chile pages

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES - — com­piled by Robert Ker

OPEN­ING THIS WEEK AB­BOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKEN­STEIN

Ab­bott and Costello weren’t even around when Mary Shel­ley in­tro­duced the world to Franken­stein’s mon­ster. But they met up with her lit­er­ary cre­ation when Universal Stu­dios paired the for­mer bur­lesque comics with Franken­stein, Drac­ula, and the Wolf­man in a 1948 film that crit­ics con­sider one of the best hor­ror come­dies of all time. In this quirky adap­ta­tion, Drac­ula (Béla Lu­gosi), wants to trans­plant the stu­pid­est brain pos­si­ble into the mon­ster’s head so Franken­stein will obey all his com­mands. En­ter dopey bag­gage clerk Wil­bur Grey (Costello) — the per­fect can­di­date for the ex­per­i­ment — and his buddy, Chick Young (Ab­bott). The Wolf­man, aka Lawrence Tal­bot (Lon Chaney Jr.), is an ally for the comic he­roes as he tries to foil Drac­ula’s plans, but he turns into a wolf when­ever the moon ap­proaches. The three mon­sters and the two clumsy comics find them­selves en­gaged in a mad­cap chase through Drac­ula’s cas­tle, bat­tling over who gets Wil­bur’s brain. Screens for free at 12 p.m. Satur­day, Oct. 27, at Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. Not rated. 83 min­utes. (Robert Nott)

ALL ABOUT NINA

Writer and direc­tor Eva Vives makes her fea­ture-length de­but with this dram­edy about a raunchy stand-up comic named Nina (Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead) who works late, drinks heav­ily, and falls for all the wrong men. When she trav­els to Los An­ge­les to au­di­tion for a TV show sim­i­lar to Satur­day Night Live, she meets Rafe (Com­mon) who just might be the right man, and doesn’t fully know how to han­dle it. Rated R. 97 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)

DAWN WALL

The crowded field of out­door-ad­ven­ture doc­u­men­taries gets a gem with this story about free climbers Tommy Cald­well and Kevin Jorge­son and their 2015 at­tempt to scale the Dawn Wall of El Cap­i­tan in Yosemite Na­tional Park, which was long thought to be im­pos­si­ble. They gained in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion for the feat, caus­ing many peo­ple to won­der why any­one would at­tempt such a climb. Direc­tors Josh Low­ell and Peter Mor­timer cen­ter on Cald­well, the climber who hatched the am­bi­tious plan and even­tu­ally be­came con­sumed by it, sug­gest­ing his ob­ses­sion was fu­eled by de­pres­sion and PTSD. His in­cred­i­ble back­story is the en­gine for the movie, and the film­mak­ers do a su­perb job break­ing down climb­ing strategy so the unini­ti­ated can un­der­stand the chal­lenges he faced. The nar­ra­tive is hurt by the fact that the hard­est part of the climb is in the bot­tom half of the cliff, forc­ing the film­mak­ers to bloat the mid­dle and rush at the end. But the jour­ney is of­ten en­gross­ing. Not rated. 115 min­utes. The Screen. (Robert Ker)

THE GUILTY

In this thriller by Swedish film­maker Gus­tav Möller, an emer­gency dis­patcher named As­ger (Jakob Ced­er­gren) re­ceives a call from a woman (Jes­sica Din­nage, per­form­ing in voice only) who sug­gests that she’s been kid­napped by her ex-hus­band and is be­ing taken to an undis­closed lo­ca­tion in a van. As As­ger des­per­ately tries to save her life over a series of in­creas­ingly fran­tic calls, it be­comes clear that there is more go­ing on here than it ini­tially seems. Rated R. 85 min­utes. In Dan­ish with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)

