Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
NEW THIS WEEK
THE MECHANIC Jason Statham stars as—surprise!—an “elite hit man” who reluctantly takes along a new young protégé (Ben Foster) on a mission of vengeance in this action thriller from director Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). Donald Sutherland co-stars. (R) 92 minutes. Starts Friday.
Watch film trailer >>>
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Anthony Hopkins stars as an old Vatican priest steeped in arcane lore who teams up with a doubting younger priest (Colin O’Donoghue) in the exorcism of a possessed young girl. Alice Braga, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, and Rutger Hauer co-star for director Mikael Håfström (1408). (PG-13) 107 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Movie Times 1/28–2/3
Del Mar Theatre 469-3220
Blue Valentine 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45 + Sat, Sun 11:45am
The King’s Speech 1:40, 3:20, 4:20, 6, 7, 8:30, 9:30 + Sat- Mon 11am, 12:40
The Princess Bride Midnight Showings Friday 1/28 & Saturday 1/29
Black Swan 2:50, 5:10, 7:30, 9:45 + Sat, Sun 12:40
127 Hours 1:20, 3:20, 5;20, 7;20, 9:20
The Way Back 1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30
Somewhere 4:50, 7
The Social Network 2:20, 9:10
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
No Strings Attached 2:20, 4:45, 7:10, 9:30 + Fri – Sun 11:50am
The King’s Speech 2, 4:30, 7, 9:20 + Fri – Sun 11:40
Cape Fear Saturday & Sunday & Monday Weekend Matinee Classic 11:30am
Green Valley Cinema 8 761-8200
No Strings Attached 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:15, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
The Rite 1:30, 4;30, 7;05, 9:20 + Sat, Sun 11:10am
The King’s Speech 1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:25 + Sat, Sun 11:05am
The Mechanic 1:10, 3:15, 5:20, 7:20, 9:30 +Sat, Sun 11am
The Dilemma 7, 9:25
From Prada to Nada 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:15, 9:25 + Sat, Sun 11am
The Green Hornet in Dolby Digital 3D 1:25, 4:15, 7, 9:30 +Sat, Sun 11am
Tangled in 35MM 11:10, 1:30, 4:30
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Black Swan 11:40am, 2, 4:20, 6:45, 9:10
No Strings Attached 11:55am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 9:55 + Mon- Thurs no 11:55am
The Green Hornet 11:30am, 2, 4:45, 7:20, 10 + Mon – Thurs no 11:30am
The King’s Speech 11:10, 1:45, 4:30, 7:10, 9:45 + Mon – Thurs no 11:10am
The Rite 11am, 1:30, 4:10, 7, 9:30 + Mon – Thurs no 11am
True Grit 11:45am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:15, 9:40 + Mon – Thurs no 11:45am
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
The Rite 11:55am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 10:10
True Grit 11:30am, 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30
Black Swan 11:45am 2:10, 4:40, 7:10, 9:40
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
The Rite 11:40am, 2:15, 4:55, 7:40, 10:20 + Mon – Thurs no 11:40am
The Mechanic 12:20, 2:50, 5:20, 7:50, 10:10 + Mon – Thurs no 12:20
No Strings Attached 11:35am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 9:55 + Mon – Thurs no 11:35am
The Green Hornet 3D 1:30 4:15 7:05 9:50
The Green Hornet 2D 1:00 3:40 6:30 9:15
The Dilemma 11:50am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:30, 10:05
Country Strong 1:15, 4:00, 6:50
True Grit 11:20am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:10, 9:40
Tron Legacy 3D 1:10, 3:55, 6:45, 9:30
Season of the Witch 9:25 No Show Thursday 2/3
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
The Company Men 1:15, 4:15, 7, 9:35 + Mon – Thurs no 1:15
The Fighter 1, 4, 6:45, 9:20 + Mon – Thurs no 1
SPECIAL EVENT THIS WEEK:
WINTER ITALIAN FILM SERIES The Dante Alighieri Society of Santa Cruz is back with a new monthly series of Italian films (one Sunday a month) to promote Italian culture and language. The theme this time is “Italian Directors of the ’60s.” Each monthly film is introduced by Dr. William Park, Faculty Emeritus, Sarah Lawrence College. This Week: SEDOTTA E ABBANDONATA (SEDUCED AND ABANDONED) (Not rated) 117 minutes. In Italian with English sub titles. At Cabrillo College, VAPA Art History Forum Room 1001, Sunday only (January 30), 7 pm. Free.
CONTINUING SERIES: MIDNIGHTS @ THE DEL MAR Eclectic movies for wild & crazy tastes plus great prizes and buckets of fun for only $6.50. This week THE
PRINCESS BRIDE . (PG) 98 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Fri-Sat midnight only. At the Del Mar.
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: CAPE FEAR This is the original 1962 thriller. (Not rated) 105 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Sat-Sun matinee only, 11 a.m. Admission $6. At Aptos Cinema.
