NOW IN THE­ATERS

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES -

THE BFG In 1982, direc­tor Steven Spiel­berg and the late screen­writer Melissa Mathi­son col­lab­o­rated on the fam­ily-film clas­sic and struck gold. Here, they tackle a work by beloved chil­dren’s nov­el­ist Roald Dahl, and while it seems like this should be a per­fect fit, the film­mak­ers can never quite sum­mon up the req­ui­site magic. A young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barn­hill) is taken from her or­phan­age by a big, friendly gi­ant (a com­puter-gen­er­ated cre­ation voiced by Mark Ry­lance), and even­tu­ally helps him to get rid of un­friendly gi­ants. The char­ac­ters are un­der­de­vel­oped, leav­ing us with no af­fec­tion for them or sense of their emo­tional stakes. The pace is glacial and the over­all tone aims for whimsy but labors too hard at this goal, and it shows. There are jokey scenes that will please the lit­tlest ones, but older kids will be non­plussed, and par­ents will strug­gle to stay awake. Rated PG. 117 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker) CEN­TRAL IN­TEL­LI­GENCE Dwayne “The Rock” John­son and Kevin Hart have starred in sev­eral buddy come­dies each, but never to­gether — un­til now. Hart plays Calvin, a man who looks up an old class­mate named Bob Stone on Facebook. Back in school, Bob was over­weight and teased. Now, he looks like The Rock, and he’s a CIA agent. When the mis­matched friends re­unite, they get drawn into some in­ter­na­tional-es­pi­onage shenani­gans. Rated PG-13. 114 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed) DARK HORSE Around the turn of the mil­len­nium, Janet Vokes, a bar­maid in an eco­nom­i­cally de­pressed Wales min­ing town, con­vinced her friends and cus­tomers to pitch in to­gether, pur­chase a thor­ough­bred, and pay for its train­ing. They bought and bred Dream Al­liance, and the horse even­tu­ally en­joyed suc­cess on the rac­ing cir­cuit in the U.K. — at­tract­ing a good deal of me­dia at­ten­tion for how the story up­turned class-struc­ture

norms. Through new in­ter­views, dra­matic recre­ations, and archival footage, this doc­u­men­tary tells Dream Al­liance’s story. Rated PG. 85 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed) FINDING DORY Out­side of the Toy Story fran­chise, Pixar An­i­ma­tion Studio’s se­quels have been fairly unin­spired trips down fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory, and this fol­low-up to the 2003 smash

Finding Nemo is no ex­cep­tion. It cen­ters on Dory, the for­get­ful blue fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. In a rare in­stance when Dory’s mem­ory works prop­erly, she re­calls that her fam­ily lives in the Mon­terey area and sets out to find them, aided by old friends such as the clown­fish Mar­lin (Al­bert Brooks) and Nemo (Hay­den Ro­lence). The an­i­ma­tion is col­or­ful, there are some in­ven­tive bits, and an oc­to­pus named Hank (Ed O’Neill) nearly steals the show. It’s ba­si­cally a beat-for-beat re­make of the first film, which will please kids more than adults, and at­tempts to muster fresh en­ergy never quite take off. Rated PG. 103 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker) FREE STATE OF JONES Matthew McConaughey stars in this ac­tion movie based on the life of the con­tro­ver­sial his­tor­i­cal fig­ure New­ton Knight. In 1862, the poor Mis­sis­sippi farmer de­serted the Con­fed­er­ate army and later led a re­bel­lion against the Con­fed­er­acy, ul­ti­mately es­tab­lish­ing his own racially in­te­grated com­mu­nity. Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) di­rects. Keri Rus­sell and Bren­dan Glee­son co-star. Rated R. 139 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed) GE­NIUS Jude Law plays Thomas Wolfe in this movie about the writ­ing of his 1929 novel Look Home­ward, An­gel, and fo­cuses on his re­la­tion­ship with his ed­i­tor, Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth). Perkins, the famed Scrib­ner’s ed­i­tor who over­saw work by Ernest Hem­ing­way and F. Scott Fitzger­ald, among oth­ers, at­tempts to coax a great novel from Wolfe. Laura Lin­ney and Ni­cole Kid­man also star. Rated PG-13. 104 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed) IN­DE­PEN­DENCE DAY: RESUR­GENCE In 1996, In­de­pen­dence Day was a mas­sive hit that helped make Will Smith a ma­jor star, thanks pri­mar­ily to a TV trailer that showed a UFO blow­ing up the White House. Two decades later, the film gets a se­quel that doesn’t have Smith, but does bring back direc­tor Roland Em­merich and ac­tors Jeff Gold­blum, Vivica A. Fox, and Bill Pull­man, among oth­ers. The plot finds the hu­mans adopt­ing alien tech­nol­ogy, just in time for the supremely pow­er­ful aliens to ar­rive and fight. Pre­sum­ably, a lot more than the White House gets blown up. Rated PG-13. 120 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed) LAST CAB TO DAR­WIN This Down Un­der charmer makes good use of the fa­mil­iar tem­plate of the old guy hit­ting the road in trou­bling cir­cum­stances. In Jeremy Sims’ film, he’s Rex McRae (Michael Ca­ton), a cab­bie in the lit­tle town of Bro­ken Hill, New South Wales. He’s re­ceived a grim med­i­cal di­ag­no­sis: stom­ach cancer, metas­ta­sized, a few weeks to live. His taxi is the ve­hi­cle in which he will take to the high­way. His des­ti­na­tion is Dar­win, across three thou­sand kilo­me­ters of dusty, scenic out­back. His goal is the clinic of Dr. Ni­cole Farmer (Jacki Weaver, Sil­ver

