Pin It
Favorite

Film Listings, 8/2/18 – 8/9/18 

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it rated? Matinee

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy

Pick

Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man, Ant-Man) directs this next entry into the Marvel universe set after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Paul Rudd returns as Scott Lang and his superhero alter ego Ant-Man. As Scott struggles to balance his crime fighting and home life, he's once again called on by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to join forces with Scott's one-time love interest (and Pym's daughter) Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) to deal with a new threat, Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen).

This is definitely the sort of story you don't want to think too hard about because it's silly and absurd. But when the fists are flying or the cars are racing, moving from super small size to super big, it's best to disappear into the moment and go with it. (118 min.)

—Glen Starkey

BLACKKKLANSMAN

click to enlarge UNDERCOVER BROTHER Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver, left) and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) star in auteur Spike Lee's BlackKklansman, about a black police officer and his white counterpart who infiltrate the local KKK chapter. - PHOTO COURTESY OF 40 ACRES & A MULE FILMWORKS
  • Photo Courtesy Of 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks
  • UNDERCOVER BROTHER Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver, left) and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) star in auteur Spike Lee's BlackKklansman, about a black police officer and his white counterpart who infiltrate the local KKK chapter.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? The Palm, Stadium 10

New

Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Summer of Sam, Inside Man) directs this comedic crime biography about Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a black rookie police office in Colorado who, with the help of a white undercover counterpart (Adam Driver), becomes the head of the local Ku Klux Klan chapter. (135 min.)

—Glen Starkey

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

What's it rated? PG

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

Pick

From director Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, The Kite Runner) comes this live-action adaptation of A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh characters that poses this question: What happens to Christopher Robin after he grows up? After decades of separation, everyone's favorite Pooh bear makes a trek from the mythical Hundred Acre Wood into the real world to find out what's become of his old, lost friend.

In a nutshell, it's Winnie-the-Pooh meets Hook. In fact, the two films' protagonists and their arcs are virtually identical. The adult Christopher (Ewan McGregor, Moulin Rouge!, Big Fish) is an overworked father who alienates himself from his wife (Hayley Atwell, Captain America: The First Avenger, Agent Carter) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael) by spending too much time at the office. In the same way Hook's adult Peter Pan had to return to Neverland to rediscover his long-lost inner child, so must Christopher to the Hundred Acre Wood.

McGregor is perfectly sufficient as the titular character, but the real star of Christopher Robin is legendary voice actor Jim Cummings (who's played the Disney iterations of both Pooh and Tigger since the late '80s). In case you forgot how adorably hilarious Pooh as a character is, this film is here to remind you in spades. As much I enjoyed this outing, I think I would have much rather preferred a more Pooh-centric plot, or even a collection of vignettes (akin to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh). All I'm asking for is less human interactions and more heffalumps and woozles, please! It's hard to care about the real world when the vastly superior Hundred Acre Wood is right around the corner.

I'm not saying I have anything against watching an adult Christopher Robin rediscover his old (or should I say young?) self, the one that loved embarking on marvelous adventures in a magical setting, especially when that reemergence results in heartstring tugging exchanges between him and his loved onesincluding Pooh, of course. But I truly hope I live to see the day when this kind of story can be told without a climactic boardroom-meeting scene, ya know? The ones where the protagonist has to choose between his career and helping his family with (insert a problem that can easily wait until after the meeting is over). I'd take an extra dose of "Rumbly in my Tumbly" over that broken record any day. Ultimately, Christopher Robin left me wanting less bear poo and more Pooh bear. (120 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Opens Aug. 15 at Downtown Centre, Park

New

Jon M. Chu directs this rom-com based on Kevin Kwan's best selling novel about native New Yorker and Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend, Nick Young's (Henry Golding), ridiculously wealthy family. Once there, Rachel realizes Nick's the most eligible bachelor in Asia, and all the single women are out to undermine her. (120 min.)

—Glen Starkey

THE DARKEST MINDS

What's it rated? PG-13

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

When teens mysteriously develop powerful new abilities, they are declared a threat by the government and detained. Sixteen-year-old Ruby (Amandla Stenberg), one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, escapes her camp and joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon this newfound family realizes that, in a world in which the adults in power have betrayed them, running is not enough and they must wage a resistance, using their collective power to take back control of their future. (105 min.)

—20th Century Fox

DEATH OF A NATION

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Park, Stadium 10

Not since 1860 have the Democrats so fanatically refused to accept the result of a free election. That year, their target was Lincoln. They smeared him. They went to war to defeat him. In the end, they assassinated him. Now the target of the Democrats is President Trump and his supporters. The left calls them racists, white supremacists, and fascists. These charges are used to justify driving Trump from office and discrediting the right "by any means necessary." Can we come together and save America for the second time? (109 min.)

