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Here Are All the Movies Opening Today, August 29 (and a Few From Wednesday). What Will You See?

Photo of Steve Greene By Steve Greene | Indiewire August 29, 2014 at 10:22AM

These days, the number of indies premiering on a weekly basis can be both thrilling and intimidating. To help sift through the number of new releases (independent or otherwise), we've created the Weekly Film Guide. Below you'll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for today's fresh offerings.
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"The Congress"
Drafthouse Films "The Congress"

Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, August 29. (Synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.)

The November Man
Director: Roger Donaldson
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko, Eliza Taylor, Luke Bracey, Caterina Scorsone, Will Patton, Bill Smitrovich, Patrick Kennedy, Roman Mitichyan, Milutin Milošević, Lazar Ristovski, Akie Kotabe, Alexander von Roon, Miloš Timotijević, Nina Janković
Synopsis: "An ex- CIA operative is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect."
Criticwire Grade Average: C- (9 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Wide


Starred Up

Director: David Mackenzie
Cast: Rupert Friend, Ben Mendelsohn, Jack O'Connell, David Ajala, Peter Ferdinando, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Anthony Welsh, David Avery
Synopsis: "Eric (Jack O’Connell) is a teenaged offender who is so vicious that he is ‘starred up’—moved to a high security prison for adults. With rage that seems to know no boundaries, he fights everyone in his path until he meets his match, Neville (Ben Mendelsohn), a fellow prisoner who also happens to be his father." [Tribeca Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (14 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Montreal (expands to Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Seattle on September 5th)


Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Director: Thomas Allen Harris
Synopsis: "A rich and lyrical tapestry that is both personal and epic in scope, Thomas Allen Harris’s extraordinary documentary, Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, is a unique examination of they way black photographers—and their subjects—have used the camera as a tool for social change from the time photography was invented to the present. Using the family album as a rubric, Harris confronts the way images of 'blackness' have affected his own family and sense of self-worth as an African American. He also illuminates the ways fellow photographers such as Deborah Willis, Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Lyle Ashton Harris, and Glenn Ligon have challenged popular culture’s definition of 'blackness' and 'black people.'" [Sundance Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: B+ (3 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York


As Above, So Below

Director: John Erick Dowdle
Cast: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, François Civil, Marion Lambert
Synopsis: "Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all."
Theatrical Release: Wide


The Calling

Director: Jason Stone
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Gil Bellows, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, Donald Sutherland, Christopher Heyerdahl
Synopsis: "Detective Hazel Micallef hasn't had much to worry about in the sleepy town of Port Dundas until a string of gruesome murders in the surrounding countryside brings her face to face with a serial killer driven by a higher calling."
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Phoenix and Seattle)


Canopy

Director: Aaron Wilson
Cast: Khan Chittenden, Robert Menzies, Edwina Wren, Tzu-yi Mo
Synopsis: "An unlikely friendship between 2 young men becomes everything, when an Australian soldier takes refuge under the canopied jungles of Singapore, during the violent Japanese invasion in World War II. Jim is lost, injured and defenseless in a hostile, tropical world, hunted by Japanese troops, Seng, a Singapore-Chinese resistance fighter emerges from the jungle and the two young men find themselves thrown together hoping to survive."
Theatrical Release: New York (expands to seven other states throughout September)


Cantinflas

Director: Sebastian del Amo
Cast: Óscar Jaenada, Michael Imperioli, Luis Gerardo Mendez, Joaquin Cosio, Teresa Ruiz, Ilse Salas
Synopsis: "The untold story of Mexico's greatest and most beloved comedy film star of all time. From his humble origins on the small stage to the bright lights of Hollywood, Cantinflas became famous around the world - one joke at a time."
Theatrical Release: Wide


The Congress

Director: Ari Folman
Cast: Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Harvey Keitel, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danny Huston, Frances Fisher, Sami Gayle, Michael Landes, Michael Stahl-David, Christopher B. Duncan, Jon Hamm
Synopsis: "More than two decades after catapulting to stardom with The Princess Bride, an aging actress (Robin Wright, playing a version of herself) decides to take her final job: preserving her digital likeness for a future Hollywood. Through a deal brokered by her loyal, longtime agent (Harvey Keitel) and the head of Miramount Studios (Danny Huston), her alias will be controlled by the studio, and will star in any film they want with no restrictions. In return, she receives healthy compensation so she can care for her ailing son and her digitized character will stay forever young. Twenty years later, under the creative vision of the studio’s head animator (Jon Hamm), Wright’s digital double rises to immortal stardom. With her contract expiring, she is invited to take part in “The Congress” convention as she makes her comeback straight into the world of future fantasy cinema."
Criticwire Grade Average: B (25 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Various (expands across the country throughout September)


The Damned

Director: Victor Garcia
Cast: Peter Facinelli, Sophia Myles, Nathalia Ramos, Carolina Guerra
Synopsis: "A family are involved in an accident and take refuge in a secluded inn, where they free a girl locked in a basement without knowing she's an ancient evil."
Theatrical Release: Limited


