Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sleeping Beauty (2011)

Lucy is a young university student possessed by a kind of radical passivity. She lets a flip of a coin decide the outcome of a random sexual encounter and she displays an uncomplaining patience when facing the repetitions of her various menial jobs that fund her studies. One day she answers an ad in the student newspaper and interviews for a job to be a lingerie waitress. But she is secretly being initiated into a world of strange new work; one where she will have to give into absolute submission to her clients by being sedated; becoming a Sleeping Beauty. Eventually this unnerving experience begins to bleed into her daily life and she finally develops the will to break the spell by discovering what happens to her while she sleeps.

Director: Julia Leigh
Writer: Julia Leigh
Stars: Emily Browning, Rachael Blake and Ewen Leslie
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588398/

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wake Wood (2011)

A veteran and a pharmacist learn there is no cheating death after losing their daughter in a tragic accident, then taking part in a Pagan ritual to bring her back to life. Their nine year old daughter Alice killed in a vicious canine attack, Patrick and Louise move to the sleepy village of Wakewood to start a new life. Once there, they encounter mysterious village leader Arthur, who claims he can resurrect Alice for three days so the grieving parents can say their proper goodbyes. If they agree, however, Patrick and Louise will be binded to Wakewood forever. Shortly thereafter, and the ritual is conducted. As Arthur promised, Alice returns to her parents as if she were never gone. But when three days pass and the time comes for Alice to go, Patrick and Louise discover just how frightening things can get when the rules are broken.

Director: David Keating
Writers: David Keating and Brendan McCarthy
Stars: Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Timothy Spall
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1296899/

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Other Man (2008)

In Cambridge, the software engineer Peter and the shoe designer Lisa are successful in their careers and have been happily married for twenty-five years. They have an adult daughter, Abigail, and Lisa frequently travels to Milano to do business with the Gianni & Gianni Company. When Lisa is gone, Peter finds a message in her cellular and decides to snoop her e-mails and discovers in a secret folder named Love that she had a lover, Ralph. Peter travels to Milano and stalks Ralph; he finds that the man plays chess in a bar. Peter gets close to Ralph and discusses his relationship with Lisa without knowing that he is her husband.

Director: Richard Eyre
Writers: Richard Eyre (screenplay) and Bernhard Schlink (short story)
Stars: Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas and Laura Linney
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0974613/

Monday, February 20, 2012

Salvation Boulevard (2011)

Carl is a former follower -- not of Christ, but of the Grateful Dead -- who has since become "found" in Dan's Evangelical community, serving as one of the preacher's great examples of spiritual and moral transformation. But Carl's new belief system is turned upside down when he witnesses a sinful act that Pastor Dan's doughy henchman aims to cover up. In the meantime, Carl finds himself on the run, torn between Honey, a security guard who still follows the Dead and partakes in those pleasures, and his militantly devout wife and her daughter, who is herself on the eve of taking a vow of sexual purity.

Director: George Ratliff
Writers: Douglas Stone and George Ratliff
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan and Marisa Tomei
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1251743/

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Last King of Scotland (2006)

In an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world’s most barbaric figures: Idi Amin. Impressed by Dr. Garrigan’s brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amin’s savagery - and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Writers: Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock
Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker and Gillian Anderson
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455590/

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The American (2010)

As an assassin, Jack is constantly on the move and always alone. After a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, Jack retreats to the Italian countryside. He relishes being away from death for a spell as he holes up in a small medieval town. While there, Jack takes an assignment to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact, Mathilde. Savoring the peaceful quietude he finds in the mountains of Abruzzo, Jack accepts the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto and pursues a torrid liaison with a beautiful woman, Clara. Jack and Clara's time together evolves into a romance, one seemingly free of danger. But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.

Director: Anton Corbijn
Writers: Rowan Joffe (screenplay) and Martin Booth (novel)
Stars: George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli and Violante Placido
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440728/

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Malice in Wonderland (2009)

American law student Alice is studying in London when she's run down by a black cab and transported to a strange and shady underworld. With time-obsessed cabbie Whitey to help her navigate this sordid new reality, Alice soon realizes that her only hope for getting back home is to fight her way through the pimps, gangsters, and violent drug dealers who are tracking her every move. Can Alice turn the tables on her pursuers long enough to make a clean getaway, or is she doomed to spend all eternity on the run from the tyrannical crime kingpin who controls the entire city?

