.Film, Times & Events: Week of October 24

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New This Week

BIRD PEOPLE A Silicon Valley engineer, who decides to chuck it all and hole up in an airport hotel outside of Paris, and a young French maid have an unexpected date with destiny in this romantic drama-fantasy from French filmmaker Pascale Ferran. Josh Charles and Anais Demoustier star. (Not rated) 128 minutes. Starts Friday.

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DEAR WHITE PEOPLE Reviewed this issue. Four black students at an Ivy League college find themselves in the middle of a controversy when a white fraternity stages an African-American theme party in this cross-cultural satire written and directed by Justin Simien. Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, and Brandon P Bell head the cast. (R) 100 minutes. Starts Friday.

JOHN WICK Keanu Reeves stars in a new incarnation of that classic Hollywood action protagonist, the ex-hit man who comes out of retirement to take revenge on the evildoers who done him wrong. Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, and Adrianne Palicki co-star for co-directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski. (R) 96 minutes. Starts Friday.

OUIJA The mystical party game spells terror for a group of friends who inadvertently unleash an ancient evil in this date-night horror thriller. Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, and Daren Kagasoff star; Stiles White directs. (PG-13) Starts Friday.

ST. VINCENT Bill Murray stars in this offbeat comedy as a randy, profane, and misanthropic war vet who becomes an unlikely mentor to the little boy next door, whose parents have just divorced. Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, and Terrence Howard co-star for director Theodore Melfi. (PG-13) 102 minutes. Starts Friday.

THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA This new offering from Studio Ghibli, directed by co-founder Isao Takahata, features beautiful hand-drawn animation in adapting an ancient Japanese folktale. The story concerns a tiny baby girl born out of a bamboo stalk growing into a beautiful and mysterious young woman who turns out to be an exile from the Kingdom of the Moon. Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and Lucy Liu head the voice cast. (PG) 137 minutes. Starts Friday.

Film Events

SPECIAL EVENT THIS WEEK: NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE It’s a new season for Britain’s acclaimed National Theatre of London, broadcasting highlights from its 2014 Season digitally, in HD, to movie theaters worldwide. Live performances will be broadcast one Thursday evening a month, in the Grand Auditorium of the Del Mar, with encore performances the following Sunday morning. This week: SKYLIGHT Carey Mulligan stars as a schoolteacher entertaining her former lover, recent widower Bill Nighy, for a prickly evening of gamesmanship and desire in this David Hare drama, directed by Stephen Daldry. (Not rated) 180 minutes. At the Del Mar, Thursday only  (October 23), 7:30 p.m. Encore performance Sunday only (October 26), 11 a.m. Admission: $15. Seniors, students, and Santa Cruz Shakespeare subscribers: $13.

CONTINUING SERIES: MIDNIGHTS @ THE DEL MAR Eclectic movies for wild & crazy tastes plus great prizes and buckets of fun for only $6.50. This week: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Oh, Rocky! The granddaddy of all midnight movies totters back onscreen on its platform stilettos in this classic cult 1975 rock horror musical comedy. Tim Curry is irresistible in his corset, fishnet stockings, and purring, throaty vibrato; creator Richard O’Brien and Susan Sarandon co-star, along with a live cast to lead you in rice-flinging and dialogue recitation. Don’t dream it, be it. (PG) 100 minutes. (****)—Lisa Jensen. Fri-Sat midnight only. At the Del Mar.

CONTINUING EVENT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES This informal movie discussion group meets at the Del Mar mezzanine in downtown Santa Cruz. Movie junkies are invited to join in on Wednesday nights to pursue the elusive and ineffable meanings of cinema. This week (Oct. 22): PRIDE. Discussion begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free. For more information visit groups.google.com/group/LTATM.

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Now Playing

AWAKE: THE LIFE OF YOGANANDA This biographical documentary from filmmakers Paola Di Florio and Lisa Leeman delves into the life and times of the Hindu Swami whose book, The Autobiography of a Yogi, introduced yoga and meditation to Western culture in the 1920s. (Not rated) 87 minutes.

THE BEST OF ME James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan star as former high school sweethearts who meet again years later while both are visiting their small hometown in a modern romance that can only have dripped from the pen of Nicholas Sparks. Michael Hoffman directs. (PG-13) 118 minutes.

THE BOOK OF LIFE Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, and Diego Luna provide voices for this animated family adventure that combines a fantasy quest plot with the vibrant colors and exuberant style of Mexican folk art. Jorge R. Gutierrez directs for co-producer Guillermo del Toro. (PG) 95 minutes.

FURY Brad Pitt stars as a Sherman tank commander leading his five-man crew on an impossible mission behind enemy lines as the Allies press forward into Nazi Germany in 1945. Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal co-star for director David Ayer (End of Watch).(R) 133 minutes.

MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN The Internets did it in this ensemble drama about the intrusion of cyber technology, social media and other kinds of faux connections into every aspect of our daily lives. Kaitlyn Dever, Ansel Elgort, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, and Adam Sandler star. Jason Reitman (Juno; Up In the Air) directs. (R) 119 minutes.

PRIDE A clutch of hip young gay and lesbian activists from London and the working-class denizens of a remote Welsh coal-mining village made history together with an audacious show of solidarity during Britain’s lengthy Mineworkers Strike of 1984. Now their story is dramatized with plenty of heart, humor, and verve in this crowd-pleasing valentine to diversity from director Matthew Warchus. Ben Schnetzer is solid as real-life activist Mark Ashton. Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, and Bill Nighy offer their usual sterling support. (R) 120 minutes. (***1/2)—Lisa Jensen.


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