1) The Huntsman: Winter’s War – I know this probably labels me a hopeless Philistine but I’m a big fan of the 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman, a PoMo remake of the Snow White fairy tale. It’s remembered, if at all, for two things—it’s consistently bad reviews and that the star, Kristen Stewart, left her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson and took up with director Rupert Sanders. Since then the two have split up, Sanders divorced his wife and Stewart has teased her fans with the idea that she’s bisexual. I loved the feminist rethink of the first film and ignored the tabloid stuff. Stewart and Sanders are both absent from this sequel which features Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron from the original. In Winter’s Tale Theron again plays the wicked queen, but here she’s also the sister of Emily Blunt. When Emily is betrayed in love she discovers she has the power to turn anyone and anything into ice while big sis tries to save her from doom. Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain play villagers with their own problems. If it all sounds reminiscent of the Disney mega blockbuster Frozen… well, I won’t tell if you don’t. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)
2) Demolition – Poor Jake Gyllenhaal. In the movie Southpaw his wife dies in a tragic accident and he’s left to start his life again. In the movie Demolition his wife dies in a tragic accident and he has to start his life again. Here’s a tip, ladies; if Jake ever proposes to you—no matter how big and blue his eyes are—run as fast as you can the other way. In Demolition Naomi Watts is the woman who has to put Jake back together again. Not that she doesn’t have her own problems, what with raising a son all on her own. When a grief-stricken Jake writes a complaint letter to a vending company about their defective machinery, Watts is the one who responds … and I think you can take it from there. Check Fandango for screens and times.
3) Too Late – Though the story itself may seem a bit hackneyed, it’s how writer/director Dennis Hauck puts it on the screen that’s got cineastes abuzz. It’s a contemporary noir thriller in which indie-fave John Hawkes plays a private investigator hired to find a missing woman. Been there, done that, right? Well, for starters Hauck has shot the film not digitally but rather in 35mm Techniscope (a process which probably reached it’s peak in the 60’s.) The film is also presented in five acts, each 22 minutes long and each filmed in one take. It’s Hitchcock’s Rope—ten ten-minute takes—on steroids! Check Filmmaker’s site for times. Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. (TH)