Pin It
Favorite

Film Listings 1/17/19 – 1/24/19 

AQUAMAN

click to enlarge DEEP IMPACT Mera (Amber Heard) helps Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) claim his title as heir to Atlantis and save the world, in Aquaman. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DC ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
  • DEEP IMPACT Mera (Amber Heard) helps Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) claim his title as heir to Atlantis and save the world, in Aquaman.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

Pick

James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) directs this latest entry in the DC Extended Universe, Aquaman. The story centers on land dweller Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), aka Aquaman, the rightful heir to the throne of the underwater kingdom Atlantis. After his Atlantean half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson), declares war on the surface, Arthur must claim his birthright in order to stop genocide. With help from allies Mera (Amber Heard) and Vulko (Willem Dafoe), Arthur travels the world in search of an ancient weapon: a trident that legend says can only be wielded by the one true king of Atlantis. (143 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

BUMBLEBEE

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Park

Pick

Director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) helms this Transformers prequel that follows Bumblebee on the run from Decepticons in 1987. After a deadly brawl, the damaged Autobot becomes dormant in a California beach town junkyard, disguised as a VW Beetle. He's soon discovered by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen, True Grit), an 18-year-old outsider determined to fix him up and help defend against further attacks. Meanwhile, two Decepticon assassins are already on their way to Earth to destroy the planet and Bumblebee once and for all. (114 min.)

—Caleb

A DOG'S WAY HOME

click to enlarge FAMILIAR BUT SWEET (Left to right) Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King), Bella (Shelby the dog voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), and Terri (Ashley Judd) make a home together in the family adventure, A Dog's Way Home. - PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION
  • Photo Courtesy Of Columbia Pictures Corporation
  • FAMILIAR BUT SWEET (Left to right) Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King), Bella (Shelby the dog voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), and Terri (Ashley Judd) make a home together in the family adventure, A Dog's Way Home.

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

When's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

Pick

Charles Martin Smith (Air Bud, Dolphin Tale) directs this family adventure about Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), a dog who travels 400 miles to find her owner.

Born under a house as a stray, found and brought home by aspiring doctor Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) to live with him and his unemployed veteran mom, Terri (Ashley Judd), and then, through circumstance, sent to live elsewhere, Bella tries to find her way home, only to be lost in the woods and befriended by a cougar cub.

Sure, the story is familiar, perhaps even derivative. Yes, it's clumsily cloying and emotionally manipulative. True, its social justice message is dumbed down to the point of being ineffective. But there's an adorable dog, a formulaic feel-good story, and you can bring the whole family ... and some tissues, definitely some tissues. (96 min.)

—Glen Starkey

ESCAPE ROOM

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Rent it

When's it showing? Park

Director Adam Robitel (Insidious: The Last Key, The Taking of Deborah Logan) helms this thriller about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control after entering a mysterious escape room. The group must use their wits and work together if they're to survive.

There's enough tension and suspense to thrill fans of the genre, but for many viewers the film won't warrant a trip to the theaters. (109 min.)

—Caleb

THE FAVOURITE

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster, The Killing of a Scared Deer) directs this early 18th century period piece about two warring women seeking favor from the ailing, prickly Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).

Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) is the queen's longtime companion who essentially runs the country during a time of war. Newcomer Abigail (Emma Stone), a new servant to the queen, uses her charms to gain power of her own as she attempts to return to her aristocratic roots.

Featuring excellent performances coupled with a rich and timely subtext that connects beyond its period setting, The Favourite revels in its skewering of royal aloofness and power gluttony and delivers a sardonic treat. (119 min.)

—Glen

GLASS

click to enlarge HEROES OR WEIRDOS? M. Night Shyamalan revisits his characters Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson, left), Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy, center), and David Dunn (Bruce Willis), in Glass. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BLINDING EDGE PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Blinding Edge Pictures
  • HEROES OR WEIRDOS? M. Night Shyamalan revisits his characters Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson, left), Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy, center), and David Dunn (Bruce Willis), in Glass.

