TITANIC -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) James Cameron celebrates the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the supposedly unsinkable Titanic by re-releasing his epic version of the story, the second-highest grossing film of all time. Starts Wed.
AMERICAN REUNION -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) This sequel to the raunchy but sweet-natured comedy classic American Pie features Stifler, Jim, Michelle and all the other reprobates as they attend their high school reunion. Starts Fri.
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI -(Odeon) Sushi fans may well swoon thanks to what is supposedly a mesmerizing portrait of Japan’s 85-year-old master of sushi. Starts Fri.
THE RAID: REDEMPTION -(Odeon) By all accounts this tale about a SWAT team that gets into trouble raiding a tenement building ruled by a ruthless mobster with an army of thugs is one of the greatest martial arts flicks of recent years. Starts Fri.
★★ ACT OF VALOR -(SilverCity) Real Navy SEALS enact a fictional tale about elite soldiers going up against narco-terrorists, jihadists, and other threats to our comfy way of life in the west.
BIG MIRACLE -(Caprice) Drew Barrymore stars in a heartfelt movie (based on real events) about a news reporter and a Greenpeace volunteer who work to save a family of grey whales trapped by ice in the Arctic Circle.
★★ DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX- (SilverCity/Westshore) This is an over-stuffed, garishly coloured eco-parable that is preachy and only fitfully engaging. Featuring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE -(Caprice) Nicholas Cage once again reprises his role as an avenger from beyond the grave, in a third-tier Marvel Comic adaptation that has staggered from bad to worse.
★★½ THE HUNGER GAMES -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) With Twilight fading fast, the latest teen sensation is undoubtedly this fantasy account of a future world where every year 24 young people are selected to fight to the death on live TV. Everyone else seems to love this movie, but other than for the great lead performance by JenniferLawrence I found this derivative and a bit on the cheesy side.
★★★ THE IRON LADY -(Caprice) Meryl Streep finally got a date with Oscar for her amazing turn as Margaret Thatcher, in a biopic of England’s first female prime minister that explores her polarizing politics and the price she paid for power. Smoothly directed, although a bit of a standard “greatest hits” kind of biography.
★★ JOHN CARTER -(SilverCity) Although Edgar Rice Burroughs is most famous as the creator of Tarzan he also wrote a series of epic sci-fi adventures about a Civil War vet who magically travels to Mars, there to have astonishing adventures. The resulting movie? Not so great.
JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND -(Caprice) There’s lots of action and adventure in this fantasy tale of a rescue mission to a mysterious island that is home to lots of strange — and dangerous — critters. With Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine.
★★½ MIRROR MIRROR -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) Here’s an over-the-top but still entertaining retelling of the Snow White fairy tale starring Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane, and Armie Hammer. Directed by noted visual stylist Tarsem Singh (The Cell).
PEOPLE OF A FEATHER -(Capitol) This award-winning documentary is set amidst the indigenous people of the high Arctic.
★★ PROJECT X -(Capitol) Three high school seniors throw “the party of a lifetime,” which inevitably spirals into chaos and debauchery — and that’s before most of the neighbourhood gets destroyed. It’s lewd, crude and occasionally funny.
★★★ SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN -(Odeon) Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) directs Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt in a whimsical tale, part satire and part romantic comedy — about a fisheries expert who becomes a consultant to a sheik who wants to bring the sport of fly fishing to the desert.
★★★½ the secret world of arrietty -(Caprice) This Japanese-influenced animated tale features a family of four-inch-tall people who live secretly amongst normal humans — until their daughter gets discovered. Although aimed at younger kids, this is a delight for all fans of great animation.
★ SILENT HOUSE -(Caprice) Elizabeth Olsen, who had a remarkable break-out performance in Marcy Martha May Marlene, screams a lot in this astonishingly tedious horror flick about a house haunted by an evil history. Call this The Blair Ghost Home Renovation Project.
★★★ 21 JUMP STREET -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) The TV show about undercover cops in high school jumps to the silver screen, getting a spoofy and raunchy makeover in the process. As guilty pleasures go, this one is pretty darned funny. Starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
THE VOW -(Caprice) Romantics can keep the spirit of Valentine’s alive by watching this sudsy confection about a woman (Rachel McAdams) who wakes up from a coma with no recollection that she’s married. Her distraught husband (Channing Tatum) has to make her fall in love with him all over again.
