Chile Pages

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BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

Film­maker Drew God­dard (Cabin in the Woods) of­fers a film noir fa­ble with an en­vi­able cast that in­cludes Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Dakota John­son, Nick Of­fer­man, and oth­ers. The en­sem­ble plays a dis­parate group of strangers in 1969, each of whom har­bors a dark se­cret from the past. They all check into the El Royale ho­tel at Lake Ta­hoe, and dis­cover that the ho­tel has a mys­te­ri­ous past, too. Soon, a va­ri­ety of crimes are com­mit­ted and the game is afoot. Rated R. 141 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

CO­LETTE

When French au­thor and pub­lisher Willy plucked the plucky Si­donie-Gabrielle Co­lette from an idyl­lic girl­hood in Bur­gundy and whisked her off to Paris in 1893, he had no idea he was mar­ry­ing the lit­er­ary wun­derkind who is still re­garded as one of the finest French writ­ers of the 20th cen­tury. This un­even biopic di­rected by Wash West­more­land (Still Alice) stars Keira Knight­ley as the bud­ding nov­el­ist who pens sto­ries about her naughty school­girl ex­ploits to sup­port her hus­band’s busi­ness. Pub­lished un­der the name of Willy (Do­minic West), the sen­sual Clau­dine se­ries sells like hot crêpes, but Co­lette chafes against her hus­band’s dom­i­nance, pur­su­ing a the­ater ca­reer along with risqué af­fairs with other women, es­pe­cially the an­drog­y­nous Mar­quise de Bel­beuf (Denise Gough), with whom she shares the stage and scan­dal­izes Paris. Knight­ley is a ca­pa­ble and oc­ca­sion­ally cap­ti­vat­ing Co­lette, bar­ing her teeth in lusty de­fi­ance of the so­ci­etal yoke that is placed upon her. But the movie fails to flesh out any sin­gle char­ac­ter or con­tex­tu­al­ize the heady in­tel­lec­tual lib­er­tin­ism of fin-de-siè­cle Paris. Its plot runs thin, sag­ging in the mid­dle and never fully pick­ing up steam — some­thing Co­lette her­self would never have al­lowed. Rated R. 111 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle)

FIRST MAN

Ryan Gosling reteams with La La Land direc­tor Damien Chazelle to play Neil Arm­strong in this biopic, which pri­mar­ily cov­ers the years lead­ing up to the 1969 Apollo 11 moon land­ing mis­sion and the myr­iad risks, chal­lenges, and tragedies that the crew at NASA faced while pre­par­ing for that event. Claire Foy plays Janet Shearon, Arm­strong’s wife at the time, and Corey Stoll plays Buzz Aldrin. Based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil

A. Arm­strong by James R. Hansen. Rated PG-13. 141 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

FREE SOLO

Not rated. 100 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. See re­view, Page 57.

HAL

Hal Ashby made a string of movies in the 1970s that con­sti­tute as im­pres­sive a body of work as you’re likely to find from that break­out decade of movies, which pro­duced cel­e­brated di­rec­tors like Scors­ese, Spiel­berg, Cop­pola, and Alt­man. Ashby’s ‘70s ti­tles make a great sug­gested view­ing list — The Land­lord, Harold and Maude, The

Last De­tail, Sham­poo, Bound for Glory, Com­ing Home, and Be­ing There will keep you busy and happy in your stream­ing time. And then came the ‘80s. With stu­dios be­gin­ning to rein in the free­dom di­rec­tors had seized in the pre­vi­ous decade, Ashby de­liv­ered a run of flops. He also con­tracted pan­cre­atic can­cer and died be­fore the decade was out. Direc­tor Amy Scott’s ad­mir­ing pro­file shows us what drove Ashby, the per­sonal pas­sions and demons that found their way into his great­est films, and the enduring friend­ships that sus­tained him. She makes a good case for the in­clu­sion of Hal Ashby in the pan­theon of revered di­rec­tors from that glo­ri­ous pe­riod when Hol­ly­wood shed the shack­les of the stu­dio sys­tem and ex­ploded with an ex­u­ber­ance of young tal­ent. Not rated. 85 min­utes. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

