Film clips / July 5-11

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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 / NAM

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. BC / BM / NAM

CHILD'S PLAY (R)

Single mom Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) and her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) move to a new city looking to make a fresh start. When Andy is given a new toy doll Buddy, that he has named Chucky, it's loaded with modern features and able to interact with most smart devices. However, this isn't any ordinary doll, as a series of grisly murders are committed, with Andy suspecting his doll Chucky. However, despite his efforts in making his mother and Detective Mike Norris (Brian Tyree Henry) believe him, neither takes him seriously. With Chucky's body count ever rising Andy takes things into his own hands and assembles his new friends to take down the malicious doll. It's a winking, self-aware horror movie that will make you laugh even when things are drenched in blood. With Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 6/22). 1 hour, 28 minutes. BM

FRAMING JOHN DELOREAN (no rating)

Interweaving a treasure trove of archival footage with dramatic vignettes starring Alec Baldwin,"Framing John DeLorean" recounts the extraordinary life and legend of the controversial automaker, tracing his meteoric rise through the ranks of General Motors, his obsessive quest to build a sports car that would conquer the world, and his shocking fall from grace on charges of cocaine trafficking. 1 hour, 49 minutes. LC

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (PG-13)

A sequel in the loosest possible sense that requires minimal recall from the audience. Godzilla is here to provide some old-fashioned summer spectacle, no CliffsNotes required. It's a low bar, sure, but at least Godzilla is comfortable with its place in the blockbuster ecosystem. Michael Dougherty has taken the directing reins this time, from Gareth Edwards, and has done a fine job capturing the grandness of the titans, keeping the action coherent and balancing the human element thanks to a terrific cast. With Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, O'Shea Jackson Jr, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 5/31). 2 hours, 11 minutes. BM

LATE NIGHT (R)

Emma Thompson plays Katherine Newbury, who is a legendary late-night talk show host, whose world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer played by Mindy Kaling. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline. Watching this enjoyably zippy if scattershot comedy, a persistent thought runs through your head: How have we been abiding without a steady supply of leading roles like this for Emma Thompson, and why haven't we by now elected her ruler of all living things? Late-night TV has, of course, been a boy's world for most of its history, a lineage "Late Night" has a lot of fun playing with. It doesn't always quite gel. The movie is better as a workplace comedy that plunges right into very contemporary issues of diversity and sexism in media. With John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, Denis O'Hare, Amy Ryan, Max Casella, Reid Scott, Ike Barinholtz. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 6/15). 1 hour, 45 minutes. TC / TM

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL (PG-13)     

An eager new recruit, dubbed Agent M, Molly quickly partners with one of the agency's top men, Agent H (Hemsworth), an arrogant but decorated agent whose swoon-worthiness extends to, it would seem, all the species of the universe. He's the most trusted agent of the organization overseen by High T (Liam Neeson).

But the Men in Black have a mole, they soon learn, and a strange new shape-shifting foe. The movie is, unsurprisingly, a pale reflection of the first "Men in Black." It's bland and nearly neuralyzer-level forgettable. With Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson, Rafe Spall. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 6/17). 2 hours. NAM

MIDSOMMAR (R)

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. 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. IC / TC / TM

ROCKETMAN (R)

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Taron Egerton, who doesn't especially look like Elton John or sound like Elton John, gives a star-making performance built on charisma and will. Egerton gives it his all, and if there's one quality that's most essential in an Elton John movie, it's spiritedness. Like its flamboyant subject, it's a movie outfitted to the nines in dazzle and verve, even if it's gotten all dressed up with nowhere to go but the most conventional places. With Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 6/1). 2 hours, 1 minute. BM / NAM

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

THE DEAD DON'T DIE (R)

In a small peaceful town, zombies suddenly rise to terrorize the town. Now three bespectacled police officers and a strange Scottish morgue expert must band together to defeat the undead. Director Jim Jarmusch's cast is a veritable embarrassment of riches: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chlo Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez, Rosie Perez and Iggy Pop, for starters. It's also drily funny, and raises the director's deadpan aesthetic to a new level of, well, dead (or undead). "This strange film," Jarmusch has called it affectionately, and that it is — but couldn't it have been much more? It's a trifle compared to much of his other work, and with all that talent, you wish the aim had been a bit higher. Still, if you're a Jarmusch fan, you'll surely have a good time. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 6/15). 1 hour, 43 minutes. TC [6/19]

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (PG)

Max the terrier must cope with some major life changes when his owner gets married and has a baby. When the family takes a trip to the countryside, nervous Max has numerous run-ins with canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a scary turkey. Luckily for Max, he soon catches a break when he meets Rooster, a gruff farm dog who tries to cure the lovable pooch of his neuroses. A solid piece of entertainment for all ages, if not a terribly revelatory one. With Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress, Dana Carvey, Harrison Ford, Tiffany Haddish, Garth Jennings, Ellie Kemper, Nick Kroll, Bobby Moynihan, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet, Pete Holmes. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 6/7). 1 hour, 26 minutes. BM / NAM

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 / TC / TM

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 / BM / 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., Mille


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