CONTINUING SERIES: FLASHBACK FEATURES Oldies and goodies on Thursday nights at the Cinema 9, presented by your genial host, Joe Ferrara. $5 gets you in. This week: HAROLD & MAUDE . (PG) 91 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Tonight (Thursday) only, 8 p.m., at the Cinema 9.
CONTINUING EVENT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES Discussion begins at 7 pm and admission is free. For more information visit www.ltatm.org.
BLACK SWAN Haunting, hypnotic, sexy. Natalie Portman, who nabbed a Golden Globe for her career-defining role here plays an eager ballerina—tough 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)
BLUE VALENTINE Billing itself as “a love story,” this unsettling drama begins after most conventional love stories have concluded, when happily ever after has morphed into stuck forever. Nothing in the movie sounds scripted; the dialogue comes out with a raw edge that feels (often almost painfully) real. Acted with aching quicksilver precision by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling as a conflicted young married couple, this prickly drama from Derek Cianfrance pokes into the raw wound of disappointed dreams and desires while grappling with the elusive nature of love, and why and how it can just as easily slip away. (R) 114 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
CASINO JACK The true story of high-living “uber-lobbyist” power broker “Casino Jack” Abramoff. Kevin Spacey stars in the title role, the influence-peddler whose schemes lead to corruption and murder. Barry Pepper, Kelly Preston and Jon Lovitz co-star. (R) 108 minutes.
THE DILEMMA Ron Howard attempts comedy with this tale of best buds with a big problem: Vince Vaughn is afraid to tell pal Kevin James that James’ with (Winona Ryder) is cheating on him. Channing Tatum, Jennifer Connelly, and Queen Latifah co-star. (PG-13).
THE GREEN HORNET Seth Rogan stars in this remix of the old DC comic (by way of the 1960s TV show). (PG-13) 119 minutes.
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. (PG) 115 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
COUNTRY 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) (PG-13) 111 minutes.
THE FIGHTER Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg turn in surprisingly good performances in this fact-based boxing saga, based on a true story. The duo play half brothers Dicky Ecklund and Micky Ward in a working-class town. Walberg is the fighter everybody roots for but can’t seem to make it on his own without his family meddling. Bale delivers another career defining performance as the druggie brother everybody hoped would have succeeded more after a stellar boxing win. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo (terrific as the brothers’ controlling mom) co-star. Directed by David O. Russell. (R) 114 minutes. (★★★1/2) Greg Archer
GULLIVER’S TRAVELS Jack Black stars in this lavish, live-action, 3D update of the Jonathan Swift social satire 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. (PG-13) 147 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
HOW DO YOU KNOW Reese Witherspoon stars in this romantic comedy with Owen Wilson), and Paul Rudd,.. (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.. (R) 98 minutes (★★1/2)
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)
LITTLE FOCKERS Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro return as battling in-laws in this third installment of the comedy franchise. Paul Weitz directs. (PG-13)
MADE IN DAGENHAM . Director Nigel Cole does an admirable job of sketching in the hierachy of males the women are up against (husbands, co-workers, Ford execs, even their own union bosses), and crafting a milieu of subtly ingrained sexism. Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) brings her fun-loving demeanor and piercing intelligence to the fictional heroine invented to represent the journey the Ford women took from complacency to consciousness. (R) 113 minutes. (★★★)
NO STRINGS ATTACHED Reviewed this issue. (R) 110 minutes. (★★1/2).
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
RABBIT HOLE Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart turn in brilliant performaces in this new outing by director John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig, Shortbus). Mitchell surprises by offering a deep, sensitive look into the lives of two parents moving through the grief after losing their young son. Kidman grabbed a Golden Globe nom, but it’s Eckhart’s rich performance that truly shines in a tale that finds these actor so believingly appealing. Diane Weist co-stars. (★★★) Greg Archer
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.. (PG-13) 113 minutes.
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.. (PG) 100 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
SOMEWHERE After Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette, writer-director Sofia Coppola trains her camera eye on decadent Young Hollywood in this contemporary drama about an actor (Stephen Dorff) as celebrated for his brawls and binges as his movies, whose hedonistic lifestyle at the fabled Chateau Marmont Hotel is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning). (R) 98 minutes.
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. (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
THE WAY BACK Imagine a 4000-mile trek on foot from Siberia to Mongolia, across the Gobi Desert to Tibet, and over the Himalayas into India. It’s an incredible journey supposedly made by a handful of escapees from a Soviet prison camp in 1941, as depicted in this absorbing drama on the collision and collusion of man and Nature from the formidable Peter Weir. Whether the 1956 book, “The Long Walk,” on which the film is based, by Soviet gulag survivor Slavomir Rawicz, is fact or fiction, this epic tale of survival inspires Weir’s visionary sense; he and his longtime cinematographer Russell Boyd chart this harsh terrain in dozens of breathtaking vistas. But it’s the labyrinth of human dynamics that keep the viewer engrossed, thanks to a tough, sinewy performance from Ed Harris, the resourceful Jim Sturgess, and wild-card Colin Farrell. (PG-13) 133 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
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. . (PG) 79 minutes.