Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
New This Week
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER Chris Evans stars as the latest Marvel Comic book hero to arrive on the big screen. Trailers suggest an interesting '40s-era feel to the origin story of Steve Rogers, undraftable 98-lb weakling who joins a secret government experimental program that turns him into the "super soldier" in stars-and-stripes spandex. Hugo Weaving co-stars as villain Red Skull. Joe Johnston directs. (PG-13) 125 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Hollywood continues to chase its own tail with the second romatic comedy this year (after No Strings Attached) about best buddies who think they can add committment-free, recreational sex to ther friendship with no emotional fallout. Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake star; Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Richard Jenkins, and Woody Harrelson co-star for director Will Gluck (Easy A). (R) 104 minutes. Starts Friday.
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SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN Reviewed this issue. (PG-13) 100 minutes. (★★1/2). Starts Friday.
Newcomer Jacob Wysocki stars in this indie comedy-drama as an obese, pajama-clad 15-year-old boy going nowhere in the L. A. school system. John C. Reilly co-stas as the well-meaning principal with demons of his own who tries to reach out to the misfit kid and provide some guidance. Azazel Jacobs directs. (R) 105 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
THE TRIP There are about 20 minutes of laughs in this semi-foodie road movie, condensed from a 6-part BBC mini-series. Steve Coogan and his frequent comedy sidekick, Rob Brydon, play extreme versions of themselves on a tour of the finest restaurants north of London and in the Lake District, supposedly to write a Sunday magazine piece for the Observer. Ditched by his girlfriend at the start, Coogan is forced to bring Brydon along, and the dramatic subplot contrasting Steve's empty womanizing and angsty career dilemmas with Rob's cheerful domesticity doesn't really pay off in this truncated form. There's not much talk about the food either, although we see some intriguing kitchen prep going on. But when these two guys are killing time, yakking about nothing, this largely improvved movie can be hilarious—from dueling impersonations of Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Hugh Grant, even Woody Allen, to an extended riff on a stirring Henry V-style battlefield pep talk during which I actually thought I might die laughing. (Not rated) 107 minutes. (★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen. 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: TREASURE ISLAND This is the perfect pirate movie if you happen to be eight years old, and male. Robert Louis Stevenson's evergreen adventure classic about a plucky boy befriended by a rascally old pirate has been made and remade throughout the history of film, from the silents to the Muppets and beyond. But this 1950 version is the one everybody remembers, thanks to Robert Newton hamming it up with shameless glee as conniving pirate captain Long John Silver. For all his bluster and duplicity, Newton's Silver is one cuddly cutthroat, especially in the scenes when he bonds with stowaway boy Jim Hawkins (Bobby Driscoll) in the hunt for buried treasure. Byron Haskin directs. (Not rated) 96 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: METROPOLIS No, not the silent-era classic, this is the 2001 futuristic Japanese anime adapted from the Osama Tezuka comic book. (PG-13) 108 minutes. Tonight only (Thursday, July 21), 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 7/22–7/28
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 12:30
The Trip 2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 9:20 + Sat, Sun noon
The Trip “Baby Friendly Show” 7/27 11am $6.50
Beginners 3, 5:10, 7:20
Midnight in Paris 1:50, 4:10, 6:20, 8:30
A Better Life 1, 9:30
Terri 2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:20 + Sat, Sun 12:40
Snow Flower and The Secret Fan 2:40, 4:50, 7, 9:10 + Sat, Sun 12:30m
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
Cars 2 1:50, 4:10, 6:30 + Sat, Sun 11:30am
Horrible Bosses 2:50, 5, 7:10, 9:20, + Sat, Sun 12:45
The Tree of Life 8:40
Treasure Island Classic on the Big Screen Saturday, Sunday, Matinee 11am
Green Valley Cinema 8 761-8200
Captain America 3D 1:40, 7
Captain America 2D 4:20, 9:40, + Fri-Sun 11am
Friends with Benefits 1:20, 4, 7, 9:30 Fri-Sun 11am
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 3D 1, 4, 7, 10 Fri-Sun 10am
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 35mm 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:10 Fri-Sun 10:15am
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 35mm 3:15, 6:45, 10 + Fri-Sun noon
Bad Teacher 7:15, 9:30 Zookeeper 1:20, 4, 6:45, 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 Fri-Sun 11:20am
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Midnight In Paris 2:40, 4:55, 7:20
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Fri, Sat 11:20am, 9:30 + Sun-Thurs 8:15
Horrible Bosses 12:15, 3, 5:20, 7:40, 9:55
Friends With Benefits Thurs 07/21 11:59 + Fri, Sat 11:30am, 2, 4:40, 7:20, 8:15, 10 + Sun-Thurs no 8:15
Winnie The Pooh 11:55am, 2:10, 4, 6:15
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 3D 11:40am, 2:30, 5:40, 8:45
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 2D 10:45am, 12:45, 1:30, 3:45, 4:30, 6:45, 7:30, 9:45, 10:30
Captain America: The First Avenger 3D Thur 7/21 11:59pm
+ Fri-Thurs 11am, 1:45, 4:45, 7:45, 10:30
Captain America: The First Avenger 2D Fri-Thurs 11:30am, 2:20, 5:30, 8:30
Legend Of The Guardians $1 Family Film 10am 7/20-7/21
How To Train Your Dragon $1 Family Film 10am 7/27-7/28
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
Captain America: The First Avenger 3D Thurs 7/21 11:59
+ Fri-Thurs 11am, 1:45, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 10:45am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:20, 10:10 + Wed no 10:45am
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 3D 11:45am, 2:45, 5:45, 8:45
Megamind $1 Family Film 7/20-7/21 10am
Legend Of The Guardians $1 Family Film 7/27-7/28 10am
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Flashback Feature Thur 7/28 8
Don Carlo MET Summer Encore Wed 7/27 6:30
Renee Fleming Live w/ Israel Philharmonic Thur 7/28 7
Cowboys & Aliens 3D Thur 7/28 12:01 AM
Captain America 3D Fri-Thu 10:40am, 1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:40
Captain America 2D Fri-Thu 1, 4, 7, 10:05
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 2D 12:30, 1:10, 3:35, 6:40, 7:209:45
Harry Potter 7–Part 2 3D 10:50am, 1:50, 4:15, 4:55, 8, 10:25, 10:55 + Sun-Thur no 10:55
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D 2:50, 9:55
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 2D 11:20am, 6:20
The Zookeeper 11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 6:50, 9:30 + Wed no 6:50
Winnie the Pooh 11am, 1:05, 3:10, 5:10, 7:10 Bad Teacher 9:10
Bridesmaids 11:05am, 1:55, 4:45, 7:45, 10:35
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
Horrible Bosses 1:15, 4, 6:45, 9:40
Friends with Benefits 7/14 midnight - 1, 3:45, 7, 9:30
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.
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)
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
BUCK How is training horses like life? In just about every way, according Buck Brannaman, the self-effacing hero and subject of this engaging and evocative documentary from filmmaker Cindy Meehl. A modern-day cowboy on the road nine months out of every year conducting four-day horse-training clinics all across the American west, Buck doesn't dispense folksy wisdom, nor indulge in any New Agey, touchy-feely palaver, so much as he talks plain common sense to troublesome horses and their owners. "I don't help people with horse problems," Buck reflects. "I help horses with people problems." His all-pervasive empathy—for horses and people alike—is a pretty effective mantra for life, as well. (PG) 88 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen.
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)
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 Reviewed this issue. (PG-13) 130 minutes. (★★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen.
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.
PAGE ONE: A YEAR INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES 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.
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.
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)
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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