—Quality Flix

DOG DAYS

click to enlarge WOOF Eva Longoria, Elizabeth Phoenix Caro, and Rob Corddry (left to right) are part of an ensemble cast brought together by dogs, in Dog Days. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LD ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Ld Entertainment
  • WOOF Eva Longoria, Elizabeth Phoenix Caro, and Rob Corddry (left to right) are part of an ensemble cast brought together by dogs, in Dog Days.

What's it rated? PG

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

New

Ken Marino (How to Be a Latin Lover) directs this dramedy about Los Angelinos brought together by their dogs (112 min.)

—Glen Starkey

EIGHTH GRADE

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

YouTube comedian Bo Burnham directs Elsie Fisher (Despicable Me) as Kayla, a shy eighth grader who is completing the last week of her subpar middle school career. The entire week is filled with familiar ups and downs of adolescent life; most moments are undeniably awkward and prove embarrassing for both the characters and the audience. For those who have forgotten how uncomfortable middle school can be, this is a strong refresher.

Fisher's authentic and captivating performance keeps the entire film afloat—Kayla is an instantly recognizable character. Her speech cadence tilts with pre-teen uncertainty, her shoulders slouch, and her facial acne is often illuminated by a phone's glow. She snaps easily at her well-intentioned father (Josh Hamilton), but shows a more thoughtful and sweet nature in her amateur YouTube advice videos.

Though Kayla rarely socializes with peers and is marked by her quietness in class, she still manages to be incredibly bold (especially by middle school standards). Many memorable scenes are the result of Kayla rejecting her perceived self and courageously pursuing who she would like to be. Whether that's by showing up unwelcomed to a popular girl's pool party or crawling across the classroom mid-drill to talk with her crush, it is easy to simultaneously root for Kayla and internally advise against her choices.

While the film attempts to produce cringe-worthy moments (and rightfully so), there are some aspects which come off as overly nauseating. Kayla's consistent "Gucci" sign-off is hard to endure, and some pop culture references, such as dabbing, seem over the top. However, these cheesy gags don't undo more serious themes in the film. An unexpected and truly chilling scene takes place when Kayla is put in a dangerous situation after a relatively exciting social outing. The daily middle school troubles we witness her navigate quickly pale in comparison.

Quite simply, Eighth Grade is an uncomfortable watch. There are feel-good moments and a few good laughs, but prepubescent anxiety is the main takeaway. Yet, watching Kayla enjoy some wins throughout her many losses proves rewarding and intimate to a certain degree. It's hard to watch Eighth Grade without thinking back to your own youth. Kayla is not only her own distinct personality, but somehow a memory of all of us. (93 min.)

—Ashley Ladin

THE EQUALIZER 2

click to enlarge JUSTICE Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed in The Equalizer 2. - PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Columbia Pictures
  • JUSTICE Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed in The Equalizer 2.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter, The Magnificent Seven 2016) returns to helm this sequel written by Richard Wenk (The Mechanic 2011, The Expendables 2, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) that's based on the TV series by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim. Denzel Washington stars as vigilante Robert McCall, an unassuming man—and retired CIA black ops master—who metes out justice whenever he sees someone being exploited or oppressed. When he learns his old friend Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) has been murdered, he's determined to find out who did it and why, and bring them to account. (121 min.)

—Glen Starkey

HOTEL TRANSLYVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION

What's it rated? PG

Where's it showing? Park, Stadium 10

Join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac (voice of Adam Sandler) can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. It's smooth sailing for Drac's pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis (voice of Selena Gomez) realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka (voice of Kathryn Hahn), who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind. (97 min.)

—Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation

INCREDIBLES 2

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Pick

From writer/director Brad Bird (Ratatouille) comes the sequel Incredibles 2, 14 years after the original film premiered. Everyone's favorite family of superheroes is back in Incredibles 2—but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of normal life. It's a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack's emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again. (118 min.)

—Spencer Cole

LEAVE NO TRACE

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

Co-writer/director Debra Granik helms this drama about Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin McKenzie), whose quiet life living off the grid in a Portland forest is shattered after a mistake leads to their discovery and induction into the social services system. Can they find a way back to their idyllic existence? (109 min.)

MAMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

Ol Parker (Now is Good, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) directs returning and new cast members in the sequel to the popular 2008 ABBA-centric musical-turned-movie Mamma Mia! In the first film, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is a bride-to-be who invites three of her mother, Donna's (Meryl Streep) old flames to her wedding in an attempt to discover who her real father is. The sequel switches off between a time before and after the original film, focusing on both Sophie's new life attempting to carry on her late mother's hotel business and her mother Donna's young life around the time of her pregnancy.

