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Film Listings, 4/18/19 – 4/25/19 

APOLLO 11

What's it rated? G

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

PICK

Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13) directs this documentary about the historic 1969 mission to land on the moon. Using archival footage, you'll witness Cmdr. Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their amazing eight-day mission to the moon and back. (93 min.)

—Glen Starkey

ARETHA FRANKLIN: AMAZING GRACE

click to enlarge AMAZING Aretha Franklin: Amazing Grace documents soul singer Aretha Franklin's appearance with the choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, in January of 1972—screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF 40 ACRES & A MULE FILMWORKS
  • Photo Courtesy Of 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks
  • AMAZING Aretha Franklin: Amazing Grace documents soul singer Aretha Franklin's appearance with the choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, in January of 1972—screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre.

What's it rated? G

Where's it showing? The Palm

NEW

Alan Elliott and Sydney Pollack co-direct this documentary about soul singer Aretha Franklin with the choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, in January of 1972. (89 min.)

—Glen

BREAKTHROUGH

click to enlarge MIRACLE When her son, John (Marcel Ruiz), falls through lake ice and dies, Joyce (Chrissy Metz, center) prays for a miracle under the watchful eye of local pastor Jason Noble (Topher Grace), in Breakthrough. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX 2000 PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Fox 2000 Pictures
  • MIRACLE When her son, John (Marcel Ruiz), falls through lake ice and dies, Joyce (Chrissy Metz, center) prays for a miracle under the watchful eye of local pastor Jason Noble (Topher Grace), in Breakthrough.

What's it rated? PG

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

NEW

Roxann Dawson directs this biographical drama about Guatemalan teenager John Smith (Marcel Ruiz), who in early 2015, while playing with friends, fell through the ice on Lake St. Louis, drowned, and was rescued by first responder Tommy Shine (Mike Colter), and CPR was performed for 27 minutes. On the brink of death and in a coma, John's religiously devout parents, Joyce (Chrissy Metz) and Brian (Josh Lucas), along with local pastor Jason Noble (Topher Grace), pray for the boy's recovery. (116 min.)

—Glen

CAPTAIN MARVEL

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

PICK

Co-writers and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Mississippi Grind) helm this new installation in the Marvel Universe. In 1995, former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes the superhero Captain Marvel, joining an intergalactic cohort called Starforce before returning home to discover Earth is caught in a war between two alien species. (124 min.)

—Glen

THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA

click to enlarge CURSED When an evil entity threatens her children, Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini, right) turns to Father Perez (Tony Amendola) for help, in The Curse of La Llorona. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW LINE CINEMA
  • Photo Courtesy Of New Line Cinema
  • CURSED When an evil entity threatens her children, Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini, right) turns to Father Perez (Tony Amendola) for help, in The Curse of La Llorona.

What's it rated? R

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

NEW

Michael Chaves directs this horror thriller about a social worker Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini) and her small children haunted by supernatural entity. Can Father Perez (Tony Amendola) and occult specialist Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz) help? (93 min.)

—Glen

DUMBO

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

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

PICK

This remake of the Disney animated film centers on a struggling circus led by Max Medici (Danny DeVito), who hires former circus star but now wounded war veteran Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) to take care of Dumbo, a small elephant with giant ears that make it a laughingstock. Holt's children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), discover little Dumbo can fly, and soon ruthless entrepreneur V. A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) swoops in to make Dumbo a star with the help of French trapeze artist Colette Marchant (Eva Green). (112 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

HALF BAKED

click to enlarge STONER Kenny (Harland Williams) accidentally kills a cop's diabetic horse by feeding it junk food purchased on a munchies run, sending him to jail, but his three besties hatch a plan to get him out on $1 million bond, in Half Baked, screening for free at the Fremont Theater, on April 20. - PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Universal Pictures
  • STONER Kenny (Harland Williams) accidentally kills a cop's diabetic horse by feeding it junk food purchased on a munchies run, sending him to jail, but his three besties hatch a plan to get him out on $1 million bond, in Half Baked, screening for free at the Fremont Theater, on April 20.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? April 20, at 8 p.m., in the Fremont Theater (free, but register online at fremontslo.com)

NEW

Tamra Davis directs this 1998 stoner comedy starring co-writer and comedian Dave Chappelle as Thurgood Jenkins, who with dimwitted pals Scarface (Guillermo Díaz) and Brian (Jim Breuer) hatch a harebrained scheme to get their friend Kenny (Harland Williams) out of jail on $1 million bond after he's imprisoned for killing a cop's diabetic horse by feeding it junk food purchased on a munchies run. (82 min.)

