Friday, August 5, 2011

The Popcorn Report: Guide to this week's movies with ratings and trailers

Popcorn’ photo by Petr Kratochvil

It’s time to make weekend family entertainment plans and see if this week’s current crop of films will be part of your schedule. The following report covers motion picture theatrical releases opening nationwide beginning Friday, August 5, 2011, along with current film industry news.

The movies listed below have a rating, which has been established by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and have been provided with an italicized commentary from the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA).

If a film has not been provided with an official rating, additional information may, or may not be provided.

If a film is designated NC-17, very limited information will be furnished.

For your convenience, each film title links directly to the Internet Movie Data Base, which provides the most comprehensive listing about the movie’s storyline, and includes a trailer, cast and crew information, initial audience reaction (if prior screenings have taken place) and parent advisories when available.

As always, you are the single best judge for determining your child’s choice of entertainment.


Opened August 5, 2011 Bellflower – Action, Drama, Romance- R- because of “disturbing violence, some strong sexuality, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use.” NOTE: New York City only.

Opened August 5, 2011 The Change-Up – Comedy- R- because of “pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity and drug use.”

Opened August 5, 2011 Gun Hill Road – Drama- R- because of “strong sexual content, language and some violence.”

Opened August 5, 2011 Magic Trip – Documentary- R- because of “drug content, language and some nudity.”  NOTE: In limited release.

Opened August 5, 2011 Mysteries of Lisbon – Drama, Mystery- NOT RATED- NOTE: In limited release.

 Opened August 5, 2011 The Perfect Age of Rock and Roll – Drama, Music- R- because of “language throughout, drug use, some sexual content and nudity.” NOTE: In Limited release.

Opened August 5, 2011 Rise of the Planets of the Apes – Action, Drama, Sci-Fi- PG-13- because of “intense and frightening sequences of action and violence.”

Opened August 5, 2011 The Whistleblower – Drama- R- because of “disturbing violent content including a brutal sexual assault, graphic nudity and language.” NOTE: In limited release.

Opening August 10, 2011 Angels & Airwaves presents Love Live – Concert, Music- NOT RATED- NOTE: One performance only in select theaters.

Opening August 10, 2011 The Help – Drama- PG-13- because of “thematic material.”


Opened July 29, 2011 Attack the Block– Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi- R- because of “creature violence, drug content and pervasive language.”

Opened July 29, 2011 Cowboys & Aliens – Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller- PG-13-because of “intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference.” 

Opened July 29, 2011 Crazy, Stupid, Love- Comedy, Drama, Romance-PG-13- because of “coarse humor, sexual content and language.”

Opened July 29, 2011 The Devil's DoubleAction, Biography, Drama- R- because of “strong brutal bloody violence and torture, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language.” Note: In limited release.

Opened July 29, 2011 The Future – Drama- R- because of “some sexual content.” NOTE: In limited release.

Opened July 29, 2011 Good Neighbors – Comedy, Crime, Thriller- R- because of “some strong violence, sexual content, graphic nudity and language.” NOTE: In limited release.

Opened July 29, 2011 The Guard – Comedy, Thriller- R- because of “pervasive language, some violence, drug material and sexual content.” Note: In limited release.

Opened July 29, 2011 The Smurfs – Animation, Comedy, Family- PG- because of “some mild rude humor and action.”

