Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
New This Week
BAD TEACHER Cameron Diaz stars in this salty comedy as the high school teacher from hell, a foul-mouthed slacker who sets her romantic sights on a fellow teacher after her boyfriend (and meal ticket) dumps her. Lucy Punch, Jason Segel, and Justin Timberlake co-star for director Jake Kasdan. (R) 89 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Owen Wilson returns as the voice of racing car Lightning McQueen, in this sequel to the Disney Pixar animated hit from 2006. this time, Lightning and his pit crew of pals are off to an international race that takes them to Paris and Tokyo. Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Caine, Cheech Marin, and Emily Mortimer provide additional voices. Original director John Lassiter teams up with co-helmer Brad Lewis for the sequel. (G) Starts Friday. Special Midnight Show, Thursday only (July 23), 11:59 p.m., at the the Del Mar. Watch film trailer >>>
MOVIE TIMES 6/24–6/30 Del Mar Theatre 469-3220
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON It's good 'bots vs. bad 'bots (with Shia Le Bouef and incoming blonde Rosie Huntington-Whiteley once more caught in the crossfire) as everyone races to the moon to recover what might be the key to ultimate power. Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Patrick Dempsey and Francis McDormand pop up in the supporting cast. Michael Bay directs, so don't forget your ear plugs. (PG-13) Starts Wednesday (June 29). Watch film trailer >>>
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: GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER? In the last of their nine films together, spanning 25 years, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy star as a forward-thinking couple forced to examine their personal values when their daughter brings home her black fiance. Not as controversial a subject in hippie-era 1967 as it might have been, say, five years earlier; still, the participation of showbiz royalty Tracy and Hepburn made this a landmark movie by Hollywood standards. Katharine Houghton (Hepburn's real-life niece) plays their daughter; Sidney Poitier their son-in-law to-be. Stanley Kramer directs. (Not rated) 107 minutes. Sat-Sun matinee only. 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 FIFTH ELEMENT Futuristic cab driver Bruce Willis gets in trouble with the wrong dame (Milla Jovovich) in Luc Besson's spectacular-looking, if often nonsensical 1997 sci-fi noir. Gary Oldman has a high old time as the villain. (★★1/2) (PG-13) 126 minutes. Tonight (Thursday, June 23) only, 8 p.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.
Midnight In Paris 10:45, 12:45, 2:50, 5, 7:20, 9:40 + Fri, Sat 11:40
Cars 2 in 3D 11:30, 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30 + Fri, Sat 11:45
Cars 2 11am, 1:20, 3:45, 6:15, 8:40 + Fri, Sat 11
Cars 2 “Baby Friendly Show” Wed 06/29 11am
The Tree of Life 1, 2, 3:45, 5, 6:30, 8, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Cave of Forgotten Dreams 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:20 + Sat, Sun 11:15am
Midnight in Paris 1:50, 4:10, 6:20, 8:30 Sat, Sun 11:40am
The Art of Getting By 1:15
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
Mr. Popper’s Penguins 2:10, 4:20, 6:30, 8:40 + Sat, Sun noon
Bridesmaids 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Classic on the Big Screen Sat, Sun Matinee 11am
Green Valley Cinema 8 761-8200
Cars 2 3D 1:30, 4, 6:45, 9:15 + Fri-Sun 11am
Cars 2 35mm 1:45, 4:15, 7, 9:30, Fri-Sun 11am
Bad Teacher 1, 3, 5:05, 7:10 + Sat, Sun 11am
Green Lantern 3D 1:30, 4, 7, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Green Lantern 35mm 1:40, 4:10, 7:10, 9:40 + Sat, Sun 11:10am
Mr. Popper’s Penguins 1, 3, 5:05, 7:15, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Super 8 1:30, 4, 6:30, 9:10 + Sat, Sun 11am
Kung Fu Panda 35mm 1, 3 + Sat, Sun 11am
Hangover 2 5:05, 7:10, 9:40
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Bridesmaids 1, 4:10, 7, 9:45
Super 8 11:45am, 2:20, 5:10, 7:45, 10:15
Bad Teacher 11, 1:20, 3:30, 5:45, 8, 10:15
Midnight In Paris 12:15, 2:30, 4:55, 7:10, 9:20
Green Lantern 11:10am, 11:55am, 1:40, 2:45, 4:30, 5:30, 7:30, 8:15, 10:10
Green Lantern 11:10, 1:40, 4:30, 7:30, 10:10
Cars 2 11:20am, 1:10, 2, 4, 4:40, 6:45, 7:20, 9:30, 10
Mr. Popper's Penguins 11:30am, 1:45, 4:10, 6:30, 9
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 06/28/11 11:59
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Wed 12:15, 1, 3:45, 4:20, 7, 7:45, 10:20 Wed 6/22
E.T. Thurs 6/23 $1.00 Family Film 10am
Despicable Me Wed 6/29 - Thurs 6/30 $1.00 Family Film 10am
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
Green Lantern 11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15
Green Lantern 3D 11:30am, 2, 4:45
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D Tuesday 6/28/11 9
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D Wed 6/29 - Thurs 6/30 11:55am, 3:30, 7, 10:20
Cars 2 11am, 1:40, 4:20, 7, 9:40
Super 8 11:20am, 2, 4:30, 7:15, 10
Yogi Bear Wed 6/22 - Thurs 6/23 $1.00 Family Film 10am
E.T. Wed 6/29 - Thurs 6/30 $1.00 Family Film 10am
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
