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Film Listings, 9/26/19 – 10/3/19 

Editor's note: Listings for Rodkey Theaters—Fair Oaks of Arroyo Grande (805) 489-2364 and Sunset Drive-In of SLO (805) 544-4475—were not available at press time.

ABDOMINABLE

What's it rated? PG

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

New

click to enlarge GET HIM HOME After discovering a magical Yeti on a rooftop, a group of three friends work together to return him to Mount Everest, in Abominable. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
  • Photo Courtesy Of Dreamworks Animation
  • GET HIM HOME After discovering a magical Yeti on a rooftop, a group of three friends work together to return him to Mount Everest, in Abominable.

Writer Jill Culton (Open Season) co-directs this animated adventure/comedy with Todd Wilderman about Yi (Chloe Bennet), who encounters a young Yeti (Joseph Izzo), who her friends Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai) give the name "Everest." The trio embarks on a trip to return Everest to the highest mountain on Earth, working to avoid rich collector Burnish (Eddie Izzard), who hopes to capture the Yeti, and Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson), a zoologist who wants to study it. (97 min.)

—Glen Starkey

AD ASTRA

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

See Split Screen.

BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

Pick

click to enlarge SEE BRITTANY RUN Motivated to lose weight, a hard-partying woman (Jillian Bell) sets out to compete in the New York City Marathon, in the drama-comedy, Brittany Runs a Marathon. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MATERIAL PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Material Pictures
  • SEE BRITTANY RUN Motivated to lose weight, a hard-partying woman (Jillian Bell) sets out to compete in the New York City Marathon, in the drama-comedy, Brittany Runs a Marathon.

Hard-partying Brittany (Jillian Bell, Workaholics) receives a startling wake-up call when a visit to the doctor reveals how unhealthy she is. Determined to lose weight, Brittany takes up running to help her prepare for a new goal: to compete in the New York City Marathon. First-time writer-director Paul Downs Colaizzo helms this drama-comedy.

Both earnest and hilarious, this film works in large part because Bell is willing to take her character to raw and uncomfortable places. She really carries the film through its unexpected twists and turns. Don't be surprised if you leave the theater inspired. (103 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Galaxy

Pick

James Bobin (Alice Through the Looking Glass, Muppets Most Wanted, Muppets) directs this film based on Chris Gifford's book series about the titular teenage explorer (Isabela Moner), who leads her friends on a mission to rescue her parents and discover the mystery behind a lost Incan civilization. (102 min.)

—Glen

DOWNTON ABBEY

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Bay, Downton Abbey, Galaxy, The Palm, Park, Stadium 10

Pick

click to enlarge HIGH SOCIETY Rich people and their servants get the big-screen treatment in Downton Abbey, based on the TV series of the same name. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CARNIVAL FILM & TELEVISION
  • Photo Courtesy Of Carnival Film & Television
  • HIGH SOCIETY Rich people and their servants get the big-screen treatment in Downton Abbey, based on the TV series of the same name.

The beloved TV series about the ultra rich Crawley family and their servants comes to the big screen under director Michael Engler (Sex and the City, Six Feet Under).

If you're a fan of the show, you're already sold on revisiting these characters. If you're like me and have never seen a single episode, you can jump into the fray and follow along well enough with its breezy brand of fun.

A period piece and mannered drama, it features a great cast and an interesting albeit lightweight story. (122 min.)

—Glen

EASY RIDER

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Friday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m., in the Fremont Theater

New/Pick

click to enlarge CAPTAIN AMERICA Wyatt (Peter Fonda, left) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) set off from LA to New Orleans on a doomed adventure, in Easy Rider, screening on Sept. 27, at the Fremont Theater. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PANDO COMPANY INC.
  • Photo Courtesy Of Pando Company Inc.
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA Wyatt (Peter Fonda, left) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) set off from LA to New Orleans on a doomed adventure, in Easy Rider, screening on Sept. 27, at the Fremont Theater.

