Weekly Film Listings – March 10-16

Red Riding Hood, Mars Needs Moms, Tron at the IMAX, LA Phil on the big screen, bike doc launch and more.

Four guys, four charities, one bike, one country: it's the world premiere of The Tandem Tour documentary (See SCREENINGS)

OPENING

battle: los angeles -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) Aaron Eckhart heads up a platoon of marines who have the daunting task of taking on an invasion force of heavily armed space aliens. Yikes! Starts Fri.

cedar rapids -(Odeon) Ed Helms (The Hangover), John C. Reilly and Anne Heche star in this comedy about a painfully unsophisticated guy who falls under the spell of some worldly conference veterans when he heads to “big time” Iowa to represent his insurance company.  Starts Fri.

red riding hood -(Capitol/SilverCity) Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman star in this elaborate reworking of the gothic and gory fairy tale beloved of morbid children, here featuring a werewolf plaguing a medieval village. Starts Fri.

mars needs moms -(Capitol/SilverCity/Caprice) A boy develops a much deeper appreciation of his mom after she is captured by Martians and taken back to the Red Planet. This wacky sci-fi animated comedy features the vocal talents of Seth Rogen, Joan Cusack and Dan Fogler. Starts Fri.

CONTINUING

★★ the adjustment bureau -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) Hard-working Matt Damon stars in a tepid sci-fi thriller about a man who defies a mysterious agency that secretly controls events on Earth in order to pursue a love affair that was not supposed to happen. See review.

★★★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.

★★★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 outsize flaws. Co-starring Dustin Hoffman.

beastly -(Capitol) A vain young man gets a fairy tale curse placed on him and turns rather, well,  beastly, in a contemporary version of the Beauty and the Beast story.

★★★★ biutiful -(Odeon) Oscar-nominated Javier Bardem is amazingly soulful in this grim portrayal of life and death amongst illegal immigrants and their criminal overseers in the seedy outskirts of Barcelona.

★★★★ 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 Oscar winner Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.

★★★½ the fighter -(Roxy, Sat.-Sun., 4:30) One of last year’s most pleasant surprises, this Oscar-winning 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) 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.

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

i am number four -(SilverCity) 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 -(Capitol) 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 -(SilverCity) 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. Most critics have advised: just go without it.

justin bieber: never say never -(SilverCity) 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) Long live this royal Oscar champ, the much-loved and lauded 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.

no strings attached -(Roxy, 9:00) 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.

★★★¼ rango -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) This wacky animated spoof of classic westerns stars a chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) who dreams of being a hero – then finds himself appointed the sheriff in a troubled western town and has to reach way down deep to connect with his inner gunslinger. Great fun! See review.

★★★★ TRUE GRIT -(Roxy 7:00; Sat.-Sun. 2:30) 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 were shut out at the Oscars.

★★½ unknown -(Capitol/SilverCity) 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. So is he insane, or just trapped in a slick B movie?

yogi bear -(Roxy, Sat.-Sun., 1:00) That ’60s TV comedy about a nearly-clever bear graduates to the big screen.

leaving thursday

★★ drive angry -(Capitol/SilverCity)

IMAX

★★★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 tron: legacy -(7:00) The original TRON  was a visionary sci-fi classic that never got the box office it deserved. Twenty years later, we return to the inner world of a video game, with mixed results: the visuals are killer, but the plot is a mix of muddle and pretension.

★★★ 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.

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

SCREENINGS

The Tandem Tour – Last May, four lads left Victoria to journey across Canada on a bicycle built for four in order to raise money for four different charities. Now help them celebrate their achievement by watching the premiere of this documentary film. Screening followed by DJs and prize giveaways. 8pm THURSDAY at Lucky Bar, 517 Yates. Tickets $10 at Sitka. thetandemtour.blogspot.com.

nixon in china -The famed modern opera by John Adams gets an encore presentation at the Live From the Met series. 10am SATURDAY at SilverCity and the Odeon. $22.

LA Phil Live -Shakespeare meets Tchaikovsky in this program, where three fantasy-overtures inspired by Shakespeare plays – Hamlet, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet.  Preceding each of these powerful symphonic poems are selections from the bard’s immortal works performed by Orlando Bloom, Malcolm McDowell and Matthew Rhys. 2pm SUNDAY at the Odeon. $22.

Movie Monday – Screening It’s Kind of a Funny Story. A clinically depressed teenager does okay after checking himself into an adult psychiatric facility, in a droll coming-of-age comedy starring the suddenly ubiquitous Zach Galifianakis. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca

Dirt: The Movie -A documentary highlighting the importance of healthy soil in keeping the world fed. Screening followed by discussion with farmer and local food advocate Bob Maxwell, and will be co-hosted by City Councillor Philippe Lucas and MLA and Agriculture Critic Lana Popham. A fundraiser for the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society.  7pm TUESDAY at the Fernwood Commmunity Association (1923 Fernwood). By donation.

CINECENTA

Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Tickets are available 40 minutes prior to showtime. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.

waste land -(Wed.-Thurs., Mar. 9-10: 7:00, 9:00 & Fri., Mar. 11: 3:00, 7:00, 9:00 & Sat., Mar. 12: 3:25, 7:00, 9:00) This Academy Award nominee for best documentary has galvanized audiences worldwide with its heartfelt message about the transformative power of art. That it is set amidst the “garbage pickers” in the world’s largest garbage dump gives it a rare emotional power.

★★½ tron: legacy -(Sat.-Sun., Mar. 12-13: 1:00 matinee) The original TRON  was a visionary sci-fi classic that never got the box office it deserved. Twenty years later, we return to the inner world of a video game, with mixed results: the visuals are killer, but the plot is a mix of muddle and pretension.

★★★½ the fighter -(Sun., Mar. 13: 3:25, 7:00, 9:15 & Mon., Mar. 14: 7:00, 9:15) 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.

a drummer’s dream -(Tues.-Wed., Mar. 15-16: 7:15, 9:00) This well-reviewed documentary records the amazing musical – and other – interactions between a whole bunch of drummers from many different countries and representing many different musical styles. “Not to be missed!” –Macleans.

★★★½ tangled -(Wed.-Thurs., Mar. 16-17: 1:00 matinee only) Here’s a fractured fairy tale telling a different, more rambunctious version of the classic Rapunzel story, complete with nifty characters and some very funny dialogue. With the voices of Mandy Moore and Ron Perlman.

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