opening this week
AGORA There is a hero in Alejandro Amenábar’s Agora, and there is a villain. The hero is knowledge. The villain is religion. This vivid story of the struggle between abstract concepts is set against the destruction of the Royal Library of Alexandria in A.D. 391. Rachel Weisz plays Hypatia, a legendary philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician. Christian fundamentalism gets the worst of it in Amenábar’s telling, but the parallels to modern Islamic fundamentalism, as well as the excesses of other contemporary religions, are hard to miss. Not rated. 126 minutes. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards) See review, Page 66.
BRAN NUE DAE Loosely based on the 1990s musical about Australian Aborigines, Bran Nue Dae comes to the screen courtesy of director Rachel Perkins. Already a hit in Australia, the film tells the story of a young man named Willie (Rocky McKenzie), who runs away from his religious mission in 1969. Geoffrey Rush co-stars. A conversation with Perkins follows the screening. 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, only. Not rated. 88 minutes. Lensic Performing Arts
Center, Santa Fe. No charge. (Not reviewed)
CLASS X The title of this event refers to the 10th classification of Indian Market: film and video. The winners in all four divisions — Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Animation, and Experimental — screen at this event. 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, only.
Allan Houser Sculpture Gardens and Gallery, south of Santa Fe. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 471-1528 for details and directions. (Not reviewed)
EAT PRAY LOVE It’s time to get your book groups together, put down the tea and scones, and head down to the multiplex: Elizabeth Gilbert’s mammoth bestseller is hitting the big screen. Julia Roberts plays the author, who, after she goes through a divorce, eats, prays, and loves her way around the world. It’s not clear if the movie gets to the part where Gilbert writes a book about her travels and makes a gajillion dollars. Rated PG-13. 113 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream-Catcher, Española; Reel Deal, Los
Alamos; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
THE EXPENDABLES And now, here’s the men’s version of Eat Pray Love: maim, murder, destroy. Sylvester Stallone (who co-wrote and directed), Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and Mickey Rourke supply the testosterone (with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger in uncredited roles). You bring the popcorn. The plot centers on a bunch of people who violently kill other people. Rated R. 103 minutes. Regal
Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream-Catcher, Española; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
NATIVE CINEMA SHOWCASE The annual festival of films by or about indigenous people, along with workshops and music, returns to Northern New Mexico. While the festivities hit full stride on Friday, Aug. 20, Reel Injun opens with two screenings: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, at Taos Center for the Arts, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos, 575-758-2052; and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. Events run through Aug. 22. Call CCA Cinematheque for details. (Not reviewed)
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD Based on the super-duper awesome (objectively speaking) comic books, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World stars Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, an emo-y bass player in an indie band. He doesn’t fight the whole world, but in order to win the love of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he must fight her evil ex-boyfriends (including Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, and Jason Schwartzman). Co-written and directed by Edgar Wright ( Shaun of the Dead). Rated PG-13. 113 minutes.
Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream-Catcher, Española; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
SPOKEN WORD Co-written by local spoken-word poet Joe Ray Sandoval, this semiautobiographical depiction of Sandoval’s life in Northern New Mexico is well penned, but it’s lazily directed by Victor Nuñez ( Ulee’s Gold). When spoken-word artist and recovering drug addict Cruz Montoya (Kuno Becker) learns that his widowed father (Rubén Blades) is dying of cancer, he returns to his native Santa Fe to take care of him. Numerous Latin-male clichés and some unsuccessful narrative devices render this relatively low-budget film more problematic than poetic. Not rated. 116 minutes.
Santa Fe. (Rob DeWalt)
VAMPIRES SUCK Sometimes it seems as if hating Twilight is as widespread as loving Twilight. Judging from the lame title and the excruciating trailer, this spoof seems to be aimed at the teenage boys who think that despising the popular vampire series is some kind of dumb status symbol. Let’s hope they outgrow this phase by college. Opens Wednesday, Aug. 18. Rated PG-13. 88 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream-Catcher, Española; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
I said dance, suckers: Eric Roberts and Steve Austin in The Expendables, at Regal Stadium 14
in Santa Fe and DreamCatcher in Española