Film, Times & Events: Week of May 1

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Check out the movies playing around town.
With: Reviews
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New This Week

ADULT BEGINNERS TV regular Nick Kroll stars in this comedy (he came up with the story) as a would-be entrepreneur reduced to leaving Manhattan to move in with his estranged sister’s family and become a nanny to their little boy. Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Jane Krakowski co-star for director Ross Katz. (R) 90 minutes. Starts Friday.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON The fate of the universe hangs in the balance (surprise!) in this latest superhero slugfest from the ever-wry imagination of writer-director Joss Whedon. Usual suspects Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), reteam to battle villainous Ultron (James Spader). Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Paul Bettany have featured roles. (But, sadly, no Loki this time.) (PG-13) 141 minutes. Starts Friday.

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA All About Eve meets Birdman in this French backstage drama about a veteran actress (Juliette Binoche) rehearsing a stage play with a volatile young Hollywood starlet (Chloe Grace Moretz) cast in the antagonist role that made the Binoche character famous 20 years earlier. Kristen Stewart became the first American actress to ever win a Cesar (the French Oscar) for her supporting role as Binoche’s assistant. Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours) directs. Starts Friday.

THE SALT OF THE EARTH The 40-year global journey of photographer Sebastião Salgado, on a mission to capture and record our planet’s wild, unspoiled beauty, is the subject of this documentary from Wim Wenders. (PG-13) 110 minutes. Starts Friday.

Film Events

CONTINUING SERIES: MIDNIGHTS @ THE DEL MAR Eclectic movies for wild and crazy tastes plus great prizes and buckets of fun for only $6.50. This week: PULP FICTION Entertaining performances from John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis highlight this wildly overrated 1994 exercise in flashy, brutal style from Quentin Tarantino. (R) 154 minutes. (**1/2)—Lisa Jensen. At the Del Mar, Fri-Sat midnight only.

CONTINUING EVENT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES Film buffs are invited to join us Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in downtown Santa Cruz, where each week we discuss a different current release. For our location and discussion topic, please visit our Google Groups webpage:

Movie Times click here.

Now Playing

THE AGE OF ADALINE Blake Lively stars in this fantasy drama as a woman who has remained 29 years old for nearly a century who risks her isolated existence when she falls in love with a charismatic man (Michiel Huisman). Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker, and Ellen Burstyn co-star. Lee Toland Krieger directs. (PG-13) 110 minutes.

EX MACHINA Reviewed this issue. (R) 110 minutes. (***)—Lisa Jensen.

SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION Creativity, passion, and the tools for building a rewarding life are the themes in this documentary about Seymour Bernstein, a virtuosos concert pianist who gave up the limelight to become a teacher, helping others develop their talents. Actor-turned-filmmaker Ethan Hawke directs. (PG) 84 minutes.

THE WATER DIVINER Russell Crowe makes his directing debut with this drama in which he stars as an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey in 1919, at the end of World War I, where all three of his sons were lost in the Battle of Gallipoli, to find their remains and bring them home. Olga Kurylenko co-stars. (R) 111 minutes.

WOMAN IN GOLD Themes of art, justice, and family merge in Simon Curtis’ compelling true story. The famous Gustav Klimt painting is the subject of a contest of wills between the Austrian government and one determined Austrian Jewish woman, repatriated to Los Angeles, who claims the painting was stolen from her family by the Nazis. The mighty Helen Mirren stars as Maria Altmann, seeking to recover the portrait of her beloved aunt. Tatiana Maslany is wonderful as her younger self, and flashbacks to elegant Old World Vienna deepen the drama. PG-13. 109 minutes. (***)—Lisa Jensen.

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