Pin It
Favorite

Film Listings 11/29/18 – 12/6/18 

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

click to enlarge HE WILL ROCK YOU Rami Malek turns in an electrifying performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, in the engaging biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW REGENCY PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of New Regency Pictures
  • HE WILL ROCK YOU Rami Malek turns in an electrifying performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, in the engaging biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men, Superman Returns) directs this biopic about Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Queen, chronicling the band's rise to super stardom, Mercury's solo career and AIDS diagnosis, and their triumphant reunion and spellbinding performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert.

The criticisms you've heard are all true: The film's chronology is inaccurate, it skips over or condenses much of Queen's history, its PG-13 rating sanitizes the story, and star Rami Malek's prosthetic overbite teeth are distracting. But none of that stops Bohemian Rhapsody from being an engaging, joyous, and highly entertaining film.

Set aside your picked nits and sit back and soak up this uplifting ride. Yes, the film is flawed. So was Freddie Mercury, but that didn't make him any less of a legendary rock star! (134 min.)

—Glen Starkey

BOY ERASED

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Director Joel Edgerton (The Gift) adapts Garrard Conley's memoir, A Boy Erased: A Memoir, about a Baptist preacher's son, Jared (Lucas Hedges), who's forced into a gay conversion program after he's outed to his parents, Marshall (Russell Crowe) and Nancy (Nicole Kidman).

At 19 years old, Jared is met with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program to make him straight or be permanently exiled from his family, his father's business, and faith. Instead of just telling the story of one boy's struggle with faith and sexuality, it tells the greater story of the challenges the LGBTQ community faces when coming out within a religious upbringing.

The film opens with old home videos of a little boy stating his favorite colors and what he wants to be when he grows up. All of his answers are what a "normal boy" would say, whatever "normal boy" means. The next scene cuts to Jared in the car with his mother, Nancy, traveling to a facility that almost looks like a juvenile detention center.

As he journeys to the facility, we get generous flashbacks of the events that led to his parents registering him for the program. We learn that Jared had a girlfriend in high school that he was never really attracted to, and once he leaves for college they part ways. In college, Jared is sexually assaulted by a friend, who confesses to raping another student. Jared returns home as the assault has left him depressed. Fearing that Jared might tell on him, the boy outs Jared to his parents.

The conversion therapy program is led by self-appointed therapist Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton). The program holds the boys and girls under surveillance from 9 to 5, holding onto their phones, any personal belongings, and instating the rule that attendees may not speak about the therapy to their parents.

The lessons call for how to stand like a man, angrily express why they hate their fathers, and state that if they change, God will love them again. Jared grapples with the frustration of how the individuals are being mistreated. He gets advice from fellow program member Gary (Troy Sivan) that Jared should tell Skyes what he wants to hear—"Fake it 'til you make it"—so he can safely leave the program. If Skyes feels that Jared hasn't changed, a couple of weeks could become a yearlong program.

The film has a lot of gut-wrenching scenes as it masterfully narrates the hardships that the LGBTQ community faces when they are forced to question not only their sexuality, but their individuality and spirituality. For a lot of the film I was filled with rage and horror that young people can be subjected to torment because of their sexual identity.

This is another film that I can't say has a happily-ever-after ending. Not only does Jared have to navigate the world after his time at the program, but his next hurdle is figuring out whether he will have a relationship with his devout parents who put him there. (114 min.)

—Karen Garcia

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) directs Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, an author in a career limbo who commits literary forgery in order to make ends meet. The film is an adaptation of Lee Israel's confessional autobiography, Can You Forgive Me?, released in 2008.

The film is centered on the true story of Israel, an author who experienced a peak in her career writing celebrity biographies but now finds herself in a slump. She hasn't had a writing gig in a while, and her agent, Marjorie (Jane Curtin), won't return her phone calls. To make matters worse, her beloved cat has fallen ill, she can't make payments on her dreary apartment, and her former partner, Elaine (Anna Deavere Smith), doesn't feel like picking her up anymore when she's down.

Part of her downfall is that she doesn't care about making appearances or mingling at parties to get her name out there. In the process of figuring out her next venture, an idea literally falls on her lap. While doing research, a letter written by jack-of-all-trades Fanny Brice (she was a comedian, actress, and singer) falls out of a book. Israel figures she could make a pretty penny on her find, but the local bookstore only hands over $75, saying it would be worth more if it were juicer. She finds that there is a lucrative market for this kind of memorabilia in bookstores, but the more interesting the letter, the more it's worth. Naturally, Israel uses her talent to embellish more than 400 letters from prominent figures.

I can't say the end is happy or sad. It feels like the limbo that the film started with, and it's left me wanting to learn more about Israel and what happened after her fabrication escapades. (106 min.)

—Karen Garcia

CREED II

click to enlarge OUCH Boxer Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) must dig deep within himself to overcome his most fierce opponent, in Creed II. - PHOTO COURTESY OF METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
  • OUCH Boxer Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) must dig deep within himself to overcome his most fierce opponent, in Creed II.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

Steven Caple Jr. (The Land) directs this sequel about boxer Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), who, under trainer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), takes on the son of Rocky's nemesis, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu).

