L.A. Weekly’s Movie Guide is your look at the hottest films in Los Angeles theaters this week — from indie art house gems and classics to popcorn-perfect blockbusters and new movies garnering buzz. Check here every week before you make your big screen plans.

BIRDS OF PREY (Warner Bros.)


Birds of Prey—the eighth film in the DC Extended Universe—gives Harley Quinn, Joker’s gleeful ex, her own movie. Its star, Margot Robbie, a compellingly strange sight in her cotton candy-dipped pony tails and lunatic grin, also serves as producer in this follow-up to Suicide Squad in which Harley teams up with three other badass babes (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Rosie Perez) in order to take down local kingpin Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Cathy Yan directs a screenplay by Christina Hodson.



In the French countryside during the Second World War, a young shepherd boy (Noah Schnapp) witnesses the Nazis usurp his quiet village. With his father away, he befriends a Jewish hermit (Jean Reno) living in the forest who reveals he is responsible for smuggling Jewish children across the border into Spain. Based on a 1990 novel by Michael Morpurgo, Waiting for Anya is an earnest, straightforward drama that appeals directly to the heart. Anjelica Huston lends her formidable presence to the role of the widow who also leads the dangerous expedition. Ben Cookson directed. Galaxy Mission Grove, 121 Allessandro Blvd., Riverside; Fri., Feb. 7, various showtimes; $11.25-$13. (951) 780-4379, galaxytheatres.com.

GOALIE (Dark Star Pictures)

Canadian goaltender Terry Sawchuk played 21 seasons in the NHL and attained Hall of Fame status just a few months after his untimely death in 1970 at the age of forty. Goalie, a new biopic starring Mark O’Brien, is one of the best looks at the life of a professional athlete to come around in years, with equal time spent in the home as in the arena. (Sawchuk had seven children with his wife Anne.) Kevin Pollak and Georgina Reilly carry their share of the dramatic weight in this film directed by Adriana Maggs from a screenplay by Maggs and her sister Jane Maggs. Arena Cinelounge, 6464 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Feb. 7, $16. (323) 924-1644, arenascreen.org. 

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Review: ‘Goalie’ is a captivating film on late NHL star Terry Sawchuk

By Markos Papadatos 

“Goalie” is a gripping film that will be released in theaters on January 31, and it will be available on DVD and digital on February 25 via Dark Star Pictures.
It hits viewers like a shot in the heart.

Adriana Maggs did a solid job directing the film, and co-writing the screenplay with Jane Maggs. Mark O’Brien gives a transformative performance as the iconic Canadian ice hockey goaltender Terry Sawchuk, and he helps bring him to life for another ice hockey match.Most striking about this film is that it is based on the extraordinary true story of Terry Sawchuk’s life. He truly possessed the heart of a champion with all of the trials and tribulations (103 shutouts and 400 stitches) that he went through in his life. Sawchuk will go down as one of the best players that the National Hockey League has ever known, and O’Brien captured his conscience and humanized him.Kevin Pollak steals every scene he is in as Jack Adams (“Trader Jack”), while Georgina Reilly is sensational as his wife Patricia Morey, and she portrays a strong woman in the film who encouraged him “every now and then to take his mind off hockey.” The audience will be drenched in a wide spectrum of raw emotions thanks to Adriana Maggs’ exceptional script.
The Verdict
Overall, Goalie is a superb film about a man who was able to go beyond the ordinary and redefine the sport of hockey. It is a compelling movie about overcoming fear and having perseverance. It is highly recommended for all fans of sports, especially hockey, and for fans of Terry Sawchuk.Whoever was unfamiliar with Sawchuk will certainly be well acquainted with him by the time the movie is over. Goalie deserves a sincere round of applause for a job well done, and it garners an A rating.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/entertainment/review-goalie-is-a-captivating-film-on-late-nhl-star-terry-sawchuk/article/565305#ixzz6BEurDE1z

Sky Picks Up ‘Four Kids and It’


Sky has boarded “Four Kids and It,” Andy De Emmony’s family adventure film starring Sir Michael Caine, Matthew Goode, Paula Patton and Russell Brand. The film, which is based on the 1902 bestselling book by Jacqueline Wilson, will be available on pay-channel Sky Cinema and in theaters day-and-date at Easter.