GOOSE­BUMPS 2: HAUNTED HAL­LOWEEN

Jack Black re­turns as au­thor R.L. Stine for an­other movie full of fam­ily-friendly frights. This time, Black voices Slappy, a creepy ven­tril­o­quist dummy. When two boys (Jeremy Ray Tay­lor and Caleel Har­ris) sneak into Stine’s former house on Hal­loween, they ac­ci­den­tally set Slappy and the hordes of mon­sters from Stine’s books free, and must then pre­vent the Hal­loween apoc­a­lypse from hap­pen­ing. With Wendi McLen­don-Covey. Rated PG. 90 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

Rated PG-13. 93 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts; Vi­o­let Crown. See re­view, Page 56.

QUEERCORE: HOW TO PUNK A REV­O­LU­TION

In the 1980s, LGBTQ peo­ple formed a more in­clu­sive off­shoot of the punk move­ment called Queercore. Over the next few decades, this net­work of bands, venues, and zines be­came a com­mu­nity where youth who had pre­vi­ously felt os­tra­cized could find a new sense of be­long­ing. This doc­u­men­tary ex­am­ines the con­text and im­por­tance of this move­ment and many of the artists in­volved. With John Wa­ters, Kim Gor­don, Kath­leen Hanna, and other punk rock vet­er­ans. Not rated. 83 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Not re­viewed)

SANTA FE IN­DE­PEN­DENT FILM FES­TI­VAL

Opens Thurs­day, Oct. 18, at venues through­out the city. See cov­er­age be­gin­ning on Page 38.

THE SIS­TERS BROTH­ERS

In this vi­o­lent Western set dur­ing the Cal­i­for­nia Gold Rush, John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix play the hit­men broth­ers Eli and Char­lie Sis­ters. They are as­signed to track down a chemist (Riz Ahmed) with a lu­cra­tive for­mula for prospect­ing gold, even as an­other de­tec­tive (Jake Gyl­len­haal) is also on his trail. When they meet, they de­cide they’d rather join the chemist than kill him. Based on the cult hit novel by Pa­trick deWitt, this is the first English-lan­guage film by renowned French direc­tor Jac­ques Au­di­ard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped). Rated R. 121 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

TEA WITH THE DAMES

This doc­u­men­tary in­vites view­ers to en­joy a spot of tea with four of the United King­dom’s most es­teemed ac­tresses: Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Mag­gie Smith. The four long­time friends sit to­gether and casually shoot the breeze, make jokes, rem­i­nisce on old times, and share in­sights into their crafts and ca­reers. Au­di­ences can en­joy an in­ti­mate glimpse of this con­ver­sa­tion courtesy of direc­tor Roger Michell (Not­ting Hill). Not rated. 84 min­utes. The Screen. (Not re­viewed)

NOW IN THE­ATERS HELL FEST

In this hor­ror movie, young peo­ple pour into a themed amuse­ment park known as Hell Fest, which comes com­plete with rides, fun­houses, thrills, and chills. Un­for­tu­nately, on this evening, it also comes with an ac­tual masked killer who picks the park-go­ers off one by one, and they can’t tell if he’s part of the at­trac­tion or a mur­derer un­til it’s too late. Rated R. 120 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

