Pin It
Favorite

Film listings 9/21/17 through 9/28/17 

American Assassin

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

Directed by Michael Cuesta (L.I.E., Roadie, Kill the Messenger) and based on a character in Vince Flynn's spy series, this first film in what clearly hopes to become a franchise is the origin story for counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp (Dylan O'Brien), who after witnessing the death of his fiancé, Katrina (Charlotte Vega), at the hands of terrorists, starts training to take out the cell that murdered her.

We discover that Mitch's activities are being tracked by CIA handler Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan), who sees in Mitch a potential operative who's willing to go beyond protocol to accomplish his mission. After Mitch gains access to a cell that no other CIA agent has been able to, Kennedy recruits Mitch and sends him to train with counterterrorism expert Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), who puts Mitch and other recruits through their paces as he gears up for a mission involving a loose nuclear bomb.

Like the Jason Bourne series and the rebooted Bond franchise, this film aims to up the spy game ante with more action, cleverer spy craft, and more exotic locales. It doesn't quite top those two series, but this is a serviceable action flick with some potential, especially if O'Brien can grow into the role as Mitch. O'Brien's a little wimpy and doesn't quite have the same charisma and believability as Daniel Craig or Matt Damon. What the film does have, however, is Michael Keaton, who's fantastic as the tough-as-nails Hurley. Keaton's role is a juicy one and he sinks his teeth deep into it ... as one point literally. I won't spoil it, but it's a harrowing scene!

Both Rapp and Hurley are after Ghost (Taylor Kitsch), another of Hurley's trainees who's gone rogue. Ghost seems to be one step ahead of their every move, and the film delivers plenty of bloody action, from hand-to-hand combat, shootouts, and chases. Yes, compared to Bourne and Bond, the plot's a little thin, but it's still a lot of fun for action film fans.

There's also plenty of intrigue and double and triple crosses to keep you guessing, and like any good spy film, there's a femme fatale in the form of Persian agent Annika (Shiva Negar).

If you're an action fan and enjoy the spy genre as much as I do, you'll find this is worth the price of a matinee. If not, wait for a rental or streaming. As much potential as the series has, this first entry isn't quite in the sweet spot. (112 min.)

—Glen Starkey

The Big Sick

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

Pick

Director Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name is Doris) directs this semi-autographical screenplay by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani about a Pakistani stand-up comic named Kumail (Nanjiani) who falls for a white woman named Emily (Zoe Kazan) who heckles him during a performance. Their budding relationship is strained when Emily discovers Kumail has a stash of photos of Pakistani women his parents have been trying to set him up with in an arranged marriage, so she breaks things off. Later, she's taken to the hospital and put into an induced coma due to an infection, and Kumail realizes he made a mistake letting her go, but now it may be too late. (120 min.)

—Glen Starkey

Dunkirk

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Pick

Writer-director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar) helms this historical drama about the World War II evacuation of Dunkirk, when allied forces from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France were surrounded by the German army between May 26 to June 4, 1940. Civilians in fishing, merchant marine, and pleasure boats valiantly came to their rescue. (106 min.)

—Glen Starkey

Friend Request

click to enlarge CYBER STALKER In Friend Request, accepting the social media request of a stranger leads to a string of murders. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
  • CYBER STALKER In Friend Request, accepting the social media request of a stranger leads to a string of murders.

What's it rated? R

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

NewLaura, a popular college girl, is very active on social media and shares almost everything in her life with her 800-plus friends on Facebook. However, after accepting a friend request from an unknown girl named Marina, Laura becomes obsessed with Marina's profile, and soon her friends begin to die violently one by one. (92 min.)

—Entertainment Studio Motions Pictures

The Hitman's Bodyguard

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? Sunset Drive In

The world's top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's most notorious hit men (Samuel L. Jackson). (111 min.)

—Summit Entertainment

Home Again

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it up? Matinee

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

Pick

Reese Witherspoon stars as Alice Kinney, a recently separated single mom and interior designer relocating from New York to her late legendary filmmaker father's estate in Hollywood, in the somewhat entertaining and interesting, but ultimately ungrounded and directionless rom-com that is Home Again.

After 15 years of marriage, Alice decides to jump ship from her preoccupied music executive husband, Austen (Michael Sheen), and moves with her two young girls to Los Angeles. The story picks up with Alice sobbing in her childhood bathroom on her 40th birthday, interrupted by her kids Isabel and Rosie (Lola Flanery and Eden Grace) who have their first day of school in LA.

Simultaneously, we meet a trio of aspiring filmmaker white dudes (unrelated to Alice) in their mid-20s: Harry (Pico Alexander), George (Jon Rudnitsky), and Teddy (Nat Wolff). A director, writer, and actor, respectively, they're scrapping and crawling to get one of their scripts picked up by a production company.

Alice goes out drinking on her birthday night and makes acquaintances with the three youngsters at a bar, taking Harry back to the house for a sloppy make-out. It turns out all three of the guys crashed at Alice's house, and the next morning they realize she's the daughter of John Kinney, a filmmaker they all respect. Alice's mom (Candice Bergen) comes over and takes to the trio, convincing Alice to let them stay in their guesthouse while they try to get their movie picked up.

At its very core, Home Again is about two things: the often-absurd chase to achieve the Hollywood dream, and the struggle of an extremely privileged white woman to find herself and her confidence amid a failing marriage. While this premise likely doomed the movie from being good from the start, for some reason I found myself pretty engaged and entertained by it. The characters are funny and thought-out and have good chemistry. If you're from LA or have spent time there, you'll recognize the culture and appreciate the portrayal and satire.

The main problem I have with Home Again is that the main character Alice really takes a backseat to the three young male filmmakers as the movie progresses. We lose a sense of her character arc and what her purpose is. That's strange to see with Witherspoon as the lead, given her chops and usually strong presence. Home Again gets off to a good start before it kind of deteriorates into wishy-washy ridiculousness by the end. But I still thought the overall performances were kind of charming and original. (97 min.)

—Peter Johnson

IT

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

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

Pick

From director Andy Muschietti (Mama) comes the remake of the 1990 mini-series thriller IT, based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

So here's the rundown: King's horrific clown monster Pennywise, who dwells in the sewers, is portrayed by Skarsgård (Allegiant, Atomic Blonde) this time around—in the original, it was Tim Curry (Kinsey, The Rocky Horror Picture Show)—and is the source of a fleet of missing children in the town of Derry, Maine. Everyone in the town seems pretty nonchalant about this, except for the children, who as the clown's chosen victims are understandably terrified.

Bill's (Jaeden Lieberher of The Book of Henry) little brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) is the first kid to vanish in the film's opening sequence, leaving Bill desperate to find answers. Rounding out Bill's crew of misfit friends looking to uncover the truth is the hilarious, smac- talking Richie (Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things fame), new kid Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), germaphobe Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), the slacking-on-his bat-mitzvah-studying Stanley (Wyatt Oleff), the homeschooled kid Mike (Chosen Jacobs), and Beverly (Sophia Lillis)—the token girl of the group with a swirl of rumors surrounding her.

The thing about IT is that it's a movie that a 12-year-old would find scary, but it's done extremely well. Honestly, the scariest parts of the film have nothing to do with the murderous clown and everything to do with the very real shit these kids are dealing with. Bill has zero empathy or support from his parents over the loss of his brother; Beverly is dealing with her ultra creepy, lecherous dad (nothing super graphic is shown, but it's blatantly implied that he's molesting her); Mike is the only homeschooled and black kid in town who lost his parents in a house fire; and everyone is getting the shit kicked out of them by the town bully Henry (Nicholas Hamilton), who apparently has a lot of rage built up inside because his dad is a hard-ass cop. In one scene we see Henry take a knife and attempt to carve his name into Ben's stomach. It's all kinds of messed up.

Like Split Screen columnist Glen Starkey would (and did) say, IT works best as a coming of age story about facing your fears even when you feel vulnerable, rather than a straight up, jumping-out-of-your-seat scary movie. That is, provided you're a grown-up who has long gotten over your clown issues. Despite the majority of the cast being under 18, these young actors all deliver stellar performances. In particular, I'm excited to see where Lieberher, Wolfhard, and Lillis' careers go as they all grow up and continue to hone their craft. Oh, and to the jerk that left a red balloon in the hallway outside the theater room, your gesture was not appreciated. If you're looking strictly to be scared out of your mind, then I'd say this movie isn't worth a full priced ticket, better to go for a matinee. (135 min.)

—Ryah Cooley

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

click to enlarge ALLIES Elite, secret organizations from England and the U.S. must team up to save the world in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. - PHOTO COURTESY OF 20TH CENTURY FOX
  • Photo Courtesy Of 20th Century Fox
  • ALLIES Elite, secret organizations from England and the U.S. must team up to save the world in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

What's it rated? R

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

New

In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the U.S. called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents' strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world. (141 min.)

—20th Century Fox

Leap!

What's it rated? PG

Where's it showing? Galaxy

In this animated film, 11-year-old orphan, Félicie (Elle Fanning) has one dream—to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor (Nat Wolff), an imaginative but exhausting boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own—to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. (86 min.)

—The Weinstein Company

The Lego Ninjago Movie

click to enlarge LEGO TIME Ninja warriors must defeat an evil warlord in the animated film, The Lego Ninjago Movie. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Warner Bros. Pictures
  • LEGO TIME Ninja warriors must defeat an evil warlord in the animated film, The Lego Ninjago Movie.

What's it rated? PG

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

New

The battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd (voiced by Dave Franco), aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd's dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu. (90 min.)

—Warner Bros. Pictures

Logan Lucky

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

PickSteven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape; Out of Sight; Erin Brockovich; Traffic; Ocean's Eleven (2001); Magic Mike) directs this crime comedy about two brothers—Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver)—and their attempt to rob a North Carolina NASCAR track.

Once it gets cooking, this Southern fried heist flick is a hoot! The set-up is simple. Jimmy Logan gets unjustly fired from his heavy machine-operating job at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he's been helping to repair sinkholes, and which gives him inside knowledge of the heist target. He's a doting albeit estranged dad to Sadie Logan (Farrah Mackenzie), who lives with her surly remarried mother Bobbie Jo Chapman (Katie Holmes). Broke and feeling cheated out of his job; he enlists his bartender brother Clyde and hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough) to rob the racetrack. Things get complicated after that.

They need a demolition expert to get to the cash, which is shuffled from concession areas via pneumatic tubes. The only guy they know is Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), who's got five more months on his sentence, but Jimmy and Clyde claim they have a plan to break him out and back into jail if he agrees to help, which he does provided his brothers Fish (Jack Quaid) and Sam Bang (Brian Gleeson) can get in on the job.

What makes it all so comical is the Logan family curse of bad luck and the general perception that the Logans are a bunch of redneck idiots. What follows is a Rube Goldberg-level complicated plan with layers upon layers of intrigue, and a lot of funny moments.

The whole premise plays on the idea of misperception of Jimmy Logan as well as knowing the various players' weaknesses. For instance, for the jailbreak to work, Jimmy has to know that Warden Burns' (Dwight Yoakam) pride will delay him reporting a jail riot. Likewise, the Logans have to understand that their plan will leave the speedway unable to track the amount of money stolen and realize that they'll be interested in closing the investigation as soon as their insurance is willing to pay out.

Of course, all of this is further complicated by Special Agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank), who unlike the racetrack owners and her superiors, doesn't want to drop the investigation.

Between the difficulties we don't see coming, the close familial relationships that add emotional resonance to the proceedings, and the hugely entertaining and wildly colorful cast of characters—including Seth MacFarlane as pompous Brit Max Chilblain, a rich energy drink maven and race car sponsor—Logan Lucky is a blast! Funny, engaging, and surprising, it's a slick, clever, rollicking crackerjack of a heist film. Think of it as breezy Deep South Oceans 7-Eleven. (119 min.)

—Glen Starkey

Mother!

What's it rated? R

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

See Split Screen.

Neither Wolf Nor Dog

What's it rated? NR

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

A white author is summoned by a Lakota Elder who asks him to write a book about his perspective. After a blundering false start, he is all but kidnapped and sucked into a road trip through the heart of the contemporary Native American landscape. (110 min.)

—Roaring Fire Films

Rebel in the Rye

click to enlarge IN THE MAKING Rebel in the Rye explores the life experiences of author J.D. Salinger that led to him writing Catcher in the Rye. - PHOTO COURTESY OF IFC FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Ifc Films
  • IN THE MAKING Rebel in the Rye explores the life experiences of author J.D. Salinger that led to him writing Catcher in the Rye.

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

This biopic of legendary author J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) details his relationship with socialite Oona O'Neill (Zoey Deutch), his experiences fighting in World War II, and his writing process for The Catcher in the Rye. (109 mi.)

—IFC Films

Spider-Man: Homecoming

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full Price

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Pick

This new Spider-Man film picks up a few months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, which chronicled the rift between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). This time around, Tony Stark (A.K.A. Iron Man) and the federal government create the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), which inadvertently drives Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) out of business, leading him to become the villain Vulture. Meanwhile Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns to his studies after Stark tells him he's not ready to be an Avenger, but that doesn't stop Peter from pursuing his crime fighting endeavors. (133 min.)

—Glen Starkey

Viceroy's House

What's it rated? NR

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

In India in 1947, Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) is dispatched, along with his wife Edwina (Gillian Anderson), to New Delhi to oversee the country's transition from British rule to independence. Taking his place in the resplendent mansion known as the Viceroy's House, Mountbatten arrives hopeful for a peaceful transference of power. But ending centuries of colonial rule in a country divided by deep religious and cultural differences proves no easy undertaking, setting off a seismic struggle that threatens to tear India apart. (107 min.)

—Anguille Productions

Wind River

What's it rated? R

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

Wind River is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Jeremy Renner) to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American reservation in the hopes of solving her mysterious death. (111 min.) Δ

—The Weinstein Company

New Times movie reviews were compiled by Arts Editor 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

© 2017 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation