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Johnny Depp un­buck­les the swash and re­turns to se­ri­ous act­ing in this of­ten pow­er­ful but ul­ti­mately un­ful­filled real-life crime drama that as­pires to op­er­atic pro­por­tions but set­tles for heavy me­tal. The story of James “Whitey” Bul­ger (Depp), the so­cio­pathic crime boss who ruled South Bos­ton with a mur­der­ous hand un­til he went on the lam in the mid-’90s, hits im­pres­sive high notes, but leaves un­der­done some cru­cial el­e­ments, as it plows through a gallery of bru­tal mur­ders and other crimes. Bul­ger’s child­hood pal John Con­nolly (an ex­cel­lent Joel Edger­ton), up from the same Southie neigh­bor­hood as Whitey, works another side of the street as an FBI agent who starts with good in­ten­tions but gets sucked into a bot­tom­less moral com­pro­mise. The movie looks great, and is beau­ti­fully acted, shot, and edited. What it lacks is that sense of di­men­sion to make us re­ally care. Rated R. 122 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Jonathan Richards)

EVER­EST

BLACK MASS

This ad­ven­ture film is based on the 1996 Mount Ever­est dis­as­ter, in which sev­eral peo­ple died in a bliz­zard while try­ing to reach the moun­tain’s sum­mit. Jake Gyl­len­haal, Josh Brolin, and John Hawkes play some of the climbers, and Keira Knight­ley and Emily Wat­son co-star. The film boasts such sweep­ing vis­tas that it was re­leased in IMAX the­aters a week be­fore it showed in tra­di­tional the­aters. Rated PG-13. 121 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

GRANDMA

Lily Tom­lin is a pow­er­house in this sweet, funny, thought­ful re­la­tion­ship movie writ­ten and di­rected by Paul Weitz. When her grand­daugh­ter Sage (Ju­lia Garner) turns up need­ing an abor­tion, Elle (Tom­lin) springs into ac­tion as the two visit a num­ber of Elle’s friends and ac­quain­tances try­ing to bor­row the money. There’s ter­rific sup­port from Mar­cia Gay Har­den as Elle’s daugh­ter and Sage’s mother, and from Sam El­liott, who takes us well be­yond that lov­able growl of a voice to un­cover lay­ers and depths of char­ac­ter he’s sel­dom called upon to tap. Grandma suf­fers a few awk­ward mo­ments, but for the most part it stays sharp. Weitz does in­ter­est­ing things with old movie con­ven­tions about les­bian re­la­tion­ships and abor­tion, weav­ing them into a story that bor­rows from triedand-true fa­mil­iar for­mats — it’s a bit of a road movie, a bit of a buddy movie — and then qui­etly goes its own way. Rated R.

79 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

HO­TEL TRANSYLVANIA 2

Adam San­dler again lends his goofy ac­cent to Drac­ula in this se­quel to the 2012 an­i­mated hit. This time, the gang of mon­sters (in­clud­ing voice­work by Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade) try to help the Count’s half-hu­man grand­son un­leash his in­ner mon­ster. Mel Brooks voices the kid’s hu­man-hat­ing great­grand­fa­ther. Rated PG. 89 min­utes. Screens in 3-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE IN­TERN

In the latest movie by writer and di­rec­tor Nancy Mey­ers, Robert De Niro plays a re­tired wi­d­ower who can’t fig­ure out what to do with all of his time, so he be­comes an in­tern for the founder of an online fash­ion site (Anne Hath­away). The jokes stem from the tough old-timer at an in­ter­net start-up, and the heart­warm­ing bits from the boss lean­ing on his sturdy wis­dom. Rated PG-13. 121 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Re­gal DeVar­gas; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

LEARN­ING TO DRIVE

Wendy (Pa­tri­cia Clark­son), a New York book critic in the midst of a fail­ing mar­riage, takes driv­ing lessons from Dar­wan, a Sikh In­dian (Ben Kings­ley). A pro­fes­sor in In­dia who was im­pris­oned for his re­li­gious be­liefs, Dar­wan is now a part-time cab driver in the U.S., where he has won po­lit­i­cal asy­lum. As she learns to drive, these two peo­ple from very dif­fer­ent back­grounds bond over their prob­lems and form a friend­ship. Based on a New Yorker es­say by Katha Pol­litt. Rated R. 90 min­utes.

Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

THE MAR­TIAN

The re­cent in­for­ma­tion that there is liq­uid wa­ter on Mars is for­tu­itous for di­rec­tor Ri­d­ley Scott. In the di­rec­tor’s latest film, Matt Damon plays an as­tro­naut who trav­els to the Red Planet, and is then pre­sumed dead and left be­hind by his crew. He uses all of his re­sources to sur­vive and re­turn home. The screen­play is adapted from Andy Weir’s pop­u­lar novel. Kris­ten Wiig, Jeff Daniels, and Jes­sica Chas­tain co-star. Rated PG-13. 141 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

MAZE RUN­NER: THE SCORCH TRI­ALS

At the end of the 2014 film The Maze Run­ner (based on the first book in a pop­u­lar young-adult se­ries), the kids es­cape the maze. So what can they pos­si­bly do for a se­quel? This time, they must nav­i­gate the Scorch, a dan­ger­ous, de­crepit, desert city — the movie was shot pri­mar­ily in Al­bu­querque — and fight the op­pres­sive or­ga­ni­za­tion WCKD. Rated PG-13. 131 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

MR. HOLMES

It is 1947. Sher­lock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is ninety, long re­tired, liv­ing in seclu­sion in Sus­sex, and keep­ing bees. He is cared for by his wid­owed house­keeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Lin­ney), and her pre­co­cious young son Roger (Milo Parker). Holmes is en­gaged in writ­ing his own rec­ol­lec­tions of his fi­nal case, one that still trou­bles him, the case that led him to give up de­tect­ing. Wat­son’s ac­count of the af­fair tricked it out with suc­cess, but Holmes re­mem­bers it dif­fer­ently — to the ex­tent that he can re­mem­ber it at all. That great mind is be­gin­ning to slip its moor­ings. There are three story strands cov­er­ing dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods and places, and di­rec­tor Bill Con­don weaves them to­gether with un­hur­ried skill, abet­ted by the great McKellen. Rated PG. 103 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

PAUL TAY­LOR: CRE­ATIVE DO­MAIN

Over the years, the leg­endary dancer and chore­og­ra­pher Paul Tay­lor has gath­ered a lot of lau­rels; now in his eight­ies, he’s not con­tent to rest on them. Kate Geis’ doc­u­men­tary shows the master still con­jur­ing up ideas and dis­till­ing them through the bod­ies of his tal­ented young dancers, who cre­ate po­etry in mo­tion by ex­e­cut­ing phys­i­cally what he now can only do men­tally. The film doesn’t min­i­mize the drudgery and the pain of cre­at­ing a dance. It will ap­peal mostly to dance afi­ciona­dos; for the less pas­sion­ate, it would be like some­one not in­ter­ested in ten­nis watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary about Roger Fed­erer do­ing stretches and cal­is­then­ics and drills in prepa­ra­tion for Wim­ble­don. The ge­nius is ap­par­ent, but the process is not for ev­ery­one. Not rated. 82 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

THE PER­FECT GUY

Fresh from a breakup in which her whole life came crash­ing down, Leah (Sanaa Lathan) re­bounds with some­one who seems like the ideal part­ner (Michael Ealy). Be­fore long, how­ever, he starts to creep her out. Is he truly dan­ger­ous? Rated PG-13. 100 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE SEC­OND MOTHER

Di­rec­tor Anna Muy­laert gives us a very en­joy­able story, which nonethe­less could have been more nu­anced. Val (Regina Casé) is a full-time maid who has taken care of Bar­bara’s only child, Fabinho, since he was a tod­dler. Bar­bara (Karine Te­les), a fa­mous style-set­ter, is al­ways busy work­ing. Her hus­band, Dr. Car­los, is a spaced-out re­tiree — he has in­her­ited some wealth and has given up his as­pi­ra­tions to be a pain­ter. Val’s labors pro­vide the grease to keep the fam­ily’s do­mes­tic life run­ning. When Val’s teenage daugh­ter, Jés­sica (Camila Márdila), ar­rives for a tem­po­rary stay, this cozy ex­is­tence is up­ended. Rated R. 112 min­utes. In Por­tuguese with English sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Priyanka Ku­mar)

SI­CARIO

The latest film by De­nis Vil­leneuve (Pris­on­ers) brings us in­side an at­tempt by a shad­owy U.S. task force to take down a Mex­i­can drug lord. The de­tails are vague, and that’s partly be­cause we’re shown the mis­sion through the eyes of an FBI agent (Emily Blunt), who is of­ten kept in the dark as much as we are. She fol­lows the or­ders of a ca­su­ally no-non­sense chief (Josh Brolin) and the si­cario, or hit man, who trav­els along­side him (Beni­cio Del Toro). The story can get very dark, but the film is mes­mer­iz­ing due to its vir­tu­oso act­ing, lean script, moral am­bi­gu­ity, ef­fi­cient edit­ing, and the tow­er­ing cin­e­matog­ra­phy of Roger Deakins, who cap­tures the ru­ral and ur­ban desert land­scapes as evoca­tively as any­one in film has achieved. In­deed, the movie would come close to be­ing con­sid­ered a mod­ern mas­ter­piece if it didn’t lose fo­cus in the home stretch. Rated R. 121 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

THE VISIT

The latest film by M. Night Shya­malan cen­ters on two chil­dren (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Ox­en­bould) who spend a week at their grand­par­ents’ house. When they stay up past their strict bed­time, they learn that Nana (Deanna Du­na­gan) gets up to some pretty weird stuff at night. When Pop Pop (Peter McRob­bie) also starts act­ing strange, the ques­tion be­comes whether or not they’ll sur­vive the visit. Rated PG-13. 94 min­utes.

Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

Peace Of­fi­cers, at Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts

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