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January 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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FILM!

Deal Me In!

Molly’s Game is now playing (pictured Jessica Chastain)

Deal Me In!

  • By Jon Steely
  • Photo Courtesy of STX Entertainment

Now that we’re headed into 2018, it’s always fun to start off the new year with an exciting film that sweeps you away to a fascinating place. Molly’s Game, the true story of a world class skier-turned-poker madam, will definitely take you to that place. And if you’re a fan of The Social Network, The West Wing and The Newsroom, you’ll enjoy the same rapid-fire dialogue provided by writer-director Aaron Sorkin as he makes his directorial debut with this compelling crime drama/biopic.

Following a horrible skiing accident, Molly Bloom (two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain), a beautiful Olympic-class skier, relocates to Los Angeles, where she winds up running an ultra-exclusive underground poker game catering to Hollywood movie stars (Michael Cera), famous athletes, powerful billionaires and eventually the Russian mafia. (Along the way, she also picks up a drug habit.) But years later, after she’d stopped living life as a high-end poker madam, the FBI burst into her home and placed her under arrest, leading her to forge an alliance with an exceptional criminal defense attorney (Idris Elba) and a reunification with her therapist father (Kevin Costner).

Based on Bloom’s memoir “Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker,” Molly’s Game tells an intriguing tale in which truth, once again, proves to be stranger – and more entertaining – than fiction.

Molly’s Game” is now playing in theaters.

Proud Mary!

Proud Mary hits theaters January 12th

Proud Mary!

  • By Jon Steely
  • Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Fans of the wildly popular Fox drama Empire know exactly how much of a badass Taraji P. Henson can be based on her Golden Globe-winning portrayal of up-and-coming music mogul Cookie Lyon. So, though the thought of her playing a successful hit woman in the compelling new thriller Proud Mary might not feel like much of a stretch, we all know she’s more than capable of delivering a heart pounding adrenaline rush to audiences entering the new year.

In Proud Mary, the vivacious Taraji P. Henson plays Mary, a Boston-based professional assassin, whose world gets turned upside down after one of her hits goes wrong and turns a likable young boy into an orphan. Upon meeting this boy, Mary is surprised by an unfamiliar maternal instinct that begins to stir within her. If you want to get a feel for Proud Mary’s vibe, tone and energy, check out the official trailer on You Tube. Set to the classic Tina Turner megahit, it will surely get you in the mood for the tough-and-tender story that Proud Mary takes aim to deliver.

As we all know, Hollywood studios have been making assassin films – for better and for worse – for years. But with Proud Mary – propelled by the force-of-nature that is Taraji P. Henson – it looks as though they’ve found a way to put a fresh and rapid-fire spin on the genre.

Proud Mary” opens in theaters on January 12th. 

HOSTILES!

Hostiles is now playing (pictured Christian Bale)

HOSTILES!

  • By KENNE HOFFMAN
  • Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Studios

Christian Bale slays as legendary Army Captain Joseph Blocker in Entertainment Studios “Hostiles.” Director Scott Cooper (Black Mass, Out of the furnace & Crazy Heart) hopes to contemporize the film, contemplating racial divides that Cooper feels are growing wider and continue to exist today. Cooper hopes “Hostiles” will create conversations about inclusion. In “Hostiles” Captain Blocker (Academy Award winner Christian Bale) agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne War Chief (Avatar, Last of the Mohicans) and his family on a perilous journey from Berringer, N.M. back to their tribal lands of Montana. The travelers must band together to survive a punishing landscape filled with hostile Comanches and vicious outliers. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Die Another Day) adds additional levels to the journey as a suicidal widow whose entire family was murdered by the Comanche Indians.

“Hostiles” visual elements are undeniably elegant, from Cooper’s unhurried pace to the widescreen imagery. Stunning landscapes ranging far beyond the monumental valley vistas of most westerns.  “Hostiles” remains a statement of modern racial divides as a serious examination of the strained relationship of white men and Native Americans in the U.S. One that acknowledges the racism and brutality the U.S. Army showed the frontier tribes. If “Hostiles” is historically accurate I wouldn’t expect any fairy tale endings. The old west was a brutal period in history filled with rape and murder.

Hostiles” is now playing in theaters.

PLEASE STAND BY!

Please Stand By hits theaters January 26th (pictured Dakota Fanning)

PLEASE STAND BY!

  • By KENNE HOFFMAN
  • Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Boldly go see Magnolia Pictures’ “Please Stand By” starring Dakota Fanning (Man on Fire, The Runaways) as Wendy, an optimist who sees things a little differently. She is fiercely Independent with a brilliant mind and a mischievous sense of humor to match. To Wendy, as to many of us, people are an indecipherable code and the world is a confusing place in this unlikely road trip/sci-fi fandom movie mash up from Director Ben Lewin (Grimm & The Sessions).

Set phasers to fun as Wendy, a dedicated Cinnabon employee with sights set on the $100,000 prize, escapes her caregiver (Muriel’s Wedding’s Toni Collette) and her sister played by Alice Eve (Star Trek into Darkness) to hand deliver her 500-page Star Trek script to a writing competition in Hollywood. Wendy and her bladder control challenged dog follow the guiding spirit of Mr. Spock to “The Final Frontier,” space and freedom. “Please Stand By,” much like this article, is chock full of all sorts of Star Trek references for nerds to get a kick out of. Wendy’s captivating and heart-warming adventure shows what it takes to be your own person. Will she live long and prosper? Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield) and Tony Rivolori (Grand Budapest Hotel) complete the cast in this fun film that may not change your life, but will put a smile on your face. Waiting for video would be highly illogical!

Please Stand By” hits theaters January 26th.

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