Film, Times & Events: Week of Jan. 06, 2011

Films This Week – Movie Times
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.


film_countrystrongCOUNTRY STRONG Garret Hedlund plays a rising young country singer/songwriter who gets involved with broken down Nashville diva Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband/manager (Tim McGraw) when they all hit the road together in this musical drama from director Shana Feste. Leighton Meester co-stars. (PG-13) 111 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer.


MADE IN DAGENHAM Reviewed this issue. (R) 113 minutes. (★★★)
Starts Friday.


SEASON OF THE WITCH Nicolas Cage stars as a medieval knight charged with escorting suspected witch Claire Foy to a far-off abbey to be exorcised in hopes of ending the Black Death. Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Robert Sheehan are among the ragtag wayfareres who join them in this gritty action fantasy from director Dominic Sena (Gone In 60 Seconds). (PG-13) 113 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>


Del Mar Theatre    469-3220
Blue Valentine  2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45 + Sat – Mon 11:45am
The King’s Speech  1:40, 3:20, 4:20, 6, 7, 8:30, 9:30 + Sat- Mon 11am, 12:40
The Big Lebowski  Midnight Showings Friday 1/14 & Sat 1/15

Nickelodeon    426-7500
Black Swan   2, 3:15, 4:30, 5:30, 7, 7:45, 9:30, 10  + Sat – Mon  11:30am
Rabbit Hole   2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:20  + Sat – Mon 12:50  
Casino Jack  1:50, 4:20, 6:50, 9:10 + Sat-Mon 11:40
Tangled  1:15  + Sat- Mon 11:10am

Aptos Cinema    426-7500
Made in Dagennham  1:40, 6:40 Ends Soon!
The Fighter   1:50, 4:10, 6:30, 8:50  + Sat- Mon  11:30am
The Social Network  4, 9
To Kill a Mockingbird Saturday, Sunday, Monday Weekend Matinee Classic  11am

Green Valley Cinema 8    761-8200
Season of the Witch  1:05, 3:15, 5:20, 7:20, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Country Strong  1:30, 4:15, 7:05, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11:05
Tron Legacy In 35MM  1:30, 4:20, 7, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11am
The Dilemma  1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:25  + Sat, Sun 11:05am
Black Swan  1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
The Green Hornet in Dolby Digital 3D  1:25, 4:15, 7, 9:30 +Sat, Sun 11am
True Grit  1:25, 4:30, 7, 9:25  + Sat , Sun 11:05am
Little Fockers  1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:25, 9:30, + Sat, Sun 11am

Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema    438-3260
Season of the Witch  11:55am, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55  + Mon- Thurs no 11:55am
Black Swan 11:30, 2, 4:20, 7:30, 9:55 + Mon – Thurs no 11:30
True Grit  11:20, 2, 4:40, 7:10, 9:45 + Mon – Thurs no 11:20
Yogi Bear 3D  11:20am, 1:20
Little Fockers  1:20, 4, 6:30, 9 + Mon – Thurs no 1:20
The Dilemma 11am, 1:30, 4:10, 7, 9:30 + Mon – Thurs no 11am
The Green Hornet  11:10, 1:45, 4:30, 7:20, 10

Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema    479-3504

The Green Hornet  11:15, 2, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10
Black Swan  11:55, 2:30, 4:55, 7:15, 9:40
True Grit  11:30, 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30

Santa Cruz Cinema 9    (800) 326-3264 #1700
Season of the Witch  12:15, 2:40, 5:15, 7:50, 10:05 + Tues – Thurs no 12:15
Country Strong  1:25, 4:15, 7:10, 9:50 
Tron Legacy In 3D  1, 3:45, 6:45, 9:35 
The Dilemma  11:30, 2:10, 4:55, 7:40, 10:15  + Tues – Thurs no  11:30 am
Gulliver’s Travel in 35MM  12:05, 2:25, 4:40, 6:50
True Grit  11:05, 1:35, 4:25, 7:15, 10  + Tues – Thurs no 11:05am
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader  1:05, 3:50, 6:30 
The Tourist  9
The Green Hornet 3D  11am, 1:15, 1:45, 4:05, 7, 7:30, 9:45, 10:20 
+ Tues – Thur no 11am
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows   9:10

Riverfront    (800) 326-3264 #1701
Little Fockers  1:15, 4:15, 7, 9:30  Tues – Thurs. no 1:15
The Fighter  1, 4, 6:45, 9:200  Tues – Thurs. no 1

Film Events

CONTINUING SERIES: THE MET: LIVE IN HD AT THE CINEMA 9 Digital broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera projected live, onscreen, Saturday mornings throughout the season (with repeat encore re-broadcasts, as noted). Tickets: $24 general, $22 senior for the live broadcasts; $18 for everyone for the encores. This week: LA

FANCIULLA DEL WEST In honor of its 100th anniversary, the Met stages Puccini’s wild west opera about “the girl of the Golden West,” under the baton of maestro Nicola Luisotti. American diva Deborah Voigt stars, with Marcello Giordani, and Lucio Gallo. LIVE: Saturday, January 8th, at 10:00 a.m.

