.Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

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DEADPOOL He’s a special ops dude who’s transformed into a super human in a rogue experiment, left with an indestructible body and the face of chopped liver. How many almost-funny superheroes with the voice of a Disney prince has Ryan Reynolds played now? Tom Miller directs. Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller co-star. (R) 108 minutes.

HOW TO BE SINGLE Because being single means free drinks, maintaining a man-rack of hookups, and getting free hangover cures by showing your cleavage? With all the “ughs” implied, who are we kidding, we still want Rebel Wilson and Leslie Mann to be our best friends, and will definitely be funnelling to the theater on Valentine’s Day with a bevy of best friends and a happy hour receipt of champions. Christian Ditter directs. Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann co-star. (R) 109 minutes.

45 YEARS Oscar-nominated Charlotte Rampling plays Kate Mercer, a woman on the eve of her forty-fifth wedding anniversary confronted with a shocking ghost from the past—a ghost that will change the couples’ perspective on their marriage forever. Andrew Haigh directs. Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James co-star. (R) 95 minutes.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT Oddly beardless and slightly thinner, Michael Moore returns as angry and ferocious as ever, investigating the absurdities of modern politics across the entire globe. From public school cafeterias to Wall Street, Moore’s latest documentary takes on the American Dream. Michael Moore directs. Michael Moore, Krista Kiuru, Tim Walker co-star. (R) 110 minutes.

ZOOLANDER 2 They’re back: La Tigre, Magnum and Blue Steel. Benedict Cumberbatch as an ambiguous male model named All. Kristen Wiig is “amousing” with enough faux-botox to treat a small country. Penélope Cruz struts, Owen Wilson pouts (as usual), and Justin Bieber dies. How many other reasons do you need? Ben Stiller directs. Olivia Munn, Kristen Wiig, Benedict Cumberbatch co-star. (PG-13) 102 minutes.

Film Events

CONTINUING EVENT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES Film buffs are invited Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. to downtown Santa Cruz, where each week the group discusses a different current release. For our location and discussion topic, go to: https://groups.google.com/group/LTATM.

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ANOMALISA It’s a stop-motion animated comedy-drama and it’s been heralded as the “most human” film of the year—without any live humans. From the minds behind Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it’s a world of emotional complexity from mundanity to the extraordinary. Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman direct. David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan co-star. (R) 90 minutes.

THE BIG SHORT Based on the book of the same name, The Big Short follows the players and profiteers of the 2007-2010 financial crisis who bet against collateralized debt obligation, and sent the system reeling. Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt co-star. Adam McKay directs. (R) 130 minutes.

THE BOY Good rule of thumb: when you get hired as a nanny for a family that keeps a life-sized doll around as their stand-in son, run fast, run far. William Brent Bell directs. Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell co-star.

BROOKLYN From far across the cavernous pond, Eilis is an Irish immigrant who lands in 1950s Brooklyn only to face crippling homesickness, glaring cultural differences, prejudice, and hardship. When Eilis falls in love with a young Italian boy from a totally different world, she’s forced to choose between her old home and her new life. John Crowley directs. Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson co-star. (PG-13) 111 minutes.

CAROL Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in an illicit love affair against the conventions, expectations and rules of the 1950s? Hello, yes, all the feels. Todd Haynes directs. Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson co-star. (R) 118 minutes.

THE CHOICE OK, we love camp, and we even love the utter absurdity of zombies in classic literature (see below). But we draw a big fat line at handsome shirtless men with a pre-2012 McConaughey-style southern drawls saving a litter of puppies, trying to woo a girl who refuses his advances and then crying at the bedside of his forbidden beloved. Ross Katz directs. Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Alexandra Daddario co-star. (PG-13) 111 minutes.

DIRTY GRANDPA Robert de Niro plays Dick Kelly—aptly named and quite the smutty old man—who, after only a few days after his wife’s death, tricks his grandson into letting loose in Florida for spring break. With a bevy of booties and other common Zac Efron film accessories (beer cans, a lack of clothing, etc), perhaps the appearance of Aubrey Plaza can class up this raunchy comedy. Dan Mazer directs. Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch co-star.  (R) 102 minutes.

HAIL, CAESAR! Reviewed this issue. (PG-13) 100 minutes.

