At the Movies: ‘Labor Day,’ ‘That Awkward Moment,’ more

Jan. 31, 2014 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition

The singalong version of Disney's hit holiday film 'Frozen' features on-screen lyrics. --Disney Pictures

The singalong version of Disney’s hit holiday film ‘Frozen’ features on-screen lyrics. –Disney Pictures

Wide-release film synopses from the Los Angeles Times; for full reviews of movies opening this weekend, see the Today section.

‘Frozen Sing-Along’
Disney has released another version of its holiday film about a princess looking for her sister, this time with on-screen lyrics for the audience to sing along to. (The original film earned a **** critical rating.)

‘Labor Day’ **
On a back-to-school shopping trip, a reclusive single mother (Kate Winslet) and her 13-year-old son (Gattlin Griffith) encounter and take in a man (Josh Brolin) in need — he turns out to be an escaped con, but he also bonds with both. With Tobey Maguire. Written and directed by Jason Reitman. (PG-13, 1:51)

‘Oscar-nominated shorts: animated’ ***
A program showcasing this year’s Academy Award-nominated animated short films. Multiple actors, writers and directors. (NR, 1:50) At Kahala 8.

‘Oscar-nominated shorts: live-action’ 1/2
A program showcasing this year’s Academy Award-nominated live-action short films. (NR, 1:48) At Kahala 8.

‘That Awkward Moment’ **
Three best friends simultaneously find themselves questioning where their recent relationships are headed. With Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Imogen Poots. Written and directed by Tom Gormican. (R, 1:45)

Miles Teller, left, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron star in the romantic comedy 'That Awkward Moment.' --Focus Features

Miles Teller, left, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron star in the romantic comedy ‘That Awkward Moment.’ –Focus Features


‘American Hustle’ ****
Two con artists (Christian Bale, Amy Adams) are compelled to work with a wild federal agent (Bradley Cooper) to concoct a sting targeting New Jersey power brokers and the Mafia in this drama based on the FBI’s Abscam operation of the 1970s. With Jennifer Lawrence. An Oscar nominee. (R, 2:09)

‘August: Osage County’ *
When a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, three sisters (Julia Roberts, an Oscar nominee, Julianne Nicholson and Juliette Lewis) confront the dysfunctional woman (Meryl Streep, alos an Oscar nominee) who raised them. With Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper. (R, 2:10)

‘Bride for Rent’
To receive the trust fund his grandmother set up for him, Rocco Espiritu (Xian Lim) must be married. Rocky (Kim Chiu) responds to his ad for a bride, since she needs the money to provide for her impoverished family. A Filipino comedy directed by Mae Czarina Cruz. At Pearlridge West.

Matthew McConaughey, right, plays a defiant AIDS patient who becomes a drug dispenser and an activist in 'Dallas Buyers Club,' which also stars Jared Leto, left. --Focus Features

Matthew McConaughey, right, plays a defiant AIDS patient who becomes a drug dispenser and an activist in ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ which also stars Jared Leto, left. –Focus Features

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ **1/2
The “inspired by true events” tale of a party-hearty Texas cowboy and self-employed electrician who, in 1985, contracted the AIDS virus. Matthew McConaughey gives a literally transformative performance as this homophobic hell-raiser who won’t accept the doctors’ diagnosis that he has 30 days to live. He proves them wrong, becoming a cash-rich drug dispenser and patients’ rights advocate in the process, in this wild, colorful, compassionate film. An Oscar nominee. (R, 1:57)

‘The Great Beauty’ ***1/2
Fellini looms large in Paolo Sorrentino’s portrait of Rome in decadent decay. Sorrentino is an exquisite stylist (the opening minutes of his “Il Divo” are pure, blistering cinema), and “The Great Beauty” is manic and overstuffed. But it’s bursting with life. (Literally. It’s got a giraffe.) (Not rated, 2:22) At Kahala 8.

