Film clips / June 15-21

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ADRIFT (PG-13)

Directed by Icelandic action director Baltasar Kormakur ("Everest"), "Adrift" is based on the harrowing, real-life story of Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley), who sailed off on a romantic voyage from Tahiti to San Diego in 1983 with her fiance, Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin), and ran into a brutal hurricane. Oldham wrote of the ordeal — 41 days on the open seas in a damaged 44-foot sailboat — in her book, "Red Sky in Mourning," and if you haven't read it yet, good: Stop Googling and see the film first. You'll be glad you didn't know all the details beforehand. The action toggles back and forth between happy scenes on land, and the ordeal at sea, which show Tami figuring out a way to stop the boat from sinking, then pulling a badly injured Richard from the waters and caring for his wounds while she tries to navigate, using nautical maps and her own desperate creativity. The land scenes provide some intermittent relief; on the other hand, they do stall the suspense. The couple's risky goal is to reach Hawaii, and Tami knows that if she makes an error, they'll die. Woodley's honest, unfussy performance seems perfectly tailored to the script. Claflin makes Richard a dashing, sensitive romantic partner. The story is not complicated — nor does it need to be. Woman vs. sea. Woman triumphs. An apt story for 2018. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 6/1). 2 hours. BM

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (PG-13)

The title refers to the six "infinity stones" scattered around the universe, each conveying a power of sorcery, like the time-warping one held by Doctor Strange. They are dearly sought by Thanos (Josh Brolin, to whom this movie truly belongs), the indestructible Titan warlord, who rules over much of space but would like all of it. In bringing together more than 30 significant characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and enough spandex to clothe a small nation, "Avengers" is a little like launching an invasion after the war was already won. Despite assured dominance, Marvel has gone nuclear. It's really the simple pleasure of seeing so many good actors together that makes "Infinity War" work. With Chris Pratt, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Helmsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Dave Bautista, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana, Jeremy Renner, Vin Diesel, Karen Gilan, Benicio del Toro, Peter Dinklage. 2 hours, 29 minutes. BM

BOOK CLUB (PG-13)

The lives of four lifelong friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous "50 Shades of Grey." "Book Club" has a script that's often so heavy on the corn — make that corn syrup — that it strains credulity and leaves you groaning. But then, darn it, suddenly it makes you tearful, with an unexpectedly genuine moment, or laugh out loud. It's a credit to the cast, and the cast only — how many decades of top-level acting experience do we have here? All four women are fun, but allow us a special shoutout to the wonderfully witty presence of Bergen, who makes something worthwhile of every line she's given. With Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen. 1 hour, 44 minutes. BC / CT / NAM

BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (Unrated)

Using never-before-seen works, writings and photographs, filmmaker Sara Driver follows Basquiat's life pre-fame and how New York City, the times, the people and the movements surrounding him formed the artist he became. 1 hour, 18 minutes. TM

DEADPOOL 2 (R)

If "Deadpool" was an origin story, "Deadpool 2" is a quest tale and our hero this time encounters the time traveling soldier Cable (Josh Brolin), a motley crew of mutants he calls X-Force and various superheroes and mutants, all set to a lively soundtrack that includes Air Supply, Peter Gabriel, "Annie" and an original song with filthy lyrics. If something can be oddly sweet while heads are being decapitated, it's this film. Ryan Reynolds is once again at his arch and nihilist best here, while acting and jumping in so much facial prosthetics that it makes him look like he's inside melted cheese — or, as the first movie put it, an avocado that had relations with an older avocado. To really appreciate "Deadpool 2" you have to have seen the original and probably every other Marvel superhero film, too. And be up on pop culture, from Cher to Broadway musicals. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 5/19). 1 hour, 59 minutes. 1 hour, 59 minutes. BC / BM / CT / NAM

FIRST REFORMED (R)

Ethan Hawke stars as a priest of a small congregation in upstate New York who is grappling with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past. Hawke delivers one of the finest performances of his career in a film that will stay with you long after the credits. Whether it's a swansong for prolific screenwriter and director Paul Schrader, it certainly feels like the ending of at least a certain chapter that will surely be remembered as one of Schrader's finest. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 6/7). 1 hour, 53 minutes. IC / TC / TM

HEREDITARY (R)

Story about the death of a matriarch and how her remaining family is affected. A night out with "hereditary" is many things but you won't confuse it for an evening of healing and therapy. It's more like the opposite. Relentlessly unsettling and pitilessly gripping, it carries with it an ominous air of danger and dread; a movie so horrifying and good that you have to see it even if you don't want to, even if you might never sleep peacefully again. This is, overwhelmingly, Toni Collette's film. In an increasingly surreal horror movie, she is staggeringly real as an artist and mother of two whose mother, even from the grave, has a way of manipulating her life. With Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 6/13). 2 hours, 7 minutes. BM

HOTEL ARTEMIS (R)

As rioting rocks Los Angeles in the year 2028, disgruntled thieves make their way to Hotel Artemis — a 13-story, members-only hospital for criminals. It's operated by the Nurse, a no-nonsense, high-tech healer who already has her hands full with a French assassin, an arms dealer and an injured cop. Writer-director Drew Pearce has made an uneven feature film directing debut. He flaps around for a consistent tone, stunts some potential story lines and kicks out a bunch of cliches. Then, clearly unable to find a rational way to end his film, he adds two massive doses of nonsensical ultra-violence. (Kennedy, The Associated Press 6/13). 1 hour, 37 minutes. BM / NAM

INCREDIBLES 2 (PG)

Elastigirl springs into action to save the day, while Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenge yet -- taking care of the problems of his three children. 1 hour, 58 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC / TM

MARY AND THE WITCH'S FLOWER (PG)

From director Hiromasa Yonebayashi ("When Marnie Was There" and "The Secret World of Arrietty") comes a new animated adventure about a young girl named Mary, who discovers a flower that grants magical powers, but only for one night. With the voices of Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent. 1 hour, 42 minutes. LC

OCEAN'S 8 (PG-13)

Sandra Bullock anchors the cast as Debbie Ocean, the never-before-mentioned sister of George Clooney's Danny Ocean, who has taken up the family business to varying degrees of success (we meet her in a parole hearing) and prefers to work without "hims." ''Hers," she later explains, can go unnoticed. Debbie's plan is to steal a $150 million diamond necklace. In order to do so, she and her assembled team of savants have to first infiltrate the orbit of a vapid celeb, Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), and convince her to wear said necklace to the Met Gala, where they'll steal it and divide the earnings accordingly (a cool $16.5 million each). The team includes Lou (Cate Blanchett), who dresses like a glam rocker and spends her time watering down well vodka for profit; Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), a kooky past-her-prime fashion designer desperate for a comeback; a jeweler in a rut, Amita (Mindy Kaling); Nine Ball (Rihanna), a hacker in dreadlocks; Constance (Awkwafina), a pickpocket; and Tammy (Sarah Paulson), a suburban mom who can't quite quit her white collar crime ways. While Blanchett and Bullock are predictably solid in their roles and get at least a few memorable moments of worthy banter, it's Hathaway who really steals the film with a wickedly on-point satiric turn a spoiled star. It's all predicated on the fact that women are often underestimated. But in making that point, it's also somehow underestimated the audience who still should be entitled to a smart, fun heist, no matter who is pulling it off. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 6/11). 1 hour, 40 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TM

RBG (PG)

An engrossing, entertaining and unabashedly adoring new documentary about now-legendary 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 5/11). 1 hour, 37 minutes. BC / TC / TM

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (PG-13)

Young Han is scrappy and overconfident and makes things up as he goes along, unafraid to lie or trust his gut. It's how he ends up not only getting out, but escaping military service and hooking up with a band of outlaws led by Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), who functions as mentor and possible cautionary tale for the impressionable Han. They'll soon meet up with the man Beckett is working for, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), and encounter Han's old friend from Corellia, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) before taking off on a dangerous smuggling mission. There's a lot for fans to digest as the film speeds through a check-list of Han's origin components, like how he meets Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and how he comes across the Millennium Falcon. There are other key elements that probably are best left to the experience. Alden Ehrenreich, does not look or sound like Harrison Ford, and it's difficult to adjust at the beginning. You can't help but scrutinize every gesture, every smirk, every aside as you try to get used to him. Eventually you do, and the talented Ehrenreich wins you over with his execution, capturing Han's spirit, his sarcasm, egotism and charm with apparent ease. "Solo" is a straightforward piece of pulpy entertainment with some very agreeable performances from Ehrenreich and Glover, who seems to be having the most fun of all the actors in playing up Lando's suave demeanor, and fun classic Western flourishes, despite the excessively big action sequences. The best moments in "Solo" are the simpler ones: The romance, the friendships, the clashing egos. Perhaps a lesson for the inevitable sequel. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 5/24). 2 hours, 15 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC / TM

SUPERFLY (R)

Career criminal Youngblood Priest wants out of the Atlanta drug scene, but as he ramps up sales, one little slip up threatens to bring the whole operation down before he can make his exit. With Trevor Jackson. 1 hour, 56 minutes. BM

TAG (R)

One month every year, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running for a no-holds-barred game of tag -- risking their necks, their jobs and their relationships to take one another down. This time, the game coincides with the wedding of the only undefeated player. What should be an easy target soon becomes an all-out war as he knows they're coming to get him. 1 hour, 40 minutes. BM

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE (PG-13)

Kate Novack's intimate portrait of fashion world fixture Andre Leon Talley takes viewers on an emotional journey from Andre's roots growing up in the segregated Jim Crow South to become one of the most influential tastemakers and fashion curators of our times. 1 hour, 34 minutes. TM     

THE RIDER (R)

Brady Jandreau, a Lakota cowboy and member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, plays a fictionalized version of himself, Brady Blackburn, in this story of a rodeo cowboy who must give up his dream after suffering a devastating brain trauma during competition. Its examination of the cowboy masculinity that leads Brady and his peers to seek a life of thrills and danger only scratches the surface, but you'll be surprised at how intoxicating and enveloping it is, right down to the on-the-nose metaphors. "The Rider" is a story of death and rebirth and cements director Chloe Zhao as one of the most promising and humane filmmakers to come on the scene in some time. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 5/26). TC

THE SEAGULL (PG-13)

"The Seagull" is set around the Treplev family estate (a glorious lakeside upstate New York mansion doubles for rural Russia) where Irina Arkadina (Annette Bening) has come to visit her brother, Sorin (Brian Dennehy), and her brooding aspiring playwright son, Konstantin (Billy Howle). Irina is an aging actress of the Moscow stage and she brings along her lover, the celebrated writer Boris Trigorin (Corey Stoll), whose presence in the provincial household begets numerous anxieties. Trigorin's success is the envy of Konstantin, who soon finds his sweetheart, Nina Zarechnaya (Saoirse Ronan), is lured by the preying Trigorin. Unrequited love runs rampart in "The Seagull." (It also afflicts Elisabeth Moss' Masha). Characters, many of them knowingly, are the helpless victims of the fluctuations of their self-defeating heart — especially when mixed with potentially misguided artistic ambitions. 1 hour, 38 minutes. IC





Legend


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

BC: Beacon Cinema (57 North St., Pittsfield)

BM: Berkshire Mall 10 (Route 8, Lanesborough)

CT
: Crandell Theatre (48 Main St., Chatham, N.Y.)

IC: Images Cinema (50 Spring St.,Williamstown)

LC: Little Cinema (Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield)

NAM: North Adams Movieplex 8 (80 Main St., North Adams)

TC: Triplex Cinema (70 Railroad St., Great Barrington)

TM: The Moviehouse, 48 Main St., Millerton, N.Y.


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