The Globe Presents The Merry Wives of Windsor Mon 6/27 6:30
Transformers Dark of the Moon Special 3D Sneak Tue 6/28 9
Transformers Dark of the Moon 2D Midnight Show Tue 6/28 12:01 AM
Bad Teacher 12:40, 3, 5:30, 8, 10:20
Green Lantern 3D 1:20, 4:10, 7, 9:50
Green Lantern 11:10am, 2, 4:50, 7:40, 10:40
Super 8 11am, 1, 1:40, 3:50, 4:30, 6:40, 7:20, 9:30, 10
Mr. Popper's Penguins 11:40am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:10, 9:40
X-Men: First Class 1:10, 4:20, 7:30, 10:35
The Hangover Part II 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30 + Mon no 5:10, 7:50
Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides 12:30, 3:40, 6:50, 10:10
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
Bridesmaids 1, 4, 7, 9:50
Kung Fu Panda 1:15, 4:15, 6:45, 9
THE ART OF GETTING BY Former child actor Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland; The Spiderwick Chronicles) stars in this indie romantic comedy as a lonely teenager about to graduate from high school without having done any real work who reorgianizes his priorities when he meets kindred spirit Emma Roberts. Michael Angarano and Alicia Silverstone co-star for rookie director Gavin Wiesen. (PG-13) 84 minutes.
BRIDESMAIDS 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
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS 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.
THE GREEN LANTERN Ryan Reynolds tries his hand at super-heroics as Hal Jordan, test pilot hero of the long-running DC comic, who's chosen to join an intergalactic peace-keeping brotherhood. Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, and Mark Strong co-star for veteran action director Martin Campbell. (PG-13).
THE HANGOVER PART II 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
JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER 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.
KUNG FU PANDA 2: KABOOM OF DOOM 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)
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS There's nothing not to love in Woody Allen's irresistible romantic comedy. The poster image of star Owen Wilson sauntering alongside the river Seine at night under Van Gogh's sprawling "Starry Night" says everything about the art, history, enduring fantasy, and cultural allure of Paris, issues Allen addresses with savvy brio in this marvelously inventive film. Wilson is great fun as a Hollywood screenwriter longing to writer serious fiction who's transported back to the era he idolizes, Pais in the 1920s, in this endlessly sharp and funny riff on our collective desire to embrace a past "Golden Age" we think we've missed when the present gets too complicated. Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard co-star, along with Corey Stoll (Ernest Hemingway), Kathy Bates (Gertrude Stein), and a great cameo by Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali. (PG-13) 100 minutes. (★★★★) —Lisa Jensen.
MR.POPPER'S PENGUINS Jim Carrey stars in this family comedy as a businessman whose life starts to go a little nuts when he becomes the caretaker for six rambunctious penguins. Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll, and Angela Lansbury co-star in this adaptation of the childrens' book by Richard and Forence Atwater. Mark Waters (Mean Girls; The Spiderwick Chronicles) directs. (PG)
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES Johnny Depp's reeling and raucous Captain Jack Sparrow is having a blast here. 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.. (PG-13) 137 minutes. (★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen. (Read a longer review at Lisa Jensen Online Express: ljo-express.blogspot.com)
SUPER 8 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)
THE TREE OF LIFE Terence Malick plunges us into seemingly familiar terrain—growing up in suburban Middle America in the1950s—and turns it into something strange and mysterious, a metaphor for the eternal search for grace and meaning in life. Brad Pitt is a formidable presence as a conflicted father striving to teach his three sons the ways of the world in lessons that are often harsh. Jessica Chastain is their loving mother; Sean Penn is one troubled son as an adult. Young actors Hunter McCracken and Laramie Eppler are extraordinary. Malick's mesmerising, impressionistic storytelling hits a few snags, like an overly stage-managed finale. But mostly this is a questing, non-denominational, truly visionary tone poem on the pure wonder of being. (PG-13) 138 minutes. (★★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen.
TROLLHUNTER Forget those cute little frizzy-haired dolls. The creatures of Nordic legend are all too real—and really big—in this shoestring horror thriller about a bunch of Norwegian film students who set out to capture one on film (Blair Witch-style). Andre Ovredal directs. (Not rated) 90 minutes. In Norwegian with English subtitles.
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS 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.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS 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 6/24–6/30
Del Mar Theatre 469-3220
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