HALE COUNTY, THIS MORN­ING, THIS EVENING

Pho­tog­ra­pher and cin­e­matog­ra­pher RaMell Ross brings his eye for vis­ual de­tail to this doc­u­men­tary. To cre­ate it, he spent five years film­ing Daniel Collins and Quincy Bryant, two young men in a poor African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity in Hale County, Alabama, as they pur­sue their re­spec­tive hoop dreams and raise their fam­i­lies. The film is re­ally about the com­mu­nity, how­ever, and Ross cap­tures the quo­tid­ian set­ting with a sub­dued touch, invit­ing au­di­ences to sim­ply ob­serve — some­times lin­ger­ing for sev­eral min­utes on images such as beams of light shin­ing through smoke and tree branches. The film can feel a bit too fan­ci­ful, and the nar­ra­tive (such as it is) seems to dis­si­pate into thin air, which will frus­trate some. At its best, how­ever, Ross trans­forms these peo­ple, their lives, and their homes into dream­like po­etry, draw­ing you deeply into the rev­erie. Not rated. 76 min­utes. The Screen. (Robert Ker)

HUNTER KILLER

In the lat­est en­try into the sub­ma­rine-based thriller genre, Ger­ard But­ler plays Capt. Joe Glass of the USS Omaha. When the Rus­sian pres­i­dent (Alexander Di­achenko) is cap­tured by his own defense min­is­ter (Mikhail Gorevoy) in an at­tempted coup, it’s up to Glass and a group of Navy SEALs to en­ter Rus­sian wa­ters, res­cue the pres­i­dent, and pre­vent World War III. Gary Old­man and Com­mon also star. Rated R. 121 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

IM­PULSO

Not rated. 87 min­utes. In Span­ish with English sub­ti­tles. Vi­o­let Crown. See re­view, Page 36.

IN­DI­VIS­I­BLE

God and the U.S. Armed Forces in­ter­min­gle in this drama about Army chap­lain Dar­ren Turner (Justin Bru­en­ing), who finds his faith torn be­tween loy­alty to the men in his unit in Iraq and to his wife back home (Sarah Drew). When the hor­rors of war take their toll on his men­tal health af­ter his re­turn and his mar­riage be­gins to crum­ble at around the same time, he turns to God for guid­ance. Rated PG-13. 119 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

IN­VA­SION OF THE BODY SNATCH­ERS

Screens as part of Len­sic Big Screen Clas­sics. 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, Oct. 31, only. 80 min­utes. Not rated. No charge. Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter. See Screen Gems, Page 34.

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN

Rowan Atkin­son sets Mr. Bean aside and re­turns for more shenani­gans with his other fa­mous char­ac­ter in this Bri­tish comedy, in which he em­bod­ies the James Bond par­ody Johnny English once more. When a hacker (Jake Lacy) ex­poses the iden­tity of ev­ery M17 se­cret agent, English is forced out of re­tire­ment, where he’s se­duced by a Rus­sian spy (Olga Kurylenko), en­gages in slap­stick tom­fool­ery, and stum­bles into sav­ing the world. Acad­emy Award-win­ning ac­tress Emma Thomp­son plays the prime min­is­ter. Rated PG. 88 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

MANDY

To say that this fever­ish heavy-metal acid trip of a hor­ror movie is not for ev­ery­body would be an un­der­state­ment. This is a film in which the money scene in­volves a bug-eyed, over-the-top Ni­co­las Cage — be­decked in a tiger tee, tighty whitey un­der­wear, and co­pi­ous blood­stains — slug­ging whiskey and per­for­ma­tively los­ing his san­ity in a gar­ish or­ange bath­room. Red Miller (Cage) finds him­self in that bath­room af­ter the love of his life, Mandy (An­drea Rise­bor­ough), is mur­dered by a hip­pie-ish cult with po­tent drugs and a di­rect line to de­mon-like part­ners. Af­ter he leaves that bath­room, Red takes re­venge. Direc­tor Panos Cos­matos ups the stakes on his 2010 cult hit Be­yond the Black Rain­bow with this pink-hued slow-burn fairy tale, which has al­ready achieved mid­night-movie sta­tus in some cities. It’s a de­served rep­u­ta­tion. While it would be nice if the woman of the ti­tle didn’t need to be bru­tally killed to in­spire the ul­tra­vi­o­lence, Cos­matos of­fers an un­com­pro­mis­ing and orig­i­nal cin­e­matic vi­sion in an era when so many movies as­pire for fa­mil­iar­ity. Not rated. 121 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Robert Ker)

