Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
New This Week
A BETTER LIFE Chris Weitz (New Moon; The Golden Compass), directs this family drama about an illegal immigrant struggling through hard work and sacrifice to give his family a better lifein East L. A., only to see his young teenage son drifting apart from him, toward gang life. But when everything he's worked for is threatened, father and son unexpectedly team up to try to beat the odds, reclaim their self-respect, and rediscover each other. Demian Bichir and Jose Julian star. (PG-13) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Reviewed this issue.
(PG) 88 minutes. (★★★) Starts Friday.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 10 years, seven books and eight movies later, it all comes down to this: Harry vs. Voldemort. We may know how it comes out, but J. K. Rowling made the finale edge-of-your-seat suspenseful in the book; let's hope series veterans David Yates (directing his fourth Potter movie) and scriptwriter Steve Kloves can do the same onscreen. Anyway, it's always fun to watch the maturing of Daniel Radcliffe and the gang, and revel in delicious cameos from basically every British thespian you've ever heard of. (PG-13) 130 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Filmmaker Andrew Rossi gained an unprecedented all-access pass to go behind the scenes at America's most venerable newspaper for one year to shoot this doc about how the newspaper media and information-gathering in general are changing and adapting in the Internet Age. Rossi set up shop at the NYT new "Media Desk," an in-house department created to track changes in the industry, and to explore and try to resolve differences between the "old" and "new" media. (R) 88 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
WINNIE THE POOH Disney Animation Studios returns to the world of loveable Pooh-bear and his friends in this all-new, child-friendly family cartoon feature. Inspired by three A. A. Milne stories, the film is also a return to the hand-drawn animation style for which the studio is renowned. Craig Ferguson and Jim Cummings head the voice cast for co-directors Stephen Anderson and Don Hall. John Cleese supplies the narration. (G) Starts Friday. 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: AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr meet and fall in love on an ocean cruise, but agree to meet up again six months later, after separating from the other people to which both are engaged. Complications ensue in this classic 1957 romantic weepie from director Leo McCarey. (Not rated) 119 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. 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 LAST PICTURE SHOW Jeff Bridges snagged his first Oscar nomination (he lost the Supporting Actor prize to co-star Ben Johnson) in Peter Bogdanovich's vivid 1971 drama about the closing of a local movie house in a dying 1950s Texas town. Shot with spare poeticism in dusty black-and-white, its impressive cast includes Cybill Sheherd, Timothy Bottoms, Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman (another Oscar winner that year). (R) 118 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Tonight only (Thursday, July 14), 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.
MOVIE TIMES 7/15–7/21
DEL MAR THEATRE 469-3220
Midnight In Paris 2:50, 5, 7:20, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 12:45
Buck 2:40, 4:50, 7, 9 + Sat, Sun noon
Cars 2 2, 4:15, 6:30, 8:45 + Sat, Sun 11:45am
Buck New Special Screening Series – “Baby Friendly Show” 7/20 11am $6.50
Beginners 2:20, 4:40, 7, 9:20 Sat, Sun noon
Midnight in Paris 1:50, 4:10, 6:20, 8:30 Sat, Sun 11:40am
A Better Life 2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:10 + 12:40
Page One 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11:30am
Larry Crowne 1:30
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
The Tree of Life 2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:20
Horrible Bosses 2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:20, + Sat, Sun 12:30
An Affair to Remember Classic on the Big Screen Sat, Sun Matinee - 11am
Green Valley Cinema 8 761-8200
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 3D 1, 4, 7, 10 Fri-Sun 10am
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 35mm 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:10 Fri-Sun 10:15am
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D 2:45, 6:15, 9:45 + Fri-Sun 11:30am
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 35mm 3:15, 7, 10:05 + Fri-Sun noon
Cars 2 1:30, 4, 6:45, 9:15, Fri-Sun 11am
Bad Teacher 9:30
Zookeeper 1:20, 4, 7, 9:30 + Fri-Sun 11am
Horrible Bosses 1, 3, 5:05, 7:15, 9:35 Fri-Sun 11am
Winnie the Pooh 1:20, 3:20, 5:05, 7 Fri-Sun 11:20am
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Midnight In Paris 2:40, 4:55, 7:20, 9:30
Horrible Bosses 12:30, 3, 5:20, 7:20, 9:30
Winnie The Pooh 11:10am, 1:10, 3:10, 5:10, 7
Cars 2 11am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:45
Zookeeper 11:30am, 2, 4:40, 7:10, 9:30
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 11:10am, 2:20, 5:30, 8:45
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 7/14 8:30
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 7/14 11:59
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 10:45am, 11:20am, 11:55am, 12:45, 1:30, 2:10, 3:45, 4:30, 5:20, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15, 9, 9:15, 9:45, 10:30
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 7/14 11:59
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
10:45am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
Megamind 07/13-07/14 $1 Family Film 10am
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
Flashback Feature Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis Thurs 7/21 8
Captain America: First Avenger 7/21 12:01 AM
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2 3D 10:30am, 10:50am, 1:35, 4:40, 5, 7:45, 10:50, 11:10 + Sun no 10:30am, Mon-Thu no 11:10
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2
10:10am, 1:15, 1:55, 4:20, 7:25, 8:05, 10:30
Winnie the Pooh 10:15am, 12:15, 2:10, 4:10, 6:50, 9
Zookeeper Fri-Weds 11am, 1:45, 4:25, 7, 9:30
Transformers Dark of the Moon 3D 11:45am, 3:15, 6:40, 10
Transformers Dark of the Moon 2D 12:25, 3:50, 7:15, 10:35
Bad Teacher Fri-Tue 12:30, 2:45, 5:10, 7:50, 10:10 + Wed no 5:10, 7:50
Bridesmaids 10:45am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:35, 10:20
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
Horrible Bosses 1:15, 4, 7, 9:30
Super 8 1, 3:45, 6:45, 9:20
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) 92 minutes.
BEGINNERS Coming of age is not just for kids any more in Mike Mills' winsome, yet sneakily affecting comedy-drama. Ewan McGregor is wonderful as a 38-year-old graphic designer in Los Angeles trying to jumpstart his own romantic life. But Christopher Plummer is the centerpiece as his widowed father who comes out as a gay man at age 75, embracing his new identity with gusto as their offbeat, yet tender father-son dynamic plays out. Mary Page Keller is absolutely terrific in flashback as McGregor's wistful, yet deliciously subversive mom. (R) 105 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen.
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
CARS 2 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)
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 does well in this suprisingly watchable outing from the DC comics. Ryan plays Hal Jordan, the “chosen” to be part of an intergalactic peace-keeping brotherhood. Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, and Mark Strong co-star for veteran action director Martin Campbell. (PG-13). (★★1/2) —Greg Archer
HORRIBLE BOSSES Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day star in this homicidal comedy as disgruntled workers who plot against their dysfunctional employers because they can't afford to quit their jobs. Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell are on board as the Bosses from Hell. Seth Gordon directs. (R) 93 minutes.
LARRY CROWNE Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts team up again in this dramatic comedy about a guy who loses his job and goes to community college to find himself, where he meets a woman who might be able to kickstart his new life. Hanks directs, from a script he wrote with Nia Vardalos. (PG-13) 99 minutes.
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, Paris 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.
MONTE CARLO In this tween-oriented family comedy, three young women on a disappointing holiday in Paris are whisked off for a wild weekend in Monte Carlo when one of them is mistaken for a British heiress on vacation. Selena Gomez, Leighton Meister, and Katie Cassidy star. Thomas Bezucha (The Family Stone) directs. (PG)
SUBMARINE Adapted from the Joe Dunthorne novel by writer-director Richard Ayoade, this is a slyly deadpan teen comedy from the chilly seacoast of Swansea, Wales, laced with wit and sarcasm. Craig Roberts plays the wary, lovestruck 15-year-old protagonist the film takes almost as seriously as he takes himself (although served up with a slice of wry). But while the film gets off to a smart start, it never really gets anywhere, so blinkered by the character's self-absorption that the whole narrative begins to feel claustrophobic. To fall into the coming-of-age category, a story's protagonist should actually evolve in some way, and move on. Sadly, this does not happen here. (R) 97 minutes. (★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen.
SUPER 8 One of the summer’s best surprises. Steven Spielberg sets this sci-fi thriller set in 1979.The premise: Midwestern kids shoot a home movie on Super 8 film and inadvertantly capture something dangerous at the site of a train wreck. A phenom young in cast. J. J. Abrams directs to winning ends. (PG-13) (★★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen.
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.
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.
ZOOKEEPER Kevin James trades his mall cop outfit for another kind of uniform in this family comedy about a lovelorn zookeeper so beloved by the animals he cares for that they reveal to him their secret—they can talk—and start advising him on his love life. Rosario Dawson co-stars for director Frank Coraci. Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, Cher, and Sylvester Stallone provide animal voices.(PG) 102 minutes.
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