Yes, this loose Rocky sequel is formulaic, but it's a helluva good formula! Adonis' complicated personal life and need to dig deep within himself to find the champion he can become is still a great story. Jordan is terrific in the role, demonstrating nuance, range, and complex emotion.

And, of course, it's great to see the old faces from the franchise—Stallone and Lundgren. Unlike triple Academy Award-winner Rocky (1976), Creed II probably isn't going to take home Best Picture, but it's a great popcorn movie. (117 min.)

—Glen Starkey

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Legend of Tarzan) directs this J.K. Rowling screenplay, the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, about magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who's enlisted by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to recapture escaped evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

If you haven't seen or don't clearly remember the first Fantastic Beasts film, this one jumps in at a pretty steep learning curve, and would be—I imagine—both confusing and probably boring as Crimes of Grindelwald seems to assume its audience is up to speed.

It is decidedly my least favorite film in the Harry Potter universe, and in my opinion falls quite short of its predecessor Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, would I see it in theaters despite all that? Heck yes! My own blood oath to Rowling's work requires it. Potterheads, I recommend you hit a matinee of this one. Casual fans have no reason to spend extra; just wait for it to be available at home. (134 min.)

—Anna Starkey

FREE SOLO

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

I don't think I've ever sweated so much in a movie theater in my life. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin helm this raw and gripping National Geographic documentary chronicling 33-year-old rock climber Alex Honnold's incredible 2017 ascent up the face of El Capitan, a 3,000-foot-tall rock formation in Yosemite, without protective gear—the first in human history to accomplish the feat. (100 min.)

—Peter Johnson

GREEN BOOK

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy

See Split Screen.

THE GRINCH

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

Co-directors Yarrow Cheney (The Secret Life of Pets) and Scott Mosier helm this animated adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss story, narrated by Pharrell Williams, about a grumpy curmudgeon, the Grinch (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who plans to ruin Whoville's Christmas. Along the way, the Grinch encounters various inhabitants of the town including Cindy-Lou Who (Cameron Seely); her mother, Donna Who (Rashida Jones); and Mr. Bricklebaum (Kenan Thompson). (86 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

INSTANT FAMILY

click to enlarge GOT KIDS? Married couple Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) adopt three children, sending their lives into utter chaos, in Instant Family. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Paramount Pictures
  • GOT KIDS? Married couple Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) adopt three children, sending their lives into utter chaos, in Instant Family.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

Co-writer and director Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses 2, Daddy's Home) helms this story about Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne), who adopt three children, sending their lives into utter chaos. A well-intentioned dramedy, Instant Family explores the travails and triumphs of adoption.

Originally, the couple meant to adopt one small child but after meeting three siblings in need—including rebellious 15-year-old Lizzy (Isabela Moner)—they suddenly find themselves on a steep learning curve on how to parent three children they've only just met.

Based on director Anders' own experiences, the film also features an emotionally potent performance by Octavia Spencer and an excellent deadpan turn by comedian Tig Notaro. (119 min.)

—Glen Starkey

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy

Pick

Co-directors Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules, A Dog's Purpose) and Joe Johnston (October Sky; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Jumanji; Captain America: The First Avenger) along with writers Ashleigh Powell (in her screen writer debut) and Simon Beaufoy (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) re-imagine this classic Christmas ballet story. (99 min.)

—Ryah Cooley

OVERLORD

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Park

Pick

Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) directs this action/mystery/horror story about two World War II-era American paratroopers—Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and Ford (Wyatt Russell)—who are dropped behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day to complete an operation essential to the invasion's success, but as they approach their target, they discover a Nazi experiment that creates powerful zombie soldiers.

Yes, this film's premise sounds like a recipe for cinematic disaster. The Nazi/zombie genre is a well-worn path of mediocrity, from Dead Snow to Outpost to Zombie Lake (or Le Lac Des Morts Vivants in French). But Overlord does something different—it tells a cracking good war story that just happens to run into some zombies.

Think of it as a B-movie version of Saving Private Ryan with some excellent gore effects. This is the film I didn't know I needed. Loved it! (109 min.)

—Glen Starkey

THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE

click to enlarge DEVIL'S YOGA? A cadaver (Kirby Johnson) comes alive when a cop, fresh out of rehab, is assigned to guard the city morgue, in The Possession of Hannah Grace. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BROKEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Broken Road Productions
  • DEVIL'S YOGA? A cadaver (Kirby Johnson) comes alive when a cop, fresh out of rehab, is assigned to guard the city morgue, in The Possession of Hannah Grace.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? Park

New

Diederik Van Rooijen directs this horror-thriller about police officer Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell), who, fresh off a stay in rehab, is assigned to guard the city morgue. Once there, she begins to suspect that an evil entity has infested the cadaver of Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson). (85 min.)

—Glen Starkey

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

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.

