Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
NEW THIS WEEK
DESPICABLE ME A grinch-like meanie who plans to steal the moon with his army of minions has second thoughts when three adorable, big-eyed orphan girls come into his life in this animated family comedy. Steve Carell voices the main character; Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews, and Jermaine Clement are featured in the voice cast. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud direct. (PG) 95 minutes. Starts Friday.
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JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK Reviewed this issue. (R) 84 minutes. (★★★) Starts Friday.
PREDATORS A team of elite, human astro-warriors on a sinister jungle planet are hunted by a race of armored alien monsters in this remix of the '80s sci-fi franchise. Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne star for director Nimród Antal. (R) 107 minutes. Starts Friday.
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THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE Nicolas Cage stars in this fantasy adventure as a modern-day sorcerer in New York City. Trying to save the city from an evil wizard (Alfred Molina), he recruits a reluctant apprentice (Jay Baruchel, from She's Out Of My League), an ordinary guy with hidden magical talents even he doesn't know he has. Monica Bellucci and Teresa Palmer co-star. Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure) directs. (PG) Starts Wednesday (July 14).
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CONTINUING SERIES: MIDNIGHTS @ THE DEL MAR On hiatus until September 17, 2010.
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: MARY POPPINS Spend a jolly holiday with Mary in this charming, witty, and rambunctious 1964 Disney adaptation of the beloved P. L. Travers novels. Julie Andrews stars (and sings) as the world's most proper and magical nanny, bringing wonder to the children of a staid Edwardian London banker (David Tomlinson). Dick Van Dyke shines as her Cockney chimney sweep gentleman-friend. Glynis Johns is the kids' scandalous suffragette mom. Great songs and great fun! (HHHH) (Not rated) 140 minutes. Lisa Jensen. Fri-Sat-Sun matinee only, 11 a.m. Admission $6. At Aptos Cinema.
CONTINUING SERIES: FLASHBACK FEATURES Oldies and goodies on Thursday nights at the Cinema 9. $5 gets you in. This week: FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (R) 90 minutes. (HH1/2) Lisa Jensen. Tonight (Thursday) only, 8 p.m., at the Cinema 9.
CONTINUING SERIES: THE MET: LIVE IN HD Digital broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera's Summer Encore series projected onscreen Wednesday evenings through June and July at the Cinema 9. This week: LA BOHÈME. Wednesday only (July 14), 6:30 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. Discussion begins at 7 pm and admission is free. For more information visit www.ltatm.org.
THE A-TEAM This month's award for Remake-of-a-TV-Series-We-Wish-We-Could-Forget goes to this designated blockbuster about renegade ops pursuing their brand of kick-ass justice in an unjust world. Liam Neeson stars with Bradley Cooper and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. (PG-13)
CITY ISLAND This one’s a gem—Moonstruck meets Mystic Pizza. But here, the life-pondering protagonist is Andy Garcia. He morphs into a Bronx prison guard with a big secret—he wants to act so he takes acting classes. This won’t sit well with this overbearing wife, Julianna Margulies. If you enjoy touching comedies about nutty families, you’ll dig this. Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, Alan Arkin, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, and Steven Strait co-star. (PG-13) 100 minutes. (★★★1/2) Greg Archer
CYRUS A disarming John C. Reilly and the vibrant Marisa Tomei are touching and believable as a seasoned couple taking a chance on love at midlife. Jonah Hill is excellent as the odious, manipulative, yet vulnerable 22-year-old slacker son of Tomei determined to come between them in this heartfelt, engaging comedy from Jay and Mark Duplass. Life-sized and credible, it draws us in like a thriller; we can't wait to find out how (or if) their problem will be resolved. (R) 92 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP Is art a joke? The answer is yes and no in this wickedly entertaining doc. Video-obsessed Frenchman Thierry Guetta sets out to record the street art movement of the last decade, but when the result is unwatchable, one of his subjects, the notorious and elusive Banksy, takes over the footage. His insider's viewpoint captures the evolution of art, culture, and politics in one sly, deft, subversive package. (R) 87 minutes. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
GET HIM TO THE GREEK One of the most refreshing surprises of the summer movie season. This smart, sassy endeavor features Jonah Hill as a befuddled record company intern who must bring a British rock idol (Russell Brand offering a fine turn) to a concert at L.A.’s Greek Theater. A fun, engaging comedy that works from beginning to end.(R) 109 minutes. (★★★) Greg Archer
GROWN-UPS Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider star in this comedy about five former high school buddies who haven't seen each other in years reuniting for a July 4th barbecue to catch up on each others' live, wives and kids. Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, and Maya Rudolph co-star. Dennis Dugan directs. (PG-13) 102 minutes.
IRON MAN 2 Robert Downey Jr. returns as billionaire inventor Tony Stark / Iron Man. This round has a new foe in Mickey Rourke, who creates similar Iron Man equipment. Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Scarlett Johansson co-star. (PG-13) 124 minutes. (★★★) Greg Archer
JONAH HEX Josh Brolin stars as the scarred, bad-boy bounty hunter first introduced in the crossover horror-western comics series “Weird Western Tales.” John Malkovich plays the arch-villain Hex has to take down. (PG-13) 81 minutes.
