This weekend, audiences will have a choice among a diverse group of headliners: the sci-fi invasion epic Battle: Los Angeles, the animated alien abduction flick Mars Needs Moms, and, if you prefer werewolves over extraterrestrials, Red Riding Hood will be playing in your neck of the woods. Hit the jump to check out our coverage (including trailers and synopses) on these headliners as well as the limited releases 3 Backyards, Black Death, Certified Copy, Elektra Luxx, Jane Eyre, and Kill the Irishman.
RED RIDING HOOD
In Red Riding Hood, Seyfried plays Valerie, a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie’s older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village. For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life.
Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon’s arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. As panic grips the town, Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast–one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect… and bait.
For all of our Red Riding Hood coverage, click here.
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world — Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It’s up to a Marine staff sergeant and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before.
For all of our Battle: Los Angeles coverage, click here.
MARS NEEDS MOMS
Take out the trash, eat your broccoli—who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she’s nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “The Polar Express,” “Mars Needs Moms” showcases Milo’s quest to save his mom—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). With the help of a tech-savvy, underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom—in more ways than one.
For all of our Mars Needs Moms coverage, click here.
Opening in Limited Release:
From writer-director Eric Mendelsohn, the only two-time winner of the Directing Prize at Sundance (first for Judy Berlin, also starring Edie Falco) comes “3 Backyards,” the story of three residents of the same suburban town over the course of one perfect, glittering Autumn day. Mixing the mundane with the mythic, the film peers into the interior lives of its characters as they embark on seemingly tiny journeys that actually take them vast distances from the familiar. A businessman (Elias Koteas) with marital troubles gets ‘lost’ on a business trip without ever leaving town. A little girl (Rachel Resheff) steals her mother’s jewelry in the morning and finds herself faced with frightening, adult decisions by late afternoon. A well-meaning housewife (Edie Falco) offers her celebrity neighbor (Embeth Davidtz) a lift and the trip detours into unsettling territory. Seen through a prism of shifting light and shimmering leaves, the familiar geography of the suburban landscape dissolves by day’s end into a dreamscape where identity can be fractured, destroyed or ultimately reclaimed.
For all of our 3 Backyards coverage, click here.
The year is 1348. Europe has fallen under the shadow of the Black Death. As the plague decimates all in its path, fear and superstition are rife. In this apocalyptic environment, the church is losing its grip on the people. There are rumors of a village, hidden in marshland that the plague cannot reach. There is even talk of a necromancer who leads the village and is able to bring the dead back to life. Ulric (Sean Bean), a fearsome knight, is charged by the church to investigate these rumors. He enlists the guidance of a novice monk, Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) to lead him and his band of mercenary soldiers to the marshland, but Osmund has other motives for leaving his monastery. Their journey to the village and events that unfold take them into the heart of darkness and to horrors that will put Osmund’s faith in himself and his love for God to the ultimate test.
Juliette Binoche won the Best Actress prize in Cannes for her performance in this playful and provocative romantic drama from legendary auteur Abbas Kiarostami (“Taste of Cherry,” “The Wind Will Carry Us”), his first feature made outside of Iran. Binoche plays a gallery owner living in a Tuscan village who attends a lecture by a British author (opera star William Shimell) on authenticity and fakery in art. Afterward, she invites him on a tour of the countryside, during which he is mistaken for her husband. They keep up the pretense and continue on their afternoon out, discussing love, life and art, and increasingly behaving like a long-married couple. But are they play-acting on a whim or is there more to their seemingly new relationship than meets the eye?
Recently retired from the adult film industry, superstar Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino) is pregnant with the child of late rock star Nick Chapel. She is trying to make ends meet by teaching a community college sex education class aimed at housewives when a figure from her past, flight attendant Cora (Marley Shelton), approaches her with a proposition. In exchange for the (stolen) lyrics to Nick Chapel’s last record, all of which is about Elektra, Cora needs Elektra to seduce her fiancee. Elektra reluctantly agrees to do this favor, setting in motion a series of hilarious events which will see her come face to face with detectives, sex bloggers, emotionally unstable neighbors and the Virgin Mary herself as she wrestles with the prospect of motherhood and tries to become a person of substance.
For all of our coverage of Elektra Luxx, click here.
Based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, the romantic drama stars Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”) in the lead roles. In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. The isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. As Jane reflects upon her past and recovers her natural curiosity, she will return to Mr. Rochester – and the terrible secret that he is hiding…
For all of our coverage of Jane Eyre, click here.
KILL THE IRISHMAN
Over the summer of 1976, thirty-six bombs detonate in the heart of Cleveland while a turf war raged between Irish mobster Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) and the Italian mafia. Based on a true story, KILL THE IRISHMAN chronicles Greene’s heroic rise from a tough Cleveland neighborhood to become an enforcer in the local mob. Turning the tables on loan shark Shondor Birns (Christopher Walken) and allying himself with gangster John Nardi (Vincent D’Onofrio), Greene stops taking orders from the mafia and pursues his own power. Surviving countless assassination attempts from the mob and killing off anyone who went after him in retaliation, Danny Greene’s infamous invincibility and notorious fearlessness eventually led to the collapse of mafia syndicates across the U.S. and also earned him the status of the man the mob couldn’t kill.
Written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh and also starring Val Kilmer, Paul Sorvino and Linda Cardellini, KILL THE IRISHMAN is inspired by Rick Porello’s true crime account “To Kill The Irishman: The War That Crippled The Mafia.”