Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
NEW THIS WEEK
EVEN THE RAIN Reviewed this issue. (Not rated) 103 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles. (★★★) Starts Friday.
LIMITLESS Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a lowly copywriter and wannabee novelist who's slipped a radical, secret "smart drug" that enables him to use 100% of his brain power—but also brings him to the attention of a powerful mogul (Robert De Niro), and sinister forces out to obtain his supply of the drug. Adapted from the Alan Glynn novel. Abbie Cornish and Anna Friel co-star for director Neil Burger. (PG-13) 97 minutes. Starts Friday.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER Matthew McConaughey stars as a criminal defense lawyer-for-hire in L. A. who operates out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car in this adaptation of the bestselling Michael Connelly legal thriller. Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, and William Macy co-star; Brad Furman directs. (R) 119 minutes. Starts Friday.
PAUL Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star as a couple of nerdy Brit comic fanboys on the road in the States who find a stowaway in their RV outside of Area 51—a wisecracking alien who's tired of Earth and wants to go home. Seth Rogen provides the voice of the runaway alien. Greg Mottola (Superbad; Adventureland) directs. (R) 104 minutes. Starts Friday.
PHILOCHS: THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Sean Penn and the late Ochs himself (in archive footage) appear in Kenneth Bowser's musical documentary about the topical troubadour best known for such '60s and '70s anthems as "I Ain't Marching Anymore," "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends," and "There But For Fortune." (Not Rated) 96 minutes. Starts Friday.
Movie Times 3/18–3/25
DEL MAR THEATRE 469-3220
Even the Rain (Spanish with English subtitles) 2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:20, + Sat, Sun 11am
Mars Needs Moms in Digital 3D 1
Mars Needs Moms 2D 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, + Sat, Sun Noon
The King’s Speech 1:40, 4:20, 7:10, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11:15am
2001: A Space Odyssey Friday & Saturday night Midnight Showings – Midnight
Nora’s Will 2:40, 4:40, 6:45, 9
Black Swan 4:10, 9:10
Cedar Rapids 1, 3, 5, 7, 8:50
Barney’s Version 1:20, 6:30
The Illusionist 12:50 + Sat, Sun 11am
My Dog Tulip 12:50
True Grit 12:40, 9:20
Phil Ochs There But For Fortune 2:50, 4:50, 7:10
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
The Lincoln Lawyer 1, 3:30, 6, 8:30
Red Riding Hood 12:40, 2:40, 4:45, 6:50, 9
The Night of the Hunter Saturday & Sunday Weekend Matinee Classic 11am
GREEN VALLEY CINEMA 8 761-8200
Limitless 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Paul 1:10, 3:15, 5:20, 7:20, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11:05am
Lincoln Lawyer 1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:25 + Sat, Sun 11:05am
Mars Needs Moms in Dolby Digital 3D 1, 3, 5:05, 7 + Sat, Sun 11am
Mars Needs Moms in 2D 9:05
Battle: Los Angeles 1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:25 + Sat, Sun 11:05
Red Riding Hood 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, 9:30 +Sat, Sun 11am
Hall Pass 9:30
The Adjustment Bureau 1:30, 4:30, 7 + Sat, Sun 11:10am
Rango 1:15, 4, 7, 9:15 +Sat, Sun 11am
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Battle: Los Angeles 11:20am, 2, 4:40, 7:20, 10 + Mon - Thurs no 11:20am
Rango 11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7, 9:30 + Mon - Thurs no 11:10am
Mars Needs Moms 11:55am, 2:15, 4:30, 6:45, 9 + Mon - Thurs no 11:55am
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
Rango 11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7, 9:30 + Mon - Thurs no 11:10am
Battle: Los Angeles 11:20am, 2, 4:45, 7:30, 10:10 + Mon - Thurs no 11:20am
The Adjustment Bureau 11:45am, 2:15, 4:40, 7:15, 9:45 + Mon - Thurs no 11:45am
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
Carmen 3D Sun 3/20 3 Thur 3/24 1
Met Opera Lucia Di Lammermoor Sat 3/19 10AM
Paul Noon, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20 + Mon - Thurs no Noon
Lincoln Lawyer 11:15am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:30, 10:15 + Mon-Thurs no 11:15am
Battle: Los Angeles 1, 1:25, 3:45, 4:10, 6:30, 7:10, 9:15, 9:55
Red Riding Hood 11:45am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:30, 10:10 + Mon - Thurs no 11:45am
Rango 11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7, 9:35 + Mon - Thurs no 11:15am
Beastly 1:05, 3:15, 5:25, 7:40, 9:45
Hall Pass 12:05, 2:30, 5, 7:25, 10
Gnomeo and Juliet 3D 12:15, 2:20, 4:35, 6:45, 9
American Graffiti Flashback Feature Thur 3/24 8
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
Limitless 1:15, 4:15, 7, 9:45 + Mon – Thurs no 1:15
The Adjustment Bureau 12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:25 + Mon – Thurs no 12:45
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 is "Italian Directors of the '60s." Each monthly film is introduced by Dr. William Park, Faculty Emeritus, Sarah Lawrence College. This Week: OTTO e MEZZO (81/2) The great Federico Fellini directs this 1963 masterpiece about love, art, and cinema. Marcello Mastroianni stars as a celebrated filmmaker turning to the women in his life—past and present—trying to draw inspiration for his next movie. Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee and Sandra Milo lead the femme cast; the movie won Oscars for Foreign Language Film and Costumes. (Not rated) 138 minutes. In Italian with English sub titles. At Cabrillo College, VAPA Art History Forum Room 1001, Sunday only (March 20), 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: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Open the pod bay door, HAL, and re-enter Stanley Kubrick's visually stunning 1968 sci-fi epic. It traces the evolution of humankind from ape to reborn space embryo in a future when machines clearly have the upper hand. Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood struggle to make their presence felt amid all the hardware and mind-blowing effects. (G) 151 minutes. (HHH) —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: NIGHT OF THE HUNTER Robert Mitchum stars as a sinister backwoods preacher with "love" and "hate" tattooed on his knuckles who terrorizes the lives of resolute granny Lillian Gish and the two little kids she protects in this classic 1955 thriller. The only film ever directed by actor Charles Laughton; heavy on atmosphere and menacing psychosis. (Not rated) 93 minutes. (HHH1/2) 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: EASY RIDER Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper momentarily revolutionized the movie biz with this low-budget 1969 blockbuster about a couple of drug-dealing outlaw bikers on the road "looking for America." A tad pretentious now, although a then-unknown Jack Nicholson livens things up as an alcoholic young Southern lawyer whose hilarious observations cut through all the mythic BS. (R) 95 minutes. (HH1/2)—Lisa Jensen. Tonight (Thursday) only, 8 p.m., at the Cinema 9.
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:LUCIA di LAMMERMOOR Natalie Dessay sings the title role of a beautiful young woman driven to madness in Mary Zimmerman's popular staging of the Donizetti opera. Patrick Summers conducts. LIVE: Saturday, March 19,10 a.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.
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU Something needs adjustment in this promising film starring Matt Damon, who plays a politico who discovers learns the “truth” of fate in an action thriller that doesn’t always hit the mark. Damon’s up-and-rising politician falls in love with the “wrong” woman and finds himself on the run from the “bureau”—angels in suits, more or less. That they’re all men is a bit dated, but hey, for a reboot of a Philip K.Dick short story, there’s enough to savor here—then ponder afterward. (PG-13) (★★1/2) Greg Archer
BARNEY'S VERSION Paul Giamatti so wonderfully inhabits his character here and deserves the Golden Globe he nabbed for it. Based on Mordecail Richler's winning novel, Giamatti morphs into a self-involved TV producer here whose penchant for drinking (too much) and womanizing doesn’t quite make him an ideal catch. But fate is kind to this anti-hero and delivers to him the woman of his dreams—Rosamund Pike in a stunning, graceful performance that so beautifully illuminates what “loving” somebody actually looks like. Barney doesn’t realize it, but he’s been given a gift from the Gods with his new love in that it presents him with the possibility to leap—let’s make that crawl—out of his narcissistic way of being and actually care about something, and somebody, other than himself? Can he do it? One of the smartest, well written films to come along in quite a while. Minnie Driver, and Rachel Lefevre star as ex-wives here; Dustin Hoffman co-stars as Barney’s father. Richard J. Lewis directs. (R) 132 minutes. Stats Friday. (★★★1/2) Greg Archer
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES When alien forces attack earth, and the worlds great cities begin to fall, the last bastion of human civilization (erm, L. A.?) becomes the site of the final showdown between Marine Sergeant Aaron Eckhart, his new platoon, and the alien invaders. Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, and Bridget Moynahan co-star for director Jonathan Liebesman. (PG-13) 117 minutes. Starts Friday.
BEASTLY In this modern riff on Beauty and the Beast, Alex Pettyfer stars as the most handsome, popular, and arrogant boy in high school who's turned into a scarred, bald-headed freak by a wicca-practicing classmate after he humiliates her. Vanessa Hudgens is the nice girl who might be able to break the curse if he can earn her love. Director Daniel Barnz adapted the script from the Alex Flinn YA novel. (PG-13)
BIUTIFUL The wonderful Javier Bardem gives a performance of furious grace as a man clawing a living out of the urban underbelly of Barcelona who discovers he has only a short time left to straighten out his messy life for the sake of his beloved children. Brooding and heartfelt, this is a dark, often despairing vision of life on the fringe from the always provocative Alejandro González Iñárritu, yet infused throughout with tenderness, compassion, and a sense of spiritual redemption. The determination of Bardem's character to cling to his better nature aginst all odds becomes profound in this haunting, deeply layered film. (R) 148 minutes. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
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) Greg Archer
CEDAR RAPIDS A fantastic surprise. Newcomer Ed Helms shines in an indie comedy you can’t help but enjoy—it turned heads at Sundance. Helms plays a naive small-town insurance agent sent by his company to a big convention in Iowa. Like a fish out of water, he’s bedazzled–and bemused—by all the “glitter” of such a “big city” lilke ... Cedar Rapids. The convention is full of jaded old pros, played by John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr. Sigourney Weaver also stars. Miguel Arteta directs. (R) 86 minutes. (★★★) Greg Archer
GNOMEO AND JULIET The most enduring love story of all time, enacted by...garden gnomes? That's the plan in this animated Disney family comedy. (G)
HALL PASS Owen Wilson and Jason Sudekis star in this comedy about a couple of restless guys whose wives give them one week "off" from fidelity.. (R) Starts Friday.
I AM NUMBER FOUR Alex Pettyfer stars in this sci-fi thriller as a teenager with disturbing special powers on the run.. (PG-13) 110 minutes.
THE ILLUSIONIST Sylvain Chomet's lovingly hand-drawn animated feature is an artifact of another era. With the look of old-school cel animation in which every frame is a mini work of art, its subject is the bygone era of postwar vaudeville in a story adapted from an unproduced script written decades ago by Jacques Tati. That it's told almost without dialogue (sound and music, yes, but few discernible words) adds much to its wistful whimsy and charm. (PG) 80 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
THE KING'S SPEECH And the Oscar goes to this juicy and rewarding true story about an accidental monarch struggling to conquer a private affliction that makes public life a nightmare. Director Tom Hooper also won gold, along with the formidable Colin Firth 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 his eccentric speech therapist; the marvelous Helena Bonham Carter leads a Who's Who of splendid British thesps in supporting roles. (R) 118 minutes. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
MARS NEEDS MOMS A nine-year-old Earth boy (voice of Seth Green) develops a new appreciation for his mom when she's abducted by Martians and whisked off to the red planet, where her virtuoso mothering skills are more prized. Stowing away on a spacecraft, it's up to the boy, his techno-geek friend, and a rebel Martian girl to get his mom back. Simon Wells directs this 3D Disney animated comedy. Dan Fogler, Mindy Sterling, Elisabeth Harnois, and Joan Cusack (as Mom) provide voices. (PG) 88 minutes. Starts Friday.
MY DOG TULIP Based on British author J. R. Ackerley's 1956 memoir about his longtime relationship with a rescued female German Shepherd, this is the first entirely hand-drawn and animated feature using paperless computer technology. Co-directors and animators Paul and Sandra Fierlinger use muted, painterly colors and expressionistic linework that are often exquisite (although they sometimes cheat with antic, but simpler black-and-white sketchpad sequences). The liveliness of Tulip and other dogs is beautifully rendered. If the book were fiction, it would be an asperity-laced satire about the inability of a curmudgeony Englishman to form a satisfying relationship with another human. But as memoir, it can be an off-putting portrait of a misanthrope unpleasantly fixated on his dog's anal and sexual habits. (His misguided determination to mate Tulip, with no thought for the consequences, is particularly irresponsible.) Christopher Plummer and the late Lynn Redgrave provide the human voices. (Not rated) 83 minutes. (★★1/2) Lisa Jensen. Starts Friday.
NORA'S WILL (5 DIAS SIN NORA) This engrossing, thoroughly engaging little tone poem from Mexican writer-director Mariana Chenillo begins with a suicide, and explores the unexpected process of absolution that follows when her disgruntled ex and loved ones gather for the wake. Intricate, yet simple in design, and laced with deliciously dry humor, the plot of this low-key meditation on love, loss, and family ties teeters on the edge of black comedy, but never veers into satire. Chenillo brings off this tender mood piece with skill and delicacy. (Not rated) 92 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles. (HHH) Lisa Jensen
RANGO Johnny Depp unleashes his inner clown, providing voice, rollicking movement, and heart to the lizard protagonist of this abundantly silly and entertaining animated family comedy. Directed by Gore Verbinski, from a very funny script by John Logan, it both spoofs and celebrates the traditional Western set-up about a lone stranger in a hard-luck pioneer town, but it's also a freewheeling pastiche of movie references (all genres, all eras) that will keep trivia fans on their toes, while amusing the young'uns with its slapstick verve. (PG) 107 minutes. (★★★1/2)
RED RIDING HOOD Director Catherine Hardwicke (the first Twilight movie) goes back to the realm of romantic teen fantasy with this update of the fairy tale, involving a beautiful girl on the brink of womanhood, and a brooding werewolf. Amanda Seyfried, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, and Gary Oldman star. (PG-13) 98 minutes.
TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT '80s nostalgia fuels this comedy about a young MIT grad postponing adulthood with a job in a video store who's invited to what may be the last epic party of his youth in the summer of 1988. Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, and a killer '80s soundtrack co-star for director Michael Dowse. (R)
UNKNOWN Liam Neeson stands out in this surprisingly good thriller. The lowdown: Neeson is a doc on vacation in Berlin who's injured in a car crash. He wakes up to find that his wife doesn't recognize him. Worse—another guy has taken his place. Watch how well the drama unfolds afterward, Diane Kruger, Aidan Quinn, and January Jones co-star... (PG-13) 113 minutes. (★★★) Greg Archer
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