Film, Times & Events: Week of May 12th

film_guide_iconFilms This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.


New This Week
Kristen Wiig stars in this comedy about a romantically-challenged, flat-broke woman sucked into our culture’s bizarre wedding rituals when she determines to be Maid of Honor at th upcoming nuptials of her best friend (Maya Rudolph). Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper are the other bridesmaids. The late Jill Clayburgh also co-stars. Wiig co-wrote the script for director Paul Feig. (R) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>


Will Ferrell stars in this comedy-drama as a guy who loses his job on the same day his wife kicks him out and throws all his stuff out on the lawn. He decides to take up residence in his front yard indefinitely, selling off his possessions in an ongoing yard sale, as he tries to figure out how to rebuild his life. Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace, and Laura Dern co-star for rookie writer-director Dan Rush. (R) 96 minutes. Starts Friday.  Watch film trailer >>>


MEEK’S CUTOFF Reviewed this issue. (PG) 104 minutes. (★★1/2) Starts Friday.


In a dystopian future (is there any other kind?) in an alternate universe, a loner priest (Paul Bettany) defies church law to hunt the vampire brood who kidnapped his niece. Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, and Maggie Q co-star for director Scott Charles Stewart (Legion). (PG-13) 87 minutes. Starts Friday.  Watch film trailer >>>


QUEEN TO PLAY A middle-aged wife, mother, and hotel maid on the luscious island of Corsica unexpectedly discovers herself while learning the game of chess in this charming and contemplative French drama with a touch of magic realism. Sandrine Bonnaire plays the heroine as poised and pragmatic, yet simmering with untapped potential, who responds intuitively to the intricacies and strategies of chess as if to a lover’s carress. (Soon, she’s obsessively moving jars and salt shakers in chess patterns across her kitchen table; mopping a black and white tiled floor, she can’t resist hopping from square to square.) Kevin Kline (speaking French throughout) provides solid support and an air of mystery as a longtime expatriated and reclusive American chess master who helps launch her toward a new definition of herself. Rich in spirit and sensibility, it’s an assured directing debut from longtime screenwriter Caroline Bottaro. (Not rated) 97 minutes. In French with English subtitles. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>

Movie Times 5/13–5/19

Del Mar Theatre    469-3220
Water for Elephants  2, 3:30, 4:30, 6, 7, 8:30, 9:30  +  Sat, Sun 11:30am, 1  
Harry Shearer Live in Person—The Big Uneasy  May 19th 7:30
Everything Must Go  2:50, 5, 7:15, 9:20  + Sat, Sun 12:40   
Raiders of the Lost Ark  Friday & Saturday night Midnight showing

Nickelodeon    426-7500

Queen to Play  2:10, 4:20, 6:40, 9, + Sat, Sun  noon
Meek’s Cutoff   2:20, 4:40, 7, 9:30  + Sat, Sun  12:10
Win Win   2:30, 4:50, 7:10, 9:20 
African Cats  2:40, + Sat, Sun 12:40
Jane Eyre  4:30, 6:50, 9:10 

Aptos Cinema    426-7500

Something Borrowed  2, 4:20, 6:50, 9:10 + Sat, Sun 11:30am
The Conspirator  2:30, 6:45 
I Am   5, 9:15  + Sat, Sun 12:50  
The Big Heat  Saturday +Sunday Weekend Matinee 11am

Green Valley Cinema 8    761-8200

Thor Dolby Digital 3D  1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:20, + Sat, Sun 11:05am
Fast Five  1:30, 4:10, 7, 9:40 + Sat, Sun 11am  
Bridesmaids  1:30, 4:10, 7, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11:15am
Priest  1:30, 4:10, 7, 9:20  + Sat, Sun 11:15am
Something Borrowed  1, 3, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15 + Sat, Sun 11am
Jumping the Broom  1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:20 + Sat, Sun 11:05am
Rio  1, 3:10, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15 + Sat, Sun 11am
Thor 35mm    1:40, 4:40, 7:10, 9:40, + Sat, Sun 11:15am

Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema    438-3260

Thor  11:20am, 2, 4:40, 7:20, 10  + Sun no 10, + Mon – Thurs no 11:20am, 2, 10
Atlas Shrugged: Part 1  11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7, 9:30  + Sun no 9:30   
Fast Five  Mon – Thurs only 4:20, 7   
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides  Thurs 05/19 11:59

Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema    479-3504

Thor 3D  11am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:15, 9:55
Bridesmaids  11am, 1:45, 4:40, 7:30, 10:15
Fast Five  1, 4, 7, 10
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides  Thurs 05/19  11:59