★★ WANDERLUST -(Caprice) Two impoverished yuppies explore the world of a hippie commune in a hit-and-miss comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.
★½ WRATH OF THE TITANS -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) Wrath of the classics scholars will be more like it, as Hollywood delivers a particularly cheesy tale about how half-mortal Perseus braves the underworld to rescue his father (a.k.a. Zeus) as Ares and Hades unleash the brutal Titans upon the world. This fantasy epic stars Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, and Rosamund Pike.
JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME -(Odeon)
★★★★ A SEPARATION -(Odeon)
★★½ SAFE HOUSE -(Capitol)
AFRICAN ADVENTURE: SAFARI IN THE OKAVANGO -(noon, 3 pm)
★★★½ MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL -(8 pm, Thurs.-Sat., & 7 pm, Sun.-Mon.) Tom Cruise is back for a fourth outing with the IMF crew, in a particularly turbo-charged action flick with good performances, a tricky plot and amazing stunts. This is great in IMAX!
★★★½ ROCKY MOUNTAIN EXPRESS -(10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm [Sun.-Wed.], 7 pm [Thurs.-Sat.] Here’s a patriotic account of the many daunting challenges behind building the CPR railway: part history lesson, part glorious travelogue. See review.
TORNADO ALLEY -(11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm) Take an incredible trip into the violent heart of tornadoes via never-before-seen footage collected by a fearless (crazy?) storm chaser.
MOVIE MONDAY – Screening Starbuck. This popular Quebec comedy features an enormously prolific sperm bank donor whose lusty legacy comes back to haunt him. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595FLIC. moviemonday.ca
40 DAYS AT BASE CAMP -Mountain climbing fans will want to see this feature length documentary about how the “over-climbing” of Mount Everest has turned that magical mountain into something closer to a garbage-strewn theme park. THURSDAY, 7 pm, at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas Street. NOTE: CASH ONLY.
THE FLOWERS OF WAR -The newest film for renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, House of Flying Daggers) is a dramatic tale of love and war set during the notorious 1937-’38 Rape of Nanking by brutal Japanese soldiers. FRIDAY-SUNDAY, 6:45, 9:30 at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St. NOTE: CASH ONLY.
AWARENESS FILM NIGHT -There is a lot of interest in Rainforest: The Limit of Splendour, a documentary by local filmmaker Richard Boyce that heads high into the rainforest canopy to illuminater the relationship of First Nations to the forest. WEDNESDAY, April 11, 7 pm, Edward Milne Community School, 6218 Sooke Rd.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
IN DARKNESS -(Wed.-Thurs., April 4-5: 7:15 only) Oscar-nominated, this amazing true-life story is set in Poland during WWII and concerns a group of Jews that were hidden in the sewer system to avoid detection by the Nazis.
★★★★ TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY -(Fri., April 6: 7:00, 9:30 & Sat.-Sun., April 7-8: 3:00, 7:00, 9:30 & Mon., April 9: 7:00, 9:30) There is a bracing Kafka-esque bleakness permeating this superb adaptation of John Le Carré’s classic novel of double agents and Cold War espionage. The marvelous cast includes Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Toby Jones.
WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY -(Sat.-Sun., April 7-8: 1:00 matinee) Genial — and crazy! — Gene Wilder stars in the original 1971 version of the kid’s classic.
LE VENDEUR -(Tues., April 10: 7:00 only) With a shuttered mill as a backdrop, this small-town tale from Quebec is a mix of private drama and social commentary.
LE BONHEUR DES AUTRES -(Wed., April 11: 7:00 only) The director and lead actress will be present for the screening of this ambitious, Denys Arcand-style drama that tackles a dysfunctional family plus larger social themes.
★★★½ The Artist -Dazzling lead performances highlight this delightful homage to silent movies. Although in some ways more a whimsy than a real film, it probably will have a date with Oscar. SAT and SUN 2pm, FRI to THURS 7pm.
JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND -There’s lots of action and adventure in this fantasy tale of a rescue mission to a mysterious island that is home to lots of strange — and dangerous — critters. With Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine. SAT and SUN 3:50pm.
Safe House -A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge. Starring Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds and Robert Patrick FRI to THURS 8:50pm.