Prolific local trash horror guru Charles Vick Duncan (Nazi Apocalypse, Skum Quixote, Bath Salts: The Musical) teams up with photographer/filmmaker Mikel-Jon West to present an old-school double feature of B-movie goodness. First up is Duncan's grody horror-comedy Gutter Punk Massacre, in which--you guessed it--local punk rockers are being murdered left, right and center. Next is West's grindhouse exploitation tribute Left For Dead, in which a quartet of badass Burque burlesquers (Joy Coy, Intoxi Kate, General Blackery, Holly Rebelle) go gunning for bloody revenge. Cast and crew will be there in person. You should be, too. 140 minutes (Opens Saturday 3/15)
This ultra-low-budget crime thriller from Mr. J. & Doc. H. follows a retired police detective (Peter T.) who teams up with a crime scene investigator (Ryan W.) to play a game "across the bloody chess board of Albuquerque, N.M." To accompany the feature, there will be carnie games, prizes, side shows and silent auctions of original local art. 108 minutes (Opens Tuesday 3/18)
John Ford directed and Henry Fonda starred in this Oscar-winning 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck's Depression-era masterpiece. Fonda is poor patriarch Tom Joad, kicked off his family's land and forced to make the trek across the Dust Bowl to California. (Opens Sunday 3/16)
The video game series about driving insanely expensive European sports cars really fast gets transformed into a movie about ... you guessed it. Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") is our leading man, a mostly taciturn mechanic/driver who gets framed for a crime by his archenemy, NASCAR stud Dominic Cooper ("Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond"). The plot revolves mostly around our hero's attempts to drive across the country in less than two days in order to compete against his rival in a secret underground road race. How will that prove his innocence? Eh, Need For Speed will work that out later. It's definitely speedy, aping Smokey and the Bandit, Vanishing Point and countless other '70s car chase films. Sadly the script makes next to no sense. 130 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 3/14)
For the first time, audiences are given a front row seat to our generation's most significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider as they begin the biggest and most expensive scientific experiment in the history of our planet. The goal: to recreate the conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and possibly discover the origin of all matter in the universe. 99 minutes (Opens Friday 3/14)
Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin's documentary about infamous Russian feminist art collective Pussy Riot arrives just in time for National Women's Month. Filmed over the course of six months, the film tells the story of three young female artists and the 40-second "punk prayer" they performed inside Russia's main cathedral. That performance led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred and touched off an international firestorm. 90 minutes (Opens Wednesday 3/19)
Guild Cinema teams up with 516 Arts to celebrate the Heart of the City exhibition. This wonderfully small-scale documentary examines the inevitable death and surprising rebirth of traditional, hand-painted storefronts, murals, banners and barn signs. 80 minutes (Opens Saturday 3/15)
Inventor Tim Jenison had a pet theory that famed Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer used a primive camera obscura in order to paint his incredibly lifelike portraits. He wasn't the first to come up with the idea. But he was just rich enough, smart enough and obsessed enough to actually test the theory. This film documents Jenison's impressive, five-year attempt to recreate the painter's photorealistic work. This mixture or art history and historical fakery is rendered both entertaining and funny thanks to the producing/directing duo of Penn and Teller.(Ys, that Penn and Teller.) 80 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 3/14)
There isn't one word in that title that works for me. You may feel differently. Perry wrote, directed and starred in this sassy comedy-drama about "a group of single mothers from different walks of life [who] bond and create a support group that helps them find comedy in the obstacles of life." Good for them. Nia Long, Amy Smart and Wendi McLendon-Covey are among our single ladies. PG-13. (Opens Friday 3/14)
The Camino de Santiago is a 500-mile pathway across Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela where the bones of the apostle St. James are said to be buried. Originally founded as a religious pilgrimage, the Camino now attracts more than a quarter million people a year who walk the path for countless reasons (not all of which are spiritual). This documentary takes a look at this time-honored tradition, following pilgrims from all walks of life as they attempt to cross an entire country on foot. Director Lydia Smith will appear in person on opening night. 84 minutes (Opens Friday 3/14)
British director Steve McQueen has a penchant for brilliantly directed, magnificently acted films with subject matters that are unbelievably unpleasant to watch (see for example: Hunger, Shame). With the powerful weight of history behind this new effort, however, it becomes virtually impossible to look away. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Kinky Boots, Inside Man) is magnetic as Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery in the Deep South. Based on Northup's biography, this brutally honest film addresses slavery in a manner that's never been seen before on screen. It isn't easy to watch, but it's an incredible achievement. 134 minutes R.