Santa Cruz Cinema 9    (800) 326-3264 #1700

Thor 3D  11am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:15  + Mon-Thurs  no 11am
Thor 2D  11:30am, 1:20, 2:20, 4:10, 5:10, 7, 8, 9:45, + Mon-Thurs no 11:30am
Jumping the Broom  11:20am, 2:10, 5, 7:50, 10:30  + M/T/Th no 11:20am
Fast Five  12:40, 1:10, 3:50, 4:20, 6:50, 7:20, 9:50, 10:20 
+ Sat no 12:40, + Mon-Wed no 12:40,
Rio 3D  Fri-Thurs  1:30, 6:40
Rio 2D (digital)  11:10am, 4, 9:20  + Mon-Thurs    no 11:10am
Source Code  2, 7:10 
Hannah  11:15am, 4:30, 9:35  + Mon-Thurs  no 11:15am
Priest 3D  3, 7:40, 10
Priest 2D (digital)  12:30, 5:20 + Mon-Thurs  no 12:30
Pirates of the Carribean  Thu 5/19  12:01AM
The Fisher King Flashback Feature  Thur 5/19 8
MET Opera  Die Walkure  Sat 5/14  9AM
MET Opera (encore)  Il Trovatore  Wed 5/18  6:30

Riverfront    (800) 326-3264 #1701

Bridesmaids  1,  4, 7, 9:50  + Mon–Thurs no 1
Something Borrowed  12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:20  + Mon – Thurs no 12:45


There’s plenty going on during the last three days of SCFF. Read all about it at santacruzfilmfestival.org.

CONTINUING SERIES THIS WEEK: 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: DIE WALKÜRE This second installment of Robert Lepage’s massive new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle stars Bryn Terfel as Wotan, Lord of the Gods, and Deborah Voigt as Brunnhilde. Jonas Kaufmann, Eva-Maria Westbroek, and Stephanie Blythe also sing principal roles. James Levine conducts. LIVE: Saturday (May 14) at 9 a.m. At the Cinema 9. 

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: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK  (PG)  115 minutes. (HHH)—Lisa Jensen. Fri-Saturday midnight only. At the Del Mar.

CONTINUING SERIES: WEEKEND MATINEE CLASSICS AT APTOS CINEMA This week: THE BIG HEAT Maestro Fritz Lang directed this milestone crime drama that shocked audiences in 1953 with its gritty, expressionistic violence  (including Lee Marvin pouring scalding coffee in girlfriend Gloris Grahame’s face). Glenn Ford stars as a principled cop out to expose corruption in the department and avenge his murdered wife in this classic example of film noir at its noirest. (Not rated)  89 minutes.(HHH)—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: FROM HERE TO ETERNITY  (Not rated) 118 minutes. (HHH)—Lisa Jensen. Tonight (Thursday, May 12) only, 8 p.m., at the Cinema 9.

CONTINUING SERIES: THE MET: LIVE IN HD AT THE CINEMA 9 ENCORE: IL TROVATORE Verdi’s passionate opera of love, treachery, betrayal, and gypsy curses is performed by a quartet of exceptional singers— Sondra Radvanosky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky—in David McVicar’s production. Marco Armiliato conducts.Wednesday (May 18) at 6:30 p.m. At the Cinema 9.

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 at 7 pm. For more information visit www.ltatm.org.

Now Playing

AFRICAN CATS In the spirit of Earth (2009) and Oceans (2010), this third Earth Day-oriented offering from Disneynature turns the spotlight on the lives and social habits of two families of wild felines in the savannahs of Africa. I am SO there! (G) 90 minutes.

THE CONSPIRATOR Robin Wright’s fierce dignity as a boarding house proprietress charged with conspiracy in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and James McAvoy as the conflicted Union war hero defending her at a military tribunal, highlight Robert Redford’s historical drama. The witch-hunt to blame and punish scapegoats in times of national crisis make the story timely, but Redford is too meticulous a craftsman to beat us over the head with these comparisons; he lets the story unfold at its own pace, with his usual eye for period detail and sense of restraint. There may be a whiff of staid earnestness about the whole thing, but the actors are engaging, the story is gripping, and the film achieves moments of quiet power.  (PG-13) 123 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES The original cast is back in place for this second installment of the series based on the illustrated novels of Jeff Kinney. Zachary Gordon returns as the adolescent hero, back in middle school and coping with all the usual suspects—including an older brother (Devon Bostwick) who’s blackmailing him to do his bidding. Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, and Steve Zahn co-star for incoming director David Bowers. (PG)

FAST FIVE Don’t freak out: It’s actually pretty good. I gave up on the franchise after the first sequel, but alas, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel team up again for another zoom fest that warrants another look. It’sa nice look, actually—fast cars (of course) motorcycles, unlawful acts and a wildly inviting bank heist. How can you resist? Good news: The script is well written and the characters are all engaging. And all this set against a sexy backdrop in Rio. Nice. Added to the mix this round: Dwayne (Rock) Johnson, who plays a federal agent on “Fast” team’s trail.  Justin Lin directs. (PG-13) 130 minutes.  (★★★) Greg Archer

HANNA Saoirse Ronan (Atonement; The Lovely Bones) stars in this action thriller as a 16-year-old girl raised in the wilds of Finland by her ex-CIA op father (Eric Bana) and dispatched on a deadly mission across Europe, pursued by agents dispatched by a sinister spymaster (Cate Blanchett). Olivia Williams and Tom Hollander co-star for director Joe Wright (Atonement). (PG-13) 111 minutes.

