-in-law.
Georgia Rule - This is probably most notable as the film on which Lindsay Lohan earned herself a metaphorical bitch-slap for arriving late, arriving drunk and constantly acting like a drug-addled diva. LiLo can act, but you won't see her bona fide thespianism at its finest in this Garry Marshall-directed, feel-good chick flick. Lohan plays a rebellious teenager whose mother (Felicity Huffman) sends her to spend the summer with her strict, ultra religious grandmother (Jane Fonda) in Idaho. Cue the standard feel-good chick flick themes: profound emotional journeys, the revelation of long buried secrets and a renewed belief in the power of family.
The Hip Hop Project - A documentary on Chris 'Kazi' Rolle, a once-homeless New York City man who has blossomed into a mentor for the city's youth as they strive to express themselves through their love of hip-hop. Featuring Russell Simmons and Bruce Willis.
Metro (Life In A... Metro) - Halfway between Bollywood and Western cinema, this romantic drama is about the increasing alienation in the shadow of the new India.
The Parallel - Is it possible to live a parallel existence? High school senior Danny Fitzgerald learns it is. The town's golden boy sleeps with Margie, his beautiful girlfriend's slutty best friend and wakes up 22 years later living a dead end life with bitter Margie and no memory of how he got there. As Danny desperately tries to get back to the fateful night, he grapples with the question: is he trapped in a horrible nightmare or was his life as a contented teenager only a dream?
Provoked: A True Story - the British-Indian version of the standard Lifetime fem-jep movie. Based on a true story, it stars Aishwarya Rai as a Punjabi woman who leaves India to marry a man in London. The marriage turns into a nightmare, and after years of physical, mental and sexual abuse she murders the bastard and ends up in prison.
The Salon - It's not Barbershop or Barbershop 2 or Beauty Shop, it's a totally different African-American comedy about life, love, family and hair care that bears no rsemblance to the aforementioned films. This time Vivica A. Fox stars as a feisty salon owner being forced to sell her shop to the DWP (good luck fighting that after the Supreme Court's atrocious Kelo v. City of New London decisions), when she falls for the lawyer (Dewitt Henson) who represents the city.
The Short Life Of José Antonio Gutierrez - A German documentary about the life of a Guatemalan immigrant who became the first U.S. soldier to die in the Iraq War.
Son - "Set in an underground theatre a director applies his possessive grip over his female colleague (Natalie Press) and her young son James. Unable to escape James is forced to witness events as they unfold, but reality and fiction soon become frighteningly indistinguishable."
Waitress, an indie drama that was written and directed by actress Adrienne Shelly, who was best known for her work in Hal Hartley's films before her tragic murder. The movie stars Keri Russell as Jenna, a poor southern waitress with a talent for baking amazing pies trying to wrigle out from under the heavy hand of her jealous husband (Jeremy Sisto). After Jenna discovers she is pregnant, the handsome new gynecologist in town encourages her to write a letter to her unwanted baby, and an unexpected love story develops. Co-starring Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines and Andy Griffith.