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AGNES MARTIN: BE­FORE THE GRID

Artist and film­maker Kath­leen Bren­nan ex­plores the early years of painter Agnes Martin through a se­ries of in­ter­views with friends and col­leagues. Martin spent time in Taos in the 1950s cre­at­ing fig­u­ra­tive com­po­si­tions and

biomor­phic ab­strac­tions be­fore mov­ing to the minimalist grid paint­ings she’s known for. Co-pro­duced by Bren­nan and Jina Bren­ne­man, for­mer direc­tor of ex­hi­bi­tions at the Har­wood Mu­seum of Art in Taos, Agnes Martin: Be­fore the Grid looks at cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing her drive to make art de­spite a life­long strug­gle with schizophre­nia, her long-term re­la­tion­ship with artist Mil­dred Pierce, and the chal­leng­ing re­la­tion­ship she had with her own work, some of which she de­stroyed. It’s an in­for­ma­tive film that of­fers some in­sights into her need for order and pre­ci­sion but fol­lows a staid talk­ing-head for­mat that drags it down. Not rated. 55 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)

ALL EYEZ ON ME

Straight Outta Comp­ton, a film that tells the story of rap group NWA, was a run­away suc­cess last sum­mer. This biopic about an­other West Coast rap le­gend, Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.), hopes to re­peat that suc­cess. Shakur’s life cer­tainly of­fers grist for the mill: Raised by a sin­gle mother (Danai Gurira) who was an ac­tivist with the Black Pan­thers, the young boy showed prodi­gious tal­ent across all the per­form­ing arts be­fore set­tling on hip-hop. He rose to promi­nence, courted con­tro­versy, and be­came a mar­tyr fig­ure when he was mur­dered in a feud with, among oth­ers, New York City rap­per Big­gie Smalls (Ja­mal Woolard). Rated R. 140 min­utes. Regal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

THE BABUSHKAS OF CH­ER­NOBYL

Af­ter the melt­down of the Ch­er­nobyl Nu­clear Power Plant in 1986, a ra­dioac­tive dead zone was es­tab­lished and it be­came il­le­gal for peo­ple to re­turn to their homes. In de­fi­ance of this, about 1,200 peo­ple went back. Over the years the men have died off, and now just a few hun­dred peo­ple, mostly women, are left to farm, eat­ing fish and game that have been de­clared deadly by the Ukrainian gov­ern­ment. Co-di­rected by Holly Mor­ris and Anne Bog­art, this doc­u­men­tary about the women sub­sist­ing in the re­gion is sad yet up­lift­ing. It is il­le­gal to live in the Ex­clu­sion Zone, but the Ukrainian gov­ern­ment still sends in doc­tors, sci­en­tists, and aid work­ers to pro­vide the women with med­i­cal care, pen­sion funds, and other ser­vices. The women, as iso­lated as they are in the for­est, have been friends since child­hood. Though one woman lacks a thy­roid due to ra­di­a­tion-in­duced can­cer and an­other com­plains of body pain, they are ac­tive and ba­si­cally happy — at­ti­tudes that seem to be keep­ing them alive. The film also fol­lows the on­go­ing ef­forts to con­tain the ra­dioac­tive dust that has been blow­ing around Ch­er­nobyl for almost 30 years. Not rated. 72 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Jen­nifer Levin)

BABY DRIVER

From the mo­ment Baby (Ansel El­gort), the get­away driver of the film’s ti­tle, ex­e­cutes a jaw­drop­ping chase se­quence chore­ographed to the Jon Spencer Blues Ex­plo­sion’s propul­sive “Bell­bot­toms,” it’s clear the doors of cin­e­matic pos­si­bil­ity have been kicked wide open for this fast-paced, rhyth­mic ac­tion movie. Writer-direc­tor Edgar Wright mar­ries clas­sic Hol­ly­wood mu­si­cals to The Fast and the Fu­ri­ous with electric verve. At its core is a sweet ro­mance be­tween Baby and a diner wait­ress named Deb­ora (Lily James), which is put in jeop­ardy be­cause of Baby’s debt to a crime lord (Kevin Spacey) and his en­tan­gle­ments with the ec­cen­tric so­ciopaths in that cir­cle (Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx). Though the edit­ing might be the movie’s star, the script isn’t too shabby, and the cast is strong enough across the board that you won’t feel the movie is sim­ply a stylis­tic ex­er­cise. Rather, it’s the kind of ex­hil­a­rat­ing, startling romp that be­trays how con­ser­va­tive most block­buster movies are. Rated R. 113 min­utes. Regal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream Catcher. (Robert Ker)

