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Apr 20th
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Film, Times & Events: Week of June 9th

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


New This Week
The popular kid-lit book series by Megan McDonald inspired this family comedy in which the intrepid grammar school heroine (newcomer Jordana Beatty) has to invent her own summer adventures after all her vacation plans go awry. Heather Graham, Jaleel White, and Preston Bailey co-star for director John Schultz (Aliens in the Attic).  (PG) 91 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>


The private life of celebrated French fashion designer
Yves Saint-Laurent is the subject of this Pierre Thoretton
documentary, which explores the designer's enduring,
long-term relationship with his lover and partner, Pierre Berge.
(Not rated) 98 minutes. Catherine Deneuve and former
French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, are among those
providing insights; Linda Evangelista, Andy Warhol, and Mick
Jagger pop up in archive footage. (Not rated) 98 minutes.
film_midnightinparisIn French, with English subtitles. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>

Reviewed this issue.
(PG-13) 100 minutes. (★★★★) Starts Friday.

Steven Spielberg produced this retro mystery thriller set
in 1979, where a bunch of kids in the Midwest shooting
a home movie on Super 8 film inadvertantly
capture something dangerous on film at the site of
a train wreck. Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, and
Kyle Chandler star for writer-director 
J. J. Abrams. (PG-13) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>

Film Events

Eclectic movies for wild & crazy tastes plus great prizes and buckets of fun for only $6.50. This week: FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF John Hughes serves up his usual ghoulash of smart, hip kids vs. idiotic adults in this 1986 comedy about a fun-loving high school senior who outsmarts his indulgent parents and his psychotic principal to ditch school for a day of benign adventures in downtown Chicago. Matthew Broderick is buoyant enough to get away with most of it (except for a few too many smug asides to the camera). (★★1/2) (PG-13) 103 minutes. Fri-Sat midnight only. At the Del Mar.

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 QUIET MAN John Wayne had one of his best roles in Oscar-winner John Ford's classic 1952 non-Western. Wayne plays an American ex-boxer who's sworn off fighting; returning to the small village in Ireland his family came from, he woos tempestuous Maureen O'Hara, and copes with her pugnacious brother. Ward Bond and Barry Fitzgerald co-star. (Not rated) 129 minutes.(★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Sat-Sun matinee only. Admission $6. At Aptos Cinema. 

Oldies and goodies on Thursday nights at the Cinema 9, presented by your genial host, Joe Ferrara. $5 gets you in. This week: GATTACA Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurmas star in this 1997 sci-fi thriller about a future where peoples’ destinies are controlled by their designer genes. Alan Arkin, Gore Vidal and Ernest Borgnine make up an unlikely trio of co-stars for director Andrew Niccol. (PG-13) 106 minutes. Tonight (Thursday, June 9) only, 8 p.m., at the Cinema 9.

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

Now Playing

Everybody 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)

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

Werner 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.

Robin 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.

This twisty Italian thriller from director Giuseppe Capotondi involves a former cop who's 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 Rapoport star. (Not rated) 95 minutes. In Italian with English subtitles.

Will 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

Don’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

This 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

The 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.

As one character observes, "One spark sets everything off." And so it does, in this searing family drama from French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, an epic Greek tragedy of a film that's not for the fainthearted. Adapted from the internationally acclaimed stage play by Lebanese-born writer-actor-director Wajdi Mouawad, it examines the relentless cycles of violence and reprisals in the Middle East (and everywhere else)  from a uniquely personal viewpoint that's both powerful and horrifying. Lubna Axabal is exceptional  as a woman on a journey through hell who still vows to "break the chain of anger." (R) 130 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen.

The 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)

Little 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:

In 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.

Hunky 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

The 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 Christopher 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.

After the disappointing goulash that was the first X-Men"origins" movie, Wolverine, this entertaining prequel steers the franchise back on track. Helmed by incoming director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake), the character-driven plot is more focused (with new young mutants given more time to establish their personalities), and the moral dilemma between rising above vengeance and giving in to it more acute. James McAvoy brings warmth and humor to young Charles Xavier, son of privilege, on a mission to provide support and acceptance to outcast genetic mutants and teach them to harness their often scary powers. Michael Fassbender is a terrific young Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), concentration camp survivor, on a mission to kill the ex-Nazi, Schultze, now Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who killed his mother and experimented on him. One big plot problem is it's never explained how Shaw himself becomes an uber-mutant, but when he brings the world to the brink of WWIII via the Cuban Missile Crisis (after which only mutants will survive), Xavier and Erik gather a team of young mutants to stop him—only to split into opposite factions over how to deal with humans who fear and oppress them. Jennifer Lawrence makes a sassy, yet vulnerable Mystique, January Jones a chilly Emma Frost; Nicholas Hoult (Beast) and Lucas Till (Havok) also have their moments.There's plenty of destruction, as usual, but Vaughn keeps character and relationships in the forefront throughout. (PG-13). 132 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen.
MOVIE TIMES 6/10–6/16

