Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), a Holocaust survivor in her eighties now living in Los Angeles tries to get back art stolen by the Nazis from her family in Vi-enna prior to World War II. Together with her young lawyer, E. Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Rey-nolds) she fights the government of Austria for almost a decade to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting of her aunt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

** Canadian Connection: Ryan Reynolds is Cana-dian, as is Tatiana Maslany, who plays Maria Altmann as a young woman.

Drama 1 hr 50 mins

General (G)
A film is to be classified as General if the contents are considered acceptable for all age groups. Films with this rating are allowed to include: occasional violence, occasional swearing and coarse language, the most innocent of sexually suggestive scenes and nudity. If a film includes any of the above, a warning accompanying the films advertisements may be required.

My Big Fat Greek WeddingConsider this your official save-the-date card: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2″ is slated for release on March 25, 2016.

If that date sounds familiar to you, that’s because another high-profile sequel is also bowing that weekend: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” We’re assuming that studio Universal is going for a counter-programming strategy by choosing that weekend.

Then again, this flick is all about surprise, since the announcement of its existence in the first place also raised eyebrows. The film is a follow-up to 2002 hit comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which made star Nia Vardalos a household name (for a little while, anyway) and earned an Oscar nomination in the process, thanks to a big push from producers Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

Hanks and Wilson are back to produce this time around, as are stars Vardalos and John Corbett. The plot is set to revolve around the revelation of a big family secret — and yes, another wedding is also planned for the occasion. (Perhaps that will involve Vardalos and Corbett’s onscreen daughter, who made a brief appearance at the end of the first flick.)

British director Kirk Jones (“Nanny McPhee“) is helming the project this time around. Like the first film, Vardalos is also writing the screenplay.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]

Photo credit: Getty Images

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SHOWTIME VIP Post-Fight Dinner For Not everyone feels, well, fantastic about a black actor taking on the role of Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in the new “Fantastic Four” movie. In this re-imagining, Kate Mara plays Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Miles Teller is Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Jamie Bell is Ben Grimm/The Thing, and Michael B. Jordan is Johnny Storm, the role played by Chris Evans in the 2005 movie.

Since Johnny was originally written to be blond with blue eyes, some fans grumbled about the change to cast Michael B. Jordan. Jordan just wrote a piece for Entertainment Weekly, responding to comments like “A black guy? I don’t like it. They must be doing it because Obama’s president,” “It’s not true to the comic,” and “They’ve destroyed it!”

Here’s part of what Jordan wrote:

It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961. Plus, if Stan Lee writes an email to my director saying, “You’re good. I’m okay with this,” who am I to go against that?

Some people may look at my casting as political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota, or as part of the year of “Black Film.” Or they could look at it as a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself-a reflection of what a modern family looks like today. […]

To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.”

Good for him! However, some fans said they were only questioning how Johnny and Sue could be siblings when they are different races, and Jordan did note that Sue is Johnny’s adopted sister in the movie. There were also positive response to the casting of Jordan — a well respected actor from “The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights” to “Fruitvale Station” — and he’s gotten a good amount of support for his response to EW. But negative stuff usually stands out for everyone. Still, it’s worth noting that there isn’t a mass movement against a black Johnny Storm, and for every negative comment, there are more positive ones … or just complaints about other aspects of the movie that have nothing to do with race.

On a related note, did you see the MovieTickets.com commercial featuring “Fantastic Four”? If not, here it is:

“Fantastic Four” hits theaters August 7.

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In retrospect, the popularity of “Braveheart” seems like a foregone conclusion.

The movie, which opened 20 years ago this week (on May 24, 1995), won five Oscars, two of them for star Mel Gibson (in his roles as producer and director). The Best Picture winner thrilled audiences as well as critics with its exciting battle scenes, stirring speeches, and sweeping historical narrative of 13th-century Scottish independence fighter William Wallace. At its center is a charismatic performance by the “Lethal Weapon” star, then at the height of his popularity as a box office draw and action hero. It grossed $210 million worldwide. Two decades later, it’s still the most famous movie ever made about Scotland.