’47 Ronin’ **
A 3-D fantasy-adventure with Keanu Reeves as an outcast who joins 47 samurai to seek vengeance on the overlord who killed their master. (PG-13, 2:07)

‘Frozen’ ****
An optimistic princess sets off on a journey with a rugged mountain man to find her sister. With the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. (PG, 1:48)

‘Gimme Shelter’ **
Forced to flee her abusive mother and turned away by her Wall Street father, a pregnant teenager (Vanessa Hudgens) meets a compassionate stranger (James Earl Jones) who helps her find salvation in a suburban shelter for homeless teens. With Rosario Dawson. Written and directed by Ronald Krauss. (PG-13, 1:41)

‘Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy’ (Not reviewed)
Vice Ganda plays quadruplets of both sexes and different sexual orientations in this Filipino comedy directed by Wenn V. Deramas. At Pearlridge West 16 (Not rated, 1:45)

‘Gravity’ ****
When their shuttle is destroyed during a routine spacewalk, an astronaut and an engineer are stranded in space. With Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. An Oscar nominee. (PG-13, 1:31)

‘Her’ ****
In near-future Los Angeles, a lonely writer trying to recover from a failed relationship downloads an advanced new operating system and begins to fall in love with his virtual companion. With Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johansson. An Oscar nominee. (R, 2:06)

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ ***
Reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins continues his quest to face the fearsome dragon Smaug and help 13 dwarves reclaim their lost kingdom in this second installment of a trilogy adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” With Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Benedict Cumberbatch. (PG-13, 2:40)

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ **1/2
The young warrior and reluctant revolutionary Katniss Everdeen returns to the arena for another battle to the death in this second film of a series adapting Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” book trilogy. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson. (PG-13, 2:26)

‘I, Frankenstein’ (Not reviewed)
Two centuries after his creation by Dr. Frankenstein, the creature Adam finds himself in a supernatural war over the fate of humanity. With Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski and Miranda Otto. Written and directed by Stuart Beattie. (PG-13, 1:32)

‘The Invisible Woman’ ***
A dramatic account of Charles Dickens’ affair with the 18-year-old actress Ellen “Nelly” Ternan amid the strict, whispering society of Victorian England. With Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones and Kristin Scott Thomas. Written by Abi Morgan. Directed by Fiennes. (R, 1:51) At Kahala 8.

Chris Pine plays a CIA analyst out to prevent a terrorist plot in 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.' --Paramount Pictures

Chris Pine plays a CIA analyst out to prevent a terrorist plot in ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.’ –Paramount Pictures

‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ **
A young CIA analyst uncovers an international terrorist plot to collapse the U.S. economy and heads into the field to prevent it from happening. With Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh and Keira Knightley. (PG-13, 1:46)

‘The Legend of Hercules’ (Not reviewed)
Betrayed by his stepfather, the mythical Greek hero Hercules (Kellan Lutz) is sold into slavery because of a forbidden love and must fight for his life and his kingdom. With Scott Adkins and Liam McIntyre. (PG-13, 1:39)

‘Lone Survivor’ **1/2
Four Navy SEALs (Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster), whose mission is to take down an al-Qaida operative, end up being ambushed in Afghanistan’s mountains and are faced with long odds. (R, 2:01)

‘Miss Granny’
Korean comedy about a 74-year-old woman (Na Moon Hee) who, thanks to a special photographer, finds herself to be 24 years old again (played by Shim Eun Kyung) after she has her portrait taken. Directed by Hwang Dong Hyuk. At Pearlridge West.

‘Nebraska’ ****
Having received a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. With June Squibb and Stacy Keach. An Oscar nominee. (R, 1:54)

‘The Nut Job’ **
In this animated film, a mischievous squirrel sets out to rob the town’s biggest nut shop to feed himself and his pals for the winter. With the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl. (PG, 1:26)

‘Philomena’ ***
The story of an Irish woman who asks a journalist to help her track down a son she was forced by her Catholic family to give away, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Directed by Stephen Frears. An Oscar nominee. At Kahala 8 (R, 1:35)

‘Ride Along’ **1/2
In an effort to prove himself worthy, a fast-talking security guard goes for a ride-along with his girlfriend’s brother, a hotheaded Atlanta cop, and gets mixed up in his latest case. With Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo and Bruce McGill. (PG-13, 1:40)

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ ***
A biographical drama about the quest by Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to acquire the screen rights to “Mary Poppins” from reluctant novelist P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson). With Paul Giamatti and Jason Schwartzman. (PG-13, 2:05)

The star-studded cast of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,' the second film in a trilogy, includes Evangeline Lilly, left, and Orlando Bloom. --Warner Bros.

