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Film Listings 11/8/18 – 11/15/18 

Editor's note: Listings for Regal Arroyo Grande Stadium 10 were incomplete at press time. Call (844) 462-7342 for a complete listings of their films.

BEAUTIFUL BOY

click to enlarge FAMILY Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet, left) and his dad David (Steve Carell) deal with Nic's addiction, in the biopic Beautiful Boy. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AMAZON STUDIOS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Amazon Studios
  • FAMILY Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet, left) and his dad David (Steve Carell) deal with Nic's addiction, in the biopic Beautiful Boy.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

New

Felix van Groeningen (With Friends Like These, The Misfortunates, Belgica) directs this biopic based on a pair of best-selling memoirs by father and son David (Steve Carell) and Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet) about their experiences of surviving addiction over many years. (120 min.)

—Glen Starkey

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

See Split Screen.

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

click to enlarge THE PEN IS MIGHTIER Out-of-work celebrity author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy, left) turns to forging celebrity letters after her career takes a nosedive, abetted by her close friend Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant), in the biopic Can You Ever Forgive Me? - PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • THE PEN IS MIGHTIER Out-of-work celebrity author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy, left) turns to forging celebrity letters after her career takes a nosedive, abetted by her close friend Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant), in the biopic Can You Ever Forgive Me?

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

Based on a true story, Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) directs Melissa McCarthy as best selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel, who turns to forging celebrity letters after her career takes a nosedive, abetted by her close friend Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant). (106 min.)

—Glen 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, Free Solo, which chronicles 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

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB: A NEW DRAGON TATTOO STORY

click to enlarge PUNISHING PATRIARCHY Clair Foy takes on the role of feminist hacker Lisbeth Salander, in The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story. - PHOTO COURTESY OF METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER
  • Photo Courtesy Of Metro-goldwyn-mayer
  • PUNISHING PATRIARCHY Clair Foy takes on the role of feminist hacker Lisbeth Salander, in The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story.

What's it rated? R

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

New

Co-writer and director Fede Alvarez (Don't Breathe) helms this new installation into the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise, this time around with Claire Foy taking on the role of feminist hacker Lisbeth Salander and Sverrir Gudnason as investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist. As they sort through spies, cybercriminals, and corrupt government officials, their investigation takes them back to where Lisbeth began with her own sister Camilla Salander (Sylvia Hoeks). (117 min.)

—Glen Starkey

GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Rent it

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

Ari Sandel (The Duff) directs this next installment based on R.L. Stine's best-selling children's horror book series. If you're a young kid, you'll find some fun scares here, but your parents are going to be very annoyed having to sit through this. It definitely doesn't live up to its 2015 progenitor. (90 min.)

—Glen Starkey

THE GRINCH

click to enlarge BITE ME, CHRISTMAS! The grumpy green cynic (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) returns to ruin Whoville's Christmas, in The Grinch. - PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Universal Pictures
  • BITE ME, CHRISTMAS! The grumpy green cynic (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) returns to ruin Whoville's Christmas, in The Grinch.

What's it rated? PG

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

New

Co-directors Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier helm this animated Dr. Seuss-based story about a grumpy creature (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) planning to ruin a small village's Christmas. (90 min.)

—Glen Starkey

HALLOWEEN

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy

Pick

David Gordon Green (Snow Angels, Pineapple Express, Joe) co-writes and directs this sequel to John Carpenter's Halloween (1978). Completely erasing the continuity of the original film's seven sequels, serial killer Michael Myers has been locked up for 40 years. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the sole survivor of the Haddonfield Halloween murders, has been preparing for the day he should ever escape and inevitably come after her.

Sloppy writing and inconsistent retconning aside, Halloween is worth watching for the things it does right. The performances, score, and overall atmosphere are on par with the original, making it a worthy homage. The predator-becomes-the-prey motif pays off quite well and Curtis wielding a shotgun hunting down Myers is worth the price of admission alone. (106 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

THE HAPPY PRINCE

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Writer-director Rupert Everett stars as Oscar Wilde in this biopic that recalls the writer's unusual life, with Colin Firth starring as Wilde's friend Reggie Turner, Emily Watson as his long-suffering wife Constance, and Colin Morgan as his lover Lord Alfred Bosie Douglas.