Set on the Cornish coast, “Four Kids and It” follows four children who embark on a journey to discover if a magical creature can really make all their wishes come true. It starts out with a family holiday to a Cornish cottage which takes an unexpected turn when the kids come across a magical and very grumpy creature (Caine) on a beach.

“’Four Kids and It’ is another example of our huge ambition for Sky original films. We are passionate about great storytelling and I know, with this fantastic cast, that our customers are definitely in for a treat this Easter,” said Sarah Wright, the director of Sky Cinema and acquisitions at Sky UK & Ireland.

“Four Kids and It” was written by Simon Lewis (“Tiger House,” “The Anomaly”), in collaboration with Mark Oswin (“Danger Mouse,” “4 o’Clock Club”).

“Four Kids and It” is produced by Julie Baines of Dan Films and Anne Brogan of Kindle Entertainment and co-produced by Jonathan Taylor and Paul Donovan. It was executive produced by Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp for T&B Media Global, Tannaz Anisi and Gregory R. Schenz for 13 Films and Geraldine East.

De Emmony is a British TV and film director whose credits include “Spitting Image,” “Cutting It,” “The Canterbury Tales” and “Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!”


‘Terminal’ Director Boards Psychological Thriller ‘Every Breath You Take’ (Exclusive)

11:39 AM PST 12/10/2019 by Borys Kit

Courtesy of UTA; ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Vaughn Stein (left), Casey Affleck

  Vaughn Stein replaces Christine Jeffs (‘Sunshine Cleaning’), who left the project only a few weeks ago.

Vaughn Stein, who helmed the Margot Robbie thriller Terminal, has come aboard to direct Every Breath You Take, an indie thriller starring Casey Affleck.

It is a last-minute replacement as Stein fills in for Christine Jeffs (Sunshine Cleaning), who dropped out for undisclosed reasons two weeks ago. Cameras are rolling this week on the project, which also stars Michelle Monaghan and Sam Claflin.

Affleck plays a psychiatrist whose career is thrown into jeopardy when a patient takes her own life. When he invites the patient’s surviving brother, played by Claflin, into his home to meet his wife (Monaghan) and daughter, his family life is suddenly torn apart.

Southpaw Entertainment and Fourward Entertainment are producing the pic. Richard B. Lewis is producing as well as Ferres and Frank Buchs. Tannaz Anisi and Gregory R. Schenz are executive producing alongside Gabrielle Jerou-Tabak and Jon Levin

Stein is in postproduction on his second feature, the mystery thriller Inheritance starring Lily Collins, Simon Pegg and Connie Nielsen. He is repped by UTA, Grandview and Bloom Hergott.



WWII Drama ‘Waiting For Anya’, Starring Noah Schnapp, Anjelica Huston & Jean Reno, Scores UK Deal

By Andreas Wiseman


EXCLUSIVE: Kaleidoscope Entertainment has acquired UK and Irish distribution rights (excluding ships and airlines) to Waiting for Anya, Ben Cookson’s World War II drama based on War Horse author Michael Morpurgo’s novel of the same name.

Stranger Things‘ Noah Schnapp, Oscar winner Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family), Jean Reno (Leon) and Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist) star in the feature about a 13 year-old shepherd (Schnapp), his grandfather (Reno) and a widow (Huston), who help smuggle Jewish children across the border from southern France into Spain during World War II.

Kaleidoscope says it is planning a wide theatrical release in February 2020, followed by digital and home entertainment releases in the summer. Schnapp is set to attend the film’s London premiere.

The UK deal was brokered by Victor Glynn and Geoff Iles. As we revealed last month, Vertical Entertainment has boarded North American rights from sales firm 13 Films.

