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Film, Times & Events: Week of May 8

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FADING GIGOLO John Turturro wrote and directed this offbeat comedy in which he and Woody Allen star as a couple of friends who get into the gigolo business to make ends meet. Allen’s character—whose bookstore has just closed down— finds the clients, and Turturro’s character performs the service. Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and Liev Schreiber co-star. (R) 90 minutes. Starts Friday.

THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR: SATAN CAME TO EDEN Reviewed this issue. (not rated) 120 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen. Starts Friday.

LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN Inspired by the classic childrens’ book series continued by the great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, this 3D-animated musical finds Dorothy (voice of Lea Michelle) whisked back to Oz to help her friends save the Emerald City from a new villain called the Jester (Martin Short). Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammer, Bernadette Peters, and Patrick Stewart are featured in the voice cast. Bryan Adams contributes new songs. Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre direct. (PG) 88 minutes. Starts Friday.

LOCKE Tom Hardy stars in this thriller as a man at a challenging moment in his life whose career, family, and psyche begin to unravel during one long, fateful car ride. Steven Knight (Eastern Promises; Dirty Pretty Things) directs. (R) 85 minutes. Starts Friday.

NEIGHBORS Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are a young couple with a new baby who find themselves at war with their neighbors when a bunch of rowdy college frat boys move into the house next door. Zac Efron and Dave Franco are the uber fraternity brothers. Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek) directs. (R) 97 minutes. Starts Friday.

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE It’s a vampire romance, Jim Jarmusch-style. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston star as an undead European gadabout and a reclusive Detroit rocker who reignite their centuries-old love affair. John Hurt and Mia Wasikowska co-star. (R) 122 minutes. Starts Friday

CONTINUING SERIES: MIDNIGHTS @ THE DEL MAR Eclectic movies for wild & crazy tastes plus great prizes and buckets of fun for only $6.50. This week: CLUELESS Jane Austen gets a makeover in Amy Heckerling’s 1995 Update of Emma. Alicia Silverstone stars as the popular cool girl meddling in the love lives and social lives of her friends. Stacey Dash and Brittany Murphy co-star. (PG-13) 97 minutes. Fri-Sat midnight only. At the Del Mar.


Film Events

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 pursue the elusive and ineffable meanings of cinema. Discussion begins at 7 pm and admission is free. For more information visit groups.google.com/group/LTATM.


Movie Times click here.


Now Playing

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Andrew Garfield returns for another outing as Peter Parker, college student-turned-web-slinging crime fighter, in this second installment of the rebooted franchise. Jamie Foxx is on board as powerful villain, Electro, with shady ties to OsCorp, the monolithic empire founded by the father of Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan). Emma Stone is back as love interest Gwen, and Sally Field returns as Aunt May for returning director Marc Webb. (PG-13) 140 minutes.

BEARS The folks at Disneynature chime in with their annual Earth Day wildlife doc (after Chimpanzee, African Cats, etc.), which follows a year in the life of two Alaskan grizzly bear mothers shepherding their cubs through the changing seasons. Narrated by John C. Reilly. Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey direct. (G)

BLUE RUIN A throwback to the age of true indie sleeper hits like the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple, this thriller tells the story of a mysterious misfit who returns to his hometown seeking revenge, and gets a lot more than he bargained for. (R) 92 minutes.

BRICK MANSIONS The late Paul Walker stars in this action/crime drama as a Detroit cop who teams up with an ex-con in a notorious neighborhood to stop a crime lord from taking over the city. David Belle and RZA co-star for director Camille Delamarre (longtime editor for Luc Besson). (PG-13)

DANCING IN JAFFA Filmmaker Hilla Medalia (To Die In Jerusalem) directs this documentary about famed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine taking his Dancing Classrooms project back to the city of his birth, Jaffa, where he teaches a mixed class of 10-year-old Jewish and Palestinian children to dance and compete together, in hopes of breaking down the political ideologies that separate them. Not rated. 100 minutes. In English, Arab and Hebrew.

DIVERGENT It’s back to the dystopian future in this adaptation of the bestselling Veronica Roth YA trilogy. Shailene Woodley stars as Tris Prior, a young woman categorized as Divergent—unaligned with any group—in a society that maintains control by dividing people into distinct factions based on their personality traits. Theo James, Ashley Judd, Zofi Kravitz, Miles Teller, and Kate Winslet co-star for director Neil Burger (The Illusionist). (PG-13)

THE FACE OF LOVE Annette Bening and Ed Harris star in this psychological drama about a long-married woman and recent widow who becomes obsessed with a man who looks exactly like her late husband. Robin Williams and Amy Brenneman co-star for director Arie Posin. (PG-13) 92 minutes.