Still, even though the movie has been a staple for 20 years, there may be plenty you don’t know about it, from its generous liberties with history to the R-rated pranks the director pulled on his leading lady.

1. “Braveheart” was Randall Wallace’s first produced screenplay, but he’d done a lot of interesting work before that. He’d been a martial arts instructor, the manager of an animal show at Opryland in Nashville, a singer/songwriter, and a TV scriptwriter.

2. Wallace was inspired to write the screenplay by a trip to Scotland to explore his own roots. He is not related to William Wallace, but he was inspired by the famous rebel’s life story.

3. Mel Gibson took the script to his then-home studio, Warner Bros., with the hope to direct the project. The studio agreed to fund the production only if Gibson agreed to headline a fourth “Lethal Weapon” movie. Gibson turned Warners down — though three years later, he did make “Lethal Weapon 4.”

4. Paramount agreed to make the film, but as insurance, it split the $72 million budget with 20th Century Fox; Fox was given rights to international distribution in return. The studio also asked Gibson to star in the movie, even though he felt he was a decade too old, at 38, to play a historical figure in his 20s.

5. Gibson shot some of the movie on location in Scotland, in places like Loch Leven and Glen Coe, where “Highlander” had been filmed a decade earlier. The set for Wallace’s village was built in the Glen Nevis valley. (After the set was dismantled, the parking lot the filmmakers built remained, and today, it’s known as the Braveheart Car Park.)

6. The rest of the film, however, was shot in Ireland, in and around Dublin. That irked some purists, but hey, tax breaks. Ireland also provided army reserve soldiers to be used as extras. Between 1600 and 2000 extras appear in the Battle of Stirling Bridge sequence, which took six weeks to shoot on Curragh Plain in County Kildare.

7. Much of Randall Wallace’s screenplay is based on an epic poem about William Wallace’s exploits by a 15th-century minstrel named Blind Harry. It’s a poem inspired by legends about Wallace that Blind Harry compiled about 170 years after Wallace’s death, and it’s full of exaggerations and deeds that historians have attributed to people other than Wallace.

8. In real life, the nickname “Braveheart” actually referred to Robert the Bruce (played in the movie by Angus Macfadyen), not William Wallace.

9. “Braveheart” depicts Wallace as a peasant farmer, but historians say he was a member of the gentry as the son of a minor landowner.

10. As in the film, Wallace did become a rebel leader after the murder of his wife — but there’s no evidence that the English ever practiced the policy of primae noctic — having lords rape the virginal brides of serfs on their wedding nights.

11. Was Edward II (played by Peter Hanly) actually gay, as the movie indicates? Historians say most likely, though he also did father five children by two different women, a fact the movie ignores. He was also robust and strong like his father, not a skinny weakling, as the film portrays him. And the sequence where his father tosses his son’s lover out the window to his death? Never happened.

12. The film’s portrayal of Edward II as a frail sissy, and the seemingly gratuitous defenestration scene, led to criticisms of Gibson’s movie as homophobic. Gay-rights activists threatened to protest the film outside theaters in major cities. Gibson defended the window scene, saying, “The king didn’t throw that character out the window because he’s gay. He did it because the king’s a psychopath.”

13. In real life, William Wallace could not have wooed and impregnated Princess Isabella (Sophie Marceau). At the time, she was a three-year-old girl living in France. She did marry Edward II, but after he was king, not when he was still Prince of Wales. Their son,Edward III, was born seven years after Wallace’s death.

14. Scottish soldiers at the time would not have worn kilts; that didn’t happen for another four centuries or so. Also, there’s no record that they wore the blue war paint, though ancient tribes in Scotland a thousand years earlier had done so.

15. Oh, and there’s no mention, in history or legend, of the Scots “mooning” the British at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

16. Gibson defended scenes like the above by noting that the movie was so grim and bloody that it needed some comic relief. “If this movie didn’t have some funny bits, it’d be unbearable,” he told the Dallas Observer. “The audience would f—in’ hang itself.”

