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AMER­I­CAN SNIPER Based on the mem­oir by Chris Kyle (played by Os­car-nom­i­nated Bradley Cooper), the most pro­lific sniper in Amer­i­can mil­i­tary his­tory, this is Clint East­wood’s most com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful movie but far from his best ar­tis­ti­cally. East­wood han­dles the ac­tion scenes pow­er­fully but doesn’t thread them to­gether with the kind of nu­anced sto­ry­telling he’s ca­pa­ble of, and he leaves some loose ends dan­gling. The home-front scenes of Kyle with his wife (Si­enna Miller) and fam­ily be­come a bore, but Cooper is ex­cel­lent as a man in­creas­ingly ad­dicted to com­bat and with no other thought than to pro­tect his own. Rated R. 132 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher , Es­pañola. (Jonathan Richards)

BIRD­MAN OR (THE UN­EX­PECTED VIRTUE OF IG­NO­RANCE) In Ale­jan­dro González Iñár­ritu’s back­stage satire, Michael Keaton daz­zles with his bril­liant dis­sec­tion of a movie star, in artis­tic eclipse since he sold his soul to play a masked comic-book su­per­hero, look­ing for re­demp­tion on the Broad­way stage. Aided by a ter­rific sup­port­ing cast that in­cludes Ed­ward Nor­ton, Naomi Watts, and Emma Stone and shot by the great Em­manuel Lubezki, Bird­man , a nom­i­nee for best pic­ture, crack­les with wit, fan­tasy, and pen­e­trat­ing in­sights about show busi­ness, cul­tural rel­e­vance, and the mod­ern world. The film re­ceived a to­tal of nine Os­car nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing ones for Iñár­ritu and Keaton. Rated R. 119 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

BOY­HOOD Richard Lin­klater’s ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ment (and re­cip­i­ent of six Os­car nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing best pic­ture and best direc­tor) has been to take one boy, a six-year-old named El­lar Coltrane, and shoot him for a few days ev­ery year for a dozen years. Lin­klater wrote each screen­play seg­ment based on talks with his cast, which in­cludes Ethan Hawke and Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette as the boy’s par­ents. We watch as Ma­son grows up and makes it safely through boy­hood’s ad­ven­tures and dis­cov­er­ies, ar­riv­ing on the brink of young adult­hood as the movie ends. Rated R. 165 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

THE BOY NEXT DOOR Jen­nifer Lopez plays a high school teacher who takes up an ill-ad­vised af­fair with the teenage boy who moves in next door (in J-Lo’s de­fense, he’s played by Ryan Guz­man, who is twen­ty­seven). The at­trac­tion proves fa­tal when he de­vel­ops an un­healthy ob­ses­sion with her. Rated R. 91 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher , Es­pañola. CI­TI­ZEN­FOUR This doc­u­men­tary should be re­quired view­ing, whichever side of the Ed­ward Snow­den pa­triot/ traitor bias you fall on. Laura Poitras, the direc­tor con­tacted by Snow­den to break his story, presents only one side here, but it’s a com­pelling brief that asks what con­sti­tu­tional free­doms we’re will­ing to sur­ren­der for se­cu­rity. Poitras pads her film with some sleepy footage of Snow­den sit­ting in his ho­tel room, but there’s plenty of meat. Rated R. 114 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

DY­ING TO KNOW Gay Dilling­ham’s pro­found, up­lift­ing doc­u­men­tary takes us on a jour­ney to that bor­der no fence can keep us from cross­ing. Our guides are those two ir­re­press­ible icons of drugs and en­light­en­ment, for­mer Har­vard pro­fes­sors Ti­mothy Leary and Ram Dass. Lo­cal fig­ures are among those in­ter­viewed, and there’s a nicely un­ob­tru­sive nar­ra­tion by Robert Red­ford. Not rated. 99 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts , Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards)

THE GRAND BU­DAPEST HO­TEL Film­maker Wes An­der­son tells a tale of an Eastern Euro­pean ho­tel manager (Ralph Fi­ennes) who is willed a priceless paint­ing by a for­mer lover (Tilda Swin­ton). This angers a rel­a­tive (Adrien Brody), who feels he should be the true heir. An­der­son’s eye for metic­u­lous de­tail re­mains, and he shows new tricks as well. Nom­i­nated for nine Academy Awards, in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture. Rated R. 100 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema , Santa Fe. (Robert Ker)

THE IMI­TA­TION GAME This very en­ter­tain­ing movie, an Os­car nom­i­nee for best pic­ture, could have been a lot more. Morten Tyl­dum (nom­i­nee for best direc­tor) has taken the en­gross­ing story of Alan Tur­ing (Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, a nom­i­nee for best ac­tor), the Bri­tish war hero, com­puter pi­o­neer, and ho­mo­sex­ual martyr, and fit it into the familiar con­fines of a biopic stocked with Movie Mo­ments, which never con­vince us that things re­ally hap­pened the way the film de­picts them. Rated PG-13. 114 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

