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Film Listings, 2/7/19 – 2/14/19 

Editor's note: Films at some theaters are subject to change starting Wednesday, Feb. 14.

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Opens on Wednesday, Feb. 14, in Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

New

click to enlarge ANGEL OF DEATH A special effects-enhanced Rosa Salazar stars as the titular character in Alita: Battle Angel, about a human/cyborg hybrid out to right wrongs, opening on Feb. 14. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
  • Photo Courtesy Of Twentieth Century Fox
  • ANGEL OF DEATH A special effects-enhanced Rosa Salazar stars as the titular character in Alita: Battle Angel, about a human/cyborg hybrid out to right wrongs, opening on Feb. 14.

Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Spy Kids, Sin City, Planet Terror) directs this action adventure based on the graphic novel series, Gunnm, about Alita (Rosa Salazar), a human/cyborg hybrid constructed from parts found by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz). She doesn't remember who she was before Dr. Ido saved her from a trash heap, but she may be the key to ending the cycle of death and destruction plaguing society. (122 min.)

—Glen Starkey

AQUAMAN

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Sunset Drive-in

Pick

Land dweller Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), aka Aquaman, is 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

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Fair Oaks

Pick

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 film is nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Rami Malek), Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Film Editing. (134 min.)

—Glen Starkey

COLD PURSUIT

What's it rated? R

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

New

click to enlarge HE WILL FIND YOU Snowplow driver Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) is out for revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son, in Cold Pursuit. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PARADOX FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Paradox Films
  • HE WILL FIND YOU Snowplow driver Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson) is out for revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son, in Cold Pursuit.

Hans Petter Moland directs this action thriller about snowplow driver Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), who's out for revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. Based on Moland's 2014 Norwegian film Kraftidioten (In Order of Disappearance), the remake also stars Emmy Rossum, Julia Jones, Laura Dern, Tom Bateman, David O'Hara, and William Forsythe. (118 min.)

—Glen

COLD WAR

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

When's it showing? The Palm

Pick

click to enlarge TRAGIC LOVE Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig) fall in love in 1950s Communist Poland, in Cold War, screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF OPUS FILM
  • Photo Courtesy Of Opus Film
  • TRAGIC LOVE Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig) fall in love in 1950s Communist Poland, in Cold War, screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre.

Writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort, My Summer of Love, Ida) helms this torrid romance set in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia, and Paris, about Wiktor (Tomasz Kot), a music director who falls in love with Zula (Joanna Kulig), a singer, and hopes to persuade her to flee Communist Poland for France.

When's the last time you've left a movie theater devastated? Cold War will remind you of the power of cinema, the power of narrative simplicity, and the power of a stark black-and-white visual aesthetic. You haven't seen a film like this since Michael Curtiz' Casablanca (1942), Orson Welles' A Touch of Evil (1958), or Ingmar Bergman's Winter Light (1963).

We first meet Wiktor when he and his partner, Irena (Agata Kulesza), traverse rural Poland collecting field recordings of traditional Polish folk songs. They've been commissioned by the Communist government to capture these primitive artworks, open a school of music and dance, and then create a touring performance company. Young people are bused to a handsome estate commandeered by the government, where they try out for spots in the troupe. As soon as Wiktor sees Zula, it's love at first sight.

Their initial romance is complicated by his age and power position, but she falls for him too, and together they can feel a sense of personal freedom even though they're under a repressive and controlling Communist regime represented by Wiktor's handler, Kaczmarek (Borys Szyc), a happy Communist who keeps a close eye on Wiktor and his performance company, especially as they begin to tour abroad. In part, the film is about how artists suffer under Communism.

Despite its short 89-minute running time, the film covers years of Wiktor's and Zula's lives, the travails of their rocky relationship, the damage they inflict on themselves and each other, and their tragic, Shakespearean star-crossed-lovers trajectory. Like the postwar destruction surrounding them, they too are emotionally destroyed by each other.

Since it's subtitled, the lean dialogue works to the film's advantage. It's so breathtakingly shot that you don't want to look away from Lukasz Zal's cinematography to read the text. The soundtrack with its cool and smoky jazz elegance, and the '50s-style sharp costuming will remind viewers of films such as Jules Dassin's Rififi (1955) or Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960).

Kulig and Kot are both fantastic and communicate their characters' arcs in subtle and potent ways. Wiktor's confidence is sapped by Zula. Zula is a self-destructive mess who thinks she's unworthy of happiness. They're both perfect and impossible for each other.

The film is nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. This one deserves to be seen in the theater. (In Polish, French, German, Russian, Italian, and Croatian; B&W; 89 min.)

—Glen

A DOG'S WAY HOME

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

When's it showing? Bay, Galaxy

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.

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

GLASS

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Stadium 10

Pick

In Glass, M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening) brings back three of his most iconic characters, directing Bruce Willis as David Dunn, Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, and James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 24 personalities. The three are meshed together in a psychiatric ward to rid them of their superhuman delusions while Elijah has a plan of his own to bring the comic book plot to life.

We're so used to superheroes that have some sort of connection to a mythical god and are destined for greatness. These heroes are based on comic books' stories, but Shyamalan based his trilogy on the structure of the comic books themselves. He has a totally different take on his superheroes: They're just people. (129 min.)

—Karen Garcia

GREEN BOOK

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Park

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.

The film is nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Viggo Mortensen), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing. (130 min.)

—Glen

HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Opens on Wednesday Feb. 14, in Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

New

click to enlarge GROUNDHOG DEATH In this sequel about Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), a victim forced to relive her death over and over until she finds her killer, she now discovers that repeated death is easy compared to what lies ahead, in Happy Death Day 2U, opening on Feb. 14. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BLUMHOUSE PRODUCTIONS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Blumhouse Productions
  • GROUNDHOG DEATH In this sequel about Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), a victim forced to relive her death over and over until she finds her killer, she now discovers that repeated death is easy compared to what lies ahead, in Happy Death Day 2U, opening on Feb. 14.

Christopher Landon directs this sequel about college student Tree Gelbman, who in the original was killed and had to relive her murder over and over until she finds out who killed her. She now discovers that repeatedly dying is easy compared to what's in store for her this time. (100 min.)

—Glen

ISN'T IT ROMANTIC

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Opens on Wednesday Feb. 14, in Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

New

click to enlarge NIGHTMARE Rebel Wilson stars as Natalie, a woman disenchanted by romance who discovers she's trapped in a romantic comedy, in Isn't It Romantic, opening on Feb. 14. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BRON STUDIOS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Bron Studios
  • NIGHTMARE Rebel Wilson stars as Natalie, a woman disenchanted by romance who discovers she's trapped in a romantic comedy, in Isn't It Romantic, opening on Feb. 14.

Todd Struass-Schulson directs this fantasy-comedy about Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a woman disenchanted by romance who finds herself living in a romantic comedy. (88 min.)

—Glen

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Stadium 10

Pick

Writer-director Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) helms this family adventure about a group of kids on a quest to save the world. Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is sure he's nothing special ... until he finds Excalibur encased in stone! With the help of Merlin (Sir Patrick Stewart), Alex will unite his friends and attempt to defeat the evil enchantress, Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson).

An insecure kid learns to be a leader in this charming action-adventure based on the Arthurian legends. Unlike a lot of kids films that also try to keep the parents entertained, this film is aimed squarely at tweens, so adults may find it a slog. With the goofy charm of '80s adventures—think The Neverending Story or The Goonies—kids will enjoy its inventive action, fantasy setting, and emotional punch. (132 min.)

—Glen

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

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.

If you want a reminder of all the ways the deck is stacked against black people in the U.S., this is the film. What's amazing about the film and book is it's also a complicated and tender love story, a celebration of black family life, and an optimistic clarion call that despite the horrors piled upon the black community. There's an unstoppable nobility there.

The film is up for three Academy Awards: Best Actress (Regina King), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. (119 min.)

—Glen

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

What's it rated? PG

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

New

click to enlarge EVERYTHING'S NOT AWESOME Citizens of Lego Land face a new threat: LEGO DUPLO invaders from space, in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ANIMAL LOGIC
  • Photo Courtesy Of Animal Logic
  • EVERYTHING'S NOT AWESOME Citizens of Lego Land face a new threat: LEGO DUPLO invaders from space, in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

Mike Mitchell (Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Shrek Forever After, Trolls) directs this animated family adventure that takes place five years after the original. Everything was awesome, but now the citizens face a new threat: LEGO DUPLO invaders from space! (106 min.)