Dennis Hopper (Colors, The Hot Spot) directs this 1969 adventure drama that he and Peter Fonda wrote; both star as two hippie bikers, flush with cash from a recent cocaine deal, who take a cross-country trip from LA to New Orleans, where they meet an array of colorful characters along the way, some of whom have a different take on the counterculture. (95 min.)

—Glen

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Pick

David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) directs this new installment into the Fast & Furious franchise. This time around, genetically enhanced villain, Brixton (Idris Elba), threatens humanity with a super-virus, leading lawman Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to team-up with outcast Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to stop him. When Shaw's sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), is also drawn into the fray, things get personal. (145 min.)

—Glen

GOOD BOYS

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Park, Stadium 10

Pick

click to enlarge IN OVER THEIR HEADS Three sixth graders—Lucas (Keith L. - Williams), Thor (Brady Noon), and Max (Jacob Tremblay)—skip school and go on an incredible adventure involving stolen drugs, teenage girls, and the - promise of an epic party, in Good Boys. - PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES
  • IN OVER THEIR HEADS Three sixth graders—Lucas (Keith L.Williams), Thor (Brady Noon), and Max (Jacob Tremblay)—skip school and go on an incredible adventure involving stolen drugs, teenage girls, and thepromise of an epic party, in Good Boys.

Co-writer Gene Stupnitsky (Bad Teacher, The Office) directs this buddy adventure comedy, in which an invitation to a party with cool kids leads a group of goody-good sixth graders—Lucas (Keith L. Williams), Thor (Brady Noon), and Max (Jacob Tremblay)—to skip school, buy drugs, and sip beers.

It's a tried-and-true comedy formula, and as much as I want to be annoyed that Good Boys is just the little boy version of Booksmart, and that Booksmart is just the girl version of Superbad, I loved it. I loved them all, OK?! Sue me! (Just kidding, please don't.) (89 min.)

—Kasey Bubnash

HUSTLERS

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

Writer-director Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, The Meddler) helms this crime dramedy based on New York magazine reporter Jessica Pressler's articles about a group of strip club performers led by Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), who through craftiness exploit their Wall Street clients and extract their riches.

Initially working at a strip club just to make ends meet, Dorothy (Constance Wu)—or Destiny, as her clients call her—starts to embrace the profession as a long-term career after meeting Ramona (Lopez), the club's top money earner. After a friendly encounter, Ramona quickly takes Destiny under her wing, instructing her on the ins and outs of attracting wealthy, eager-to-spend-a-shit-ton customers.

The opening to this section of the film reminded me of the clique listing scene in Mean Girls, as Ramona labels the different types of men Destiny should aim for—insecure guys who can be strung along for months, regulars that visit the club frequently, and the head honchos (CEOs and bankers ready to spend thousands during the course of one night).

With Ramona's help, Destiny has a Goodfellas-esque rise to the top of the club alongside her, joined by some of their stripper peers, including Diamond (Cardi B) and Liz (Lizzo). If I could even muster a single complaint, it would be that those two don't get enough screen time. Other than that small nitpick, I was consistently engrossed by Hustlers all the way up to its conclusion—which echoes Goodfellas again with an inevitable fall from grace for its characters, once drugs and theft enter the picture.

Hustlers is definitely a film to take seriously, but it's also simultaneously one of the funniest films of the year. The humor comes from genuine interactions and character quirks rather than forced one-liners. One stripper, Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) involuntarily vomits when under stress—which you can probably predict is quite often. I don't recall ever finding throw-up particularly funny, but Hustlers earned the church a convert—consider me a born-again barf fan. But in all seriousness, the real stars of the film are Wu and Lopez, who deliver equally top-notch performances as two friends during a dangerously deteriorating relationship. (110 min.)

—Caleb

IT: CHAPTER 2

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

click to enlarge FLOAT ON Bill Skarsgard reprises his role as the devilish clown, Pennywise, in the horror sequel, It: Chapter 2. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Warner Bros. Pictures
  • FLOAT ON Bill Skarsgard reprises his role as the devilish clown, Pennywise, in the horror sequel, It: Chapter 2.

