Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
NEW THIS WEEK
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE Reviewed this issue. (R) 129 minutes. In Swedish with English subtitles. (★★★1/2) Starts Friday.
I AM LOVE Reviewed this issue. (R) 120 minutes. In Italian with English subtitles. (★★1/2) Starts Friday.
INCEPTION Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this intricate new sci-fi thriller from Christopher Nolan (Memento; The Dark Knight). In the near future, a master thief who steals corporate ideas from the dreams of his victims is hired by a corporate entity to commit the perfect crime: implanting an idea into someone's dreams. Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine co-star. (PG-13) 150 minutes. Starts Friday.
SPECIAL EVENT THIS WEEK: SITA SINGS THE BLUES, with NINA PALEY Cartoonist, animator and former Santa Cruzan Nina Paley returns to town for a special, one-night-only premiere of her new animated 82-minute feature film, Sita Sings The Blues. Paley wrote, directed, drew and animated her version of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, told from the viewpoint of wronged wife, Sita, then set it all to the torch songs of 1920s blues singer Annette Hanshaw. Paley will be on hand for Q&A after the film. If you remember her local strip, "Nina's Adventures," and/or her mini comic books, come see what’s new in the Paley universe. At the Nickelodeon, Wednesday only (July 21), 7 pm.
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: A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE (aka DUCK YOU SUCKERS) Sergio Leone's last so-called spaghetti western (filmed 13 years before his masterful Once Upon A Time In America), this wry 1971 action adventure stars James Coburn. (R) 157 minutes. 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: THE LOST BOYS Jim Morrison-lookalike Jason Patric gets involved with Kiefer Sutherland's cool teen vampire tribe in a California beach town much like ours in Joel Schumacher's entertaining 1987 Goth comedy thriller with a killer soundtrack. Featuring '80s teen heartthrobs the Coreys (Haim and Feldman), and such iconic local landmarks as the Boardwalk, the beach bandstand, Pogonip, and the original Atlantis Fantasyworld comic shop interior. (R) 97 minutes. (HHH)—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: TURANDOT Expect maximum lushness from Franco Zeffirelli's oppulent staging of Puccini's opera about a Chinese princess who has her suitors beheaded if they can't solve her riddles. Maria Guleghina and Marcello Giordani sing the leads. Wednesday only (July 21), 6:30 p.m., at the Cinema 9.
CONTINUING EVENT: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES Discussion begins at 7 pm and admission is free. For more information visit www.ltatm.org.
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
DESPICABLE ME A witty savage hit. Everything gels in this surprising new outing about the de-grinching of befuddled criminal who uses an army of minions to thwart justice. The heart of the flick comes in the form of three cute orphan gals.Hearts open. Steve Carell voices the main character; Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews, and Jermaine Clement are also on board. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud direct. (PG) 95 minutes. (★★★1/2) Greg Archer
JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK The face behind the make-up remains a mystery, but a great deal of the complicated woman beneath the icon is revealed in this cinema verité doc from co-filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, which records an eventful year in the life of the comedy legend. As in Rivers' scathing, unprintable onstage routines, no holds are barred in discussing her life, herself, and the voracious, demanding entity she calls "the career." (R) 84 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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)
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