The Bling Ring - Oscar Winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola takes us inside the world of these teens, where their youthful naivete and excitement is amplified by today's culture of celebrity and luxury brand obsession. The members of the Bling Ring introduce us to temptations that any teenager would find hard to resist. And what starts out as youthful fun spins out of control, revealing a sobering view of our modern culture. Review by Nick Brodie at Graffiti With Punctuation.
Pain and Gain - From Michael Bay comes a new action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie. Based on the unbelievable true story of a group of personal trainers in 1990's Miami who, in pursuit of the American Dream, get caught up in a criminal enterprise that goes horribly wrong. Review by Alex Withrow at And So It Begins.
Beyond the Hills - In an isolated Orthodox convent in Romania, Alina has just been reunited with Voichita after spending several years in Germany. The two young women have supported and loved each other since meeting as children in an orphanage. Alina wants Voichita to leave and return with her to Germany, but Voichita has found refuge in faith and a family in the nuns and their priest, and refuses. Alina cannot understand her friend's choice. In her attempt to win back Voichita's affection, she challenges the priest. She is taken to hospital and the people of the monastery start to suspect that she is possessed. When the doctors send her back, Alina is included in the monastic routine in the hope that she will find peace, but her condition begins to worsen. Inspired by the non-fiction novels of Tatiana Niculescu Bran.
Weekly Recommendation: Now You See Me is a competently executed and entertaining deception thriller with a headline all-star cast. Consistently intriguing and often spectacular, and relying on a magician’s deft slight-of-hand, this preposterously elaborate caper perhaps doesn’t hold up particularly well on close scrutiny. But if you surrender yourself to being taken along for a ride and relish in being fooled then this should be quite enjoyable. I have been anticipating the Cannes winner, Beyond the Hills, for quite some time, having adored Romanian director Christian Mungiu's last film, the Palme d'Or winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. I have heard some pretty incredible things about this one too. As an admirer of all of Sofia Coppola's previous films I am also taking some expectations into The Bling Ring. Though there has been a mixed response to the project I remain confident she will deliver again. As much as I enjoyed Now You See Me, the latter pair are my blind recommendations, considering their pedigrees. Stay tuned for my responses later in the week.