Weekly Film Listings – February 24-March 2

Nick Cage leaves hell, Felini's Casanova, Scene + Heard, Spike and Mike's, Winter's Bone and more.

The Wild Woman is one of several oral tales to get the film treatment at Scene + Heard Scored (see SCREENINGS)

OPENING

★★★½ another year -(Odeon) 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. Starts Fri. See review.

drive angry -(Capitol/SilverCity) A vengeful man (Nicolas Cage) escapes from Hell in order to put the hurt on some evil cult members who killed his wife and kidnapped his baby girl for use in a satanic ritual. The mayhem starts Fri.

hall pass -(SilverCity/Caprice) The latest comedy from the Farrelly Brothers features a married guy who gets permission from his wife to have an affair. Things get interesting when the wife joins in the fun. Starring Owen Wilson and Christina Applegate. Starts Fri.

CONTINUING

★★★½ barney’s version -(Odeon) 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 outsized flaws.

★★★★ 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.

★★★¼ the company men -(Capitol) Ben Affleck heads up a great cast in this decent if under-ambitious drama about three men struggling to cope with the impact of corporate downsizing. With fellow Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper.

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.

★★★½ the fighter -(Roxy, 8:45; Sat.-Sun., 4:25) One of last year’s most pleasant surprises, this boxing drama stars Mark Wahlberg in a 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.

gnomeo & juliet -(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.

i am number four -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4) Here’s one teen male with a right to be moody: he’s got some kind of secret power and some nasty people want to destroy him because of it.

★★★★ incendies -(Odeon) This Oscar-nominated film from Quebec portrays the unwrapping of a dark and violent mystery as two children probe their mother’s shocking personal history from a long-ago civil war in the Middle East.

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.

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.

★★★★ 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.

★★ no strings attached -(Capitol) 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.

★★★★ 127 hours -(Roxy, 7:00; Sat.-Sun., 2:40) 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.

★★ 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.

★★★★ 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).

★★½ unknown -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4) Liam Neeson continues his late-blooming move into action cinema with this thriller about a man who awakens from a coma to discover that someone has stolen his identity and that not even his wife will say she knows him. See review.

yogi bear -(Roxy, Sat.-Sun., 1:10) That ’60s TV comedy about a nearly-clever bear graduates to the big screen.

IMAX

★★★½ ARABIA -(11am, 3:00 6:00, 8:00, Sun.-Thurs. only) 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, Fri.-Sat. only) 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 [except Fri.], 1:00, 4:00, 7:00 [Sun.-Thurs. only]) The lives of three very different horses are portrayed in this charming film that will appeal to all eque-files.

★★★ legends of flight -(noon, 2:00, 5:00) The creation of the “next generation” commercial jetliner is detailed in this fascinating documentary.

SCREENINGS

Casanova- Famed filmmaker Fellini portrays Casanova’s life as a freakish journey into sexual abandonment. 7pm THURSDAY at Camas, 2590 Quadra. Free.

Scene + Heard SCORED – Puente Theatre and Cinevic present a live collaboration project between six local filmmakers, six traditional oral storytellers, and local musician Oliver Swain. FRIDAY-SUNDAY at the Metro Studio Theatre (1411 Quadra). $15. 250-590-4083.

Reel Spirituality -Presents O’Horton, a Norwegian drama focussing on a life-changing moment in 67-year-old train engineer Odd Horten’s existence. 2:30pm FRIDAY at UVic Fine Arts Building, Room 103. Free. 250-721-6325 or csrs@uvic.ca.

Iphigénie en Tauride – The Met Live in HD series continues with Susan Graham, Plácido Domingo, and Paul Groves reprising their starring roles in Gluck’s masterful interpretation of the Greek myth. 10am SATURDAY at SilverCity. $25.

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. 12:30pm SUNDAY at SilverCity. Tickets $5.

Movie Monday – Screening ★★★★ The Social Network. The university dorm nerd who invented that little social networking site known as Facebook gets an unflattering—and fascinating—big-screen portrait, in one of the best films of 2010. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca

Spike & Mike’s – The annual screening series celebrating weird and warped animation is back. 7pm WEDNESDAY at SilverCity. $12.

CINECENTA

winter’s bone -(Wed., Feb. 23: 7:00, 9:00) Although it only lasted a week during its commercial release several months ago, this bleak drama about bad drugs and a bad family life has garnered an impressive four Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture.

★★★★ inside job -(Thurs., Feb. 24: 7:00, 9:10) Matt Damon narrates a must-see documentary about what really happened behind the scenes on Wall Street (and in Washinton) to precipitate the 2008 economic meltdown. Less angry and smarter than something by Michael Moore.

★★½ harry potter and the deathly hallows, Part 1 -(Fri., Feb. 25: 3:00, 7:00, 9:40 & Sat., Feb. 26: 1:00, 3:40, 7:00, 9:40 & Sun., Feb. 27: 1:00 matinee) See IMAX for synopsis.

vision: from the life of hildegard von bingen -(Sun., Feb. 27: 3:40, 7:00, 9:10 & Mon., Feb. 28: 7:00, 9:10) The latest from famed German director Margarethe von Trotta is a portrait of the extraordinarily creative Benedictine nun who was a composer, playwright, and scientific pioneer — all this in the 12th century!

★★★★ rabbit hole -(Tues., March 1: 7:00, 9:00) Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhard are featured in this poignant and nuanced drama about grieving parents struggling and raging as they confront the death of their young boy. Kidman is superb. Adapted from the Pulitzer-winning play, and directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus).

★★★¾ the girl with the dragon tattoo -(Wed., March 2: 7:00 only) The cult trilogy of novels from Sweden that became a publishing phenomenon has made it to the big screen, with the first film being by the far the best. It’s the tale of a crusading journalist and a goth-punk cyberhacker gal who are investigating a long-ago murder that continues to haunt a wealthy and dysfunctional family.

 

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