Film­maker Eli Roth rose to promi­nence with pun­ish­ing hor­ror movies such as Hos­tel. Here, he tries his hand at cater­ing to the Goose­bumps crowd, adapt­ing the 1973 novel by John Bel­lairs into a movie about a young or­phan named Lewis (Owen Vac­caro) who moves in with his un­cle Jonathan (Jack Black), only to find that his un­cle is a war­lock and his house has a tick­ing clock in its walls. When it counts down to zero, some­thing wicked this way comes. Un­sur­pris­ingly, Roth has a good feel for the frights, even with the PG rat­ing. He has less of a han­dle on the hu­mor and scenes that con­vey the char­ac­ters’ emo­tional arcs. What hurts mat­ters is that while Vac­caro ex­cels and Cate Blanchett is re­li­ably ex­quis­ite as the witch who lives next door, Black is oddly cast and never quite hits the right chord be­tween whimsy and grav­ity. Rated PG. 104 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

KUSAMA: IN­FIN­ITY

Direc­tor Heather Lenz’s doc­u­men­tary on Ja­pan­born artist Kusama grap­ples with a mul­ti­tude of top­ics in its ex­pert telling of the sculp­tor and in­stal­la­tion artist’s life and works. The film chron­i­cles Kusama’s abuse at the hands of her mother, her de­ter­mi­na­tion to make a name for her­self in New York’s thriv­ing art scene, her em­brace of the ’60s coun­ter­cul­ture and the hap­pen­ings she staged in op­po­si­tion to the Vietnam War, her glo­ri­ous, ex­u­ber­antly col­ored in­stal­la­tions filled with her sig­na­ture polka dots, and her rise to promi­nence in a male-dom­i­nated art world, which in­cluded her ideas be­ing ap­pro­pri­ated by other artists. Filmed when the artist was ap­proach­ing ninety, Kusama: In­fin­ity is a story of bold de­ter­mi­na­tion de­spite the odds. Kusama suf­fered de­bil­i­tat­ing men­tal ill­ness, made sev­eral at­tempts at sui­cide, and was in and out of hos­pi­tals through­out her life, only to emerge tri­umphant. Lenz presents the ma­te­rial in a straight­for­ward man­ner. The por­trait that emerges is one of in­ner tur­moil coun­tered by out­ward ex­u­ber­ance. Not rated. 80 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco)

LOVE, GILDA

Gilda Radner al­ways seemed to be hav­ing so much fun. That was the se­cret to her me­te­oric rise as one of the first break­out stars of Satur­day Night Live. Her ex­u­ber­ant silli­ness was con­ta­gious and ir­re­sistible. Lisa D’Apolito’s Love, Gilda cap­tures some of this spirit while sketch­ing in a brief bi­og­ra­phy of the woman who set the bar for fe­male comics in the ’70s, and then left the world a poorer place when she suc­cumbed to can­cer in 1989, at the age of forty-two. There are the SNL years, where Gilda was the first cast mem­ber cho­sen. There’s her foray onto Broadway with a one-woman show and her name in lights. And her brief movie

Chile Pages,

ca­reer was dis­tin­guished mainly by meet­ing and fall­ing in love with Gene Wilder, whom she mar­ried. We also get a glimpse of what it’s like to main­tain that in­spired ex­u­ber­ance when the anonymity is gone, the child­hood dreams have been reached and sur­passed, and there’s the rest of your life to deal with. For Gilda, it was all too short. Not rated. 89 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

NIGHT SCHOOL THE NUN

Tif­fany Had­dish re­unites with Girls Trip direc­tor Mal­colm D. Lee for an­other com­edy, this time set in school. When a gifted sales­man (Kevin Hart) is courted for a job as a stock­bro­ker, pro­vided he gets his GED, he en­rolls in night school. He and the scoundrels and trou­ble­mak­ers in the class butt heads with the teacher (Had­dish), and chaos en­sues. Rated PG-13. 111 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed) The pop­u­lar Con­jur­ing fran­chise hasn’t pro­duced a clas­sic hor­ror film, but sev­eral of its en­tries have of­fered some re­li­able scares and solid film­mak­ing. The Nun, a pre­quel based around the creepy nun who has pe­ri­od­i­cally ap­peared in other in­stall­ments, is not one of those films. It takes us back to a con­vent in 1950s Ro­ma­nia, where Fa­ther Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sis­ter Irene (Taissa Farmiga, sis­ter of se­ries star Vera Farmiga) travel to in­ves­ti­gate the ap­par­ent sui­cide of a young nun. They don’t find many peo­ple there, but soon dis­cover that some­thing evil is afoot and the de­mon Valak is re­spon­si­ble. Direc­tor Corin Hardy tries to pack the movie with scares for the full run­ning time, whereas most good hor­ror movies let view­ers spend much of the time in the nor­mal world while slowly in­tro­duc­ing the aw­ful into the ev­ery­day. A whole film of two peo­ple wan­der­ing a dark, empty monastery with a jump scare thrown in ev­ery cou­ple of min­utes gets bor­ing very quickly. Rated R. 96 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Robert Ker) THE PREDA­TOR Film­maker Shane Black re­turns to his roots with the

Preda­tor fran­chise (he got one of his big breaks play­ing a role in the orig­i­nal 1987 film), co-writ­ing and di­rect­ing a story about a mil­i­tary sniper (Boyd Hol­brook) who en­coun­ters a space­ship with a preda­tor alien. When he mails some of the ex­trater­res­trial tech back to his kid (Ja­cob Trem­blay), the two dis­cover that more preda­tors are com­ing, and that they’ve evolved to be­come even more dan­ger­ous. De­spite the fact that Black’s trade­mark hu­mor and devil-may-care char­ac­ters are all in place, his plot tries to do far too much, at­tempt­ing to ex­pand the hokey mythol­ogy about the Preda­tor aliens and giv­ing the play­ers so much to do that their mo­ti­va­tions aren’t clear. The fran­chise’s whole con­cept is in the ti­tle: Aliens try to kill hu­mans, and hu­mans try to sur­vive. The more thought you put into a Preda­tor movie, the worse it will end up. Black put a lot of thought into this movie. Rated R. 107 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Robert Ker)

SMALLFOOT A SIM­PLE FA­VOR

Direc­tor Paul Feig (Brides­maids) turns his lens from com­edy to this thriller based on Darcey Bell’s novel. When Stephanie (Anna Ken­drick), a wid­owed mommy vlog­ger, meets Emily (Blake Lively) at their sons’ ele­men­tary school in the Con­necti­cut sub­urbs, sparks of in­stafriend­ship fly. To Stephanie, Emily seems to have it all — a top job as PR head for a Tom Ford-es­que de­signer, a best­selling nov­el­ist hus­band, Sean (Henry Gold­ing), and a beau­ti­ful home. When Emily sud­denly goes miss­ing, Stephanie plays de­tec­tive, sus­pect­ing Sean of foul play even as she finds her­self be­com­ing in­ti­mate with him. There’s plenty to like about this campy and byzan­tine plot, and both ac­tresses clearly have a ball, with Lively mostly repris­ing her “Gos­sip Girl” role as a rich bitch with a black heart and Ken­drick over­play­ing the role of the seem­ingly mousy best friend. But the movie has a genre iden­tity cri­sis, never fully com­mit­ting to ei­ther dark com­edy or semi-cheesy psy­cho­log­i­cal thrills. As we delve deeper into the ques­tion of just who Emily ac­tu­ally is, the film be­gins to feel dum­ber than it should, given the com­pelling ma­te­rial and the cast’s tal­ents. It’s a fun ride, to be sure, and never dull, but A Sim­ple Fa­vor feels over­shad­owed by missed op­por­tu­ni­ties. Rated R. 117 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Molly Boyle) The Big­foot leg­end is turned on its head in this an­i­mated story about a Yeti sci­en­tist (voiced by Chan­ning Ta­tum) who be­comes con­vinced that hu­mans, known to the Yeti clan as the myth­i­cal “Smallfoot,” are real. His sus­pi­cions are con­firmed when he en­coun­ters a Smallfoot in the form of a former TV per­son­al­ity (James Cor­den), and he at­tempts to present ev­i­dence of his dis­cov­ery to the Smallfoot Ev­i­den­tiary So­ci­ety (led by a sci­en­tist voiced by Zen­daya). Danny DeVito, Com­mon, and LeBron James also pro­vide voice­work. Rated PG. 96 min­utes. Screens in 2D and 3D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; in 2D at Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