Kundo: Age of the Rampant

Director: Yoon Jong-bin
Cast: Gang Dong-Won, Ha Jung-woo, Lee Kyeong-Yeong, Lee Sung-min, Jo Jin-woong, Ma Dong-seok
Synopsis: "Set in the 19th century. Jo Yoon (Gang Dong-Won) is the illegitimate son of a wealthy nobleman and a gisaeng. Because his father and his wife failed to have a son themselves, they bring Jo Yoon into their home at the age of 10. Later, his stepmother gives birth to their first legitimate son. Jo Yoon struggles for recognition from his father. A chance though arises for Jo Yoon to become a legitimate son. His younger stepbrother is killed by a group of thieves. Jo Yoon possesses elite sword skills and decides to plunder from the poor to amass a vast fortune. To become the only heir, Jo Yoon then decides to kill the pregnant wife of his late stepbrother. Meanwhile, Dol Moo-Chi (Ha Jung-Woo) works as a lowly butcher. He lives with his mother and younger sister. Dol Moo-Chi is then brought in front of Jo Yoon and is hired to kill Jo Yoon's pregnant sister-in-law. Dol Moo-Chi though is unable to carry out the execution. His failure causes tragedy to unfold upon his family and himself. As Dol Moo-Chi is about to be executed, a group of righteous thieves known as Kundo arrives."
Theatrical Release: Limited


The Last of Robin Hood

Director: Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Kline, Matt Kane
Synopsis: "Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling Hollywood star and notorious ladies man, flouted convention all his life, but never more brazenly than in his last years when, swimming in vodka and unwilling to face his mortality, he undertook a liaison with an aspiring actress, Beverly Aadland. The two had a high-flying affair that spanned the globe and was enabled by the girl’s fame-obsessed mother, Florence. It all came crashing to an end in October 1959, when events forced the relationship into the open, sparking an avalanche of publicity castigating Beverly and her mother - which only fed Florence’s need to stay in the spotlight."
Criticwire Grade Average: B- (7 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles (expands to eighteen states and Washington, DC in early September)


Last Weekend

Director: Tom Dolby & Tom Williams
Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Zachary Booth, Joseph Cross, Jayma Mays, Mary Kay Place
Synopsis: "When an affluent matriarch gathers her dysfunctional family for a holiday at their Northern California lake house, her carefully constructed weekend begins to come apart at the seams, leading her to question her own role in the family."
Theatrical Release: New York (expands to various cities nationwide throughout September and October)


Life of Crime

Director: Daniel Schechter
Cast: John Hawkes, Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Mos Def, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, Mark Boone Junior
Synopsis: "Mickey Dawson (Jennifer Aniston), the wife of crooked real-estate developer Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins), is kidnapped by two common criminals (yasiin bey and John Hawkes), who intend to hold her for a $1 million ransom and extort her husband with inside information about his illegal business dealings. But Frank, who is holed up in the Bahamas with his mistress, decides he’d rather not get his wife back, setting off a sequence of double-crosses and plot twists that could only come from the mind of master storyteller Elmore Leonard."
Criticwire Grade Average: B- (6 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland and thirteen other cities)


The Notebook (Le grand cahier)

Director: János Szász
Cast: András Gyémánt, László Gyémánt, Piroska Molnár, Ulrich Thomsen, Ulrich Matthes, Orsolya Tóth, Péter Andorai
Synopsis: "In a village on the Hungarian border, two young brothers grow up during war time with their cruel grandmother and must learn every trick of evil to survive in the absurd world of adults."
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles


The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears

Director: Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
Cast: Klaus Tange, Jean-Michel Vovk, Sylvia Camarda, Sam Louwyck, Anna D'Annunzio
Synopsis: "Returning home from a business trip, Dan finds that his wife Edwige has disappeared. When the police are of no help, he begins to obsessively investigate the singular and increasingly surreal art deco apartment building where the couple reside, in search of any clues to her whereabouts. Soon traditional narrative dissolves into mise en abyme in this kaleidoscopic and vertiginous adventure in sound and image, sadism and eroticism, and the real and the imagined. The unwary may be shaken up by the Belgian duo’s overpowering and percussive stylistic shocks, but in this haunted-house movie, one thing’s for sure: the eyes have it." [New Directors/New Films]
Criticwire Grade Average: B (9 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Limited


Temporary Family

Director: Cheuk Wan Chi
Cast: Sammi Cheng, Nick Cheung, Angelababy, Oho
Synopsis: "Nick Cheung portrays real estate agent Hong Siu Lung, who was dumped by his greedy fiancé when the house he gave her was too small. One day, he comes across an ad about a cheap penthouse on sale. Wanting to purchase the house and then resell it for a higher price, he strikes a deal with three other Kam Fung (Sammi Cheng), a wealthy divorcee; Ah Hak (Angelababy), Hong Siu Lung’s stepdaughter; and Very (Oho), a wealthy college graduate from mainland China, convincing them to split the purchase with him. When the estate market fell, the four are forced to live together."
Theatrical Release: Limited


Yellow

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Cast: Sienna Miller, Gena Rowlands, Ray Liotta, David Morse, Lucy Punch, Max Thieriot, Riley Keough, Daveigh Chase, Heather Wahlquist, Melanie Griffith
Synopsis: "Nick Cassavetes' seminal work, Yellow, is a searing take on modern society and the demands it makes on people. Centered on Mary Holmes, a young woman has a difficult time feeling things, and swallowing twenty Vicodin a day doesn’t help. We enter her hallucinatory world, peopled with Busby Berkeley dancers, Cirque de Soleil, Circus freaks, and human farm animals where nothing is quite what it seems." [Toronto International Film Festival]

Theatrical Release: Limited

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Missed last week? Here are all the releases from the weekend of August 22nd.

This article is related to: Weekly Film Guide, The November Man, Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, Starred Up, As Above, So Below, The Calling, Canopy, Cantinflas, The Congress, The Damned, KUNDO: Age of the Rampant, The Last of Robin Hood, Last Weekend, The Notebook (Le grand cahier), Life of Crime, The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears, Temporary Family, Yellow





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