—Glen

MISS BALA

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Rent it

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre (ends 2/12), Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

click to enlarge TABLE TURNER Miss Bala, based on the 2011 Mexican action film, stars Gina Rodriguez as Gloria, an American caught between a drug cartel and the DEA, who does what she needs to do to survive. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • TABLE TURNER Miss Bala, based on the 2011 Mexican action film, stars Gina Rodriguez as Gloria, an American caught between a drug cartel and the DEA, who does what she needs to do to survive.

Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown, Twilight, Miss You Already) directs this remake of the 2011 Mexican film of the same name.

Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), a makeup artist from LA, visits her best friend, Suzu (Cristina Rodlo), in Tijuana, and the pair get swept up by a drug cartel, with Gloria—the American—forced to smuggle laundered money. She soon finds herself squeezed between cartel leader Lino (Ismael Cruz Cordova) and the DEA.

Using all her cunning and strength, Gloria must find a way to escape and save her friend. That story of female empowerment is supposed to be the best part of this film, but it's too interested in sexualizing Gloria, undercutting its message.

Worse still, the film—despite some explosive set pieces—turns out to be a pretty bland Hollywood updating of a much grittier and more impactful Mexican film.

Rodriguez certainly communicates the fear and determination of her character, but the proceedings can border on the corny. Save this one for a rental, or go watch the much better original. (104 min.)

—Glen

ON THE BASIS OF SEX

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Pick

Mimi Leder (Pay It Forward) directs this biopic about a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) and her fight for equality, which eventually helps propel her onto the Supreme Court of the United States.

On the Basis of Sex is both an important history lesson and an inspirational film for girls and young women still struggling for full equality, access, and representation. I hope parents will bring their tweens and teens to the theater as a reminder that despite staggering odds, justice can overcome tradition and the status quo. (120 min.)

—Glen

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS (ANIMATION, LIVE ACTION, DOCUMENTARY)

What's it rated? Not rated

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

New/Pick

See the five Academy Award contenders in each of the short film categories: Animation, Live Action, and Documentary. These gems of short-form cinema may be brief, but they pack a mighty punch.

—Glen

THE PRODIGY

What's it rated? R

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

New

click to enlarge CREEP SHOW A mother (Taylor Schilling) grows concerned by her son's (Jackson Robert Scott) behavior, in Prodigy. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ORION PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Orion Pictures
  • CREEP SHOW A mother (Taylor Schilling) grows concerned by her son's (Jackson Robert Scott) behavior, in Prodigy.

Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact, At the Devil's Door) directs this Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train) screenplay about a mother (Taylor Schilling) concerned by her son's (Jackson Robert Scott) behavior. Is something supernatural afoot? (101 min.)

—Glen

STAN & OLLIE

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Jon S. Baird (Filth) directs Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy, in this melancholic biopic about the comedy duo as they attempt to revive their career with a rigorous theater tour of post-war Britain.

This affectionate look behind the scenes at the beloved pair of funnymen examines their triumphs and travails, how their partnership was in some ways like a marriage, how their past haunts them, and Oliver's failing health. It's a charming albeit modest tribute to two decent gentlemen who connected with audiences for decades but now know their current tour is probably their swansong. (97 min.)

—Glen

A STAR IS BORN

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Fair Oaks

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.

The film is up for nine Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress (Lady Gaga), Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Elliott), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Matty Libatique), Best Original Song ("Shallow"), Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. (135 min.)

—Glen

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy

See Split Screen.

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

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

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.

The film is up for eight Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Christian Bale), Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), Best Original Screenplay, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Film Editing. (132 min.)

—Glen

WHAT MEN WANT

What's it rated? R

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

New

click to enlarge SAY WHAT? Taraji P. Henson stars as Ali Davis, a woman who gets the upper hand over her fellow male sports agents when she begins to hear their thoughts, in What Men Want. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BET FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Bet Films
  • SAY WHAT? Taraji P. Henson stars as Ali Davis, a woman who gets the upper hand over her fellow male sports agents when she begins to hear their thoughts, in What Men Want.

In this role-reversal remake of the Mel Gibson film, What Women Want (2000), Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages, Hairspray (2007), Bringing Down the House) directs Taraji P. Henson as Ali Davis, a woman who gets the upper hand over her fellow male sports agents when she begins to hear their thoughts. (117 min.) Δ

—Glen

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

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