Though the musical numbers are lively, they feel overproduced and a bit sanitized. The songs don't fit the scenes as snugly as they did in the original, bringing up the question of how many storylines can (or should) be developed from the music of one 1970s Swedish pop group. There was something especially disappointing about reused songs from the first film. These recycled tracks were some of the best in the sequel, but still fell short of their original performances.

Unfortunately, Mama Mia! Here We Go Again! does not re-create the original electricity of the first film, but rather provides a subtle warning for yet another largely nostalgia-driven, profit-seeking sequel. However, just because the film is unable to fully recapture the original magic does not mean it misses all the marks. (114 min.)

—Ashley Ladin

THE MEG

click to enlarge MEGAJAWS Long thought extinct, a Carcharodon Megalodon rises from the Mariana Trench to wreak havoc, in the sci-fi thriller The Meg. - PHOTO COURTESY OF APELLES ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Apelles Entertainment
  • MEGAJAWS Long thought extinct, a Carcharodon Megalodon rises from the Mariana Trench to wreak havoc, in the sci-fi thriller The Meg.

What's it rated? PG-13

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

New

Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenon, Instinct, National Treasure) directs Jason Statham as former Naval Capt. Jonas Taylor, whose career and marriage were destroyed after he abandoned half his crew during an exploration of the Mariana Trench in what he claimed was an attack by a 70-foot shark. Five years later when a sub crew is stranded in what may be an attack by the supposedly long-extinct 70-foot Carcharodon Megalodon, Taylor is recruited to attempt a rescue. (113 min.)

—Glen Starkey

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-FALLOUT

click to enlarge BEST-LAID PLANS In Mission: Impossible-Fallout, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team join forces with a CIA assassin to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Paramount Pictures
  • BEST-LAID PLANS In Mission: Impossible-Fallout, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team join forces with a CIA assassin to prevent a disaster of epic proportions.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

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

Pick

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation) helms this action-packed sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, starring Tom Cruise as super spy Ethan Hunt. The new film ties together narratives and characters from earlier films, including IMF (Impossible Mission Force) team members Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Hunt's Rogue Nation love interest and fellow spy Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), and Hunt's ex-wife Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan) from Mission: Impossible III.

In addition to a series of amazing action sequences the film manages to conjure up emotional elements as well, since Hunt must protect both Julia and Ilsa, and prove to the powers-that-be, that saving both the one and the many is the real job of the IMF. It also culminates in the mother of all action finales. If you like this series, Fallout is a worthy successor. (147 min.)

—Glen Starkey

SLENDER MAN

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Park

New

Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard, The Losers) directs this horror story about a tall, thin creature (created by writer Victor Surge) that haunts and steals children. (93 min.)

—Glen Starkey

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

In this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction documentary directed by Tim Wardle, in 1980, three 19-year-old strangers discover they're identical triplets separated at birth. Their unlikely reunion leads to notoriety, but as they learn more about the circumstances of their separation, questions arise involving ethics and human nature.

Bobby Shafran heads off to community college and is surprised that everyone he meets greets him like an old friend, smiling, waving, asking him how his summer was. People keep calling him Eddy, and he soon discovers that he's got a doppelganger. A friend of Eddy's puts the two on the phone together, and they discover they're both adopted and both have the same birthday. In short order, Bobby's reunited with his brother, believing they were twins.

The feel-good story becomes even harder to believe after Bobby and Eddy's story winds up in the news, and then a third brother, David, comes forward. The three are instant celebrities. They wind up on talk shows, in papers and magazines, and people marvel at how similar they are even though different families raised them. Their speech patterns, mannerisms, even their preferred cigarettes are eerily similar. Even more important, they're delighted to reunite—long-lost brothers together again.

If that were the whole story, that'd be amazing and worthy of a documentary in and of itself, but as the brothers—and their respective parents—look deeper into the circumstances of their separation, things take a dark turn. Spoiler! The triplets were part of a larger experiment about nature versus nurture, an experiment that has serious ethical flaws. (96 min.)

—Glen Starkey

WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) helms this documentary biopic about beloved cardigan-clad children's TV host Fred Rogers.

It's easy to dismiss Fred Rogers as "just" a children's TV host, and a sappy, low-budget one at that, but this documentary reveals just how deeply he cared about children; how hard he worked at helping children through topical issues such as Robert Kennedy's assassination, divorce, and war; and how seriously he took his role as host of positive children's programming as foil to what he saw as bad role modeling and encouragement of humanity's baser instincts in other kids' programs.

What makes the film even more poignant is its depiction of Rogers at his lowest. Looking at our culture today, it's clear his message didn't prevail. Still, his message was a worthy one and remains so today. Won't You Be My Neighbor? is a wonderful celebration of a wonderful man who touched countless lives and exemplified a life well lived. (94 min.) Δ

—Glen Starkey

New Times movie reviews were compiled by Arts Writer Ryah Cooley and others. You can contact her at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

Trending Now

© 2018 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation