OPENING THIS WEEK
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Some of the classic Universal Monsters movies are more iconic than they are actually good.
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) happily ticks both boxes. James Whale’s exquisitely gothic production tells a heartbreaking story of romance and horror, as Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) set out to create a mate for the monster. With Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester. Not rated. 75 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Robert Ker)
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON
Not rated. 92 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. See review, Page 40.
JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS
The 1980s cartoon Jem featured a singer who rose to big-haired rock stardom by using hologram technology to form her band Jem and the Holograms. This live-action update uses the same essential formula, applying it to the modern ability to project different versions of oneself through social media. The plot spotlights the band members’ search for their own voices as their fame grows. Audrey Peeples plays Jem, and Molly Ringwald makes an appearance as Aunt Bailey. Rated PG. 118 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Regal DeVargas; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
Vin Diesel takes a break from racing muscle cars (the Fast and
the Furious franchise) to fight witches in this supernatural action tale. Diesel plays Kaulder, an immortal warrior locked in an eternal struggle against an all-powerful Witch Queen hell-bent on wiping out humankind. Kaulder, the last of his kind, must team up with a good witch (Rose Leslie) to prevail. Elijah Wood and Michael Caine costar. Rated PG-13. 106 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Regal DeVargas; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
ROCK THE KASBAH
On a visit to Kabul, washed-up rock manager Bill Murray loses his last client (Zooey Deschanel), along with his wallet and passport. Upon discovering a talented teenage singer (Leem Lubany), he digs deep and uses his old wiles to help her conquer Afghanistan’s version of American Idol. Barry Levinson directs; Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, and Zooey Deschanel also star. Rated R. 100 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin won an Academy Award for The
Social Network, a film that charted the rise of Facebook and its cofounder Mark Zuckerberg. Sorkin’s new script focuses on another titan of technology — the title character, played by Michael Fassbender. Director Danny Boyle guides viewers through the Apple cofounder’s life, culminating in the 1998 iMac unveiling. Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, and Jeff Daniels costar. Rated R. 122 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
Not rated. 138 minutes. In German, English, and Spanish with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts; Violet Crown. See review, Page 38.
WIM WENDERS RETROSPECTIVE
The Screen and Jean Cocteau Cinema join forces to present a retrospective of the work of the great contemporary German director Wim Wenders. Highlights at the Cocteau include Paris, Texas (1984) and the great Cuban music documentary Buena Vista Social Club (1999), while the Screen’s share takes in The American Friend (1977) (Wenders’s adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel
Ripley’s Game), and Wings of Desire (1987), considered by many to be the director’s masterpiece. Wenders, seventy, is perhaps the most American-oriented of the school of filmmakers that emerged in Germany in the late ’60s, a group that included such notable names as Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbender, Volker Schlondorff, and Margarethe von Trotta. The retrospective continues through October 29th. The Screen plays Kings of the Road (1976), The American Friend (1977), Tokyo-Ga (1985), Wings of Desire (1987), and Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1989). At Jean Cocteau Cinema, the lineup is The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1972), Alice in
the Cities (1974), The State of Things (1982), Paris, Texas (1984),
and Buena Vista Social Club (1999). See Page 45 for showtimes.
BEASTS OF NO NATION
Agu’s (Abraham Attah) boyish schemes to make money and his hilarious pranks with his older brother are almost too charming; you just know the happiness won’t last. Agu’s unnamed West African country is in the midst of civil war, and soon, government forces shoot down Agu’s father and brother, while Agu flees into the jungle. Here he is captured by rebels and trained by the Commandant (Idris Elba) to become a soldier. Despite the painful backdrop of war, director Cary Fukunaga shapes Uzodinma Iweala’s novel into a powerful and watchable film. Not rated. 135 minutes.
