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Film, Times & Events: Week of August 8

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New This Week
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY Culinary worlds collide in this foodie comedy when a displaced East Indian family decides to open up a spicy Indian eatery across the street from a tony Michelin-starred French restaurant in a picturesque village in the south of France. Helen Mirren stars as the snooty French restaurateur, Om Puri is the Indian family patriarch, Manish Dayal is his son, a brilliant, intuitive young chef who falls for Mirren's pretty sous chef (Charlotte Le Bon). Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat; The Cider House Rules) directs. (PG) 122 minutes. Starts Friday.

INTO THE STORM A small Midwestern town is ravaged by an onslaught of tornados in a single day in this thriller, as storm-chasers, amateur and professional, document the mounting destruction. Richard Armitage (Thorin, in The Hobbit movies), Sarah Wayne Callies, and Max Deacon star for director Steven Quale. (PG-13) 89 minutes. Starts Friday.

LAND HO! A pair of elderly, ex-brothers-in-law set off on a road trip across Iceland—from urban Reykjavik to the wilds of the outback—to recapture the spirit of their lost youth, in this English-language comedy from American filmmakers Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens. (R) 95 minutes. Starts Friday.

STEP UP: ALL IN Most of the stars from the previous installments of this dance franchise (except for Channing Tatum, of course) reunite for a dance showdown in Las Vegas. Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam Sevani, and Misha Gabriel Hamilton star for director Trish Sie. (PG-13) 112 minutes.
Starts Friday.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES In this mostly live-action reboot of the popular comic book series, New York City is in the grip of evildoers when four masked outcast brothers rise up out of the sewers to become heroes. Megan Fox stars as sympathetic, turtle-friendly girl reporter April O'Neil, and Will Arnett is her cameraman side-kick. Jonathan Liebesman directs. (PG-13) Starts Friday.

SPECIAL EVENT THIS WEEK: MONTY PYTHON LIVE (MOSTLY) The five surviving members of the original six-man comedy troupe—John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam (RIP Graham Chapman)—reconvene for a live stage show featuring old skits with new bits. Recorded live at The O2 arena in London for broadcast to cinemas worldwide. At the Del Mar, one night only (Wednesday, August 6), 7:30 p.m.


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 p.m. and admission is free. For more information visit groups.google.com/group/LTATM.


Movie Times click here.

Now Playing
22 JUMP STREET Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are back as the undercover cops who bluffed their way through high school in the first Jump Street movie. Now they’re undercover at a local college, and drifting apart into opposite jock and bohemian art scenes on campus. Peter Stormare and Ice Cube co-star for co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie; Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs). (R) 105 minutes.

AND SO IT GOES  Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton star in this autumnal rom-com from director Rob Reiner. He plays a crusty, misanthropic realtor suddenly saddled with taking care of a granddaughter he never even knew he had. She’s the empathetic neighbor he tries to palm the child off on, hoping to resume his selfish life uninterrupted. Newcomer Sterling Jerins co-stars. (PG-13)

BEGIN AGAIN Writer-director John Carney (Once) tries to make lightning strike again in this musical romance. Keira Knightley stars as a small-town girl struggling in the Village folk scene of New York after her rising star boyfriend (Adam Levine) dumps her. Mark Ruffalo is a scruffy, former record exec who wants to make her a star. (R) 101 minutes.

BOYHOOD Kudos to Richard Linklater for such a refreshingly audacious film. Linklater had the simple, yet brilliant idea to shoot a scripted story over a period of 12 years, allowing his cast—including his child protagonists—to age naturally onscreen. Ellar Coltrane (in the central role) was 7 years old when the film started shooting in 2002, 18 when it wrapped last year, and he’s compulsively watchable throughout. It sounds like a stunt, but watching these characters grow up before our eyes (including adults Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, both terrific, as the divorced parents), makes for a bold, moving, and utterly mesmerizing moviegoing experience. (R) 166 minutes. (****)—Lisa Jensen.

CHEF Jon Favreau wrote and directed this fun feast for foodies, in which he stars as a top chef who quits his job at an L.A. restaurant over creative differences with the owner (Dustin Hoffman). He goes on the road with a food truck, selling spicy Miami-style sandwiches with his sous-chef buddy (John Leguizamo) and his Internet-savvy 10-year-old son. Sofia Vergara is his sassy ex, and while the plot plays out exactly as you expect, the actors are engaging, the  story sizzles with Latin flavor, and the food looks great; trust me, you’ll come out jonesing for a fried Cubano sandwich. (R) 115 minutes. (***)—Lisa Jensen.

THE FLUFFY MOVIE Comic actor Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias stars in this concert film of his stand-up comedy act on his recent “Unity Through Laughter” tour. Filmed at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. (PG-13) 101 minutes.

GET ON UP Reviewed this issue. (PG-13) 138 minutes. (***)—Lisa Jensen.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY In this standalone Marvel Comics adaptation, an American pilot obtains a device coveted by a master villain as the key to universe domination, and assembles an eccentric gang of intergalactic warriors to protect it. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and Lee Pace star, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper provide voices for CGI characters, and John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio Del Toro pop up in cameos. James Gunn directs. (PG-13) 121 minutes. 

HERCULES Dwayne Johnson stars as the muscleman of Greek mythology in this revisionist take on the classical myth, adapted from the graphic novel by Steve Moore. Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, and John Hurt co-star for director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour; X-Men: The Last Stand). (PG-13) 98 minutes.

I ORIGINS Writer-director Mike Cahill and star Brit Marling, from Another Earth, re-team for this metaphysical sci-fi drama about a molecular biologist and his lab partner, studying the evolution of the eye, who stumble upon a discovery that challenges everything they think they know about reality, science, and spirituality. Michael Pitt, Steven Yeun, and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey co-star. (R) 113 minutes.

LUCY Starting from the premise that humans use only 10 percent of their brain power, Luc Besson’s thriller stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman whose brain is experimentally amped up to bionic levels—turning her into (what else?) a merciless warrior. Morgan Freeman co-stars. (R) 90 minutes. 

A MOST WANTED MAN Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in this political thriller adapted from the John Le Carre novel about an illegal Muslim immigrant in Hamburg who gets caught up in the international war on terror. Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright co-star for director Anton Corbijn. (R) 122 minutes.

PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE  The second installment of Disney’s Cars-in-the-sky franchise relocates hero Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) from the world of air-racing to a fleet of aerial firefighters protecting a national park. Ed Harris, Julie Bowen, Wes Studi, and Captain Dale Dye provide additional voices. Roberts Gannaway directs. (PG) 83 minutes.

THE PURGE: ANARCHY It’s hard to imagine what would constitute “anarchy” within the premise of this-near-future horror franchise in which, one night a year, the authorities look the other way while vigilantes are free to run amok in the streets and murder at will. (Hmmm...maybe it’s not so “futuristic” after all...) Nevertheless, writer-director James DeMonaco is back with a new cast of potential victims. Zach Gilford, Frank Grillo, and Kiele Sanchez star. (R) 103 minutes.

WISH I WAS HERE A decade after directing his first indie hit, Garden State, Zach Braff returns to the big screen as director, co-writer, and star of this comedy about an underemployed, 30-something actor coping with an overworked wife (Kate Hudson), an ailing parent (Mandy Patinkin), and the challenge of home-schooling his two kids. Josh Gad co-stars. (R) 106 minutes.

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Good Times Holiday Giving

Giving Where It Helps

 

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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Film, Times & Events: Week of November 28

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