Exclusive Clip: Golden Shoes

Posted on October 2, 2015 at 8:00 am

We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the new family movie about soccer, “Golden Shoes.”

As long as he could remember, eight-year-old Christian Larou (Christian Koza) dreamed of being a great soccer player like his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo. When his father is deployed to Afghanistan and his mother is hospitalized, he pours himself into the game he loves. With the help of some very special shoes, can Christian lead his team to the championship, inspire an entire nation, and bring his family together again? The movie stars Eric Roberts, David DeLuise, Montel Williams, and Vivica A. Fox. It’s available now on Digital HD from Starz Digital on DVD will be available On Demand and from Anchor Bay Entertainment on October 6, 2015. Stay tuned next week for an exciting contest!

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Trailers, Previews, and Clips

The Martian

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Intense peril throughout with some injuries, some graphic and disturbing images
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: October 2, 2015
Date Released to DVD: January 11, 2016
Amazon.com ASIN: B017S3OP34
Copyright 2015 Twentieth Century Fox
Copyright 2015 Twentieth Century Fox

In a crackling sharp movie about brilliant people solving very tough problems, it is endearing that the first and most important involves one of the earliest skills developed by mankind. Indeed, it is the skill that made it both possible and necessary to develop the very first communities. It is the skill that turned nomads and hunters into complex societies: the cultivation of crops.

Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon as an endlessly resourceful Eagle Scout-type who would run over from next door to help carry your groceries, is part of a US astronaut team on a mission to Mars. When a storm comes up, they have to make an emergency evacuation weeks before the mission is completed. He is separated from the group and they believe he is dead. So, like ET, he is left behind on an alien planet. But no Reeses Pieces here, and no Elliot to befriend him. The first thing he has to do is figure out how to feed himself. “Fortunately,” he explains to us via his video log, “I am a botanist!” {Hmmm, just like ET, who came to earth to collect plant specimens.) That credential has never been announced with such deserved satisfaction. What if the one left behind was the expert in telemetry or navigation?

As he explains in an unnecessary coda, one of the tightly constructed film’s few excesses, he knew he was probably going to die. But his attitude was, “Not today.” He understands that any hope of rescue is 140 million miles away. Even if NASA could figure out that he was still alive and could figure out a way to rescue him, it would take years before they could reach him. He counts out the meals left behind by the crew to figure out how long he has before he has to have some sustainable source of nourishment. Of course there are no seeds. There is no water (Mark would be very happy with the latest reports that in fact there might be water on Mars, but for this movie, there is none.) The ground (I guess you can’t call it “earth”) does not have the necessary nutrients. But there’s a bag marked “Do not open before Thanksgiving,” and inside, there are potatoes. And Mark is a botanist. He rigs up a machine to create water and empties out the lav for fertilizer. He plants the potatoes and sure enough, little shoots appear.

Meanwhile, the crew is still on its way back to earth. On earth, there is a state funeral for Watney. And then an analyst looking at transmissions from Mars sees something that could be a person. NASA realizes that Watney is alive. Can they mount a rescue mission before it is too late? Given the risks to the crew, should they?

Director Ridley Scott and the nicely space-named screenwriter Drew Goddard (based on the book by first-time author Andy Weir) have created a completely believable and utterly immersive world, and Damon’s Watney is an idea hero for the story. He is smart, self-deprecating, optimistic, and inventive. “I’m going to science the s*** out of it!” he says, understanding that the odds are against him but also understanding that the only way to stay sane and focused is to work each problem, one at a time. He genuinely enjoys the challenge (well, most of the challenges) and that makes it fun to watch.

Watching the way he thinks through problems is endlessly enthralling. He even rigs together a version of ET’s Speak and Spell to phone home. On earth, we see characters debate the politics and practicality of a rescue operation, ranging from who should know what when to whether the US should work with the Chinese on a launch mission. Jeff Daniels as the head of NASA, Kristen Wiig as the media liaison, and the various people in charge of crew and equipment all have different perspectives and priorities. The political and personality puzzles are as tricky as the scientific ones.

Production designer Arthur Max and cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (who worked with Scott on “Prometheus”) provide striking images of stunning beauty that are both strange and familiar. At times, it almost looks like the red rocks of the American Southwest but we are also aware of the peril constantly surrounding Watney, where a crack in the helmet can mean death. The scenes on the spacecraft, with the captain (Jessica Chastain) and crew matter-of-factly floating through corridors, are brilliantly realized.

This is an exciting, absorbing story, an adventure with a genuine hero whose courage, fortitude, and intelligence will spark the hero inside anyone who see it.

Parents should know that this film includes intense and prolonged peril with injuries, some disturbing images, brief nudity, some strong language

Family discussion: What was Mark’s most difficult challenge? What were the differing priorities of the people at NASA and when there are conflicts, who should decide?

If you like this, try: “Gravity” and “Apollo 13” and the miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” — and the book by Andy Weir

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3D Based on a book DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Science-Fiction

99 Homes

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Copyright 2015 Broad Green Pictures
Copyright 2015 Broad Green Pictures

It’s not called “99 Houses” or “99 Foreclosures,” though that is how they are seen by some of the characters in the film. The banks and the predatory dealmakers may think of these buildings as “assets” or “derivatives” following the 2008 subprime financial meltdown as buyers swoop in, buy them out of foreclosure, take government money to fix them up and then flip them for a profit. But for the people who live or lived in them, they are homes, they are sanctuaries, they are personal treasures filled with memories. They are the fortress of the people who call them home, and when that is breached, the family hardly knows who they are anymore.

