water for elephants -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon star in an adaptation of the bestselling novel about an illicit love affair set in the exotic world of a travelling circus. Starts Fri.
african cats -(SilverCity) This offering from Disney heads to the African savannah for some great footage of lions and cheetahs as a surprisingly mellow Samuel L. Jackson narrates a documentary about how two separate cat families train their young. Starts Fri.
★½ arthur -(Odeon/Caprice) Here’s a disappointingly over-stated and ill-conceived remake of the delightful 1981 comedy about a boozy, immature playboy. Despite the star power of Russell Brand and the great Helen Mirren, only a few of the jokes have real zing and Arthur himself is irritating rather than charming.
★★★½ hanna -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4) A 16-year-old girl, trained as an assassin by her CIA rogue agent of a father, is on the run across North Africa and Europe as ruthless intelligence agents try to track her down. Starring Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana and a very persuasive Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones). The plot cheats a bit, but this thriller couched in terms of a fairy tale is engaging and very well directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice).
hop -(SilverCity/Capitol/Caprice) In this fluffy bit of animated fun for the whole family the teenage son of the Easter Bunny heads to Hollywood to join a rock ‘n’ roll band — only to encounter some unexpected adventures.
★★ insidious -(Capitol/SilverCity) Insipid is more like it, although this tale of a couple trying to save their comatose child from strange supernatural forces has a few good scares up its sleeve — which they pull off without resorting to gore.
★★½ jane eyre -(Odeon) The classic Charlotte Brontë romance about a young governess and a house with terrible secrets gets a handsome-looking but rather dull remake that stars the wonderful Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and the rather wooden Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds).
★★½ limitless -(SilverCity/Caprice) Bradley Cooper plays an unmotivated writer who discovers a new drug that somehow gives him super-human mental powers, in a thriller with aspects of a headtrip movie. Co-starring Robert De Niro and Australia’s Abbie Cornish (Bright Star).
★★★½ the lincoln lawyer -(Capitol) This tricky crime thriller stars Matthew McConaughey as an unconventional lawyer who gets in over his head while representing a wealthy client accused of murder. Based on the novel by Michael Connelly. McConaughey brings his natural gifts — roguish charm overlaid with dollops of sleaze and smug self-regard — in what could be a career-saving role. The great supporting cast includes Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo and Ryan Phillippe.
★★★¼ rio -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) This very colourful animated romp stars a domesticated macaw that heads off on a wild jaunt to Rio de Janeiro to find avian amour. Featuring the vocal talents of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway. See review.
★½ scream 4 -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) Wes Craven reboots his own deconstructive slasher series, but the plotting is preposterous and all that “meta” movie babble stopped being clever years ago. Starring Scream survivors Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette.
soul surfer -(SilverCity) A teenage surfer loses her arm to a shark attack and somehow summons the courage to ride the waves again. Based on the true-life tale from a few years back.
★★★ source code -(Odeon/SilverCity) Jake Gyllenhaal stars in a sci-fi-ish thriller about a soldier who is teleported into the body of a stranger in order to find the terrorist due to blow up a train in eight minutes. The Matrix-meets-Groundhog-Day premise is more clever than the movie itself, which is solid but unremarkable.
★★ sucker punch -(Capitol) The newest visual extravaganza from the director of 300 and Watchmen features a young woman sent to a brutal insane asylum where she escapes from the horror of her imprisonment by believing that the power of her imagination is enough to set her free. Nifty visuals, sure, but there’s not much here to get excited about.
★★★½ win win -(Odeon) Paul Giamatti stars in this comedy-drama about a down-on-his-luck attorney who coaches a high school wrestling team in his spare time. And just when he thinks a star athlete is bringing him luck, the kid’s mom comes stumbling out of rehab to derail the deal. See review.
your highness -(Capitol/SilverCity) This tongue-in-cheek medieval action flick has been reviled even by the pushover critics. Starring James Franco, Natalie Portman, Toby Jones, and Zooey Deschanel. Note: moves from the Odeon to the Capitol on Friday.
★★★½ ARABIA -(1:00 5:00) The past and the present merge in this exploration of the rich history and present-day exoticism and complexity of Saudi Arabia.
★★★★ born to be wild -(10am, noon, 2:00, 4:00, 7:00) Take a remarkable safari as this documentary takes you up close and personal with the people who nurture orphaned baby elephants and orangutans en route to re-releasing them into the wild. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. This is a great film!
journey into amazing caves -(11am, 3:00, 6:00, 8:00)
Movie Monday – Screening ★★★½ A River Runs Through It. It’s nearly 20 years old and this lyrical, slow-paced film by Robert Redford is still full of charm and insight. Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer star as the fly-fishing sons of a minister in rural Montana. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Tickets are available 40 minutes prior to showtime. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
the way back -(Wed., April 20: 7:00, 9:35) If some guys who just escaped from a Siberian gulag want to reach freedom, all they have to do is hike 4,000 miles to the border of India. Starring Colin Farrel, Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess, and directed by the great Peter Weir (Gallipoli, Master and Commander). “Beyond its visual splendors the film achieves searing moral power.” -Hollywood Reporter
made in dagenham -(Thurs.-Fri., April 21-22: 7:00, 9:15) A great cast (Miranda Richardson, Bob Hoskins, Rosamund Pike) adds further lustre to a crowd-pleasing — and inspiring — comedy about the real-life strike in 1968 of female employees at the Ford Motor plant in Dagenham, England. By all accounts, feminist pieties take a back seat to sharp characterization and great dialogue.
gnomeo and juliet -(Sat.-Sun., April 23-24: 1:00 matinee) I wish I were making this up, but Hollywood’s latest tribute to the Bard features a retelling of his classic tale of star-crossed lovers — only this time the characters are garden gnomes. The casting ranges from Maggie Smith and Michael Caine to Ozzy Osbourne and Jason Statham.
★★★½ another year -(Sat.-Sun., April 23-24: 3:00, 6:45, 9:10 & Mon., April 25: 6:45, 9:10) The latest from Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Topsy-Turvy) is a quiet portrait of several North Londoners, some much happier than others. The wonderful Jim Broadbent heads up a great cast.
★★★½ winds of heaven -(Tues.-Wed., April 26-27: 7:15 only) This biopic of renowned painter Emily Carr is a sophisticated and thoughtful portrait of a visionary artist, endearing eccentric, and great champion of aboriginal culture