MID90S

Ac­tor Jonah Hill makes his di­rec­to­rial de­but with this in­die film, which he also wrote, based on his teen years in the mid­dle of the 1990s. Us­ing a sound­track heavy in rap and rock mu­sic of the era, he tells the story of a thir­teen-year-old named Ste­vie (Sunny Suljic), who es­capes from an abu­sive sit­u­a­tion at home by hang­ing out with lo­cal skate­board­ers. He finds not only a sense of be­long­ing among the mis­fits, but also a sense of prom­ise and ad­ven­ture. Rated R. 84 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

SILENCIO

Mex­i­can direc­tor Lorena Vil­lar­real (Las Lloronas) presents this low-bud­get sci­ence-fic­tion movie which fo­cuses on a mys­te­ri­ous area near Du­rango, Mex­ico, known as the “Zone of Si­lence,” a place where un­ex­plained phe­nom­ena and a loss of ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion is said to have hap­pened. Her film cen­ters on a mother (Melina Matthews) who searches for a pow­er­ful stone that her grand­fa­ther (John Noble) found in the Zone of Si­lence in 1970, hop­ing it will save her son’s life. Rated R. 98 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

NOW IN THEATERS BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

Film­maker Drew God­dard (The Cabin in the Woods) em­barks upon an­other locked-room mys­tery with this Tarantino-es­que noir ca­per set in 1969, as a group of strangers con­verge at the El Royale, a Lake Ta­hoe re­sort that has seen bet­ter days. Each guest holds a se­cret: a priest (Jeff Bridges), a trav­el­ing sales­man (Jon Hamm), a backup singer (Cyn­thia Erivo), and a hip­pie chick (Dakota Johnson). The mys­ter­ies un­ravel in stylish chap­ters as the death toll mounts, and the endgame is

any­one’s guess. The film is hip, in­no­va­tive, and a lot of fun, with gen­uine sur­prises and scares, and briskly paced un­til the fi­nal act, when things be­gin to drag. Bridges ca­pa­bly car­ries the weight of the labyrinthine plot, but the real rev­e­la­tion here is Erivo, whose mes­mer­iz­ing face con­veys a steely dig­nity. With Nick Of­fer­man, Chris Hemsworth, and a sound­track filled with oldies gold, in­clud­ing the Ma­mas and the Pa­pas’ lit­tle-used “Twelve Thirty” and the Four Tops’ “Ber­nadette.” Rated R. 141 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle)

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 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

Direc­tor Damien Chazelle reteams with his La La

Land star Ryan Gosling on this Neil Arm­strong biopic, which shrugs off the li­on­iza­tion that the sub­ject in­vites. In­stead, it uses the 1962 death of Arm­strong’s two-year-old daugh­ter as the launch­pad to look at his psy­che in ad­di­tion to the in­cred­i­ble tech­ni­cal ac­com­plish­ment of the 1969 moon land­ing, and also fo­cuses on his wife Janet (Claire Foy), and the courage she sum­mons while con­fined within do­mes­tic spa­ces. Chazelle keeps the cam­eras tightly trained on the faces of Gosling and Foy, invit­ing au­di­ences to read deeply into their ex­pres­sions to dis­cover the emo­tional depth of the story. The ac­tors re­ward this trust with sub­tle, sub­lime per­for­mances. While this ap­proach leads to some overly sen­ti­men­tal mo­ments that don’t feel au­then­tic, it doesn’t di­min­ish the power of wit­ness­ing that decade as those two peo­ple might have. The scenes in­volv­ing the space pro­gram are crafted with ex­cep­tional film­mak­ing, and are by turns hor­ri­fy­ing and brac­ing. Chazelle’s af­fec­tion for mu­sic per­me­ates the film; how­ever, he shelves his love for jazz in fa­vor of a stri­dent, mil­i­tary-style march that builds sus­pense as the Apollo 11 mis­sion draws near, mak­ing the moon land­ing it­self into an awe-in­spir­ing se­quence of art­house cin­ema. Rated PG-13. 141 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

