Davis: Lots to watch this week

Martin Scorsese serves as producer on The Family, but it is director Luc Besson who is the real star behind the camera.

Robert DeNiro playing a mafia boss does not seem like a stretch, but in the action comedy The Family, he plays a former boss who is relocated with his family to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob.

Much to the chagrin of the CIA agent (Tommy Lee Jones) trying to keep them in line, the family (including his wife played by Michelle Pfeiffer) revert to old habits to solve their problems and blow their cover. Chaos ensues in the most unlikely of places as former mafia cronies track them down.

Speaking of cronies, Martin Scorsese serves as producer on The Family, but it is director Luc Besson who is the real star behind the camera. Best described as France’s Spielberg, Besson has been a director, producer and/or writer on more than 50 films, most notably directing classics like The Big Blue, La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element, Arthur and the Invisibles and producing the likes of The Transporter and Taken movies.

Two years ago Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne starred in the modestly-budgeted fright flick Insidious, from famed horror director James Wan (Saw) and producer Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity).  The movie grossed almost $100 million worldwide and became the most profitable film of 2011. Therefore Insidious: Chapter 2 was inevitable and with both Wilson and Byrne returning to star, and Wan back as director, it is certain to be another hit.

It picks up where the first movie left off, with the Lambert family happily reunited after father Josh (Wilson) going into a different spiritual world called The Further to save his son from a demon. However, upon their return, it appears something has followed them from The Further and something is disturbingly different about Josh.

If you are looking for a powerful drama to watch this weekend, check out Fruitvale Station. It is the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old San Francisco Bay area resident who was shot and killed by transit officers on New Year’s Day in 2009. The movie follows Grant through his final hours as he crosses paths with friends, family and strangers as he ponders how he can be a better son to his mother, a better partner to his girlfriend and better father to his four-year-old daughter.

Star Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Red Tails) is getting raves for is performance as is Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) as his mother. First time writer-director Ryan Coogler is also getting a lot of attention, winning the Best First Film award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  Fruitvale Station also won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival. Forest Whitaker, who is currently getting award buzz for his performance in The Butler, serves as producer.

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