CARS 3 BEATRIZ AT DIN­NER

Salma Hayek stars as the ti­tle char­ac­ter, a body­worker who winds up as an im­promptu din­ner guest in the home of wealthy clients, where she en­coun­ters and then stands up to the ob­nox­ious race and class bi­ases of real es­tate mogul Doug Strutt (John Lith­gow). Per­for­mances are uni­formly su­perb in this com­pli­cated, of­ten un­com­fort­able lit­er­ary char­ac­ter study that con­cludes in am­bi­gu­ity so startling it is bound to leave view­ers di­vided. As the story moves be­yond hos­tile com­ments about Beatriz’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus and into deeper wa­ters of per­sonal ide­ol­ogy and themes of mor­tal­ity and ecol­ogy, the guests do not know what to make of some­one who is not be­holden to their sta­tus as im­por­tant busi­ness­peo­ple — and their mock­ery drives Beatriz to des­per­a­tion. Rated R. 83 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jen­nifer Levin)

THE BEGUILED

Sofia Cop­pola’s lat­est, which won her the Best Direc­tor award at this year’s Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, is a moody pe­riod piece re­con­fig­ured from the 1971 film, which starred Clint East­wood and was based on a novel by Thomas P. Cul­li­nan. In Civil War-torn Vir­ginia, a wounded Union corporal (Colin Far­rell) is brought to con­va­lesce at a nearby girls’ board­ing school presided over by Miss Martha Farnsworth (Ni­cole Kid­man). Though the shel­tered pupils and their teacher (an un­der­stated and lovely Kirsten Dunst) are at first sus­pi­cious of the en­emy sol­dier, they come to dote on him, fas­ci­nated by his mas­cu­line en­ergy, which threat­ens to up­end the order of the school. Cop­pola’s mis­sion to in­vert direc­tor Don Siegel’s lurid and male-dom­i­nated per­spec­tive from the orig­i­nal in­fuses the re­make with her trade­mark thought­ful fe­male gaze. The de­ci­sions she makes in the ser­vice of this goal are sub­tle and en­gross­ing, though her choice to cut a key slave char­ac­ter from the orig­i­nal nar­ra­tive stands out as a missed op­por­tu­nity for fur­ther com­plex­ity. Bol­stered by the per­for­mances of Kid­man, Dunst, Far­rell, and a de­light­fully over­sexed Elle Fan­ning, the up­date is a tour-de-force of gauzy, clois­tered fem­i­nin­ity — as with Cop­pola’s The Vir­gin Sui­cides and Marie An­toinette, the dresses are not to be missed — com­bined with the can­dlelit black magic of a South­ern gothic psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller. Rated R. 93 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle) Pixar’s Cars fran­chise is of­fi­cially run­ning on fumes, as Light­ning McQueen (Owen Wil­son), now with his odome­ter get­ting up there in num­bers, sets out for a come­back against a new breed of race­car that is ca­pa­ble of go­ing much faster than he can. This plot is old hat for Pixar An­i­ma­tion, which has fea­tured char­ac­ters be­ing made ob­so­lete by new tech­nol­ogy since 1995’s Toy Story. As McQueen grad­u­ally shifts gears from de­nial to anger to ac­cep­tance with the help of a younger trainer voiced by Cris­tela Alonzo, his whole arc isn’t un­pleas­ant — it’s just bor­ing and about 20 min­utes too long. Larry the Ca­ble Guy’s tow truck Mater re­mains an ac­quired taste, the look of the char­ac­ters still feels off, and the world it­self re­mains weird — why do these talk­ing cars live in a world de­signed for hu­mans? For the tykes who wear Light­ning McQueen pa­ja­mas to bed, this in­stall­ment will prob­a­bly be a pass­able new ad­di­tion to their DVD shelf. For the rest of us, the movie of­fers an ac­tion-packed scene in a de­mo­li­tion derby and not much else. Rated G. 109 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

