Iko Uwais in The Raid: Redemption, your LiC Pick of the Week

Everyone is pretty much getting the hell out of the way of the juggernaut that is The Hunger Games. If you’re not in the mood to get your tween on, check out the terrific action picture The Raid: Redemption which is being served up as a clever slice of counter programming or if you’re in the mood for more dignified fair, the latest from Terence Davies is in limited release. If none of the rest of the films in today’s Weekend Forecast grab you, be sure to check out the Now Playing page for a curated list of what’s good and what’s popular in theaters along with links to trailers, showtimes and LiC reviews where available.

  • The Raid: Redemption Charismatic Indonesian martial artist Iko Uwais stars as a young Jakartan policeman (and husband to a pregnant wife) fighting the good fight between the vicious criminal underworld on one hand and a corrupt police force on the other. The mission is simple: a team of elite cops are sent to infiltrate a 30-story apartment complex that serves as the fortress of a ruthless drug kingpin. Get in, get the guy, get out. Simple, right? Wrong. From the very start something seems wrong. Naturally things quickly go haywire and devolve into fusillades of bullets and fountains of blood. Before long, hopes of capturing the drug lord turn simply to getting the survivors back out alive. The Raid: Redemption is the rare action movie that actually lives up to the advance hype. It might not be deep, but it’s enough to hold together a relentless string of well-choreographed and shot action sequences and that’s enough for me. Check out the LiC interviews with director Gareth Evans here and the film’s co-composer Joseph Trapanese here. (Limited)

  • Last Days Here This moving documentary about the quest to rehabilitate a fizzled out 50-something heavy metal almost-star already opened in New York on March 2nd, but makes its Los Angeles debut this weekend at Cinefamily. Filmmaker Don Argott (The Art of the Steal) and his producer Sheena Joyce will introduce the 8pm show on Friday, March 23 along with the subject of their documentary Bobby Liebling and all three will be sticking around for a post-screening Q&A. Argott and Joyce will also be doing a Q&A on Saturday. What do you want? An engraved invitation? Check out the LiC interview with Don Argott and his co-director Demian Fenton here. (LA debut)
  • The Deep Blue Sea. Art house favorite Terence Davies (Distant Voices, Still Lives) adapts Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play with Rachel Weisz as a woman who has an affair with an RAF pilot played by Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Midnight in Paris). (NY, LA)
  • The Hunger Games. The first in a planned franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ popular series of teen novels about a dark future where 24 teens, 12 boys and 12 girls, are forced by the government to participate each year in a televised duel to the death. Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class) stars as Katniss Everdeen, a girl chosen from a poor district who must compete with the more well-trained contestants of wealthier districts. (Wide)
  • 4:44 Last Day on Earth. Abel Ferrera faces the end of the world with Willem Dafoe. Tomorrow at 4:44 am. Be there. Honestly, if the world was ending, I’m not sure Ferrera is the guy I’d want to be hanging out with. Then again, why the hell not? (Limited)
  • Brake. From IFC Films: ” Secret Service Agent Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) is about to have a very bad day. He wakes up trapped in the dark, cramped trunk of a moving car with no recollection of how or why he’s there. The only light comes from the blood-red digital numbers ticking away above his head that signify one thing..he’s running out of time. As the captors reveal themselves and their motives while torturing their hostage mentally and physically, Jeremy realizes he is a pawn in their potentially catastrophic plot. He will not be set free until he gives up information about the President he’s been trained not to reveal.” (NY)
  • All In – The Poker Movie. A documentary look at the resurgent pastime which promises a way to American Dream without having an actual job.  (NY. LA 4/13)

2 Responses to “New Releases for the Weekend of March 23, 2012”

  1. Well, I’ll be raid your line-up here over the coming days. This afternoon at 4:30 P.M. my entire brood will be heading in for THE HUNGER GAMES, tomorrow afternoon I will be seeing the film I am most excited about this weekend (Davies’ THE DEEP BLU SEA) and tomorrow night it’s your well-reviewed THE RAID: REDEMPTION.

    I still want to catch up with JIRO, JEFF and LAST DAYS HERE and the Abel Ferrara has me intrigued, even with the divided reviews.

  2. I’m hoping to catch Jiro this weekend too and if I can think of another reason to hit the multiplex, I might just have to break off a piece of Hunger Games as well. I’m not the target audience and I have few expectations, but we’ll see.

    Also looking forward to Deep Blue Sea.

    As you know, I highly recommend Jeff though it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. As for THE RAID, a note of caution in that it isn’t Shakespeare. The story and characters are kind of marginal. The main reason to see it is the action which I thought was very well executed.

    There’s no fancy Hong Kong wire fighting, it’s all fairly grounded in reality, but it’s exciting.

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