Weekly Film Listings Sept 1 to 7
the debt -(Capitol/Uni 4) Helen Mirren heads up a great cast in what promises to be a gripping espionage thriller about a trio of retired Mossad agents who discover that the deadly mission they have been celebrated for for decades may not have gone as planned. With Tom Wilkinson. Starts Wed.
another earth -(Odeon) This provocative and ambitious film gets downright metaphysical as its characters confront gritty earthly destinies after a duplicate planet to our own mysteriously enters the solar system. Starts Fri.
shark night -(Capitol/SilverCity) Those killers of the deep with butcher knives for teeth are back, in gloriously blood-dripping 3D. Yum! The screaming starts Fri.
apollo 18 -(Capitol/SilverCity) This mixture of sci-fi and horror ostensibly uncovers old footage of a secret mission to the moon — a mission that went terribly wrong and explains why the U.S. never returned to the lunar surface. Starts Fri.
★★★ captain america: the first avenger -(SilverCity/Caprice) Corny but packed with retro charm, this new comic book adaptation is highly entertaining as it depicts a patriotic wimp who doesn’t meet the physical standards to join the army so instead volunteers for a wild science experiment. Needless to say he’s transformed into a superhero with great powers. Watch out, Nazis!
★★½ the change–up -(Capitol) Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds are mismatched friends — one is a prim family man and lawyer, the other a debauched slacker and ladies man — who find themselves in one of those comedies where two people unexpectedly switch bodies. Although unnecessarily vulgar, this is funny stuff and the two leads have great chemistry. Note: moves from the Odeon to the Capitol on Friday.
★½ colombiana -(Odeon/SilverCity) Exotic hottie Zoë Saldana (Avatar) plays a chillingly effective assassin who used to be a nice girl … until she saw her parents murdered in Bogota. This preposterous, badly filmed nonsense is barely worthy of a cable release.
conan the barbarian -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) And the 1980s remakes continue, shifting from vampirism to sword and sorcery as a muscle-bound Conan goes on a medieval mission of revenge as he mows down innumerable baddies — and maybe an evil wizard or two. With Ron Perlman and Rose McGown.
★★½ our idiot brother -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) Paul Rudd stars in a slightly sour comedy about a naive man whose excessive idealism brings chaos into the flawed lives of his his three sisters.
★★ cowboys & aliens -(SilverCity/Caprice) The Wild West gets wacky (and silly) when space aliens invade 1873 Arizona and all that stands between us and world domination is a posse of cowboys. This War of the Worlds meets Stagecoach goof-off stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, and is directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man).
★★★ crazy, stupid, love -(Odeon/Uni 4/Caprice) A nice but slightly sappy guy (Steve Carell) gets dumped by his wife (Julianne Moore) and looks to a young stud (Ryan Gosling) to get some tips on how to deal with women. Thanks to a great cast and a clever script this is a fine and very funny romantic comedy.
don’t be afraid of the dark -(Odeon/SilverCity) Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce star in a horror flick about a young girl who is sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend. But what really sucks is that the house is haunted by creatures that want to claim her as one of their own.
★★½ harry potter and the deathly hallows: part 2 -(Capitol/SilverCity/Caprice) 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).
★★½ the help -(Odeon) This film exposes the genteel racism prevalent amongst upper-class white women in Mississippi of the 1960s. It’s an interesting but uneven effort where a few great performances are stuck in the middle of what is essentially a misguided attempt to turn the civil rights movement into an uplifting feel-good comedy-drama.
★★★★ midnight in paris -(Uni 4) 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.
★★★ one day -(Caprice) Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess (Across The Universe) star in a well-made but slightly gimmicky romantic drama by Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education, Italian For Beginners). See review. Note: moves here from Odeon/Uni 4 on Friday.
★★★ rise of the planet of the apes -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) James Franco stars in a thoughtful reboot of this classic sci-fi series about war between mankind and intelligent apes. In this origins story set in the present day, a medical experiment gets out of hand … and some very pissed-off apes get out of the lab.
the smurfs -(SilverCity/Caprice) A nasty wizard chases those cute blue blobs out of their magical medieval world and all the way to Manhattan.
★★★ x–men: first class-(Caprice) 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.
spy kids: all the time in the world -(SilverCity/Westshore) A new crew of cute espionage moppets is recruited to help stop a diabolical villain from conquering the planet (where do they get these wild plots from?!) Starring Jessica Alba and Jeremy Piven and directed by Robert Rodriguez.
★½ 30 minutes or less -(Capitol/SilverCity) A young slacker gets coerced into committing a bank robbery as part of a complicated scheme, in an action “comedy” that is vulgar, violent, pointlessly frenetic and painfully unfunny. Starring a seriously slumming Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, Social Network).
final destination 5 -(Capitol)
★★★★ whales -(IMAX)
journey into amazing caves -(IMAX)
★★★ fright night -(Capitol/Uni 4//SilverCity)
snowflower and the secret fan -(Odeon)
★★★★ born to be wild -(noon, 2:00, 4:00 & 7:00, Thurs.-Sat. only) 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!
rescue: disaster response -(1:00, 5:00) This high-adrenaline film depicts the courageous men and women who respond when global disaster strikes.
sea–rex: journey to a prehistoric world -(10am, noon, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00) In this adventure travel back millions of years to when amazing sea monsters ruled the seas.
★★ transformers: dark of the moon -(8:00, Thurs.-Sat., & 7:00, Sun.-Wed.) 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.
Movie Monday – The hard working Bruce Saunders takes a well-deserved day of rest in honour of Labour Day before returning with lots of interesting programming. 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.
live, above all -(Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 31-Sept. 1: 7:00, 9:10) This South African drama, a festival favourite, portrays a precocious young black girl who matures quickly as she deals with an HIV-infected mother, tribal superstitions, and other challenges.
queen of the sun: what are the bees telling us? -(Fri.-Sat., Sept. 2-3: 7:15, 9:00) In contrast to all the doom-and-gloom enviro-docs out there, this one couches its message about how the world’s bees — and hence us — are in trouble in a hopeful and entertaining way.
★★★★ midnight in paris -(Sun.-Mon., Sept. 4-5: 7:00, 9:00) 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.
★★★¼ the new world -(Tues., Sept. 6: 7:15 only) This 2006 film by Terrence Malick is an epic and dreamily lyrical account of Captain John Smith and Pocohontas and the colonial settlers on the Virginia coast in the early 1600s. Colin Farrell is miscast.
★★the hangover, part ii -(Wed.-Thurs., Sept. 7-8: 7:15, 9:20) In this follow-up to the raucous raunchfest of last year, that tragically awry bachelor party in Vegas segues into a different set of nuptials in Thailand. Sadly, this sequel is tedious and rarely funny.
★★★½ bridesmaids -(7:00) 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). This is now the top-grossing female comedy of all time.
final destination 5 -(9:15) The horror series that just won’t die returns with another bunch of baroque executions of pesky young people who were rude enough to “cheat death” and are about to pay the ultimate price for messing with the Grim Reaper.
cars 2 -(2:00, Sat.-Sun.) 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.
★★★¼ kung fu panda 2 -(4:00, 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.