New This Week
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY You may not have read the E.L. James book, but you’ve definitely heard of the steamy bestseller about an innocent young secretary and the hunky but troubled new boss who asks for a few services outside her job description. Fun fact: the book was originally written as fan fiction based on the Twilight series. Just sayin.’ Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star for director Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy). (R) 125 minutes. Starts Friday.
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE The comic book The Secret Service is the inspiration for this tongue-in-cheek spy spoof adventure in which a slick op and his team groom a young street kid into a master spy. Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Jack Davenport, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mark Strong star with newcomer Taron Egerton. Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, X-Men First Class) directs. (R) 129 minutes. Starts Friday.
MOMMY A widowed mom struggling to cope with her precocious, difficult teenage son finds their lives entwined with an oddball single woman neighbor in this drama of eccentric relationships from French-Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan. Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon, and Suzanne Clément star. (R) 139 minutes. Starts Friday.
SONG OF THE SEA Tomm Moore’s previous animated film was the gorgeous The Secret of Kells, based on the famed illuminated manuscript. Now he digs deep into Celtic folklore again for an original selkie tale about the last seal-child and her quest to save the magical world. Brendan Gleeson and Fionnula Flanagan lead the voice cast. (PG) 93 minutes. Starts Friday.
STILL ALICE See review. (PG-13) 101 minutes. Starts Friday.
CONTINUING SERIES: MIDNIGHTS @ THE DEL MAR Eclectic movies for wild and crazy tastes plus great prizes and buckets of fun for only $6.50. This week: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH John Cameron Mitchell writes himself a doozy of a role as a glam-rock drag queen and attempted transsexual in a yard-long platinum wig descending on corn-fed Middle America as if she’s just swirled out of a tornado from Oz. Mitchell directs this 2001 film adaptation of his off-Broadway rock musical that became a huge cult hit; he’s terrific as the multi-faceted Hedwig, and sings up a storm. Polished and punchy, Hedwig rocks. (R) 91 minutes. (****)—Lisa Jensen. Fri-Sat midnight only. At the Del Mar.
CONTINUING EVENT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES Film buffs are invited to join us Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in downtown Santa Cruz, where each week we discuss a different current release. For our location and discussion topic, please visit our Google Groups webpage:https://groups.google.com/group/LTATM
Movie Times click here.
JUPITER ASCENDING See review. (PG-13) 127 minutes. (**)—Lisa Jensen.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS, 2015 Where are the next generation of filmmakers and animators coming from? Find out in these two complete programs (separate admission) of this year’s Oscar-nominated short films from around the world (five live-action and five animated), offered for theatrical release in advance of the Academy Awards on Feb 22. Astound your friends with your knowledge of these categories at your Oscar party! Live-Action: (Not rated) 117 minutes. Animated: These films come from around the world, employing a fascinating variety of animation techniques, from CGI to stop-motion, to actual hand-drawing, and it’s a treat to see cinematic art (literally) at its most personal and imaginative. (Not rated) 77 minutes. (***)—Lisa Jensen.
SEVENTH SON Ben Barnes stars in this fantasy adventure as a young farmhand plucked from his quiet life by a mystical warrior (Jeff Bridges), who recruits him to lead a crusade against an evil queen (Julianne Moore). Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, and Djimon Hounsou co-star for director Sergei Bodrov. Based on the book series by Joseph Delaney. (PG-13) 102 minutes.
THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER The genial invertebrate hero of kid’s TV emerges from the ocean with his pals to become superheroes on dry land in this second movie outing. Tom Kenny reprises the voice of SpongeBob. Antonio Banderas is the voice of his new pirate nemesis. Paul Tibbitt directs.
TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT (DEUX JOURS UNE NUIT) Marion Cotillard stars as a blue-collar wife and mother who has just one weekend to convince a majority of her co-workers to vote to let her keep her job in a small town factory, instead of accepting a big bonus. Most of the film consists of brief, terse interviews between harried people. But the movie does go somewhere interesting at last, even if it takes awhile to get there, in this thoughtful, life-sized drama from Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. (PG-13) 95 minutes. (In French with English subtitles.) (***)—Lisa Jensen.