This year's Festival of Film Noir at the Guild Cinema features a fine selection of crime-time double features filled with roscoes and twists (that's guns and girls to you mooks). Friday and Saturday we get Burt Lancaster in 1949's Criss Cross and 1946's The Killers. Sunday and Monday deliver a double shot of "lost and restored" gems Private Property (1960) and Woman on the Run (1950). Tuesday and Wednesday it's time for some Peter Lorre action with 1941's The Face Behind the Mask and 1944's The Mask of Dimitrios. Thursday wraps up the first week with an amnesia double dose (1946's Crack-Up and 1945's Two O'Clock Courage). Stick around next week for even more bullet-riddled action. (Opens Friday 7/22)
Guild Cinema Criss Cross Fri-Sat 4:30, 8:30; The Killers Fri-Sat 6:30; Private Property Sun-Mon 4:45, 8:15; Woman on the Run Sun-Mon 6:30; Face Behind the Mask Tue-Wed 5:00, 8:30; The Mask of Dimitrios 6:30; Crack-Up Thu 4:30, 8:00; Two O'Clock Courage Thu 6:30
A good 20 years after their cult sitcom went off the air on BBC, Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return to the roles of hard-drinking, aging hipsters Edina and Patsy. For this theatrical reunion, the self-indulgent troublemakers attract media and police attention after accidentally knocking supermodel Kate Moss into the River Thames. Naturally, their response is to flee to France. 90 minutes R. (Opens Friday 7/21)
Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's legendary graphic novel gets the animated movie treatment from DC. Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Clown Prince of Crime from "Batman: The Animated Series." This R-rated cartoon follows Batman's efforts to reign in a dangerously unhinged Joker as he makes yet another escape from Arkham Asylum. 76 minutes R. (Opens Monday 7/25)
Jeff Bridges is a pot-smoking bowler just looking to replace his beloved rug after he's mistaken for a reclusive millionaire by some vengeful nihilists. This anarchic 1998 comedy is one of the Coen brothers' most loved cult hits. And deservedly so. Local artist Jeremy Montoya will premiere a special, limited edition poster for this one-off screening, hosted by New Mexico Entertainment Magazine. 117 minutes R. (Opens Friday 7/22)
Its release timed, none too coincidentally, to coincide with the Republican National Convention, this documentary from renowned democrat-hater (and convicted felon) Dinesh D'Souza (2016: Obama's America) tells audiences exactly what the filmmaker thinks of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (Spoiler alert: he thinks she's eeeevil!) Only the most dyed-in-the-wool of Trump-followers need apply. 107 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 7/22)
Jeez, how many of these movies have they made? So many, apparently, that the Pleistocene Age animals (voiced again by Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and Queen Latifah) are now reenacting the plot to Armageddon. Yup, a giant meteoroid is heading towards Earth threatening to wipe out mammal-kind--and it's up to a mammoth, a sloth and a saber-toothed tiger to stop it. Hey, kids gotta learn history somehow. 94 minutes PG. (Opens Thursday 7/21)
An aged gangster named Kabali (Rajinikanth) tries to protect his family and his business from his enemies (with kung fu, of course). In Tamil or Telugu with English subtitles 153 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 7/22)
Century Rio (In Tamil) Fri-Thu 2:30, 9:30; (in Telugu) Fri-Thu 11:00am, 6:00
A ghost haunts a mentally unstable mother and her emotionally traumatized kids. This ghost, though, is afraid of the light. So, naturally, everybody arms themselves with faulty flashlights and goes creeping around in the dark. The slightly clever gimmick (based on a short film by the same director) is stretched thin over the course of the film's sub-90-minute runtime. If you're a big fan of "jump out and go boo!" ghost movies (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Conjuring), this inexpensive fright film is for you. FULL REVIEW:Under-illuminated ghost story is too dim to really be scary by Devin D. O’Leary (7/21/2016). 81 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 7/21)
Borrowing more than a little inspiration from the Thai film 13: Game of Death (and its American remake 13 Sins), this tween-themed horror thriller finds a high school senior (Emma Roberts) lured into an online game in which she must complete a string of increasingly deadly stunts in order to win big bucks. It's based on the young adult novel by Jeanne Ryan. 96 minutes PG-13. (Opens Tuesday 7/26)
