Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington teams up with Ridley Scott to punish the box office this weekend with their ’70s-set crime drama “American Gangster”. Meanwhile, the only hiccup in their plan for box office domination is one little animated bee in “Bee Movie” — but this bee is voiced by Jerry Seinfeld, which should give it more than a little David versus Goliath chance against “Gangster”. Meanwhile, hoping to be completely slaughtered, is John Cusack in the family drama “Martian Child”. (Seriously, what were they thinking tossing this movie into a pool with “Bee Movie” and “American Gangster”? John Cusack must have pissed someone off but good.)
American Gangster: Based on the life of drug-kingpin-turned-informant, Frank Lucas, who grew up in segregated North Carolina where he watched as his cousin was shot by the Klan for looking at a white girl. He eventually made his way to Harlem where he became a heroin kingpin by traveling to Asia’s Golden Triangle to make connections, shipping heroin back to the US in the coffins of soldiers killed in Vietnam. He soon made upwards of one million dollars a day in drug sales. Lucas was shadowed by lawman, Richie Roberts, who finally helped bring the kingpin to justice. The two then worked together to expose the crooked cops and foreign nationals who made importing heroin so easy.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Josh Brolin, Common , Ted Levine
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Bee Movie: Barry B. Benson is a graduate bee fresh out of college who is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a rare trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans are mass consumers of honey and decides to sue the human race for stealing bees’ honey.
Starring: Annette Bening, Chris Rock, Ray Liotta, Mark Moseley, Rip Torn
Directed by: Stephen Hickner, Simon J. Smith
Martian Child: A recently widowed science fiction writer forms an unlikely family with a close friend and a young adopted boy that claims to be from Mars. The new couple ignores some sage parenting advice from the widower’s sister and gets more than they bargained for when a series of strange occurrences lead them to believe that the child’s claim may be true.
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Joan Cusack, Sophie Okonedo, Oliver Platt
Directed by: Menno Meyjes
Opening in selected theaters:
Documentary following the struggles and achievements of six individuals making a difference in Darfur and around the world.
Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten
An invitation from Joe Strummer, the Punk Rock Warlord himself, to journey beyond the myth to the heart and voice of a generation.