2 Days in New York
Where: New York; expands August 17 in limited release.
What: Julie Delpy and Chris Rock play an established couple; they’ve formed a happy family with children from previous relationships, but everyone is put to the test when relatives comes to visit.
Why Go: Actress-turned-director Julie Delpy may not be the most visually elegant filmmaker, but like many performers who move behind the camera, she elicits outstanding work from her cast. Early reports suggest that Delpy has improved as a director and Rock has delivered on his promise as an actor. We’re further intrigued because the story picks up with a relationship that’s already been established, and raises questions we don’t often see addressed.
Red Hook Summer
Where: New York; expands August 24 in limited release nationwide.
What: A young man from Atlanta spends the summer in Brooklyn with his grandfather, a “fire and brimstone preacher who's determined to save his soul.”
Why Go: We’re sorry, but the heated debates that erupted at Sundance when the film premiered there only made us more eager to see it for ourselves. Since then, director Spike Lee has reportedly fine-tuned the running time, but we expect it to be no less decisive. It’s evidently a very personal film for Lee, who was born in Atlanta and moved to Brooklyn as a youngster, and it sounds like a much-needed respite from the romantic comedies and superhero flicks that dominate the summer.
Where: New York, Los Angeles, Dallas; expands August 24 to Phoenix, Tucson, and Palm Springs, CA.
What: A 15-year-old boy prepares to leave his Arizona home to attend prep school on the East Coast, which also means leaving behind his new age mother... and a very hairy father figure.
Why Go: Even though the film received only a mixed reaction at Sundance, we’re still hopeful about this coming-of-age comedy, largely because we’re big fans of Vera Farmiga, who plays the teen boy’s mother, and David Duchovny, who plays the paternal-acting Goat Man. He looks like a denizen of the New Wild West, a fellow who hides wisdom and insight beneath his unkempt appearance and non-traditional lifestyle.
DVD Pick of the Week
Availability: On DVD; also available on Blu-ray.
What: Two brothers aspire to musical stardom, but are destined to live in the shadow of their high school friends -- the fellows who became U2.
Why See It: As we’ve observed before, Killing Bono is an amiable comedy that charts the struggles of two brothers who grow up in Dublin, Ireland. They come of age with music in their hearts, though the older brother (Ben Barnes) is more ambitious for individual glory. His overweening ego keeps getting in the way, testing the loyalty of his younger brother (Robert Sheehan). Nick Hamm directed, with an acute eye for the heartaches and joys of the '80s music scene.
Where: Opens August 17 in New York; expands August 24 in limited release.
What: A fast-food worker and her manager are put through the wringer when a man claiming to be a police officer issues commands to them via telephone.
Why We Want to See It: Having cheated a bit (we've already seen it!), we can confidently say that Craig Zobel’s sophomore effort goes to very uncomfortable places. Inspired by real-life events, the story takes turns that strain credulity, yet the performances by Dreama Walker as the teen worker and Ann Dowd as her middle-aged manager are thoroughly convincing and more than a little unnerving. The tension starts early and never really lets up; it’s the stomach-churning type of stress that’s exhausting and extremely thought provoking.