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8-31 Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

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For movies opening August 31, 2012

BIG BUDGET FILMS
Lawless (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity and graphic violence) Prohibition Era crime saga revisiting the real-life exploits of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers (Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke), a ruthless gang who ran a thriving moonshine operation in the mountains of Franklin County, Virginia where they crossed paths with a crooked Deputy Sheriff (Guy Pearce) demanding a cut of the take. With Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska.

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (G) Interactive kiddie flick in which the title characters' (Malerie Grady, Stephanie Renz and Misty Miller) plans to throw a pal (Taras Los) a surprise birthday party go awry when their magical balloons float away. Ensemble includes Christopher Lloyd, Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Cary Elwes, Jaime Pressly and Chazz Palminteri.

The Possession (PG 13 for violence and disturbing themes) Evil spirit horror flick about a couple's (Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan) desperate effort to defeat the demonic force unwittingly unleashed on their family after their youngest daughter (Natasha Calis) bought an antique box at a neighborhood yard sale. Cast includes Madison Davenport, Grant Show and Agam Darshi.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
The Ambassador (Unrated) Danish journalist Madds Brugger poses as a shady European diplomat in this shocking documentary exposing corrupt government officials openly trading in blood diamonds in the Central African Republic. (In Danish, English and French with subtitles)

Breathing (Unrated) Austrian actor-turned-director Karl Markovics makes his directorial debut with this eloquent character study of an incarcerated teenager's (Thomas Schubert) effort to earn an early parole for good behavior by working in the morgue. With Karin Lischka, Georg Friedrich and Gerhard Liebmann. (In German and English with subtitles)

The Day (R for nudity, graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about an intrepid quintet's 24-hour defense of the decimated planet against a horde of bloodthirsty predators. Starring Shawn Ashmore, Cory Hardrict, Ashley Bell, Michael Eklund and Dominic Monaghan.

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (R for violence) Jet Li stars in this 3-D remake of Dragon Gate Inn (1966), a martial arts adventure about an avaricious band of marauders' search for buried treasure in the desert while hiding their true intentions by masquerading as ordinary citizens. Featuring Lunmei Kwai, Xun Zhou, Kun Chen and Yuchun Li. (In Mandarin with subtitles)

For a Good Time, Call (R for profanity, drug use and graphic sexuality) Raunchy romantic romp revolving around a couple of cash-strapped roommates (Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller) who resort to phone sex to pay the rent on their pricey Manhattan apartment. Ensemble cast includes Seth Rogen, Mimi Rogers, Nia Vardalos and Justin Long.

The Good Doctor (PG-13 for crude sexuality, disturbing situations and mature themes) Orlando Bloom plays the title character in this psychological thriller about a recent med school grad who develops an unhealthy obsession with a pretty patient (Riley Keough) with a kidney infection. Supporting cast includes Taraji P. Henson (great-great niece of Matthew), Troy Garrity (son of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden), Sorel Carradine (daughter of Keith), Jean St. James (mother of Martin Starr) and Michael Pena.

Joker (Unrated) Fantasy adventure about escapees from an insane asylum who established their own kingdom when their mental hospital was accidentally left off the map in the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. Starring Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Chitrangda Singh. (In Hindi with subtitles)

Little Birds (R for violence, sexuality, nudity, rape, drug and alcohol use, and pervasive profanity) Coming-of-age road drama about a couple of teenagers (Juno Temple and Kay Panabaker) who make a break from their humdrum hometown after meeting some cute older boys (Chris Coy, Carlos Pena and Kyle Gallner) from L.A. Cast includes Kate Bosworth, Leslie Mann and Neal McDonough.

Ornette: Made in America (Unrated) Reverential biopic chronicling the career of avant garde jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Includes appearances by Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Jayne Cortez and Denardo Coleman.

The Tall Man (R for violence, profanity and terror) High attrition-rate horror flick about a rust belt ghost town where the town nurse (Jessica Biel) remains skeptical about rumors of disappearing children until her own son (Jakob Davies) vanishes into thin air in the middle of the night. With William B. Davis, Stephen McHattie and Jodelle Ferland.

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

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