The star-studded cast of ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,’ the second film in a trilogy, includes Evangeline Lilly, left, and Orlando Bloom. –Warner Bros.

‘The Saratov Approach’ (Not reviewed)
Two Mormon missionaries in Russia fight for survival after being kidnapped, beaten and held for ransom in this film based on true events in 1998. With Corbin Allred, Maclain Nelson and Nikita Bogolyubov. Written and directed by Garrett Batty. (PG-13, 1:47)

‘The Suspect’ **1/2
After being abandoned during a mission, a top secret agent in North Korea sets out to find his missing wife and daughter, uncover the truth and exact his revenge. With Gong Yoo, Park Hee-soon and Cho Seong-ha. In Korean with English subtitles. (Not rated, 2:17)

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ ***
Martin Scorsese reunites with Leonardo DiCaprio for this adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir surrounding his indulgent ride as a crooked banker in the 1990s. An Oscar nominee. (R, 2:45)

’12 Years a Slave’ ***1/2
In the antebellum United States, a free black man from upstate New York is abducted and sold into slavery, forcing him to fight to survive. With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul Dano. An Oscar nominee. (R, 2:14)


Oscar Classics: ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’
This 1957 film won seven Academy Awards, including best picture, best actor (Alec Guinness) and best supporting actor (Sessue Hayakawa). A British colonel and Japanese POW camp commander unite forces to build a railway bridge. At 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at Ward Theaters. ($7)

Fast-talking security guard Kevin Hart, left, joins his girlfriend's police officer brother -- portrayed by Ice Cube, right -- on patrol in the comedy 'Ride Along.' --Universal Pictures

Fast-talking security guard Kevin Hart, left, joins his girlfriend’s police officer brother — portrayed by Ice Cube, right — on patrol in the comedy ‘Ride Along.’ –Universal Pictures


Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St. (532-8768,

‘Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo’
1 p.m. today, $12, $10 members
Awakening to a devastated world, young Eva pilot Shinji Ikari tries to prevent the destruction of all mankind in this third entry in the “Evangelion” anime series. With the voices of Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant and Brina Palenci. Los Angeles Times (Japan, not rated, 1:46)

‘The Trials of Muhammad Ali’
Opening-night reception, 6 p.m. Saturday, with live jazz entertainment by Riya Davis and Adagio, dinner buffet by Mom’s Soul Food and introduction and talk by state boxing Commissioner Quenton M. Brown Sr., $35, $30 for members; screening begins 7:30 p.m. Also showing 1 p.m. Sunday, $10, $8 members.
Powerful sports documentary about the great boxing legend, whose original name was Cassius Clay Jr., and how he risked his fame and fortune to follow the path of his faith and conscience. Directed by Bill Siegel. (2013, 1:32)

Opera in Cinema: ‘Arena di Verona’s Aida’
1 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday, $20, $18 members
Giuseppe Verdi’s drama about an Ethiopian princess enslaved by the Egyptian court who falls in love with a young Egyptian warrior is performed on an open-air stage in tribute to composer Verdi’s bicentennial. Originally performed live June 11 and 13. Sung in Italian. (2:40)

Double feature:
7:30 p.m. Sunday, $10, $8 members

» ‘Red, White, Black and Blue’
A group of 38 American high school students travels to New Zealand to participate in a rugby-training regime, providing a rare opportunity that meshes national and cultural boundaries. Directed by James Brown. (2012, New Zealand, 1:21)

» ‘The Memphis 13′ (short)
During the segregation period of the 1960s, 13 African-American first-graders courageously entered four all-white elementary schools. (2012, 0:35)

7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 1 p.m. Thursday, $10, $8 members
This directorial-debut film by Jono Oliver conveys a touching story about a father (Gbenga Akinnagbe) afflicted with mental illness who has experienced countless arrests and hospitalizations, and his dream to reconnect with his estranged son. (2013, 1:52)

