Film clips / May 25-31

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A FANTASTIC WOMAN (R)

Marina is a nightclub singer and a waitress. She has a boyfriend, Orlando, who is much older than her, but that matters little. They are clearly smitten with one another and in that post-honeymoon phase of the relationship where things are still passionate, but also calm and comforting. They're planning a trip together. She's moving in. Life is moving along nicely it seems. But one night, Orlando dies suddenly and Marina's tranquility is thrown into a tailspin — not just from the death of her love, but from all the unnecessary and often ridiculous complications, some bureaucratic, some purely emotional, that emerge and seem to stem from the fact that she is transgender. Full of grace and depth, transgender actress Daniela Vega's extraordinary performance as Marina keeps this drama in check from becoming either too campy or sanctimonious. It has the power to make an audience really understand and internalize why it is an act of bravery to simply live life as herself. With Francisco Reyes. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 2/28). 1 hour, 44 minutes. LC

A QUIET PLACE (PG-13)

A family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. John Krasinski, in his third feature outing as director (he also co-stars), has a lot going for him here: An inventive premise, a terrific cast featuring two extremely effective child actors (Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds), and the always superb Emily Blunt, who can register fear, joy, love and anxiety in one scene without needing to utter a word. He takes all this and runs with it, producing a taut, goose-pimply thriller that earns its jump-out-of-your-seat moments and only occasionally strains its own logic — and then, who really cares? It's a monster flick! (Noveck, The Associated Press — 4/7). 1 hour, 30 minutes. NAM

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (PG-13)

The title refers to the six "infinity stones" scattered around the universe, each conveying a power of sorcery, like the time-warping one held by Doctor Strange. They are dearly sought by Thanos (Josh Brolin, to whom this movie truly belongs), the indestructible Titan warlord, who rules over much of space but would like all of it. In bringing together more than 30 significant characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and enough spandex to clothe a small nation, "Avengers" is a little like launching an invasion after the war was already won. Despite assured dominance, Marvel has gone nuclear. It's really the simple pleasure of seeing so many good actors together that makes "Infinity War" work. With Chris Pratt, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Helmsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Dave Bautista, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana, Jeremy Renner, Vin Diesel, Karen Gilan, Benicio del Toro, Peter Dinklage. 2 hours, 29 minutes. BC / BM / NAM

BOOK CLUB (PG-13)

The lives of four lifelong friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous "50 Shades of Grey." "Book Club" has a script that's often so heavy on the corn — make that corn syrup — that it strains credulity and leaves you groaning. But then, darn it, suddenly it makes you tearful, with an unexpectedly genuine moment, or laugh out loud. It's a credit to the cast, and the cast only — how many decades of top-level acting experience do we have here? All four women are fun, but allow us a special shoutout to the wonderfully witty presence of Bergen, who makes something worthwhile of every line she's given. With Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen. 1 hour, 44 minutes. BC / BM / TC

DEADPOOL 2 (R)

If "Deadpool" was an origin story, "Deadpool 2" is a quest tale and our hero this time encounters the time traveling soldier Cable (Josh Brolin), a motley crew of mutants he calls X-Force and various superheroes and mutants, all set to a lively soundtrack that includes Air Supply, Peter Gabriel, "Annie" and an original song with filthy lyrics. Ryan Reynolds is once again at his arch and nihilist best here, while acting and jumping in so much facial prosthetics that it makes him look like he's inside melted cheese — or, as the first movie put it, an avocado that had relations with an older avocado. To really appreciate "Deadpool 2" you have to have seen the original and probably every other Marvel superhero film, too. And be up on pop culture, from Cher to Broadway musicals. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 5/19). 1 hour, 59 minutes. 1 hour, 59 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC / TM

DISOBEDIENCE (R)

From director Sebasti n Lelio ("A Fantastic Woman") and based on Naomi Alderman's book, this film is a measured and sometime tedious character study set in a small Orthodox Jewish community in North London about a woman coming home after years away. It's a film that seems at first to be about one thing, but it transforms into something quite different and the journey is a compelling one. McAdams and Weisz are on fire in "Disobedience" showing sides to their talents that we've never seen before. "Disobedience" might not look like it's for everyone on the surface, but its specificity is what makes it worthy and, almost, great. With Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 5/21. 1 hour, 54 minutes. TC

