Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
New This Week
THE DOUBLE HOUR This twisty Italian romantic thriller from director Giuseppe Capotondi involves a former cop, unlucky in love, the Slovenian hotel chambermaid he falls for, a romantic getaway into the Turin countryside, and dark secrets from the past that come back to haunt them both. Filippo Timi and Kseniya Rappoport star. (Not rated) 95 minutes. In Italian with English subtitles. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Reviewed this isse. (R) 130 minutes. (★★★) Starts Friday.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS This prequel to the mutant hero franchise charts the history of Professor X (James McAvy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) as young men who gather together an army of young mutants to protect the world, only to splinter into opposite factions over how they should use their powers. Jennifer Lawrence (as Mystique), January Jones (as Emma Frost) Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Rose Byrne, Jason Flemyng, and Kevin Bacon head up the large supporting cast. Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass; Stardust; Layer Cake) directs. (PG-13) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
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: MEAN GIRLS Lindsay Lohan stars as a home-schooled teen raised in the African bush country by zoologist parents who experiences the law of the jungle when she enters public high school for the first time and runs afoul of the reigning girl clique. Jonathan Bennett and Rachel McAdams co-star. Mark Waters (Freaky Friday) directs. (PG-13) 97 minutes. 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: 12 ANGRY MEN Henry Fonda stars as the juror with a personal moral compass who doggedly steers his eleven fellow jurors toward a reasonable verdict in a murder trial—despite their various fears and prejudices—in Sidney Lumet’s 1957 courtroom drama in which all the action taks place behind closed doors in the jury room. Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb, and Jack Klugman co-star. (Not rated) 96 minutes. Sat-Sun matinee only. 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: ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND Kate Winslet a free spirit in rainbow-colored hair whose relationship with ex Jim Carrey was so awful she hires a doctor to erase him from her memory in this surreal comedy from the unfettered imagination of Charlie Kaufman. A wonderfully warpy take on love, disappointment, and the audacity of romantic hope. Michel Gondry directs. (R) 108 minutes. (★★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen. Tonight (Thursday, June 2) only, 8 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 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.
MOVIE TIMES 6/3–6/9
Del Mar Theatre 469-3220
Water for Elephants 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30 + Sat-Mon 11:30am
Everything Must Go 2:50, 5, 7:20, 9:20 + Sat-Mon 12:40
Cave of Forgotten Dreams 2:30, 4:50, 7:10, 9:10 + Sat-Mon 12:15
Mean Girls Friday & Saturday Night Midnight Showing
Incendies 1:20, 4, 6:40, 9:20
The Conspirator 2, 6:50
13 Assassins 4:40, 9
The Double Hour 2:40, 4:50, 7, 9:10 + Sat, Sun 12:30
Bill Cunningham New York 1, 2:50, 7:10 + Sat-Sun 11:10am
Hesher 4:30, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11:50am
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
X-Men First Class 1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30 Fri-Sun 11am
Bridesmaids 1:40, 4:15, 6:50, 9:20 + Sat, Sun 11:10am
12 Angry Men Classic on the Big Screen Sat, Sun 10am
Green Valley Cinema 8 761-8200
X-Men: First Class 1, 2, 4, 5:05, 7, 8, 10 + Fri-Sun 10am, 11am
Kung Fu Panda 2 3D 1, 3, 5:05, 7:15, 9:30 + Fri-Sun 11am
Kung Fu Panda 2 35mm 1:10, 3:10, 5:15, 7:25, 9:40 + Fri-Sun 11:10am
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 1, 4, 7, 10 + Fri-Sun 10am
Bridesmaids 1:30, 4, 6:30, 9 + Fri-Mon 11am
Hangover 2 1, 1:30, 3:30, 4, 6:30, 7, 9, 9:30 + Fri-Sun 10:30am, 11am
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Bridesmaid 1, 4, 7, 10
X-Men: First Class 11am, 12:15, 2, 3:30, 4:55, 6:45, 7:45, 9:45
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 12:30, 3:45, 7, 10:10
Kung Fu Panda 2 11:55am, 2:30, 4:45, 7:10, 9:20
The Hangover Part 2 11:45am, 2:15, 4:40, 7:30, 10
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D 12:30, 3:45, 7, 10:15
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
Kung Fu Panda 2 3D 11:55am, 2:30, 4:55, 7:15, 9:30
The Hangover Part 2 11:45am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:30, 10
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 12:30, 3:45, 7, 10
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
Please Call for Show Times
