Film listings Feb. 7 – 13

The Victoria Film Festival kicks off; The Monuments Men, The Lego Movie and Vampire Academy open

Film OPENING

VICTORIA FILM FESTIVAL -(Odeon/The Vic) The big news this week is the opening of the annual Victoria Film Festival, showcasing several dozen feature films, compendiums of short films, plus symposiums and other special events. For details, grab a brochure or check out their easy-to-use website for full details.

THE MONUMENTS MEN -(Odeon/Landmark Uni 4/SilverCity/Westshore) George Clooney directs and acts in this rousing true-life tale of an American platoon during the Second World War tasked with retrieving European art masterworks pilfered by the Nazis. With Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, and John Goodman.

THE LEGO MOVIE -(SilverCity/Landmark Uni 4/Westshore) An evil LEGO tyrant plans to glue the entire universe together, and it’s up to an ordinary LEGO mini-figure to save the day. This animated romp features the vocal talents of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, and Will Ferrell.

VAMPIRE ACADEMY -(SilverCity) Peaceful and mortal vampires called Morols live discreetly amongst us humans, but are being hunted by nasty, immortal vampires. Luckily, the Morols have a sexy guardian named Rose. Let the biting begin!

CONTINUING

★★★★ 12 YEARS A SLAVE -(Odeon) This harrowing, true-life tale of a free black man in 1840s America who was kidnapped and sold into slavery is this year’s Oscar front runner. Directed by Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt.

★★★½ AMERICAN HUSTLE -(Odeon/SilverCity) David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter) looks good to be collecting Oscar Gold for this screwball crime dramedy, loosely based on the 1970s Abscam scandal, when an FBI sting ensnared a bunch of congressman on corruption charges. This devil’s brew of messy emotions and sneaky double-crosses features a great cast that includes Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence.

★★½ AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY -(Odeon/Landmark Uni 4) A wildly dysfunctional family has an acrimonious, often venomous reunion after a funeral. Meryl Streep acts up a storm as the family matriarch, but all the shrieking and anger and emotional messiness doesn’t have much of a point. The great cast includes Chris Cooper, Sam  Shepard, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, and Dermot Mulroney.

★★★½ DALLAS BUYERS CLUB -(Odeon) Matthew McConaughey has latterly gone from laughing stock to leading actor, and is currently an Oscar fave for his role in this true-life 1980s-era story of Ron Woodroof, a redneck, homophobic rodeo rider from Texas who finds out he has contracted AIDS from wild living. Given only weeks to live, Woodroof finds out about the experimental drug AZT and comes alive as a drug-smuggling AIDS activist, helping not just himself but many other sufferers. Co-star Jared Leto is also nominated, for best supporting actor.

FROZEN -(SilverCity/Westshore) As a prelude to winter comes this appealing Disney animated tale about a brave woman who sets out to rescue a kingdom trapped in eternal winter. Some of the other characters include a goofy snowman and his reindeer buddy. Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen.

★★★½ GRAVITY -(SilverCity)   Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in a harrowing, brilliantly-executed thriller about two astronauts aboard a space station who survive an accident only to find themselves drifting helplessly through space, with little hope of rescue or survival. Oscar loves this movie!

★★★HER -(Odeon) Most critics have loved the latest from the incomparably weird Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely writer who develops an intensely intimate relationship with his computer’s Siri-like operating system (voiced with beguiling sexiness by Scarlett Johansson). See review in the monthly Monday Magazine.

★★★ THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG -(SilverCity)  Peter Jackson delivers three hours of fast-paced entertainment in this exciting, combat-filled and often funny account of Bilbo, Gandalf, and a bevy of bearded dwarves as they confront that terrifying, gold-hoarding dragon named Smaug (voiced by the suddenly ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch).

★ I, FRANKENSTEIN -(SilverCity/Westshore) Aaron Eckhart stars in a truly terrible special effects-driven fantasy thriller about how Mary Shelley’s legendary monster becomes mankind’s saviour as he teams up with angelic gargoyles (!) to battle demons ready to conquer humanity. With Bill Nighy.

★★½ JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT -(SilverCity/Westshore) A young Jack Ryan (Chris Pine, Star Trek) has to upshift from covert CIA analyst to kick-ass field agent in this high-octane thriller about a Russian plot to destroy the U.S. economy as part of a terrorist attack. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and co-starring Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Colm Feore.

★★ LABOR DAY -(Odeon/Westshore) The previously credible Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) directs Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in a sudsy, occasionally laughable melodrama about a depressed single mom who has an encounter with a seemingly scary escaped convict, only to find herself falling for the hunky dude. See review online.

THE NUT JOB -(SilverCity/Westshore) So-so reviews have greeted this animated romp about a curmudgeonly squirrel who gets banished from his park and has to learn to survive in the big city — so watch out, Maury’s Nut Store! With the vocal talents of Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, and Will Arnett.

★★★½ PHILOMENA -(Landmark Cinema 4) Oscar-nomination speculation is already swirling around Judi Dench for her performance as a woman who was forced to give up her out-of-wedlock child 50 years ago and is now determined to track him down. This surprisingly funny dramedy co-stars Steve Coogan and is directed by the great Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Queen).