Andy Muscietti (Mama, It) directs this two-part film based on Stephen King's 1986 horror novel about an evil subterranean-dwelling clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) who preys on the children of Derry, Maine, by exploiting their fears and phobias.

In the first part (2017), we're introduced to The Losers Club, a group of seven adolescent misfits who band together for protection from the town's bullies, but more importantly from Pennywise, who abducts and murders children. The kids apparently defeat Pennywise in the first part, but in Chapter 2, 27 years after the first episode, Pennywise returns, and Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) begins to call the other members of The Losers Club to remind them of their blood pact to return to Derry and band together to defeat Pennywise if he ever returns.

Soon, Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy), Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain), Richie Tozier (Bill Hader), Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan), Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone), and Stanley Uris (Andy Bean) are drawn back to the Pennywise mystery, and through flashback we revisit their younger selves (Chosen Jacobs as Mike; Jaeden Martell as Bill; Sophia Lillis as Beverly; Finn Wolfhard as Richie; Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben; Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie; and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley).

Oh man, this film is fun! It's the sort of nostalgic, over-the-top horror of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), with crazy special effects, jump scares, and laughs. Ultimately, the story is about the enduring bonds of friendship, teamwork, and trust. (102 min.)

—Glen

LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Galaxy, The Palm

Pick

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman direct this documentary about singer Linda Ronstadt, who in her 20s burst into the '60s folk scene and went on to be one of the biggest music stars of the 20th century. The film, features interviews with Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Maria Muldaur, and many more.

Whether you're a longtime fan or one of the uninitiated, you'll find a lot to love here, from Ronstadt's amazing voice to her inspirational life. Deeply moving, the film will have you clamoring for more of her music. (95 min.)

—Glen

THE MANHATTAN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

What's it rated? Not rated

Where's it showing? SLO County Libraries, Sept. 26 through Oct. 6

New

click to enlarge VISITOR SLO County Libraries host the Manhattan Short Film Festival, Sept. 26 through Oct. 6, screening 10 short films, such as This Time Away, about a non-human visitor that disrupts a recluse. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MANHATTAN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
  • Photo Courtesy Of The Manhattan Short Film Festival
  • VISITOR SLO County Libraries host the Manhattan Short Film Festival, Sept. 26 through Oct. 6, screening 10 short films, such as This Time Away, about a non-human visitor that disrupts a recluse.

SLO Libraries will be among more than 400 venues worldwide participating in the 22nd annual Manhattan Short Film Festival, Sept. 26 through Oct. 6. Attendees of this free event will view 10 short films and then have the chance to vote for Best Film and Best Actor. The winners will be announced on Oct. 7.

The festival received 1,250 entries from 70 countries before selecting the 10 finalists. The featured filmmakers hail from seven countries: Iran, Canada, Germany, Finland, the USA, and the United Kingdom. All final 10 short films will become Oscar-qualified, meaning they will become automatically eligible for an Academy Award nomination. The Manhattan Short Film Festival will take place at the following branches: SLO Library, Sept. 26 and 27, at 1 p.m.; Atascadero Library, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m.; Los Osos Library, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.; Morro Bay Library, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m.; and Nipomo Library, Oct. 5, at 1:30 p.m.

—Rebecca Juretic

MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF COOL

What's it rated? Not rated

Where's it showing? The Palm

New

click to enlarge THE COOLEST The life of jazz icon Miles Davis is explored through archival materials and contemporary interviews, in the documentary Miles Davis: Birth of Cool, screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • THE COOLEST The life of jazz icon Miles Davis is explored through archival materials and contemporary interviews, in the documentary Miles Davis: Birth of Cool, screening exclusively at The Palm Theatre.

Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) directs this documentary about horn player, band leader, and jazz icon Miles Davis, told through archival photos, home movies shot by Davis and his contemporaries, his manuscripts and paintings, and interviews with those who knew him. (115 min.)