THE KARATE KID Jaden Smith gets lessons in discipline and self-esteem from humble janitor/king fu master Jackie Chan in this redux. (PG)
KILLERS Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher star in this romantic action comedy. Think True Lies—add 15 years and stir. (PG-13)
KNIGHT AND DAY Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are back together in a romantic action comedy that’s—brace yourself—not that bad. This clever, swift outing isn’t meant to be taken seriously. The fun is spawned by the outlandish premise—an ordinary woman (Diaz) gets caught up in an improbable chase scenario with a rogue agent (Cruise). Peter Sarsgaard and Viola Davis—both of whom are worthy of better roles—co-star for director James Mangold. (PG-13) 110 minutes. In theaters today. (★★1/2) Greg Archer
THE LAST AIRBENDER The popular kids' animated TV fantasy series gets a 3-D, live-action remix from M. Night Shyamalan. In a world where the Kingdom of Fire launches a war of aggression against the kingdoms of Earth, Water, and Air, a young boy (Noah Ringer) learns that he's an avatar, able to manipulate all four elements..
MICMACS French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s lovably goofy comedy has an unexpected comic hero—a man with a bullet in his brain—and a serious subtext: devastating weapons of war and the arms dealers who profit from them. Danny Boon, a graceful and winsome screen clown, stars as a man who rallies a crew of resourceful junkyard residents (and their wacky retro-steampunk contraptions) to drive two rival arms manufacturers out of business. (R) 105 minutes. In French with English subtitles. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
ONDINE Colin Farrell is soulful, funny, and romantic as a hard-luck fisherman trying to put his life back together who hauls up a mysterious woman (the lovely Alicja Bachleda) in his net. Alison Barry charms as the spirited little daughter who thinks her dad has caught a selkie, and Stephen Rea is marvelous as the deadpan village priest. In juxtaposing fantastical elements with gritty reality, Jordan spins a beguiling tale of suspense, poetry and enchantment. (PG-13) 111 minutes. (★★★★) Lisa Jensen
PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME Jake Gyllenhaal goes the action blockbuster route as the swashbuckling hero of this adventure fantasy based on a popular video game. (PG-13) 116 minutes.
PRINCESS KA'IULANI Q'orianka Kilcher brings regal bearing and multicultural integrity to the title role, the last princess of the royal line fighting to preserve Hawaiian independence, in Marc Forby's lukewarm historical drama. Shot on lush locations in Honolulu (including interiors inside the royal Iolani Palace), and in Britain. (PG) 100 minutes. (★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
ROBIN HOOD Ridley Scott unites with Russell Crowe in this wry, thoughtful integrity and his formidable presence to this Robin, an archer in the army of Richard Lionheart fighting the war against tyranny at home. Cate Blanchett is a piquant and feisty Marion. (PG-13) 140 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS) This Oscar-winner for 2010 Best Foreign Language film is a fascinating, unforgettable mystery that grabs you in the beginning and doesn’t let go. The Argentinean mystery-drama, based on the novel by Edouardo Sacheri, takes place in 1999 and revolves around a befuddled police detective who decides to reopen a savage murder case that took place in a Buenos Aires suburb back in 1974. He soon finds himself embroiled in a trail of conspiracy, cover-up and corruption. Take note of the beautiful nuanaces found in the acting of Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil and Pablo Rago. This is one film you’ll relish. In Spanish with English subtitles. (★★★★) Greg Archer
SEX AND THE CITY 2 It's more like Sex in the Sand when Carrie and the girls travel to Morocco. (★★) (R) 146 minutes.
SOLITARY MAN Michael Douglas works hard, but he can't sell this highly preposterous and unpleasant film about a 60-somthing car dealer in New York City who's lost his business to a fraud conviction and lost his wife to the compulsive philandering he thinks will stave off the ravages of time. Viewers who expect a charming or tender side of the character to emerge, or a hard-won epiphany of wisdom, will be disappointed. He's a cad with no story arc and no redeeming self-awareness. (R) 90 minutes. (★) Lisa Jensen
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE It's war between the good vampires of the Cullen clan and an invading force of evil bloodsuckers in this third installment of the overheated romantic tween franchise. (PG-13) 124 minutes.
TOY STORY 3-D What other movie franchise can take an 11-year hiatus and come back with the same cast, as fresh, funny, and irresistible as ever? Who else but the gang from Andy's room, the lovable toy heroes of the mighty Toy Story series? The passage of time is the subtext in this typically whimsical, hilarious, and poignant adventure that celebrates the magical world of a child's imagination, and ponders the inevitability of growing up and letting go. Veteran Pixar director Lee Unkrich maintains the delicate balance between action, comedy, and heart. (G) 103 minutes. (★★★★)—Lisa Jensen.
WINTER'S BONE This nerve-rattling exercise in dread and redemption knocked the bejeebers out of everyone at this year's Sundance festival. Directed with grit and assurance by Debra Granik, it's a Southern Gothic noir thriller: taut, scary, more than a little creepy, and strangely poignant. Jennifer Lawrence is terrific as a 17-year-old Ozark mountain girl struggling to keep the remnants of her family together against a rising tide of chaos in this tough-minded morality play with plenty of twists and turns. (R) 100 minutes. (★★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
TOY STORY 3-D Reviewed this issue. (G) 103 minutes. (★★★★)
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