A STAR IS BORN

Big, gor­geous, packed with ter­rific mu­sic and charis­matic star power, this fourth edi­tion of one of Hol­ly­wood’s most enduring ori­gin sto­ries starts off so well that its mo­men­tum al­most car­ries it through a some­what more la­bored fin­ish. Lady Gaga re­dis­cov­ers her in­ner Ste­fani Joanne An­gelina Ger­man­otta in cre­at­ing the ti­tle char­ac­ter Ally, a big­hearted as­pir­ing singer who catches the eye, and then the heart, of Jack­son Maine, a coun­try-rock su­per­star played soul­fully with en­dear­ing notes of Jeff Bridges by Bradley Cooper (who also co-wrote and di­rected). The tale, best re­mem­bered in the clas­sic 1950 Judy Gar­land ver­sion, is fa­mil­iar, track­ing the op­po­site tra­jec­to­ries of the two stars, one blaz­ing up­ward, one blaz­ing out. Cooper’s pac­ing gets a lit­tle choppy, as if he’s afraid of be­ing caught in a lin­ear nar­ra­tive, but for the most part the film is as­sured and ef­fec­tive. The sup­port­ing cast is stocked with some­times sur­pris­ing choices, like An­drew Dice Clay as Ally’s dad, and Dave Chap­pelle as Jack­son’s friend. Sam El­liott is re­li­ably grav­elly as Jack­son’s much older brother. But the rev­e­la­tion is Lady Gaga, who nails the wide-eyed kid drawn into the world of su­per­star­dom, find­ing love and tragedy along the way. Rated PG. 96 min­utes. Screens in 2D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

VENOM

Spi­der-Man’s neme­sis Venom is a ridicu­lous, if pop­u­lar, char­ac­ter: a su­per-strong, bul­let­proof ver­sion of Spidey with large eyes, a long tongue, and an ap­petite for live flesh. It seems silly to cen­ter a film around such a car­toon­ish vil­lain, but direc­tor Ruben Fleis­cher of­fers a sur­pris­ingly well-crafted B-movie, and ac­tors Tom Hardy and Michelle Wil­liams class the joint up. Hardy plays Ed­die Brock, a jour­nal­ist who in­ves­ti­gates the sus­pi­cious re­search go­ing on at the Life Foun­da­tion. When the com­pany’s founder (Riz Ahmed) strikes back, Brock loses his job and girl­friend (Wil­liams). He learns that the Foun­da­tion is ex­per­i­ment­ing on an alien, which grafts it­self to his body, grant­ing him su­per­pow­ers and a nasty dis­po­si­tion. From there, he must sa­ti­ate the alien’s ap­petite, get re­venge, and some­how also save the world. The ac­tion and ef­fects are well done, but the movie works best when it leans into ab­sur­dist hu­mor, which is rem­i­nis­cent of the 1980s work of John Car­pen­ter and Sam Raimi. You won’t be hear­ing the name Venom on Os­car night, but if you want to see Tom Hardy jump into a restau­rant’s lob­ster tank and be­gin bit­ing the heads off its oc­cu­pants, then you won’t be dis­ap­pointed. Rated PG-13. 112 min­utes. Screens in 2D and 3D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; in 2D at Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

La vagabonde: Keira Knight­ley in Co­lette, at Vi­o­let Crown

A sales­man, a pri­est, and a backup singer walk into a ho­tel: Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, and Cyn­thia Erivo in Bad Times at the El Royale, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14 and Vi­o­let Crown

One small step for man: Ryan Gosling in First Man at Re­gal Sta­dium 14 and Vi­o­let Crown

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