THE 5TH WAVE In a very logical sequence of alien attack events, first all the power goes out, then a global earthquake rips the earth apart, then disease spreads, and finally the aliens invade human hosts. So, naturally, Chloë Grace Moretz grabs an AK and runs to save her younger brother, gets trained by Liev Schreiber in camo with a bunch of other teens, and still finds time to snog a blonde teen heartthrob equivalent. J Blakeson directs. Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Zuk, Gabriela Lopez co-star.  (PG-13) 112 minutes.

FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK The wait is over: someone finally took all that overblown Fifty Shades of Grey innuendo with its overly dramatic score, slow steely stares, underwhelming lack of chemistry (and talent), and created something beautiful. Oh, Marlon Wayans, how we missed you. Michael Tiddes directs. Kali Hawk, Marlon Wayans, Jane Seymour co-star. (R) 92 minutes.

THE FINEST HOURS Even if it’s based on a true story and not meant to be a horror flick—is there really anything more terrifying than being stuck in the ocean during a blizzard on a sinking ship? The fact that it’s based on the true story of two oil tankers being destroyed off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952 makes it all the more astounding. Craig Gillespie directs. Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger,
Casey Affleck co-star. (PG-13) 117 minutes.

THE FOREST Aokigahara Forest is a real place at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan, and it’s where people go to commit suicide—so often that authorities put a sign at the entrance of the main trail urging visitors to think of their families and contact suicide prevention associations. So that’s the true history. Now go watch Natalie Dormer run around the forest, chased by paranormal forces, in search of her twin sister: how are movies like this rated PG-13 when even we have to watch the trailers on mute, with all the lights on? Jason Zada directs. Natalie Dormer, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt co-star. (PG-13)

NORM OF THE NORTH Here’s a film with everything we love in animation: a polar bear! Adorable fuzzy sidekicks! Rob Schneider! OK, not so much the last thing. But still. (PG) 86 minutes.

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS: Grab the popcorn and delve into this year’s Academy Awards nominees for best animated shorts and live action shorts. Check the movie times section for showings.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Apologies in advance, but Jane Austen is really, really hard to read. If you fell into the same camp of high school readers who desperately wished for zombies thrown into the dusty classics (it’s OK, we loved Chaucer, so it balances out), this might be the brilliantly bad or terribly clever rendition you’ve been waiting for. Plus, hello, classy female gentry wearing empire-waisted gowns with hidden daggers underneath and slicing through zombie skulls! Burr Steers directs. Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston co-star. (PG-13) 108 minutes.

THE REVENANT Leonardo DiCaprio fighting, grunting, running, shooting—a bear, among other things—and seeking revenge for the death of his son. From the director of Birdman and Babel, it’s the rugged frontier in the 1820s snow and ice, every man for himself: chills, just chills. Alejandro González Iñárritu directs. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter co-star. (R) 156 minutes.  

RIDE ALONG 2 Kevin Hart and Ice Cube are back as “The Brothers-In-Law” with the next installment of the Ride Along adventures. This time Ben (Hart) volunteers to join James (Cube) in pursuit of a powerful Miami drug dealer—and mayhem, of course, ensues. Between getting flung across the room by a ceiling fan, fending off alligator attacks, and rocking flower-printed pants with a Miami fedora, it’s bound to be as silly (and amusing, maybe) as the first installment. Tim Story directs. Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Tika Sumpter co-star. (Pg-13) 101 minutes.

ROOM To Jack, there is nothing outside Room: Room is the entire world. He wakes up and says hello to Lamp, to Table, and to Plant. Now it’s up to the 5-year-old to break his mother out of Room, so they can both find freedom in a harrowing outside world that he’s never even heard of. Lenny Abrahamson directs. Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridges co-star. (R) 118 minutes.

STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS Ooh, what a neat looking indie flick! Lots of pew-pew and bang-bang somewhere in the desert, maybe Nevada? And some grumpy old man mumbling about the Dark Side. At least the really tall lady from Game of Thrones is in it, otherwise it’d so be a total flop, right? J.J. Abrams directs. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher co-star. (PG-13) 135 minutes.

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI No, it’s not a biopic about Hillary Clinton’s congressional hearings (thank goodness). Instead, it’s “the true story you were never told” about six men who defied orders to defend the American diplomatic compound in September 2012. Based on the 2013 book of the same name, the film follows the true story of the compound’s security team who returned to fight for those left behind. Michael Bay directs. Toby Stephens, John Krasinski, Freddie Stroma co-star. (R)




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