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Film Listings, 11/14/19 – 11/21/19 

All theater listings are as of Friday, Nov. 15

CHARLIE'S ANGELS

click to enlarge ANGELS TO THE RESCUE A trio of crime-fighting women—(left to right) Jane Kano (Ella Balinska), Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), and Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott)—must save humanity from a dangerous new technology, in Charlie's Angels. - PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Columbia Pictures
  • ANGELS TO THE RESCUE A trio of crime-fighting women—(left to right) Jane Kano (Ella Balinska), Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), and Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott)—must save humanity from a dangerous new technology, in Charlie's Angels.

What's it rated? PG-13

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

New

Writer-director Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2) takes on the classic TV series (1976-1981) about a trio of crime-fighting women—Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott), and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska)—who this time around must save humankind from a dangerous new technology. (118 min.)

—Glen Starkey

DOCTOR SLEEP

click to enlarge HERE'S DANNY! Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), the little boy with the ability to see ghosts from The Shining, is now an adult out to protect a young girl who shares his gifts from a strange cult, in Doctor Sleep. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.
  • Photo Courtesy Of Warner Bros.
  • HERE'S DANNY! Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), the little boy with the ability to see ghosts from The Shining, is now an adult out to protect a young girl who shares his gifts from a strange cult, in Doctor Sleep.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

Writer-director Mike Flanagan (Gerald's Game, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Before I Wake) helms this film based on Stephen King's novel about Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), the little boy with the ability to see ghosts from King's earlier novel The Shining. Now an adult, Dan meets a tween girl, Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), who's got the strongest "shining" he's ever seen. Unfortunately, she's being stalked by The True Knot, a group of quasi-immortal people who sustain themselves with "steam," the energy those with "the shining" give off when they're slowly tortured to death. Can Danny save Abra before it's too late?

What I loved most about Doctor Sleep is how it was able to expand the "shining-verse" into the outside world, beyond the Overlook Hotel, in ways I never could have imagined—as if my imagination is on par with Stephen King's. On paper, the plot sounded disappointing to me. I haven't read the book, but the synopsis alone made me trepidatious. Especially the concept of The True Knot—basically vampires that suck energy from their victims' dying breaths (literally) rather than blood. It just sounded so non-Shining to me; just take me back to the good ole days of tricycling down the hallway; creepy ghost sisters around the corner; zombie lady in the bathtub ... all that good stuff. But that's all there too, and trust me, it's worth it, especially if you're a big fan of Stanley Kubrick's original film.

But back to The True Knot and their plight for a sec. The "steam" energy is the most potent when victims are in a state of fear. This is visually represented first during a torture scene when we see members of the cult inhale one of their victims' steam (which resembles a cold mist exiting their body) as he's being stabbed periodically over and over again. But the murderers are careful to keep him alive as long as possible, to absorb as much sustenance as they can. It's basically as if they're feeding off of his screams. It sounds more like an R-rated version of Monsters, Inc. than a Shining sequel. But that's what made the film, and its story, all the more refreshing and surprising to me; it somehow ends up feeling like a genuine continuation. And the added mythology only works in its favor, adding new layers to what I originally hoped would be a one-shot tale.

On a side note though, it's also just fun to see a talented filmmaker pay homage to certain elements from Kubrick's original film. Remember The Shining sequence in Ready Player One? I always wished that scene could have gone on even longer, but Doctor Sleep put that to rest. (151 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

FANTASTIC FUNGI

What's it rated? Not rated

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

In this time-lapse filled nature documentary, director Louie Schwartzberg (Mysteries of the Unseen World, Wings of Life) dives into the world of mushrooms and all the potential held by our favorite fungal friends to regenerate, treat disease, and sustain life.

And because we humans only really care about ourselves, the film also delves into all the ways in which mushrooms are being used to improve human health. That includes research into the use of psilocybin mushrooms, aka magic mushrooms, aka shrooms, aka yes, finally! This is why we all came to this movie.