Six years have passed since the events of Wreck-It Ralph, and Ralph and Vanellope are still best friendsclose as "peanut butter and bacon," Ralph says at one point. When Vanellope's game, Sugar Rush, is in danger of being unplugged and scrapped for parts after its steering wheel breaks, the pair seek help in the world of the internet, a realm completely unknown to the duo and the other pixelated inhabitants of Litwak's arcade. Ralph and Vanellope start at eBay (or "eBoy" as Ralph continuously calls it), where a Sugar Rush steering wheel is up for auction. The wheel would save Vanellope's candy kingdom home from destruction, but will the pair be able to raise enough money to bid for the item in time?

This quest for funds takes Ralph and Vanellope to various websites where they encounter new characters including Shank (voiced by Gal Gadot), a racer from the racing game, Slaughter Race; J.P. Spamley (voiced by Bill Hader), a hilariously personified click-bait pop-up ad; and Yesss (voiced by Taraji P. Henson), a cyber trendsetter. Old characters are back as well, including Sgt. Tamora Jean Calhoun (voiced by Jane Lynch) and her husband Fix-It Felix Jr. (voiced by Jack McBrayer). One Instant Family-esque subplot of the film concerns the couple's adoption of the Sugar Rush racers into their home while their game is out of order.

What makes Ralph Breaks The Internet fun is its personification of the World Wide Web. It's the same kind of charm shared by animated peers Inside Out and Osmosis Jones—films that attribute human characteristics to emotions and blood cells (and Tylenol), respectively. The world of the internet is illustrated as a sprawling metropolis. The biggest websites and apps are represented as malls and skyscrapers, with Google being the tallest, of course. My favorite inclusion by far is Instagram, which appears as a fine art gallery. This is one to see in theaters, for sure. And make sure to stay for the mid-credits scene, especially if you're a Frozen fan! (112 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

ROBIN HOOD

click to enlarge BOY IN A HOOD Former Crusader-turned-rebel Robin of Loxley (Taron Edgerton, right) takes on the corrupt British crown, in the spectacular and unnecessary Robin Hood. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LIONSGATE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Lionsgate
  • BOY IN A HOOD Former Crusader-turned-rebel Robin of Loxley (Taron Edgerton, right) takes on the corrupt British crown, in the spectacular and unnecessary Robin Hood.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Stream it

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

Otto Bathurst directs this action-adventure about former Crusader-turned-rebel Robin of Loxley (Taron Edgerton) and his Moorish partner, Little John (Jamie Foxx), who take on the corrupt British crown. Can the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelson) stop Robin, and can Marian (Eve Hewson) stop herself from falling in love?

File this new installation of the classic tale in the unnecessary and irrelevant bin. While some of the action sequences are spectacular, the film tries desperately to modernize the tale but only succeeds in making it incoherent and unintentionally funny. Don't let it rob you of your money and time for the ill-advised producers of this debacle. (116 min.)

—Glen Starkey

A STAR IS BORN

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Pick

Co-writer, director, and co-star Bradley Cooper helms this remake of A Star Is Born (first released in 1937, and later remade in 1954 and 1976). In this iteration, Cooper stars as Jackson Maine, a famous musician whose star is waning as he discovers talented but insecure singer Ally (Lady Gaga). As Jack battles alcoholism and his own decline, he helps Ally find the strength to let her talent shine.

You'd think on the fourth retelling things would be getting stale, but Bradley Cooper takes a sweeping look at the rise and fall of stardom, the shallowness of the entertainment industry, creativity, substance abuse, family dynamics, and romance. (135 min.)

—Glen Starkey

SUSPIRIA

click to enlarge GOOD WITCH? Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson), a young American woman, enters a prestigious Berlin dance academy that happens to be run by a coven of witches, in Suspiria. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FRENESY FILM COMPANY
  • Photo Courtesy Of Frenesy Film Company
  • GOOD WITCH? Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson), a young American woman, enters a prestigious Berlin dance academy that happens to be run by a coven of witches, in Suspiria.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

Based on Dario Argento's classic 1977 horror film of the same name, Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash, Call Me By Your Name) directs Dakota Johnson as Susie Bannion, a young American woman entering a prestigious Berlin dance academy that happens to be run by a coven of witches! The film also stars Tilda Swinton in three roles: choreographer Madame Blanc, male psychotherapist Dr. Joseph Klemperer, and head witch Helena Markos. Who will break from the dark spell and who will succumb to it? (152 min.)

—Glen Starkey

WIDOWS

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

Co-writer Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame, 12 Years a Slave) directs this crime drama about Veronica (Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), and Belle (Cynthia Erivo), who must team up to pull off a heist after three of their husbands are killed on a botched job and a crime boss demands payment.

I love a good heist film, but Widows ups the ante with a twisty script co-penned by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects), taking on the dynamics of romance, gender hierarchy, government corruption, racism, and more. It's tense, thrilling, and completely engrossing. (129 min.) Δ

—Glen Starkey

New Times movie reviews were compiled by Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and others. You can contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

Trending Now

© 2018 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation