Weekly Film Listings Sept 15-21
drive -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) There is a huge buzz surrounding this high-octane thriller about a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a wheelman for bankrobbers. The plot kicks in when a contract gets put on his life after a heist goes sour. Starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan (An Education). Starts Fri.
cave of forgotten dreams -(Odeon) The critics are purring about the new film from quirky cine-genius Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man). Using the “immersive” side of 3-D, Herzog has made a unique documentary about a newly-discovered cave in France with walls covered with 30,000-year-old caveman art. Starts Fri.
straW DOGS -(Odeon/SilverCity) This remake of a brutal actioner by Sam Peckinpah features a wimpy guy who returns to his sexy wife’s southern hometown. Trouble brews with a group of local guys, and Mr. Feeble has to grow a pair and defend hearth, home and hottie from an invasion force of rape-minded thugs. Starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth. The mayhem starts Fri.
i don’t know how she does it -(Capitol/SilverCity) Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a do-it-all wife/mother/professional woman who eventually hits a breaking point with her crazy life and its too-many demands. With Pierce Brosnan and Kelsey Grammer. Starts Fri.
lion king -(Capitol/SilverCity) The classic Disney animation from 1994 is getting a re-release in 3-D. Starts Fri.
★★★ another earth -(Odeon) This provocative and ambitious film gets downright metaphysical as its characters confront gritty issues of guilt and redemption even as a duplicate planet to our own mysteriously enters the solar system. Despite its weird and arguably unnecessary sci-fi-ish aspects, this is a mesmerizing and well-made film.
bucky larson: born to be a star -(SilverCity) This widely reviled “comedy” is about a chubby doofus from the midwest who travels to Hollywood to follow the family traditon — starring in porn movies.
★★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 -(Caprice) 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 -(Caprice) 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 McGowan.
★★★ contagion -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) 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.
★★ 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.
★★★½ the debt -(Capitol/Uni 4/Caprice) Helen Mirren heads up a great cast in a gripping and thoughtful espionage thriller about a trio of retired Mossad agents and the grubby truth about the deadly mission they have been celebrated for for decades. With Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life).
★★½ harry potter and the deathly hallows: part 2 -(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.
★★★ 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).
★★½ our idiot brother -(SilverCity/Westshore) 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.
★★★ rise of the planet of the apes -(Capitol/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. Note: moves from the Odeon to the Capitol on Friday.
the smurfs -(Caprice) A nasty wizard chases those cute blue blobs out of their magical medieval world and all the way to Manhattan.
★★★ warrior -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) Two estranged brothers end up as antagonists in a mixed martial arts championship, in a surprisingly effective drama where the emotional violence is almost as brutal as what happens in the ring. Starring Tom Hardy (Inception), Joel Edgerton (King Arthur) and Nick Nolte.
★★★½ the whistleblower -(Odeon) Rachel Weisz is superb in a harrowing true-life drama about an American police officer who travels to post-war Bosnia as a peacekeeper only to discover that the U.N. is covering up a huge sex scandal involving its own people. With Vanessa Redgrave and Monica Bellucci. See review.
conan the barbarian -(SilverCity)
★★★★ midnight in paris -(Uni 4)
don’t be afraid of the dark -(Odeon)
shark night -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore)
apollo 18 -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore)
★★★★ born to be wild -(11am, 3:00, & 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 – Screening The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg. This documentary peers deeply into the dramatic history of the whistleblower who did more than anyone to undermine public acceptance for the Vietnam War at the same time as trashing the Nixon presidency. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
quote–along classics. -The Victoria Film Festival gang are taking over the abandoned Vic Theatre for a monthly series of classic movies where patrons are encouraged to shout out all the famous lines they can remember. There’s also themed beverages and costume contests. They’re starting off with the Coen Brothers’ Big Lebowski, complete with Jeff Bridges as The Dude and lots of tasty villains. SATURDAY, 8 pm, ?????.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
★★★★★ the tree of life -(Wed.-Sat., Sept. 14-17: 6:45, 9:25) The latest from reclusive cine-poet Terrence Malick (Thin Red Line) is a uniquely beautiful and philosopical tone poem that shifts perspective from a dysfunctional ’50s family to the deepest patterns of earthly and cosmic time and space. Winner of the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
linda linda linda -(Sun., Sept. 18: 5:30) This appealing film from Japan tells of a pop-rock trio who suddenly need a substitute vocalist and have only three days to get ready for their big performance.
always – sunset on third street 2 -(Sun., Sept. 18: 7:40) This heartwarming film from acclaimed Japanese director Takeshi Yamazaki is set in the 1950s and portrays a group of intertwined lives from a working class neighbourhood.
brother [hermano] -(Mon., Sept. 19: 7:00, 9:00) UVic’s 2nd annual Latin American and Spanish Film Week begins with a Venezuelan drama about two talented young soccer players who have a once-ina-lifetime chance — but then must choose between family, revenge, and personal success.
perpetuum mobile -(Tues., Sept. 20: 7:00, 9:00) This award-winning film from Mexico portrays the distant relationship between a moving truck driver and his mother.
post mortem -(Wed., Sept. 21: 7:00, 9:00) Part thriller and part political drama, this Chilean film centres on a clerk at a city morgue whose love for a missing woman overlaps with the dark days of Pinochet and his police state.
★★★ captain america: the first avenger -(7:00) 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!
★★★ one day -(9:10) 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).
★★★¼ kung fu panda 2 -(12:50, 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.
smurfs -(2:30, Sat.-Sun.) A nasty wizard chases those cute blue blobs out of their magical medieval world and all the way to Manhattan.
★★★½ bridesmaids -(4:20, Sat.-Sun.) 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.