Screenplay comes from Toby Torlesse and Cookson. Pic was was produced by Phin Glynn and Alan Latham. Production companies include Goldfinch, Fourth Culture Films, Bad Penny Productions, 13 Films and Artemis Productions.

Former Children’s Laureate Morpurgo said, “I saw my story of Waiting for Anya in my mind’s eye as I was writing it. Now all these years later, I have seen it on the screen. What a film they have made! Astonishingly beautiful and moving, it is a tribute to all those who have made it, who have given my story new life, and to Kaleidoscope who will be bringing it to so many.”

Producer Alan Latham commented, “The film appeals to a wide audience both young adults families and the older generation given the historical and educational importance of the film. I am delighted that Kaleidoscope Entertainment has the same vision for the film.”

WWII Drama ‘Waiting For Anya’, Starring Noah Schnapp, Anjelica Huston & Jean Reno, Scores UK Deal

Noah Schnapp-Angelica Huston WWII Drama ‘Waiting For Anya’ Gets Theatrical Deal With Vertical

By Patrick Hipes

Waiting For Anya
Vertical Entertainment

EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American distribution rights to Waiting for AnyaBen Cookson’s World War II drama based on the novel by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo. A day-and-date release is planned for early next year.

Stranger Things‘ Noah Schnapp, Anjelica Huston and Jean Reno star in the pic. The plot centers on Jo Lalande (Schnapp), a 13-year-old shepherd, and a widow, Horcada (Huston), who help smuggle Jewish children across the border from southern France into Spain during WWII.

Cookson wrote and directed the pic, which was produced by Phin Glynn and Alan Latham and hails from Goldfinch, Fourth Culture Films, Bad Penny Productions, 13 Films and Artemis Productions. 13 Films handled worldwide sales at the just-wrapped American Film Market.

Executive producers are Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp, Tannaz Anisi, Kirsty Bell, Adam Betteridge, Alastair Burlingham, Ekkasitha Chalermrattawongz, Julian Hicks, Geoffrey Iles, Phil Mckenzie, Greg Schenz, Prornsuree Thienbunlertrat and Paul Ward.

The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector at Vertical and Tannaz Anisi at 13 Films for the filmmakers.

Noah Schnapp-Angelica Huston WWII Drama ‘Waiting For Anya’ Gets Theatrical Deal With Vertical

‘The Current War: Director’s Cut’ Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Lights Up The Screen As Thomas Edison In Smart Historical Drama


By Pete Hammond

Pete Hammond

Awards Columnist/Chief Film Critic

@DeadlinePete   October 22, 2019 2:48pm

If there were an Oscar for Best Save, the new reworking of the two-year-old Toronto Film Festival misfire The Current War would win in a walk. I first saw this film at TIFF, where the Weinstein Company held its world premiere in 2017. It was premature, to say the least, and the film was not ready for primetime, not well-received critically nor by audiences as it was an overlong rather confused drama depicting the AC/DC battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to get the rights to light up the country. Then, making matters worse, the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke a month later, taking down TWC and the film’s distribution with it.

Once it finally got extracted, a reworked version played in some foreign territories due to contractual obligations. But now — in a completely new version that is so radically different it has been renamed as the “Directors Cut” — the vision of filmmaker Alfonso Gomez-Rejon finally has been realized, and the movie indeed lives up to its potential. It has a new lease on life and even has a new Rotten Tomatoes page with all those initial negative reviews from TIFF washed away.

With his editing team on board (credited editors are Justin Krohn and David Trachtenberg), Gomez-Rejon has smartly reimagined his movie and made it far more vital and entertaining than the lumbering version I recall. Now it pops off the screen as any film with this kind of cast and production value should. The story remains the same, but it has been given new life, and it is thrilling to watch — particularly for those interested in the titans of our history and people who would be running Silicon Valley if they were alive in this era. They were the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of their day. This Current War is an extraordinary movie, and considering the behind-the-scenes journey it has been on, that is a pretty great achievement. It deserves its second chance.

