opening this week
BOXING GYM Director Frederick Wiseman follows up La Danse, his 2009 documentary on the Paris Opera Ballet, with a very different film about athleticism, movement, and rhythm. Boxing Gym was filmed in a dingy gym in Austin, Texas, where members of the community gather to train, regardless of gender, age, race, or means. Wiseman eschews voice-over and interviews to simply (and expertly) show daily life there, and |the heartbeat of this life pulls you in. Not rated. 91 minutes. CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Robert B. Ker) See review, Page 54. 127 HOURS Director and co-writer Danny Boyle’s ( Slumdog Millionaire) latest film centers on mountain climber Aron Ralston’s 2003 mishap in the slot canyons near Hanksville, Utah. When a boulder pinned his arm against a cliff face, Ralston (played here by James Franco) faced down his mortality and amputated his limb with a dull knife in order to survive. This slick imagining downplays the horror of the story and blunts its impact, but Franco’s bold performance and some thoughtful writing overcome the challenge of filming such difficult material. Rated R. 94 minutes.
Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. (Robert B. Ker) See review, Page 54.
THE SICILIAN GIRL Directed by Marco Amenta, this tale of a Mafia clan brought to justice in the early ’ 90s is loosely based on the true story of Rita Atria (Veronica D’Agostino), the daughter of a Sicilian Mafia don who was murdered by a rival Mafioso. She went against the code by turning state’s evidence at 17. There’s a certain gritty appeal to the story, but D’Agostino’s acting is amateurish, and the construction of the narrative is jerky and unpolished. The film is best when it sticks to the facts and falls prey to soapy writing when it strays. Not rated. 110 minutes. In Italian with subtitles. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)
THE WARRIOR’S WAY Jang Dong-gun plays an assassin who gets tired of fighting ninjas amid bamboo shoots in The Matrix’s color palette, so he heads to the American badlands and switches the film’s genre from samurai to Western. Unfortunately for him, ninjas have a tendency to follow you wherever you go. Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush co-star. Rated R. 100 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; DreamCatcher, Española. (Not reviewed)
Don’t look now: Miriana Faja in The Sicilian Girl at The Screen in Santa Fe