OPENING THIS WEEK
GHOSTLAND: THE VIEW OF THE JU’/HOANSI
The nomadic Ju’/hoansi tribesmen of Namibia are considered one of the oldest indigenous cultures in the world; they still practice their centuries-old hunter-gatherer customs. This documentary, which explores their lifestyle, brings some of them to Europe, and shows Western audiences how our modern culture appears. Not rated. 84 minutes. In English and Ju’/hoan with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Not reviewed)
Rated PG. 127 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. See review, Page 33.
MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI
Not rated. 80 minutes. In English and Japanese with subtitles. Jean Cocteau Cinema. See review, Page 34.
A MONSTER CALLS
Lonely, hollow-eyed twelve-year-old Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is “too old to be a kid, too young to be a man.” The same conundrum holds true for this haunted, impressively crafted tale from director J.A. Bayona, told in fantastic CGI special effects, animation, and live drama. Who is it for? Conor is bullied at school, but his life’s real tragedy is the cancer that is killing his beloved mother (Felicity Jones) and throwing him together with his authoritarian grandmother (Sigourney Weaver). His absentee father (Toby Kebbell) shows up to help, but he has a new family in LA. The monster, a giant animated tree (voiced by Liam Neeson) manifests itself to Conor in nightmarish appearances and growls three Dickensian stories designed to help him understand what’s happening in his life. In return, Conor must tell the monster his own story — about his darkest fears. The screenplay by Patrick Ness, who created a prizewinning novel from an idea begun by a dying friend, is complex and moving, with insights about mortality and survival, and the visuals are striking. But this one is not for the Frozen crowd. Rated PG-13. 108 minutes. Regal DeVargas; Violet Crown. (Jonathan Richards)
Not rated. 80 minutes. In Mandarin with subtitles. The Screen. See review, Page 35.
UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS
The Underworld film series, about an eternal war between vampires and a race of werewolves known as the Lycans, is somehow now up to its fifth installment since debuting way back in 2003. This time, the gun-toting, vampire “death dealer” Selene (Kate Beckinsale once more) strives to end the war once and for all. Rated R. 91 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
Branch manager: Conor O’Malley in A Monster Calls, at Regal DeVargas and Violet Crown