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Although this week's new film offerings don't exactly fix the issue of this summer's lack of compelling female roles, there are some good offerings for those looking to amp up their weekend with some great storytelling. Of course, there's going to be a little dip in truly great movies as studios shovel out whatever movies weren't quite good enough to make their summer roster, and then Oscar season kicks in, so we'll be in for a great time. For now, enjoy these ...

Don't Stop Believin: Everyman's Journey

Why We Like It

Out on DVD this week is a documentary detailing Journey's last few years, which one of the more interesting rock and roll stories of these modern times. Journey's own determination to find someone who could match Steve Perry's vocals, and their courage in selecting someone who doesn't seem to fit the bill, is all highlighted in this excellent Cinderella story.

Jimi Hendrix: A Brother's Story

Why We Like It

You would think, at this point, there's not a whole lot else to say about Hendrix, but maybe that's why his little brother, Leon, felt the need to tell the stories he is. This memoir sheds some actually new light on a man who's often pegged as little more than a guitar genius. Leon paints a picture of a man he knew as "Buster," and that picture is compelling, sweet, slightly regretful and, above all, human.

Short Term 12

Why We Like It

One of this year's best-reviewed films gets its wide release this week, and everything about it looks beautiful. Brie Larson stars as a woman running a home for at-risk teens, and her emotional journey is both as life-affirming and heart wrenching as the field in which she works.

The Grandmaster

Why We Like It

Ip Man is a true kung-fu legend, Bruce Lee's trainer, and the subject of a story that's been told many times before. But it's never been told by Wong Kar Wai, a marvelous, visually inventive filmmaker who breathes fresh life into the kung-fu genre with a series of spectacular, gorgeous fight scenes. This is a great kung-fu movie for people who don't like kung-fu movies. If the last one you saw was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, then it's time to watch another.

Lee Daniels' The Butler

Why We Like It

It's anchored by a breath-stealing performance from Forrest Whitaker (who's never not turned in an Oscar-caliber performance) but there are acting gems throughout this film, including a surprisingly strong turn from Oprah. The real star here though is the story, which follows one White House butler (Whitaker) through eight U.S. Presidents, and how he quietly changed their views on African-Americans and, in time, the course of history.

1 Comment

matthew downs

5

matthew downs commented…

Only missing Let There Be

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