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
Please Call for Show Times
BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORKEverybody in New York knows Bill Cunningham, but nobody knows anything about him. The delightful subject of this Richard Press documentary is an 80-year-old NY Times photographer who bikes around the city all day snapping photos for his two weekly Sunday Style columns—one on high-fashion society events, the other on the spontaneous style he finds in the streets—a gig he’s had for 40 years. (“We all get dressed for Bill,” says Vogue editor Anna Wintour.) Living a Spartan, single existence in a tiny flat above Carnegie Hall, his entire life is his work, sniffing out style and creating and lionizing fashion icons in his weekly photo montages, all with chipper enthusiasm, self-deprecating aplomb, and no pretensions of any kind. Deep mysteries and melancholy are hinted at in his past and upbringing, but Bill emerges heroic as a person who persists, with good humor and high spirits, to march to his own unique drummer. (Not rated) 84 minutes. (★★★1/2)
BRIDESMAIDS One the best comedies of the year. Clever. Well written. Wonderfully executed. Kristen Wiig, who also cowrotes this comedy, plays a romantically-challenged woman suddenly caught in her best friend’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding arrangements.. Determined to be the best maid of honor, she, naturally, screws up. All that ensues is hilarious. But the film actually sports some real heart and, quite smoothly, delivers a sobering look at what women go through in relationships—of all kinds. This has to be one of the best supporting casts to hit the screen in a long tims. Beyond Rudolph, the typically tepid Rose Byrne outdoes herself. There’s Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper and an amazing Melissa McCarthy—watch out for this one! The late Jill Clayburgh also co-stars. Wiig co-Paul Feig directs. (R) (★★★) Greg Archer
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMSWerner Herzog explores two of his favorite themes—human obsessions, and the forbidding grandeur of Nature—in his stunning new doc, a tour of Chauvet Cave. This recently discovered, 32,000-year-old cave buried under a massive rockslide in rural France contains the earliest known wall paintings made by human hands. The filmmaking stumbles abit; some crucial details don’t interest Herzog enough to include them (like the media in which the artwork was produced), and we have to slog through some of the director’s more bewildering ruminations. But the cave interiors are stunning. Shooting in 3D allows Herzog to capture the depth and mystery of images glimpsed in shadowy recesses or sprawling across unevewn surfaces. Sequences outside can be disorienting, but 3D captures the cave interiors with breathtaking fidelity. (Not rated) 90 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
THE CONSPIRATORRobin 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
EVERYTHING MUST GOWill Ferrell shows off some acting depth here in this comedy-drama about a guy who loses his job on the same day his wife kicks him out—she tosses all of his belongings out on the lawn. He opts to take up residence there, selling off his possessions in an ongoing yard sale. This is a tale about growing up, maturing and coming to terms with one’s shadow side. It manages to succeed at that, for the most part, but there’s a downtrodden beat to the film that many may not embrace. It’s as if the writer—writer-director Dan Rush—went off his Zoloft. Still, the film works in showcasing some of Ferrell’s rarely-scene “real” side. Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace, and Laura Dern co-star.. (R) 96 minutes. (★★1/2) Greg Archer
FAST FIVEDon’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
THE HANGOVER PART IIThis is what you should know: Stay home and drink. There is no real reason for anybody to venture out for this embarassing rehash of the same jokes you’d find in the first movie. Some fun moments exist here but there’s nothing new brought to the bar. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Justin Bartha return for another wedding and another unexpected night of mayhem—this time in Bangkok, Thailand. If you like smoking monkeys, small penises and hermaphrodites, climb on board. Othewise, meet me at the lounge. Todd Phillips directs. (R) (★1/2) Greg Archer
HESHERThe always watchable Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a misanthropic, foul-mouthed loser who drifts into the lives of a little boy and his recently widowed father (Rainn Wilson) and begins to alter the course of their lives. Rookie Spencer Susser co-wrote and directed this dark indie drama. Natalie Portman, veteran Piper Laurie, and little Devin Brochu co-star. (R) 100 minutes.
