now in theaters
ALICE IN WONDERLAND Tim Burton’s uninspired foray into Wonderland features some nice character design and choice work by a cast of mostly British actors, but that’s it. As a sequel to the Lewis Carroll books, not an adaptation, it features an older Alice (Mia Wasikowska) and a lame
Lord of the Rings-style plot. But most surprising, the visual style is dim, drab, and muddy. Screens in 2-D. Rated PG. 108 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe;
Storyteller, Taos. (Robert Benziker)
James Cameron’s adventure, which won three Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, is about an ex-soldier (Sam Worthington) who uses a synthetic body to infiltrate a race of giant blue aliens and help the military tap into its natural resources. The script is stale, and the film is an hour too long. To put it bluntly, now that the 3-D prints are gone, it’s not worth seeing. Rated PG-13. 162 minutes. Santa Fe. (Robert Benziker)
THE LAST SONG
Author Nicholas Sparks is the best thing to happen to Kleenex since pollen. Hannah Montana (aka Miley Cyrus) is the best thing to happen to junior-high lockers since Corey Haim.
The two collaborate on a film for mommies and daughters alike — the story centers on a daddy (Greg Kinnear) who hopes to reconnect with his little girl (Cyrus). Rated PG. 107 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream Catcher, Española; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
THE LAST STATION Over the latter part of his life, Leo Tolstoy was known not just for his novels but also for the philosophy of pacifism, egalitarianism, and celibacy to which he gave his name. The movie shows the epic struggle between the writer (Christopher Plummer) and his wife of almost 50 years (Helen Mirren). The third point of the triangle is the calculating Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), who is more Tolstoyan than Tolstoy and wants the copyrights of his work for the public domain. Rated R. 110 minutes. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards)
MOTHER Promoted as something of a revenge noir, Mother is just as much about the lengths a mama will go to in proving her love for her offspring. When the title character’s son is framed for the murder of a seemingly innocent schoolgirl, she (Hye-ja Kim) sets off on her own warpath to find the guilty party. Directed and co-written by South Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong (who brought us 2006’s socio-ecological horror film
The Host), this film is a tense thriller with a few plot holes and some lax directing. The acting is first-rate across the board. Rated R. 128 minutes. In Korean with subtitles. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. (Robert Nott)
THE RUNAWAYS Loosely based on a memoir by The Runaways’ lead singer, Cherie Currie (played by Dakota Fanning), this biopic about the ’ 70s-era all-girl rock band that also included Joan Jett ( Twilight’s Kristen Stewart) and Lita Ford captures the essence of the band’s struggle to make it big before imploding in 1978. Director and screenwriter Floria Sigismondi’s music-video background is instrumental in setting the mood, as are a stellar soundtrack and talented production and costume design. Stewart, Fanning, and Michael Shannon as the band’s abusive manager/creator Kim Fowley deliver strong performances. Unfortunately, they are overshadowed by weak character development and a story riddled with rock-’n’-roll-movie clichés. Rated R. 109 minutes. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. (Rob DeWalt) See review, Page 50.
THE SECRET OF KELLS This animated film centers on a young boy who sets out on an adventure to complete the Book of Kells and fights Vikings and a serpent god along the way. It was nominated for a 2010 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature but didn’t reach American theaters until now. Not rated. 75 minutes. CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE Finally, here’s a comedy that celebrates the phenomenon of men who date women who are much more attractive than them. Wait, isn’t that every romantic comedy? Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. Dudley Moore and any of his female leads.
She’s Out of My League tackles the material directly and is raunchier about it. Rated R. 104 minutes.
Regal North, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
SHUTTER ISLAND The latest expertly crafted collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio is also one of the best thrillers in years, filmed in the noir-horror tradition of producer Val Lewton. It tells a tale of two U.S. marshals who investigate an escape at an island asylum for the criminally insane and discover that everything there is not as it seems. Rated R. 138 minutes.
Regal North, Santa Fe. (Robert Benziker)
A SINGLE MAN This debut from fashion designer Tom Ford recounts a day in the life of George (Colin Firth), a literature professor mourning the death of his longtime lover (Matthew Goode). The film is meticulously tailored and beautifully styled — sometimes overly so — but it’s also heartbreaking. Rated R. 101 minutes.
CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Laurel Gladden)
TYLER PERRY’S WHY DID I GET MARRIED
TOO? You may need to put a “2” in place of the “too” to get the title. This is a sequel to Perry’s 2007 hit. If you’ve seen that, you’ll likely want to see this. If you haven’t even heard of it, then keep moving. Rated PG-13. 120 minutes. Regal North, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
THE WHITE RIBBON Here is a portrait of what appears to be a pastoral village in 1913-1914 Germany. But as this is from filmmaker Michael Haneke ( Caché), life in the burg is anything but idyllic. In his examination of generational conflict and a country on the brink of war, Haneke argues that we are never innocent. Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, only. Rated R. 144 minutes. In German with subtitles.
CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Robert Benziker)