FREE SOLO

Few peo­ple would ever think of climb­ing steep rock faces with­out a rope, sup­ports, a hel­met, or an­chors — “free solo­ing,” as the practice is known. And yet that’s what thirty-three-year-old Alex Hon­nold has done in more than 1,000 solo climbs around the world. “I feel like any­one could con­ceiv­ably die on any given day,” Hon­nold says, which could ex­plain the risks he takes. Ac­cord­ing to this doc­u­men­tary, fewer than 1 per­cent of climbers at­tempt these feats. Pro­duced by Na­tional Geo­graphic Doc­u­men­tary Films and di­rected by E. Chai Vasarhe­lyi and Jimmy Chin, the film chron­i­cles Hon­nold’s 2017 as­cent of mighty El Cap­i­tan at Yosemite Na­tional Park. With all the peaks in the film it­self — watch­ing Hon­nold’s dex­ter­ity, the sheer artistry of his free-solo climb, and the ver­tigo-in­duc­ing images of the thou­sand-plus-foot drops — most view­ers of Free

Solo will ex­pe­ri­ence fear in a way that Hon­nold ap­pears not to. The fi­nal 20 min­utes will leave you speech­less. It’s won­der­ful to see how far one man has gone to live on the edge, where one false move could mean game over. He never bats an eye­lash. Not rated. 100 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Thomas M. Hill)

GOOSE­BUMPS 2: HAUNTED HAL­LOWEEN

In the sec­ond movie based on the young-adult hor­ror nov­els of R.L. Stine, two boys (Jeremy Ray Tay­lor and Caleel Har­ris) sneak into Stine’s for­mer house on Hal­loween, where they find a creepy ven­tril­o­quist dummy named Slappy (voiced by Jack Black, who also plays Stine in both films). When the boys bring Slappy to life, the doll sum­mons mon­sters to wreak havoc on the neigh­bor­hood. The movie takes a long time get­ting to that point, how­ever, and when it does it’s not nearly as fun as it could have been; one de­light­ful se­quence, in which the boys face off against an army of Gummi Bears brought to life, is the ex­cep­tion that proves the rule. When Black fi­nally ap­pears to steal the show with a glo­ri­fied cameo, it only proves how des­per­ate the film is for any­one with a spark of charisma, en­ergy, or ideas. Rated PG. 90 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Robert Ker)

HAL­LOWEEN

This isn’t the first time the Hal­loween fran­chise has taken up the prob­a­ble PTSD of grown-up babysit­ter Lau­rie Strode (Jamie Lee Cur­tis), who has fought off count­less mur­der at­tempts by masked psy­chopath Michael My­ers since ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer John Car­pen­ter’s first Hal­loween in 1978. But given the cur­rent #MeToo mo­ment, this one’s got zeit­geisty mo­men­tum be­hind it — and it’s pretty good, too. David Gor­don Green (Pineap­ple Ex­press) teams with Danny McBride and oth­ers on a script that pre­tends the rest of the Hal­loween se­quels didn’t re­ally hap­pen, in­stead fo­cus­ing on how Lau­rie, now grey-blond and grim-faced, lives an ago­ra­pho­bic life as a self-de­scribed “bas­ket case” who com­pul­sively fan­ta­sizes about get­ting her re­venge on My­ers (James Jude Court­ney). When an op­por­tune bus ac­ci­dent oc­curs dur­ing the pris­oner’s trans­fer, she seizes her chance — and must rope in her re­luc­tant daugh­ter (Judy Greer) and wide-eyed grand­daugh­ter (Andi Matichak) to at­tain the req­ui­site multi­gen­er­a­tional girl power nec­es­sary to stop My­ers’ killing sprees for good. The fight scenes are clever and heart-pound­ing, the teen-drama sub­plot is mildly ab­sorb­ing, and most cru­cially, Cur­tis is com­pellingly re­lent­less. This se­quel didn’t bother to re­name it­self be­cause it’s about to spawn a whole new gen­er­a­tion of Hal­loween fans. Rated R. 106 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Molly Boyle)

