Film Clips / Feb. 26-March 3

Posted

Anomalisa (R): From Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson comes this offbeat adult stop-action animated feature about how an inspirational leader whose life has slipped into the doldrums is rejuvenated after meeting a most unusual woman who shakes things up. With the voices of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan. 1 hour 30 minutes. IC / TC

Deadpool (R): A rogue experiment leaves a former Special Forces operative tortured and disfigured but with accelerated healing powers and a sardonic sense of humor — qualities he draws upon as he sets out to gain revenge against the man who has left him this way. Starts out strong with a cheeky self-awareness. But that wears thin very quickly as this very R-rated bad boy property of the Marvel world seems to have matured to only a fifth grade level in its humor, wit and ideas about subversion. With Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein. • (Bahr, The Associated Press — Feb. 12). 1 hour 48 minutes, BC / BM / NAM

Eddie the Eagle (PG-13): Cut from the British Olympics ski-jumping team, a determined young man travels to Germany where he comes under the tutelage of a former ski jumper working as snow plow driver and works his way back to an improbable chance during the 1988 Winter Olympics. With Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken. 1 hour 45 minutes. BM / NAM

Gods of Egypt (PG-13): A defiant mortal forms an alliance with a powerful god to set back the god of darkness, who has taken over the throne of Egypt and set the land in turmoil. With Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. 2 hours 7 minutes. BC / BM

Hail, Caesar! (PG-13): The Coen brothers' new comedy traces the travails of a 1951 Hollywood studio executive who has to come up with a $100,000 ransom for the return of a kidnapped star. The film is by no means the Coens' best, but it's in some ways their most essential — a loving satire and merciless ode to moviemaking, where hapless souls serve no higher power than the Hollywood machine. With George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand. (Coyle, The Associated Press — Feb. 5). 1 hour 46 minutes. BC / NAM / TC

How to Be Single (R): Ready to take a break from a long-standing relationship, a young woman, fresh out of college, moves to New York for a job as a paralegal and hooks up with a fun-loving, freewheeling co-worker who shows her all that the city's single scene has to offer. A mild and fittingly discombobulated ode to singlehood that plays like a "Sex in the City" spinoff. With Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann. • (Coyle, The Associated Press — Feb. 15). 1 hour 50 minutes. BM / NAM

Kung Fu Panda 3 (PG): As Po makes the transition from student to teacher and reunites with his father, he must train a group of fun-loving panda warrior novices and prepare them to face a formidable enemy. The evocative visuals are accompanied by just enough heart, witty dialogue and kid-friendly humor to make this an all-around extremely satisfying third installment in the popular series. With the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, J.K. Simmons, Bryan Cranston. (Noveck, The Associated Press — Feb. 1). 1 hour 35 minutes. BC / BM / NAM

Race (PG-13): Drama based on the true story of African-American track-and-field star Jesse Owens as he prepares to compete for the United States in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Made with the support and cooperation of the wens family, this biopic has some flaws, but it succeeds in bringing dimension to an American icon and reminding Hollywood of the richness of untold stories outside the white male mainstream. With Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons. 2 hours 15 minutes. BC / BM

Risen (PG-13): A hardened Roman military tribune reaches a crossroad in his life when he is asked to take charge of the investigation into what happened to Jesus after the Crucifixion. With its detective procedural structure, "Risen" has an interesting, even promising departure. It looks and feels like a film that just happens to fit into the faith-based genre instead of a faith-based infomercial that sort of resembles a film — at least at first. The tribune's swift transition from hard-boiled cynic to weepy believer doesn't ring true and "Risen" devolves both in story and artfulness, becoming more cheesy Sunday school commercial than film. With Joseph Fiennes. 1 hour 47 minutes. (Bahr, The Associated Press — Feb. 22). 1 hour 48 minutes. BM / NAM

Star Wars — The Force Awakens (PG-13): The saga reboots with the first in a new sequel trilogy that picks up 30 years after "Return of the Jedi" (1983) leaves off. The big news — spoiler alert! — is that it's good. Despite the prerelease hype, it won't save the world, not even Hollywood, but it seamlessly balances cozy favorites and new kinetic wows along with some of the niceties that went missing as the series grew into a phenomenon, most crucially a scale and a sensibility that is rooted in the human. Director J.J. Abrams may not have the makings of a god or empire builder like George Lucas but he turns out to be what this stagnant franchise needs — a "Star Wars" superfan and pop culture savant. (Dargis, New York Times — Dec. 18, 2015). 2 hours 15 minutes. NAM

The Finest Hours (PG-13): Drama based on a true story about the 1952 rescue mission of a four-man boat of Coast Guardsmen sent from Cape Cod to save the crew of the USS Pendleton, an oil tanker that a brutal winter storm has broken in half off the coast of Nantucket. With Chris Pine, Casey Affleck. BM

The Lady in the Van (PG-13): Maggie Smith stars as a homeless woman who lived for 15 years in a van parked in the driveway of British playwright Alan Bennett. Smith's Performance is not only virtuosic but indispensable in grounding the various loose threads of the story. Nicholas Hytner's direction is adequate, which is to say he knows enough to get out of the way and let Smith do her considerable thing. (Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle — Feb. 20). 1 hour 43 minutes. CT / TC

The Revenant (R): Leonardo DiCaprio stars as 19th century American frontiersman Hugh Glass, who, left for dead by his hunting companions after being mauled by a bear, uses his survival skills to track down the men who abandoned him. Some of the most ravishing filmmaking of the year, or any year. But awe is the only thing "The Revenant" is well-stocked in. The film's photographic showiness earns your admiration, only to lose it by continually insisting upon it. With Tom Hardy. (Coyle, The Associated Press — Jan. 8). 2 hours 36 minutes. NAM

The Witch (R): Set in 17th century New England before the Salem witch trials, this eerie supernatural psychological thriller focuses on a family, led by a prideful patriarch, that has been banished from the community after his stubborn refusal to accept common law as above his own superiority. The film effectively summons the nightmares and superstitions of the era, much of which writer-director Robert Eggers, in his impressively rigorous feature debut, has reproduced from various historical sources. With Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Harvey Scrimshaw, Kate Blackie, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson. (Coyle, The Associated Press — Feb. 20). 1 hour 32 minutes. BC / BM

Where to Invade Next (R): Michael Moore's new documentary finds the filmmaker traveling overseas to examine how various European cultures regard a variety of everyday issues — work, education, sex, inequality — and what distinguishes their attitudes from how life is viewed in the United States. 1 hour 59 minutes. CT / TC

Zoolander 2 (PG-13): Two male models set out to thwart a plot to kill the world's most beautiful people. Like the original 15 years ago, this sequel aims at being silly and ridiculous — only more so. And yet "more so" ends up being the problem. This sequel ups the ante so aggressively and relentlessly that you may find yourself pining for a relaxing night in front of a 2000-era TV, watching the original on a VHS tape. With Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson. (Noveck, The Associated Press — Feb. 13). 1 hour 42 minutes. BM

Legend

The theaters at which the movies listed in Film Clips are playing are:

BC: Beacon Cinema (Pittsfield)

BM: Berkshire Mall Cinema 10 (Lanesborough)

CT: Crandell Theatre (Chatham, N.Y.)

IC: Images Cinema (Williamstown)

LC: Little Cinema (Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield)

NAM: North Adams Movieplex 8

TC: Triplex Cinema (Great Barrington)


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