THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN – (Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Disney Studios produced this rather fantastical family-friendly tale about a childless couple who end up with a young boy under distinctly magical circumstances. Starring Jennifer Garner. Starts Wed.
THE EXPENDABLES – (Odeon/Westshore/SilverCity) Expect lots of manly mayhem as a group of aging mercenaries (played by aging Hollywood mercenaries like Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris and Bruce Willis) go up against a very nasty adversary. Starts Fri.
PARANORMAN – (Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) In what promises to be an amusingly morbid slice of family animation, a misunderstood boy who can talk to the dead is the only hope to save his town from an army of zombies and ghosts activated by a centuries-old curse. Starts Fri.
SPARKLE – (Odeon) The late Whitney Houston is one of the stars of this musical drama about three sisters who form a Motown girl group, only to see fame begin to erode their close-knit family. Starts Fri.
★★★ MAGIC MIKE – (Caprice) Channing Tatum stars as a male stripper who takes a protegé under his wing, then eventually has to rethink his lifestyle. Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
★★★½ THE AMAZING SPIDER–MAN – (Capitol/Caprice) Little-known actor Andrew Garfield suits up as everyone’s favourite webslinger in a super hero movie that’s smart enough to know that a great coming-of-age story is more compelling than routine action scenes. Co-starring Emma Stone.
★★★★ BEASTS OF THE
SOUTHERN WILD – (Odeon) Nothing but raves have greeted this unusual and touching drama, which uses moments of magic realism to portray the inner life of a young girl who is part of a small community of poor Louisiana folk who live entirely “off the grid.”
★★★½ THE BEST EXOTIC
MARIGOLD HOTEL – (Uni 4/Caprice) A diverse group of British seniors seek out an affordable retirement hotel in India, only to find it in shabby disarray. But despite the initial disappointment, India’s exotic charms win them over. This heartfelt comedy-drama has a sensational cast that includes Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Judi Dench.
★★ THE BOURNE LEGACY – (Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) The hyper-kinetic spy series gets a flaccid and disappointing reboot with a new director and new actor (Jeremy Renner). Co-starring Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. See review.
★★★ MADAGASCAR 3:
EUROPE’S MOST WANTED – (Caprice, Roxy) Those mouthy NYC zoo escapees are up to their usual colourful antics in a wittily entertaining animation romp.
★★★ BRAVE – (Capitol) Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson provide the voices for Pixar’s animated tale that is set in ancient Scotland and tells of a headstrong young princess who must rely on her courage to undo a beastly curse. Decent entertainment, albeit occasionally a bit plodding.
★★½ THE CAMPAIGN – (Odeon/SilverCity) A veteran congressman (Will Ferrell) who is used to running for office unapposed is shocked to find himself facing an inexperienced but effective challenger (Zach Galifianakis). This gleefully crass comedy does a (mostly) good job of skewering obvious targets like political corruption, hypocrisy, and smug media participation in a shameless circus.
★★★ THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – (Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) A diabolical terrorist named Bane poses a terrible threat to Gotham, as Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes to an exciting but rather bloated conclusion. With Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Anne Hathaway.
HOPE SPRINGS – (Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) Meryl Streep can’t endure her boring marriage any more and drags her reluctant husband (Tommy Lee Jones) off to intensive couple’s counselling to try to revive intimacy and romance.
★★★ ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL
DRIFT – (SilverCity) After their continent is set adrift, Manny, Diego, and Sid have some crazy, rollicking, humour-filled adventures. This is very fine family entertainment.
★★★ INTOUCHABLES – (Odeon) This funny and heart-warming French film features a wealthy aristocrat, a quadriplegic after a hang-gliding accident, who gets more than he bargained for when he hires a rough-edged black man from the projects to be his care aid. Based on a true story.
★★★ RUBY SPARKS – (Odeon) This charming and offbeat romcom features a nerdy, lovelorn novelist who writes about the girl of his dreams — only to find her happily living with him one day.
