This week’s movie releases

‘Foxcatcher’ and ‘Jupiter Ascending’ provide a double dose of Channing Tatum

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Dramatic struggle: Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in ‘Foxcatcher.’
Dramatic struggle: Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in ‘Foxcatcher.’

With five Oscar nominations under its belt, Foxcatcher is the strange real-life tale of what happened when Olympic wrestling gold medalist Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) was brought under the wing of eccentric multimillionaire and sports enthusiast John du Pont, heir to the Du Pont family fortune (Steve Carell, almost unrecognizable).

Training together for the 1988 Seoul Olympics on Du Pont’s Pennsylvania estate, the psychologically fragile pair develop an uneasy bond as the millionaire tries to get Schultz to persuade his older brother and fellow wrestling champ Mark Ruffalo to join the program. But tragedy looms in this intense drama from Bennett Miller, who has already shown his gift for adapting real-life material in biopic Capote and baseball stats drama Moneyball.

And there’s more Channing Tatum this week in Jupiter Ascending, the latest sci-fi opus from Matrix directors Lana and Andy Wachowski. He stars as a space warrior who touches down on Earth to tell cleaner Mila Kunis all about her incredible intergalactic inheritance. With Eddie Redmayne.

If North Korea really was behind the hacking of Sony Pictures’ computer system in retaliation for it distributing the Kim Jong-un-mocking The Interview, the result has surely been the exact opposite of what it would have wanted – turning a Seth Rogen comedy that would have quietly sunk away into a must-see for audiences across the globe. Audiences in Spain can see what all the fuss is about for themselves beginning on Friday, when the film, which stars Rogen and James Franco as two tabloid TV journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader, opens across the country.

Perhaps a more defiant act of cinema-going this week would be to check out the latest from the great Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako (Bamako). Nominated for this year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar, Timbuktu is a drama examining the imposition of sharia law in the Malian city after it was briefly occupied by Islamic militant group Ansar Dine in 2012. A Belgian film festival showing the film had to be canceled last month following terrorist threats.

Pirate movie

And lastly this week, we also have The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, the second big-screen outing for the surreal Nickelodeon series. Mixing traditional and computer animation with live-action sequences, the movie features Spain’s own Antonio Banderas as Burger-Beard the Pirate.

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