By Chip Chandler — Producer
In Amarillo theaters this week: Another round with ABBA, a critically beloved surreal comedy and more.
New in theaters
The Equalizer 2
Denzel Washington returns — in his first-ever sequel — as widowed vigilante Robert McCall (loosely adapted from the 1980s TV show). He's now a driver for Lyft, picking up protection gigs along with offering rides around Boston. Reviews are pretty lousy: "By the end of The Equalizer 2, it’s clear that hiring Denzel to play him is a lot like paying Frank Gehry to design your doghouse: He’ll get the job done, and probably do it really well, but surely his talents could be much better applied to almost any other task?" writes A.V. Club's A.A. Dowd. (R for brutal violence throughout, language, and some drug content; click here for showtimes at United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
The 10-years-later sequel to the surprise 2008 hit Mamma Mia! actually picks up five years after the original, with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) expecting her first child. And as a prequel-sequel mash-up, we get extensive flashbacks of her mother Donna (Lily James in the past, Meryl Streep in the present) and her first summer on her idyllic Greek isle of Kalokairi. Of course, like the Broadway musical that inspired the original film, everything is set to the music of ABBA (some of their deeper cuts this time around). And also, Cher plays Sophie's grandmother — and truly, that's all I need to know. If you need to know more before making your decision, reviews have actually been rather solid: "A shiny-bright jukebox musical with a heart of gold and a plot of pure polyester, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again works hard to be the feel-giddy movie experience of the summer. And it mostly succeeds in its own glittery, aggressively winsome way," writes Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt. (PG-13 for some suggestive material; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)
Sorry to Bother You
Telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield, Atlanta and Get Out) finds the magical key to success — adopting a voice that sounds white — in this provocative satire from rapper-turned-filmmaker Boots Riley. The film, writes Time's Stephanie Zacharek, "may end up being the most politically and culturally relevant movie of the year. As a piece of filmmaking, it’s far from perfect: The pacing is herky-jerky, and even a wild work of fantasy-satire like this one doesn’t have to drive every one of its ideas into our heads with such a heavy mallet. But Sorry to Bother You has energy and passion, two qualities in short supply in filmmaking these days." (R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use; click here for showtimes at Hollywood 16)
Unfriended: Dark Web
Surprise: The internet is evil. That's the message of this sequel to the 2014 horror hit, a found-footage movie playing out on a laptop screen. The new one follows the threats made against Matias (Colin Woodell), who has a stolen laptop with files someone's desperate to get their hands on. Writer/director Stephen Susco "follows the well-worn path of using the horror/thriller genre to explore the eerie ambiguities of modern times," writes IndieWire's Eric Kohn. "Unfriended: Dark Web gets weary after an hour, the characters’ paper-thin personalities keep the stakes rather low, and the eventual massacre of the closing act lacks the inspired uncertainty of earlier scenes." (R for some disturbing violence, language and sexual references; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)
The Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 continues with this beloved fantasy adventure at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. An English-dubbed version will screen at 12:55 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday, with a subtitled version screening at 7 p.m. Monday.
Newsies: The Broadway Musical
Kids' movie specials
All three Amarillo movie theaters are offering summer-long specials on family films. Click here for the full schedule.
This week's offerings:
- Regal Summer Movie Express: Animated features TThe Secret Life of Pets and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel will screen at approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Amarillo Star 14. Admission is $1.
- Premiere Cinemas Summer Kids Fest: Animated feature The Lego Movie will screen at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40. Admission is free.
- Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse: Children's feature Paddington 2 will screen at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Hollywood 16. Admission is $1.
July 28 and 30: An encore screening of Sailor Moon R — The Movie will precede the premiere of Sailor Moon S — The Movie in a special event. They'll screen at 12:55 p.m. July 28 (English-dubbed) and 7 p.m. July 30 (subtitled) at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 1: The eighth annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies will feature a screening of the band's July 7, 1989, concert at J.F.K. Stadium in Philadelphia, the final concert performed at the since-demolished stadium. It'll screen at 7 p.m. Aug. 1 at Amarillo Star 14.
Aug. 2: Best-selling author Rachel Hollis' story is told in the inspirational documentary Made for More, followed by a Q&A with the author in this special streamed event. It'll be seen at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 3: Thriller Searching is scheduled to open, but advance tickets are not yet on sale.
Aug. 4 and 6: An encore screening of Sailor Moon R — The Movie will precede the premiere of Sailor Moon Supers — The Movie in a new special event. They'll screen at 12:55 p.m. Aug. 4 (English-dubbed) and 7 p.m. Aug. 6 (subtitled) at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 5 and 8: The TCM Big Screen Classics series continues with a 20th anniversary presentation of the Coen Brothers comedy The Big Lebowski at 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 5 and 8 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 7: Singer Jason Mraz will treat audiences to a family friendly celebration of the creative arts in the documentary-style feature Have It All: The Movie, featuring new material from upcoming album Know. It'll screen at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 9: Watch the Drum Corps International world championship prelims live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in Big, Loud & Live 15. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 12 to 15: The Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 continues with historical masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. An English-dubbed version will screen at 12:55 p.m. Aug. 12 and 7 p.m. Aug. 15, with a subtitled version screening at 7 p.m. Aug. 13.
Aug. 14: The horror film Blood Fest, featuring a slasher targeting a film festival celebrating horror movies, will get a one-night-only screening at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 15: Romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians is scheduled to open, but advance tickets are not yet on sale.
Aug. 16 and 20: The iconic televised concert in which Elvis Presley relaunched his singing career will be seen again in Elvis '68 Comeback Special, a 50th anniversary reissue with behind-the-scenes footage and more. It'll screen at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 and 20 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 20: In faith-based drama An Interview with God, young reporter (Brenton Thwaites, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) struggles with his dying faith after covering the Afghanistan war, then meets a mysterious man (David Strathairn) claiming to be God. The film will screen at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 to 22 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 23 and 25: The RiffTrax crew wil take on notoriously awful sci-fi film Krull in a live screening at 7 p.m. Aug. 23, followed by an encore at 12:55 p.m. Aug. 25, at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Aug. 26 and 29: The TCM Big Screen Classics series continues with a 60th anniversary presentation of the Rogers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific at 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 26 and 29 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.
Listings at a glance
Click on titles for my review and on theaters for showtimes.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (AS-14, H-16); Avengers: Infinity War (WM-6); Book Club (WM-6); Deadpool 2 (WM-6); The Equalizer (AS-14, H-16) The First Purge (AS-14, H-16); Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (AS-14, H-16 and Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive); The Incredibles 2 (AS-14, H-16); Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (AS-14, H-16 and Tascosa); Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (AS-14, H-16) Ocean's 8 (Sandell Drive-In, 12 S. Center Drive in Clarendon); Overboard (WM-6); Sicario: Day of the Soldado (H-16); Skyscraper (AS-14, H-16 and Sandell); Solo: A Star Wars Story (WM-6); Sorry to Bother You (H-16); Uncle Drew (AS-14, H-16); and Unfriended: Dark Web (AS-14, H-16).