Violet Crown. (Priyanka Kumar)
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Steven Spielberg resurrects the fascinating tale of the Cold War prisoner exchange of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union. The story centers on James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn insurance lawyer and former Nuremberg prosecutor who is drafted to represent Abel and uphold the image of the American justice system. As he works with Abel (Mark Rylance), a bond of admiration forms between the two. The first half of the movie, which deals primarily with Abel and Donovan, hums along nicely, despite an occasional Spielbergian weakness for movie cliché. The second half, which sets Donovan to work arranging the swap, has too many threads to follow and loses focus. Both Hanks and Rylance are terrific. The movie reaches a powerful dramatic climax with the exchange on a West Berlin bridge and then sputters on a little further, reaching for a feel-good ending. Rated PG-13. 141 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Jonathan Richards)
After a brief time spent with giant monsters and robots on
Pacific Rim, director Guillermo del Toro returns to the gothic horror genre that made him famous. Mia Wasikowska plays a woman in 19th-century England who marries a mysterious man (Tom Hiddleston) and soon discovers that the crumbling mansion he shares with his sister (Jessica Chastain) contains some very dark secrets. Rated R. 118 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
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; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
Julianne Moore portrays police officer Laurel Hester in this fictionalized account of Hester’s equal-rights battle against her county to have her pension transferred to her registered domestic partner (Ellen Page) after she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in the mid-2000s. Steve Carell and Michael Shannon co-star in this film that is partly inspired by the 2007 Academy Award-winning documentary short of the same title.
Rated PG-13. 103 minutes. Regal DeVargas. (Not reviewed)
R.L. Stine’s popular young-adult horror books get a film adaptation — but it’s not the kind you might expect. A young boy named Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves to a new neighborhood, where he meets Hannah (Odeya Rush), whose father is the author Stine (Jack Black). When they and another boy (Ryan Lee) open up one of his manuscripts, all of the monsters are set free. Rated PG. 103 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
HE NAMED ME MALALA
The latest documentary by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient
Truth) looks at Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who spoke out about granting young women the opportunity to pursue education and was nearly killed by the Taliban as a result. In 2014, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Rated PG-13. 87 minutes. Regal DeVargas.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Adam Sandler lends his goofy accent to Dracula once again in this sequel to the 2012 animated hit. This time, the gang of monsters (including voice work by Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade) tries to help the count’s half-human grandson unleash his inner monster. Mel Brooks voices the kid’s humanhating great-grandfather. Rated PG. 89 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
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, the heartwarming bits from the boss leaning on his sturdy wisdom. Rated PG-13. 121 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Regal DeVargas. (Not reviewed)
The Spanish-language comedy (the English translation is
Thieves) from the Dominican Republic is the sequel to the 2007 film Ladrón que roba a ladrón (To Rob a Thief ). Fernando Colunga and Miguel Varoni return as two crooks who once
more must steal from even bigger criminals who are exploiting
the poor. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes. In Spanish with subtitles. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
Mark Watney (Matt Damon) may have been stranded on the Red Planet too early to get the memo about water on Mars, but he makes do with ingenuity and a cocky wit. Left behind for dead by his beleaguered crewmates after a Martian storm, he has to rely on can-do American spirit and science smarts (he’s the team’s biologist) to grow enough food to last him until a rescue mission can be mounted. Director Ridley Scott is back in space, and he keeps things lively in the thin atmosphere forty million miles from home. The movie is much more than a one-man show. Jessica Chastain heads a strong team aboard the spacecraft, Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor run things at NASA, battling over humanitarian, scientific, and political considerations as they work to bring their man back home. Damon gives a star performance. The great thing about this film is that it makes intelligence cool. Rated PG-13. 141 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Jonathan Richards)
MEET THE PATELS
Ravi Patel is an Indian-American man who is still single in his thirties. His parents back in India do not approve of this, so to appease them, he joins a matchmaking service. He and his sister Geeta film what happens next for this comedic documentary, which takes Ravi on the whirlwind of modern dating and cultural divides. Rated PG. 88 minutes. Regal DeVargas.
Director Joe Wright takes a crack at a family film with a new version of the Peter Pan story, intended as a prequel to author J.M. Barrie’s iconic work. In this telling, Peter (Levi Miller) is whisked off to Neverland and finds himself siding with the man who will someday be Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund) to take down the ruthless pirate Captain Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). Rated PG. 111 minutes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)
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.
DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
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, and efficient editing as well as the towering cinematography of Roger Deakins, who captures the rural and urban desert landscapes as evocatively as anyone in film ever has. 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;
DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)
There are so many faith-based football movies these days that it has become a genre unto itself. The latest stars Sean Astin as a football coach in a newly desegregated high school in 1973 Alabama; he uses the Bible to help everyone get along. Caleb Castille plays the star running back Tony Nathan, and Jon Voight is legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Based on true events. Rated PG. 123 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
Bride of Frankenstein,
Monster mash notes: Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in
Goosebumps, at Regal Stadium 14, Violet Crown, and DreamCatcher in Española
Rock the Kasbah,
at Regal Stadium 14 and DreamCatcher in Española