INTO THE WOODS Stephen Sond­heim’s mu­si­cal about psy­cho­log­i­cal self-dis­cov­ery gets Dis­ney­fied (though taste­fully) un­der Rob Mar­shall’s smart, sen­si­tive di­rec­tion. Top-drawer per­for­mances, with bet­ter singing than you might an­tic­i­pate, come from Meryl Streep (Witch), a sup­port­ing-actress Os­car nom­i­nee; Johnny Depp; Anna Ken­drick; and oth­ers. The score and dia­logue re­main largely in­tact, mak­ing this a must-see for Sond­heimites. Rated PG. 124 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe. (James M. Keller)

THE LOFT If you feel there aren’t enough movies about ras­cally, priv­i­leged men and se­verely abused women, then this is the flick for you. A group of dudes go in on a high-rise apart­ment for their af­fairs, and when one mis­tress ends up mur­dered, it kicks off a who­dunit. Rated R. 108 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher , Es­pañola. (Not re­viewed)

LOST HORI­ZON In 1937, Frank Capra’s film of James Hil­ton’s novel

Lost Hori­zon was the most ex­pen­sive mo­tion pic­ture ever made. It has now been re­stored to its orig­i­nal length, with stills stand­ing in for ir­re­triev­able footage. It’s a utopian story of a place free from greed and vi­o­lence, a place called Shangri-La, a word that’s be­come part of our lan­guage. Though the film creaks a bit in places, it re­mains a clas­sic. Not rated. 132 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema , Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards)

A MOST VI­O­LENT YEAR The year is 1981, the most vi­o­lent in New York City’s his­tory. Writer/direc­tor J.C. Chan­dor

lo­cates this win­try tale in the fuel oil busi­ness, where up­wardly mo­bile Abel Mo­rales (Os­car Isaac) is try­ing to build his com­pany. The chal­lenges are con­sid­er­able. Among them are a pry­ing dis­trict at­tor­ney ( Selma ’s David Oyelowo), mobbed-up busi­ness ri­vals, and Abel’s amoral wife, Anna (Jes­sica Chas­tain), from whose fa­ther Abel bought the busi­ness. Chan­dor taps into the vein of Sid­ney Lumet’s street­wise New York films, and Isaac and Chas­tain give an act­ing sem­i­nar. Rated R. 125 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

MR. TURNER Mike Leigh’s por­trait of J.M.W. Turner is a warts-and-all im­pres­sion of Eng­land’s great­est painter, con­structed us­ing the direc­tor’s process of im­pro­vi­sa­tion, dis­cus­sions with his ac­tors to de­velop a script, and months of re­hearsal. The re­sult is a movie that is il­lu­mi­nat­ing, beau­ti­fully per­formed, unim­peach­ably re­searched, and shot with an in­spired Turneresque beauty by cine­matog­ra­pher Dick Pope. The film is per­haps a lit­tle long at two and a half hours, but that’s how long it takes. Rated R. 150 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

OS­CAR NOM­I­NATED SHORT FILMS — AN­I­MA­TION This year, the an­i­mated short films nom­i­nated for Academy Awards are so brief they had to add some ex­tra films to fill out the run­ning time. For­tu­nately, the best one ( The

Dam Keeper ) is the long­est, at 18 min­utes. Dis­ney’s Feast , which ran be­fore Big Hero 6 , is an­other gem, but oth­er­wise it’s a for­get­table crop. 11 a.m. Satur­day, Feb. 7, only. Not rated. 82 min­utes. In English and var­i­ous other lan­guages with sub­ti­tles. The Screen , Santa Fe. (Robert Ker)

OS­CAR NOM­I­NATED SHORT FILMS — LIVE AC­TION This year’s Os­car race in­cludes a sat­is­fy­ing mix of live-ac­tion shorts, from the light­hearted ( Boogaloo

and Gra­ham ) to the in­ven­tive ( But­ter Lamp ) to the heart­break­ing ( The Phone Call ). The other two, about a young Afghani woman in Switzer­land and a quirky Is­raeli woman, are also thought­ful and skill­fully crafted. 6:30 p.m. Sun­day, Feb. 8, only. Not rated. 114 min­utes. In English and var­i­ous other lan­guages with sub­ti­tles. The Screen , Santa Fe. (Robert Ker) PADDING­TON The fa­mous stuffed bear brings his tog­gle coat and red hat to the big screen, star­ring in a comedic ca­per in which he ar­rives in Lon­don, is taken in by a fam­ily (headed by Hugh Bon­neville), and at­tempts to es­cape a nasty taxi­der­mist (Ni­cole Kid­man). Paul King di­rects with charm and in­ven­tive­ness, and the hu­mor is a near-per­fect mix of car­toony silli­ness for the chil­dren and Bri­tish wit for the adults. A bit too much of the for­mer evap­o­rates in the sec­ond half, which may get too dark for smaller kids, but over­all, it’s a de­light. Rated PG. 95 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher , Es­pañola. (Robert Ker)

