.Film, Times & Events: Week of May 15

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Check out the movies playing around town.
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New This Week

LAMBERT & STAMP When two young aspiring British filmmakers set out in the early 1960s to find a subject for an underground movie, they stumbled upon and aspiring rock band. Ditching their movie plans, Christ Stamp and Kit Lambert wound up managing their new discovery, now known as the Who; this doc from James D. Cooper tells their story. (R) 120 minutes. Starts Friday.

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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Tom Hardy takes over the role that made the youthful Mel Gibson a star, and director George Miller takes the helm once again in this continuation of the post-apocalyptic action franchise about souped-up, spare-part monster vehicles, huge explosions, and survival of the weirdest. Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Zoe Kravitz co-star. (R) 120 minutes. Starts Friday.

FELIX AND MEIRA A young Hasidic Jewish wife and mother and an older French Canadian man at loose ends in his life meet in a Montreal bakery and begin an unexpected friendship in this romantic drama from filmmaker Maxime Giroux. (R) 115 minutes. Starts Friday.

PITCH PERFECT  2  The sassy womens a capella singing team that made the first Pitch Perfect such a sleeper hit is back in this sequel, directed by co-star Elizabeth Banks. It’s a big-game movie with songs in which the Barden Bellas choke at a big concert, then try to re-earn their reputation by entering an international competition that no American team has ever won. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, and Skylar Astin head the cast. (PG-13) 118 minutes. Starts Friday.

SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY The history of the early feminist movement, 1966-1971, is explored in this documentary from Mary Dore (The Good Fight), a panorama of vintage archival footage from the era, as well as round table discussions with many of the leaders of the movement today, including Susan Brownmiller, Rita Mae Brown, Kate Millett, Trina Robbins, and Linda Frye Burnham. (Not rated) 87 minutes. Starts Friday.

WELCOME TO ME Kristen Wiig stars as a woman who wins big in the lottery, dumps her psychiatric meds, and buys a talk show of her own to host. James Marsden, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Linda Cardellini, and Wes Bentley co-star for director Shira Piven. (R) 87 minutes. Starts Friday.

Film Events

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: To celebrate John Water’s upcoming book-signing appearance at Bookshop Santa Cruz (May 19), the Del Mar presets two classics. PINK FLAMINGOS In Waters’ notoriously disgusting 1972 trash epic, the incomparable Divine heads a cast of Waters regulars (including Mink Stole and Edith Massey) as trailer park denizens exploding middle-class values as they compete for the title of “filthiest person alive.” (NC-17) 85 minutes. At the Del Mar, Friday midnight only.

CRY BABY Waters’ 1990 take on ’50s JD movies is even more benign and silly than his ’60s flashback Hairspray. Johnny Depp is perfectly cast as the bad boy courting a good girl in a plot that provides the shortest possible segues between terrific ersatz ’50s rock ’n’ roll numbers. And there’s something charming about Waters’ vision of JD culture as a refuge where even fat and ugly girls, oldsters, little kids, ethnics and other outcasts can be part of a cool crowd. (PG-13) 85 minutes. At the Del Mar, Saturday midnight only.

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

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Now Playing

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA In French filmmaker Olivier Assayas’ smart movie of ideas, a famous French actress (Juliette Binoche) confronts thorny issues of aging, sexuality, and personal relationships when asked to appear in a revival of the same play that made her a star 20 years earlier—except this time, instead of the ingénue, she’ll be playing a conflicted, defeated older woman. It’s an astute premise built on three strong female roles (including Kristen Stewart as her efficient young personal assistant, and Chloe Grace Moretz as the even younger American movie starlet cast in the ingénue role), in the kind of femme-driven story it never even occurs to Hollywood to make any more. (R) 124 minutes. (***)—Lisa Jensen.

THE D TRAIN Jack Black stars as a guy so desperate to be cool at his upcoming high school reunion, that he recruits a classmate (James Marsden)—now the star of a popular TV ad campaign—to go with him, in this comedy from directors Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel. (R) 98 minutes.

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Reviewed this issue. (PG-13) 119 minutes. (***)—Lisa Jensen.

FIVE FLIGHTS UP Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman star as a married couple of a certain age preparing to sell their apartment in New York City’s East Village after 40 years in this drama from Richard Loncraine (My One and Only). (PG-13) 92 minutes.

HOT PURSUIT A no-nonsense Texas policewoman and the mobster’s sexy wife she’s assigned to protect find themselves on the run from cops and crooks in this chase comedy. Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara star. (Guess who plays which role?) Anne Fletcher (The Guilt Trip) directs. (PG-13) 87 minutes.

RIDE Helen Hunt wrote and directed this dramatic comedy in which she stars as an editor from New York who follows her son (Brenton Thwaites) to California after he drops out of college to surf, and reinvents her own life as well. Luke Wilson and David Zayas co-star. (R) 93 minutes.


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