Film
David Lynch's Mulholland Drive plays Thursday at Dipson Amherst.
David Lynch's Mulholland Drive plays Thursday at Dipson Amherst.

At the Movies

by / Apr. 10, 2018 2pm EST

 OPENING THIS WEEK

FINAL PORTRAITReviewed this issue. Dipson Eastern Hills

I FEEL PRETTY—Amy Schumer, whose career has nowhere to go but up after Snatched, as an insecure woman who wakes up after a bump on the head believing that she is gorgeous. With Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philipps, and Tom Hopper. Directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. Area theaters

ITZHAKReviewed this issue. Dipson Amherst

OH LUCY!—Culture-class comedy-drama about a middle-aged Japanese woman (Shinobu Terajima) who feels so liberated by her English language course that she follows her teacher (Josh Hartnett) to California. Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi. North Park

SUPER TROOPERS 2—Seventeen years is a long time to wait for a sequel: Apparently the Broken Lizard guys have been trying to do it since 2008, and it took an Indiegogo campaign to finally get things rolling. (And the studio still couldn’t be bothered to preview it.) Co-starring Emmanuelle Chriqui, Lynda Carter, Rob Lowe, Marisa Coughlan, Fred Savage, and Jim Gaffigan. Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar. Area theaters

TRAFFICK—Paula Patton and Omar Epps as a couple whose romantic mountain vacation is interrupted by a violent biker gang. With Laz Alonso, Roselyn Sanchez, and William Fichtner. Directed by Deon Taylor. Area theaters

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HEREReviewed this issue. Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

 

 ALTERNATIVE CINEMA

CAMILLE (1937)—As the Parisian courtesan of Alexandre Dumas novel who must choose between the young man who loves her and the rich man who desires her, Greta Garbo delivers what is probably the most famous death scene in Hollywood history. Directed by George Cukor (My Fair Lady). Fri 7:30pm. Old Chestnut Film Society, Phillip Sheridan School, 3200 Elmwood Avenue, oldchestnut.com

GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (Japan, 1988)—From Hayao Miyazaki’s production company, this story of two children trying to survive in Japan during World War II was one of the first anime to tackle serious issues. Thu 9:30pm. North Park

THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)—Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Talia Shire, and Lee Strasberg in that rarity, a sequel better than the original. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The Saturday screening is preceded by an Italian dinner buffet beginning at 6:30pm; contact the venue for tickets. Fri, Sat 7:30pm. Screening Room

IMITATION GIRLReviewed this issue. Thu, Sun, Tue 7:30pm Screening Room

THE LORAX (2012)—Dr. Seuss’s environmental fable, brought to computer animated life by the creators of the Despicable Me movies. With the voices of Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, and Betty White. Sat-Sun 11:30am. North Park

LOVE AND BANANAS—Actress Ashley Bell directed this documentary chronicling her participation in a mission in Thailand rescue a 70-year-old captive blind Asian elephant and bring her to freedom. Mon-Thu 9:30pm. North Park

MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)—David Lynch’s most accessible realization of his peculiar vision, a noirish masterpiece abut an amnesiac actress searching Los Angeles for clues to her identity. Starring Naomi Watts and Laura Harring. Presented by the Buffalo Film Seminars. Tue 7pm. Dipson Amherst

NIGHTMARE CITY (Italy, 1980)—A.k.a. City of the Walking Dead. Standard Italian Dawn of the Dead-inspired mayhem, You either have a liking for these things or you don’t. Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter, Francisco Rabal, and Mel Ferrar. Directed by Umberto Lenzi (Cannibal Ferox). Part of the Thursday Night Terrors series. Thu 7:30pm. Dipson Amherst

TROLL 2 (1990)—The bottom of the barrel of the late 1980s genre of Gremlins ripoffs has in recent years won a cult following as a so-bad-it’s-good gem, so much so that it’s the subject of a documentary, Best Worst Movie. Directed by Claudio Fragasso (Monster Dog). Sat-Sun 9:30pm. North Park

 

 CONTINUING

BEIRUTJon Hamm as an alcoholic former diplomat called back to the middle East in 1982 to deal with a kidnapping. Co-starring Rosamund Pike, Mark Pelligrino, and Shea Whigham. Directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist). Dipson Eastern Hills, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit

BLACK PANTHER—The first big-screen depiction of the superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics in 1966 is at its best when it functions as an epic fantasy film.  Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa, the king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, secretly the most sophisticated and technologically society on earth thanks to Vibranium, a metal which literally fell from the sky.  T’Challa possesses mystical powers in addition to those granted him by the cat suit he wears, which combines the aesthetics of Batman and the gimmickry of Iron Man. His nemesis is Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), more black militant than Lex Luthor, who dethrones T’Challa and seeks to overthrow the rest of the world. Director/co-writer Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) delivers a colorful spectacular with a mostly black cast.  It is the most culturally significant entertainment yet from Marvel, and from Disney. With Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. —Gregory Lamberson AMC Maple Ridge, Regal Elmwood, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

BLOCKERSLeslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena as parents plotting to prevent their teen-aged daughters from having sex on prom night. The directorial debut of Kay Cannon, who wrote the Pitch Perfect movies. AMC Maple Ridge, Dipson Flix, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

CHAPPAQUIDDICKSpeculative docudrama about the 1969 incident in which a young woman drowned after an accident with a car that was driven by Edward Kennedy. Starring Kate Mara, Clancy Brown, Olivia Thirlby, and Jason Clarke. Directed by John Curran (The Killer Inside Me). Dipson Amherst, Dipson Flix, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

THE DEATH OF STALIN—Adapted from a French graphic novel, Armando Iannucci’s pitch-black comedy is set in 1953 in the months after the title event, as the top leaders in the Communist leader’s government struggle for power. With its large cast of characters and historical background that is unlikely to be familiar to most viewers, this would have worked better as a long-form series than a feature film: you long for more detail about the events as well as for more opportunities for the excellent ensemble to play off of each other. Still, its depiction of political struggle as personal, petty and based almost entirely on fear is likely to remain eternally relevant. Starring Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, Simon Russell Beale, Jason Isaacs, Paul Whitehouse, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, and Paddy Considine. —M. Faust  Dipson Eastern Hills (ENDS THURSDAY)

FINDING YOUR FEET—Imelda Staunton and Celia Imrie as estranged sisters forced to get to know each other again when the former’s marriage ends. If Terms of Endearment is your all-time favorite movie, you’re the audience for this, though even at that you’re likely to feel that the last twenty minutes of the movie are dragging it out. With Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley, David Hayman, and Josie Lawrence. Directed by Richard Loncraine (Brimstone and Treacle). Dipson Amherst (ENDS THURSDAY)

GAME NIGHT—This action comedy about a trio of suburban couples (headed by Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams) whose weekly game night turns into something deadly takes an awfully long time to get rolling. At least the first third of the film is nothing but drab exposition and characterization. But when it gets rolling it provides some solid laughs and a satisfyingly twisty ending. Not likely to be on anyone’s list of the year’s best films, but it makes me look forward to what filmmakers John Francis Daley (once a cast member of Freaks and Geeks) and Jonathan Goldstein come up with next. With Jesse Plemons and Michael C. Hall. —MF  Four Seasons, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit

ISLE OF DOGS—Wes Anderson’s clever and unusual stop-motion animated movie about Japanese dogs battling a regime that has banned them has been interpreted in some quarters as a cautionary fable about contemporary threats to justice and freedom. But Anderson has always answered to his own imagination in fabricating altered or original worlds. Anderson’s fancies and visions can certainly be engaging and amusing, but they can also become tediously self-indulgent and oppressively cute (as in his Grand Budapest Hotel). Isle goes both ways, but the balance is favorable, I think. There’s more than enough wit, charm, and enchantment, particularly visually, to sustain audience involvement. Isle’s images are a marvel of intricacy, exquisite detail and dramatic compositions. The all-star voice cast includes Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Courtney B. Vance, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, and Yoko Ono. —George Sax Dipson Amherst, Dipson Eastern Hills, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Walden Galleria