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10, Sunset Drive-in

New

Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening) helms this follow-up to his film Split, about Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), who has 24 distinct personalities. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), characters from Shyamalan's 2000 film, Unbreakable, also make an appearance, all under the watchful eye of Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychiatrist specializing in delusions of grandeur. Are the three men superheroes or supervillains—or are they crazy? (129 min.)

—Glen

GREEN BOOK

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Fair Oaks

Pick

Co-writer Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary) directs this biopic about African-American pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who hires working-class Italian-American bouncer Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) as his driver on a music tour of the 1960s American South. Though they're very different people, they develop a warm and enduring friendship. This is one of those classic feel-good movies only a true cynic could reject. Both lead characters come out of the other side of the story improved. (130 min.)

—Glen

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

click to enlarge SEARCHING FOR JUSTICE Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne, right) tries to clear her fiancé, Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephan James, left), of a crime he didn't commit, in If Beale Street Could Talk, based on James Baldwin's novel. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNAPURNA PICTUERS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Annapurna Pictuers
  • SEARCHING FOR JUSTICE Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne, right) tries to clear her fiancé, Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephan James, left), of a crime he didn't commit, in If Beale Street Could Talk, based on James Baldwin's novel.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

Writer-director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) helms this story based on James Baldwin's novel about Harlem woman Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne) trying to clear her fiancé, Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephan James), of a crime he didn't commit while carrying their first child. (119 min.)

—Glen

MANTRA: SOUNDS INTO SILENCE

click to enlarge OM The documentary, Mantra: Sounds into Silence, which explores finding inner peace through chanting, screens on Jan. 18 in Atascadero's Brooke West Yoga Therapy & Meditation. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SCHUBERT INTERNATIONAL FILMPRODUKTIONS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Schubert International Filmproduktions
  • OM The documentary, Mantra: Sounds into Silence, which explores finding inner peace through chanting, screens on Jan. 18 in Atascadero's Brooke West Yoga Therapy & Meditation.

What's it rated? Not rated

Where's it showing? Friday, Jan. 18, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., in Brooke West Yoga Therapy & Meditation (donations accepted)

New

Georgia Wyss and Wari OM co-direct this documentary that explores music and chanting, interviewing practitioners who have found inner peace. It's a film about spirituality, not religion. (85 min.)

—Glen

MARY POPPINS RETURNS

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Stadium 10

Pick

Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Pirates of the Caribbean: One Stranger Tides, Into the Woods) directs this sequel to the 1964 classic about a magical nanny who helps two neglected children reconnect with their father. This time around, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns to the Banks family children who are now adults. Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) lives with his three children—Anabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh), Georgie (Joel Dawson)—and their housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters), in the same house on Cherry Tree Lane. With encouragement from Michael's sister, Jane (Emily Mortimer), and the help of lamplighter, Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Mary helps the new set of Banks children find the joy in life. (130 min.)

—Glen

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Josie Rourke makes her directorial debut with Mary Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth l. The story focuses on Mary's attempts at overthrowing her cousin, Elizabeth, for England's throne. It's a period piece that shows the limits of what a woman could do—even a woman in power.

Throughout the film, the two women fight over who is the rightful Queen of England, but the main issue is the men that surround them—the men on their councils, the men they had relationships with (sexual or not), and the men who are their subjects. There wasn't a single man the women could trust. In one way or another, men were tired of listening to and being commanded by women. While their two reigns were fiercely driven apart, the only mutual understanding they had was taking a stand against men. (124 min.)

—Karen Garcia

THE MULE

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

Pick

Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino) directs this crime thriller screenplay by Sam Dolnick, based on The New York Times Magazine article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule" by Nick Schenk. Eastwood takes on the role of Earl Stone, a horticulturist and World War II vet who's caught in Michigan running $3 million worth of Mexican cartel cocaine.

Overall, this is an ambling film that occasionally delivers moments of emotional resonance. Eastwood is 88 years old, and the former hunky lead is comfortable in his skin, gifted behind and in front of the camera, and still capable of crafting an entertaining story.

The Mule will be remembered as an effective late-career effort from a masterful filmmaker who's given us classics such as The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, Mystic River, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, and American Sniper. For me, his amazing oeuvre is enough to erase his 2012 RNC speech to an empty chair. (117 min.)

