justin bieber: never say never -(Odeon/SilverCity/Caprice) Canada’s pop music phenom hits the big screen with a 3-D concert film that will have the tweens swooning. Starts Fri.
gnomeo & juliet -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) 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. Starts Fri.
just go with it -(Capitol/SilverCity/Caprice) Adam Sandler is on the loose again, this time playing a cynical bachelor who pretends to be unhappily married as a gimmick to tug on women’s heart strings. Of course, when he does fall in love his sneaky scheme has put him into a tricky spot. Starts Fri.
the eagle -(Odeon) In Roman-ruled England, a young soldier (Channing Tatum) is determined to win back the family honour by recovering an important military emblem that vanished with his father many years ago. With Donald Sutherland. Starts Fri.
★★★½ barney’s version -(Odeon/Uni 4) Mordecai Richler’s last novel comes to the screen, starring Paul Giamatti as a curmudgeonly rascal of a romantic who struggles mightily with the vicissitudes of life and love — and his own outsize flaws. Co-starring Dustin Hoffman.
★★★★ black swan -(Odeon) Get ready for some brilliant and disturbing ballet noir from arty director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, The Wrestler) in an intense psychological thriller about two gorgeous dance rivals, played by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.
★★★★ blue valentine -(Odeon) The extremely talented Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, Fracture) and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) are the protagonists in a frank, emotionally raw and hard-hitting drama that shuttles back and forth in time to explain the breakup of a marriage.
★★½ burlesque -(Roxy, 5:00 Sat.-Sun.) A neo-burlesque club is the setting for a classic tale of a young hopeful (Christina Aguilera) who heads to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a star. Sure the plot is all cheesy cliché, but the dancing is full of razzle-dazzle energy and Aguilera sings up a storm. With Cher and Stanley Tucci.
★★★½ the fighter -(Capitol) Nothing says Christmas quite like a boxing drama, as Mark Wahlberg stars in this well acted and wonderfully entertaining biopic about “Irish” Micky Ward, a blue collar boxer who overcame lots of personal challenges to get his shot at pugilistic fame. Co-starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Note: moves from the Uni 4 to the Capitol on Friday.
★★ the green hornet -(SilverCity) Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) is the unlikely star of this would-be quirky deconstruction of superhero movies. A few scenes are clever, but mostly it just gets louder and stupider. Directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).
★★★★ the king’s SPEECH -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) I’m sure Colin Firth won’t have any trouble delivering his Oscar acceptance speech — one of many Oscars that will likely accrue to this historical drama about King George VI and his struggle to overcome a crippling stammer and lead his country into war against Germany. A fascinating story and exceptional performances make this crowd-pleaser a must-see. With fellow nominees Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.
★★½ the mechanic -(SilverCity) Brit badboy Jason Statham (The Transporter) is an assassin teaching his lethal job skills to an apprenctice, in a hyper-violent actioner based on the 1972 Charles Bronson flick.
★★★½ megamind -(Roxy, 1:45) This hipster spoof of superhero movies is a witty and inventive piece of animation that is great for kids and parents alike. Tina Fey is fab voicing a cynical Lois Lane-style reporter, but it’s Will Ferrell who steals the show as a conflicted supervillain.
★★ no strings attached -(Capitol/SilverCity) Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher bring a little charm to an otherwise flabby and lacklustre rom-com about a couple who plan on keeping their relationship strictly physical but end up wanting something more. Directed by Ivan Reitman.
★★★★ 127 hours -(Odeon) Oscar-nominated James Franco stars in this true-life outdoor adventure about a canyoneer who becomes trapped and has to take appalling measures in order to survive. This life-affirming drama is directed with exhilarating style by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later).
★★ the rite -(Capitol/Roxy) Although “suggested by real events,” the most notable thing about this religio-horror film involving religious doubt and demonic possession is the painfully dull script. Not even the presence of Anthony Hopkins seemingly haunted by the ghost of a hammy Richard Burton can redeem this turkey. Note: temporarily leaves the Capitol but returns on Monday.
the roommate -(SilverCity) Looking very much like Single White Female for dummies, this thriller features a girl who trots happily off to college — only to end up with a possessive roommate who is dangerously psychotic.
★★ sanctum -(SilverCity/Uni 4) This anemic 3-D action-thriller follows a crew of cave divers as their efforts to trace an underwater river soon turns into a desperate struggle to survive against every nasty trick that nature can throw at them. See review.
★★★½ tangled -(Capitol) Here’s a fractured fairy tale telling a different, more rambunctious version of the classic Rapunzel story, complete with nifty characters and some gorgeous 3-D effects. With the voices of Mandy Moore and Ron Perlman.
★★ the tourist -(Roxy) Johnny Depp is ensnared in the web of a sexy, mysterious woman (Angelina Jolie), as an elaborate thriller plot unfolds in picturesque Venice. Despite obvious efforts to deliver Hitchcockian style, this is a hollow and formulaic dud (although easy on the eyes). Co-starring Paul Bettany and Rufus Sewell.