THE HATE U GIVE

At­tend­ing an af­flu­ent high school in a white neigh­bor­hood is al­ready com­pli­cated enough for Starr (Amandla Sten­berg). When her friend Khalil (Al­gee Smith) is shot by a po­lice of­fi­cer in front of her, it gets a lot harder. She de­cides to protest on Khalil’s be­half, and it sets off a series of events that not only threat­ens her com­mu­nity but her own fu­ture. Regina Hall plays her mother, while An­thony Mackie (Fal­con in the Mar­vel films) plays a lo­cal drug dealer. Ge­orge Till­man Jr. (No­to­ri­ous) di­rects. Rated PG-13. 133 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

NIGHT SCHOOL

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 OLD MAN AND THE GUN

Robert Red­ford plays For­rest Tucker, a man who has de­voted his life to the art of rob­bing banks. His story is mostly true (adapted by writer-direc­tor David Low­ery from a New Yorker ar­ti­cle). Red­ford shares the screen with Sissy Spacek, and to­gether they ig­nite a chem­istry that could light the Rock­e­feller Cen­ter Christ­mas tree. She plays Jewel, a wid­owed rancher, and when these two sit and ban­ter in a cof­fee shop booth, you could watch and lis­ten to them all day. But you can’t, be­cause there are banks to rob. For­rest some­times works with a cou­ple of geri­atric bud­dies, played by Danny Glover and Tom Waits, and the trio be­comes known as the Over-the-Hill Gang. In dogged pur­suit is an af­fa­ble cop (Casey Af­fleck), who comes to ad­mire the man he’s track­ing. If this in fact proves to be Robert Red­ford’s farewell to movies, as he has in­di­cated, it’s a lovely way to go. But the door is al­ways open, Bob, and we’ll leave a light on in the win­dow. Rated PG-13. 93 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

THE SIS­TERS BROTH­ERS

On the sur­face, this is the tale of two gun­men broth­ers (played by John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix) on the trail of a prospec­tor who has cre­ated a suc­cess­ful for­mula to pan gold in 1850s Ore­gon. Un­der­neath, it’s the story of how broth­erly love helps these two gritty killers to sur­vive the un­pre­dictable vi­o­lence of the Old West. The per­for­mances are good, and the gun fights are fast-paced and bloody. But fans of the novel by Pa­trick deWitt, upon which this movie is based, may feel dis­ap­pointed that the film dis­si­pates both the emo­tional con­nec­tion be­tween the two broth­ers and their riches-to-rags jour­ney, which pro­vided a con­text for the fa­mil­ial con­nec­tion. And the story’s episodic na­ture may leave you won­der­ing what ex­actly it wants to say. 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. (Robert Nott)

SMALLFOOT

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 only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

A STAR IS BORN

Big, gor­geous, and 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

big-hearted as­pir­ing singer who cap­tures the heart of Jack­son Maine, a coun­try-rock su­per­star played soul­fully 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)

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 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. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)

VENOM

Spi­der-Man’s neme­sis Venom is a ridicu­lous char­ac­ter: a bul­let­proof ver­sion of Spidey with a long tongue and an ap­petite for live flesh. 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 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 rem­i­nis­cent of the 1980s work of John Car­pen­ter and Sam Raimi. Rated PG-13. 112 min­utes. Screens in 2D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

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