Everett clearly has a passion for his subject, which comes across with the same ironic detachment the Irish poet and playwright was known for. The film's title and the film itself are dripping with Wilde's well-established irony.

On his deathbed in Paris, Wilde looks back on his amazing life—its successes and excesses, his incredible rise and tragic fall. This is a touching tale of how the crown prince of comedy became the cautionary tale of tragedy. (105 min.)

—Glen Starkey

HUNTER KILLER

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Rent it

Where's it showing? Galaxy

Donovan Marsh (Spud, Spud 2: The Madness Continues, Avenged) directs Gerard Butler as Captain Joe Glass, a Navy lifer who dives into the depths of Russian waters to stop a rogue Russian military man from starting World War III. (123 min.)

—Karen Garcia

MID90S

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

Pick

In his feature-length debut, actor Jonah Hill (Knocked Up, Superbad, Get Him to the Greek) gets behind the camera as writer-director in this film about Stevie (Sunny Suljic), a 13-year-old navigating mid-'90s LA as he moves between his troubled home life and new friends he meets at a skate shop. It's a well-observed coming of age story told with an unexpected tenderness. (84 min.)

—Glen Starkey

NOBODY'S FOOL

click to enlarge FAMILY Matriarch Lola (Whoopi Goldberg, center) must deal with her daughters after Tanya (Tiffany Haddish, right) is released from prison and butts heads with Danica (Tika Sumpter, left), in Nobody's Fool. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TYLER PERRY STUDIOS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Tyler Perry Studios
  • FAMILY Matriarch Lola (Whoopi Goldberg, center) must deal with her daughters after Tanya (Tiffany Haddish, right) is released from prison and butts heads with Danica (Tika Sumpter, left), in Nobody's Fool.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Don't bother

Where's it showing? Park

Writer-director Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea) directs this comedy-drama about Tanya (Tiffany Haddish), newly released from prison, who reunites with her sister Danica (Tika Sumpter), upending her life. The sisters' mother Lola (Whoopi Goldberg) does little to help alleviate the craziness.

Contrived, without a clear plot or theme, not even the talented Sumpter and Haddish can make anything of this mess, which plays like tired made-for-TV fare more interested in plucking low-hanging jokes than building any real plot or message. (110 min.)

—Glen Starkey

THE NUTCRACKERS AND THE FOUR REALMS

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

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

PickCo-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.

All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key—a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer's (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key, which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious world. It's there that Clara meets a nutcracker soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice, and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the dangerous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara's key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.

As someone who on separate occasions performed as a mouse and a gingersnap in local renditions of The Nutcracker ballet, you can bet your freshly chopped Douglas fir tree that my butt was seated in a comfy recliner at the movies come opening weekend of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Also Keira Knightley stars as Sugar Plum and regent of the Land of Sweets!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the film does tell a story, with some ballet interludes, of course, that feature prima ballerina Misty Copeland. Visually, this is a feast for the eyes. There are several twists and turns for even those familiar with the story from the ballet. They're easy enough to spot, thanks to some heavy handed foreshadowing, but I won't spoil the journey for those planning on viewing the film.

Suffice it to say that after entering this magical world, Clara quickly realizes that her mother sent her here for a reason and that all is not quite as it seems in this land of talking toys and royal mice. The movie also gets a thumbs up for making Clara an inventor and problem solver—not a girl longing for a doll for Christmas—trying to figure out the puzzle her mom left behind.

This is also one of the less white versions of the Nutcracker that I've seen, with Freeman as Clara's godfather, Fowora-Knight as her loyal companion and guide, black American ballerina Copeland starring in the ballet interludes, and people of color in the mix for background roles and dancers. It's about time, Disney! If you're looking for a little wonder and a shot of Christmas cheer, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms will do the trick to kick off the holiday season. (99 min.)

