After being involved in the fatal shooting of a local drug dealer, U.S. Marine Nelson Sanchez returns to the neighborhood he fled years ago. Amid the fanfare and celebration, the brother of the deceased learns of Nelson’s homecoming and vows revenge. Word reaches Nelson but instead of fleeing, he charts an unlikely path to break the cycle of violence that defined him. [Synopsis courtesy of LA Film Festival]
John McClane is an off-duty cop gripped with a feeling of déjà vu when on a snowy Christmas Eve in the nation’s capital, terrorists seize a major international airport, holding thousands of holiday travelers hostage. Renegade military commandos led by a murderous rogue officer plot to rescue a drug lord from justice and are prepared for every contingency except one: McClane’s smart-mouthed heroics.
When a massive power blackout causes the population to inexplicably vanish, a small handful of survivors (Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo) band together inside a desolate tavern struggling to survive as the darkness hones in on them. From director Brad Anderson (“The Machinist,” “Transsiberian”) comes an apocalyptic thriller with a terrifying vision of our world’s end and a story that wrestles with the nature of existence itself. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]
The moment Billy arrives at juvenile detention camp, his smart-ass attitude guarantees a rough sentence ahead. Initially his bravado wins over his fellow offenders, and his clever wit appeals to the cultivated warden. But his insubordinate and reckless behavior alienates him, while the deep grief that gnaws at him is slowly revealed. [Synopsis courtesy of LA Film Festival]
In 1961, social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted the “obedience experiments” at Yale University. The experiments observed the responses of ordinary people asked to send harmful electrical shocks to a stranger. Despite pleadings from the person they were shocking, 65 percent of subjects obeyed commands from a lab-coated authority figure to deliver potentially fatal currents. With Adolf Eichmann’s trial airing in living rooms across America, Milgram’s Kafkaesque results hit a nerve, and he was accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]
Jesse Sanchez (John Leguizamo) is the “fugly” ghetto nerd from the Bronx in the 1970’s, growing up in the shadow of his older, better-looking brother. Jesse heads off to college where he takes advantage of the incredible ratio of 6 girls to every guy. It is there that this boy undergoes a transformation. It’s where he meets Lara (Radha Mitchell) and learns to take command of the stage. As a college grad back in New York, during a spur of the moment local comedy night performance infused with his own style of in your face bits on sex, Jesse is discovered by agent Stoddard (Ally Sheedy) who says she has found the next Latino sensation. Moments later he meets Zowie (Rosie Perez), a sexy Nuyorican poetess and passionate lover in search of a man who will take her to the top of the industry. Later, with a rising film and television career, Jesse has newfound fame, money, and a strong social media following. He experiences a life-changing moment that allows him to reflect upon his career and the true love of his life. Back on stage, Jesse finds himself in competition with his ex’s new beau Jeffery (Griffin Dunne). Then, director Alfredo de Villa’s hilarious anti-romantic comedy takes a shocking turn.