Psilocybin are proving to be effective in reducing end-of-life anxieties in terminally ill patients, according to the film, in regenerating damaged brain cells, and are thought to help fight symptoms caused by Alzheimer's. Some theorists even think magic mushrooms could have partially caused the rapid evolution of the human brain in prehistoric times. That's right. We were all just stoned apes once. (81 min.)

—Kasey Bubnash

FORD V FERRARI

click to enlarge ROAD WARRIORS Car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon, left) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) team up to try to beat a Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, in Ford v Ferrari. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
  • Photo Courtesy Of Twentieth Century Fox
  • ROAD WARRIORS Car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon, left) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) team up to try to beat a Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, in Ford v Ferrari.

What's it rated? PG-13

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

New

James Mangold (Logan, 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line) directs this biopic about car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who in 1966 team up to try to beat a car designed by Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) in the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Tracy Letts stars as Henry Ford II and Jon Bernthal stars as Lee Iacocca. (152 min.)

—Glen

THE GOOD LIAR

click to enlarge LIES AND LOVE Conman Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen, right) starts to fall for his mark, rich widow Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), in The Good Liar. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW LINE CINEMA
  • Photo Courtesy Of New Line Cinema
  • LIES AND LOVE Conman Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen, right) starts to fall for his mark, rich widow Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), in The Good Liar.

What's it rated? R

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

New

Bill Condon (Kinsey, Dreamgirls, Beauty and the Beast) directs this drama about conman Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen), who meets rich widow Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren) online. What should be a straightforward swindle becomes complicated as Roy begins to have real feelings for Betty. (109 min.)

—Glen

HARRIET

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Stadium 10

Pick

Kasi Lemmons (Talk To Me, The Caveman's Valentine) directs Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, a small but fierce abolitionist hero who defied authority and worked to liberate more than 300 slaves in 1849.

Harriet is more than just a film highlighting a historical figure, it's a slightly dramatized but powerful film that tells the story of one woman's determination for freedom and selfless work to share that freedom with others. It's the first film to respectfully bring this African-American woman to life who we would otherwise only know from our school textbooks. (125 min.)

—Karen Garcia

JOJO RABBIT

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Galaxy, The Palm

See Split Screen.

JOKER

click to enlarge TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix, left) meets the young Bruce Wayne (Dante Pereira-Olson) for the first time through the gate at Wayne Mansion. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRON STUDIOS
  • Photos Courtesy Of Bron Studios
  • TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix, left) meets the young Bruce Wayne (Dante Pereira-Olson) for the first time through the gate at Wayne Mansion.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Park

Pick

Co-writer Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover, War Dogs) directs this character study and origin story of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), who after being rejected by society becomes Joker, Batman's future archnemesis.

Like a mirror on contemporary society, Joker reflects our problems back to us—the widening gap between the haves and have-nots, paternalistic politician-"saviors" who believe they know best for the "misguided" underclass, and the dismantling of the social safety net by a government that abandons its marginalized. It's a dark and depressing film, and it reminds me of the old saying, "Society gets the criminal it deserves." (121 min.)

—Glen

LAST CHRISTMAS

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee (for romantics and Christmas lovers)

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

Pick

Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, A Simple Favor) directs this rom-com—co-written by Emma Thompson, who also co-stars—about Kate (Emilia Clarke), a young woman who's really good at making bad decisions. She works as Santa's elf at a year-round Christmas store, where she meets Tom (Henry Golding), taking her life in an unexpected direction.

This audience pleaser (81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) hasn't faired as well with critics (48 percent), who found the story poorly conceived despite its likable leads. Maybe it's the big holiday sing-along to the song "Last Christmas" that has appealed to the masses. Critics have called the film formulaic, sedate, and unfunny. (102 min.)

—Glen

THE LIGHTHOUSE

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Co-writers and Robert and Max Eggers, with Robert (The Witch) directing, have created a psychological fantasy-horror film about two lighthouse keepers—Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson)—stuck together on a remote New England island as they slowly descend into madness

This is a weird one. As director Robert Eggers said in interviews, "Nothing good can happen when two men are trapped alone in a giant phallus." Yes, there's a lot of gay subtext, a lot of raw comic moments, and a lot of gross-out moments. Am I glad I saw The Lighthouse in the theater? Absolutely! Would I recommend it? Yes, to people who are cinephiles and who are open to unusual film going experiences. Will you like it? I honestly don't know, but you'd be hard-pressed to find more careful filmmaking or more committed performances. (B&W; 109 min.)

—Glen

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

click to enlarge WHO'S EVIL? In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Angelina Jolie reprises her title role, but is she truly evil or just misunderstood? - PHOTO COURTESY OF WALT DISNEY PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Walt Disney Pictures
  • WHO'S EVIL? In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Angelina Jolie reprises her title role, but is she truly evil or just misunderstood?

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

Disney's reimagined black-horned villainess, potentially gone soft, graces the big screen once again. With director Joachim Rønning at the helm (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil tells the story of how pending nuptials could tear not only Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and her goddaughter Aurora's (Elle Fanning) lives apart, but the human and magical worlds as well.

While the film as a whole was entertaining, it just lacked a flow in the story. Not to mention the fact that it's predictable. There were too many side stories that of course somehow come together in the end. But I don't blame Jolie for a second; her portrayal of the character, down to the deep villainous voice she uses, is amazing. She was ruling the screen, and the other characters were peasants in comparison. (118 min.)

—Karen

MIDWAY

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day, The Patriot, White House Down) directs this historical action-drama about World War II's Battle of Midway, told by those who fought it: Lt. Richard "Dick" Best (Ed Skrein), Edwin Layton (Patrick Wilson), Lt. Cmdr. Wade McClusky (Luke Evans), Adm. Chester Nimitz (Woody Harrelson), and Vice Adm. William "Bull" Halsey (Dennis Quaid). This pivotal June 4 through 7, 1942, battle between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy was the Pacific Theater's turning point.

Audiences are loving this film that presents the epic battle with modern special effects and a more balanced viewpoint than the 1976 film, but critics have labeled it loud and unemotional. (138 min.)

—Glen

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

click to enlarge HE'S ON THE CASE Edward Norton stars as Tourette's Syndrome-afflicted private detective Lionel Essrog, in Motherless Brooklyn, a film Norton wrote and directed based on Jonathan Lethem's crime novel. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Warner Bros. Pictures
  • HE'S ON THE CASE Edward Norton stars as Tourette's Syndrome-afflicted private detective Lionel Essrog, in Motherless Brooklyn, a film Norton wrote and directed based on Jonathan Lethem's crime novel.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Stadium 10

Pick

Writer-director Edward Norton (Keeping the Faith) helms this 1950s-period crime drama based on Jonathan Lethem's novel about Tourette Syndrome-afflicted private detective Lionel "Brooklyn" Essrog, who works to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). If you're in the mood for a "good old-fashioned" neo-noir in the style of Chinatown, this is the film for you. (144 min.)

—Glen

PAIN AND GLORY

click to enlarge REFLECTION Penélope Cruz co-stars as Jacinta, in Pedro Almodóvar's newest, Pain and Glory, about a film director reflecting on his life. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CANAL+
  • Photo Courtesy Of Canal+
  • REFLECTION Penélope Cruz co-stars as Jacinta, in Pedro Almodóvar's newest, Pain and Glory, about a film director reflecting on his life.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (Volver, Julieta, I'm So Excited!) once again directs Antonio Banderas as Salvador Mallo, a director who feels he's past his prime, but learns that his past experiences can mold his future artistic creations.

Coincidentally, or possibly not, Almodóvar has created a visually stunning film that parallels his life. The characters are loosely based on the people he's encountered throughout his existence. The technique isn't new for Almodóvar, but it's different. This time around, we're not shown the glimpses of his life through past memory, but from his pespective as a protagonist.

As Mallo is reconciling with his past experiences and loss, it feels as though Almodóvar is doing the same. For some audience members who are familiar with this director's work, the scenes and the dialogue resonate and feel familiar.

We're first introduced to Mallo sitting at the bottom of his pool looking for some relief to his back pain. He's at a crossroads in his life; he feels that his medical issues don't allow him to direct. It's also a time in his life for him to reflect on the past: his mother's death, a lost lover, artist's block, his humbling childhood, and ailing health.

Mallo really contemplates his life when he's approached to attend a screening and Q-and-A of one his successful films. It's an opportunity for him to reach out to his leading actor, who he had a falling out with, and ask him to join him.

The meeting with drug addict Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia) turns into the first time that Mallo tries heroin. As if on cue, Mallo becomes addicted to the drug that seems to relieve not only his physical pain but the haunting memories of his past.

As he deals with the reality of aging and the stunting of his creativity, Mallo experiences flashbacks of his childhood with his basically single mother Jacinta (Penélope Cruz). Through these memories, he recounts the first time he remembers being attracted to a man, the hardships his mother faced, and the absence of his father.

What would this pivotal time in life for Mallo be without some visits from his past?

Again, if you're familiar with Almodóvar's work then you'll be more than familiar with his casting choices. Maybe it's these familiar faces or their long-term relationship with the director that's displayed on film and makes the entire story feel more intimate.

Pain and Glory is in Spanish, and I'm not sure if it's because of the language being spoken, but every scene is more passionately done and the emotions aren't just on the surface. It's another side of Banderas' acting career that we don't normally get to appreciate. (113 min.)

—Karen

PARASITE

click to enlarge HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS Co-writer/director Joon-ho Bong helms Parasite, a Korean-language story of class warfare screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GOYANG AQUA STUDIO
  • Photo Courtesy Of Goyang Aqua Studio
  • HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS Co-writer/director Joon-ho Bong helms Parasite, a Korean-language story of class warfare screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? The Palm

Co-writer/director Joon-ho Bong (The Host, Snowpiercer) helms this story of financial struggle, as the poor Kim family ingratiates themselves with the wealthy Park family, leading to class warfare. (132 min.)

—Glen

PLAYING WITH FIRE

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Stream it

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

Andy Fickman (She's the Man, Race to Witch Mountain (2009)) directs this family comedy about a crew of firefighters who rescue three rambunctious kids. The film stars Judy Greer, Keegan-Michael Key, and John Cena. Very young kids might enjoy some of the film's antics, but parents will find nothing to recommend it. (96 min.)

—Glen

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

Tim Miller (Deadpool) directs this next installment into the Terminator franchise. This time around, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and a "retired" T-800 Terminator going by the name Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger) join forces with enhanced soldier, Grace (Mackenzie Davis), who's been sent from the future to protect Daniella "Dani" Ramos (Natalia Reyes), who if she lives will give birth to a Resistance leader who will stop an A.I. called Legion, who like Skynet hopes to destroy humankind. They're being pursued by Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), an advanced Terminator that's able to split in two.

If it all sounds a little familiar, it's because it is, but it's also nice to see Hamilton and Schwarzenegger from the original 1984 film and the equally good sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) back together again. Yes, it's essentially the same plot about time travelers battling to either kill or save a future mother who will give birth to the leader who will save humanity, but it's a lot better than, say, Terminator Salvation (2009) and Terminator Genisys (2015).

Tripling down on the original, the film features not one but three strong female characters, who bring a lot of power to the story. It doesn't really surpass the first two films, but it definitely resets a franchise deeply in need of being reset. (128 min.) Δ

—Glen

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

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