★★RIDE ALONG -(Westshore)  The jokes are raunchy and predictable in this action comedy about a fast-talking security guard who joins his cop brother-in-law-to-be on a ride along in order to prove himself worthy of marrying the man’s sister. With Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.

★★THAT AWKWARD MOMENT -(SilverCity/Westshore) Three 20-something guys who are best friends find themselves confronting a terrifying question: are their current dates just casual affairs . . . or something more? Zac Efron stars in an uninspired romcom, set amidst the hook-up generation, that clumsily blends raunchy jokes with tender feelings. See review.

★★★½ THE WOLF OF WALL STREET -(Odeon/SilverCity) Revered director Martin Scorsese reunites with Leonardo DiCaprio for this electrifyingly debauched, true-life tale of Jordan Belfort, a sleazy Wall Street stockbroker at the centre of a massive financial scandal in the 1990s. With Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, and Jon Favreau.

IMAX

GREAT WHITE SHARK -(Fri.-Thurs., 10 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm) The ocean’s most iconic predator gets star billing in a documentary exploring the myth and the reality of the great white shark and the scientists who study it.

★★★ HIDDEN UNIVERSE -(11 am, 2 pm, 4 pm: Fri.-Thurs.) Travel to the farthest reaches of the visible universe courtesy of the world’s most amazing telescopes.

★★★ SPACE JUNK -(noon, 6 pm) Hundreds of tons of junk are orbiting above the planet, and this fascinating doc tells you why you need to know about it.

SCREENINGS

MOVIE MONDAY – screens Bernie. Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) helmed this droll true-crime story starring Jack Black as a small-town Texas mortician who kills a wealthy widow, then goes to great trouble to create the illusion she’s still alive. This is a wonderfully entertaining slice of oddball Americana.  6:30 pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.

AWARENESS FILM NIGHT -is showing Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle. After the screening of the documentary about residential schools, two survivors of Vancouver Island residential schools will discuss their experiences. WEDNESDAY, 7 pm, Edward Milne Community School theatre, 6218 Sooke Road.

CINECENTA

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

★★★½ CAPTAIN PHILLIPS -(Fri.-Sat., Feb. 7-8: 3:00, 7:00, 9:30) Tom Hanks is superb in this harrowing and suspenseful account of a notorious  piracy episode that took place off the coast of Somalia.

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 -(Sat.-Sun., Feb. 8-9: 1:00 matinees) The wacky animated comedy about an infamous machine that churns out scary food-animal hybrids was popular enough to merit a sequel. Consider yourself warned! With the vocal talents of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and Will Forte.

WADJDA -(Sun., Feb. 9: 3:00, 7:00, 9:00 & Mon., Feb. 10: 7:00, 9:00) Saudi Arabia is the last place to look for feminist films, yet nothing but praise has greeted this smart and funny crowd-pleaser about a rebellious 12-year-old girl who never met a rule she couldn’t subvert.

★★★★2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY -(Tues., Feb. 11: 7:00) Stanley Kubrick’s visionary sci-fi epic remains a landmark of cinema. Before there was the NSA, HAL was eavesdropping!

MUSCLE SHOALS -(Wed.-Thurs., Feb. 12-13: 7:00, 9:15) Everyone from the Rolling Stones to Wilson Pickett have made music at this legendary Alabama recording studio, which created a unique sound that was both gritty and soulful.

THE VIC THEATRE

The Vic Theatre is located at 808 Douglas Street. Info: thevic.ca

VICTORIA FILM FESTIVAL -Our city’s annual film festival is off and running. Please check the VFF guide or go online to their website for film details. And many films are selling out, so buy your tickets early!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Frank Ludwig in a forklift with his long hair during Trooper’s heyday. (Photo submitted)
Humble Island beginnings blossomed into storied career for Trooper keyboardist

Frank Ludwig got his start as a boy pumping the organ in a tiny downtown Chemainus church

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Thomas Kuecks, Bellamy Kuecks and Paula Foot have come together to create an album of stories for children. (Nina Foot photo)
Moments with Miss Paula creates musical stories for kids

Music and the spoken word from Island pair available on streaming

Author Eden Robinson poses for a portrait during an interview in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Trickster trilogy author Eden Robinson hosts online conversation and reading

Haisla and Heiltsuk will join fans in event hosted by Vancouver Island Regional Library

Nanaimo author Lawrence Winkler’s latest book is ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa.’ (Bulletin file photo/supplied)
Nanaimo author wraps up trilogy following ‘antihero’ Island doctor

Lawrence Winkler presents ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa’

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)
Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library librarian April Ripley led the effort to create a Vancouver Island poetry booklet in recognition of National Poetry Month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library publishes booklet for National Poetry Month

Collection features winners of ‘Poem in your Pocket’ contest

SENCOTEN language revitalizationist and filmmaker Renee Sampson’s short film, Bringing Our Language Back to LIfe, shows online during the Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, April 14-23. (Photo courtesy Wapikoni)
SENCOTEN language featured in short film created on Saanich Peninsula

Renee Sampson film highlights importance of passing on traditional languages to youth

Most Read