THE COLORADO

This 2016 doc­u­men­tary about the Colorado River boasts a score of stunning vo­cal mu­sic with cin­e­matog­ra­phy that is al­ter­nately awe-in­spir­ing (the Rocky Moun­tains in Colorado and the Grand Canyon) and de­press­ing (the dams, the Sal­ton Sea, and the dried-up delta in Mex­ico). Mark Ry­lance nar­rates text writ­ten by Santa Fe author Wil­liam deBuys and direc­tor Mu­rat Eyuboglu. The film’s mul­ti­di­men­sional por­trait of the river in­cludes spot­lights on a 17th-cen­tury Je­suit map­maker, a 19th-cen­tury ex­plorer, and a 20th-cen­tury farm­worker. The doc­u­men­tary of­fers an ed­u­ca­tional im­mer­sion in ecol­ogy and re­gional his­tory, and it’s a joy of an ex­pe­ri­ence. Not rated. 91 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Paul Wei­de­man)

DE­SPI­CA­BLE ME 3

With two movies and a Min­ions spinoff now un­der its belt, this an­i­mated com­edy se­ries has its hero, Gru — the das­tardly mas­ter­mind with a heart of gold — meet­ing his long-lost brother, Dru. In voic­ing both char­ac­ters, Steve Carell man­ages once more to con­vey a sur­pris­ing amount of per­son­al­ity for some­one shout­ing in a weird East­ern Euro­pean ac­cent, but the real stars are once more the yel­low, one-eyed Min­ions, as well as the vil­lain — a 1980s-ob­sessed rogue voiced by South

Park’s Trey Parker. The story un­furls in a lively enough fash­ion, but the movie has too many un­re­lated sub­plots for a rel­a­tively scant run­ning time, sug­gest­ing that the fran­chise is run­ning low on ideas and sim­ply cob­bling to­gether what­ever they’ve got. Rated PG. 90 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Sta­dium 14. Screens in 2-D only at Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

THE EX­CEP­TION

This World War II drama is set pri­mar­ily in a cas­tle in the Nether­lands, where Kaiser Wil­helm (Christo­pher Plum­mer) lives in ex­ile. Jai Court­ney (Sui­cide Squad) plays a young Ger­man sol­dier who is tasked with find­ing out if the Dutch re­sis­tance has planted a spy to watch over Wil­helm. His mis­sion be­comes com­pli­cated, how­ever, when he falls for a Jewish maid (Lily James) at the es­tate. Rated R. 107 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)

47 ME­TERS DOWN

The lat­est shark-at­tack movie stars Mandy Moore and Claire Holt as two sis­ters va­ca­tion­ing and ad­ven­ture-seek­ing in Mex­ico. While on a boat, they are talked into get­ting into a metal cage that is then low­ered into the ocean, where they can ex­pe­ri­ence what it’s like to swim with the great whites. It’s good, scary fun at first, but then the ca­ble snaps, send­ing the cage and their lim­ited oxy­gen sup­ply down to the ocean floor. Rated PG-13. 89 min­utes. Regal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

