Movie News & Previews

New Movie Releases

Calvary-01
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, M. Emmet Walsh, Domhnall Gleeson

Calvary

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The Story: An Irish priest is informed (in the confessional) by a parishioner — a victim of sexual abuse by a long dead priest — that he intends to kill the priest to make a statement about the Church. The Lowdown: Part mystery, part black comedy, part tragedy on the nature of faith and redemption, Calvary is a brilliant but deeply disturbing work that's a must-see for those who are up to it.
lets-be-cops
Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans, Jr., Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle, James D’Arcy

Let’s Be Cops

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The Story: Two bored pals take up pretending to be cops and become entangled in taking down a crew of mobsters. The Lowdown: Meandering, joyless tedium in the form of a buddy cop comedy.
expendables-3-ronda-rousey
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes

The Expendables 3

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The Story: The Expendables go after one of their own, a nefarious villain long thought dead. The Lowdown: A superbly uneven and overtly uninteresting journey into machismo and stuff blowing up.
givermovie
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush

The Giver

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The Story: A young man in a supposedly utopian society is chosen to receive the forbidden real history of the world. The Lowdown: Imperfect, but largely well-done and much more provocative — even disturbing — than the usual YA dysfunctional society sci-fi.

Special Screenings This Week

bed2
Starring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Hiroko Berghauer, Barbara Laage

Bed & Board

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In Brief: The next-to-last film in François Truffaut's Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) series is also probably the least successful of the lot. It is certainly the slightest and most prone to rambling. The freshness of the "New Wave" was long gone by 1970 when Truffaut made Bed & Board, and the attempt to make this film emulate the off-the-cuff feel of the earlier films sometimes seems just plain unfocused. (Vignettes have been replaced by digressions that go nowhere.) But Bed & Board is not without its charms or its place in the series, even though our "hero" on occasion comes across as a self-absorbed jerk. Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Bed & Board Friday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com
tessstrawberry
Starring: Nastassja Kinski, Leigh Lawson, Peter Firth, Rosemary Martin, Sylvia Coleridge

Tess

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In Brief: Nominated for six Oscars (winning three), Roman Polanski's Tess (1979) just might be the director's best film — certainly, it's his most beautiful and lyrical. Dedicated to his late wife, Sharon Tate, the film is also possibly his most deeply personal work. Adapted — pretty faithfully — from Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the film recounts the tragic life of Tess Durbeyfield (Nastassja Kinski), whose life is marked for all time when she is seduced (raped might be nearer the mark) by a wealthy man. It's at once a strongly romantic work and one that is critical of the way women were treated at the time. An altogether compelling and deeply moving film — and quite possibly the most gorgeously photographed movie of all time. The Asheville Film Society is showing Tess Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at The Carolina Asheville as part of the Budget Big Screen series. Admission is $6 for AFS members and $8 for the general public.
houndhalfsheet
Starring: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi, Francis de Wolff, Miles Malleson

The Hound of the Baskervilles

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In Brief: The most famous of all Sherlock Holmes stories gets the Hammer horror treatment — not inappropriate for a tale about a hound from hell — and the results are very good indeed. In fact, this 1959 film may well be the best version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is certainly the most unnerving version and one of the only films to present Holmes (Peter Cushing) as a twitchy, arrogant drug-addict. The well-known story lends itself nicely to the spooky treatment, it looks terrific and the performances could scarcely be bettered. The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Hound of the Baskervilles Sunday, Aug. 24, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.
phantom-of-the-opera-1925-9700-p-1386154742-970-75
Starring: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland

The Phantom of the Opera

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In Brief: Yes, it has its problems — an uninspired director, the look of a typically static Hollywood silent, a botched big scene, a bewildering array of different versions — but The Phantom of the Opera (1925) is still the first large-scale American horror film and retains the power to fascinate. Much of this is due to the makeup and performance of Lon Chaney as Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, but don't sell short the sheer size of the production. For anything it doesn't get quite right, it's a film that understands spectacle. Plus, it retains the ability to be exciting — no small feat for a movie that's nearly 90 years old. The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen The Phantom of the Opera Thursday, Aug. 21, at 8 p.m. in Theater Six  at The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.
troubleinparadise
Starring: Miriam Hopkins, Herbert Marshall, Kay Francis, Edward Everett Horton, Charles Ruggles, C. Aubrey Smith

Trouble in Paradise

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In Brief: If you could uncork a magnum of Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne and turn it into a movie, what you'd get would be a lot like Ernst Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise (1932). It is the sparkling quintessence of sophisticated comedy and stylish filmmaking. It's a cheekily and cheerfully amoral tale of archthief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) — "the man who walked into the bank of Monte Carlo and walked out with the bank of Monte Carlo" — and his equally larcenous girlfriend Lily (Miriam Hopkins), who find themselves in the position of possibly fleecing a glamorous rich widow (Kay Francis). Glossy, funny and as nearly perfect as a film can be. The Asheville Film Society will screen Trouble in Paradise Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.