THE LEISURE SEEKERAs a long-married couple on a last road trip ahead of Alzheimer’s and cancer, Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren work so well together that you wish the film had deleted the few scenes that don’t feature them. (It’s a particular pleasure to see Sutherland in a rare leading role.) But some viewers may want to leave before the final ten minutes: While the movie works as a portrait of a marriage that has been happy but not without its difficult patches, it will be clear to most viewers that it cannot be heading to any kind of a happy ending. Directed by Paolo Virzì (Human Capital). —MF Dipson Eastern Hills (ENDS THURSDAY), Dipson McKinley (STARTS FRIDAY)

LOVE, SIMON—If John Hughes had ever made a movie with a gay lead character, it would likely look like this teen rom-com that is being widely praised for its good intentions and social significance. Young star Nick Robinson is winsomely attractive and “normal” appearing, and he can deftly deliver a line. It’s mostly harmless, and occasionally amusing, if you can get past the assiduous cuteness. Co-starring Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, and Katherine Langford. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Life as We Know It). —GS  Four Seasons, Regal Elmwood, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING—Sequel. Time was you had to wait for summer for this kind of stuff. Starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Adria Arjona, Mako Mori, and Burn Gorman. Directed by Steven S. DeKnight. Regal Elmwood, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

A QUIET PLACE is a monster movie with a gimmick, but it’s a good one: The man-eating monsters are blind, so to avoid them you have to remain quiet. Emily Blunt and John Krasinsksi (who also directed and contributed to the screenplay) star as the parents of a family in rural New York who have stayed alive for more than a year after the aliens have wiped out civilization. It’s an effective exercise in shocking an audience, but a lot of it doesn’t make any sense and it goes over the top too often: Blunt dealing with a monster while giving birth is just too much. With Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. —MF Aurora, AMC Maple Ridge, Dipson Flix, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

RAMPAGE—Fans of ridiculous Japanese monster movies of the 1960s are the ideal audience for what is otherwise a vehicle for Dwayne Johnson to flex his muscles and charm in the face of preposterous situations. A friendly albino gorilla a la Son of Kong, a not-so-friendly wolf, and a ferocious alligator transform into giant monsters bound for Chicago, and only The Rock can save the day. Not a good film by any means, but wildly entertaining. A surprisingly grisly opening sequence aboard a space station and one creature’s penchant for obscene hand gestures render it unfit for kids under 10. Co-starring Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Joe Manganiello. Directed by Brad Peyton (San Andreas). —GL AMC Maple Ridge, Dipson Flix, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

READY PLAYER ONE—‘Cause Steven’s still preoccupied/With 1985. Starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, and Lena Waithe. Directed by Steven Spielberg. AMC Maple Ridge, Dipson Flix, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HEROCredit this computer animated feature, done in the familiar Pixar style (by a new company called Fun Academy Studios), for having an interest in history. It’s based on the true WWI story of a street dog that won the hearts of recruits in training for the 102nd Infantry and accompanied them to war in the trenches of France. Designed for families (which is to say, small children), the movie is largely unobjectionable, which is an accomplishment for any mass-market war movie: Jingoism is minimal, and the drudgery of battle is emphasized over heroics. But it’s still sanitized—the only death that occurs is so discreet that you could easily overlook it if not for the weepy music. With the voices of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu. Directed by Richard Lanni. –MF Dipson Flix, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT—Masked psychos terrorize a family of travellers at a mobile home park in this sequel to 2007’s The Strangers. Starring Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, and Martin Henderson. Directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down).  Regal Walden Galleria

TOMB RAIDER—From a director with a name like Roar Uthaug, you might have expected a livelier reboot of the video game-based action franchise than this utterly generic timewaster.  (He did much better work in the Norwegian thriller The Wave, about a tsunami in a fjord.) Alicia Vikander clearly did a lot of physical training for the role of the young Lara Croft, which calls for her to do lots of running, leaping, and pulling herself out of dangerous situations. But the plot is wholly uninterested in doing anything you haven’t seen a millions times before. With Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas as an overly optimistic link to a sequel. —MF Four Seasons, Regal Elmwood, Regal Transit

TRUTH OR DARE—By my count, the 30th movie to use this title. Starring Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, and Nolan Gerard Funk. AMC Maple Ridge, Dipson Flix, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

A WRINKLE IN TIME—Ava DuVernay (Selma) directed this adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s perennially popular children’s fantasy novel. Starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Chris Pine.  Four Seasons, Regal Elmwood, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

 Links to theater websites for current showtimes: 

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