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Film Listings 1/4/18 – 1/11/18 

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Park, Galaxy

Pick

Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, The Martian) directs this crime thriller that follows the 1973 kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), the grandson of oil tycoon John Paul Getty Sr. (Christopher Plummer). When Getty Sr. refuses to pay the ransom, it's up to his daughter-in-law Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince him otherwise.

As her son's captors become increasingly volatile, Gail makes an alliance with Getty Sr.'s advisor and former CIA operative Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) to mount a rescue attempt. Meanwhile, the world watches as Getty Sr. stays firm in his stance, even when the ransom demand is reduced from $17 million to $4 million. "How much would you pay then?" one reporter asks the billionaire. His response: "Nothing."

If you don't know the true story before going in, like me, then All The Money in the World has enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat while simultaneously questioning what's real and what's fictional. A disclaimer informs us that although the film is inspired by true events, some details have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes.

One plot thread involves Getty III, or Paul as he's called, forming an unlikely "friendship" (I say that very loosely) of sorts with one of his captors, Cinquanta (Romain Duris), who guards his cell. During his captivity, Paul is mostly quiet and submissive, causing few problems for Cinquanta to worry about. Cinquanta makes small talk with Paul frequently, even shares a joint with him in one scene.

This untraditional acquaintanceship plays a pivotal role in the film's climax (which almost seems too Hollywood to be real). But whether that was an embellishment or not, it works for the film, which is first and foremost a pretty good piece of popcorn entertainment.

Still, director Scott treats this material with as much gravitas as possible. Every scene has weight to it, which is due to the performances as well, especially Christopher Plummer's. The fact that all of his scenes were shot in nine days, after he was announced as Kevin Spacey's replacement (in light of accusations of sexual misconduct against Spacey) only a month before the film's release, and turned out as well as they did is mind-boggling. (132 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

COCO

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full Price

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

Pick

Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina co-direct this animated adventure-comedy written by the directors and Jason Katz and Matthew Aldrich, about Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), an aspiring musician from a family in which music is banned. Miguel is swept into the Land of the Dead and meets his forebears in this film that explores the Mexican tradition of el Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.

Coco really is a love letter to the Mexican culture. I won't be one bit surprised if this wins Best Animated Feature at next year's Academy Awards. It deserves it! (109 min.)

—Glen Starkey

DARKEST HOUR

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? The Palm, Galaxy

Pick

Darkest Hour drops viewers into one of the tensest, grimmest periods of World War II to illustrate how British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Garry Oldman), orated Britain and its people out of surrendering to and into defiantly fighting Nazi Germany.

Essentially a biographical portrait of Churchill, Darkest Hour leans on a phenomenal performance by Oldman to captivate the audience and make us feel the immensity of Europe teetering on the edge of destruction.

Set in May of 1940, British Parliament has just ousted Neville Chamberlain as its Prime Minister as Hitler prepares to invade Belgium and Holland. Churchill is begrudgingly appointed as his successor, but fear and doubt still consumes the nation.

Despite the highest of stakes, Darkest Hour focuses on, at times with humor, on Churchill's blusterous and volatile personality. He's first seen lying in bed the morning of his appointment with a routine breakfast tray, including a tall glass of Scotch. Churchill loses his temper on his new secretary Elizabeth Laydon (an excellent Lily James), shouting her out of the room for not double-spacing his speech. Immediately, we see that Churchill is not a perfect man by any means. But we also see the power of his words.

Churchill assumes the helm with the message to the nation that accepting defeat isn't an option. But he faces resistance from many members of Parliament and even members of his own cabinet, who bicker with him to settle a peace treaty with Hitler, as millions of British soldiers' lives are on the line. It's Churchill's commitment to the principles of his country and disdain for the moral atrocities of Nazism that compel him to push back against the momentum of a surrender. That's what's thrilling about this movie: the emotional battle between the convenience of giving up versus the profound consequences of that concession.

Darkest Hour hits theaters at an appropriate time in history, when similar moral questions and human values are on the line. Churchill's bluster and bombastic oration did remind me of President Donald Trump's. But the push notification that arrived on my phone in the theater reporting Trump's Tweet to North Korea of having a "working" nuclear button on his desk enlightened me to the fact that the intelligence, consciousness, and nuance of Churchill's rhetoric has no comparison to the current U.S. president. (125 minutes).

