A remake of the 1984 film by Franco Zefferelli that starred Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt, this is one of those instances where the new version is better by far than the original. Essentially a modern-day Romeo and Juliette story about star-crossed lovers whose parents work to keep them apart, this one features sound performances by Gabrielle Wilde (Carrie) and Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike) as the picture-perfect young couple who go to great lengths to preserve their relationship. Bruce Greenwood and Joely Richardson are the opposing parents. Rated 14A.
This one has to come with a warning – it’s not for everyone, and is one of the most sadistic and depraved films to come along in some time. Some of the scenes are literally unwatchable. It all begins with a chance encounter in a bar between Craig (Pat Healy), a family man struggling with the realities of a bad economy, and a former high school acquaintance, Vince (Ethan Embry). One thing leads to another, and soon the “what would you do for money?” question hits the table. Craig, needing to provide for his family, gets swept up in what at first seems simple and innocuous, and soon escalates to horrific. Not one for my taste! Rated 18A.
Run & Jump:
Saturday Night Live’s Will Forte does an unusual dramatic turn here as a doctor with a research grant who heads to Ireland to treat a 38 year-old man named Conor (Edward McLiam) who has had a highly unusual stroke that has changed his personality. The family unit has been upended even though Conor’s wife Venetia (Maxine Peake) at first seems to be the poster girl for coping, but eventually becomes overwhelmed. A mostly-Irish cast plays to an excellent script in an engaging tale of family dynamics. Rated 14A.
An American Ghost Story (2013):
Interesting because this little scare-fest about a writer living in a haunted house in order to get inspiration for his book, was made for a mere $10k, yet has the look and feel of films done on 50 X that budget. Steven Twardokas wrote and stars in a Paranormal Activity-type direct-to-DVD shocker with some great scares. Rated 14A.
Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012):
Kids will like this one which is a distance cousin to the McCauley Culkin movie of 1990. Edward Asner is likely the only face you’ll recognize here as 12 year-old Canadian actor Christian Martyn, plays Finn, a boy who movies to Maine (represented here by Winnipeg) with his family, believes their new house is haunted, and sets out to trap the ghost when his parents are stranded on the other side of town, leaving him home alone ... with his sister. Not bad for what it is! Rated PG.
EASY RIDER (1969):
The late Dennis Hopper co-wrote (along with Peter Fonda) and starred in what is surely the classic road picture as two guys hit the roads of American on their choppers. Watch for a supporting role by music producer Phil Spector.