Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for the weekend of Oct. 14
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
In Amarillo theaters this week: A magical Harry Potter marathon, a bloody numbers man, a new Kevin Hart joint and more.
Ben Affleck stars as an autistic accountant who, in a lucrative side job, fixes the books for an assortment of international arms dealers and drug dealers. As an investigator (J.K. Simmons) closes in on his shady business, he takes on a legit job for the head (John Lithgow) of a robotics company, whose assistant Dana (Anna Kendrick) has noticed something odd in their books. That somehow brings in a hitman (Jon Bernthal), whose looking to eliminate Dana, not realizing that Affleck's Christian Wolff also is a supremely talented fighter and sharpshooter himself. Whew. Critics say it's just as complicated as it sounds. The Wrap's Alonso Duralde calls it "a convoluted potboiler that dares you either to engage or to laugh at it. Engagement turns out to be easier than you might imagine." Writes Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt, "The whole thing’s ludicrous, down to the last loony twist, but it’s also a lot more fun than Batman v Superman." (R for strong violence and language throughout; United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)
"The Accountant" trailer
Woody Allen's latest, a comedy set in the 1930s, follows a writer (Jesse Eisenberg in the Allen stand-in role) who moves to Hollywood from his Brooklyn home, before returning, disillusioned and heartbroken, to his home. Kristen Stewart, in what's billed as another extremely successful role, plays his uncle's (Steve Carrell) assistant, whom Eisenberg falls for despite knowing she has a boyfriend — and the revelation of boyfriend's identity is a blow. Since its debut at Cannes in May, the film has received largely positive reviews as a minor entry in Allen's canon. "It’s a film that covers several years and relationships but comes across like a rambling anecdote being told by someone who keeps skipping over the interesting parts," writes Buzzfeed's Alison Willmore in a review that spends nearly as much time on Allen's reputation as a man as it does talking about the film itself. "Lovely visuals, terrific performances, renewed ambition: There's enough good in Café Society to make it worth your while — and also to make you wish it were better," writes the Village Voice's Bilge Ebiri. (PG-13 for some violence, a drug reference, suggestive material and smoking; Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40)
"Cafe Society" trailer
Kevin Hart: What Now?
Comedian Kevin Hart performs for a sold-out crowd Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, his hometown, in this new stand-up film that's interspersed with pre-taped bits featuring Hart as a spy with Halle Berry and others along for the ride. "(H)e’s a performer with consummate skill and utter ease on stage," writes The Wrap's Alonso Duralde. "Whether he’s expounding upon his fear of wild animals or recounting how he sweated his way through his first experience trying to order something at Starbucks, Hart is a natural raconteur, alternately arrogant and self-deprecating, worldly and juvenile." (R for some sexual material, and language throughout; AS-14, H-16)
"Kevin Hart: What Now?" trailer
Based on the toy line and accompanying cartoon series, this live-action film charts the adventures of teenager Max (Ben Winchell) and the alien Steel (voiced by Josh Brener) after they symbiotically bond and become a two-in-one superhero. It hasn't been screened for critics. (PG-13 for some sci-fi action violence; AS-14)
"Max Steel" trailer
A man devastated by the loss of his family and desperate to make ends meet agrees to a shady deal: He'll get cash for driving a truck across the country, no questions asked. Of course, he asks questions and learns that he's gotten himself involved in human trafficking. Contemporary Christian singer Joel Smallbone of For King & Country stars; his singing partner and brother Ben Smallbone directs. After a Thursday-night premiere event with a streaming Q&A session and concert, the film (which hasn't been released for critics) will screen for at least a week. (PG-13 for mature thematic material involving human trafficking, and some violence; AS-14)
"Harry Potter" in IMAX
All eight Harry Potter films will screen in IMAX's giant-screen (but 2-D) format for a week in a lead-up to the Nov. 18 release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a return to the wizarding world of author J.K. Rowling. You can buy tickets for the films individually for $6, purchase a Day Pass to see all the films screening on one particular day for $25, or purchase an Event Pass to see all eight as many times as you want for $32.48 (plus fees) at the Amarillo Star 14. Here's where it gets wonky: The films play in order across the first four days of the marathon, then screen willy-nilly through Oct. 20. I'll break it down by day:
- Thursday: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at noon, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at 3:15 p.m., Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at 6:30 p.m. and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at 9:45 p.m.
