Film, Times & Events: Week of Dec. 16th

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



(R) 110 minutes. Starts Friday. (Reviewed this issue.)


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. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>


HOW DO YOU KNOW Reese Witherspoon stars in this romantic comedy as a professional athlete at a crossroads in her life tryng to choose between a celebrity baseball pitcher (Owen Wilson), and a button-down businessman (Paul Rudd) with a meddling dad (Jack Nicholson). James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment; Broadcast News) directs. (R) 113 minutes. Starts Friday.  Watch film trailer >>>


Jeff Bridges returns as videogame maker Kevin Flynn, who was sucked into his own virtual arcade game program in the original Tron, 20 years ago. Garret Hedlund plays his now-grown son, drawn into the same virtual universe, who struggles to destroy the Master Program and free his father. Olivia Wilde and Bruce Boxleitner co-star, along with a lot of glow-in-the-dark fx. Joseph Kosinski directs. (PG) 125 minutes. Sarts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>


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 with 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. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>


Film Times 12/17–12/23
Del Mar Theatre    469-3220
Tangled  In Dolby Digital 3D  2:30, 4:45, 7, 9:10  + Sat, Sun 12:15
Tangled  In 2D  1:45, 4, 6:15, 8:30  + Sat, Sun 11:30am
Fair Game  2:15, 7:10
The Social Network  4:45, 9:20, +Sat, Sun 11:50am
Toy Story 3  10am Saturday Show: in 3D Benefitting Second Harvest Food
Free Admission with Non-Perishable food Donation!
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Friday & Saturday Midnight Showing  12/17 & 12/18 Midnight

Nickelodeon    426-7500

Black Swan  12:40, 2, 3, 4:30, 5:30, 7, 7:45, 9:30, 10, +Fri – Sun 11:30am
127 hours  12:30, 2:40, 4:50, 7:10, 9:20 + Sat, Sun 12:30
Tiny Furniture  4:40, 9:10
Tamara Drewe  2:20, 6:50, + Fri- Sun Noon

Aptos Cinema    426-7500

How Do You Know  11:40am, 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30
Fair Game Ends Tues 12/21  2:10, 7:10
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest  ends 12/21  4:20, 9:15
The Philadelphia Story  Sat12/18- Mon 12/20 Noon
Miracle on 34th Street Tues 12/21 – Fri 12/24 11am
Little Fockers  (starts 12/22) 12:40, 2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:20

Green Valley Cinema 8    761-8200

Tron Legacy  1:30, 4:20, 7, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11am
The Fighter  1:30, 4:15, 7:05, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11:05am
How Do You Know  1:25, 4:20, 7:05, 9:25, + Sat, Sun 11am
Yogi Bear  1:15, 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15 + Sat, Sun 11:15
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 
1:30, 4:20, 7, 9:15 + Sat, Sun 11:05am
The Tourist  1:30, 4:25, 7:10, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11:05
Burlesque  1:30, 4:15, +Sat, Sun 11:05am
Tangled In 35MM  1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:15  + Sat, Sun 11:10am
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1  6:50, 9:35
Little Fockers Opens 12/22,  1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:25, 9:30, + Sat, Sun 11am

Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema    438-3260

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 
11am, 1:30, 4:30, 5:20, 7, 7:45, 9:40, 10:15 + Wed – Thur no  5:20, 7:45, 10:15
Tangled  11:30am, 2, 4:20, 6:45, 9
The Tourist  11:45am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1  11:20am, 2:20
Tron Legacy Thurs12/16 11:59  + Fri 11am, 1:45, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10

Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema    479-3504

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 
11:20am, 2, 4:30, 7:15, 9:55
Tangled  11:30, 1:30, 4, 6:30, 9
Tron Legacy  12/16 11:59  Fri- Thurs 11am, 1:45, 4:40, 7:30, 10:15
True Grit  (Opens 12/22) 11:10, 1:40, 4:15, 7, 9:40

Santa Cruz Cinema 9    (800) 326-3264 #1700
Yogi Bear 3D  12:10, 2:25, 4:40, 6:50, 9
Yogi Bear 2D  12:45, 3:40, 6:40, 9:35
Tron Legacy 3D  10:45, 1:35, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25
How Do You Know  1:15, 4:10, 7:10, 10
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D
11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7, 9:45
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 2D
1, 3:45, 6:30, 9:10
The Tourist   noon, 2:35, 5:05, 7:40, 10:10
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Part 1  1:25, 4:45, 8
Love & Other Drugs  11:30, 2:15, 5, 7:45, 10:15
True Grit (Opens 12/22  Call for Show Times)
Gulliver’s Travels  (Opens 12/25  Call for Show times)

Riverfront    (800) 326-3264 #1701
Burlesque  12:45, 3:45, 6:30, 9:10  
The Fighter  1, 4, 7, 9:40

Movie schedule runs Friday through Thursday.

All times are PM unless otherwise stated.
Movie Theatres in Santa Cruz area >

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: RARE EXPORTS Hold onto your sleigh bells. This subversive new Yuletide comedy-thriller involves an archeological dig in Finland than turns up the undead remains of the demonic “real” Santa Claus, a humble reindeer hunter and his son, and an army of nasty elves who’ll stop at nothing to reclaim their leader. (R) 84 minutes. Fri-Sat midnight only. At the Del Mar.

SPECIAL EVENT THIS WEEK: SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK PRESENTS TOY STORY 3-D The lovable toy heroes from Andy’s room come back as fresh, funny, and irresistible as ever, in this encore holiday performance of the 2010 blockbuster, presented at the Del Mar in state-of-the-art 3D. Whimsical, hilarious, and poignant, it celebrates the magical world of a child’s imagination, and ponders the inevitability of growing up and letting go. Veteran Pixar director Lee Unkrich maintains the delicate balance between action, comedy, and heart. (G) 103 minutes. (★★★★) Saturday only, 10 a.m., at the Del Mar. Admission free with non-perishable food donation. 

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: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY Battling exes Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and wisecracking society reporters James Stewart and Ruth Hussey, play romantic roulette on the eve of Hepburn’s marriage to someone else in this sparkling 1940 comedy from the hit Philip Barry stage play directed by George Cukor. An irresistible classic from Hollywood’s Golden Age. (Not rated) 112 minutes. (★★★★)—Lisa Jensen. (Sat-Sun-Mon matinee only, 11 a.m. Admission $6. At Aptos Cinema. Watch film trailer >>>

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

BURLESQUE It’s a mess. But you can’t really walk away hating it. Cher shines. Christina Aguilera—not so much. Although the diva is powerful as a singer here whose talents help reboot a failing burlesque club on Sunset Strip. Cher plays the club’s matron. The script appears to have benefitted from a script doctor because some scenes appear as if they’re wandering nowhere and yet, surprisingly, are saved from ruin. All of the performances are superior. The story—not the case. Rated R. (★★) 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)

FAIR GAME A powerful tale and the stars align for its headliners Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Watts plays CIA op Valerie Plame, who was outed by the Bush Administrtion for revealing the truth about the Iraqi WMD scam. Penn plays her husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson, whose New York Times opinion piece led to an investigation on his Plame, eventually costing her entire career if not the safety of her undercover identity. Director Doug Liman takes the audience on a gripping tale. (PG-13) 106 minutes. (★★★)  Greg Archer

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST This third and final installment of the Swedish film trilogy based on the globally bestselling Stieg Larsson novels completes the story of hacker-turned-avenging angel Lisbeth Salander. This third act is mostly devoted to resolutions, and meting out just deserts, but even with less thunderting action, there’s plenty of breathtaking suspense as Lisbeth and her allies launch their stealth investigation to tumble the clandestine, corrupt inner circle of Sweden’s power elite—or die trying. Michael Nyqvist is again on hand as her rumpled, savvy reporter ally, but what makes the series such a rush is the depiction of strong women who stand their ground in a social order where casual misogyny is so deeply ingrained, it’s scarcely noticed. And in her third outing as tough, resourceful, implacable Lisbeth, actress Noomi Rapace proves why she’s cinema’s Woman of the Year for 2010. (R) 147 minutes. In Swedish with English subtitles. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen

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

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
MEGAMIND In this animated 3-D comedy from DreamWorks, when a superhero (voice of Brad Pitt) hangs up his cape, it’s up to his longtime adversary, scheming villain Megamind (voice of Will Ferrell) to save the city from an even more diabolical evildoer. Tina Fey and Jonah Hill also contribute voices. (PG) 96 minutes.

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

THE SOCIAL NETWORK One of the best, if not the best, films of the year. Smart, savvy and downright engaging. Is it true? It doesn’t really matter. This story about Facebook’s inception works. (It’s based on the non-fiction Ben Mezrich  book “The Accidental Billionaires.”) Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), experiements in interactive blogging, which quickly morphs into a revolutionary process in which people can communicate with each other. Meanwhile, he gets sued for strealing the idea. Aaron Sorkin’s script is remarkably tight and the acting stands out—Justin Timberlake offers the best performance playing Napster founder. David Fincher directs. (PG-13) 120 minutes. (★★★★)  Greg Archer

TAMARA DREWE Stephen Frears’ wry, delicious adaptation of veteran Brit cartoonist Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel is a saucy dark comedy about sex, beauty, infidelity, and the writing life. Gemma Arterton is wickedly gorgeous as the prodigal daughter whose return home to a tiny Dorset village brews up  sexy firestorm involving a hunky handyman, a surly visiting alt-rock star, and a libidinous crime-novelist neighbor who runs a writers retreat. It doesn’t matter whether or not you notice the bare bones of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd in Simmonds’ tale; her ironic take is fresh, tart, and delightful either way. (R) 111 minutes. (★★★1/2)
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

Quirky and offbeat, this film a sweet surprise. Filmmaker Lena Dunham writes and directs and stars in a tale about a recent college grad unable to figure out what to with her life next. film_tourist She moves back in with her artsy mother in New York City. Laurie Simmons (Dunham’s real-life mom) co-stars. Spirited and completely indie. (Not rated) 98 minutes. (★★★)
Greg Archer

THE TOURIST Reviewed this issue. (PG-13) 104 minutes. (★★1/2)

THE WARRIOR’S WAY Korean martial artist Dong-gun Jang (last seen in the overwrought, but rapturous The Promise) stars in this Eastern Western as an Asian warrior seeking only peace who finds he can’t escape violence in a small, one-horse town. Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth, and Danny Huston co-star for director Sngmoo Lee. (Not rated) 100 minutes.(Saved FGB)

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