CONTINUING SERIES: MIDNIGHTS @ THE DEL MAR Eclectic movies for wild & crazy tastes plus great prizes and buckets of fun for only $6.50. On holiday hiatus until January 14.

CONTINUING SERIES: WEEKEND  MATINEE CLASSICS AT APTOS CINEMA If you’ve only ever seen them on TV, don’t miss this series of classic movie matinees unspooling each weekend at Aptos Cinema. This week: FORBIDDEN PLANET  It’s The Tempest in outer space in this MGM science-fiction classic directed by Fred Wilcox. Walter Pidgeon is the brilliant scientist exiled to an isolated planet with beautiful daughter Anne Francis. The “Ariel” part of the magical assistant is taken over by Robby the Robot, one of the most iconic sci-fi movie characters ever. And look out for the Id monster, the old man’s rampaging alter ego. Stylish, intelligent and sublimely eerie. (Not rated) 98 minutes. (★★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen. Sat-Sun matinee only, 11 a.m. Admission $6. At Aptos Cinema.

CONTINUING EVENT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES This informal movie discussion group meets at the Del Mar mezzanine in downtown Santa Cruz. Movie junkies are invited to join in on Wednesday nights to discuss current flicks with a rotating series of guest moderators. Discussion begins at 7 pm and admission is free. For more information visit www.ltatm.org.

Now Playing

BLACK SWAN Haunting, hypnotic, sexy. Natalie Portman headlines in career-defining role playing an eager ballerina—touch on the outside, fragile on the inside. After landing the prime role of the Swan Queen in a re-imagined production of “Swan Lake,” Nina soon grows suspcious of what’s unfolding around her. Is her fellow ballerina (Mila Kunis) after her role? Watch for how well directer Darren Aronofsky uses these brilliant talents (Barbara Hershey, Vincent Cassel and Winona Ryder) among them) to craft one of the year’s best—a gripping psycho-sexual thriller that grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. (R) 110 minutes. (★★★1/2) Greg Archer

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWNTREADER In this third Narnia adventure, director Michael Apted keeps the story pulsing along at a good clip, moral lessons are succinct and not too heavy-handed, and the magical elements are stylishly done. Happly, there are no military battle campaigns this time, in a picaresque seagoing adventure that reunites the youngest Pevensie siblings and their bratty cousin with young King Caspian (a stalwart Ben Barnes) on a quest to the outer isles. An unfortunate amount of screen time is devoted to the peevish cousin (played to obnoxious pefection by Will Poulter), but the Hero’s Journey-style episodes are ripping, magical and occasionally poignant. (PG) 115 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen (Read the full review at goodtimessantacruz.com)

THE FIGHTER Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg star in this fact-based boxing drama as half brothers Dicky Ecklund and Micky Ward of working-class Lowell, MA: one’s career is foundering while the other pursues his one shot at his dream. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo (as the battling brothers’ tough, ringside mom) co-star for director David O. Russell. (R) 114 minutes.

GULLIVER’S TRAVELS Jack Black stars in this lavish, live-action, 3D  update of the Jonathan Swift social satire. He plays a modern-day travel writer who washes up on an uncharted island in the middle of the Bermude Triangle, populated by teeny-tiny people who make him their captive, then their pet. Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, and Amanda Peet co-star for director Rob Letterman. (PG)

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1 This brooding and foreboding first half of the last book in J.K. Rowling’s epic series (Part 2 comes out next summer) plays out like a middle act, and it’s not for the uninitiated. But director David Yates scrupulously re-introduces beloved characters and weaves in threads from the past to construct a solid foundation for the epic showdown to come. There’s enough action and comedy to keep things moving, but the focus is on the Passion of Harry (the endearing Daniel Radcliffe), the interior journey by which he comes to grips with his destiny, and what it means not only to himself, but to the larger world. As in the book, lengthy sojourns in empty landscapes drag down the middle of the story while Harry and pals are on the lam, but Yates finds a lyrical, heartbreaking plateau at which to conclude this first half and gear up for the grand finale. (PG-13) 147 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen

HOW DO YOU KNOW Reese Witherspoon stars in this romantic comedy with Owen Wilson), and Paul Rudd. Jack Nicholson co-stars. James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment; Broadcast News) directs. (R) 113 minutes.

I LOVE YOU, PHILIP MORRIS Jim Carrey goes bravura as Steven Russel, a real-life con artist, serial imposter, and habitual prison escapee whose bizarro story unfolds in this aiudacious but never quite convincing comedy. Ewan McGregor is sweet and beguiling as the genteel object of Russel’s obsessive affection, for whom he commits years of outrageous frauds and scams. Carrey attacks the part with fearless gusto, but there’s nothing to distinguish it from a dozen other over-the-top Carrey comedy performances, while his quiet, tender scenes rarely evoke enough genuine emotion to invest us in the character. Stars and filmmakers make a gutsy attempt on this stranger-than-fiction saga, but it never feels like more than a frolicsome diversion. (R) 98 minutes (★★1/2) Lisa Jensen

THE KING’S SPEECH If you’re looking for a  gorgeously mounted entertainment, a compelling history lesson, a wry comedy of manners, or just a jolly game of Name That Actor, prepare to gobble down Tom Hooper’s juicy and rewarding true story about an accidental monarch struggling to conquer a private affliction that makes public life a nightmare. The formidable Colin Firth queues up for his next Oscar nomination as the prince who will be George VI, cursed with a crippling stammer just when the nation needs a strong, confident leader. Geoffrey Rush is great as the eccentric speech therapist who earns his trust. A marvelous Helena Bonham Carter leads a Who’s Who of splendid British thesps in supporting roles. (R) 118 minutes. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen

LITTLE FOCKERS Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro return as battling in-laws in this third installment of the comedy franchise that began with Meet The Parents. Story revolves around a birthday party Stiller and wife Teri Polo throw for their twins, at which he tries to prove himself yet again to her father (De Niro). Owen Wilson co-stars as her ex. Harvey Keitel, Laura Dern, and Jessica Alba are featured in the cast. Paul Weitz directs. (PG-13)

LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway make for a great couple. The script surprises in this love story. Rated R. (★★)1/2 Greg Archer

127 HOURS When a freak accident left rock climber Aron Ralston stranded at the bottom of a deep crevice, his right hand pinned between the rockface and an immovable boulder, he had to make an impossible decision: forfeit his arm or lose his life. A man immobilized in a narrow crevice for five days may not sound like promising material for a moving picture, but Danny Boyle ramps up the suspense and makes something both kinetic and gripping out of Ralston’s story. Swooping in and out of Ralston’s memories, the material in his video camera, and his delirious fantasies, Boyle keeps the narrative pace brisk and the action intense. In the starring role, James Franco captures not only Ralston’s up-for-anything cockiness, but his wry wit and unalloyed courage as well. (R) 94 minutes. (★★★)
Lisa Jensen

TANGLED The classic “Disney princess” movie evolves in this entertaining update of the Rapunzel fairy tale. Rapunzel (nicely voiced and sung by Mandy Moore) doesn’t know she’s a kidnapped princess. Sexy witch, Mother Gothel (the great Donna Murphy), who uses the girl’s magical mane to keep heself eternally young, is a passive-aggressive manipulator way more complex than the wicked step-mothers of yore. And the hero is not the typical bland, boring prince; he’s a good-hearted thief whose cheeky narration tells the story in this fun, exuberant 50th Disney cartoon feature. (PG) 100 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen

THE TOURIST This Hollywood star vehicle positions Johnny Depp, as an innocent abroad, and Angelina Jolie, as a glamorous femme fatale, against the gorgeous backdrop of Venice. But it’s all a matter of perspective in what turns out to be a surprisingly cheeky, but flawed adventure from German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others). Depp gets to spoof his cool persona as an unsophisticated, nice-guy Midwesterner. He’s fun to watch, but Jolie’s character is a cypher, an overly made-up Barbie Doll who never once has an unguarded moment where we feel like she might be an actual human being. As a result, their repartee falls flat and their spark never sizzles, a critical flaw in a movie that depends on star power. Better appreciated in retrospect, after sorting out the plot, this movie should have felt a lot more urgent and engaging along the way. (PG-13) 104 minutes. (★★1/2)
Lisa Jensen

TRON: LEGACY It has hints of Matrix, a touch of Fifth Element and shades of Star Wars, but even all that doesn’t make this long-awaited sequel a superior film. But it’s not a bad film, either. You come here for the experience, not the story. Jeff Bridges is back as videogame titan Kevin Flynn—remember he got sucked into his own virtual arcade game program in the original Tron, two decades ago. Garret Hedlund is on board here, playing Flynn’s grown-up son, who, is sucked into the same virtual universe. Guess who wants to free daddy?  Joseph Kosinski directs. (PG) 125 minutes. (★★1/2) Greg Archer

TRUE GRIT The Coen Brothers reimagine the old John Wayne western as a vehicle for Jeff Bridges. He plays broken-down, one-eyed U. S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, hired by a determined 14-year-old girl to track down the villain (Josh Brolin) who killed her father. Matt Damon plays a Texas Ranger on the trail of the same scoundrel. Hailee Steinfeld plays the justice-minded young girl. (PG-13) 110 minutes. (★★★1/2)
Greg Archer

YOGI BEAR Hey, Boo Boo! Dan Aykroyd voices the genial, pic-a-nic basket-snatching denizen of Jellystone Park in this 3D reboot of the old Hanna Barbera cartoon series that combines live action woth CGI animation. Justin Timberlake provides the voice of sidekick, Boo Boo. Tom Cavanaugh co-stars as Ranger Smith, who teams up with Yogi to save their imperiled park. Eric Brevig directs. (PG) 79 minutes.

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