Lin­ings Play­book), a pi­o­neer of le­gal­ized eu­thana­sia. En route he picks up a cou­ple of pas­sen­gers: Tilly (Mark Coles Smith), a free-spir­ited indigenous youth who fixes Rex’s wind­shield and hitches a ride, and Julie (Emma Hamil­ton), a pretty young Bri­tish nurse who’s see­ing the world. De­spite a few as­pects that don’t seem thor­oughly thought through, Last Cab is a fine mix of sen­ti­ment and flinty crust. And Ca­ton’s tac­i­turn Rex is a lovely fel­low to take a trip with, even one to a des­ti­na­tion like this. Not rated. 123 min­utes. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards) THE LEG­END OF TARZAN In the break be­tween the last four Harry Pot­ter films and this fall’s Pot­ter spinoff, Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them, direc­tor David Yates tack­les Edgar Rice Bur­roughs’ lit­er­ary leg­end. In his telling of Tarzan’s story, the ti­tle char­ac­ter (Alexan­der Skars­gård), hav­ing acclimated to London life, must re­turn to the jun­gle when a min­ing com­pany threat­ens the apes who raised him. Christoph Waltz, Sa­muel L. Jack­son, and Mar­got Rob­bie also star. Rated PG-13. 109 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed) THE LOB­STER Gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and a fas­ci­nat­ing premise an­chor this dystopian film about love and ro­mance. David (Colin Far­rell) has lost his wife, so he is sent to a ho­tel, where he has 45 days to find a new part­ner or be turned into an an­i­mal. Res­i­dents of the ho­tel hunt a tribe of lon­ers who live in the nearby woods, where cou­pling is pun­ish­able by maim­ing. Many high-level ac­tors — in­clud­ing Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly — con­trib­ute in­tensely con­trolled per­for­mances, but there is more style than sub­stance to this story. Rated R. 119 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jen­nifer Levin) LOVE & FRIEND­SHIP This de­li­cious com­edy of man­ners has the ex­quis­ite fla­vor of a scrump­tious high tea at Har­rods. It’s based on Lady Su­san, a lit­tle-known comic novella that Jane Austen wrote when she was about eigh­teen. At the cen­ter of it all is Lady Su­san, played to con­niv­ing per­fec­tion by Kate Beck­in­sale. She is a beau­ti­ful widow de­scribed as “the most ac­com­plished flirt in all Eng­land,” who has lit­tle trou­ble wrap­ping men around her lit­tle fin­ger as she be­gins shop­ping in earnest for a rich hus­band for her­self and one for her daugh­ter Fred­er­ica (Morfydd Clark). Wit is of­ten present in Jane Austen adap­ta­tions, but it gen­er­ally plays a sup­port­ing role to ro­mance. Here, it’s front and cen­ter. Amer­i­can direc­tor Whit Still­man and his mar­velous cast have more fun than should be le­gal with this ma­te­rial. Rated PG. 92 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards) A MID­SUM­MER NIGHT’S DREAM Visual magic is mother’s milk to Julie Tay­mor (cre­ator of the Dis­ney stage hit The Lion King), and she quaffs it by the quart in this daz­zling 2013 stage pro­duc­tion of Shake­speare’s screw­ball com­edy, filmed over four days of its New York run. Tay­mor has had suc­cess in the past with Shake­speare, and here she lights up the stage with breath­tak­ing ef­fects while cre­at­ing the space for some su­perb per­for­mances. Most mem­o­rable of th­ese is the cap­ti­vat­ing Kathryn Hunter as a rub­ber-limbed, raspy-voiced, wise­crack­ing Puck, do­ing the bid­ding of the King of the Fairies, Oberon (David Hare­wood). Ti­ta­nia is played by the ethe­real Tina Benko, white-robed and front-lit by wand lights jut­ting from her bo­som. Puck, putting “a gir­dle round about the earth in forty min­utes,” brings back the blos­som, but af­ter that, things do not go ac­cord­ing to plan, and mer­ri­ment en­sues. In an age of ac­tion movie CGI ef­fects, it’s ex­cit­ing to see what real-life, hands-on stage magic can pro­duce. The shad­ows here do not of­fend. Rated PG. 144 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards) OUR KIND OF TRAITOR The lat­est film adap­ta­tion of a John le Carré spy novel stars Ewan McGre­gor as Perry, a teacher who meets Dima (Stel­lan Skars­gård), a pow­er­ful mem­ber of the Rus­sian mob, while on va­ca­tion. Dima, wish­ing to be­come an in­for­mant for the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment in ex­change for sanc­tu­ary, gives Perry a list of names to pass along to MI6. The list con­tains peo­ple in­volved in money laun­der­ing, in­clud­ing politi­cians through­out the United King­dom. Soon, Perry finds him­self en­tan­gled by both sides of the con­spir­acy. Rated R. 107 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed) PATHS OF THE SOUL This movie has many of the same el­e­ments as an An­drei Tarkovsky film: rav­ish­ing natural land­scapes, life­like rhythms, mul­ti­ple char­ac­ters, and spir­i­tual clar­ity. A group of peo­ple from the vil­lage of My­ima de­cides to un­der­take the Bud­dhist “bow­ing pil­grim­age” to the holy Ti­betan cap­i­tal, Lhasa. Chi­nese film­maker Yang Zhang di­rects this sen­si­tive film about the spir­i­tual life of Ti­betans.