★★★★ TRUE GRIT -(SilverCity) Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Matt Damon star in the Coen Brothers remake of the famed revenge western that originally starred a grizzled John Wayne as aging U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn. Dark and mythic, this is a classic western and classic Coen Brothers (who are gunning for several more Oscars).
yogi bear -(Roxy, 3:30 Sat.-Sun.) In a mix of animation and live action, a classic 60s TV cartoon makes it to the big screen. Featuring the voice talents of Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake.
the dilemma -(Caprice)
★★½ tron: legacy -(SilverCity)
★★★½ ARABIA -(11am, 3:00, 6:00) The past and the present merge in this exploration of the rich history and present-day exoticism and complexity of Saudi Arabia.
★★½ harry potter and the deathly hallows, Part 1 -(7:00) After a great start, the latest installment of the Potter franchise bogs down with a dull quest and lots of squabbling between Harry, Ron and Hermione.
★★★ horses: the story of equus -(10am, 1:00, 4:00) The lives of three very different horses are portrayed in this charming film that will appeal to all eque-files. Note: no 10 am shows on Thursday or Saturday.
★★★ legends of flight -(noon, 2:00, 5:00) The creation of the “next generation” commercial jetliner is detailed in this fascinating documentary.
★★★ wired to win -(10am, Thursday only) Exploring brain science through the dramatic story of the Tour de France.
Victoria Film Festival – Week Two action includes screenings of The Topp Twins, Casino Jack, Incendies, Two Indians Talking and more, plus the tech-savvy short-film adventure that is ConVerge. To SUNDAY. victoriafilmfestival.com
Nixon in China – Catch an HD broadcast of the Met’s performance of this exploration of the human truths beyond the headlines surrounding President Nixon’s historic 1972 encounter with Mao and Communist China. 10am SATURDAY at SilverCity. Tickets $25.
On the Day – During the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland, a team of solo players have come together for the first time to attempt the impossible: compete against legendary bands that have been around for decades. 1pm SUNDAY at SilverCity. Tickets $11.
DOn Carlo- An encore broadcast as part of The Met: Live in HD series’ new production of the Verdi opera. 6pm MONDAY at SilverCity. Tickets $25.
Movie Monday – Screening Mary and Max. This celebrated animated film from Australia tells the story of a lonely girl who picks a name at random from a New York phone book and begins what turns into a decades-long correspondence between herself and a middle-aged man with Asperger’s Syndrome. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca
Doctor Zhivago -This 1965 classic tells the story of a Russian doctor/poet who, although married, falls for a political activist’s wife and experiences hardships during the Bolshevik Revolution. 6:30pm WEDNESDAY at SilverCity. Tickets $5.
Blonde Ice -The Superior’s Film Noir series continues with this 1948 piece about a society reporter keeps who herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men, all of whom die under mysterious circumstances. Vintage attire suggested, prizes for best costume. 8pm WEDNESDAY at The Superior (106 Superior). By donation.
Cinema Politica -Screens Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy. suggested, prizes for best costume. 7pm WEDNESDAY in rm. 216 of Camosun’s Young Building (Lansdowne campus). By donation. 250-370-3440, cinemapolitica.org/victoria.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Tickets are available 40 minutes prior to showtime. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
★★★½ the concert -(Wed.-Thurs., Feb. 9-10: 7:00, 9:20) This French-Russian co-production mixes pathos and farce as it portrays a music conductor, long-blacklisted by Brezhnev, who scams his way to perform in Paris with a motley crew of washed-up musicians. For fans of heartfelt comedy and/or classical music, don’t miss this one!
★★★½ fair game -(Fri.-Sat., Feb. 11-12: 3:00, 7:10, 9:20) Naomi Watts and Sean Penn are super in this heavy-hitting political thriller based on the story of Valerie Plame, the CIA operative who was “outed” by George Bush’s White House when her husband challenged the bogus “weapons of mass destruction” narrative during the buildup to the Iraq War.
★★★½ the princess bride -(Sat.-Sun., Feb. 12-13: 1:00 matinee) Rob Reiner’s spoofy homage to fairy tales is a classic — and very funny — charmer.
★★★★ 2001: a space odyssey -(Sun., Feb. 13: 3:00, 7:00) All these decades on, Stanley Kubrick’s visionary and mystical tale about space travel remains an inspiring classic.
★★★★ casablanca -(Mon., Feb. 14: 7:10, 9:15) Bogart and Bergman will always have Paris — and we’ll always have this classic wartime romance where cynicism is banished by the power of love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
★★★½ shine a light -(Tues., Feb. 15: 7:00, 9:35) Martin Scorsese filmed the Rolling Bones over two nights in a small Manhattan theatre in 2006; the resulting concert film is an intimately ear-throbbing tribute that captures Mick, Keith et al. in top form — after an amazing 45 years of being the baddest boys of rock ‘n’ roll.
gasland -(Wed.-Thurs., Feb. 16-17: 7:00, 9:10) This award-winning documentary throws the spotlight on the disturbing and sometimes dire environmental consequences when oil companies drill for natural gas.