OPENING THIS WEEK
Not rated. 88 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts. See review, Page 49.
Rated R. 133 minutes. The Screen. See Screen Gems, Page 45.
DON’T LOOK BACK
Poor Donovan didn’t stand a chance. In one indelible scene from D.A. Pennebaker’s pioneering rockumentary of Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, the Scottish singer of hippie-dippie ditties trades a guitar back and forth with Dylan, who is captured here at the height of his hipster pretensions. Donovan comes off as a scared and shy wannabe, while the brash, edgy Dylan condescends to and outshines the younger folkie. The film, a fascinating document of the singer at the height of his fame and relevance, is responsible for minting Dylan as an icon of fashion (he would never do better than those sunglasses and that turtleneck), music (see his companionable backstage duet with Joan Baez here on Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway”), and straight-up sass (to a Time magazine reporter, he snarls, “I don’t need Time magazine and I don’t think I’m a folk singer — you’ll probably call me a folk singer.”). Boyishly egged on by record producer Bob Neuwirth and reportedly fueled by no small amount of amphetamines, a fidgety and swaggering Dylan routinely tangles with press in interviews, then reads their fawning misconceptions aloud to his entourage, which includes Baez and manager Albert Grossman. The portrait that emerges here is riveting — of a brilliant young man reckoning with his status as the international voice of his generation — and the musical performances here only prove Dylan’s bona fides. With brief appearances by Allen Ginsberg and Marianne Faithfull, among others. 96 minutes. Not rated. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, only. Center for Contemporary Arts. (Molly Boyle)
Not rated. 128 minutes. In Romanian with subtitles. The Screen. See review, Page 47.
HOUNDS OF LOVE
Australian filmmaker Ben Young makes his feature debut with this low-key horror film in which a couple named John and Evelyn (Stephen Curry and Emma Booth) kidnap a teenager named Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings) and chain her to a bed in their shabby apartment until it comes time to kill her. Their motives come from a blend of sadism and sexual arousal, and as Vicki tries to reason with Evelyn in order to escape, a heavy subtext of class, gender roles, and how women can end up trapped in bad relationships bubbles to the surface. Those themes don’t stand much chance to connect, however — the film is not nihilistic or scary enough to work as horror, and much too unpleasant to work as a drama. Young shows a clever use of music and slow motion, but it’s never clear to what end these devices are used, and whether this kind of story is a great use of anyone’s talents. Not rated. 108 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Robert Ker)
LOWRIDERS SNATCHED THE WALL KING ARTHUR : LEGEND OF THE SWORD
In 2009, director Guy Ritchie reimagined the Sherlock Holmes stories as a kinetic action flick. Now, he attempts to give another British myth a similar transformation by applying his visual style to King Arthur. This story focuses on the years surrounding Arthur’s (Charlie Hunnam) pulling the sword from the stone and becoming a somewhat reluctant king. Astrid BergèsFrisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, and Eric Bana also star. Rated PG-13. 126 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. Screens in 2-D only at DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed) Set in East LA, this drama centers on Danny (Gabriel Chavarria), a teenage graffiti artist who is encouraged by his father (Demián Bichir) to become a mechanic and join the family business. When his no-good brother (Theo Rossi) returns from prison and seeks to compete with their father at a lowrider competition, Danny must choose his allegiances. Rated PG-13. 99 minutes. Regal Stadium 14. (Not reviewed)
A QUIET PASSION
Rated PG-13. 125 minutes. Violet Crown. See review, Page 46. In the latest Amy Schumer comedy, she plays Emily, a woman who is dumped by her boyfriend just before they are scheduled to embark on a trip to South America. Instead she coaxes her homebody mother (Goldie Hawn, in her first film role since 2002) to join her for a little bonding in paradise. Their adventure goes awry when they are kidnapped and must work together to get away from their captors. Rated R. 91 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed) There is a certain brand of thriller in which the story’s heroes are trapped in one place with an unseen enemy out to get them — last year’s shark movie The Shallows is a good example. This film by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) takes the concept to the war in Iraq, where two American soldiers (Aaron TaylorJohnson and John Cena) are trapped behind a wall in the middle of the desert by an unseen Iraqi sniper. If they attempt to move from their position, they’ll be killed. Rated R. 81 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown. (Not reviewed)