21 JUMP STREET -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) The TV show about undercover cops in high school jumps to the silver screen, getting a spoofy and raunchy makeover in the process. Starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Starts Fri.
JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME -(Odeon) Jason Siegel stars as a stay-at-home mega-slacker who finally gets some focus in his life by helping his brother come to terms with his adulterous wife. With Ed Helms. Starts Fri.
HOP -(Caprice) 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. Starts Fri.
★★★½ PUSS ‘N’ BOOTS -(Caprice) The endearing feline furball from Shrek gets his own swashbuckling prequel in a witty and entirely delightful piece of animation. Featuring the vocal talents of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Zach Galifianakis. 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.
★★★½ THE ADVENTURES OF
TINTIN -(Caprice) Steven Spielberg does a great — if slightly feverish — adaptation of the revered comics from the 1930s and ’40s starring a boy reporter who travels the world having great adventures.
ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS:
CHIP–WRECKED -(Capitol/Uni 4/Caprice) Those helium-voiced rodents are back to bring their special brand of joy to children (if not their parents).
★★★½ THE ARTIST -(Odeon/Caprice) Oscar says: silence is golden! Dazzling lead performances highlight this delightful homage to silent movies (which in some ways is more a whimsy than a real film).
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.
chronicle -(Caprice) Three high school buddies develop super powers, then find their friendship tested as their pranks start to take on a much darker aspect.
★★★ THE DESCENDANTS -(Odeon) The newest film from Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Sideways) stars George Clooney as a wealthy man who has to rebuild relationships with his daughters after his wife has a terrible accident. Although episodic and digressive, this is an affecting drama.
★★ DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX- (Odeon/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.
★★ FRIENDS WITH KIDS -(Odeon) Two best friends decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship platonic. As rom-coms go, this is well-acted, fitfully amusing, needlessly vulgar and rather preposterous. See review.
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. Note: moves here from the Westshore on Friday.
GOON -(SilverCity) The subject of hockey violence is explored in a raunchy comedy that has been slashed by most critics.
★★ HAPPY FEET 2 -(Capitol/Uni 4) Those dancing penguins are back in a bombastic and poorly-plotted sequel that will only appeal to those who enjoy being bludgeoned by cuteness. Featuring the vocal talents of Elijah Wood and Robin Williams.
★★★★ HUGO -(Uni 4) Although Martin Scorsese isn’t exactly known as a child-friendly filmmaker, he got lots of Oscar gold for this beguiling tale of a 1930s Paris orphan who lives in the walls of a train station and gets involved with a legendary filmmaker from the earliest days of cinema. The great cast includes Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen and Christopher Lee.
★★★ THE IRON LADY -(Capitol) 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 -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) 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. See review.
JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS
ISLAND -(Westshore/SilverCity) 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.
★★★★ PINA -(Odeon) This Oscar-nominated documentary by legendary filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) is a wonderfully lensed portrait of avant garde German choreographer Pina Bausch. The braver fans of modern dance will love it; others, not so much.
★★ PROJECT X -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) 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.
★★½ SAFE HOUSE -(SilverCity/Westshore) Denzel Washington is great playing a rogue CIA agent — unfortunately, all the violence and jerky Bourne-style camerawork can’t obscure how derivative the plot is. Ryan Reynolds is along for the ride.
★★★★ A SEPARATION -(Odeon) This Oscar-winning drama from Iran features a marital dispute that widens into deceit, confusion and tragedy. Easily one of the best films in recent years.
★ SILENT HOUSE -(Capitol) 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.
★★½ THIS MEANS WAR -(SilverCity) In this lively rom-com Reese Witherspoon sparks incendiary battle when she starts dating two CIA partners, who then compete increasingly aggressively for her affections. Slick, shallow, but entertaining.
A THOUSAND WORDS- (Capitol) Eddie Murphy, whose incredible talents sadly include a knack for starring in dreadful comedies, is back with a whopper: after lying to a spiritual guru, Murphy’s literary-agent character learns a very harsh lesson about words and their consequences. Even the pushover critics have slagged this turkey.
★★★★ TINKER TAILOR
SOLDIER SPY -(Odeon/Caprice) Don’t miss 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.
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 -(Westshore) Two impoverished yuppies explore the world of a hippie commune in a hit-and-miss comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.
★★½ WE BOUGHT A ZOO -(Caprice). Matt Damon plays a recent widower who takes his young family and decides to renovate and re-open a small zoo. Sentimental fluff, sure, but Damon elevates the material … and the animals are great. With Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church. Based on a true story.