—Glen

HELLBOY

click to enlarge ANTIHERO Well-meaning half-demon Hellboy (David Harbour) must stop an undead sorceress from releasing hell on Earth, in Hellboy. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Summit Entertainment
  • ANTIHERO Well-meaning half-demon Hellboy (David Harbour) must stop an undead sorceress from releasing hell on Earth, in Hellboy.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

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

PICK

Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday) directs this R-rated franchise reboot based on Mike Mignola's graphic novels about well-meaning half-demon, Hellboy (David Harbour), who this time around battles an undead sorceress (Milla Jovovich) bent on destroying the world.

This third live-action Hellboy film features a script by Mignola and Andrew Cosby. The first two films—Hellboy (2004; PG-13) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008; PG-13)—featured Guillermo del Toro as writer-director. He apparently wasn't offered full creative control on this new film so he didn't participate. Ron Perlman, Hellboy in the first two films, refused to come back without del Toro. As far as most film critics are concerned, this was a huge mistake, but I disagree.

It's true that del Toro's singular vision brought Hellboy to life on the big screen, and there's no doubt in my mind that Perlman was better in the role than Harbour, but this reboot is a lot of fun if you like serious gore and violence. The splatter-fest certainly earns its R rating. The biggest problem with the film is its so-so story, which would appear to be counterintuitive since graphic novel creator Mignola is on board as screenwriter, but there's something flat and predictable about the whole affair.

Some of the backstory is familiar, for instance how Hellboy is the spawn of a Nazi experiment, but they also weave in some stuff about his human mother being from King Arthur's bloodline, and the sword Excalibur shows up as he fights Nimue the Blood Queen (Jovovich). Since I haven't read the graphic novels, I have no idea if this story lines up with those, but some relationships don't feel well developed. The one between Hellboy and his adoptive father Professor Broom (Ian McShane) seems very glossed over.

McShane is typically awesome. He could read the ingredient list off a box of cereal and I'd be mesmerized, but he's underutilized here. Harbour's performance, on the other hand, feels very reserved. Hellboy is a wiseacre, but Harbour's one-liners don't have the same zing as Perlman's. Jovovich is given little to do as Nimue other that look hot and act cruel.

Without a doubt, the film's best and most creative component is its special effects and creature effects. The dismembering, skewering, and disemboweling is very inventive, and Hellboy looks positively gross—greasy and waxy like the fetal pig you had to dissect in 8th grade. Harbour's deep-set eyes make him look even more disturbing.

Everything you need to know about this film can be summed up in its rottentomoatoes.com score, which is 15 percent critics' score and 63 percent audience score. If you're a Hellboy fanboy, you'll probably dig it. If you're more on the critical side, you're going to miss del Toro's presence immensely. (120 min.)

—Glen

LITTLE

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Rental

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

Co-writer/director Tina Gordon Chism (Peeples) helms this story about ruthless tech mogul Jordan Saunders (Regina Hall), who under tremendous life pressures is magically transformed into her younger self (Marsai Martin). With the help of her dedicated assistant, April (Issa Rae), Jordan hopes to find a way to revert back.

Though uneven and formulaic, Little benefits from a big heart and talented cast. Martin is especially good as the pint-size tyrant, but the one-joke premise quickly runs thin. Save this one for a rental. (109 min.)

—Glen

MISSING LINK

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

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

See Split Screen.

THE MUSTANG

click to enlarge EQUINE THERAPY Violent convict Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) is given a shot at rehabilitation via a therapy program involving wild mustangs, in The Mustang, based on an actual rehabilitation program in Carson City, Nevada. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CANAL+
  • Photo Courtesy Of Canal+
  • EQUINE THERAPY Violent convict Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) is given a shot at rehabilitation via a therapy program involving wild mustangs, in The Mustang, based on an actual rehabilitation program in Carson City, Nevada.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Galaxy, The Palm

PICK

Co-writer/director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre helms this drama about violent convict Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts), who's given a shot at rehabilitation via a therapy program involving wild mustangs.

Twelve years ago, Roman left his domestic partner brain damaged in an attack. He's well aware of his shortcomings and doesn't believe he's fit for reintegration into society, but that changes when he's placed in a rehabilitation program run by Myles (Bruce Dern), a rancher who assigns prisoners a specific wild mustang to train.