Single dad Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) does not just live in a home. He works in construction. His job is building and fixing homes. But after the subprime meltdown, there is no work. That means no money and soon that means no home. One of the cruelest consequences of the financial crisis was that in order to meet the pressure from Wall Street to keep producing subprime derivatives, mortgage brokers pushed loans on people who could not afford them, creating the notorious “liar’s loans” for people whose financial qualifications would not be adequate for a traditional mortgage. And so people like Dennis were thrown out of their houses by people like the appropriately named Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), who show up moments before the house will be foreclosed by the bank to buy the house from the owners, who really have no other choice.

Dennis makes the deal with the devil and that turns out to be just the beginning. Carver offers him a job. He begins with construction work but shows an aptitude for hard work, following orders without asking questions, and willingness to do whatever it takes to make enough money to get his mother (Laura Dern) and young son back home. He is determined to restore what they lost and bring them back to the house Carver, the bank, and the Wall Street derivative brokers took from them.

Writer/director Ramon Bahrani (“Goodbye Solo”) has an extraordinary gift for making intimate dramas that do more than exemplify complex and murky issues; they illuminate them. A thousand headlines and think pieces could not do as much to bring, well, home, the real-life impact of the failures of bankers and politicians than a movie like this one. As specific in time as a mix-tape featuring Flo Rida with T-Pain and Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, it approaches epic, even operatic scope as Dennis gets pulled, sometimes yanked, deeper and deeper into becoming what he most despised. He does not realize that he is giving up something much deeper and more visceral than his home and belongings.

Michael Shannon, master of volcanic anger, is mesmerizing as Carver, rough charm and brutal fury. As Dennis gets pulled deeper and deeper into Carver’s way of doing business, and then his way of thinking, we see how seductive corruption can be, and how, after a point no matter where you live, it is not a home.

Parents should know that this film has constant very strong and aggressive language, crude sexual references and some situations, severe family distress and homelessness, threats, illegal activity, suicide, and brief violence.

Family discussion: Who is responsible for the foreclosures? What does Dennis admire about Rick?

If you like this, try: “Sunshine State” and the upcoming film “The Big Short”

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Not specified

October 2015: Movies Opening This Month

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Copyright 2015 Twentieth Century Fox
Copyright 2015 Twentieth Century Fox

Happy October! This is going to be a great month for movies, with some scary Halloween stories and some big, awards-worthy dramas, mostly based on true stories, and featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Here’s what’s coming this month:

The Martian Matt Damon heads an all-star cast (Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña) directed by Ridley Scott and based on the best-selling book about an astronaut abandoned on Mars and how he stays alive while NASA figures out how to get him home.

99 Homes Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, and Laura Dern star in this stark drama set in Florida as the subprime meltdown leads to foreclosures and homelessness.

Steve Jobs Michael Fassbender plays the founder of Apple in this biopic directed by Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), with a script by “The Social Network’s” Aaron Sorkin.

He Named Me Malala A documentary about the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, still in her teens, who has been a powerful voice for educational opportunities for girls.

Freeheld Julianne Moore and Ellen Page star as the real-life couple who fought for pension benefits for domestic partners, co-starring Michael Shannon and Steve Carell

Labyrinth Of Lies This powerful German film tells the story of the courageous prosecutors in post WWII Germany who insisted that the true story about the Holocaust be investigated so the perpetrators could be found and prosecuted.

Copyright 2015 Picturehouse
Copyright 2015 Picturehouse

Pan Ever wondered where Peter Pan came from? This is his story, from director Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride and Prejudice”), starring Garrett Hedlund and Hugh Jackman.

The Walk “Man on Wire” was the Oscar-winning documentary about the Frenchman who strung a wire between the towers of the World Trade Center and walked across it. This version stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is reported to have the best 3D effects ever.

Big Stone Gap Ashley Judd plays a 40-year-old single woman in a small Virginia coal-mining town who wonders if she will ever find love in this charming romantic comedy co-starring Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jenna Elfman.


Crimson Peak A young bride arrives at a house filled with secrets in this spooky story from Guillermo del Toro.

Goosebumps R.L. Stine’s spooky stories inspired this movie with Jack Black as the haunted author.

Bridge of Spies Tom Hanks stars in Steven Spielberg’s real-life story of a tense negotiation for the release of an American captured by the Soviets in the midst of the Cold War.


Jem and the Holograms The classic Saturday morning cartoon comes to life.

Burnt Bradley Cooper stars as a brilliant chef trying to make a comeback after a meltdown.

Truth Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett play Dan Rather and his producer in this story about putting a false story about the President on the news.

Rock the Kasbah Who better to play a shambling music manager than Bill Murray?

Room Brie Larson’s performance as a woman held captive for years by a sexual predator may be the breakthrough for this talented actor in this film based on the best-selling book.

Our Brand Is Crisis American campaign consultants go to South America to see if US-style politicking can be transplanted to Bolivia. What can go wrong? Sandra Bullock takes the role originally planned for George Clooney. Oh, and it all really happened. You can check out the documentary before the movie opens.

I Smile Back Sarah Silverman has been getting rave reviews for her performance in a serious role as a woman struggling with mental illness.

Suffragette The story of the women who fought for the right to vote in the UK stars Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep.

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Opening This Month
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