Picking up where the "kick-ass old dudes" genre hallmark of Taken and Taken 2 left off, Kevin Costner stars as an aging Secret Service agent just trying to be a family man to his estranged family. Retired and facing a terminal illness, our hero is offered an experimental drug that might save his life. In exchange he's given the titular play on words--a short-term assignment to hunt down "the world's most dangerous terrorist." Luc Besson (The Transporter, Taken) wrote it, McG (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, This Means War) directed it. So ... lotsa things blow up. 117 minutes PG-13.
The oil-abbed 2006 hit gets a sequel, complete with different cast and different director. This one's even more fantastical and over-the-top. In this digital-effects-heavy go-around, we've got an epic sea battle waged between an evil/sexy Persian lady (Casino Royale's Eva Green) and some Greek general named Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton, whoever he is). There's also plenty of flashbacks explaining how weird, bald villain Xerxes came to be in the first movie, but it's rather tangential to all the computer video game-style carnage at hand. 103 minutes R.
By ironing out the thorny, antisocial edges he still displayed in Silver Linings Playbook, writer-director David O. Russell delivers his best, most accessible film to date--a sexy, hilarious, quintessentially American black comedy. This mesmerizing period piece has fun with the (real life) ABSCAM scandal of the late-'70s. Christian Bale and Amy Adams play a couple of con artists recruited (blackmailed more like it) by a cocky FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) into helping entrap politicians in a multimillion-dollar bribery case. For all the manic fun, though, there's a tough emotional nugget at the center of it all--the idea that sometimes even con artists, liars and hustlers would really like to be the person they're pretending to be. 138 minutes R.
Matthew McConaughey stars in this real-life, refreshingly schmaltz-free biopic about Ron Woodroof, a hard-living Texas rodeo rider who was diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s. Unwilling to accept the (then) death sentence, Woodroof started a drug-running operation which brought the experimental (but effective) drug AZT up from Mexico. By partnering with an HIV+ transvestite (a surprising Jared Leto) and distributing the drugs Robin Hood-style, Woodroof had a major impact on the treatment of HIV and the subsequent FDA approval of AZT. 117 minutes R.
This wonderful CG cartoon--a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen"--is Disney's most Disney film in ages. It's an unapologetic, old-school musical filled with funny sidekicks and not one but two princesses. Kristen Bell ("Veronica Mars") holds her own as the plucky Nordic princess trying to help her winter-conjuring sister. But Broadway baby Idina Menzel is a force to be reckoned with at the terrified young woman with the snow-throwing powers. Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon) steals all the laughs as a talking snowman with a sunny disposition. 108 minutes PG.
From Chile comes this small, sensitive look at a divorced fiftysomething (Paulina García) looking for love and life. Our freespirited heroine finds a lot of both, but the film is smart enough to admit it might not be any better the second time around. 110 minutes R.
Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) directs this heavy-duty thriller about a medical engineer and an astronaut (Sandra Bullock, George Clooney) working frantically to save themselves after an accident leaves them spinning hopelessly adrift through space. A technical jaw-dropper and a white-knuckle survival tale, this one will take your breath away in many ways. 90 minutes PG-13.
After pumping out some fantastically fun video games (LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman, LEGO Lord of the Rings) and TV shows ("LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles"), the Danish brick-maker sets its sights on the big screen. In this blissfully fun stop-motion/CGI cartoon, an ordinary LEGO minifigure (the ubiquitous yet still not overused Chris Pratt) is mistaken for the "Masterbuilder" and must save the universe from the evil LEGO tyrant Lord Business. The guest voices are insane (Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Will Forte, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, Keegan-Michael Key, Liam Neeson, Shaquille O'Neal, Nick Offerman, Cobie Smulders, Channing Tatum). A surprisingly smart, irreverent and incredibly funny flick for toy-lovers of all ages. 100 minutes PG.
Mark Wahlberg stars in this blunt, true-life, Saving Private Ryan-esque war drama about four members of SEAL Team 10 who participated in a spectacularly failed mission to capture a notorious Taliban leader. The film, depicting the explosive chaos of the crumbling mission, is rather frenzied. But it's got a tense, life-during-wartime intensity to it. It was shot in New Mexico, which may explain why the mountains of Afghanistan look so damn familiar. 121 minutes R.