—Glen

ONCE UPON A TIME ... IN HOLLYWOOD

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

Pick

click to enlarge DESPERATE As TV actor Rick Dalton's (Leonardo DiCaprio, center) star fades, he finds himself struggling to remain in the limelight. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
  • PHOTOS COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
  • DESPERATE As TV actor Rick Dalton's (Leonardo DiCaprio, center) star fades, he finds himself struggling to remain in the limelight.

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight) helms this story set in 1969 Hollywood about fading TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they struggle to remain relevant in the changing entertainment industry. Tarantino's ninth film features an ensemble cast and multiple storylines. (161 min.)

—Glen

OVERCOMER

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price (if you're a Christian)

Where's it showing? Stadium 10

Former basketball coach John Harrison (Alex Kendrick, who also co-writes and directs) takes on the challenge of his life when he coaches determined underdog cross-country runner Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson), in this faith-based film.

Non-believers will find this a boring teen movie that morphs into a boring sermon on the power of prayer. Believers will revel in its feel-good story of finding the faith to persevere. (119 min.)

—Glen

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

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

Pick

Writers-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz helm this adventure dramedy about Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. With the help of small-time outlaw Tyler (Shia LeBeouf), and kind nursing home employee, Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), the trio embarks on a Mark Twain-like odyssey.

This sweet crowd pleaser hits all the right notes and is enriched by a stellar cast. It opens with 22-year-old Zak, a ward of the state, stuck in a nursing home because the state "has no where else to put him." The nursing home residents love him because he's a sweet young man, but he doesn't belong there. His roommate is Carl (an excellent Bruce Dern), who's exceedingly tired of watching Zak's old wrestling tapes of his favorite pro wrestler The Salt Water Redneck, aka Clint (an equally excellent Thomas Haden Church), who runs a small wrestling school. Long story short, Zak eventually slips out of the home and is on the road.

Meanwhile, we meet Tyler, who's stealing crabs out of crab pots. Through flashbacks, we learn he had a brother, Mark (Jon Bernthal), with whom he fished but who has since passed away. Tyler's just trying to get by, put the crab pot owners—Duncan (John Hawkes) and Ratboy (Yelawolf)—are now out to get him, forcing him to run. Tyler at first reluctantly but later joyfully promises to get Zak to the Salt Water Redneck's wrestling school, and off they go Huck Finn style.

This is a small film with a big heart. I loved it. (97 min.)

—Glen

RAMBO: LAST BLOOD

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Stream it

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

click to enlarge GRUMPY FACE Sylvester Stallone returns for the fifth time as traumatized Vietnam vet John Rambo, who kills a bunch of bad guys in gory fashion, in Rambo: Last Blood. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BALBOA PRODUCTIONS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Balboa Productions
  • GRUMPY FACE Sylvester Stallone returns for the fifth time as traumatized Vietnam vet John Rambo, who kills a bunch of bad guys in gory fashion, in Rambo: Last Blood.

Adrian Grunberg (Get the Gringo) directs this fifth installment in the Rambo franchise that started in 1982 with Rambo: First Blood, about traumatized Vietnam vet John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), who's drawn into combat with local police after being unfairly arrested. Over the series, which includes Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), and Rambo (2008), Rambo has fought corrupt police, enemy troops, and drug cartels. This time around, Rambo travels to Mexico to save his kidnapped niece from a drug gang.

The previous Rambo film really upped the ante on the gory violence, and this new installment does the same, offering up an array of stomach-churning carnage. If that's all you want in a film, enjoy! However, this film—and the previous three—are devoid of the complexity of the rather excellent original. Instead, we're treated to more of Rambo's menacing platitudes and creative ways to dispatch the seemingly endless supply of bad guys in his sights. "Last" blood? One can hope. (89 min.)

—Glen

TOY STORY 4

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Park

Pick

Josh Cooley directs this fourth feature in the Toy Story franchise. This time around, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) must convince his toy pals to welcome a new addition, Forky (Tony Hale), into their fold, even though Forky is just a spork made into a toy in arts and crafts class by their child, Bonnie. When Bonnie's family goes on a road trip, Forky takes off, so Woody and a few other toys go in search of him. (100 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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