Peter Johnson

THE DISASTER ARTIST

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

Pick

James Franco stars and directs this biopic about filmmaker Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), who in an acting class meets Greg Sestero (Dave Franco). The two form a friendship and head to Hollywood to make a film called The Room. The screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber is based on the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.

James Franco has paid homage to Wiseau and his terrible movie, and in what can only be described as perverse irony, I bet The Disaster Artist ends up getting some Oscar nods. I'm sure Wiseau will feel like he deserves the credit. (103 min.)

—Glen Starkey

FACES, PLACES

What's it rated? PG

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

Agnès Varda and JR have things in common: a passion for and the exploration of images in general, and more precisely, for places and for ways of showing, sharing, and exhibiting them. Agnès chose cinema. JR chose to create open-air photography galleries. When Agnès and JR met in 2015, they immediately wanted to work together, to shoot a film in France, far from cities, during a trip in JR's photographic (and magical) truck. (90 min.)

—Cohen Media Group

FATHER FIGURES

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Two brothers (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) hit the road to find their long-lost dad after they learn that their mom (Glenn Close) has been lying to them about his death. Lawrence Sher directed this comedy. (113 min.)

—Warner Bros. Pictures

FERDINAND

What's it rated? PG

Where's it showing? Park, Stadium 10

Ferdinand tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, Ferdinand (John Cena) is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. (107 min.)

—Blue Sky Studio/20th Century Fox

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Rental

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

First-time director Michael Gracey helms The Greatest Showman, an original, straight-to-screen musical inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum (played here by Hugh Jackman) and the formation of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The film never claims to be wholly factual and only uses the aspects of Barnum's life that fit into its desired rags-to-riches structure.

Overall, The Greatest Showman is a mixed bag full of flawed and fun moments alike. It's hard to tell how serious it takes itself at times, but the best parts are the unashamedly cheesy ones. And I really wish it embraced that cheesiness moreit could have been grater. (139 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY

click to enlarge UNREAL In Insidious: The Last Key, parapsychologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) continues her voyage into the "further." - PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Universal Pictures
  • UNREAL In Insidious: The Last Key, parapsychologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) continues her voyage into the "further."

What's it rated? PG-13

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

New

Adam Robitel helms the fourth entry of the Insidious series, with Insidious: Chapter 3 director Leigh Whannell providing the script, centering around parapsychologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) and her continued voyage into the "further." (103 min.)

—Universal Pictures

I, TONYA

click to enlarge TAINTED LEGACY In I, Tonya, filmmakers revisit the tragic tabloid tale of the events that transpired between Olympic ice skaters Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie, pictured) and Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver). - PHOTO COURTESY OF NEON
  • Photo Courtesy Of Neon
  • TAINTED LEGACY In I, Tonya, filmmakers revisit the tragic tabloid tale of the events that transpired between Olympic ice skaters Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie, pictured) and Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver).

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

New

Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver). (119 min.)

—Neon

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

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

Pick

Sound the banging of drums signaling impending doom or the next level in a game. It's a familiar one, too, but instead of playing a board game, because who sits down to do that anymore, we revisit the twists of Jumanji (1995) as a video game. Director Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher and Sex Tape) is calling the shots with this interpretation and of course putting his own comedic twist on the film.

With Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, we see an old game through new lenses. In present day, we have a group of four archetypal teenagers. You know, similar to The Breakfast Club you've got the nerd Spencer (Alex Wolff), his former best-friend-turned-jock Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain), a self-absorbed popular Bethany (Madison Iseman), and smart girl Martha (Morgan Turner) who's a little salty about her peers. The crew gets detention and winds up having to remove staples from magazines for the evening. Anyone else find that to be an unusual punishment? To top it off, they're doing it in an abandoned classroom filled with old-school memorabilia and random junk. That's where the unlikely group finds Jumanji (this time in video game form). They decide to ditch their task to play it. Once the game is plugged in and rebooting, the kids are sucked into the console, entering the Jumanji world. But there's a catch: They have assumed the bodies of their avatars.

