Weekly Film Listings Nov. 24-30

Weekly Film Listings Nov. 24-30: Opening, continuing, Screenings, Imax, Cinecenta

Opening

 

shame -() The new film from Steve McQueen (Hunger) stars Michael Fassbender as a sex addict whose secret life gets disrupted when he has an unexpected visit from his sister (Carey Mulligan). Starts Fri.

sleeping beauty -() Starts Fri

hugo -(Odeon/SilverCity) Although Martin Scorsese isn’t exactly known as a child-friendly filmmaker he has been getting raves for this beguiling tale of a 1930s Paris orphan who lives in the walls of a train station and gets involved with a legendary filmmaker from the earliest days of cinema. The great cast includes Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen and Christopher Lee. See review.

arthur christmas -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) This animated fable involving Santa’s youngest son and an overlooked present on Christmas Eve is the work of celebrated Aardman Studios (of Wallace and Gromit fame). With the vocal talents of James McAvoy, Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent.

my week with marilyn -(Odeon) The twice Oscar-nominated Michelle Williams plays über-sex symbol Marilyn Monroe in this fact-based memoir based on Monroe’s troubled film shoot of The Prince and the Showgirl in England in the 1950s. Kenneth Branagh costars in the role of Laurence Olivier.

the muppets -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) Miss Piggy, Kermit et al. make a bold return to the silver screen in a musical extravaganza about their efforts to save a beloved theatre from the schemes of a greedy oil baron.

the descendants -(Odeon) The newest drama from Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Sideways) stars George Clooney as a wealthy man who has to rebuild relationships with his daughters after his wife has a terrible accident.

like crazy -(Capitol) Anyone with a high tolerance for young-love sentimentality will likely savour this Sundance fave, a romantic drama about a young British woman who falls for an American guy, only to get booted back to England after her student visa runs out.

 

Continuing

 

dolphin tale -(Caprice) This true-life story focuses on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin who was given a prosthetic tail. Starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd.

★★★ footloose -(Caprice) The hormone-stirring anarchy of dancing to good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll is banned in one small town — until a rebellious city kid arrives on the scene and decides to shake things up.

★★ happy feet two -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) Those dancing penguins are back, in a bombastic and poorly plotted sequel that will only appeal to those who enjoy being bludgeoned by cuteness. Featuring the vocal talents of Elijah Wood and Robin Williams.

★★½ immortals -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Although not one of the myths taught in school, this account of a mortal chosen by Zeus to defeat a ruthless king out to find a rare weapon and destroy all of Greece has visual dazzle and a moronic plot. And a villainous Mickey Rourke has lots of pretty scenery to chew.

★★ in time -(Caprice) Justin Timberlake stars in a sci-fi thriller about a fascist future world where everyone stops aging at age 25 — but can only stay alive as long as they keep earning enough “time money.” Slick but shallow, this is nonetheless a timely allegory about what the rich do the poor.

jack and jill -(Westshore) For those few of you who just can’t get enough Adam Sandler, in this universally despised comedy he plays both a normal guy and also the guy’s identical twin sister — a passive-aggressive nightmare who is coming over for the holidays. Caveat emptor!

★★★★ j. edgar -(Capitol/Uni 4) Clint Eastwood directs Leonardo DiCaprio in a balanced and compelling portrait of the controversial head of the FBI whose many peccadilloes included lackmailing his political enemies . . . and dressing in women’s clothing. See review.

★★½ melancholia -(Odeon) Kirsten Dunst won top acting honours at Cannes for her portrayal of a deeply depressed bride confronting global apocalypse, in yet another beautiful and enigmatic art film from controversial Danish director Lars von Trier (Dancer In The Dark, Dogville).

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.

★★★½ Puss in boots -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) The endearing feline furball from Shrek gets his own swashbuckling prequel, in a witty and entirely delightful piece of animation. Featuring the vocal talents of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Zach Galifianakis.

★★½ real steel -(Caprice) Hugh Jackman is an over-the-hill pugilist (and deadbeat dad in recovery) in a  slightly futuristic world where “robot boxing” is the globe’s most popular sport. Uneven, overly long but certainly entertaining.

★★½ the skin i live in -(Odeon) Antonio Banderas plays a mad plastic surgeon with a very naughty secret locked away in his house, in a loopily watchable but grotesque and very silly melodrama that was written and director by Spanish Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar.

★★ tower heist -(Caprice) When some hard-working folk are ripped off by a slick multi-millionaire’s Ponzi scheme, they join forces with a sneaky ex-con to help them steal their money back. This criminally insipid comedy stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Alan Alda.

★★½ the twilight saga: breaking dawn, part 1 -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) A wedding and a dangerous pregnancy provide some much-needed excitement for this increasingly vapid vampire soap opera that has bewitched tweens (and older viewers who should know better).

★★ a very harold & kumar christmas -(SilverCity) That pair of stoner ne’er do wells is back for more shenanigans — and just in time to get freaky for the holidays. Sure, the stoned-baby jokes are transgressive enough for a giggle, but you’d have to be really baked on B.C. bud to find this particularly funny.

★★★ the way -(Odeon) Emilio Estevez directs Martin Sheen (a.k.a. dear old dad) in an engaging examination of spirituality as an unlikely group of people befriend each other while walking a centuries-old pilgrim route in northern Spain.

The whale -(Caprice) Remember Saving Luna, the locally produced documentary about our ornery orca that went on to win all sorts of awards? Seems that Ryan Reynolds was enough of a fan that he had the footage recut, then added his own narration so the film could get a second life on the cineplex circuit.

 

 

Imax

 

beavers -(daily: 10am, 2:00, 5:00; & adding noon for Fri., Sun., & Tues.-Thurs.) According to the ads, this is “the best dam movie” you’ll ever see about that iconic Canadian animal with the beautiful buck teeth.

★★★★ born to be wild -(1:00, 4:00) 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!

★★★ contagion -(Fri. & Sun., 8:00; Sat. & Thurs., 6:00; Mon. & Wed., 7:00) Matt Damon and Kate Winslet star in an edgy bio-thriller about a bird flu pandemic that is trashing the planet (and killing off some fine actors along the way). Despite being directed by Steven Soderbergh, this is surprisingly flat, diffuse and uninvolving.

sea–rex: journey to a prehistoric world -(Fri. & Sun., Tues.-Thurs.: 11am; 3:00 daily; Mon.-Wed., 6:00) In this adventure travel back millions of years to when amazing sea monsters ruled the seas.

the wildest dream: conquest of everest -(Fri. & Sun., 6 pm; Sat., 11am, 8 pm; Mon., 11am; Thurs., 8 pm) This 90 minute biopic stars Ralph Fiennes in the story of the first man to attempt to summit Mount Everest and, 80 years later, the climber who found his frozen body.

 

Screenings

 

Movie Monday – Screening Journey on the Wild Coast. With a hand-held video camera and a lot of guts, a married couple attempt to hike, paddle and ski from Seattle to the Aleutians. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.

whatever happened to baby jane? -The Superior Café “cult classics” film series continues with this melodramatic psychological thriller starring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis at their creepy and bitchy best. Screening starts at 8 pm. For dinner reservations call 250-380-9515. TUESDAY, 8 pm, 106 Superior St.

human rights film festival -Amnesty International is presenting its 10th annual Human Rights Film Fest up at UVic, from Nov. 25-27. The lineup of inspiring documentaries features 9 profiles of courageous and creative people who are making a difference in our troubled world. For complete film and speaker info, Google “Amnesty in Victoria”. FRIDAY-SUNDAY, various times, at the David Lam Auditorium.

 

Cinecenta

 

Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.

 

revenge of the electric car -(Wed.-Thurs., Nov. 30-Dec. 1: 7:10, 9:00) This acclaimed doc is the follow-up to Who Killed the Electric Car? and manages to be both optimistic and exciting as it follows three charismatic CEOs as they try to steer their auto-manufacturing businesses through the economic downturn that started in 2008.

★★½ the help -(Fri.-Sat., Dec. 2-3: 3:00, 7:00, 9:40 & Sun., Dec. 4: 3:00, 7:00 & Mon., Dec. 5: 7:00 only) More popular with audiences than critics, this is a look at the genteel racism experienced by black servants in Mississippi in the early 1960s

★★★★ winnie the pooh -(Sat.-Sun., Dec. 3-4: 1:00 matinee) 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.

captain abu raed -(Tues., Dec. 6: 7:00, 9:00) Cinecenta’s Arab Film Series continues with a Jordanian film — the first from that country to ever get global exposure — that revels in the gentle humanism of its protagonist, an older man who tells tales to the young children of his neighborhood.

★★★ the mission -(Wed., Dec. 7: 7:00, 9:25) This Cannes prize winner from way back in 1986 is a visually stunning depiction of the culture clash in 1750s South America between a remote Indian tribe and Spanish and Portuguese invaders. Starring Jeremy Irons and a miscast Robert De Niro.

 

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