Liam Neeson & Sean Penn Pics Stomp Into Monster Mashup Weekend – Specialty Preview

Movies

Liam Neeson crime thriller In the Land of Saints and Sinners opens on 896 screens this weekend, joined by Sean Penn in Asphalt City — the Godzilla vs. Kong of the specialty market?

Neeson reunites with The Marksman director Robert Lorenz as a newly retired assassin in a remote Irish village who finds himself drawn into a lethal game of cat and mouse with a trio of vengeful terrorists. Ciarán Hinds, Kerry Condon, Colm Meaney and Jack Gleeson also star in Land of Saints and Sinners, which premiered at Venice, and was shot in County Donegal, Ireland. Screenplay by Mark Michael McNally and Terry Loane. Samuel Goldwyn Films’ widest release post-pandemic sits at 80% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Penn stars with Tye Sheridan in Asphalt City, Vertical’s co-release with Roadside Attractions that opens on 297 screens, also with a national footprint. Young paramedic Ollie Cross (Sheridan) is paired with seasoned partner Gene Rutkovsky (Penn) on the hellish night shift in New York City, revealing a city that’s gory and in crisis. With Kali Resi (True Detective: Night Country) Gbenga Akinnagbe, Michael Carmen Pitt, Katherine Waterston and Mike Tyson. (41% with Critics on RT.) Directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire (A Prayer Before Dawn), written by Ryan King (The Tutor) and Ben Mac Brown based on the novel Black Flies by Shannon Burke. Premiered at Cannes with the title Black Flies.

RELATED: ‘Asphalt City’ Review (fka Black Flies): Sean Penn And Tye Sheridan Ride The Mean Streets Of Brooklyn In Dark But Familiar Paramedic Drama – Cannes Film Festival

Vertical and Roadside have jointed released Emily the Criminal, Benediction and The Pod Generation. Karim Aïnouz’s Firebrand, starring Jude Law and Alicia Vikander as King Henry VIII and Katherine Parr is up in June.

Limited releases: Neon presents Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera at Film at Lincoln Center and the IFC Center in NYC and the Nuart Theatre in LA, expanding thereafter. Premiered at Cannes. Deadline’s review called it Rorhwacher’s best film yet after winning prizes at Cannes for 2014’s The Wonders (Grand Prix) and 2018’s Happy As Lazaro (Screenplay). She was Oscar-nominated this year for live action short Le Pupille.

The film stars Josh O’Connor as Arthur, a young Brit who arrives in 1980s Italy and gets involved with a ragtag group of grave robbers, or Tombaroli, who loot ancient tombs, mostly Etruscan, and sell the treasures to fences led by a mysterious individual known as Spartaco. With Isabella Rossellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Carol Duarte, Luca Chicovani and Vincenzo Nemolato. At 90% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sony Pictures Classics opens Thea Sharrock’s period comedy Wicked Little Letters in New York (Lincoln Square, Cinemas 1,2,3, Union Square) and LA (Century City, The Grove). Based on a stranger-than-fiction true story set in a 1920s English seaside town, the film follows two neighbors, the deeply conservative local Edith Swan (Olivia Colman) and rowdy Irish migrant Rose Gooding (Jessie Buckley). When Edith and fellow residents begin to receive wicked letters full of unintentionally hilarious profanities, foul-mouthed Rose is charged with the crime and a trial ensues. The town’s women, led by Police Officer Gladys Moss (Anjana Vasan), suspect something is amiss and begin to investigate. Premiered at TIFF, Deadline review called it “a four-letter tour de force” and “a hip, modern and actually funny Carry On spoof of [what] Call the Midwife might look like, scripted by the Coen brothers, shot with a little visual nod to Wes Anderson, and dictated by a screenwriter with Tourette syndrome.”

Kino Lorber’s Berlin Golden Bear-winner documentary On the Adamant by Nicolas Philibert (To Be and to Have, In the Land of the Deaf) invites viewers aboard the Adamant – a unique floating psychiatric hospital on the Seine River in the heart of Paris that offers day programs for adults with mental illnesses. The Adamant offers a hopeful vision of the transformational power of art and community and a humanistic approach to what mental health care can be. See Deadline review.

Greenwich Entertainment opens Israeli writer-director Moshe Rosenthal’s debut feature Karaoke, a comedy starring Sasson Gabay (The Band’s Visit, Shtisel), Lior Ashkenazi (Footnote, Golda) and Rita Shukrun at Regal Union Square in New York, the Laemmle’s Royal and Encino Town Center in LA, as well as theaters in Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and additional U.S. markets. Premiered at Tribeca. Gabay and Shukrun, a middle-class suburban couple in their 60s, are drawn to their new neighbor, a charismatic bachelor who has karaoke evenings at his apartment. They become obsessed with him, competing with each other, and other residents of the building, for his attention.

Utopia’s Circle Collective label presents dark comedy With Love and a Major Organ. Directed by Kim Albright. Written by Julia Lederer, who adapted the screenplay from her play. It stars Anna Maguire (Violation, The Hummingbird Project) as Anabel, a sensitive young woman in a world where there is pressure to dampen emotion. At odds with society, and after a series of devastating emotional blows, she literally rips her heart from her chest and gives it to a man she’s fallen for, the strangely unfeeling George (Hamza Haq). Unburdened, Anabel finds life easier. George does not. Debuted in the experimental Visions program at SXSW last year. 

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