THE HERO

This movie rides the lean shoul­ders, the droopy mus­tache, and the deep, drawl­ing bari­tone of Sam El­liott with a lop­ing gait, as writer-direc­tor Brett Ha­ley steers us through a col­lec­tion of clichés so fa­mil­iar they could have sprung from a soft­ware pro­gram. Lee Hay­den (El­liott) is a griz­zled old ac­tor down on his luck, es­tranged from his fam­ily with a ter­mi­nal di­ag­no­sis, a last lusty fling with a younger woman, and end­less melan­choly walks along the Cal­i­for­nia coast­line as the surf rolls in. The bet is that El­liott’s charm will hold it all to­gether, and the bet pays off. The good sup­port­ing cast

in­cludes Lee’s ex-wife (Katharine Ross), his daugh­ter (Krys­ten Rit­ter), his pot­head friend (Nick Of­fer­man), and the beau­ti­ful woman half his age (Laura Pre­pon) who finds him ir­re­sistible.

The Hero is an un­abashedly self-ref­er­en­tial movie, and a nice tribute to a vet­eran char­ac­ter ac­tor get­ting his turn in the spot­light. Rated R. 96 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

THE HOUSE

Will Fer­rell and Amy Poehler play a sub­ur­ban cou­ple who dis­cover they have ac­ci­den­tally de­stroyed their daugh­ter’s en­tire col­lege fund shortly be­fore she is sched­uled to leave. To make the money back, they let a friend (Ja­son Mant­zoukas) con­vince them to open an il­le­gal casino in their base­ment — com­plete with strip­pers, DJs, and “fight night.” It doesn’t take them long be­fore they dis­cover they en­joy the crim­i­nal life. Rated R. 88 min­utes. Regal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

ICAROS: A VI­SION

An­gelina (Ana Ce­cilia Stieglitz) has come to the Peru­vian Ama­zon to face her fear of death by tak­ing ayahuasca, a blend of psy­chotropic plants used in heal­ing and spir­i­tual cer­e­monies. She stays with a fam­ily of shamans in a bare-bones jun­gle re­treat, along with a hand­ful of oth­ers on sim­i­lar per­sonal jour­neys. In this highly vis­ual, dream­like movie, di­a­logue is min­i­mal and the sto­ry­line is a scaf­fold­ing for viewer pro­jec­tion and ex­trap­o­la­tion. The tone is set by open­ing stretches of na­ture im­agery and po­etic voice-overs from an old woman who gath­ers the plants, gen­tly ex­hort­ing view­ers to lis­ten to the sounds of the for­est. Screens at 3 p.m. Satur­day, July 8, only. Not rated. 91 min­utes. The Screen. (Jen­nifer Levin)

MALI BLUES

Mali, a land­locked African na­tion en­gulfed by the Sa­hara, undergoes ran­corous tur­moil as rad­i­cal Is­lamists ter­ror­ize the ci­ties in the north­ern desert, no­tably Tim­buktu. This doc­u­men­tary in­tro­duces a di­verse group of mu­si­cians who op­pose the ter­ror­ists and still give col­or­ful, pas­sion­ate con­certs in the south­ern cap­i­tal city of Ba­mako. We never come to un­der­stand what mo­ti­vates the un­seen ter­ror­ists, who are de­stroy­ing in­stru­ments and threat­en­ing per­form­ers. But the mu­sic is quite en­thralling, fea­tur­ing pop singer Fa­toumata Di­awara (pre­vi­ously in­tro­duced in Tim­buktu), rap­per Master Soumy, Tuareg desert gui­tarist Ahmed Ag Kaedi, and Mali’s na­tional trea­sure, Bassékou Kouy­até, whose griot song­man­ship closely re­sem­bles that of the Amer­i­can blues tradition. Not rated. 93 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Jon Bow­man)

THE MUMMY

Univer­sal Stu­dios once had a royal flush of mon­ster movies star­ring the fear­some likes of the Bride of Franken­stein, Drac­ula, the Wolf­man, and more. Now they’re bring­ing the mon­sters back, at­tempt­ing to weave them into a shared uni­verse like the Marvel su­per­heroes. It all kicks off in the desert, where a for­tune hunter (Tom Cruise) try­ing to re­trieve a trea­sure winds up awak­en­ing the Mummy (Sofia Boutella). Rated PG-13. 110 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