HOBO WTH A SHOTGUNIt started out as a fake B-movie trailer in he “Grindhouse Trailer” competition at the 2007 South by Southwest Film Fest. Now it’s a real movie—more or less—starring Rutger Hauer as the eponymous drifter who grabs a shotgun & starts bringing rough justice to a lawless town. Jason Eisener directs. (Not rated.) 86 minutes.
I AMAn 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
KUNG FU PANDA 2: KABOOM OF DOOMThe bears are back in town; Jack Black returns as the voice of Po, cuddly Chinese panda-turned-mystic warrior, whose happy life guarding the Valley of Peace is threatened when he and his cohorts must rally to stop a new villain. Jennifer Yuh directs this sequel to the hit animated family comedy. Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogan, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dustin Hoffman join the large supporting voice cast. (PG)
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDESLittle remains of Tim Powers’ fantasy novel, On Stranger Tides, in this fourth Pirates movie. Still, incoming director Rob Marshall’s film is a more seaworthy vessel than the leaky old rustbucket that was PotC 3. Johnny Depp’s reeling and raucous Captain Jack Sparrow is having a blast. Penelope Cruz is on board as the daughter of Blackbeard—played with dark, ferocious brio by Ian McShane. Geoffrey Rush is back, stomping around on a peg leg as pirate Barbarossa-turned-privateer, and the action is more focused: everyone is searching for the Fountain of Youth. But scriptwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio don’t so much craft a narrative plot as string a bunch of gigantic comedy set-pieces together; when it comes to basics, like character motivation, they’re clueless. Jack is just along for the ride, and while he’s an entertaining companion, you’d think that after nearly a dozen hours of screen time in four movies, the writers could develop a more complex character for Depp to play. He and Cruz argue and swordfight, but are never allowed to graduate into a grown-up relationship, or display any real camaraderie. Locations (mostly in Hawaii) are ravishing, and everyone seems to be having a hell of a good time; too bad there isn’t a bit more there there. (PG-13) 137 minutes. (★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen. (Read a longer review at Lisa Jensen Online Express: ljo-express.blogspot.com)
QUEEN TO PLAYA 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. (Not rated) 97 minutes. In French with English subtitles. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
13 ASSASSINSIn this samurai action sage from director Takashi Miike, a lone samurai is hired to take down a cruel and evil overlord, and assembles a ragtag crew of misfit warriors to help him storm the overlord’s fortress. Mayhem ensues. Koji Yakusho (Shall We Dance?; Babel), Takayuki Yamada, and Goro Inagaki star. (R) 141 minutes. In Japanese with English subtitles.
THORHunky Chris Hemsworth stars is the mythical Norse warrior god in the popular Marvel comics here. Good news: for a super hero flick, this one throws off a a vibe that’s a bit more unconventional. It doesn’t smack of some of the other cookie-cutter hero films. Maybe that’s because there’s an other-worldly element to Thor, his past and the mythology we see here. The lowdown: Thor is banished to Earth to live among humans, whom he eventually has to protect from an evil villain. Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins—why guys, why did you take these roles? (they’re actually well suiited here—costar alongside Kat Dennings. Kenneth Branagh—yes, that Kenny—directs this surprisingly applaudable effort. (PG-13) (★★★) Greg Archer
WATER FOR ELEPHANTSThe 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 WINPaul 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. (★★★) GA