This is where the fun really starts. Spencer turns into Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). His weakness: He has none. Fridge turns into Franklin "Mouse" Finbar (Kevin Hart). You can only guess where the nickname comes from. Notorious hottie Bethany turns into the nerdy, male Professor "Shelly" Oberon (Jack Black), a cartographer, cryptographer, archaeologist, and paleontologist. Shy Martha turns into Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan). She's a martial artist and dance fighter with very short and tight clothing. With their new personas, the group must learn to work together and trust one another so they can return the jewel known as the Jaguar's Eye to the jaguar statue.

This film does what many remakes fail to do, which is successfully entertain its audience. I wasn't quite sure how this would go walking into the theater. But these actors did a hilarious job delivering as prepubescent teenagers in way over their heads. Johnson and Hart bounce off each other perfectly—no I'm not tired of the height difference jokes; it worked out well here. Outlandish Black can hold his own in a scene, and newcomer Gillian hilariously portrays a geeky teenager. I was laughing nonstop throughout the film. (112 min.).

—Karen Garcia

LADY BIRD

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

Pick

Writer-director Greta Gerwig helms this coming of age story about high schooler Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) over the 2002-03 school year in Sacramento, exploring her difficult relationship with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) and others in her life. (93 min.)

—Glen Starkey

MOLLY'S GAME

click to enlarge GAMBLE Learn the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain, left), an Olympic skier who was busted for running a poker game that included members of the Russian mafia, in Molly's Game. - PHOTO COURTESY OF STX FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of STX Films
  • GAMBLE Learn the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain, left), an Olympic skier who was busted for running a poker game that included members of the Russian mafia, in Molly's Game.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy

New

Based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans, and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. (140 min.)

—STX Films

PITCH PERFECT 3

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Sunset Drive In, Park, Galaxy

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the series. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren't job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time. (94 min.)

—Universal Pictures

THE SHAPE OF WATER

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? The Palm, Stadium 10

Pick

Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is a lonely mute who works as a janitor in a high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. For 10 years she's walked and cleaned the halls of the facility with her friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer), with Zelda doing all of the talking about her hardworking, yet lazy, husband. Men, am I right?

Every day Elisa sticks to her routine: take a shower, polish her shoes, make lunch as well as a meal for her neighbor and friend Giles (Richard Jenkins), and then catch the bus to work. While she can't say anything, her actions make up for the silence—she also communicates using sign language—and she's a thoughtful individual. She often spends her time scanning the TV Guide with Giles, a closeted gay man, and watching old films with elaborate tales of love, something both are yearning for.

Her life takes a turn when she and Zelda are called into a room to clean up a bloody mess created by "the asset" (Doug Jones), at least that's what the scientists and government officials are calling it. The asset is a scaled creature from South Africa that now resides in a water tank against its will. Elisa is drawn to the creature, maybe because she too is an outsider in the world that she lives in. She forms a bond with the creature that feels more like love than friendship. But her days of sharing hard-boiled eggs for lunch and listening to her vinyl record player are numbered; the very fate of the creature is on the line.

This movie reminds me of Creature From the Black Lagoon. That film was released in 1954 as a black and white 3-D motion picture. It's a semi-horror classic about a geology expedition in the Amazon that leads to the discovery of a skeletal, webbed-fingered creature. Writer and director Guillermo Del Toro's (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim) modern version of the classic doesn't need the 3-D effects. It's visually intriguing as an everyday woman finds her fairy tale—with some bloody scenes mixed in, of course.

The film also has Del Toro's signature, uniquely horrifying creatures, hence the asset with his scaly body and fish-like eyes. But while he's a bit scary to look at, he has the emotions and thoughts that any human would. That's what Elisa is drawn to, especially since they both can't talk. Elisa takes comfort in this creature because he can't see that she's different from other humans. It's a beautifully told film of finding some sort of compassion in an otherwise mundane world.

The movie also touches upon race and gender equality—or the disgusting lack of it, really, but then again this is the '60s.

What I loved about The Shape of Water is that it's very whimsical. It reminds me of Amelie, a simple individual living an extraordinary life without her knowledge. Hawkins does an amazing job of portraying this shy woman fierce enough to overstep boundaries for a noble cause. Don't get me wrong, this isn't just a love story, guys; there's also plenty of action and drama to keep you on your toes. I'll leave you with this: The end was a splashing twist that I wasn't predicting at all. (123 min.)

—Karen Garcia

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

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

Pick

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, writer/director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) continues the Skywalker saga as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.

What's interesting about the latest chapter in the saga is the connection that Rey (Daisy Ridley) is building with the force. While it's thought that Luke (Mark Hamil) is the last Jedi needed to save the Rebellion, let's be real: There are great forces of power within Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Not to mention Finn, who is pretty handy with a light saber when needed. Rey seeks Luke not only for his help with the fight against the First Order, the next generation of the Empire, but also for his teachings. There is a strong sense of the force within her, she just doesn't know how to harness or understand it. That connection has brought a different kind of communication between her and Kylo Ren. Wherever the two are, they are able to communicate with one another and even see the other's surroundings. The line of communication opens up not only because they share feelings of angst, but also they are both caught between the light and dark sides. Rey doesn't know who her parents are or why they deserted her. Kylo Ren, the most emo of all characters, is tormented because he murdered his father, Han Solo. The Last Jedi continues the ongoing battle of good versus evil.

As much as I loved this film and will definitely be seeing it probably two more times in theaters, it dragged on. It could have gotten to the point a lot faster. But the film explodes with the best light saber battle I've seen in a while. The whole film just pops with harsh colors of red and black, filling the audience with the perils of being in the grasp of the New Order. With that said, I always feel a rush of giddiness with the opening credits running from bottom to top, in the familiar yellow font, and the theme song on full blast. I loved the screen time that Chewie (Yes, we're on a nickname bases, so I don't have to say Chewbacca) gets with the porgs. I need about 10 of those furry creatures, thank you very much.

Let's also take another moment to remember the late Carrie Fisher, the forever princess of the galaxy. There were many powerful scenes with Fisher that not only made me tear up, but I also felt that they alluded to her death. Leia was always the stronger natured character in the Star Wars franchise and she held onto that to the very end. The Rebel Alliance is nothing without its leader, but, alas, other characters will take the reins. I can't wait to see what's store for the next movie, and I can proudly say that I will always be rebel scum. (152 min.)

—Karen Garcia

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

Pick

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one shape-shifter of a movie. Is it a comedy, tragedy, or quest for vengeance, redemption, and catharsis? Director/writer Martin McDonagh (The Guard) manages to convince you it's all of the above at different twists and turns in the story.

We're dropped late into the aftermath of mother Mildred Hayes' (Frances McDormand, Hail, Caesar!, Moonrise Kingdom) grief and pain. Months have gone by since her daughter Angela (Kathryn Newton) was viciously raped and murdered while walking home one night in their small town. Still, local law enforcement has made no arrests and doesn't even have any suspects. While driving down a forgotten road just outside Ebbing, Mildred gets and idea and proceeds to march into town and pay for three billboards in a row painted red with big black letters that say "Raped while dying," "And still no arrests?" and "How come, Chief Willoughby?"

It's a move that instantly sets the town aflutter, leading the viewer down several storylines. There's police chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson, The Glass Castle, Nanking), who feels targeted by the billboards while he's simultaneously dealing with life-threatening cancer. And we can't forget Willoughby's ne'er-do-well deputy Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell, Frost/Nixon, In The Soup), who has a history of allegedly torturing black people but somehow still has the trust of his boss. And there's the squirmy ad salesman Red (Caleb Landry Jones, Get Out, The Social Network), who surprisingly shows enough gumption to put the billboards up even though he gets flak being (we think) one of the few gay people in town. Meanwhile, the doe-eyed used car salesman James (Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones) makes not so subtle passes at Mildred after she gives an interview on TV.

The writing is impeccably sharp, with searing lines thrown in at the most emotionally potent moments, and yet, there are so many laugh-out-loud moments, too, in this film that deals rather heavily in anger and sorrow. The acting is superb, particularly performances from McDormand, who plays Mildred as hardened and determined to find justice, and Harrelson as the seemingly hick police chief creates so much nuance and depth for his character. And yet, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri requires being OK with swallowing a hefty dose of imaginative realism. We're dealing with very real problems, but this is a world where the consequences for, say, throwing someone out a window or committing arson don't really line up with reality at all. (115 min.) Δ

—Ryah Cooley

New Times movie reviews were compiled by Arts Editor Ryah Cooley and others. You can contact her at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.


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