Weekly Film Listings May 19-25
pirates of the caribbean: on stranger tides -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) 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 alarmingly lucrative action-comedy series. Starts Fri.
the bang bang club -(Odeon) Ryan Phillippe heads up some fine actors in a fact-based drama exploring the moral dilemmas and emotional challenges facing a quartet of combat photojournalists striving to be “objective” about the nightmare of civil war in 1980s South Africa. Starts Fri.
★★★½ bridesmaids -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) 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). See review.
★★★ fast five -(Odeon/SilverCity/Caprice) In the latest Fast & Furious installment, those sort-of good guys once again end up on the wrong side of the law as they finds themselves trapped between a vicious drug lord and an implacable federal agent. Starring Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. This is fine, trashy fun.
★★★½ hanna -(Capitol) A 16-year-old girl, trained as an assassin by her CIA rogue agent of a father, is on the run across North Africa and Europe as ruthless intelligence agents try to track her down. Starring Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana and a very persuasive Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones). The plot cheats a bit, but this thriller couched in terms of a fairy tale is engaging and very well directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice).
hoodwinked too! hood vs. evil -(Capitol) This kid-friendly animation is a wacky take-off of classic fairy tales, as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf are called on to investigate the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel.
soul surfer -(Capitol) A teenage surfer loses her arm to a shark attack and somehow summons the courage to ride the waves again. Based on the true-life tale from a few years back.
★★★½ the lincoln lawyer -(Capitol) This tricky crime thriller stars Matthew McConaughey as an unconventional lawyer who gets in over his head while representing a wealthy client accused of murder. Based on the novel by Michael Connelly. McConaughey brings his natural gifts — roguish charm overlaid with dollops of sleaze and smug self-regard — in what could be a career-saving role. The great supporting cast includes Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo and Ryan Phillippe.
★★ priest -(Odeon/SilverCity) Possibly as penance for starring in the atrocious religio-horror flick Legion, talented English thespian Paul Bettany gets to star in another religio-horror flick, this one a post-apocalyptic vampire gorefest deliberately styled after classic westerns. Call it The Good, The Bad and the Undead.
★★★¼ rio -(Capitol/SilverCity/Caprice) This very colourful animated romp stars a domesticated macaw that heads off on a wild jaunt to Rio de Janeiro to find avian amour. Featuring the vocal talents of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway.
★★★ source code -(Odeon) Jake Gyllenhaal stars in a sci-fi-ish thriller about a soldier who is teleported into the body of a stranger in order to find the terrorist due to blow up a train in eight minutes. The Matrix-meets-Groundhog-Day premise is more clever than the movie itself, which is solid but unremarkable.
★★½ thor -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) Directed by Kenneth Branagh, this is a 3D account of the hammer-swinging Norse god after he gets the boot from Asgard and ends up on earth — which he then has to save from annihilation. Two of the stars not playing Thor are Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman.
something borrowed -(Capitol/SilverCity) Kate Hudson stars in a romantic comedy about a perpetually single gal who unexpectedly falls for a guy — too bad he’s the fiancé of her best friend. This turkey has been plucked by virtually every critic in North America.
★★¾ water for elephants -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) 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 clichéd and reeking with phoniness, this romantic melodrama benefits hugely from a stirring performance by Rosie the elephant.
★★½ jane eyre -(Odeon)
★½ scream 4 -(Capitol)
★★ insidious -(Capitol)
★★★½ ARABIA -(1:00 5:00) The past and the present merge in this exploration of the rich history and present-day exoticism and complexity of Saudi Arabia.
★★★★ born to be wild -(10am, 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 Narrated by Morgan Freeman. This is a great film! Note: no 10am show on May 24.
journey into amazing caves -(11am, 3:00, 6:00, 8:00)
under the sea -(10am May 24 only)
★★★ wired to win: surviving the tour de france -(11am, 2:00, 6:00) Gorgeous race footage combines with intriguing medical details of what happens inside the body when racers go the limit in the ultimate endurance contest.
Movie Monday – Screening Made in Dagenham. 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. 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.
the sun behind the clouds: tibet’s struggle for freedom -(Wed.-Thurs., May 18-19: 7:15, 9:00) According to reviews this is an impressively even-handed look at the deadly friction between Tibet and China, especially the struggle within Tibet as to whether co-existence or independence is the better strategy.
the king’s speech -(Fri.-Mon., May 20-23: 7:00, 9:20) 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.
certified copy -(Tues.-Thurs., May 24-26: 7:10, 9:15) This French-Italian-Iranian co-production has been compared to both Before Sunrise and Vertigo, due to a provocative storyline in which an English art historian and a French art gallery owner (Juliette Binoche) spend a day together in Tuscany, eventually begin to pretend that they are man and wife. Ultimately, they travel through some kind of Tuscan looking glass and really do seem to be lovers from another time. “A sensual and intellectual delight.” -The New Yorker
★★ insidious -(7:15) Insipid is more like it, although this tale of a couple trying to save their comatose child from strange supernatural forces has a few good scares up its sleeve — which, commendably, they pull off without resorting to gore.
★½ scream 4 -(9:00) Wes Craven reboots his own deconstructive slasher series, but the plotting is preposterous and all that “meta” movie babble stopped being clever years ago. Starring Scream survivors Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette.
★★★¼ rango -(12:30, Sat.-Sun.) 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!
hop -(2:15, Sat.-Sun.) In this fluffy bit of animated fun for the whole family the teenage son of the Easter Bunny heads to Hollywood to join a rock ‘n’ roll band — only to encounter some unexpected adventures.
Your Highness -(3:50, Sat.-Sun.) This tongue-in-cheek medieval action flick has been reviled even by the pushover critics. Starring James Franco, Natalie Portman, Toby Jones, and Zooey Deschanel.