At age 15 Frank Morgan was an accomplished saxophonist, playing with the likes of Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. Descending into heroin addiction, however, Morgan soon found himself incarcerated in San Quentin Prison in the 1950s--alongside some of the greats of the jazz era. Alongside the historical perspective, this documentary showcases a 2012 musical tribute to the man himself at San Quentin. Special guest speaker Matt Savage, who scored this documentary, will host a Q&A afterward. 85 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday)
The "Kelvin Universe" timeline (previously known as "J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot series) finally gets around to telling an original story. The Enterprise has actually set off on its original "five year mission" and is exploring the edge of the known universe. Naturally, the crew manage to tick off the wrong space villain, who declares war on the Federation. For this outing, directing duties fall to by Justin Lin (who directed four of the last seven Fast and Furious films). That means, of course, that this is the explodiest, most fast-paced Star Trek movie ever. 120 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 7/21)
British humorist Roald Dahl's beloved bedtime fable about a kindly giant who refuses to eat children comes to life courtesy of director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison (who teamed up on a little film called E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) gives voice to the titular (CGI-rendered) Big Friendly Giant. 117 minutes PG.
Big, muscular Dwayne Johnson and tiny, motormouthed Kevin Hart are a couple of old high school pals reunited through Facebook for one of them buddy action-comedy adventures. Hart is a mild-mannered accountant and Johnson is an international superspy. Hijinks ensue. 114 minutes PG-13.
This is the inspirational true story of a Welsh barmaid who talked her friends and customers into investing their hard-earned money into breeding a race horse. Like all uplifting sports documetaries, the outcome of this one is fairly predictable. But filmmaker Louise Osmond (Deep Water, The Blitz: London's Longest Night) uses interviews, archival footage and dramatic recreations to enliven her underdog narrative. 85 minutes PG.
Thirteen years after we went looking for Nemo, the CGI toonsters at Pixar take us on a quest to find Dory. Actually, Dory (the bubble-headed blue tang voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is looking for her long-lost parents. Naturally, there's a lesson about family to be learned along the way. Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Diane Keaton, Idris Elba and Bill Hader provide vocal support. FULL REVIEW:Simple but satisfying sequel follows its own motto and just keeps swimming by Devin D. O’Leary (6/23/2016). 97 minutes PG.
Yes, this reboot to the endlessly quotable 1984 supernatural comedy does feature four female leads (Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones). If that's a problem, you should just stay home and complain about "feminazis" all you want on the internet. Everybody else can judge this one on its own merits. Is it innovative? No. Is it funny? Pretty much. Basically, if you grew up on the original films, this (much like the recent Star Trek movies) is just a watered-down remake with different actors. If you're fresh to the franchise, it's a perfectly servicable action comedy. 114 minutes PG-13.
It's been 20 years since those national monument-destroying space aliens got destroyed by an Apple laptop computer virus. Now it seems they're back--and rather embarrassed for having gone out like such punks. They've brought some even more humongous spaceships with them this time, capable of causing even more CGI destruction. It's up to a new generation of freedom fighters (Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher among them) as well as a few familiar faces (Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox) to kick alien ass once again. 120 minutes PG-13.
Bryan Cranston (Walter White himself) stars as real-life figure Robert Mazur in this criminally minded biopic. During the 1980s Mazur was a US Customs agent who helped bust Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's money-laundering organization by going deep undercover. The film is Scorsese light, but Cranston is typically textured as a rather ordinary family man performing a dangerous high wire act. 127 minutes R.