Predictably, things don't go well initially, but soon, another inmate with a way with horses, Henry (Jason Mitchell ), helps Roman, who learns as much from his horse as the horse learns from him.

There are some unexpected twists and turns in this well-worn redemption genre, and terrific performances by Schoenaerts and Dern breathe fresh life into it. It also features an ending you won't see coming and won't soon forget. (96 min.)

—Glen

PENGUINS

click to enlarge GO STEVE! Narrated by Ed Helms, Penguins tell the story of an Adélie penguin named Steve, who's on a quest to find a mate and start a family. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DISNEYNATURE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Disneynature
  • GO STEVE! Narrated by Ed Helms, Penguins tell the story of an Adélie penguin named Steve, who's on a quest to find a mate and start a family.

What's it rated? G

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Stadium 10

NEW

Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson co-direct this documentary about Steve, an Adélie penguin on a quest to find a mate and start a family. Ed Helms narrates. (76 min.)

—Glen

PET SEMATARY

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Rent it

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

Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (Holidays, Starry Eyes, Absence) co-direct this new adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a supernatural burial ground. When Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and his wife, Rachel (Amy Seimetz), move from Boston to rural Maine with their two children, they soon discover something weird is going on in the forest near their home.

I sure wish movies could still scare me. I remember being freaked out as a kid, my imagination run amok, but I don't believe in the occult, so these days, horror movies never horrify me. That said, there are some creepy moments in this second adaptation of King's Pet Sematary, a few good jump scares, some good acting and directing, but as far as delivering real chills, nope. Nada.

The whole point of the story is the mystery of what lies beyond this mortal coil. Rachel, whose sister died young, wants to shield her daughter, Ellie (Jeté Lawrence), from the thought of death and talks about heaven, but Louis thinks making up stories about an afterlife is wrong and states matter-of-factly that nothing exists after death.

When Ellie's cat, Church, is hit by a truck, their neighbor, Jud (John Lithgow), helps Louis bury the animal in a special plot of land, and the next day Church magically reappears. He's a bit tattered and worse for wear, but more importantly, he does not act like the same cat, yet Jud and Louis think they've saved Ellie from the pain of death.

If you know anything about Stephen King, you know it's just a matter of time before someone precious dies, and someone has the bright idea to plant that someone in the resurrecting ground. "They don't come back the same," Jud ominously intones. He's right.

Unfortunately, raising the dead isn't as exciting or scary as it sounds. The film's watchable but not exceptionally so, and many viewers will know the story from either the book or the 1989 film of the same name, for which King wrote the screenplay, so it's predictable. For their part, directors Kölsch and Widmyer, and writers Matt Greenberg and Jeff Buhler, mix up the story a bit, so even if you know King's tale, there are a few surprises to be had, but fundamentally it's the same idea: We don't know what lies beyond life, and we probably shouldn't know!

In general the family seems sort of cursed. Louis, a former emergency room doctor who has taken a job as a college physician, is soon haunted by a college student who was hit by a car, and who Louis couldn't save. Rachel is haunted by her dead sister. Their sprawling new property is haunted by a weird burial ground. Their poor kids are in for a real terror ride. Gage (Hugo Lavoie) is too young to know what's going on, but Ellie definitely wants to go back to Boston.

Jeté Lawrence is really good in the role. She looks like a young Sissy Spacek, and the script gives her a lot to do, especially in the film's final third. Clarke as Louis is also good—he's a man being forced to confront his entrenched beliefs, a rational man who discovers his world is no longer rational.

This new adaptation is certainly better than a lot of recent horror films, but it's nowhere near as good as some inventive new entries into the genre, such as Overlord (2018), A Quiet Place (2018), Hereditary (2018), It Comes at Night (2017), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2017), Get Out (2017), or Us (2019). If you love King or you love horror, spring for a matinee, but I'd be happier paying the rental price. (101 min.)

—Glen

THE PUBLIC

click to enlarge CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE Writer-director-actor Emilio Estevez (center) helms The Public, a drama about homeless people who take over the Cincinnati public library during a cold snap. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HAMMERSTONE STUDIOS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Hammerstone Studios
  • CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE Writer-director-actor Emilio Estevez (center) helms The Public, a drama about homeless people who take over the Cincinnati public library during a cold snap.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? The Palm

PICK

Emilio Estevez (The Way, Bobby) does it all as the writer, director, producer, and lead character Stuart Goodson, a librarian who helps a group of homeless men stage an act of civil disobedience by staying in a public library after hours to avoid the freezing cold.

