On Nicolas Cage's Left Behind And The Rest Of This Weekend's Special And Wide Releases.

Annabelle .
Director: John R. Leonetti.
Writer: Gary Dauberman.
Cast: Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard.
Playing At: Wide Release.

“From the people who brought you The Conjuring,” are eight words that will keep me far, far away from this film. That movie scared the shit out of me, and because I'm a giant pussy, I only like to have the shit scared out of me once every 1,000 years.

Drive Hard .
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith.
Writers: Brigitte Jean Allen, Chad Law, Evan Law, Brian Trenchard-Smith.
Cast: John Cusack, Thomas Jane, Zoe Ventoura.
Playing At: AMC Grapevine Mills.

I love Brian Trenchard-Smith. He's blessed us with some of the best pulpy, low-budget cinema of all time — BMX Bandits and Stunt Rock are two of my favorites — but he hasn't made anything really watchable since 1994 (Night of the Demons 2, if you were curious). With Drive Hard's casting, I can't help to think everyone is in this for a paycheck.

Gone Girl .
Director: David Fincher.
Writer: Gillian Flynn.
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris.
Playing At: Wide Release.

No secret here, I loved Gone Girl. Not that King David Fincher needs any help with his vision, but Flynn adapting her own novel only made the good things in this film even better. Read my full review here.

The Good Lie .
Director: Philippe Falardeau.
Writer: Margaret Nagle.
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany.
Playing At: Wide Release.

From the A-lister front-and-center poster, to the misleading trailer, The Good Lie looks like this year's Privileged White People Help Poor Black Folks Oscar-bait movie. Having seen it, I can tell you it's richer than that. Yes, Reese Witherspoon is white (and I don't think she can help that), but there's a point in the movie when one of the refugees thanks her character for helping them get jobs and she replies, “Don't thank me. It's my job to get you a job.” White, black, fat or skinny — she's employed to get people jobs. It's such an important scene. It took eleven years for The Good Lie to get picked up and made into a movie, so telling this story of Sudan refugees coming to America for a second chance at life is a passion from screenwriter Margaret Nagle.

A Good Marriage .
Director: Peter Askin.
Writer: Stephen King (based on the short story by).
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Joan Allen, Stephen Lang.
Playing At: AMC Grapevine Mills.

Have you heard of A Good Marriage? Neither has most of the world. But what's odd is it's a screenplay from the legend himself, Stephen King, adapted from his novella of the same name, which can be found in his collection Full Dark, No Stars. It wasn't screened for critics, which is always a bad sign. I don't know how, but it is possible King has hit a bad spot in his long, captivating career. Let's hope it's a fluke.

Left Behind .
Director: Vic Armstrong.
Writers: Paul Lalonde, John Patus (screenplay); Jerry B. Jenkins. Tim LaHaye (novel).
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Lea Thompson, Cassi Thomson.
Playing At: Wide Release.

Nicolas Cage stars in the remake of the Christian apocalyptic movie, Left Behind, which originally starred TV-star-turned-Christian-evangelist, Kirk Cameron. I still can't tell if the joke's on us and Nicky did this for a funny or whether it was just a means to ease his financial woes, but I can say it was made and you can watch it if you want to.

The Liberator .
Director: Alberto Arvelo.
Writer: Timothy J. Sexton.
Cast: Édgar Ramírez, Erich Wildpret, María Valverde.
Playing At: AMC Mesquite, AMC Parks Mall.

The Liberator is a biopic about Simon Bolivar (Édgar Ramírez), the bad motherfucker who rode almost 100,000 miles on a horse and survived 100-plus wars against the Spanish Empire and never cried once. In short, the dude's a legend.

20,000 Days on Earth .
Director: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard.
Writers: Nick Cave, Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard.
Cast: Nick Cave, Susie Bick, Warren Ellis.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

At the time this was made, singer/songwriter/screenwriter/multi-hyphenate Nick Cave had lived on Earth for 20,000 days. 20,000 Days on Earth recounts things he's done during this time and the things that circle inside his head — his worst fears, life, the usual shit — but from one of the most animated people on this planet. This film is some-narrative, mostly-documentary, so it's a unique experience to watch.

Only Lovers Left Alive .
Director: Jim Jarmusch.
Writer: Jim Jarmusch.
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt.
Playing At: Inwood Theatre.

Only Lovers Love Alive is a slow burn, but this is one vampire movie that doesn't suck. It's one of Jim Jarmusch's best films and stars two of the most delicious actors of today: Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston.

Gideon's Army (Free Screening) .
Director: Dawn Porter.
Writers: Matthew Hamachek, Dawn Porter.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

Gideon's Army is about you and it's about me. At some point in your life, you've worked too hard for shit pay and too long with no benefits. This film is about three Public Defenders fight to change that. The Texas Theatre is sticking to the man by showing this movie for free.

The Lost Boys .
Director: Joel Schumacher.
Writers: Jan Fischer, James Jeremias, Jeffrey Boam.
Cast: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland.
Playing At: Angelika Film Center.

The Lost Boys is known for a lot of things: having the most punk rock vampires ever in cinema, the two Corey's, the short time period when being a part of a Joel Schumacher film was a smart idea and my personal favorite, the boardwalk scene featuring a shirtless, very muscular party animal jamming with the saxophone in purple spandex. No vampires sparkle here, just party and kill.

Short films don't get enough love at film festivals. Most press and fans are out to catch the stars and see the movies the aforementioned are starring in. Which is why it's so pleasing Sundance is trying something new — taking the shorts each year on “tour,” showing all of them from that year in one block (one showtime) around the world. Tonight, you can catch the Dallas show at the Texas Theatre. To see what shorts that will be playing, click here. The animation shorts screen on Sunday, October 5 at 5 p.m. — CW

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