—Ryah Cooley

OVERLORD

click to enlarge THE HORROR OF WAR Jovan Adepo stars as Boyce, a World War II-era paratrooper dropped behind enemy lines and right into a Nazi supernatural experiment, in the horror/mystery/action film Overlord. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BAD ROBOT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Bad Robot
  • THE HORROR OF WAR Jovan Adepo stars as Boyce, a World War II-era paratrooper dropped behind enemy lines and right into a Nazi supernatural experiment, in the horror/mystery/action film Overlord.

What's it rated? R

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

NewJulius 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 D-Day to complete an operation essential to the invasion's success, but as they approach their target, supernatural forces conjured by a Nazi experiment complicate their mission. (109 min.)

—Glen Starkey

A STAR IS BORN

click to enlarge CROSSED TRAJECTORIES A seasoned performer near the end of his career (Bradley Cooper, left) discovers, nurtures, and falls in love with a talented newcomer (Lady Gaga) in A Star is Born. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Warner Bros. Pictures
  • CROSSED TRAJECTORIES A seasoned performer near the end of his career (Bradley Cooper, left) discovers, nurtures, and falls in love with a talented newcomer (Lady Gaga) in A Star is Born.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

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

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

VENOM

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy

PickRuben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) directs Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a former investigative journalist whose TV show is dedicated to taking down evil corporations and, later, becomes the host for an alien symbiote named Venom. (112 min.)

—Karen Garcia

WHAT THEY HAD

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Elizabeth Chomko makes her directorial debut as she guides a star-studded cast consisting of Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon as two siblings who are brought together by their mother's increasing signs of dementia and the urgency to provide her proper care.

Bridget (Swank) returns to her family in Chicago from California after her mother, Ruth (Blythe Danner), unknowingly walks into a blizzard in the middle of the night, wearing nothing more than her nightgown and a coat, and boards a train.

After an urgent phone call in the middle of the night from her brother, Nick (Shannon), Bridget makes the trip with her daughter, Emma (Taissa Farmiga), who was recently kicked out of her dorm for drinking alcohol on campus.

When Bridget reaches her parents' home, her short-tempered brother already has an application filled out and ready for her to sign that would put their mother in a memory center that's designed to care for people experiencing dementia.

Because their father, Burt (Robert Forster), can live in an assisted living facility just 15 yards away from his wife in the memory center, Nick feels like it's the best option. That's when the yelling matches start between Nick and Burt, as Burt stubbornly cannot give in to the idea of living without Ruth. He constantly insists that he can care for his wife and they're perfectly fine where they are. Burt believes in the devout commitment of marriage, "till death do us part," and he intends on caring for Ruth until the bitter end.

All the while Ruth is forgetting who Burt is, how old she is, and repeating stories she's told two minutes ago.

As Ruth has blips in time when she understands what's happening to her, the family flashes in and out of the underlying issues they have with one another.

Burt can't recognize his son for being the owner and operator of his own bar; instead he belittles him. Bridget is severely unhappy with her dull marriage that she believes she was forced into. The lack of freedom to choose her path ultimately spills onto her daughter, who she's forcing to go to college even though that might not be what Emma wants.

Of course, making living arrangements for a parent who's forgetting who you are is painful, and Chomko doesn't leave any of the raw emotion out.

The film does an amazing job of lingering on old family photos and home videos of past memories that Ruth and Burt shared and mixing in vivid scenes of the couple presently—Ruth forgetting who she's sleeping next to as she wanders the halls of their condo.

This film is one of few (Away From Her and Still Alice) that notably depict the progression of dementia. It not only focuses on the illness but the family surrounding it. It works because it has its sad moments that highlight Ruth's memory decline among the very light-hearted moments of a real family. It's very relatable and clear, leaving you in a serious need of a box of tissues.

—Karen Garcia

WILDLIFE

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Galaxy

New/Pick

Actor Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood, Swiss Army Man) gets behind the camera for this story he co-wrote with Zoe Kazan—based on Richard Ford's novel—about teenager Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould), who's left to deal with his mother Jeanette's (Carey Mulligan) reaction to his father Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) abandoning the family to take a menial and dangerous job.

First-time director Dano does a brilliant job creating an understated gem and coaxing out a career-defining performance from Mulligan. Not showy but instead quiet and contemplative, Wildlife is a slow and sad dissolution of a 1960s marriage, with an ending that will haunt you. (104 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.

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