This film toys with society's views on several issues, including how we're handling homeless shelters, the homeless population in general, political figures using everyday issues to their advantage, social media, and fake news. With all these topics in mind, the film doesn't do the best job of cohesively weaving them together.

It all begins with a weather report that Cincinnati is bracing for a bitter cold snap, the warming shelters are filling up, and two homeless individuals have already died from the plummeting temperatures. Next we're introduced to Stuart, who works at the Cincinnati Public Library, a place for information seekers and a refuge for the homeless during the winter season. Stuart knows and talks to almost all the homeless, who he refers to as his "regulars" and who wait until the library opens to use the restrooms, read, or use the computers quietly. They're respectful aside from the one or two who suffer from a mental illness, like the man who sang "I Can See Clearly Now" in his birthday suit.

It's a relatively normal day until closing time, when Jackson (Michael Kenneth Williams)—one of the regulars—informs Stuart that he and large group of individuals won't be leaving the library, as they don't have anywhere to go. The situation is seen as a lockdown, prompting detective Bill Ramstead (Alec Baldwin) to come in and negotiate with the group. Coincidentally, Ramstead is looking for his son, who's homeless and dealing with addiction. The situation also calls for prosecutor and mayoral candidate Josh Davis (Christian Slater) to diffuse the situation. Side note—Davis already has a negative outlook on Stuart as Stuart is part of a lawsuit where he and another employee asked a patron to leave the library on account of his odor.

Davis sees this as an advantage for his candidacy and feeds negative information of Stuart's criminal record to skew news coverage of the lockdown. A lazy TV reporter (Gabrielle Union) preoccupied with getting online "clicks" goes along with painting a negative picture of the occurring incident. While the men in the library aren't doing anything other than avoiding the cold, the situation feels like it's escalating when a SWAT team is called in.

While Estevez does a relatively solid job of laying out a story that humanizes the homeless population—something we too often forget to do, in my opinion—he doesn't really spend a lot of time on the homeless characters in the film. There are plenty of mentions that some of the men are veterans, some have mental illness, and others are just down on their luck, but instead of making them relatable people, they feel more like a point being made.

The film might have also been a little bit more powerful if the best lines were given to someone other than Estevez; actually, Estevez should have had a smaller part, period.

In an era of dehumanizing people and political situations The Public, a little too simply, urges us to think twice about differing populations of people and the way we handle certain situations.

While I'm not saying you should run to the theater the first minute you get, the film is worth seeing in theaters. I believe it has an earnest message, but its delivery could have been better. (122 min.)

—Karen Garcia

SHAZAM!

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

PICK

Horror director David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation) successfully steps out of his comfort zone to helm this superhero fantasy about 14-year-old foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who is chosen to inherit magical powers from a dying wizard (Djimon Hounsou). All Batson needs to do is say the magic wordthe wizard's name, Shazam!to transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) with super strength, flight, and other abilities. Believe the hype! The film's universal acclaim since its release is well-deserved. (132 min.)

—Caleb

UNPLANNED

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price (if you're pro-life); Don't bother (if you're pro-choice)

Where's it showing? Park

Co-directors Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon steer this drama based on the memoir of the same name. A life-changing experience turns Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher), the youngest clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood, into an anti-abortion activist.

A study in polemicist filmmaking, Unplanned will do little to persuade people on either side of this controversial issue. (110 min.)

—Caleb

US

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Park

PICK

Writer-director Jordan Peele (Get Out) helms this new horror thriller about a family—father Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke), mother Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o), daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and son Jason (Evan Alex)—terrorized by evil doppelgängers. (116 min.)

—Glen

WOMAN AT WAR

What's it rated? Not rated

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Benedikt Erlingsson directs, co-writes, and co-produces this comedic thriller about an environmental activist (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) crusading against the Icelandic aluminum industry. But her life changes when her long-forgotten application to adopt an orphan child from Ukraine finally gets approved.

The film uses a light touch to explore the issues of environmentalism—eco-terrorism never seemed so droll—but it will leave an impact. Plus, it's a lot more fun to watch than An Inconvenient Truth! (in Icelandic, English, Ukrainian, and Spanish; 101 min.) Δ

—Caleb

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

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