Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for Sept. 20 to 27, with 'Life Itself,' 'House with a Clock,' 'Fahrenheit 11/9,' more
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By Chip Chandler — Producer
In Amarillo theaters this week: A fiery political documentary, a scathingly reviewed melodrama, a fantastical family film and more.
New in theaters
"Assassination Nation" trailer
In this satirical modernization of the Salem Witch Trials, a quartet of young women take arms against their raging city after hacked, private information is leaked and exposes everyone's dirt. Though the teens have no sympathy when middle-aged men like the mayor and the principal have their secrets revealed, the tables swiftly (and bloodily) turn. Reviews are mixed: "Midnight audiences started whooping at the opening trigger warning that they were about to see sexism, racism, torture, violence, and fragile male egos, but the actual film feels like a Molotov cocktail thrown at a hazy target. (Writer/director Sam) Levinson’s battling more villains than any script can take on, and by the end, his sharp jabs bleed into a gory finale that settles for cathartic cheers," writes Variety's Amy Nicholson. (R for disturbing bloody violence, strong sexual material including menace, pervasive language, and for drug and alcohol use — all involving teens; click here for showtimes at United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)
"Fahrenheit 11/9" trailer
Satirical documentarian Michael Moore returns with a wide-ranging takedown of politics and the culture at large — not necessarily just Donald Trump, but a broader look at a slew of incendiary current events. Reviews are mostly positive, though some feel Moore is a bit too scattershot. "Fahrenheit aims to educate, entertain, and congratulate its audience for being smart enough to land on the right (left) side. What sticks, though, is the larger message the movie delivers in its call to private citizens on public service: Run, vote, care. Yes, it’s easy to despair. But it’s possible, and so much more empowering, to fight back," writes Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt. (R for language and some disturbing material/images; click here for showtimes at Hollywood 16)
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
"The House with a Clock in Its Walls" trailer
Bloody horror director Eli Roth (Hostel) goes family-friendly with his latest, an adaptation of John Bellairs' YA fantasy novel. Jack Black and Cate Blanchett star as magical suburbanites who take in Black's orphaned nephew (Owen Vaccaro) and soon begin giving him mystical lessons. Reviews aren't too hot. "It's all style, no heft, and there's little personal connection to the characters. ... There's a layer of artifice that never quite evaporates, never allows us to fall headlong into this world," writes Tribune News Service's Katie Walsh. (PG for thematic elements including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor and language; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)
"Life Itself" trailer
Hoo boy. A big fall turkey has apparently arrived early. Writer/director Dan Fogelman has found great success on TV with NBC's weepy hit This Is Us, but he's looking at a major strikeout in this new, all-star film. The film bounces around a few decades in the lives of Will (Oscar Isaac) and Abby (Olivia Wilde) and various others closely (or not-so closely) tied to them — characters played by the likes of Annette Bening, ANtonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke, Samuel L. Jackson and Mandy Patinkin. "But unlike the members of the Pearson clan (on This Is Us), the sprawling, trans-Atlantic characters in Life Itself don’t get the opportunity to develop, which makes the movie feel like it’s on a loop: Life, it seems, can be summarized as Terrible Things Keep Happening to Nice, Attractive People, Especially the Women," writes Slate's Inkoo Kang. (R for language including sexual references, some violent images and brief drug use; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)
Moses and the Ten Commandments: The Movie
"Moses and the Ten Commandments" trailer
And lo, the waters part for another cinematic adaptation of the Biblical legend. This time out, it's an edited version of a hugely popular Brazilian telenovela, Os Dez Mandamentos. It was released in Brazil in 2016 but arrives now in limited release in the U.S. (PG-13 for thematic material and some violence; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14)
Digimon Adventure tri: Future
"Digimon Adventure tri: Future" trailer
The DigiDestined face a climactic battle to save the real world from being swallowed whole by the digital realm in this English-dubbed special screening at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. (NR)
Rebel Without a Cause
"Rebel Without a Cause" trailer
Bloody Disgusting Presents
Bloody Disgusting Presents
The three-week Bloody Disgusting Presents series will feature a collection of campy, fan-selected horror films from the 1980s to 2000, kicking off with the 1983 slasher film House on Sorority Row at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Amarillo Star 14.
"King Lear" trailer
Transformers: The Movie
"Transformers: The Movie" trailer
Sept. 27: Advance tickets are on sale now for horror film Hell Fest, a modern-day retelling of Little Women, comedy Night School and animated feature Smallfoot at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. Additionally, the Glenn Close drama The Wife, about a writer's spouse who questions her life choices when her husband wins the Nobel Prize, is scheduled to open at Westgate Mall 6.
Sept. 30 to Oct. 3: The Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 continues with fantasy adventure My Neighbor Totoro at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. An English-dubbed version will screen at 12:55 p.m. Sept. 30 and 7 p.m. Oct. 3, with a subtitled version screening at 7 p.m. Oct. 1.
Oct. 2: Amarillo's newest multiplex, Cinergy Amarillo, is scheduled to open at 9201 Cinergy Square near Town Square Village.
Oct. 6 and 10: The Met: Live in HD series continues with Anna Netrebko's first Met performance of Aida. It'll screen live at 11:55 a.m. Oct. 6 and 1 and encore at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Hollywood 16.
Oct. 11 and 16: The genre-bending anime film MFKZ — a collaboration between French comic artist Guillaume “Run” Renard and Japanese animation house Studio 4°C — will screen at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 (English-dubbed) and Oct. 16 (subtitled) at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Oct. 14 and 17: The TCM Big Screen Classics series continues with a timely revival of the political classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington at 2 and 7 p.m. Oct. 14 and 17 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Oct. 20 and 24: The Met: Live in HD series continues with Saint-Saëns’s biblical epic Samson et Dalila, starring Elina Garanca and Roberto Alagna. It'll screen live at 11:55 a.m. Oct. 20 and encore at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Hollywood 16.
Oct. 22 and 29: The National Theatre production of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller will return to theaters. The actors famously swapped roles throughout the production, and the 7 p.m. Oct. 22 screening will feature Cumberbatch as the Creature, with the 7 p.m. Oct. 29 screening featuring Miller as the Creature. Both screenings will take place at Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd.
Oct. 27 and 31: The Met: Live in HD series continues with Puccini's Wild West drama La Fanciulla del West, starring Eva-Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann. It'll screen live at 11:55 a.m. Oct. 27 and encore at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at Hollywood 16.
Oct. 28 to 30: The Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 continues with the all-time classic Spirited Away at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. An English-dubbed version will screen at 12:55 p.m. Oct. 28 and 7 p.m. Oct. 30, with a subtitled version screening at 7 p.m. Oct. 29.
Listings at a glance
Click on theaters for showtimes.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40); Assassination Nation (AS-14, H-16); Christopher Robin (H-16); Crazy Rich Asians (H-16); The Equalizer 2 (WM-6); Fahrenheit 11/9 (H-16); God Bless the Broken Road (AS-14, H-16); The Happytime Murders (Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive); The House with a Clock in Its Walls (AS-14, H-16); The Incredibles 2 (WM-6); Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (WM-6); Kin (WM-6); Life Itself (AS-14, H-16); The Meg (H-16); Mile 22 (WM-6); Moses and the Ten Commandments: The Movie (AS-14); The Nun (AS-14, H-16); Peppermint (AS-14, H-16 and Tascosa); The Predator (AS-14, H-16); Searching (H-16); A Simple Favor (AS-14, H-16); Skyscraper (WM-6); Unbroken: Path to Redemption (AS-14, H-16); White Boy Rick (AS-14, H-16); and Ya Veremos (H-16).