PI­RATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Johnny Depp ap­plies Jack Spar­row’s eye­liner for one more turn at the helm of the Pi­rates of the Caribbean fran­chise, this time as he seeks out the tri­dent of Po­sei­don. Un­for­tu­nately for Spar­row, an old en­emy (Javier Bar­dem) has es­caped from the Devil’s Tri­an­gle and is hot in pur­suit with re­venge in mind. Ge­of­frey Rush, Or­lando Bloom, and Keira Knight­ley also re­turn. Rated PG-13. 129 min­utes. Screens in 2-D at Regal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

SA­CRED

While some athe­ists de­scribe God as “an in­vis­i­ble sky mon­ster” and many Chris­tian and Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ists wish to im­pose their own strict doc­trines on oth­ers, peo­ple all over the world ex­pe­ri­ence faith as pri­mary to their cul­tural iden­tity and ba­sic ex­is­tence. In Sa­cred, di­rected by Thomas Len­non, more than 40 film­mak­ing teams trav­eled the globe to doc­u­ment an ar­ray of re­li­gious ob­ser­vances, in­clud­ing the birth, death, mar­riage, and mourn­ing rit­u­als of Hin­duism, Chris­tian­ity, Ju­daism, Is­lam, Bud­dhism, and other faiths. The movie is largely vis­ual with no guid­ing nar­ra­tive; in­di­vid­ual peo­ple speak about their faith as it af­fects their daily lives and the way they con­sider the fu­ture. Loss of faith is ex­plored through the dev­as­ta­tion wrought by the Ebola virus in Africa, while at the Louisiana State Pen­i­ten­tiary, God can serve as a ray of hope for those who are locked up for life. Not rated. 87 min­utes. The Screen. (Jen­nifer Levin)

TRANS­FORM­ERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

The new en­try in the Trans­form­ers fran­chise in­ex­pli­ca­bly fea­tures King Arthur (Liam Gar­ri­gan) and the Knights of the Round Ta­ble, who are among the first to come into a Trans­form­ers-made tal­is­man that now spells doom for planet Earth — un­less Cade Yea­ger (Mark Wahlberg) can save the day. The sup­port­ing cast is a ver­i­ta­ble Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val of tal­ent, in­clud­ing An­thony Hop­kins, Stan­ley Tucci, and John Tur­turro as well as the voices of Steve Buscemi, John Good­man, and Ken Watan­abe — none of whom seem to be en­joy­ing them­selves all that much. By the time the cred­its roll, ex­hausted au­di­ences might feel the same way. Rated PG-13. 149 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

WON­DER WOMAN

With the pair­ing of charis­matic star Gal Gadot and savvy direc­tor Patty Jenk­ins, Hol­ly­wood has fi­nally pro­duced a su­per­hero fran­chise to root for and not groan over. Won­der Woman’s thrilling first act de­tails the origin story of Diana, the su­per­pow­ered princess of an ad­mirable race of strong, ca­pa­ble Ama­zons cre­ated by the gods to pro­tect hu­mankind against the wrath of Ares, the god of war. When Al­lied spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, in fine form) crash-lands on Diana’s re­mote is­land, he con­vinces the young war­rior to help him halt the de­vel­op­ment of a deadly mus­tard gas. Diana — who con­sid­ers it her des­tiny to stop Ares, whom she be­lieves to be the mas­ter­mind of World War I — leaves the Ama­zo­nian out­post for the or­di­nary world, where plenty of fish-out-ofwa­ter fem­i­nist hi­jinks oc­cur. The sweet chem­istry be­tween Trevor and the princess is pal­pa­ble, the movie’s plot sal­lies forth at a good clip, and Gadot proves as for­mi­da­ble a fighter as she is a beauty. Rated PG-13. 141 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Regal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Molly Boyle)

The fe­male gaze: Elle Fan­ning (se­cond from left) and Kirsten Dunst (cen­ter) in The Beguiled, at Vi­o­let Crown

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