—Glen

ON THE BASIS OF SEX

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Bay, Galaxy, The Palm, Park, Stadium 10

See Split Screen.

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Galaxy

Pick

Co-directors Phil Johnson and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia) helm this animated sequel in which Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman) follow a Wi-Fi router in their home arcade, Litwak's Family Fun Center, to explore a strange new world: the internet. (112 min.)

—Caleb

REEL ROCK 13

click to enlarge HANG ON Reel Rock 13, a film series featuring last year's most daring climbing films—including Age of Ondra, starring Adam Ondra, the 25-year-old Czech climber—screens on Jan. 19 in the Fremont Theater. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BIG UP PRODUCTIONS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Big Up Productions
  • HANG ON Reel Rock 13, a film series featuring last year's most daring climbing films—including Age of Ondra, starring Adam Ondra, the 25-year-old Czech climber—screens on Jan. 19 in the Fremont Theater.

What's it rated? Not rated

When's it showing? Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Fremont Theater (8 p.m.; all ages; $8 at Boo Boo Records or fremontslo.com)

New

The North Face presents Reel Rock 13, a series of this year's best climbing films: Age of Ondra, Up to Speed, Queen Maud Land, and Valley of the Moon. Visit theclymb.com for more info. Proceeds benefit the Land Conservancy of SLO County.

—Glen

REPLICAS

click to enlarge DEAD ON ARRIVAL Keanu Reeves stars as a synthetic biologist determined to clone his dead family members in Replicas, a sci-fi fiasco. - PHOTO COURTESY OF RIVERSTONE PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Riverstone Pictures
  • DEAD ON ARRIVAL Keanu Reeves stars as a synthetic biologist determined to clone his dead family members in Replicas, a sci-fi fiasco.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Stream it

When's it showing? Downtown Centre, Park

Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor) directs Keanu Reeves as Will Foster, a synthetic biologist who defies the law and nature to bring his family back from the dead.

This film is less concerned with creating a believable plot or relatable characters and more interested in bringing the sci-fi thriller (if you can call it that) to life.

Will is a biologist who works for Bionyne, and his specialty is transferring the genetic map of a recently deceased veteran's brain to a synthetic form—which is usually a robot. The only issue is every time a human's consciousness is put into a robot, the robot sees its mechanical arms and legs and loses its cool by yelling and tries to rip off its metal face.

The constant failure has Will's boss—a resting bitch-faced jerk— threatening to shut down the multi-million-dollar investment project, as it hasn't produced any results or progress. Will stresses that he's on the verge of a breakthrough and points out that he relocated his family in order to work for the company.

Meanwhile, Will is set to go on a vacation with his wife, Mona; his son, Matthew; and his daughters, Sophie and Zoe. Will's close friend and colleague Ed lends the Foster family his boat to get to their destination. As the family makes its way to the dock, a storm hits and Mona casually says she can't see anything outside the windows due to the downpour. Then, predictably, the car almost collides with a big rig and instead hits a tree and hydroplanes off the road. When Will regains consciousness he sees that he's the sole survivor of the accident.

It takes Will all but comically less than five minutes to cry and then, like a mad scientist, plan that he'll clone his family in order to give them a second chance at life.

The film is very much like a modern day Frankenstein, but with that being said, it lacks any new style or plot twist to give it any praise.

I'm surprised this film was released in theaters; it reminds me of some of the terrible Netflix originals that I can stream online just for kicks. Similar to those films, I can't tell if it's bad writing or bad acting that's giving these characters such a flat existence. I honestly couldn't tell human from clone, as both were extremely robotic. Of the approximately $30 million budget, no one decided an acting coach might be a good investment.

I also can't tell who I'm supposed to sympathize with because the protagonist is supposed to be Will, but I can't root for him because he's pretty much an idiot. He didn't really think things through: remember, it took him less than five minutes to grieve over his dead family's bodies (literally). I get it—he's a distraught man who's just lost his family, but he also doesn't even begin to think about not only the law that he's breaking, but also his friend, Ed, who's now an accomplice. In order to avoid people coming to his door and asking questions, he takes his family's electronics—laptops and cellphones—and starts to pretend to be each individual answering emails and text messages. Psychopath much?

