The People Around Us
Demian Bichir has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as a father trying to carve out a better life for his son in Chris Weitz's A Better Life. Carlos (Bichir) works as a gardener with a partner (Joaquin Cosio)-- while his partner dreams of returning to Mexico, Carlos works weekend and long hours and hopes to move to a better neighborhood and get his son into a better school. Luis, Carlos' son, is a high school student who doesn't want to follow in his father's footsteps, but he's surrounded by the gang culture of Los Angeles and doesn't see many options for himself. As Carlos and Luis each struggle for a better future, they both find the lines society doesn't want them to cross. On DVD and Blu-Ray.
Tao, a performer at the Beijing World Park, is in a relationship with Taisheng, one of the park's security guards, in The World. While Tao is beautiful and a bit distant, Taisheng has recently moved from the country and has a different relationship with the densely populated city. The characters living in and around the World Park are all working to make the best of their lives in modern China, but they're all striving for a bright future that their city may not be able to provide.
Curtis (Michael Shannon) is an Ohio construction worker who begins having apocalyptic dreams in Take Shelter. While he and his wife (Jessica Chastain) are working to meet their expenses and tend to their deaf daughter, Curtis begins preparing for the danger looming in his dreams. Though his friends (Shea Whigham) and family don't understand his strange behavior or the money he's spending, Curtis is compelled to fortify a storm shelter, but he's can't be sure if he's sensing impending disaster or if his family's history of mental illness has started to affect him. On DVD and Blu-Ray.
In his first purely dramatic role, Jet Li stars as a Wang Xingchang, widower with a 21-year-old autistic son, in Ocean Heaven. After years of taking care of his son, Dafu, Wang learns that he has cancer, and suddenly has to face the realities of leaving Dafu, who can't feed or dress himself, alone in the world. Along with a circus performer (Kwai Lun-Mei) who develops an immediate rapport with Dafu, Wang has to prepare his son to face the world without a father to care for him.
Johnny Depp stands in once again for gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson in director Bruce Robinson's The Rum Diary. Reprising his role as Thompson's alter-ego, Depp plays Paul Kemp, a writer who arrives in Eisenhower-era Puerto Rico and lands a job at the local newspaper. Working for an editor (Richard Jenkins) that can sense the new writer is trouble, Kemp is pulled between a land developer (Aaron Eckhart) who wants to use the newspaper to influence popular opinion and the wild journalistic personalities (Michael Rispoli and Giovanni Ribisi) who have no respect for the rich, the corrupt, and authority in general. To make matters worse, Kemp has become infatuated with the land developer's girl (Amber Heard)... On DVD and Blu-Ray.
Aura returns home from an art school and finds herself back in her old room in Tiny Furniture. Directionless after graduation and living in her mother's apartment, Aura's got nothing to show for her time as a film major but one video on YouTube-- she finds herself with self-centered men, a menial job, and troubles at home with her family, but no way to move forward with her life. Aura wants to be a filmmaker, a more successful artist than her mother (whose Tribeca home is paid for by her photographs of tiny furniture), but has no idea how to break out of her melancholy stasis. On DVD and Blu-Ray.
Martin, a deranged fan who can't tell fiction from reality, is obsessed with The Human Centipede movie in The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence. Martin lives with his emotionally abusive mother and he has become unstable and psychotic enough to fulfill the promise of his favorite horror move: instead of just three people, Martin intends to create the full, twelve-person sequence of a human centipede... but first, he'll need some volunteers.
An American engineer (Rob Freeman) survives the crash of a plane evacuating refugees from zombie-infected Africa in The Dead. Gathering what supplies he can, the engineer starts traveling through the African landscape, but the lumbering zombies are everywhere and, though they move slowly, they're always shambling towards the living. When the engineer meets a soldier, a deserter who left his post to find his family, the two men head for a military base where they hope to find their families and a refuge from the never-ending march of the walking dead. On DVD and Blu-Ray.
Comedy director Tom Shadyac reacts to a life-threatening injury by filming his soul-searching in the documentary I Am. Talking to experts, philosophers, scientists, and spiritualists, Shadyac investigates his history with success and money, and how acquisition and material goods don't guarantee anyone's happiness.
Following the famous family of mountain dancers (as seen recently in White Lightnin' ), The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia provides in-depth interviews with the expansive family. While interviews with the local population about the White family are anything but positive, the Whites themselves embrace a "fuss, fight, and party" motto that sees them all through wild times... and many trips to rehab centers, hospitals, and jails.
New this week in our TV New Releases:
Beavis & Butthead
|Mike Judge's animated morons return to mock the worst of televised popular culture.||Delocated:
|Outfitted with ski masks to protect their identities, a family in Witness Protection stars in a faux reality TV show in New York.|
Death Machine, Prozac Nation
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Patch Adams
Once upon a Time in China, Hero
Withnail & I, How to Get Ahead in Advertising
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Where the Buffalo Roam