Weekly Film Listings July 21-27
captain america: the first avenger -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) jA patriotic wimp who doesn’t meet the physical standards to join the army volunteers for a wild science experiment and is transformed into a superhero with great powers. Watch out, Nazis! Starts Fri.
friends with benefits -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) In a romantic comedy that seems like a clone of the recent No Strings Attached, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are surprised to discover that adding some steamy sex to their once-platonic friendship is a recipe for trouble. Starts Fri.
beginners -(Odeon) Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer star in a provocative comedy-drama about a young man who is shocked by two revelations from his dad: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has been a closeted gay who has just taken up with a young male lover. Starts Fri.
★★½ bad teacher -(Odeon/SilverCity) Cameron Diaz sets a bad example — and has lots of fun — playing a foul-mouthed, lazy and scheming junior high teacher. Co-starring Justin Timberlake.
★★★½ bridesmaids -(Odeon/Caprice) SNL’s Kristen Wiig co-wrote and stars in this raucous but smart and heartfelt comedy that celebrates female friendship (while often being rather rude).
cars 2 -(SilverCity/Caprice) Disney’s animation classic from a few years back gets a snappy looking sequel, this one with a storyline involving international espionage. Featuring voices by Owen Wilson and Michael Caine.
★★½ harry potter and the deathly hallows: part 2 -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) The long-running fantasy series by JK Rowling comes to a disappointingly ho-hum climax as the plucky boy wizard has that deadly, long-anticpated final confrontation with nostril-challenged supervillain Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). See review.
★★½ horrible bosses -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Three guys with truly appalling bosses gradually realize that all their lives would be better off if the bosses were dead. This being a comedy, the guys are dumb and don’t plan well. At all. Starring Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston.
★★★★ midnight in paris -(Odeon) The latest from Woody Allen is a delightfully romantic whirl through Paris, both in the present day and during the fabled 1920s. The fine cast includes Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard.
monte carlo -(Capitol) Three young women vacationing in Paris are whisked off to the Monte Carlo high life after one of them is mistaken for a British heiress. Note: moves here from the Odeon this Friday.
mr. popper’s penguins -(Caprice) Jim Carrey stars in an amiably goofy comedy about an uptight businessman who learns to unwind when his fancy Manhattan apartment gets invaded by a flock of cute penguins.
★★ transformers: dark of the moon -(Capitol/SilverCity/Caprice) Michael Bay returns to blow up whatever escaped his clutches in the first two iterations of this bombastic and noisy series about those shape-shifting Autobots and Decepticons.
★★★★★ the tree of life -(Odeon) The latest from reclusive cine-poet Terrence Malick (Thin Red Line) is a uniquely beautiful and philosophical tone poem that shifts perspective from a dysfunctional ’50s family to the deepest patterns of earthly and cosmic time and space. Winner of the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
★★★ x–men: first class -(Capitol) The earliest days of all those X-People are explored in a splashy and surprisingly entertaining action flick starring everyone from James McAvoy to Kevin Bacon.
★★★★ winnie the pooh -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) John Cleese narrates this (hand-drawn!) animated adaptation of the classic tale about the honey-loving bear and his menagerie of friends. This is a gentle, charming, and altogether superb piece of filmmaking. See review.
zookeeper -(Capitol/SilverCity) The ever-amiable Kevin James stars in a comedy about a group of zoo animals who conspire together to help their favourite zoo keeper find the romance he’s been missing.
★½ larry crowne -(Odeon/Uni 4)
★★½ super 8 -(Odeon)
★★★★ born to be wild -(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!
★★ pirates of the caribbean: on stranger tides -(8:00) Penelope Cruz sets sail with Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and the other piratical ne’er-do-wells of The Black Pearl in the fourth edition of this increasingly tedious — and alarmingly lucrative — action-comedy series.
journey into amazing caves -(6:00)
rescue: disaster response -(11am, 1:00, 5:00) This high-adrenaline film depicts the courageous men and women who respond when global disaster strikes. Note: no 11am show on July 23-24.
★★★★ whales -(10am, 3:00) The perennial, much-loved classic about those noble leviathans of the deep makes another return visit. Note: no 10am show on July 23-24.
Movie Monday – Screening The Boy Inside. This 2005 B.C.-made documentary chronicles the struggle of a mom to raise a 12-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome, the less severe cousin of autism. Adam has now graduated from high school and will be at the screening to share some of the successes of his current life. 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.
★★½ jane eyre -(Wed.-Thurs., July 20-21: 7:00, 9:20) 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).
the conspirator -(Fri.-Sat., July 22-23: 7:00, 9:25) Robert Redford’s newest directorial effort is based on true events that occurred after Lincoln was assassinated and various alleged co-conspirators were hastily tried and rushed to the gallows — including the (probably innocent) woman who ran the boarding house where they had plotted. This courtroom drama is also a reminder about what can happen to civil freedoms when “homeland security” gets invoked as justification for lots of legal shortcuts.
the first grader -(Sun.-Wed., July 24-27: 7:00, 9:10) This uplifting true story is set in Kenya and depicts an 84-year-old farmer who decides to take advantage of the government’s new universal-education policies and go to school. There is lots of resistance, but the unyielding octogenarian ultimately triumphs. This one has done well at film festivals and should appeal to fans of art films.
judy moody and the not bummer summer -(2:35, Sat.-Sun.) A third-grader “sets out to have the most thrilling summer of her life.” Movie critics are having less optimistic expectations..
★★ the hangover, part II -(9:00 only) In this follow-up to the raucous raunchfest of last year, that tragically awry bachelor party in Vegas seques into a different set of pre-nuptials in Thailand. Sadly, this sequel is tedious and rarely funny.
★★½ super 8 -(7:00) The latest from writer-director J.J. Abrams is a sci-fi-ish thriller that is set in 1979 and shows what happens as a group of kids react to very strange goings-on in their small town — think Stand By Me meets Invaders From Mars. Although often entertaining and definitely well-acted, this is calculated sentimentality, with many heavy-handed borrowings from Steven Spielberg.
★★★¼ kung fu panda 2 -(1:00, Sat.-Sun.) It’s sequel time and Po (Jack Black) joins forces with other kung fu masters to defeat a dire villain. Although the plot is pretty basic, the set design is both clever and gorgeous and the characters have heart. With voicings by Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman and Seth Rogen.
★★½ water for elephants -(4:10, Sat.-Sun.) Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon star in a crowd-pleasing adaptation of the bestselling novel about an illicit love affair set in the exotic world of a travelling circus during the Depression. Glamorous but sentimental and cliched and reeking with phoniness, this romantic melodrama benefits hugely from a stirring performance by Rosie the elephant.