★★ STEP UP: REVOLUTION – (Capitol) The series about hip hop dancers shifts to Miami, and has lots of fun choreographing flash mobs of radical dancers who are trying to defeat a rich developer who wants to trash their neighbourhood.
★★½ TOTAL RECALL – (Capitol/SilverCity) Colin Farrell stars in a remake of the sci-fi thriller about a man who ostensibly takes a fantasy “brain trip” only to get caught up in real life-and-death adventures. Great art direction occasionally battles with talky patches and some B-movie plot twists.
★★½ TED – (Caprice, Roxy) Mark Wahlberg stars in a twisted — and sometimes laboured — comedy about a young man whose best friend is a foul-mouthed teddy bear that is a very bad influence on him. Written and directed by Seth MacFarlane, most famous for the TV satires Family Guy and American Dad!
★★★½ MOONRISE KINGDOM -(Odeon)
★ THE WATCH -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore)
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4)
★★★½ THE AMAZING SPIDER–MAN -(8 pm)
★★★★ BORN TO BE WILD -(10 am, 4 pm)
DINOSAURS: GIANTS OF PATAGONIA -(11 am, 2 pm, 7 pm) Those “terrible lizards” come back to life in a feature that complements the fascinating dinosaur exhibit currently on at the RBCM.
TO THE ARCTIC -(noon, 3 pm, 6 pm)
★★★½ ROCKY MOUNTAIN EXPRESS -(1 pm, 5 pm) Here’s a patriotic account of the many daunting challenges behind building the CPR railway: part history lesson, part glorious travelogue.
MOVIE MONDAY – Screening Weibo’s War. You won’t be indifferent to this portrait of enviro-activist — and possible terrorist — Weibo Ludwig, the charismatic patriarch of a deeply religious clan in Alberta. When their livestock started dying and women started having miscarriages, Ludwig had good cause to blame the oil and gas industry. They ignored his complaints, and pipelines started exploding. By donation. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. 595FLIC. moviemonday.ca
MAYFAIR MOVIES -Mayfair once again hosts its annual Summer Drive-in Movie Series, which are projected onto a three-storey inflatable screen. This week: Jaws, Steven Spielberg’s unforgettable thriller about a killer shark terrorizing a tourist town (much like Victoria. . .). WEDNESDAY, 9:30 pm at the corner of Blanshard and Finlayson.
BEACON HILL B MOVIES -The Victoria Film Festival returns with their annual Free-B Film Fest in the Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park. This week: Beetlejuice, the Tim Burton classic about the battle between nasty ghosts and their haunted house’s new human inhabitants. With Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis. SATURDAY, 9 pm.
Hip Hop EH – A groundbreaking new documentary by Vancouver director Joe Klymkiw that investigates the complex history and rise of hip hop culture in Canada. Includes interviews with Maestro, Buck 65, Kardinall Offishall, Dream Warriors, Michie Mee, Cadence Weapon, Classified, Rascalz, Swollen Members, Shad and more. Screening SUNDAY Aug. 19 at the Vic Theatre at 7:30pm.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
CROOKED ARROWS -(Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 15-16: 7:00, 9:00) Despite some amateurish touches, this tale of a wealthy aboriginal who reconnects with deeper values when he begins to coach his tribe’s lacrosse team is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD -(Fri.-Sat., Aug. 17-18: 7:10, 9:15) Steve Carell and Keira Knightley are the stars of this unusual drama-comedy set in the last weeks before Earth is due to be destroyed by a massive comet.
★★★½ AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY -(Sun.-Sat., Aug. 19-25: 7:00, 9:00) Most famous as one of the creators of the Bird’s Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics, Ai Weiwei is an iconic artist whose provocative installations are at the intersection of art and activism. This documentary is a vivid portrait of the man, the artist, and the shit disturber who repeatedly risks jail to make China a more humane and democratic country. See review.