★★★ WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT
KEVIN -(Uni 4) Tilda Swinton is superb in an overly arty drama about a woman who realizes that her young boy is growing into a strange and violent teenager. With John C. Reilly. Note: moves here from the Capitol on Friday.
★★ GONE -(SilverCity)
★★★ THE GREY -(Caprice)
★★★ WOMAN IN BLACK -(Caprice)
AFRICAN ADVENTURE: SAFARI IN
THE OKAVANGO -(10 am, 1 pm, 5 pm [except Sun.], 7 pm [Fri.-Sat.])
BEAVERS -(3 pm) That buck-toothed Canadian icon gets ready for his/her close-up.
★★★★ BORN TO BE WILD -(noon — except for Sat.) Animal lovers, prepare to be charmed!
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST
PROTOCOL -(8 pm Thurs.-Sat., & 7 pm, Sun.-Wed.) 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!
TORNADO ALLEY -(11 am [except Sat.], 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm [except Sun. and Thurs.) Take an incredible trip into the violent heart of tornadoes via never-before-seen footage collected by a fearless (crazy?) storm chaser.
WILDEST DREAM: THE CONQUEST OF EVEREST -(11 am Sat., 5 pm Sun., 6 pm Thurs.).
MOVIE MONDAY – Screening Heaven’s Heart. This award-winning Swedish film shows what happens when a taboo subject is brought up for discussion by a happily married couple — who discover a gulf they never knew existed. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FILM NIGHT -screens Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, the compelling account of how activists and lawyers slowly built a legal case against a Guatemalan miltary dictator guilty of a decade’s worth of war crimes. THURSDAY, Mar. 15, 2994 Douglas St.
3D MOVIE–MAKING WORKSHOP – is presented by CineVic and will show production companies and filmmakers how to become 3D ready. MONDAY, March 26, 9 am-5 pm at Intrepid Theatre, #2-1609 Blanshard St. Space is limited so pre-register at 250-389-1590. $20.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA -(Wed.-Thurs., Mar. 14-15: 7:15 only) We don’t see many Turkish films, and here’s a grand prize winner from the recent Cannes Film Fest described as “a metaphysical road movie about life, death, and the limits of knowledge.”
★★★ THE MUPPETS -(Fri.-Sun., Mar. 16-18: 1:00 matinee) Miss Piggy, Kermit et al. make a perky return to the silver screen in a musical extravaganza about efforts to save their beloved theatre from the schemes of a greedy oil baron. All this current Muppet mania seems a bit unmerited, but Muppets is a cute exercise in nostalgia.
★★★½ CARNAGE – (Fri.-Sat., Mar. 16-17: 3:00, 7:15, 9:00) A superb cast drives Roman Polanski’s black comedy about two yuppie couples who meet after their kids have a vicious fight. Things don’t go well. With John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet.
★★★ THE BIG LEBOWSKI -(Fri.-Sat., Mar. 16-17 — 10: 45 pm) This loosey-goosey romp involving gangsters and an identity mixup implicating an exalted surfer dude (Jeff Bridges) is adored by most Coen Brothers fans. The great cast includes John Turturro and John Goodman.
★★★ A DANGEROUS METHOD -(Sun., Mar. 18: 3:00, 7:00, 9:00 & Mon.-Tues., Mar. 19-20: 7:00, 9:00) Set during the dawn of psychoanalysis, this account of the relationship between Freud and Jung puts a lot of emphasis on how Jung began an affair with one of his patients (who went on to become a noted psychoanalyst herself). Directed by David Cronenberg and starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley.
★★★ SHAME -(Wed.-Thurs., Mar. 21-22: 7:10, 9:15) The latest from the director of Hunger is a bleak, uncomfortable but not overly enlightening look at the empty life of a sex addict. Starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.
Listings Mar. 16th to Mar. 22nd
Big Miracle (G) 12:30 pm (Fri., Mon., Wed.)
Hop (G) 12:45 pm (Sun., Tue., Thurs.)
I Am Bruce Lee – A Front Row Centre Event (PG) 12:45 pm (Sat. Only – No Passes)
Hugo (G) 2:30 pm (Fri.-Thurs.)Although Martin Scorsese isn’t known as a child-friendly filmmaker he’s been getting well-deserved raves for this beguiling tale of a 1930s Paris orphan who lives in the walls of a train station and gets involved with a legendary filmmaker from the earliest days of cinema.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (G) 5:15 pm (Fri.-Thurs.)
Wanderlust (14A) 7:00 pm (Fri.-Thurs.) Two impoverished yuppies explore the world of a hippie commune in a hit-and-miss comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.
Underworld: Awakening (18A) 8:45 pm (Fri.-Thurs.)