For information on films that opened July 22, 2011, which included:    A Little Help;    Another Earth;    Born to Ride;    Captain America: The First Avenger;    Friends with Benefits;    Life in a Day;    The Met Summer Encore: Don Carlo;    The Myth of the American Sleepover and  Sarah’s Key, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened July 15, 2011, which included:    The Ballad of Nessie;    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2;   Life Above All;    Lucky;    Met Summer Encore: Tosca;    Salvation Boulevard;    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan;    Tabloid;   The Undefeated;    and  Winnie the Pooh, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened July 8, 2011, which included:    Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest;    The Chameleon;     Delhi Belly;    Fading of the Cries;    Horrible Bosses;    The Ledge;    Project Nim;    The Ward;    Zookeeper;    The Met Summer Encore: La Fille Regiment  and  Phase 7, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened July 1, 2011, which included:    Crime After Crime;    Larry Crowne;    Monte Carlo;    The Perfect Host;    Terri;    Empire of Assassins;    Rapt  and  Septien, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened June 24, 2011, which included:   A Better Life;    Bad Teacher;    Cars 2;   Conan O'Brien Can't Stop;    Hawaiian Vacation;    Leap Year;    The Names of Love;    Turtle: The Incredible Journey;    The Globe Theatre Presents The Merry Wives of Windsor;    A Little Bit of Heaven;    Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy;    The Met Summer Encore: Simon Boccanegra  and  Transformers: Dark of the Moon, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened May 20 to June 17, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened April 1 to May 13, 2011, please click on the link below.

For information on films that opened the weeks of Friday, February 4 to Friday March 25, 2011 please click on the link below, where you will also find previous listings and links for prior weeks in January, as well as films that opened in 2010:

G GENERAL AUDIENCES (All Ages Admitted) PG PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED (Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children) PG-13 PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED (Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) R RESTRICTED (Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian) NC-17 NO ONE 17 AND UNDER ADMITTED – As determined by the Rating Board/Motion Picture Association of America.



Below are photos from Sissy Spacek’s Walk of Fame Star Ceremony held Monday, August 1, 2011 in Hollywood, California. In attendance were her THE HELP costars Jessica Chastain and Ahna O’Reilly. THE HELP a Dreamworks Pictures and Participant Media film opens this coming week (August 10, 2011) in theaters nationwide.



Walt Disney Pictures’ fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,”  directed by Sam Raimi, went in front of the cameras at the brand-new Raleigh Studios in Pontiac, Michigan, on Monday, July 25, 2011, boasting a stellar cast that includes Academy Award® nominee James Franco (“127 Hours”) as the young wizard, Golden Globe® nominee Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) as the witch Theodora, Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”) as Kunis’ sister Evanora and two-time Oscar®-nominated actress Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Blue Valentine”) as Glinda, the Good Witch. 

The cast also includes Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Zach Braff (“Scrubs,” “Garden State”), who will play Franco’s circus assistant as well as lend his vocal talents to one of the CGI creatures in the story — Finley, the winged monkey who accompanies the magician on his journey to Oz; and 12-year-old actress Joey King (“Ramona and Beezus”), who will voice another CGI character in the story, China Girl, who also joins the future Wizard on his excursion through Oz.

“Oz The Great and Powerful” imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

The film will be produced by industry veteran Joe Roth, along with executive producers Grant Curtis (the “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Drag Me to Hell”), Philip Steuer (“The Chronicles of Narnia” series) and Palak Patel. The screenplay was written by Mitchell Kapner, (“The Whole Nine Yards”) and David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole,” “Robots”). 

Raimi has assembled his own band of technical wizards and movie magicians on the project, which includes cinematographer Peter Deming (“Mulholland Dr.,” “Drag Me to Hell”), two-time Academy Award®–winning production designer Robert Stromberg (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Avatar”), Oscar®-winning film editor Bob Murawski (“The Hurt Locker,” the “Spider-Man” trilogy), veteran Oscar®-nominated costume designer Gary Jones (“Spider-Man 2,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), visual effects Oscar® winner Scott Stokdyk (“Spider-Man 2,” “Spider-Man”) and Academy Award®–winning special makeup artist Howard Berger (“The Chronicles of Narnia” series), who will create the looks of several of the unique denizens of Oz, including creatures such as the Whimsies, the Tinkers and the Winkies, as well as the ghastly look of the Wicked Witch of the West. 

Production on “Oz The Great and Powerful” will take place entirely on site at the new Raleigh Michigan Studios, the 200,000 square foot sound stage facility in Pontiac, Michigan, once the location of General Motors’ Centerpoint business campus and truck manufacturing plant. 

“Oz The Great and Powerful” will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on March 8, 2013.

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