Director: Simon Fellows
Writer: Jayson Rothwell
Stars: Maggie Grace, Danny Dyer and Matt King
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374853/

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian agent - a mole - and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. Smiley had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by a rogue agent, Ricky Tarr, that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him. Through the efforts of Peter Guillam, Smiley obtains information that eventually leads him to Jim Prideaux, the agent at the heart of the Hungary fiasco.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writers: Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan
Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1340800/

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deacons for Defense (2005)

1965. Not long after passage of the Civil Rights Act. To the African-American citizens of Bogalusa, LA, however, it is "business as usual"; they are still treated like third-class citizens, their fundamental rights as human beings persistently trampled by the white power structure, in general, and the local branch of the KKK, in particular. Like many of the local black men, war veteran Marcus works in the town's mill for meager wages, and must endure the ongoing humiliation meted out by his white supervisors. But when he is beaten up by the police for the "outrage" of trying to defend his own daughter, Marcus is pushed too far. Encouraged by an idealistic white Northerner, Marcus organizes the Deacons, an all-black defense group dedicated to patrolling the black section of town and protecting its residents from the more violent aspects of "white backlash." 

Director: Bill Duke
Writers: Michael D'Antonio (story) and Richard Wesley (teleplay)
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Chris Britton and Jonathan Silverman
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335034/

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)

Follows The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009). Martin is a mentally disturbed loner who lives with his mother in a bleak housing project. He works the night shift as a security guard in an equally grim and foreboding underground parking complex. To escape his dreary existence, Martin loses himself in the fantasy world of the cult horror film The Human Centipede (First Sequence), fetishizing the meticulous surgical skills of the gifted Dr. Heiter, whose knowledge of the human gastrointestinal system inspires Martin to attempt the unthinkable.

Director: Tom Six
Writer: Tom Six
Stars: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie and Maddi Black
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1530509/

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dark Country (2009)

A newly married couple takes a honeymoon hell-ride through the Nevada desert after hitting a mysterious car crash survivor under a starlit sky. When their injured passenger suddenly turns on them, the couple instinctively fights back with lethal force, and attempts to cover up their crime from the local police. But there's no escaping fate, and with every move they make the pair only manages to wind ever deeper down a darkened path. 

Director: Thomas Jane
Writer: Tab Murphy
Stars: Thomas Jane, Lauren German and Ron Perlman
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0469318/

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Born in a fetid fish market and raised in a dilapidated orphanage, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille toiled his childhood away in a rank tannery run by the thuggish Grimal. Subsequently obsessed by smell, Grenouille's keen olfactory sense becomes so finely tuned that it eventually overpowers such human qualities as love and compassion. Though he has indeed discovered the unmistakable scent of a woman, Grenouille finds it impossible to connect with the fairer sex on any sort of meaningful level. Roaming the streets of Paris late one night, Grenouille catches the scent of a young girl selling plums and impulsively strangles her, later sniffing her nude corpse in a twisted attempt to preserve the distinctive scent in his memory. After persuading legendary perfumer Giuseppe Baldini to take him on as an apprentice, Grenouille travels to the town of Grasse in Southern France in order to learn the art of enfleurage at a firm run by the highly respected Madame Arnulfi. It is there that Grenouille becomes dangerously drawn to the vestal aroma of the young and beautiful Laura, the daughter of widower merchant Antione Richis. Soon driven to madness by such a pure scent, the spellbound Grenouille continues to claim the lives of the numerous young girls in a tragic attempt to bottle the impossibly elusive smell of virginal womanhood.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Writers: Andrew Birkin and Bernd Eichinger
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0396171/

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)

A tormented mother grapples with feelings of accountability and intense grief after her troubled 15-year-old son commits an act of violence that shakes their community to its very core. Eva had a promising career when an unplanned pregnancy threw her life off-balance, though she selflessly put her own ambitions aside to give her son, Kevin, a good life. From the moment Kevin was born, there was a palpable tension between mother and son. Years later, as a teenager, Kevin snaps. As the community recoils from Kevin and his family, Eva begins to question whether or not she ever really loved her son in the first place.

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers: Lynne Ramsay and Rory Kinnear
Stars: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller
More info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1242460/

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