George Clooney directs this based-on-a-true-story action drama about a World War II platoon assigned the unlikely task of rescuing great works of European art from the hands of Nazi thieves. Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin star. If only the script were more "movie"-like and less "history lecture"-like. 118 minutes PG-13.
The classic Jay Ward cartoon "Peabody's Improbable History" (featured on the old "Rocky & Bullwinkle Show") gets its own CGI spin-off. Ty Burrell (from "Modern Family") voices the brilliant canine inventor while Max Charles (from "The Neighbors") voices his nerdy adopted son. In order to impress a neighbor girl, Sherman "borrows" dad's time machine and accidentally unleashes chaos throughout history. Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, Albert Einstein and Agamemnon drop by, giving guest stars Lake Bell, Stanley Tucci, Mel Brooks and Patrick Warburton something to do. 91 minutes PG.
Bad guys, when are you going to learn that you shouldn't piss off Liam Neeson? Here he's a federal air marshal who springs into action during a transatlantic flight after an unknown criminal threatens to kill one passenger every 20 minutes unless $150 million is delivered to an offshore account. Can our gruff, old tough guy smoke out the culprit before it's too late? My money's on yes. 106 minutes PG-13.
A world-weary political journalist (British comedian Steve Coogan) hunts down the story of a woman's search for her long-lost son, given up decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. Director Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons) adds a light comic touch to this road trip dramedy, while Judi Dench delivers a poignant performance in the title role. A lovely, surprisingly uplifting crowd-pleaser. 98 minutes PG-13.
Joey, do you like movies about gladiators? Hollywood is still hoping that gladiators and other ancient warriors are hot this year (see for example: The Legend of Hercules, 300: The Rise of an Empire). Here's the latest attempt to revive the sword-and-sandal genre. Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, AVP: Alien vs. Predator) directs this special effects extravaganza about a slave-turned-gladiator (Kit Harington from "Game Of Thrones") trying to escape the titular city with his rich ladylove before Vesuvius goes boom. You'll probably end up rooting for the volcano. 102 minutes PG-13.
Squeaky, hyperactive comedian Kevin Hart--who I believe dispatched Chris Tucker in one of those Highlander-style "There can be only one" deals several years ago--stars alongside Ice Cube in this basic mismatched buddy cop comedy. Hart plays a motor-mouthed security guard engaged to marry the sister of tough-guy Atlanta Police detective Ice Cube. Cube tries to scare him off with a 24-hour ride along--during which, of course, they fight bad guys and bond. 100 minutes PG-13.
This grim-faced reboot of Paul Verhoeven's hyperbolically violent, wonderfully subversive action movie parody from 1987 loses the original's sense of humor and most of its reason for being. Brazilian director José Padilha (Elite Squad) works up some decent tension, but the script is less of an adrenalized cop movie and more of a mouthy rumination on the ethics of allowing multinational security firms to turn dead cops into superpowered cyborgs. 108 minutes PG-13.
History Channel's mini-series "The Bible"--produced by Roma Downey ("Touched by an Angel") and Mark Burnett ("Survivor")--gets hacked from 10 hours to 2 hours so that evangelicals without cable can watch it in theaters. Think The Passion of the Christ, only with less blood and anti-semitism. 138 minutes PG-13.
It's nice to know that America isn't the only country capable of making bombastic, hyper-patriotic action flicks. This loud war epic--the first 3D film to be shot in Russia--follows a small band of soldiers fighting off the entire German army--300-style--amid the infamous bloody Battle of Stalingrad. There's a lady-in-distress, tossed in for the sake of romantic subplot, making this a bit more Pearl Harbor than Saving Private Ryan. Even so it looks big, expensive and appropriately war-is-hell-ish. 131 minutes R.
Master Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo) has threatened many times to retire, but it looks like this historical biopic may really be his final masterpiece. This beautiful adventure tale tells the (highly fictionalized) story of (real-life) World War II fighter plane designer Jiro Horikoshi. The film covers a lot of ground--from the Great Depression to the Tokyo earthquake of 1923 to the rise of fascism in Japan. No, it's not Miyazaki's most family-friendly pic. But what he loses in epic fantasy, he makes up for in rich period detail. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Mandy Patinkin, Werner Herzog and Jennifer Grey provide voices for the American dub. 126 minutes PG-13.
