Weekly Film Listings Aug. 18-24
fright night -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) In a promising remake of a popular horror-comedy from 1985, a teenager suspects that his neighbour is a vampire. Colin Farrell stars as the studly blood-sucker. Starts Fri.
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. Starts Fri.
one day -(Odeon/Uni 4) Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess (Across The Universe) star in a quirky and promising romantic drama by Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education, Italian For Beginners). Starts Fri.
spy kids: all the time in the world -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) 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. Starts Fri.
snowflower and the secret fan -(Odeon) Wayne Wang (Smoke, The Joy Luck Club) directs this drama about two women in 19th century China whose lifelong friendship sustains them while they struggle against the strictness of a society where women have no freedom. Starts Fri.
★★ cowboys & aliens -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) 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).
★★★½ bridesmaids -(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). This is now the top-grossing female comedy of all time.
★★★ captain america: the first avenger -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) 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/SilverCity/Westshore) 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.
★★★ crazy, stupid, love -(Odeon/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.
final destination 5 -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) 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.
glee: the concert movie -(SilverCity/Uni 4) As though they weren’t rich enough already, the stars of the insanely popular TV musical set in high school took their singing and dancing on the road. This doc shows what they did on their summer vacation.
★★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).
★★¾ 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. See review.
★★★ 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/Westshore) A nasty wizard chases those cute blue blobs out of their magical medieval world and all the way to Manhattan.
★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).
winnie the pooh -(Caprice) 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.
★★½ horrible bosses -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore)
★★★ friends with benefits -(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.
★★★★ whales -(10am, 3:00) The perennial, much-loved classic about those noble leviathans of the deep makes another return visit.
Movie Monday – Screening ★★★¼ Rango. 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. Visually delightful and great fun! 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca
free b–movie festival -The Victoria Film Festival’s annual B-Movie mash-up takes a detour to Centennial Square for a screening of Masters of the Universe, a live-action flick based on a popular kid’s cartoon and starring Dolph Lundgren. 9pm FRIDAY.
FREE B–MOVIE FESTIVAL -The Victoria Film Festival’s annual B-Movie mash-up concludes back at the Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park with Who Is Killing The Great Chefs of Europe. Although not one of the greatest foodie movies ever, it is a tasty comedy. 9 pm SATURDAY
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Tickets are available 40 minutes prior to showtime. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
marion woodman: dancing in the flames -(Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 17-18: 7:15, 9:00) People eager to brush up on the metaphysics of mortality should check out this documentary on Marion Woodman, a “spiritual intellectual” who combines Jungian analysis with feminism and an interest in joining spirituality with professional psychology.
★★★★ midnight in paris -(Fri.–Sun., Aug. 19-21: 7:00, 9:25) 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.
made in dagenham -(Mon., Aug. 22: 7:00, 9:15) A great cast (Miranda Richardson, Bob Hoskins, Rosamund Pike) adds further lustre to a crowd-pleasing — and inspiring — comedy about the real-life strike in 1968 of female employees at the Ford Motor plant in Dagenham, England. By all accounts, feminist pieties take a back seat to sharp characterization and great dialogue.
searching for emily -(Tues., Aug. 23: 7:00 only) This sure-to-be-engrossing documentary portrays the process whereby gifted Victoria portrait painter Manon Elder collaborated with Royal BC Museum curator Kathryn Bridge on a unique project to explore and redefine the history and world of iconic painter Emily Carr. Even if you haven’t seen the resulting exhibibit this will likely be fascinating.
little white lies -(Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 24-25: 7:15 only) Marion Coutillard heads up a large cast in this complex “summer vacation drama” that explores human issues in that wry manner that only the French seem able to pull off with genuine flair.
★★★½ bridesmaids -(7:15) 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.
★★★ friends with benefits -(9:15) In a raunchy romantic comedy in the spirit 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.
cars 2 -(12:30, 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 -(2:25, 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.
★★ transformers: dark of the moon -(4:00, Sat.-Sun.) 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.