- Friday: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at noon, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at 3:15 p.m., Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 at 6:30 p.m., Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 at 9:45 p.m. and Sorcerer's Stone again at 1 a.m.
- Saturday: Sorcerer's Stone at noon, Chamber of Secrets at 3:15 p.m., Azkaban at 6:30 p.m. and Goblet of Fire at 9:45 p.m., with Deathly Hallows — Part 2 at 1 a.m.
- Sunday: Phoenix at noon, Half-Blood Prince at 3:15 p.m., Deathly Hallows — Part 1 at 6:30 p.m. and Deathly Hallows — Part 2 at 9:45 p.m
- Monday: Goblet of Fire at noon, Azkaban at 3:15 p.m., Chamber of Secrets at 6:30 p.m. and Sorcerer's Stone at 9:45 p.m.
- Tuesday: Deathly Hallows — Part 2 at noon, Deathly Hallows — Part 1 at 3:15 p.m., Half-Blood Prince at 6:30 p.m. and Phoenix at 9:45 p.m.
- Wednesday: Sorcerer's Stone at noon, Chamber of Secrets at 3:15 p.m., Goblet of Fire at 6:30 p.m. and Deathly Hallows — Part 2 at 9:45 p.m.
- Oct. 20: Sorcerer's Stone at noon and Deathly Hallows — Part 2 at 3:15 p.m.
To Joey, With Love
"To Joey, with Love" trailer
In a final screening, watch the story of married country duo Joey + Rory and Joey Feek's 2 1/2-year-long, ultimately unsuccessful, battle with cancer. Rory Feek edited together his own home movies to make the film, so bring your tissues. It'll screen at 7 p.m. Monday.
Kirk Cameron's Revive Us
"Kirk Cameron's Revive Us"
The actor-turned-evangelist will lead this worship session and exploration of the question "where is hope?" in this live event streaming at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Amarillo Star 14 through Fathom Events. Cameron will be joined by pastors Francis Chan and Dr. James MacDonald, Dr. Ben Carson, authors Jennifer Rothschild and Eric Metaxas, and others. It will rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Oct. 24.
"Shin Godzilla" trailer
This Japanese reboot, also known as Godzilla Resurgence, gets a special screening at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Amarillo Star 14. "Shin Godzilla is a little different than other Godzilla films," writes RogerEbert.com's Simon Abrams. It's probably drier, and more dialogue-centric than fans may want. But (Hideaki) Anno and co-director Shinji Higuchi's (anime/manga hit Attack on Titan) idiosyncratic emphasis on the endless discussions and politicking that precedes the Japanese military is genuinely exciting. Their vision of the character is thoughtful and clever without straying too far from the Godzilla formula established in films like the original 1954 Gojira." (NR)
"Young Frankenstein" trailer
Fathom Events screened this classic comedy Oct. 5 in theaters around the country, but many venues didn't also include the live introduction by director Mel Brooks. (Amarillo's screening did, but — as per usual with Fathom screenings here— the audio was cut off for the pre-show commercials and trailers.) To make up for that, Fathom will encore the film at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Amarillo Star 14. It's highly recommended. As with any comedy, watching it with a group is greatly rewarding; at our screening, people were anticipatorily laughing at the set-ups to the jokes almost as much as the jokes themselves. (NR)
Rob Zombie's 31
"Rob Zombie's 31" trailer
Metal singer and filmmaker Rob Zombie's 31 gets a one-night-only encore screening at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 in the Amarillo Star 14. The film tells the story of five carnival workers who are kidnapped the night before Halloween and held hostage in a large compound, then forced to play a twisted game of life or death called 31. Sounds brutal. (R for strong bloody horror violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use)
The Birth of a Nation (AS-14); Blair Witch (Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive); Deepwater Horizon (AS-14, H-16); Don't Breathe (TDI); Finding Dory (WM-6); Ghostbusters (WM-6); The Girl on the Train (AS-14, H-16); The Magnificent Seven (AS-14, H-16); Masterminds (AS-14); Mechanic: Resurrection (WM-6); Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (AS-14, H-16); Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (AS-14, H-16); Nine Lives (WM-6); Storks (AS-14, H-16); and Sully (AS-14).