Martin Scorsese lets loose with a raunchy comic biopic based on the life of stock broker/scammer Jordan Belfort. Leonardo DiCaprio is the main character, a swaggering money-grubber determined to live high on the hog until the authorities come a-knocking. Booze, drugs, yachts, hookers: Scorsese allows his characters to wallow in this bacchanal of bad behavior. The film doesn't dig all that deep into the roots of this douchebag culture, but it's Scorsese's funniest film, an American tragedy gone entertainingly off the rails. 180 minutes R.
Tracy Letts' darkly comic stage play won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, but it's really just the latest in a long line of explosively acted theatrical productions about families yelling incessantly at one another (see for example: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Long Day's Journey Into Night). Meryl Streep is the cancer-stricken, drug-addicted matriarch who gathers her family over the holidays for the purposes of high-volume criticism. Julia Roberts is at least cast against type as the put-upon oldest daughter. The acting is good, but it's an exhausting affair. 121 minutes R.
This simple, tasteful adaptation of Markus Zusak's beloved novel finds Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson acting as foster parents to protect an orphaned girl from the horrors of World War II Germany. The stepparents also manage to hide a well-educated Jewish refugee under the stairs of their home--which is where our young heroine (Sophie Nélisee) learns about the power of books. Naturally she starts stealing them to protect them from the book-burning Nazis. 131 minutes PG-13.
Director Peter Jackson spent a goodly amount of time setting up the story for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit in the last film. Now the journey is well and truly underway, and we finally get some rousing action, some gorgeous set-pieces and one hell of a dragon. 161 minutes PG-13.
The action-heavy adaptation of Suzanne Collins' hit young adult novel takes us into a dystopian American future where various warring districts are forced to send teenagers to compete in a gladiatorial combat game that will leave only one survivor. Our heroine is the tough southern gal Katniss Everdeen (the excellent Jennifer Lawrence from Winter's Bone), who becomes a media star after volunteering for the games to save her younger sister. 142 minutes PG-13.
The book-series-turned-movie-series sensation goes for its second outing. Now that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) have triumphed in the murderous Hunger Games, their victory is sparking a rebellion. That puts them in the crosshairs of The Capitol, which needs fake heroes to exploit--not real ones. Excitement and storytelling ramp up in this entertaining crowd-pleaser, leaving high hopes for the third film. 146 minutes PG-13.
Underworld gets remade with slightly different monsters. Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) stars as a more handsome version of Frankenstein's monster. Naturally he finds himself in a modern-day dystopia wearing a trench coat and using assorted high-flying kung fu moves to fight off warring gargoyles and demons. Based on the comic book of the same name. 92 minutes PG-13.
Hollywood has been trying for decades to bring Tom Clancy's super-duper CIA agent to the big screen. Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck have all played the character, but have failed to launch successful series. Now it's Chris Pine's turn. Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Henry V) directs this story of young Jack uncovering a plot by sneaky Russians to crash the US economy with a terrorist attack. 105 minutes PG-13.
Twilight Saga's weird eyebrow guy Kellan Lutz star as demigod hunk Hercules in this Clash of the Titans-esque special effects pileup. According to prophecy, Herc is supposed to overthrow a tyrannical ruler, but he's too busy moping over a princess to notice he's the son of Zeus. At least his abs are in 3D. 115 minutes PG-13.
Bruce Dern stars as an aging, booze-addled father who takes a road trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son (Will Forte) in order to claim a bogus sweepstakes prize. The duo makes a pit stop in a small town where dad grew up and still has a few old scores to settle. Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants) directs this wry, melancholy character drama. 114 minutes R.
A bunch of city park-dwelling squirrels plot an Ocean's Eleven-style caper to rob a nut store. Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham and Gabriel Iglesias are among the voicecast of this CGI feature. It comes to us from the makers of the Canadian-South Korean cartoon series "Bolts and Blip." It's the most expensive South Korean co-produced animated film in history. So there's that. 86 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:00 am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:40, 9:10 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 7:15, 9:40
Marvel's hammer-slinging space god Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is back for more mystical sci-fi action. This time around he's forced to team up with his archenemy/brother, Loki, when an entire race of world-destroying Dark Elves puts both Earth and Asgard in its sights. 112 minutes PG-13.
The groundbreaking BBC educational series gets a feature film update. The computer graphics have improved immensely since 1999. Unfortunately filmmakers have seen fit to give the dinosaurs funny voices (courtesy of Justin Long, John Leguizamo and Karl Urban) and add some poop jokes for the kids. Who needs education when you've got poop jokes? 87 minutes PG.