The movie calendar is really starting to heat up and there are several excellent new limited releases this week. There are also a bunch of holdovers from previous weeks you might not have gotten around to seeing yet, so be sure to check out the Now Playing page.

  • The Island President Proof that sometimes the smallest voice can be the loudest and most urgent, The Island President documents the first year in office of Mohamed Nasheed, president of the tiny island nation of Maldives, and his crusade to reach a significant worldwide agreement on combating global warming at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. Once a political prisoner under the country’s oppressive former regime, Nasheed marshals his ample intelligence, charisma and passion to try to forge accord on a controversial issue between dozens of nations with competing and contradictory interests. At stake for the Maldives: a three foot rise in ocean levels would see the country where people have lived for thousands of years entirely disappear. (NY Wed. 3/28, SF 3/30, LA 4/6)
  • Bully Lee Hirsch’s moving exposé on school bullying focuses on the lives of 5 teenagers and in the process movingly personalizes a phenomenon that isn’t often taken seriously but that in extreme cases has contributed to teen suicides. Less an indictment of a system and more a wake-up call, Bully is a must-see for parents, teachers, school administrators and especially students who might not realize they’re not alone. Read the LiC review and check out the LiC interview with director Lee Hirsch. (Limited)

  • Intruders The fanboy horror crowd has mostly turned up its nose at the latest from Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto, 28 Weeks Later) and that’s a shame because there’s a lot to like here even if the film isn’t an unqualified success. Clive Owen plays a concerned father whose teenaged girl is haunted by nightmares of a hulking, shadowy figure she calls Hollowface, a creature which threatens to steal her face for its own. The fears of both father and daughter mount and seem to give Hollowface strength. When an actual intruder breaks into their home, the line between real and imagined begins to blur and Owen struggles to protect his family even as it seems he may be a part of the problem. More sustainedly unsettling than outright frightening, Intruders gets extra points for probing the primal fears of children who worry their parents can’t protect them and of parents who are rendered helpless when their children are endangered. What’s scarier than that? (Limited)
  • Mirror Mirror. A comic retelling of the Snow White story from Tarsem Singh (The Fall) starring Lilly Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow, Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as The Prince and Julia Roberts as the evil Queen. (Wide)
  • Wrath of the Titans. Unleash the steaming turd! A sequel no one asked for to a remake no one wanted. Available in 3D just in case you’ve never seen a pile of crap flying out of a movie screen. Charismatic black hole Sam Worthington (who makes Harry Hamlin seem like Marlon Brando), Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes return. (Open wide and suck it)
  • Goon. Seann William Scott (American Pie) plays a brawling Boston bouncer who becomes a minor league hockey player despite the fact he can’t skate because I guess some fans of Slap Shot were sitting around thinking it was about time for another dude hockey comedy. Liev Schreiber costars as Scott’s sort of mentor and Jay Baruchel plays his encouraging pal. (Limited)
  • Dark Tide. Halle Berry and her bikini play a “shark expert” haunted by the shark-related mauling of her partner but coaxed to go back into the water one more time by a wealthy adventurer who wants to hunt sharks… outside the cage! I’m trying to figure out how this one didn’t just go direct-to-DVD. (Limited)
  • Turn Me On, Dammit! Quoth ye olde official synopsis: “a whimsical and refreshingly honest coming of age story about the blossoming sexuality of a teenage girl. The feature debut of Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, the film was awarded “Best Screenplay” at the Tribeca Film Festival as well as “Best Debut Film” at the Rome Film Festival. 15-year-old Alma (Helene Bergsholm) is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from sweetly romantic images of Artur, the boyfriend she yearns for, to down-and-dirty daydreams about practically everybody she lays eyes on. Alma and her best friend Sara live in an insufferably boring little town in the hinterlands of Norway called Skoddeheimen, a place they loathe so much that every time their school bus passes the sign that names it, they routinely flip it off. After Alma has a stimulating yet awkward encounter with Artur, she makes the mistake of telling her incredulous friends, who ostracize her at school, until Sara can’t even be seen with her. At home, Alma’s single mother is overwhelmed and embarrassed by her daughter’s extravagant phone sex bills and wears earplugs to muffle Alma’s round-the-clock acts of self-gratification. Laced with warmth and quirky humor, Turn Me On, Damnit! is a light-hearted take on a story that is told so often about boys and so rarely about teenage girls.” (Limited)
  • Womb. Girl meets boy, girl and boy grow up and go their separate ways, girl and boy are reunited and fall in love, boy dies, girl clones boy and gives birth to him all over again. Ahh, young love! Eva Green and Matt Smith star. (NY)

One Response to “New Releases for the Weekend of March 30, 2012”

  1. I did see BULLY last night with director Lee Hirsch and producer Cynthia Rowen on hand for an engaging Q & A at teh Angelika. I’m sorry to say that I liked the film a star less than you did, though I do like certain aspects quite much. It seems that the film avoided all questions regarding the type of bullying, role-playing of the actual bullying, and the specific reasons surrounding the suicides. The focus too was singularly mid-western.

    But still one could not help being moved by teh tragedies shown here in the scenes of solidarity. My wife is a school principal, and she’s been moderating “bully” workshops in the district, and she was similarly disappointed by teh film’s one-note focus.

    There is a Moretti Festival underway in the city, and I will be attending the Palme d’Or winner THE SON’S ROOM tonight, but I do have both THE ISLAND PRESIDENT and INTRUDERS under my radar.

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