I FEEL PRETTY (PG-13)

A woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet, without realizing her appearance hasn't changed. On the plus side, it's often a pleasantly entertaining ride with the always appealing Amy Schumer, and its heart is in the right place. It also features a truly terrific comic turn by Michelle Williams. On the minus side, it muddles its message with an overstuffed script, choppy editing, and some unnecessarily over-the-top moments. Not to mention a sappy ending that actually comes close to contradicting its own premise. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 4/23). 1 hour, 50 minutes. BM / NAM

LIFE OF THE PARTY (PG-13)

When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime and dedicated housewife Deanna turns regret into reset by going back to college. Unfortunately, she winds up at the same school as her less-than-thrilled daughter. With Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph. 1 hour, 45 minutes. BM / NAM / TM

RBG (PG)

An engrossing, entertaining and unabashedly adoring new documentary about now-legendary 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 5/11). 1 hour, 37 minutes. IC / TC / TM

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (PG-13)

Young Han is scrappy and overconfident and makes things up as he goes along, unafraid to lie or trust his gut. It's how he ends up not only getting out, but escaping military service and hooking up with a band of outlaws led by Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), who functions as mentor and possible cautionary tale for the impressionable Han. They'll soon meet up with the man Beckett is working for, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), and encounter Han's old friend from Corellia, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) before taking off on a dangerous smuggling mission. There's a lot for fans to digest as the film speeds through a check-list of Han's origin components, like how he meets Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and how he comes across the Millennium Falcon. Alden Ehrenreich, does not look or sound like Harrison Ford, and it's difficult to adjust at the beginning. You can't help but scrutinize every gesture, every smirk, every aside as you try to get used to him. Eventually you do, and the talented Ehrenreich wins you over with his execution, capturing Han's spirit, his sarcasm, egotism and charm with apparent ease. "Solo" is a straightforward piece of pulpy entertainment with some very agreeable performances from Ehrenreich and Glover, who seems to be having the most fun of all the actors in playing up Lando's suave demeanor, and fun classic Western flourishes, despite the excessively big action sequences. The best moments in "Solo" are the simpler ones: The romance, the friendships, the clashing egos. Perhaps a lesson for the inevitable sequel. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 5/24). 2 hours, 15 minutes. BC / BM / CT / NAM / TC / TM

SHOW DOGS (PG)

In Raja Gosnell's canine comedy, Max (voiced by Ludacris) is a laconic Rottweiler with the New York Police Department who sniffs the trail of an international animal smuggling ring. When the clues lead to a swanky dog show in Las Vegas, Max is assigned to the case as the pooch partner for Frank (Will Arnett), a combative FBI agent. Aided by Frank's agency contacts and Max's purebred informants, the two search for their human culprit. In a movie intended for families, it is frustrating that both humans and hounds who are gendered female find themselves relegated to love interest roles. But if "Show Dogs" sometimes betrays its shaggy charms, there is comfort in remembering that many movies are much dumber than this one, and so few of them have either the good taste or the good manners to compensate with puppies. (Bugbee, New York Times — 5/21). 1 hour, 32 minutes. BM / NAM

THE RIDER (R)

A spiritual and poetic journey into the fading world of the Lakota cowboy, starring the real people who inspired the film. 1 hour, 43 minutes. IC





Legend


The theaters at which the movies listed in Film Clips are playing are:

BC: Beacon Cinema (57 North St., Pittsfield)

BM: Berkshire Mall 10 (Route 8, Lanesborough)

CT
: Crandell Theatre (48 Main St., Chatham, N.Y.)

IC: Images Cinema (50 Spring St.,Williamstown)

LC: Little Cinema (Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield)

NAM: North Adams Movieplex 8 (80 Main St., North Adams)

TC: Triplex Cinema (70 Railroad St., Great Barrington)

TM: The Moviehouse, 48 Main St., Millerton, N.Y.


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