Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
New This Week
This Blair Witch-style thriller depends on the notion of recently discovered suppressed NASA footage from a secret 18th mission to the moon and its horrific consequences. Spanish filmmaker Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego directs. Thriller stylist Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch) produced. (Not rated) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
When aliens attack their neighborhood, a bunch of irreverent street kids in working-class South London band together to repel the invaders in this action comedy. Written and directed by Joe Cornish in the Hot Fuzz / Shaun of the Dead mode. Nick Frost, Jodie Whitaker, and Luke Treadaway star. (R) 88 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
In this much-buzzed indie action drama, a couple of aimless youths who arm themselves with flamethrowers and other weapons in hopes of surviving the apocalypse they expect any day are thrown off track when one of them falls in love. But they resume their fantasies with a vengeance when the relationship starts to sour. Writer-director Evan Glodell also stars; Tyler Dawson and Jessie Wiseman co-star. (R) 106 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Comedy Central alumni Nick Swarsdon stars in this comedy about a buck-toothed nerdball from Iowa who goes to Hollywood to become a pon star. Don Johnson and Christina Ricci co-star; Tom Brady directs. (R) 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) 106 minutes. (Special Labor Day, one-week only engagement, in 2D.) Watch film trailer >>>
An all-star international cast grapples with the outbreak of a deadly virus that kills its victims within days in this disaster thriller from Steven Soferbergh. If you're in the mood for a travelogue, filming locations include Hong Kong, Macao, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, London and Geneva. Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, and Gwyneth Paltrow head the cast. (PG-13) 106 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
John Madden's gripping, tidily made (if at times, starkly visceral) suspense thriller plot unspools in two separate time frames. In 1965, a trio of young Israeli undercover Mossad agents go underground into East Berlin to expose an ex-Nazi war criminal. 30 years later, the three ex-ops are called out of retirement as the case is unexpectedly reopened. With a featured performance by the iconic Helen Mirren in one of her gutsiest roles, it's a persuasive, time-traveling political thriller about how easily the facts can go astray in pursuit of a more appealing big picture. (R) 114 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Watch film trailer >>>
The attempted profundity of Miranda July's quirky little relationship movie quickly wears as thin as its contrived premise: an LA couple scheduled to adopt a stray cat in one month are so panicked by the impending responsibility, they quit their marginal jobs in hopes of finding something meaningful to do while there's still time. Nothing rings emotionally or culturally true, not the couple's (played by Hamish Linklater and July herself) strained conversations about nothing, not the woman's interlude with a middle-aged divorced father in Tarzana, not the fact that these people are 35 years old and still living like clueless college undergrads, with no lives and a mattress on the floor. Not even the premise makes sense: since when does a shelter keep even an injured cat for a month when people are willing to take him home? Worse are awful vignettes narrated from the cat's perspective in an irritating baby-talk human voice. True, it establishes the cat as the most sympathetic character, but the movie isn't even true to cat psychology: a stray who has never lived inside is unlikely to sit there calmly on the exam table with strangers hovering around him. July wants to make a whimsical tone poem about namelss yearning and modern disconnection, but her genuine insights are too few and far between to support the rest of this unwieldy contraption. (R) 91 minutes. (★★) Watch film trailer >>>
A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY
Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, and Tyler Labine star in this comedy about a bunch of 30-year-old friends, pals since high scool, who attempt to hold a weekend orgy. Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck direct. (R) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
Lucas Black stars as a young golfer who cracks under the pressure of his first pro tour and flees to Utopia, Texas, where he learns golf and life lessons from crusty old rancher Robert Duvall. Melissa Leo co-stars. Matthew Dean Russell directs, from the book, Golf’s Sacred Journey by David L. Cook. (G) 98 minutes. Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
SHARK NIGHT 3D
A lakeside vacation house off the Louisiana Gulf, a handful of nubile young weekend guests, and freshwater sharks set the stage of 3D mayhem in this thriller from director David R. Ellis (perpetrator of two of the Final Destination movies, and Snakes On A Plane). Sara Paxton and Dustin Milligan star. (PG-13) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
The world of competitive mixed martial arts is the setting for this drama about an ex-Marine (Tom Hardy, from Inception) training for a tournament in conflict between his father (Nick Nolte), an alcoholic former coach, and his brother (Joel Edgerton, from The Square), a former champ. Gavin O'Connor (Pride and Glory) directs. (PG-13) Starts Friday. Watch film trailer >>>