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER In 2007, John Maloof, a real estate agent in the Chicago area, bought some miscellaneous boxes at an estate auction—and stumbled into one of the greatest discoveries in 20th Century photography: the previously unknown, but amazingly prolific work of amateur street photographer Vivian Maier. In this fascinating doc, Maloof exposes her work to the light of day at last, along with the mystery shrouding the artist herself. The portrait of that emerges of Maier (who made her living as a nanny/housekeeper) is compelling in its oddity. That so much of her work was never even developed (much less exhibited) suggests it was the process, not the outcome that was important to her. And isn’t that what art is all about? (Not rated.) 83 minutes. (★★★1/2)—Lisa Jensen.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL There’s plenty of fun and whimsy to be had here in Wed Anderson’s delightful new comedy. Much like Moonrise Kingdom unraveled in a quirky splendor, so, too, does The Grand Budapest Hotel, which chronicles the unlikely friendship between a revered European hotel concierge, Gustave H  (Ralph Fiennes) and his lobby boy. Everything from the era—between two menacing wars—to the fictional setting of the Republic of Zubrowka pepper the tale, which unfolds, layer by layer (a story within a story within a story) much like a Russian doll. Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe and other Anderson grads join the fun. (R)

100 minutes. (★★★1/2)—Greg Archer.

A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 Marlon Wayans is back in this sequel to the 2013 horror spoof about a guy who keeps picking women with paranormal demons to exorcise. Jaime Pressly and Cedric the Entertainer co-star for returning director Michael Tiddes. (R).

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL Just in time for Easter comes this screen adaptation of the non-fiction book by Todd Burpo about his 4-year-old son who survived a near-death experience and came back full of detailed stories about the other side. Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, and newcomer Connor Corum star for director Randall Wallace. (PG)

100 minutes.

JODOROWSKY’S DUNE Frank Pavich’s irresistible doc celebrates the movie that might have been if Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo) had been able to realize his dream of adapting Frank Herbert’s Dune to the big screen back in 1975. Front and center is “Jodo” himself, recounting his plans for the film with exuberant relish, along with a massive (and amazing) book of storyboards, paintings and concept art by the likes of Moebius, H. R. Giger, and Chris Foss. Maybe Jodo could never have translated his passion for Dune to the screen intact, given the primitive tools of the day. In which case, Pavich’s film may be the greatest version of Jodorowsky’s Dune that could ever possibly be. (PG-13) 90 minutes. (★★★★)—Lisa Jensen.

THE LUNCHBOX In this award-winning debut feature from Indian filmmaker Ritesh Batra, a young Mumbai housewife hoping to spice up her stale marriage, and a middle-aged widower about to retire strike up a correspondence and unexpected friendship when the boxed lunch she prepares for her indifferent husband at work is mistakenly delivered to the wrong man. Nimrat Kaur is poised and affecting as the lonely wife. The always great Irffan Khan combines the wry world-weariness of vintage William Powelll with the banked sensuality of a Raul Julia.This is an interactive bittersweet romance; how it ends depends on if you see the glass as half full or half empty. (PG) 104 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen.

THE OTHER WOMAN Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (aka Jamie Lannister) gets up to more shenanigans in this revenge comedy about a woman who discovers that her boyfriend is not only married, but seeing yet another woman on the side. Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton are the wronged women who become allies in retribution. Nick Cassavetes directs. (R) 109 minutes.

THE QUIET ONES In this horror thriller, a university professor and his students conducting experiments on a young woman at a secluded estate outside of London uncover something dark and sinister. Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, and Olivia Cooke star for director John Pogue. (PG-13) 98 minutes.

THE RAILWAY MAN Is revenge really sweet? This is the central question in Jonathan Teplitzky’s handsome, quietly moving drama adapted from the 1995 memoir by Eric Lomax, who, as a young British army officer, survived brutal conditions in a Japanese POW camp during World War II. Jeremy Irvine and Colin Firth deliver self-effacing complexity playing Lomax as a youthful POW and a damaged middle-aged man who decides to confront his Japanese tormentor decades after the war. This film doesn’t pack a wallop; instead, it invites its audience to consider our own notions of justice, morality and forgiveness. (R) 116 minutes. (★★★)—Lisa Jensen.

RIO 2 The parrots from the first film are relocated from the simmering samba of Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon jungle in this family-friendly animated sequel. Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, will.i.am, Jermaine Clement, Rodrigo Santoro, and Jamie Foxx are back in the voice cast, joined by Andy Garcia, Rita Moreno and Bruno Mars. Carlos Saldanha is back in the director’s chair. (G) 101 minutes.

TRANSCENDENCE Johnny Depp stars in this original sci-fi thriller as a scientist with a terminal illness who hooks his brain up to a computer to preserve his mind and gains unexpected powers. Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman co-star. Acclaimed cinematographer Wally Pfister (he won an Oscar for Inception) makes his directing debut. (PG-13) 119 minutes.

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Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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