The movie goes in all kinds of directions and is so predictable that I wish I could have cooked up a clone of myself to watch the film. Just because the film's poster says it's from the producers of Transformers and you remember Reeves from The Matrix does not mean you should see this movie in theaters. Just wait until your preferred streaming services picks it up so you can judge and laugh at the film from the comfort of your home. (107 min.)

—Karen

THE SLO BACKCOUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL

What's it rated? Not rated

When's it showing? Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the SLO Brew Rock Event Center (6:30 p.m.; all ages; $15 at slobrew.com)

New

The 14th annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival will screen at the SLO Brew Rock Event Center in a benefit for nonprofit education organization Outside Now. Films include Ode to Muir; Ski the Wild West; The Abbey; The Backcountry Snowsports Initiative: Human-Powered; Abandoned; Blue; I Am Here; Surfer Dan; Searching for Christmas Tree; and Westward: Brennan Lagasse.

—Glen

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Stadium 10

Pick

Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman co-direct this animated action adventure co-written by Phil Lord and co-produced by Christopher Miller (the duo best known for directing The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street). Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) becomes the Spider-Man of his version of reality, then crosses into a parallel universe where he teams with other realities' Spider-Men and a Spider-Woman to stop a an evil that threatens all realities.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse does for Marvel what Teen Titans Go! To The Movies did for DC earlier this year: It takes these characters places that live action couldn't possibly allow (I could be eating these words in a year or so). Despite the comparison to a quite sillier film, Spider-Verse is surprisingly just as earnest as it is humorous. No matter how many one-liners, knee-slappers, and instances of breaking the fourth wall there are, the stakes feel real. (117 min.)

—Caleb

THE UPSIDE

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless, Divergent) directs this American remake of the wonderful 2011 film, Les Intouchables, about Phillip (Bryan Cranston), a wealthy quadriplegic who hires Dell (Kevin Hart), a man with a criminal record, to help him with his day-to-day needs.

Score this as another one of those audience-pleasing films that critics find cliché and cloying. True, it's not as good as its French progenitor, but as a feel-good story of redemption, it works, and there's no denying Cranston and Hart's chemistry. (125 min.)

—Glen

VICE

click to enlarge COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF Adam McKay (The Big Short) directs Sam Rockwell as President George W. Bush, in the Dick Cheney biopic Vice. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNAPURNA PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Annapurna Pictures
  • COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF Adam McKay (The Big Short) directs Sam Rockwell as President George W. Bush, in the Dick Cheney biopic Vice.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Stadium 10

Pick

Writer-director Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers) helms this biopic dramedy about Washington, D.C., bureaucratic insider Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), who became George W. Bush's (Sam Rockwell) vice president, using his power to reshape the U.S. and its foreign policy.

Christian Bale nails Cheney's habit for talking out of the side of a subtle snarl, his lumbering and slouchy gait, and his measured speech patterns. It certainly helps that his makeup is transformative, but Bale deserves most of the credit for inhabiting Cheney's skin. His portrayal also does a lot to humanize Cheney, who appears to love and respect his wife Lynne (Amy Adams)—in a Lady MacBeth sort of way—and support his daughters Liz (Lily Rabe) and Mary (Alison Pill), even when the latter comes out as gay.

The film covers Cheney's life from his drunken and loutish youth through his Machiavellian turn as the puppeteer behind George W. Bush's presidency, and what seems clear in McKay's interpretation of Cheney is that he was power hungry and believed the ends justifies the means. Unnecessary war, "legalized" torture, bolstering corporations and the super rich—those are Cheney's enduring legacies. (132 min.)

—Glen

UNBRIDLED

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Galaxy

New

Sarah (Tea McKay), a young woman abandoned by her mother (Dey Young) and abused by her mother's boyfriend (Eric Roberts), finds her road to recovery at an equine therapy academy. (115 min.) Δ

—Glen

New Times movie reviews are compiled by Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey. Contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

Trending Now

© 2019 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation