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THE BLIND SIDE Based on Michael Lewis’ non­fic­tion best­seller, this crowd pleaser re­counts the story of Michael Oher (Quin­ton Aaron), a home­less Mem­phis teen who, af­ter be­ing taken in by the wealthy Tuohy fam­ily, went on to be­come a first-round NFL draft pick and Bal­ti­more Ravens right tackle. It’s a feel-good yarn that would be nau­se­at­ing if it weren’t true, but it scores the ex­tra

point for not go­ing long into melo­dra­matic ter­ri­tory. San­dra Bul­lock, Tim McGraw, and Ray McKinnon give solid per­for­mances. Rated PG-13. 128 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Lau­rel Glad­den) THE BOX A mys­te­ri­ous box shows up on the front porch of mid­dle-class par­ents Arthur and Norma Lewis ( James Mars­den and Cameron Diaz). If they push the but­ton on the con­trap­tion in­side, they’ll re­ceive $1 mil­lion in cash, but some­one they don’t know will die. Richard Kelly ( Don­nie Darko), who based this film on a Richard Mathe­son short story, starts off mak­ing a creepy, thought-pro­vok­ing moral­ity tale, but it un­rav­els when he mixes in pre­pos­ter­ous, be­fud­dling para­nor­mal com­pli­ca­tions. Rated PG-13. 116 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Lau­rel Glad­den) COCO BE­FORE CHANEL This beau­ti­ful biopic di­rected by Anne Fon­taine ( The Girl From Monaco) fo­cuses on the youth and young adult­hood of pi­o­neer­ing fash­ion de­signer Coco Chanel (Au­drey Tatou). Like a sparkly haute cou­ture gown, it’s ex­pertly de­signed and crafted with metic­u­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail. But it’s hardly dif­fer­ent from most of the biopics that have come be­fore it, and if its sub­ject weren’t a cul­tural icon, it might have been down­right bor­ing. Rated PG-13. 105 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. (Lau­rel Glad­den) COU­PLES RE­TREAT Does sit­ting through some­one else’s mar­riage-coun­sel­ing ses­sion sound like en­ter­tain­ment to you? If not, then steer clear of this id­i­otic “com­edy” about four cou­ples who re­treat to a trop­i­cal re­sort for tanning and Jet Ski­ing but end up bick­er­ing their way through ther­apy ses­sions and ridicu­lous skill-build­ing ex­er­cises. This al­most en­tirely plot­less and hu­mor­less movie squan­ders the tal­ents of Vince Vaughn, Ja­son Bate­man, Jon Favreau, and sad­dest of all, Jean Reno. Rated PG-13. 107 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Lau­rel Glad­den) DIS­NEY’S A CHRIST­MAS CAROL Some peo­ple might groan at yet an­other ver­sion of the Dick­ens tale, but those who still love it will find this one to be a prize goose stuffed with mag­nif­i­cent sound and vi­su­als. Di­rec­tor Robert Zemeckis ap­plies the same ap­proach that he used in The Po­lar Ex­press to grimy old Lon­don and all those ghosts, in a ren­di­tion of the story that is gen­uinely and de­light­fully scary. Jim Car­rey per­forms Scrooge at var­i­ous ages as well as the three spir­its. This is also a 3-D movie that de­liv­ers on the prom­ise of the tech­nol­ogy. Rated PG. 96 min­utes. Screens in dig­i­tal 3-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola. (Robert Ben­ziker) AN ED­U­CA­TION Lynn Bar­ber, a Bri­tish jour­nal­ist with a rep­u­ta­tion for the jugu­lar, fell in with a shady older man when she was 16, and 40 years later she wrote a mem­oir. Carey Mul­li­gan plays the teenage Jenny, Bar­ber’s al­ter ego, and a star is born. Peter Sars­gaard is the charm­ing, preda­tory David, and the top-notch cast in­cludes Emma Thomp­son, Al­fred Molina, Do­minic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, and Olivia Wil­liams. It’s a com­ing-of-age movie that ex­am­ines the rel­a­tive im­por­tance of dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to an ed­u­ca­tion. Rated PG-13. 95 min­utes. ( Jonathan Richards) Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. FAN­TAS­TIC MR. FOX Film­maker Wes An­der­son proves to be a per­fect match for chil­dren’s au­thor Roald Dahl as he and a tal­ented team of stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tors and voice ac­tors bring Dahl’s novella about a crafty fox and three nasty farm­ers to life. They’ve man­aged to make a film that is herky-jerky and slightly sur­real in the clas­sic stop-mo­tion tra­di­tion. It’s flatly funny, con­tains equal parts whimsy and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, and is per­fect for adults and chil­dren, without pan­der­ing to ei­ther au­di­ence. Rated PG. 87 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Robert Ben­ziker) See re­view, Page 60. FLAME & CITRON Steeped in moral am­bi­gu­ity and an at­mos­phere of dis­trust, this World War II thriller looks and plays like a film noir. Based on the story of two of Den­mark’s most fa­mous re­sis­tance fight­ers, as­sas­sins who killed Dan­ish Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors, it is said to be the most ex­pen­sive and most suc­cess­ful Dan­ish film ever made. Not rated. 132 min­utes. In Dan­ish and Ger­man with sub­ti­tles. The Screen, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards) THE FOURTH KIND Bad tim­ing and even worse at­tempts at cre­at­ing ten­sion make this alien-ab­duc­tion “thriller” star­ring Milla Jovovich as un­thrilling and an­ti­cli­mac­tic as the re­cent bomb­ing of the moon. Writer/di­rec­tor Olatunde Osun­sanmi’s The Fourth Kind strug­gles to find a scary groove but winds up be­ing a bro­ken record of split-screen psy­chob­a­b­ble, un­con­vinc­ing act­ing (scream­ing, mostly), and film-school-fresh­man cam­era trick­ery. Rated PG-13. 98 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Rob DeWalt) THE HORSE BOY Rowan Isaac­son was di­ag­nosed with autism when he was 2. At 5, he lapses into hours-long tantrums, is not toi­let trained, and is so­cially with­drawn. He dis­plays a deep con­nec­tion with an­i­mals, though — es­pe­cially horses. Search­ing for any way to help their son, his par­ents hit on the wild idea of tak­ing him to Mon­go­lia, where horses are cen­tral to the cul­ture and shaman­ism is prac­ticed. This doc­u­men­tary by first-timer Michel Orion Scott doesn’t break any ground, but it pro­vides a thought-pro­vok­ing, in­ti­mate ac­count of their gru­el­ing trek. Not rated. 93 min­utes. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Lau­rel Glad­den) IN­GLOU­RI­OUS BAS­TERDS Quentin Tarantino’s epic of war, re­venge, and re­vi­sion­ist his­tory is a some­times riv­et­ing, some­times bor­ing, some­times mad­den­ing splat­ter of un­even scenes flung onto the screen. Brad Pitt stars as a hill­billy lieu­tenant in charge of a Jewish com­mando squad, but the Os­car bait is Aus­trian ChristophWaltz’s per­for­mance as a Nazi vil­lain. Rated R. 153 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards) THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS Based onWelsh jour­nal­ist Jon Ron­son’s book of the same ti­tle, this slightly sur­re­al­is­tic film, di­rected by Grant Heslov and writ­ten by Peter Straughan, fo­cuses on the re­ported use of psy­chic war­fare in mod­ern times, with of­fi­cers em­pha­siz­ing flower power and sol­diers turn­ing into shamans. It’s a strange mix of slap­stick and se­ri­ous drama that comes off as pretty un­bal­anced. But Ge­orge Clooney rates an A for his comic per­for­mance. Rated R. 93 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. (Robert Nott) NINJA AS­SAS­SIN With so many pop-cul­ture ar­ti­facts from the 1980s get­ting new life in the 2000s, it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore ter­ri­ble ninja movies came back, and this one is as aw­ful as the rest. James McTeigue ( V for Vendetta) guides this in­co­her­ent re­venge flick, which has bar­rels of fake blood but zero style. The ninjas (aside from the rogue ninja played by Rain) are set up as an in­vin­ci­ble fight­ing force through the film’s first hour or so and then are eas­ily dis­patched in the cli­max. Rated R. 99 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Robert Ben­ziker)

OLD DOGS The 2007 com­edy Wild Hogs en­joyed a very suc­cess­ful run in Santa Fe. Old Dogs doesn’t carry the ap­peal of hav­ing been filmed in Madrid, but it does boast the same di­rec­tor (Walt Becker) and star ( John Tra­volta) as that film. Tra­volta and Robin Wil­liams play bach­e­lors who must learn new tricks when they’re forced to care for 7-year-old twins. Rated PG. 88 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Not re­viewed) PARA­NOR­MAL AC­TIV­ITY Ev­ery­body is say­ing this is the scari­est film in years, and the movie’s trailer makes it look as if peo­ple are jump­ing out of their socks dur­ing screen­ings. But while this ul­tra-low-bud­get shocker is com­pe­tently made, it’s sim­ply a mildly ef­fec­tive creeper about a de­monic force giv­ing a young cou­ple grief. 86 min­utes. Rated R. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Robert Nott) PARIS Writer and di­rec­tor Cé­dric Klapisch’s lat­est is an ode to Paris that is sim­i­lar to Paul Thomas An­der­son’s ode to L.A., Mag­no­lia, in that it de­tails the mul­ti­ple nar­ra­tives of di­verse peo­ple, in­clud­ing a crit­i­cally ill man, while also serv­ing as a love let­ter to the lo­cale in which it is set. Beau­ti­fully shot, breezy, and never bor­ing, Paris gives an im­pres­sion of eaves­drop­ping on con­ver­sa­tions at a café. Rated R. 130 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. CCA Cin­e­math­eque, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker) PI­RATE RA­DIO Richard Cur­tis, who gave us the sub­limely funny Love, Ac­tu­ally, scores again with a nos­tal­gic look at the mid-’60s, when Brits, whose rock revo­lu­tion had taken the world by storm, had to get their fix of their mu­si­cal he­roes from off­shore pi­rate-ra­dio sta­tions while the BBC kept them off the ap­proved air­waves. Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, and Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man lead a ter­rific cast. The com­edy is hi­lar­i­ous and the mu­sic is great. Rated R. 115 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards)

The lat­est com­puter-an­i­mated fea­ture cen­ters on an as­tro­naut (voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” John­son) who lands on a planet full of lit­tle green men liv­ing in their ver­sion of 1950s Amer­ica. Jes­sica Biel, Gary Old­man, and John Cleese also sup­ply voices. Rated PG. 91 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Not re­viewed) A SE­RI­OUS MAN The Coen Broth­ers are back, and this time they’re giv­ing us their ver­sion of the Book of Job, circa 1967. Larry (played by the ex­cel­lent Michael Stuhlbarg) loses his wife, his bank ac­count, his home, and a lot of other things in the course of a few days, lead­ing him to ques­tion the mean­ing of life. The film’s vague ap­proach to the topic makes room for a pot-smok­ing neigh­bor, a kid ob­sessed with F Troop, and a rabbi who be­lieves that tak­ing a good gan­der at his syn­a­gogue’s park­ing lot will cure all ills. Rated R. 105 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. (Robert Nott) STILL WALK­ING Writer and di­rec­tor Hirokazu Kore-eda ( No­body Knows) el­e­vates him­self to the level of mas­ter with this film, which marks him as spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to Ya­su­jiro Ozu. A 40-year-old man (Hiroshi Abe) brings his new fam­ily to stay with his el­derly par­ents, and the gen­er­a­tional di­vide be­comes ap­par­ent in pro­found ways both sub­tle and blunt. The act­ing is sub­lime, and the film is a les­son in the vis­ual lan­guage of cin­ema. It’s per­fectly, po­et­i­cally staged, and there isn’t a wasted shot. Not rated. 114 min­utes. In Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker)

THE TWI­LIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON

The highly an­tic­i­pated se­quel to Twi­light stars Robert Pat­tin­son and Kris­ten Ste­wart as vam­pire Ed­ward Cullen and Bella Swan. Ed­ward thinks he and his fam­ily are danger­ous to Bella, so he dumps her and leaves town. Bella turns to her friend Ja­cob Black (Tay­lor Laut­ner), who hap­pens to be a were­wolf and sworn en­emy of the Cullen clan. De­spite a healthy bud­get, di­rec­tor Chris Weitz ( The Golden Com­pass) and screen­writer Melissa Rosen­berg de­liver an ex­cru­ci­at­ingly dull, un­in­ten­tion­ally laugh­able soap opera that prob­a­bly won’t sat­isfy any­one out­side the “Twi-hard” fan base. Rated PG-13. 130 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

In his lat­est dis­as­ter pic­ture, Roland Em­merich ( In­de­pen­dence Day) uses half-baked Maya prophecy and ex­ten­sive CGI tech­nol­ogy as ex­cuses to de­stroy the en­tire world. One crazy scene, in which the film’s hero ( John Cu­sack) takes a limo and a small plane to nar­rowly es­cape L.A. fall­ing into the ocean, is epic in its silli­ness. Un­for­tu­nately, the movie is at least an hour too long, flooded with too many talk­ing heads and too much melo­drama. Oh, the hu­man­ity! Rated PG-13. 158 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Robert Ben­ziker) (UN­TI­TLED) Jonathan Parker ( The Cal­i­for­ni­ans) di­rected and co-wrote this com­edy, a spoof and satire of the vis­ual-and per­for­mance-art worlds. It re­volves around the artis­tic angst of two broth­ers (well played by Adam Gold­berg and Eion Bai­ley). One cre­ates avant-garde mu­sic that no one em­braces, while the other makes sec­ond-rate paint­ings that are com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful. The pic­ture takes pot­shots at crit­ics, pre­ten­tious artists, and col­lec­tors while main­tain­ing an ab­surd sense of hu­mor (a rub­ber door stop is seen as high art here). A per­fect fit for Santa Fe. Rated R. 96 min­utes. CCA Cin­e­math­eque, Santa Fe (Robert Nott)

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Di­rec­tor Spike Jonze ex­pands on Mau­rice Sen­dak’s pic­ture book— in which a bratty boy trav­els to a land of mon­sters— by as­sign­ing each beast one as­pect of Max’s (Max Record) tur­bu­lent psy­che. The film doesn’t go any­where, and it in­dulges in too much navel gaz­ing. But it also boasts winning ef­fects and art de­sign and paints with large strokes of imagination and emo­tion. Rated PG. 94 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker)

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