MOVIE TIMES 9/9–9/15
Del Mar Theatre 469-3220
The Help 12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:40
Our Idiot Brother 2:15, 4:15, 6:15, 8:15, 10:15 + Sat, Sun 12:15
Attack the Block 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 + Sat, Sun Noon
Our Idiot Brother Baby Friendly Show Wed 9/14 11am
One Man, Two Guvnors British Nations Theatre LIVE 9/15 7pm, 9/18 11am
Midnight in Paris 2:10, 4:30, 6:50, 9 + Sat, Sun 11:50am
The Guard 3:50, 5:20, 7:20, 9:20 + Sat-Sun 11:10am, 1:10
The Debt 2:30, 4:50, 7:10, 9:30 + Sat, Sun Noon
Sarah’s Key 2:20, 4:40, 7, 9:35 + Sat, Sun Noon
Aptos Cinema 426-7500
The Help 12:40, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20
The Debt Noon, 2:20, 4:40, 7, 9:20
La Strada Classic on the Big Screen Sat, Sun 10:30am
Green Valley Cinema 8 761-8200
Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Warrior 1, 3:50, 6:45, 9:30
Contagion Digital 1:30, 4, 7, 9:40 + Sat, Sun 11:15am
Apollo 18 1, 3, 5:05, 7:15, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark 1:30, 4, 7, 9:40 + Sat, Sun 11:15am
Shark Night 3D 3, 7:15, + Sun 11am
Shark Night 2D 1, 5:05, 9:40
The Help 1, 3:50, 6:45, 9:30
Rise of the Planet of the Apes 1:30, 4, 6:45, 9:30 + Sat, Sun 11am
Cinelux Scotts Valley Cinema 438-3260
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 11:45am
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 2
Cowboys & Aliens 4:45
Apollo 18 12:45, 3, 5:10, 7:20, 9:30
The Debt 11:10, 1:45, 4:15, 7, 9:30
The Help 11:55am, 3:15, 6:30, 9:40
Shark Night 3D 11am
Warrior 1, 7, 10
Rise of the Planet of the Apes 11:55am, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 10:10
Our Idiot Brother 12:15, 2:45, 5:20, 7:40, 10
Shark Night 1:20, 3:30, 5:40, 8, 10:20
Contagion 11am, 11:40am, 2, 4:30, 7:10, 7:45, 9:45 10:15
Cinelux 41st Avenue Cinema 479-3504
Our Idiot Brother 11:55am, 2:30, 4:55, 7:30, 9:45
Contagion 11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45
Apollo 18 12:45, 3, 5:15, 7:45, 10
Santa Cruz Cinema 9 (800) 326-3264 #1700
Please Call for Show Times
Riverfront (800) 326-3264 #1701
Please Call for Show Times
COLOMBIANA Zoe Saldana (Avatar) stars as a female assassin, raised and honed on the mean streets of Bogota, Colombia, in this action drama from director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3), with a script co-written by Luc Besson. The assassin’s ultimate quest is to find the drug mobsters who killed her parents. Michael Vartan and Cliff Curtis co-star. (PG-13) 107 minutes.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN Hawaiian-born Jason Momoa steps into the Triple-E fur boots of Ah-nold in this remake of the Robert E. Howard pulp classic about a barbarian warrior in a pre-historic fantasy landscape on a mission of vengeance against an evil overlord. Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, and Rose McGowan co-star for director and remake-meister Marcus Nispel (he's also remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th). (R) 122 minutes.
COWBOYS AND ALIENS A wild hoot. It’s 1873 and Daniel Craig has lost his memory. Then there’s Harrison Ford playing a gruff cowboy whose nutty son Paul Dano stirs up trouble. Very western but here’s the twist—aliens. They’re occupying the desert and snatching up humans. Ouch. But what fun. Director Jon Favreau manages to elevate what could have been a dismal ride into an engaging summer romp. The mixing of genres—sci-fi and western—actually works and the movie really takes off when the local folk fight to get their people back. Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown, and Keith Carradine) costar. (PG-13) 118 minutes. (★★★)—Greg Archer
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK Yet another classic horror remake, this one (“presented by” Guillermo del Toro, although Troy Nixey directs) concerns disturbing forces set loose when a little girl (Bailee Madison) moves into a spooky old Victorian mansion being restored by her father (Guy Pearce) and his new wife (Katie Holmes). (R) 100 minutes.
FRIGHT NIGHT Anton Yelchin stars as a popular high school senior forced to take matters into his own hands when vampire Colin Farrell moves in next door. Craig Gillespie directs this reboot of the 1985 horror camp-fest. Toni Collette co-stars. (R) 120 minutes.
THE GUARD John Michael McDonagh’s profane, subversively funny comedy pairs a sophisticated FBI agent (Don Cheadle) with an irasicible small-town Irish police sergeant (the great Brendan Gleeson) on the trail of an international drug-trafficking ring that’s preparing to offload a suspected half-billion dollars worth of cocaine. Philosophical debates, existential angst, musings on Anglo-Irish prejudices, and other explorations into the Irish character ensue, in both hilarious and insightful terms. Gleeson gets to sink his chops into a delicious central role; his robust performance is the glue that holds the entire enterprise together. Less an action movie than character study, but Gleeson’s character is irresistible, and so is the film in its entertainingly cheeky, no-nonsense look at the wages of crime. (R) 96 minutes. (★★★1/2)—LIsa Jensen.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 Series veterans David Yates (directing his fourth Potter film) and Steve Kloves (screenwriter on all but one) do their damnedest to honor all the complex subtexts of J. K. Rowling's books, in one of the most thrilling, yet elegiac films in the series. HPDH2 delivers this message with affecting grace and heart. (PG-13) 130 minutes. (★★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen.
THE HELP Disney gloms onto Kathryn Stockett's bestselling novel about female solidarity and racial stereotype-busting in the American south of the 1960s. Emma Stone is the post-collegiate deb who scandalizes her Mississippi town by befriending the community's black maids and recording their stories. An eye-popping cast—Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Mary Steenburgen, Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Octavia Spencer, and Cicely Tyson—cements this movies femme-centric credentials. Actor-turned-director Tate Taylor is at the helm. (PG-13) 137 minutes.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS There's nothing not to love in Woody Allen's irresistible romantic comedy. Owen Wilson is great fun as a Hollywood screenwriter longing to write 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.
ONE DAY Impeccable credentials make this look promising: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe) in the sophomore effort from director Lone Scherfig (An Education), from a novel by David Nicholls (Starter For 10). A couple meets on the last day of college, 1989, then circle in and out of each other's orbit every July 15 for the next two decades—Same Time Next Year with a post-modern pulse? Patricia Clarkson co-stars. (PG-13) 108 minutes.
OUR IDIOT BROTHER Paul Rudd stars in this comedy as a jobless, homeless free spirit creating havoc in the lives of the three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer, and Zooey Deschanel). They’re all stuck taking turns putting him up when he’s released from jail early for good behavior after a pot bust. Jesse Peretz directs. (R) 90 minutes.
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES A wonderfully satisfying prequel to the long-running franchise, which was nearly destroyed by Tim Burton’s botch nearly a decade ago. The time is now and the place is San Francisco. Here, soulful researcher James Franco and other humans experiment in genetic engineering. Franco’s pop, played by John Lithgow, has Alzheimer’s and the experiments prove that a certain drug can hold off the disease. But what it does to apes is all the more interesting and one baby chimp, in particular, Caesar, can’t escape his destiny. Eventually, his über mind helps him make decisions that ultimate creates a major power struggle between apes and humans. Andy Serkis (Gollum in “Rings” and King Kong) is the real star of the film—he’s “acts” Caesar with plenty of digi-FX drenched over him. But he infuses real heart and, well, humanity in this tale. There are a number of salutes to the orignal “Apes,” like when the gorillas take to horseback or when Caesar is eyeing a figurine of the Statue of Liberty. There’s even good—and clever—hints of sequals. (Astronauts heading to Mars are reported lost in space—imagine what could happen upon their return?) The last half hour is priceless. Stay for the credits. James Franco, Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), John Lithgow, and Tom Felton star; Andy Serkis ( plays the ape, Caesar. Rupert Wyatt directs. (PG-13) (★★★)—Greg Archer
SARAH'S KEY This heartbreaking story (from the Tatiana De Rosnay novel) of 10-year-old Sarah, caught up in the insanity of the Vel d'Hiv incident and its tragic consequences, packs an emotional wallop, especially in the persuasive performance of little Melusine Mayance. The parallel present-day story of an American journalist in Paris investigating Sarah's story, is less convincing; Kristin Scott Thomas is effective in the role, but her character's marital and family issues are far less compelling. French director Gilles Paquet-Brenner finesses some of the tale's more harrowing moments with admirable discretion, but the dénouement (including a strangely tentative performance by Aidan Quinn, who's usually so reliable) feels slightly off, even contrived, a poorly-conceived finish to an otherwise powerful drama. (HHH)—Lisa Jensen. (PG-13) 111 minutes.
SHARK NIGHT 3D A lakeside vacation house off the Louisiana Gulf, a handful of nubile young weekend guests, and freshwater sharks set the stage of 3D mayhem in this thriller from director David R. Ellis (perpetrator of two of the Final Destination movies, and Snakes On A Plane). Sara Paxton and Dustin Milligan star. (PG-13)
THE SMURFS IN 3D Live action and animation combine to bring the little blue folk out of their happy village and into modern New York City. (PG) 103 minutes.
SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D Jessica Alba stars as an ex-superspy who has to enlist her two young step-children on a mission to thwart an evil genius from taking over the world. (PG)
30 MINUTES OR LESS Jesse Eisenberg stars in this caper comedy about a hapless pizza delivery guy hijacked by a couple of inept would-be criminals who strap a time-bomb to his chest giving him 30 minutes to rob a bank. Danny McBride, Nick Swarsdon, and Aziz Ansari co-star for director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). (R) 83 minutes.
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