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3-1-2013 Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

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For movies opening March 1, 2013

BIG BUDGET FILMS
21 and Over (R for drug use, alcohol abuse, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, coarse humor and pervasive profanity) Raunchy teensploit revolving around a straight-A college student (Justin Chon) taken out by his best friends (Skylar Astin and Miles Teller) for a wild night of debauchery and overindulgence on the eve of an important med school interview. Cast includes Sarah Wright, Jonathan Keltz and Francois Chau.

Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13 for frightening images, brief profanity and intense violence) Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) directs this action fantasy about an ancient war which resumes when a young farmhand (Nicholas Hoult) accidentally opens a portal to a world inhabited by giants. With Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McShane.

The Last Exorcism: Part II (PG-13 for terror, violence and brief profanity) Horror sequel finds the heroine (Ashley Bell) who survived an agonizing ordeal in the original again possessed by demonic forces. Ensemble includes Andrew Sensenig, Muse Watson and David Jensen.

Stoker (R for sexuality and disturbing violence) Psychological thriller about a young woman (Mia Wasikowska) who becomes increasingly suspicious of the motives of the uncle (Matthew Goode) she never knew existed when he comes to live with her and her emotionally-unstable mother (Nicole Kidman) after the untimely death of her father (Dermot Mulroney) in an auto accident. With Jacki Weaver, Harmony Korine and David Alford.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek (Unrated) Civil War mockumentary about four, forgotten Civil War heroes: a gay colonel (Matthew Ludwinski), a nerdy, fugitive slave (Barron A. Myers), an aging, Chinese launderer (Scooter MacRae) and a one-armed prostitute (Mara Kassin). With Tim Cusack, Emily Mitchell and Christopher Lukas.

The Condemned (Unrated) Suspense thriller revolving around a dying doctor's daughter (Cristina Rodlo) who travels to the town where he ran a free cancer clinic in order to restore his reputation. Co-starring Dolores Pedro, Axel Anderson and Rene Monclova. (In Spanish with subtitles)

Day of the Falcon (Unrated) Costume drama, set in the Thirties, chronicling the fortunes of a Middle Eastern prince (Antonio Banderas) torn between tradition and modernity at the dawn of the Arab oil boom. Ensemble cast includes Mark Strong, Freida Pinto and Eriq Ebouaney.

A Fierce Green Future (Unrated) Eco-documentary recounting the environmental movement's evolution from the Sixties to the present. Co-narrated by Meryl Streep, Van Jones, Robert Redford, Ashley Judd and Isabel Allende.

The Frankenstein Theory (Unrated) Found-footage horror about a camera crew's ill-fated expedition to the Arctic Circle in search of proof that Mary Shelley's classic novel "Frankenstein" was inspired by an actual, scientific experiment gone bad. Starring Kris Lemche, Joe Egender, Timothy V. Murphy and Eric Zuckerman.

Genius on Hold (PG for mature themes, brief profanity and smoking) Father-son documentary about the diverging life paths taken by Walter Shaw and Walter Shaw, Jr., the former, a prolific inventor who died penniless, the latter, a common jewel thief who picked his profession because his dad had been ripped-off.

Hava Nagila: The Movie (Unrated) Musical documentary celebrating the history of the festive, Jewish folk song. Featuring commentary by Harry Belafonte, Glen Campbell, Connie Francis and Leonard Nimoy.

Here I Learned to Love (Unrated) Holocaust documentary in which two Jewish siblings, now in their seventies, embark on a journey retracing their roots from Israel to Europe where they had been saved as toddlers from extermination by the Nazis. (In Hebrew with subtitles)

Leviathan (Unrated) Deep sea documentary capturing the dangers encountered on a daily basis by the hardy crew of a New Bedford fishing trawler plying its trade in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Massachusetts.

Phantom (R for violence) Ed Harris stars in this Cold War thriller as the captain of a Soviet submarine on a covert mission cloaked in mystery who finds himself forced to contend with rogue KGB agents determined to commandeer the vessel's arsenal of nuclear weapons. Cast includes David Duchovny, William Fichtner and Lance Henriksen.

A Place at the Table (PG for mature themes and mild epithets) Poverty documentary about the 50 million people living in the U.S. who have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Featuring actor Jeff Bridges, activist Raj Patel and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio.

The Sweeney (R for sexuality, graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Big screen adaptation of the BBC-TV show from the Seventies stars Ray Winstone as a tough as nails cop who catches criminals by taking the law into his own hands. With Ben Drew, Hayley Atwell and Alan Ford.

The Unspeakable Act (Unrated) Dysfunctional family drama about a 17 year-old (Tallie Medel) frustrated by the fact that her big brother (Sky Hirschkron) doesn't share her incestuous inclination. Support cast includes Aundrea Fares, Kati Schwartz and Caroline Luft.

War Witch (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category, about the ordeal of a 12 year-old girl (Rachel Mwanza) forced to shoot her parents and join the rebel forces in her sub-Saharan nation's civil war. With Serge Kanyinda, Mizinga Mwinga and Ralph Prosper. (In French and Lingala with subtitles)

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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