PROJECT AL­MANAC Some young peo­ple build a time ma­chine and de­cide to make up for all their re­grets in life. When that works, they de­cide to make them­selves rich. They ap­par­ently didn’t take time to brush up on their sci-fi, how­ever, be­cause if they had, they would know that mess­ing with the time-space con­tin­uum usu­ally has ter­ri­ble con­se­quences. Oops. Rated PG-13. 106 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher , Es­pañola. (Not re­viewed)

SELMA Half a cen­tury ago, the civil rights attack on Jim Crow in this coun­try was just com­ing to a boil un­der the lead­er­ship of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of the wa­ter­sheds of that move­ment was a mas­sive protest march bound from Selma, Alabama, to Mont­gomery, 54 miles away, in sup­port of the 1965 Vot­ing Rights Act. That un­der­tak­ing is the cen­ter­piece and fo­cus of this un­even but pow­er­ful film (an Os­car nom­i­nee for best pic­ture) from direc­tor Ava Du­Ver­nay. David Oyelowo gives us an MLK in whom quiet, deeply re­li­gious so­cial con­vic­tions tri­umph over hu­man doubts and weak­nesses. Rated PG-13. 127 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

SONG OF THE SEA In this hand-drawn an­i­mated fea­ture by Tomm Moore, lit­tle Saoirse grows up picked on by her older brother, Ben, who misses their mother, a myth­i­cal selkie who died in child­birth. When Saoirse, who has never spo­ken, de­vel­ops an affin­ity for the wa­ter at age six, her still-griev­ing but well-in­ten­tioned fa­ther al­lows the chil­dren’s med­dling grand­mother to take them from their home in a light­house to live in Dublin, and it is up to Ben to lead his sis­ter back to her birthright. Rated PG. 93 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts , Santa Fe. (Jen­nifer Levin)

THE THE­ORY OF EV­ERY­THING A film about Stephen Hawk­ing ought to be burst­ing with ideas. What direc­tor James Marsh has come up with is a watch­able but con­ven­tion­ally struc­tured ro­man­tic biopic. An Os­car nom­i­nee for best pic­ture, its se­cret weapon is Ed­die Red­mayne (nom­i­nee for best ac­tor), who is bril­liant in his trans­for­ma­tion into the Hawk­ing we know, body con­fined to a wheel­chair, voice pro­duced by a ma­chine. Costar Felic­ity Jones is a nom­i­nee for best actress. Rated PG-13. 123 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas , Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)

THE WED­DING RINGER Kevin Hart plays Jimmy Cal­la­han, a guy who makes him­self avail­able — for a fee — as a best man for grooms to be who don’t have many friends. Josh Gad plays a guy who doesn’t have any friends what­so­ever, so he in­vents a whole wed­ding party that needs to be filled out by Cal­la­han’s friends. Rated R. 101 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14 , Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher , Es­pañola. (Not re­viewed)

WHIPLASH Miles Teller plays teenage jazz drum­mer An­drew Neiman, whose dreams of be­com­ing one of the greats hinge on sur­viv­ing mu­sic in­struc­tor Terence Fletcher ( J.K. Sim­mons, nom­i­nated for an Os­car for best sup­port­ing ac­tor), the sort of teacher who’s likely to throw a chair at his stu­dent’s head when re­quest­ing a drum­roll. An Os­car nom­i­nee for best pic­ture, this indie-drama by Damien Chazelle com­pellingly ex­plores the ways in which the power dy­nam­ics of a men­tor­ing re­la­tion­ship can turn a teacher’s ob­ses­sion into a stu­dent’s com­pul­sion. Rated R. 107 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas , Santa Fe. (Loren Bien­venu)

WILD In 1995, in­ex­pe­ri­enced hiker and camper Ch­eryl Strayed strapped on a back­pack and cov­ered 1,100 miles of the Pa­cific Crest Trail. In this mov­ing, ruggedly beau­ti­ful adap­ta­tion of her mem­oir star­ring Reese Wither­spoon (Os­car nom­i­nee for best actress), direc­tor JeanMarc Vallée cap­tures scenery and set­tings with deft cam­er­a­work. The sto­ry­telling is hon­est, vivid, and non­judg­men­tal, if some­times a bit too on the nose. Rated R. 115 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas , Santa Fe. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

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