It opens with a stunning scene in which snowy weather cannot stop Edison’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) demonstration of his greatest achievement: the lighting display of his DC current that promises to revolutionize the industry and light up New York. The movie then moves on to focus on his plans to launch the standard that will be used — and Edison is quite the salesman, a man whose inventions are formidable. But just before that can happen, the much more practical, and less arrogant, Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) enters the picture with his AC current, one that he claims will be far more effective and cost conscious than Edison’s. The battle is on and the movie cuts back and forth between the two principals, as well as Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), the genius caught in the middle between the two behemoths of electricity.

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Saban Films Pick Up Director Darren Lynn Bousman’s Horror Film DEATH OF ME


by Joey Paur saban-films-pick-up-director-darren-lynn-bousmanshorror-film-death-of-me-social.jpg

Saban Films has picked up the distribution rights to director Darren Lynn Bousman’s new horror film Death of Me, which stars Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth.

Bousman has directed a lot of horror movies in his career such as several Saw films (including the new one), Repo! The Genetic Opera, and The Devil’s Carnival. I’ve enjoyed watching many of his films, and this next one of his sounds like it’ll be good.

The story for the movie centers on “a couple on an exotic holiday who awaken one morning with a hangover and no recollection of what transpired. When playing back the video of their previous night, they learn they participated in a ritual that somehow ended with the husband murdering the wife — though she’s actually very much alive.”


Well, that sounds like fun! It’s like a satanic horror filled version of The Hangover. The movie was written by Ari Margolis, James Morley III, and David Tish, and Saban is looking to release it in 2020.

Source: Deadline


Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult Feud in ‘The Current War’ Trailer


101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,”  offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.”

The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, as he attempts to use his DC technology to introduce light to Manhattan. However, his initial efforts are obstructed when businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) and his partner Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) rival the inventor with Tesla’s own AC electrical current.

In the new trailer, it’s clear that the film won’t hold back in the portrayal of the historical corporate feud. In the teaser, Edison says, “This is a battle of the greatest minds of America,” to which Westinghouse threatens, “If you want to be remembered, it’s simple: Shoot a president. But if you prefer to have what I call a legacy, you leave the world a better place than you found it.”

Written by Michael Mitnick (“The Giver”) and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the historical drama premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2017 where it was met with negative reviews from critics. Weeks later, the film became one of several completed films that found itself dropped from its original distributor, The Weinstein Company, in the wake of the producer’s sexual abuse scandal in the fall of 2017.

In the two years that followed, however, Gomez-Rejon made substantial changes to the original footage, swapping out the film’s musical score, cutting its run time, and adding new scenes. Eventually, the film was bought by David Glasser’s newly established 101 Studios.

“The Current War,” which also stars Tom Holland, will make its limited release debut on Oct. 4 and will premiere nationwide Oct. 11.


Bella Thorne to star in horror ‘The Friendship Game’


13 Films will launch international sales in Cannes next week on horror film The Friendship Game with Bella Thorne set to star.

Scooter Corkle will direct from a screenplay by Damien Ober (The OA, Black List’s Randle Is Benign) about teenagers in a small town who find a strange object that tests their loyalties with increasingly destructive consequences.

The Friendship Game is scheduled to start production in Vancouver in August. CAA represents North American rights.

Daniel Bekerman of Scythia Films (The Witch), fresh from wrapping Viggo Mortensen’s directing debut Falling, will serve as producer. Executive producers are Thorne, Ober, Gabriel Chicoine, Zak Kilberg of Social Construct Films, and Tannaz Anisi and Greg Schenz for 13 Films.

Thorne’s credits include Midnight Sun, Assassination Nation, The Duff, and Blended.

The Friendship Game marks Corkle’s second feature after 2017 mystery thriller Hollow In The Land, which starred Dianna Agron and Shawn Ashmore and centred on a troubled woman who sets out to find her missing brother.