Chile Pages,

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES -

in part by Lin-Manuel Mi­randa of Hamil­ton fame, buoys the film’s first half, while imag­i­na­tive ad­ven­ture se­quences pep­per the voy­age’s back end. The film’s run­ning time is fat­tened by an over­long first act and ex­ces­sive bick­er­ing be­tween Moana and Maui, but it’s a win­some bit of es­capism and an­other strong ef­fort by the stu­dio to stick a pin in the Disney princess stereo­type. It’s also as­ton­ish­ing how much com­puter an­i­ma­tion has im­proved in the last decade — the trop­i­cal vi­su­als are so gor­geous and vivid that it’s nearly be­yond be­lief. Rated PG. 113 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

MOON­LIGHT

Writer-direc­tor Barry Jenk­ins has crafted a pow­er­ful Os­car con­tender with his story of an African-Amer­i­can boy grow­ing up sen­si­tive and sex­u­ally un­cer­tain in the ma­cho jun­gle of a Mi­ami slum. We see his cen­tral char­ac­ter, Ch­i­ron, as a child (Alex Hib­bert), a teenager (Ash­ton San­ders), and a man (Tre­vante Rhodes). He has a drug-ad­dicted mother (Naomie Har­ris), no fa­ther, a crack­deal­ing men­tor (Ma­her­shala Ali), a gang of tor­ment­ing bul­lies, and one friend, Kevin, played in suc­ces­sion by Jaden Piner, Jhar­rel Jerome, and André Hol­land. With up-close vi­su­als and hand-held cam­era work, Jenk­ins en­hances the sense of a claus­tro­pho­bic world with no es­cape. He gets great work from his team of ac­tors as Ch­i­ron moves from child­hood to the adult world. It’s a sen­si­tive, mov­ing story of grow­ing up, com­ing out, and self-re­al­iza­tion in a des­per­ate ma­cho world. Rated R. 110 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

NOTES ON BLIND­NESS

In 1983, Bri­tish the­olo­gian John Hull lost his sight. He started keep­ing an au­dio di­ary to record his im­pres­sions. Film­mak­ers Peter Mid­dle­ton and James Spin­ney take a unique ap­proach to the docu­d­rama by us­ing Hull’s ac­tual record­ings, lip-synced by pro­fes­sional ac­tors. Like Julian Schn­abel’s 2007 film The Div­ing Bell and the But­ter­fly,

Notes on Blind­ness is an im­pres­sion­is­tic sub­jec­tive look at the ex­pe­ri­ence of sen­sory de­pri­va­tion, touch­ing on such as­pects of vi­sion loss as its ef­fects on dreams and mem­ory. The film’s vis­ual style re­flects, in ele­giac tones, Hull’s ex­pe­ri­ence. His world is one of shad­ows, ob­scu­rity, and blurred faces, but it has a beauty of its own, made more man­i­fest as he falls deeper into dark­ness.

Notes on Blind­ness is ul­ti­mately a story of ac­cep­tance that brings what most of us take for granted into sharp re­lief and re­minds us that per­cep­tion is a state of mind. Not rated. 90 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Michael Abatemarco)

RULES DON’T AP­PLY

There are echoes of our pres­i­dent-elect in War­ren Beatty’s ren­di­tion of Howard Hughes, a bil­lion­aire who in­her­ited great wealth, ran a lot of busi­nesses, went through women like potato chips, and ul­ti­mately lost his grip on san­ity. Beatty plays the light-averse recluse with an ami­able, darkly quirky charm. Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) is one of many star­lets kept on a con­tract string by the no­to­ri­ous ec­cen­tric, promised screen tests and some­times sam­pled for sex. She’s chauf­feured around a con­vinc­ingly late-’50s Hol­ly­wood by one of the boss’s string of drivers, Frank Forbes (Alden Ehren­re­ich,

Hail, Cae­sar!), and they fall in love, de­spite Hughes’s rule against em­ployee frat­er­niza­tion. Both Collins and Ehren­re­ich have a be­liev­able mid-cen­tury look — she calls to mind a young El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor, and he’s rem­i­nis­cent of Fabian. The screen is strewn with cameos, but the cen­ter of grav­ity is Beatty’s weird but af­fa­ble Hughes. This is Beatty’s first film in 15 years — he also wrote, di­rected, and pro­duced. He keeps it like­able and en­ter­tain­ing, and he has fun with his char­ac­ter, but the movie re­mains a se­ries of scenes look­ing for some­thing more sub­stan­tial. Rated PG-13. 126 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Jonathan Richards)

SEED: THE UN­TOLD STORY

The earth’s food sup­ply is in danger, largely ow­ing to agro­chem­i­cal and agri­cul­tural biotech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies like Mon­santo patent­ing seeds that have ex­isted for thou­sands of years and legally re­strict­ing farm­ers from grow­ing them. These prac­tices limit bio­di­ver­sity and put the nour­ish­ment of hu­man­ity in the hands of big busi­ness. This beau­ti­fully made, inspiring film doc­u­ments the heroic ef­forts of seed savers and or­ganic farm­ers who are try­ing to re­gain con­trol of their land and liveli­hoods. Not rated. 94 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Jen­nifer Levin)

SHUT IN

Naomi Watts plays a child psy­chol­o­gist who re­pairs to ru­ral New Eng­land af­ter a car ac­ci­dent kills her hus­band and par­a­lyzes her son (Char­lie Heaton). She starts pro­vid­ing ther­apy, and even­tu­ally room and board, for a grief-stricken young boy (Ja­cob Trem­blay). While in her care, how­ever, the boy dis­ap­pears in a snow­storm and is pre­sumed dead. Af­ter a se­ries of scary events, she soon sus­pects that he — or his ghost — is ac­tu­ally in her house. Rated PG-13. 91 min­utes. DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB

In 2007, James Bowen was a re­cov­er­ing ad­dict and for­merly home­less man in Lon­don, busk­ing on the streets for a small in­come and liv­ing in sup­ported hous­ing. One day, a cat showed up at his door and wouldn’t go away. He tried to find an owner, and when that failed, he took the cat with him every­where. He got no­tice in the me­dia and spun that into a book deal. The re­sult, A Street Cat Named Bob, be­came a best­seller and even­tu­ally spawned this film adap­ta­tion, in which Bowen is played by Luke Tread­away. Not rated. 103 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

TROLLS

For those who have hoped that the wide-eyed, crazy-coiffed, mul­ti­col­ored troll dolls would get an an­i­mated movie run through with ra­dio hits, your wait is over — Justin Tim­ber­lake and Gwen Ste­fani are among the ac­tors pro­vid­ing both voice work and mu­sic here. Anna Ken­drick voices the cheer­ful Poppy, who teams up with Branch (Tim­ber­lake) to save their friends from gi­ant mon­sters. Zooey Deschanel, John Cleese, and Rus­sell Brand also lend their voices. Rated PG. 92 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

SEED: The Un­told Story, at Jean Cocteau Cinema

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