Cross-cul­tural pol­li­na­tion be­tween the Chi­nese and the Ti­betans is still rare, and the film is a light­house that shows how il­lu­mi­nat­ing such col­lab­o­ra­tions can be, not only for those in the re­gion, but also for the rest of us. Not rated. 115 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Priyanka Ku­mar)

THE PURGE: ELEC­TION YEAR

If the 2016 elec­tion cy­cle can seem like Amer­ica is slip­ping into ut­ter chaos, then here is a hor­ror film that takes this im­pres­sion to its ex­treme. A se­quel to the mod­est 2013 hit about the one night a year where all crime in Amer­ica is le­gal (called “the purge”), this film cen­ters on the head of se­cu­rity (Frank Grillo) for a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date (El­iz­a­beth Mitchell) who is run­ning on the bold plat­form that the purge might not be a great idea. Rated R. 105 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE SHAL­LOWS

Blake Lively plays a surfer who trav­els to a re­mote beach to catch some waves by her­self. Just be­fore night­fall, she is at­tacked by a mas­sive shark, but man­ages to find safety on a small rock some 200 feet from shore. Un­for­tu­nately, when the tide comes in, her sanc­tu­ary will dis­ap­pear un­der­wa­ter, which gives her un­der 12 hours to fig­ure out her es­cape. Shark hor­ror is an al­ways-welcome sum­mer fix­ture go­ing back to the days of Jaws, and this film has some ter­rific B-movie se­quences and some epic woman-ver­sus-na­ture images. It’s never re­ally scary or sus­pense­ful, though, thanks to some too-flashy film­mak­ing — the sub­ject mat­ter calls for cheap film stock and grind­house aes­thet­ics, not HD dig­i­tal video and re­al­ity-TV gloss. Rated PG-13. 87 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker) SWISS ARMY MAN Daniel Rad­cliffe con­tin­ues his ad­mirably ec­cen­tric post-Harry Pot­ter ca­reer by star­ring in a black com­edy that could be his most bizarre movie yet. He plays Manny, found washed up on the beach and pre­sumed dead by a lost trav­eler named Hank (Paul Dano). Some­how, Manny be­gins to show signs of life and be­comes a zom­bie-like hu­man tool that Hank can use for sur­vival, and they be­come friends as they find their way home. Rated R. 95 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

The Se­cret Life of Pets, at Re­gal DeVar­gas, Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Vi­o­let Crown, and DreamCatcher

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.