Alexander Skarsgard ("True Blood") is our Tarzan and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) is our Jane, returned to Africa after several years to investigate the suspicious goings-on at a mining encampment in Congo on the part of colonizing Belgian King Leopold II. David Yates (director of the last four Harry Potter movies) helms this original story, loosely based on the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It could have used a few more epic set-pieces and a slightly pulpier tone, but this one gets a lot right, balancing action and drama and giving audiences one of the best on-screen Tarzans. 109 minutes PG-13.
Idiosyncratic Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) spins this absurdist comedy about a future dystopia in which romantic relationships are required by law. Lose your partner and you have 45 days to find a new one--or you'll be transformed into the lower animal of your choice. Colin Farrell plays a sad-sack singleton shipped off to a creepy, bureaucratic seaside hotel to pair up or get turned into a lobster. The humor (if you can label it that) is purely deadpan, but the eerie production design and gung-ho cast (including Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux and Ben Whishaw) go with the flow. A distinctly odd and strikingly romantic (or anti-romantic, depending on how you look at it) flight of fancy. FULL REVIEW:Absurdist romance makes monkeys out of us all by Devin D. O’Leary (6/2/2016). 119 minutes R.
Erudite American filmmaker Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco, Damsels in Distress) finally finds a kinship in British author Jane Austen. Here, he adapts a long-lost and rather scandalous Austen novella about a gold-digging widow named Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale, at her best) who shows up on the doorstep of her in-laws and proceeds to romance her sister-in-law's eligible young brother (Xavier Samuel)--that is until Lady Susan's teenaged daughter gets kicked out of boarding school. Now our sensibly unromantic protagonist has got two get herself and her daughter properly wed. The cast (also encompassing Chloë Sevigny, Stephen Fry and Morfydd Clark) is in tip-top shape and the script is hilariously cynical. FULL REVIEW:Jane Austen anti-romance adds the wit of a modern sophisticate by Devin D. O’Leary (5/19/2016). 92 minutes PG.
This raunchy comedy is (very) loosely based on the (sorta) true story of two brothers who advertised for wedding dates on Craigslist. Zac Efron and Adam Devine are the bozo bros. Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza are the skanky ladies who pretend to be "nice girls" in order to score a free trip to Hawaii. There's a lot of nudity and cursing. 98 minutes R.
The increasingly timely series of sci-fi-esque thrillers returns for a third outing. This time around it seems a United States Senator (Elizabeth Mitchell) is the front-runner to become the US President. Her first order of business? Eliminate the Purge, which allows Americans to commit any crime they want for one day each year. Naturally, this makes her a major target of anarchy-loving killers during this year's bloody Purge. Can Sergeant Barnes (Frank Grillo, a survivor from The Purge: Anarchy) keep her alive? 105 minutes R.
From the makers of the Despicable Me films comes this manic, animated comedy about a New York City terrier named Max who regularly invites his animal friends to hang out at his place while their owners are away at work. Max's happy life is interrupted one day, though, when his owner adopts a stray mutt whom Max instantly dislikes. The slim story is borrowed from any number of Warner Bros. cartoons in which evil dogcatchers chase innocent animals around the city. But the characters are funny and engaging. A who's who of comedians (Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, Ellie Kemper, Steve Coogan, Hannibal Buress, Dana Carvey) are on talking animal duty. 90 minutes PG.
Blake Lively (of "Gossip Girl") stars in this minimalist horror thriller for Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan, Non-Stop). She plays a young surfer who is attacked and stalked by a great white shark a mere 200 yards off shore--touching off a contest of wills in which our harried heroine must marshal all of her strength and skills in order to survive. 87 minutes PG-13.
