Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
New This Week
CERTIFIED COPY Juliette Binoche and the sun-dappled landscape of Tuscany star in this drama of relationships and illusion from Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. Art gallery owner Binoche goes to a reading by a touring British author (William Shimell), who has written a book on copies and forgeries in the art world. In the course of one day, they wander around a small Tuscan village discussing aesthetics, perception, art, love, and life, as the mysterious nature of their relationship unfolds. Binoche won the Best Actress award at Cannes for this role. (Not rated) 106 minutes. In French and Italian with English subtitles. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
The suddenly-ubiquitous Russell Brand lends his voice
to this live-action/animation comedy as E.B.,
teenage son and heir apparent to the Easter Bunny,
who runs away to Hollywood to become a
drummer in a rock band instead.
James Marsden and Elizabeth Perkins head the human cast;
Hank Azaria and Hugh Laurie provide animated character voices.
Tim Hill directs. (PG) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
INSIDIOUS Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star in this supernatural thriller as parents battling to stop an evil force from dragging their comatose child permanently into an alternate realm.
Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, and Barbara Hershey co-star for director James Wan.
(PG-13) 102 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Reviewed this issue. (PG-13)
120 minutes. (★★★1/2) Starts Friday.
THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED The non-fiction book, “The Last Hippie” by Dr. Oliver Sacks, M. D. (“Awakenings”) is the basis for this family drama about a father and son trying to reach each other through music. Estranged from his family for 20 years, Lou Taylor Pucci plays the brain-damaged, nearly cationic son who thinks it’s still 1968. J.K. Simmons plays the father who teaches himself to embrace the music of Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones, and the Grateful Dead as a way to reconnect with his son. Julia Ormond co-stars as the music therapist who guides them on their journey. Jim Kohlberg directs. (PG) 105 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
It’s sort of like Groundhog Day on a speeding train.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this techno-thriller as a government agent
transported again and again into the mind of a passenger on a
commuter train just before it blows up, in hopes of figuring out the
identity of the bomber before he strikes again. Vera Farmiga,
Michelle Monaghan, and Jeffrey Wright co-star; Duncan
Jones (Moon) directs. (PG-13) 93 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
WIN WIN Paul Giamatti stars as a lawyer and volunteer high school wrestling coach whose plans to groom a displaced teen (newcomer Alex Shaffer) into a star athlete go awry when the boy’s mother returns from rehab. 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. 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: BACK TO THE FUTURE (PG) 116 minutes. (★★★★)—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: THE GENERAL One of the best classic comedies from Buster Keaton, arguably (by me) the funniest silent screen clown ever. (Not rated) 107 minutes. 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: THE PROFESSIONAL Check out 12-year-old Natalie Portman as a neighbor girl taken under the wing of a no-nonsense hit man (the great Jean Reno) in this offbeat 1994 crime thriller from Luc Besson. Gary Oldman and Danny Aiello co-star. (R) 110 minutes. Tonight (Thursday) only, 8 p.m., at the Cinema 9.
CONTINUING SERIES: THE MET: LIVE IN HD AT THE CINEMA 9 ENCORE: 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 ENCORE: Wednesday, April 6th, 6:30 p.m.
CONTINUING EVENT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES This informal movie discussion group meets at the Del Mar mezzanine in downtown Santa Cruz. Discussion begins at 7 pm and admission is free. For more information visit www.ltatm.org.
Movie Times 4/1–4/7
DEL MAR THEATRE 469-3220
Win Win 2:45, 5, 7:15, 9:30 + Fri – Sun 12:30pm
The Tempest Fri - Sun noon
The Music Never Stopped 2:20, 4:40, 7, 9:20
The King’s Speech 1:50, 4:20, 6:45, 9:10
Back to the Future Friday & Saturday night Midnight Showings
Jane Eyre 1, 2, 3:30, 4:30, 6, 7, 8:30, 9:30 + Fri – Sun 11:30am
Certified Copy 2:10, 4:20, 6:30, 8:50 + Fri – Sun Noon
Of Gods and Men 1:40, 4:10, 6:40, 9:10
Cedar Rapids Fri – Sun 11:50am
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
Source Code 12:45, 2:45, 4:45, 6:45, 8:45
The Lincoln Lawyer 1, 3:30, 6, 8:30
The General (1927) Plus Short: Number Please? (1920)
Saturday +Sunday Weekend Matinee 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 11am
Battle: Los Angeles 1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:25 + Sat, Sun 11:05
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
1:15, 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15 + Sat, Sun 11:05am
Sucker Punch 1:30, 4:30, 7, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Rango 1:15, 4, 7, 9:15 +Sat, Sun 11am
Hop in Dolby Digital 1:10, 3:10, 5:10, 7:10, 9:10 + Sat – Sun 11am
Source Code 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:15, 9:25 + Sat – Sun 11am
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Hop 11:30am, 2, 4:30, 7, 9:15 + Sun - Thurs no 9:15
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules 11:55am, 2:20, 4:45, 7:15, 9:30 + Sun - Thurs no 9:30
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
Sucker Punch 11:55am, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 10
Hop 11:45am, 2:10, 4:30, 6:45, 9
Rango 11:55am, 2:20, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas Flashback Feature Thur 4/01 8
Lucia Di Lammermoor Encore Met Opera Wed 4/06 6:30
Source Code Noon, 2:20, 4:45, 7:30, 10
Adjustment Bureau 3:50, 9:35
Sucker Punch 1, 1:30, 4:20, 6:45, 7:15, 9:50
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 11:15am, 1:45, 4:10, 7, 9:20
Paul 12:10, 2:35, 5, 7:45, 10:10 + Mon - Thurs no 12:10
Lincoln Lawyer 11:20am, 2, 4:50, 7:40, 10:20 :50) + Mon - Thurs no 11:20am
Battle: Los Angeles 1:05, 3:45, 7:25, 10:05
Red Riding Hood 11:45am, 2:15, 4:35, 7:10, 9:45 + Mon - Thurs no 11:45am
Rango 11am, 1:35, 4:05, 6:50, 9:25 + Mon - Thurs no 11am
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
Limitless 1, 4, 6:45, 9:35 + Mon – Wed no 1
HOP 11:45am, 2:10, 4:30, 7, 9:20 + Mon – Wed no 11:45am
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 This modern update of Beauty and the Beast (directed by Danial Barnz, from Alex Flinn’s YA novel) earns points for suggesting its rich, handsome, popular high school hero (Alex Pettyfer) is justly cursed with physical beastliness as punishment for his cruelty and arrogance. But the transformation isn’t stark enough (bald, some rad tattoos and painted-on scars; his body is exactly the same). His campaign to win the love of nice-girl Vanessa Hudgens never seems like more than self-interest to lift his curse, and, besides, he gets pointers all along the way from his tutor (a very funny Neil Patrick Harris) and housekeeper, explaining insights he ought to be learning for himself, so neither the romantic nor coming-of-age elements ever really work. (PG-13) 86 minutes. (★★) 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
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. (PG)
EVEN THE RAIN History repeats itself in alarming, ironic, and yet inevitable ways in this adroit Spanish drama. Directed with wit and intensity by actress-turned-filmmaker Icíar Bollaín, from a savvy script by Paul Laverty, this story of a modern Spanish movie crew descending on a remote Bolivian town to shoot a historical film exposing Christopher Columbus’ mistreatment of the indigenous people in the New World becomes a textured, multi-layered study of the many guises of exploitation. Gael Garcia Bernal stars. (Not rated) 103 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles. (HHH) Lisa Jensen
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)
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
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.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER Slick, envigorating and, most of all, interesting, The Lincoln Lawyer packs a punch. Matthew McConaughey plays a criminal defense lawyer-for-hire in L. A.(he does a great deal of business from the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car) who must defend a rich boy accused of assault. This is McConaughey’s best role in years and the supporting cast—Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, and William Macy—shines. From the bestselling Michael Connelly legal thriller, here’s hoping that should a series of films be launched, the filmmakers create just the right amount of edge and intrigue as they do here.. (R) 119 minutes. (★★★1/2) Greg Archer
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.
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. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
OF GODS AND MEN Anyone curious about the monastic life need seek no further than this fact-based French drama about a small household of French Christian monks embedded within a largely Islamic mountain community in North Africa. Director Xavier Beauvois lingers over their cloistered life of prayer, work and study behind the monastery walls, but the film gradually expands into a larger story of courage, commitment, and community as the peaceful brothers are drawn into a brutal civil war between a corrupt government and its terrorist opponents. Beauvois can pack a lot of tension into a scene, but the film gains its emotional power from the accumulation of small, vivid moments. (PG-13) 122 minutes. In French with English subtitles. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
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.
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) Lisa Jensen
RED RIDING HOOD Director Catherine Hardwicke (the first Twilight movie) goes back to the realm of romantic teen fantasy with this remix of the classic fairy tale. The film has a rich, faux-medieval, handcrafted fairy tale look (despite all the clunky American accents), the giant wolf effects are impressive, and Julie Christie is fun as a sly, hipper-than-usual Granny. But the story is warmed-over teen melodrama, with pretty Amanda Seyfried waffling between good-boy Max Irons and bad-boy Shiloh Fernandez, and the resolution of the werewolf mystery plot is more than a little Freudian—and not in a good way. Gary Oldman hams up a storm as a visiting werewolf hunter/Inquisitor, traveling with his beefy, exotic warrior-slaves and a giant torture device shaped like an elephant, but he seems to have wandered in from the Van Helsing movie. (PG-13) 98 minutes. (★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
SUCKER PUNCH Expect anything and everything (giants, dragons, samurai swordsmen, girls in chains) in this pastiche of fantasy/noir/graphic novel-ist themes from monochromatic pulp director Zack Snyder (300; The Watchmen). (PG-13) 120 minutes.
THE TEMPEST A dream cast, a marvelously rugged locale in the Hawaiian Islands, one of the most durable and enticing works in all of Shakespeare’s canon (with a sly, feminist twist), and the inimitable touch of visionary director Julie Taymor: what could possibly go wrong with The Tempest? The answer is, not much, in Taymor’s long-awaited screen version of Shakespeare’s most wistful, magical, and elegiac final play. If some parts bump along, if the film as a whole offers less of the sheer visual rapture-per-frame than her masterful debut feature, Titus, still, this is vintage Taymor, necessary viewing for anyone following her remarkable career. The mighty Helen Mirren offers a finely-tuned performance of wrath, hubris, and reclaimed humanity as a gender-bent “Prospera.” (PG-13) 110 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. (Read a longer review at ljo-express.blogspot.com/)
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