Film clips / July 19-25

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ALADDIN (PG)

Guy Ritchie — that lover of gritty gangsters and violent action — was always an odd choice to helm a big Disney romantic musical and proves utterly the wrong guy here. "Aladdin," in his hands, is more like "The Mummy" than "Frozen." Ritchie, who also is a co-screenwriter alongside John August, has basically taken the 1992 film's structure, added elements from the Broadway musical and made some nice script tweaks, most impressively by adding a second love story and updating Princess Jasmine from pretty eyewitness to fierce participant. Mena Massoud gamely plays the title character, a street urchin with good hair who falls for the free-spirited princess and has his life changed with one rub of a magic lamp. Naomi Scott is the princess and she is a worthy Disney heroine for 2019 — funny, strong, brave and with a sinfully good voice. Will Smith's Genie is a martini-drinking, yoga-posing, needy showoff with a top knot and an armful of popular culture reference. With Marwan Kenzari, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 5/24). 2 hours, 9 minutes. BM

ANNABELLE COMES HOME (R)

After taking charge of the demonic doll Annabelle, Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) return home to lock her away with the rest of their cursed collection. When the couple are called away to investigate another case, they leave their daughter Judy (McKenna Grace) in the care of a trusted babysitter (Madison Iseman). With the parents gone the two girls invite their friend (Katie Sarife) over for some company, but her curiosity into the Warren's reputation leads her to unintentionally set Annabelle free. Free from imprisonment, Annabelle brings with her all the evil spirits tied to the Warren's collection for a night of terror for the three young girls with the intent of possessing them. It's never much in doubt how things will turn out. The evil will, once again, be "contained." That's what makes "Annabelle Comes Home" and some of its "Conjuring" ilk oddly soothing. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 6/29). 2 hours.1 hour, 46 minutes. BM

CRAWL (R)

When a massive hurricane hits her Florida town, young Haley ignores the evacuation orders to search for her missing father, Dave. After finding him gravely injured in their family home, the two of them become trapped by the rapidly encroaching floodwaters. With the storm strengthening, Haley and Dave discover an even greater threat than the rising water level -- a relentless attack from a pack of gigantic alligators. With     Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Colin McFarlane. 1 hour, 27 minutes. BM / NAM

MAIDEN (PG)

The story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook in charter boats, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World in 1989. Tracy's inspirational dream was opposed on all sides: her male competitors thought an all-women crew would never make it, the chauvinistic yachting press took bets on her failure, and potential sponsors rejected her, fearing they would die at sea and generate bad publicity. But Tracy refused to give up: she remortgaged her home and bought a secondhand boat, putting everything on the line to ensure the team made it to the start line. Although blessed with tremendous self-belief Tracy was also beset by crippling doubts and was only able to make it through with the support of her remarkable crew. With their help, she went on to shock the sports world and prove that women are very much the equal of men. 1 hour, 37 minutes. TM

MIDSOMMAR (R)

MAIDEN (PG)

Florence Pugh stars as Dani Ardor, a grief-stricken college student who shortly after her family is killed in a grisly manner, joins her long-term boyfriend (Jack Reynor) and his friends on a summer trip to the pastoral Swedish compound of Harga. She goes full of existential dread and relationship anxiety; their inevitable break-up has been merely postponed by Dani's tragedy. The increasingly dark and hallucinogenic pagan rituals of a seemingly idyllic ancient Swedish cult, it turns out, are less than ideal couples therapy. 2 hours, 20 minutes. "Midsommar" is audacious filmmaking and totally transfixing despite its lengthy runtime. It might not actually add up to anything especially satisfying, or completely coherent, in the end. But the journey is fascinating enough that it's still worth the trip. And by that point you'll probably just be grateful that you're finally allowed to wake up. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 7/9). 2 hours, 20 minutes. BM

PAVAROTTI (PG-13)

Created from a combination of Luciano Pavarotti as genre-redefining performances and granted access to never-before-seen footage, the film will give audiences around the world a stunningly intimate portrait of the most beloved opera singer of all time. 1 hour, 54 minutes. TC

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (PG-13)

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. "Far From Home" takes place immediately after the meta-conclusion of all 22 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and assumes you know what happened. The thing keeping this together is Tom Holland. He is utterly endearing as a goofy, insecure now-16-year-old hero with a cracked cellphone and who often makes things worse, apologizing along the way. Holland's aw-shucks naivete is a 1950-ish throwback even though he is firmly in 2019. He is indeed a Spidey for Generation Z and its fitting that he hits the reset button for Marvel. xWith Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya , Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 7/2). 2 hours. 7 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC / TM

STUBER (R)

When a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he's thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating. Directed by Michael Dowse, this action-comedy also stars Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan. 1 hour, 33 minutes. BM

THE LION KING (PG)

Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub's arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is soon ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. Now, with help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. With Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, John Oliver. 1 hour, 58 minutes. BC / BM / CT / NAM / TC / TM

TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM (PG-13)

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A meditation on the life and works of the acclaimed novelist. 2 hours. LC

TOY STORY 4 (G)

Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that's Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie's beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as "trash" and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family's road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo's adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they're worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that's the least of their worries. "Toy Story 4 " is a blast and it's great to be back with the gang. If there is a complaint, it's that Woody and Bo's quest takes us away from most of the original toys for a large part of the movie, although Buzz still finds a way to be part of it. Although it doesn't exactly reach the emotional heights of the previous films, the conclusion is still effective and well executed. With Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Timothy Dalton, Wallace Shawn, Don Rickles, Bonnie Hunt, Laurie Metcalf, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Jeff Garlin, Kristen Schaal, Blake Clark, Tony Hale, Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 6/20). 1 hour, 40 minutes. BC / BM / NAM

WILD ROSE (R)

Fresh out of prison, a Scottish woman juggles her job and two children while pursuing her dream of becoming a country music star. She soon gets her chance when she travels to Nashville, Tenn., on a life-changing journey to discover her true voice. With Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo. 1 hour, 41 minutes. IC

YESTERDAY (PG-13)

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (Kate McKinnon), Jack's fame explodes. But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie — the one person who always believed in him. What a great idea, and what questions it raises: Would we love those iconic songs today the way we did the first time? Would they be as appealing in someone else's voice? Would some of the tunes soar, and others flop? Would a post #MeToo world accept, for example, a song by an older man about a 17-year-old girl? And more broadly, what would popular music even look like in 2019 without a half-century of Beatles influence? Alas, these questions aren't really explored in "Yesterday," which instead takes its enticing premise, sets it up cleverly, then resorts to a familiar rom-com formula, assuming that what we REALLY want to know is whether the boy will get the girl. With Ed Sheeran, Ana de Armas, Lamorne Morris. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 6/29). 1 hour, 56 minutes. BC / NAM / TC / TM

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 (86 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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