Century Rio Fri-Mon 7:50, 10:20; Tue 11:50am; Wed 11:50, 7:50, 10:20; Thu call for showtimes
That puzzle game the kids used to play obsessively on your laptop back in 2010 is now a feature-length animated movie. To refresh your memory, the game was about flinging birds out of a slingshot to knock down rickety towers full of green pigs. And that's pretty much what the movie is about. With voices by Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage and two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn (who plays one of the birds, not one of the pigs). 97 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:20, 10:10; Movies West Fri-Thu 12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 9:15;
Batman and Superman duke it out in a grimdark setting that involves lots of glowering, real estate-flattening explosions and concrete-colored costumes. The action is frenetic, the production design is faithful to its comic book roots and there's plenty of fan service--but the film just doesn't differentiate its heroes enough for the long-awaited confrontation to feel particularly justified. Batman and Superman are now both dark, brooding, murderous vigilantes feared by polite society. This crowded, lengthy film wastes a lot of energy setting up future Justice League films, but doesn't spend enough time being fun or escapist or particularly entertaining. FULL REVIEW:Superheroes battle to see who can cause the biggest explosion in unnecessarily dour franchise filler by Devin D. O’Leary (3/24/2016). 153 minutes PG-13.
DreamWorks Animation mashes together E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Lilo & Stitch in the hopes that wayward alien mascot Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons from "The Big Bang Theory") will become the next toy/video game/t-shirt-generating machine. It's safe to say he won't. The story, about a misfit alien who befriends a lonely Earth girl (Rihanna), feels awfully recycled. If you're an adult who doesn't find Parsons' voice grating, you might survive a screening with your kids. 94 minutes PG.
This sequel to 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman dumps lead princess Kristen Stewart and replaces her with most of the plot from Disney's Frozen (or Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," if you're a traditionalist). Seems that jealousy-prone queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her icy exiled sister Freya (Emily Blunt) are at war. Naturally, Chris Hemsworth's hunky huntsman is caught in the middle. As in the previous outing, the costumes and sets are visually stunning, but the convoluted fairy tale mash-up of a storyline is better suited for ABC's corny "Once Upon a Time." 114 minutes PG-13.
Unlike Disney's recent live-action Cinderella , Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz revamps, this family fantasy sticks pretty close to the original cartoon version. John Favreau (Elf, Iron Man) does an admirable job directing one kid and a whole bunch of CGI animals. Star Neel Sethi is a ball of energy, leaping and tumbling his way from one action sequence to the next. A string of celebrity voices (Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken) take on the familiar characters. The action is a bit intense at times for the littlest of tykes. The decision to include two of the songs from the original Disney cartoon is odd, but doesn't upset the overall balance of the adventurous film. FULL REVIEW:Fancy computer animation brings Kipling classic to life by Devin D. O’Leary (4/21/2016). 105 minutes PG.
Jojo Moyes' 10-hankie tearjerker of a novel heads to the big screen. Emilia Clarke (significantly less Dragon Queeny here than on "Game of Thrones") plays a small-town English girl who forms an unlikely (and romantic, of course) bond with the recently paralyzed man she's hired to take care of (Sam Claflin from The Hunger Games and Snow White and the Huntsman). 110 minutes PG-13.
Having successfully excised the hard-partying fraternity next door, husband and wife Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne find a hard-partying sorority taking up residence next. ... I'm thinking maybe a hard-partying youth hostel for Neighbors 3. 92 minutes R.
In the third video game adaptation of the summer (after Ratchet & Clank and Angry Birds), a peaceable kingdom stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces its greatest threat: an invasion of orc warriors. But are these creatures seeking destruction or refuge? It's up to one brave fighter (Travis Fimmel from "Vikings") to figure it out. There are a handful of real, live actors here, but the majority of this film's characters and background are pure CGI. David Bowie offspring Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) directs, based on the wildly popular MMO. 123 minutes PG-13.
A plucky country rabbit (Ginnifer Goodwin) dreams of becoming a tough-as-nails cop in the teeming city of Zootopia. Unfortunately, the place is run by predators, who relegate the barrier-busting bunny to meter maid duty. But when a series of mysterious disappearances rocks the city, she teams with a self-serving con man of a fox (Jason Bateman) to crack the case. This funny animal take on sun-dappled L.A. noir manages to tackle some hot-button issues (racism, sexism) while still being a colorful, entertaining Disney romp. FULL REVIEW:Disney turns an animal utopia on its ear in this savvy, sociological crime caper by Devin D. O’Leary (3/3/2016). 108 minutes PG.