Del Mar Theatre    469-3220
Water for Elephants  2, 4:30, 7, 9:30  +  Fri-Sun 11:30am 
Midnight In Paris  1:45, 2:45, 4, 5, 6:15, 7:15, 8:30, 9:30 
+ Fri-Sun 11:30am, 12:30 & Fri, Sat 10:40
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  Friday & Saturday night Midnight showing  -  Midnight
Midnight in Paris  New Special Screening Series “Baby Friendly Show” – Wed 6/15 11am

Nickelodeon    426-7500
Cave of Forgotten Dreams  2:15, 3:15, 4:15, 5:15, 6:15, 7:15, 8:15, 9:20 
+Sat, Sun 11:15am, 12:15
Everything Must Go  4:50, 9
Incendies  1:20, 6
The Double Hour  2:50, 7  + Sat, Sun 12:50
Bill Cunningham New York   1:15
L’Amour Fou  4, 8:40  + Sat, Sun 11:20am

Aptos Cinema    426-7500
X-Men First Class  1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11am
Bridesmaids  2, 4:30, 7, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11:30am
The Quiet Man  Classic on the Big Screen   Friday 6/10 & Mon 6/13 11am

Green Valley Cinema 8    761-8200
Super 8  1:30, 4, 7, 9:30  + Sat, Sun 11am
X-Men: First Class  1, 2, 4, 5:05, 7, 8, 10  + Sat, Sun 10am, 11am
Kung Fu Panda 3D  1, 3, 5:05, 7:15, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Kung Fu Panda 35mm  1:10, 3:10, 5:15, 7:25, 9:40  + Sat, Sun 11:10am
Pirates of the Caribbean  1, 4, 7, 10  + Sat, Sun 10am
Bridesmaids  1:30, 4, 6:30, 9  + Sat, Sun 11am
Hangover 2  1, 4, 7, 10 + Sat, Sun 11am

Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema    438-3260
Bridesmaids  11:40am, 1:30, 4:15, 4:45, 7, 9:45, 10
X-Men First Class  11:30am, 1:45, 2:20, 5:10, 7:30, 8:15
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer  11:55am, 2:10, 4:30, 6:45, 9
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides  11am, 2, 5:15, 8:30   
Midnight In Paris  12:30, 2:45, 4:55, 7:10, 9:20
Super 8  11:20am, 2, 4:40, 7:20, 10
Kung Fu Panda 2  11:15am, 1:40, 4, 6:30, 8:45
The Hangover Part 2  11:10am, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 10:20 No 11:10 on WED
Yogi Bear  $1.00 Family Film  6/15-6/16  10am
Green Lantern  6/16/11  11:59

Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema    479-3504
Kung Fu Panda 2  11:55am, 2:30, 4:55, 7:10, 9:30
Super 8  11:30am, 2, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15
The Hangover Part 2  11:45am, 2:10, 4:30, 7:20, 9:45 No 11:45am Wed
Green Lantern 3D  6/16/11  11:59
Ramona and Beezus 6/15-6/16 $1.00 Family Film  10am

Santa Cruz Cinema 9    (800) 326-3264 #1700
Madame Butterfly MET Summer Encore Series  Wed 6/15  6:30
The Royal Tenenbaums   Flashback Feature  Thu 6/16  8
Green Lantern 3D  Thu 6/16  12:01 AM            
Green Lantern  Thu 6/16  12:01 AM
Super 8  10:50am, 11:25am, 1:30, 2:10, 4:15, 4:55, 7, 7:40, 9:45, 10:25
X-Men: First Class  12:30, 1:35, 3:40, 4:40, 6:50, 7:50, 10:05, 10:50 
+ Sat, Sun 10:30am, Sun no 10:50
Hangover 2  11:40am, 12:15, 2:15, 2:50, 4:50, 5:25, 7:20, 8, 9:55, 10:35
Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom  11:35am, 2, 4:30, 7:10, 9:35
Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom 3D  12:20, 2:45, 5:10           
Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides  12:10, 3:30, 6:40, 9:50
Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides 3D  7:30, 10:30

Riverfront    (800) 326-3264 #1701
Bridesmaids  1, 4, 7, 9:50
Judy Moody  1:15, 3:45, 6:45, 9

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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

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Sugar: The New Tobacco?

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Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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