17. On set, Gibson furthered his reputation as a prankster of sorts. Marceau told Entertainment Weekly that Gibson, during downtime, used to surprise her by flashing his penis at her — his way of lightening the mood.

18. To prevent the film from getting an NC-17 rating, Gibson had to trim some of the battle scenes. It ultimately got an R-rating for “brutal medieval warfare.” As for the gruesome execution scene, which accurately portrays Wallace as being castrated, disemboweled, hanged, drawn and quartered — apparently, the ratings board had no problem with that.

19. The film grossed $75.6 million in North America and another $134.8 million abroad. (No doubt Paramount suits were kicking themselves for selling the foreign rights to Fox.) It stayed in theatrical release for nearly 13 months.

20. Purists also grumbled at the use of Irish uilleann pipes, rather than Scottish bagpipes, on James Horner’s score. But the movie’s soundtrack was popular enough to spawn a second album of instrumentals from the film. Two years later, Horner reused one of the melodies (and a lot more uilleann pipes) on his soundtrack for “Titanic.”

21. The five Oscars “Braveheart” won were for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Effects Editing. It was nominated for five additional awards: Best Original Screenplay, Best Costumes, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Score.

22. “Braveheart” is generally credited with generating a boom in Scottish tourism, especially to the battle sites depicted in the film.

23. At the Wallace Monument in Stirling, Scotland, a 13-foot sandstone sculpture of Gibson as Wallace was placed in the parking lot in 1997. After being defaced several times, the statue was returned to its sculptor, Tom Church, in 2009, with the local tourism board stating the move was necessary to make room for the monument’s new visitors’ center.

24. Randall Wallace went on to continued success in Hollywood. He wrote and directed “The Man in the Iron Mask,” Gibson’s “We Were Soldiers,” and “Heaven Is For Real.” He also wrote the screenplay to “Pearl Harbor” and directed “Secretariat.” Gibson has said he’s working on a script with Wallace for a Viking movie that has yet to go into production.

25. According to stolen Sony e-mails published by Wikileaks, the studio has been developing a sequel to “Braveheart” called “Lion Rampant,” which would center on Robert the Bruce. Tom Hiddleston would supposedly play the lead, while Sophie Marceau and Brendan Gleeson (Hamish) would reprise their roles from the original film.

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Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife Scott Eastwood, Brittany Robertson, Alan Alda

Drama 2 hrs 10 mins Rated: PG

Parental Guidance
Parental Guidance (PG)
A film is to be classified as Parental Guidance where the themes or content of the film may not be suitable for all children, although there is no age restriction
 

Box Office Top 3: Pitch Perfect Wins Aca-Competitive Weekend

LINDSEY BAHR, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The ladies of “Pitch Perfect 2” hit all the right notes opening weekend, amassing a huge $70.3 million debut, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.

The Elizabeth Banks-directed sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit and video on demand phenomenon cost Universal Pictures only $29 million to produce. The first film, however, grossed only $65 million domestically across its entire run.

George Miller’s critically acclaimed “Mad Max: Fury Road” claimed a distant second place in its debut weekend with a solid and expected $44.4 million. The high-octane film cost a reported $150 million to make and stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.

Holdovers “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” ”Hot Pursuit,” and “Furious 7″ claimed the rest of the spots in the top five.pitch perfect 2 box office

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Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) has gained a reputation for be-ing one of the greatest hit men to work for mob boss Shawn McGuire (Ed Harris). The friends have steadily avoided the law and have dodged detectives for the past 30 years.

Now 55, Jimmy finds himself at yet another crossroads in his life – choosing between his crime family and his actual family – when he discovers that his estranged son Mike (Joel Kinna-man) might be heading down a dark and twisted path. Jimmy is reunited with old friends, foes and demons as he works to protect his family.

Mystery/Suspense 1 hr 55 mins

14A
14A
A film is to be classified as 14A where the film is suitable for viewing by people aged 14 or older. Children under 14 are admitted if accompanied by an adult. Films with this rating may contain: violence, coarse language, and/or sexually suggestive scenes.
Parents Cautioned