‘Butterfly Rising’
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, $10, $8 members
This film, a directorial debut by actress Tanya Wright, follows a singer who escapes the grief of her brother’s death by embarking on a road trip with a scandalous new woman in town. Together they encounter the mythical and magical “Lazarus of the Butterflies.” (2012, 1:33)

'The Trials of Muhammad Ali' focuses on the boxing legend's conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War. The film opens the Honolulu African American Film Festival on Saturday at Doris Duke Theatre. --Associated Press

‘The Trials of Muhammad Ali’ focuses on the boxing legend’s conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War. The film opens the Honolulu African American Film Festival on Saturday at Doris Duke Theatre. –Associated Press


3566 Harding Ave. (735-8771); $5, $4 members

‘Le Complot’ (‘The Conspiracy’)
Noon and 4:45 p.m. today, 2 and 6:15 p.m. Monday
Based on a true story of espionage involving pro-Gaullists, left-wing insurgents and police galvanized into action after Charles DeGaulle decides to pull French troops out of Algeria. For ages 12 and older. In French with English subtitles. (1973, France/Italy/Spain, 2:00)

‘The Officer’s Ward’ (‘La chambre des officiers’)
2:15 and 7 p.m. today
A young lieutenant badly wounded by shrapnel during World War II spends five years in a Paris hospital with others bearing similar injuries. For ages 15 and older. In French with English subtitles. (2001, France, 2:15)

Noon, 2:15, 4:30, 6:45 and 9 p.m. Saturday
Director Ron Howard’s action/biopic revolves around the fierce rivalry between Formula One racers Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) set during the competition for the 1976 world championship title. Also stars Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara. Winner of three awards. Rated R. (2013, U.S./Germany/U.K., 2:03)

‘In a World’
Noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday
Carol is a vocal coach who decides to enter the male-dominated field of video voice-overs, which leads to her having to compete with her father, a legendary voice-over artist, along with his arrogant protege. Rated R. (2013, 1:33)

‘Wings of the Kirin’ (‘Kirin no tsubasa: Gekijouban Shinzanmono’)
1:45 and 5:45 p.m. Sunday
A Japanese businessman who is stabbed hobbles to the Kirin sculpture on Nihonbashi bridge, where he ends up dying. A disgruntled employee of the deceased is also found on the scene, a natural suspect, but he lies in a coma after being hit by a truck. A detective (Hiroshi Abe) investigates. An adaptation of Keigo Higashino’s mystery. In Japanese with English subtitles. (2011, Japan, 2:09)

‘The Prey’ (‘La proie’)
Noon, 4:15 and 8:30 p.m. Monday
A bank robber has just 30 days of his prison sentence remaining, but an unexpected threat forces him to break out of jail and risk everything to rescue his family. Rated R. In French withEnglish subtitles. (2011, France, 1:45)

‘Mr. Coconut’ (‘Hap ga foon’)
Noon, 3:45 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday
This Chinese New Year classic set in Hong Kong is about Mr. Coconut, who makes life miserable for his “upwardly mobile” brother-in-law who is struggling to maintain life in a materialistic metropolis. For all ages. In Cantonese with English subtitles. (1989, Hong Kong, 1:40)

‘The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake’ (‘Jian hu nu xia Qiu Jin’)
1:45, 5:30 and 9:15 p.m. Thursday
Qiu Jin, born in a privileged family, grows up to become a butt-kicking feminist and early leader of the Chinese Revolution after having been allowed to have normally developed feet (without binding). She’s schooled alongside her brother and practices martial arts. Rated PG. In Mandarin/Cantonese with English subtitles. (2011, Hong Kong, 1:55)


Cupola Theatre, Honolulu Design Center, second floor, 1250 Kapiolani Blvd. (436-4326); $10, $5 students

‘Bringing It Home’
7 p.m. Monday
A father’s quest to use the healthiest building materials leads him to hemp (with lime), a nontoxic, energy-efficient and mildew-, fire- and pest-resistant building material. Directors Linda Booker and Blair Johnson share the story of hemp — its past, present and future — and its all-encompassing potential for global industry, which includes textiles, building materials, food products, bioplastics, auto parts and more. (2013, 0:52)

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