by Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
The Huntsman: Winter’s War: A killer lineup of actresses headline this sequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman – the returning Charlize Theron as beautiful and deadly Ravenna is joined by Emily Blunt as her sister Freya and Jessica Chastain as a warrior woman named Sarah. Missing from the lineup, though, is Kristen Stewart’s Snow White, who apparently is much mentioned but never seen in this sequel (Stewart bowed out). Chris Hemsworth does return, though, as the Huntsman, whose backstory and connection with Chastain’s Sarah is explained in the first part of the film. The movie jumps ahead to a time after Snow White, as Freya tries to secure Ravenna’s missing magic mirror; comparisons to Frozen, thanks to Freya’s ice powers, are inevitable but misplaced. Early reviews are fairly scathing. “The whole film is nothing but window-dressing, an excuse to put up some expensive visual effects to attract people before the summer-blockbuster rush,” writes Jake Cole for Slant Magazine. “Hollow and joyless,” writes Bilge Ebiri for the Village Voice. (PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality; United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)
Compadres: Popular Mexican film comedian Omar Chaparro stars as a disgraced former cop who reluctantly teams up with a 17-year-old American hacker (Joey Morgan) in an attempt to bring down a crime boss (Erick Elias) in this Spanish-language buddy comedy. (NR; Hollywood 16)
Meet the Blacks: A black family moves from Chicago to a wealthy, WASP-y Beverly Hills subdivision after striking it rich (illicitly), then are targeted by their neighbors in an annual purge. As that suggests, it’s a spoof (of sorts) of the inexplicably popular 2013 thriller The Purge, only with added uncomfortable racially based humor. … Yay? Reviews are abysmal – “the movie as a whole is such an incompetent train wreck, you can’t look away, just to see how much worse it can get,” writes Christy Lemire – so watch at your own risk. (R for pervasive language, some sexual material, violence and drug use; Hollywood 16)
On the Waterfront: Turner Classic Movies presents a special screening of this Marlon Brando-starring classic drama, winner of the 1954 Oscar for Best Picture. Brando stars as a washed-up prizefighter who goes to work for the mob and finds himself overcome with guilt after luring a friend to his death to keep him from testifying against a labor boss. TCM host Ben Mankiewicz will offer special commentary at the screenings, set for 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday. (NR; Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)
* Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at www.facebook.com/chipchandlerwriter on Facebook.