I AM An uplifting doc that dares to ask: What’s right with the world? Filmmaker Tom Shadyac, who was more of a mainstream film director, seems to want to come to terms with life here—he survived a tragic accident and suddenly got to thinking more deeply. There are some fine moments in the film and it works because the director takes us along his journey, rather than trying to force feed us his opinions.  (PG) 76 minutes. (★★★) Greg Archer

Danish filmmaler Susanne Bier’s harrowing new film was this year’s Foreign Language Oscar-winner. It’s an ambitious project that explores the psychology of violence at many levels, from schoolyard bully to a Third World military strongman, considers various degrees of response, and charts the consequences of violence and vengeance through the interwoven, parallel stories of two families. It’s bracing stuff, almost thriller-like in the way it keeps viewers clutching their arm rests, dreading what may come next as this scrupulous morality play unfolds. The cast is excellent, particularly young Marcus Rygaard as a bullied 12-year-old. (R)  119 minutes. In Danish and Swedish with English subtitles. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen

JANE EYRE Mia Wasikowska is a poised, yet fiercely self-directed Jane to Michael Fassbender’s wry, stormy Rochester in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s fresh take on the evergreen, Victorian-era Gothic romance. It’s a deeply felt, beautifully wrought little gem of mood and sensibility.  Moira Buffini’s smart script mines every nuance of feeling out of Charlotte Bronte’s story, spoken and otherwise; together, the filmmakers resist every temptation to resort to overheated melodrama, weaving instead a compelling narrative of urgent emotional suspense. (PG-13) 120 minutes. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen

JUMPING THE BROOM It’s downtown meets uptown when the working-class, urban family of groom Laz Alonso and the priveliged family of bride Paul Patton converge for the wedding on Martha’s Vineyard. Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine are the mothers-in-law-to-be. Salim Akil directs. (PG-13)
RIO Brazilian animation director Carlos Saldanha (the first three Ice Age movies) turns to more familiar turf with this CGI comedy about a domesticated pet macaw (voice of Jesse Eisenberg) on the adventure of a lifetime with a free-spirited female (Anne Hathaway) and a flock of exotic wild birds in Rio de Janeiro. Jamie Foxx, Jane Lynch, George Lopez, and Will i Am contribute voices. (PG) 96 minutes.

SOUL SURFER AnnaSophia Robb stars as Bethany Hamilton in this inspirational true story of the teenage girl who lost her arm in a shark attack, but didn’t let it stop her from returning to the world of competitive surfing. Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Craig T. Nelson, and Kevin Sorbo co-star for director Sean McNamara. Shot on location in Hawaii. (PG)

SOMETHING BORROWED Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) shines—as she always does—playing a single New York attorney whose attraction to her best friend’s (Kate Hudson) fiance grows increasingly more complicated. Hudson is, well, Hudson here, but it’s Goodwin’s charm and that sort of achy-breaky heartbreak over a man she can’t have that seems to win the audience over. Based on the Emily Giffin novel, the film could have benefitted from some tweaks in the script—it tends to drag—but as romantic comedies go, this one tends to be pretty endearing. Colin Egglesfield and John Krasinskli co-star for director Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door). (PG-13) 113 minutes. (★★1/2) Greg Archer

THOR Chris Hemsworth stars as the mythical Norse warrior god of the long-running Marvel comic, banished to Earth to live among humans, whom he must protect from an evil villain.  Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, and Kat Dennings co-star; Kenneth Branagh (of all people!) directs. (PG-13)

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS The bones of a satisfying romantic suspense story underlie Francis Lawrence’s evocative film adaptation Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel about passion and mayhem under the Big Top during the Depression 1930s. The movie may not be one hundred per-cent effective in its storytelling or its central romance, but it’s steeped in period atmosphere and conveys a keen sense of the knockabout gypsy life of a traveling circus. Robert Pattinson is appropriately youthful, stalwart, and gutsy as the veterinary student taken in to tend the circus animals. His relationship with Reese Witherspoon’s glamorous bareback rider never quite catches fire (although Christophe Waltz’s silky psychosis as her owner/ringmaster husband generates plenty of tension) but  Pattinson’s deep affection for Rosie, the soulful elephant, is most convincing. Theirs is the most passionate and tender relationship in the film, and hers the story we care most about. (R) 122 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen

WIN WIN Paul Giamatti stars in, yet again, a standout film about a character trying to come to terms with what life is handing him. GIamatti is a lawyer and volunteer high school wrestling coach who winds up caring for a displaced teen (newcomer Alex Shaffer). He decides to mold the boy into a star athlete. There’s an interesting back story, too, about the boy’s grandfather and mother.. Written and directed by quirk-meister Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent; The Visitor). Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale, and Melanie Lynskey co-star. (R) 106 minutes.  (★★★) Greg Archer

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