Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
NEW THIS WEEK
COCO AND IGOR Reviewed this issue. (R) 120 minutes. (★★) Starts Friday.
THE KIDS ARE ALLRIGHT Reviewed this issue. (R) 106 minutes. (★★★1/2) Starts Friday.
THE KILLER INSIDE ME The disturbing, small-town noir novel by Jim Thompson, exploring the ruined American postwar psyche, gets a faithful adaptation to the screen via eccentric veteran filmmaker Michael Winterbottom. Casey Affleck is the narrator/protagonist. (R) 109 minutes. Starts Friday.
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RAMONA AND BEEZUS The beloved series of chilren's books by Beverly Cleary inspire their first family-frendly movie. Newcomer Joey King plays perky kid sister Ramona, whose zesty antics try the patience of big sis Beezus (Selena Gomez). Elizabeth Allen directs. (G) Starts Friday.
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SALT Angelina Jolie stars in this action thriller as a CIA op accused of being a Russian spy who goes on the lam to prove her innocence. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star for director Phillip Noyce. (PG-13) 91 minutes. Starts Friday.
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SPECIAL EVENT THIS WEEK: BIG JOHN ON THE ROAD. This "Hot Rod documentary" follows local car restorer Big John Evenson and his crew as they help vintage car enthusiasts Jim Phillips and Michael Leeds with their impossible restoration projects to "get (their) dreams on the road." Cars from the movie will be on view at a car show outside, and Evenson will be there to talk about his work. At the Digital Media Factory (old Wrigley building, 2809 Mission St, Santa Cruz), Saturday only, 1 p.m. Admission is free.
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: LOLITA (Not rated) 133 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: AIRPLANE (PG) 88 minutes. (★★1/2) —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 July at the Cinema 9. This week: CARMEN Bizet's popular opera of sex, violence, and passion. Wednesday only (July 28), 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. (R) 92 minutes. (★★★) Lisa Jensen
DESPICABLE ME It’s about the de-grinching of a befuddled criminal who uses an army of minions to thwart justice. Steve Carell voices the main character; Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews, and Jermaine Clement are also on board. (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
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE Good news for fans of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: the two protagonists from that film (played by the same actors, the excellent Mikael Nyqvist and the incendiary Noomi Rapace) return in this sequel, the second Swedish film made from the Stieg Larsson trilogy. Incoming director Daniel Alfredson crafts a fleet, taut thriller from this "second act" book. (R) 129 minutes. In Swedish with English subtitles. (★★★1/2) 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 reunitie. (PG-13) 102 minutes.
I AM LOVE In her long, illustrious career in independent film, Tilda Swinton's roles have ranged from the sublime (Orlando) to the ridiculous (Female Perversions). There are elements of both in this Luca Guadagnino film, a langorous Italian family drama Swinton also co-produced; gorgeous location shooting in Milan and the San Remo countryside, and rapturous depictions of food, border on sublimity, but the overheated melodrama of the storytelling finally skews the film in the other direction. (R) 120 minutes. In Italian with English subtitles. (★★1/2) Lisa Jensen
INCEPTION One of the best pictures of the year. Sublime, hypnotic and downright thought-provoking. Most of all, director Christopher Nolan (Memento; The Dark Knight). creates an intelligent sci-fi thriller that–imagine this—doesn’t play down to its audience. Leonardo DiCaprio headlines the outing,playing a master thief who steals corporate ideas from the dreams of his victims. (Somebody give this man an Oscar soon.) DiCaprio’s beleagured Dom is hired by a corporate giant to commit the perfect crime—implanting an idea into the dream of an heir of a business foe.. The movie takes its time to set up the ultimate heist and then the fun begins. Nolan reportedly spent a decade writing this spectacle and, clearly, time has been his champion. The last hour of the movie is a wild, intoxicating ride that, aside from all the superior special effects, challenges its audiences to ponder the idea of reality, the significance of dreams and the potentcy of the subconscious mind. Delicious brain candy. Take time to chew on it long after you leave the theater. Take note: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Berenger deliver powerful turns here. Michael Caine co-stars. (PG-13) 150 minutes. (★★★★) Greg Archer
THE KARATE KID Jaden Smith gets lessons in discipline and self-esteem from humble janitor/king fu master Jackie Chan in this redux. (PG)
KNIGHT AND DAY Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are back together in a romantic action comedy that’s—brace yourself—not that bad. 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. (PG-13) 111 minutes. (★★★★) Lisa Jensen
PREDATORS A 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. Jay Baruchel, from She's Out Of My League, costars. (PG)
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 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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