On The Interview (!!!) And This Weekend's Wide And Special Releases.

The Interview.
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen.
Writer: Dan Sterling (screenplay); Dan Sterling, Evan
Goldberg, Seth Rogen (story).
Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan.
Playing At: Alamo Drafthouse, Texas Theatre.

If you don't have the Internet, if you don't watch the news, or if you aren't a human being — wait, how are you reading this? — then you're the only entity in this world that hasn't heard about all the madness surrounding The Interview, the don’t-take-us-seriously-it's-just-a-comedy film that lampoons North Korea and the proposed assassination of its current leader, Kim Jong-un. Just google the film's name if you want to play catch-up on all of the to-do. In the meantime, know this: For a time there, it seemed that this one was never going to be seen. But, now, with help of our president and smaller theater chains like the Alamo Drafthouse and the Texas Theatre, we all now have the opportunity to see the it. I don’t know if this movie will suck or it's laugh-out-loud funny, but I do know that seeing this movie will be a big Fuck You to the terrorists who've given a massive migraine to Sony and everyone else who cares about this important matter. By the time you read this, every showing for Christmas Day will be sold out, so it may be a few days before you can actually see it. My suggestion? Head to Drafthouse DFW’s site now and buy your tickets in advance. Or just head to YouTube.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour.
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour.
Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

The less you know about A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the bigger the bite this film will have. Yes, you could easily google the film’s title and discover the big reveal, but keep your curiosity at bay and go into this movie blind. All you need to know is who the film's director is, and that would be Ana Lily Amirpour. Keep her on your radar. You’ll understand why — and hopefully agree — after watching this movie.

American Sniper.
Director: Clint Eastwood.
Writer: Jason Hall (screenplay); Chris Kyle, James Defelice (book).
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes.
Playing At: AMC Northpark.

I wasn't fond of American Sniper. But I didn't hate it, either. I'm glad it's getting a lot of acclaim; the story behind the film really remarkable. Also, Bradley Cooper bulked up and really transformed into the character he's playing, Chris Kyle, the most heroic and legendary sniper in the Navy SEALs' history. My only issue with the film is its direction. My take is that legendary actor and acclaimed director Clint Eastwood seems to be losing his footing. But our very own Kip Mooney doesn't agree. He thinks Eastwood really brings it.

Big Eyes.
Director: Tim Burton.
Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski.
Cast: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter.
Playing At: Wide.

I haven't seen Big Eyes yet, but what I can tell you from the synopsis is that it looks like the first film Tim Burton has given a shit about since Big Fish. That was 11 years ago!

The Gambler.
Director: Rupert Wyatt.
Writer: William Monahan (screenplay); James Toback (based on the 1974 film by).
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, Brie Larson.
Playing At: Wide.

The Gambler is a complete mess. It has more structure problems than Sony Pictures' management. But Mark Wahlberg is staggeringly good. He really pumps up the volume for his character's unfocused bravado and defeated demeanor. I really hope he ventures out of his comfort zone again and plays more burnout roles like this one in the future. See why I think so in my full review.

The Imitation Game.
Director: Morten Tyldum.
Writer: Andrew Hodges (book); Graham Moore (screenplay).
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode.
Playing At: The Magnolia, Angelika Film Center (Plano).

The Imitation Game will make you smile. It'll grab your attention, too. And, yes, it'll even make you cry. It's about Alan Turing, a pleasantly odd mathematician, genius and logician who helped crack the Enigma code — a device the Germans used to send messages during World War II. If you know of Turing's life after accomplishing one of the greatest feats in human history, then you know how this film ends. If you don't, bring some tissues.

Into the Woods.
Director: Rob Marshall.
Writers: James Lapine (screenplay); Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine (musical).
Cast: Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine.
Playing At: Wide.

Into the Woods is cute. It's a bit silly and, at times, it feels like a parody. But I was entertained from beginning to end — which, y'know, is the whole point a movie. Our very own Angela Jones agrees, too.

Unbroken.
Director: Angelina Jolie.
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson (screenplay); Laura Hillenbrand (book)
Cast: Jack O'Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson.
Playing At: Wide.

I love Unbroken. Let me say it again to really bring it home: I love this movie. It didn't make my favorite films of 2014 list, no. But that doesn't mean it wasn't deserving. This movie won me over because its lead, Jack O’Connell, is just a joy to watch. And the cinematography by Roger Deakins — the superstar who shot Skyfall, The Shawshank Redemption and all of the Coen Brothers' films except Blood Simple, to name just a few — is just gorgeous. Angelina Jolie shows tons of promise as a director here. Let me explain.

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