At the movies: Oct. 12, 2012

Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2012, 8:04 am
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New in theaters

Great Escape 14 Stadium Cinemas, Moline:

"Argo" (R)

"Atlas Shrugged: Part 2" (PG-13)

"Here Comes the Boom" (PG)

"Seven Psychopaths" (R)

"Sinister" (R)

Rave Motion Pictures 53, Davenport:

"Argo" (R)

"Atlas Shrugged: Part 2" (PG-13)

"Here Comes the Boom" (PG)

"Seven Psychopaths" (R)

"Sinister" (R)

Nova 6 Cinemas, Moline:

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" (R)

"The Campaign" (R)

"The Dark Knight Rises" (PG-13)

Central Theater, Geneseo:

"End of Watch" (R)

U.S. 61 Drive-in:

"House at the End of the Street" (PG-13) and "The Possession" (PG-13)


These are Roger Ebert's mini-reviews (unless otherwise noted) of some of the movies currently playing in the Quad-Cities area.

"Argo" (R, 120 minutes). Ben Affleck directs and stars in the incredible true story of how, at the height of the Iranian hostage crisis, a CIA agent and a couple of Hollywood professionals dreamed up a cockamamie scheme to free six Americans who were not being held in the American Embassy but had found refuge with the Canadian Embassy. Kept top secret for 18 years, the operation created a fake sci-fi production named "Argo," convinced the Iranians it was real and used it to spirit the Americans out of the country. With lots of tension and also some humor from John Goodman and Alan Arkin as the Hollywood pros involved. Rating: 4 stars.

"Atlas Shrugged Part 2" (PG-13, 112 minutes). With the global economy on the brink of collapse, the vice president of a railroad company discovers a revolutionary motor that could power the world. With Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe and Patrick Fabien. Written by Brian Patrick O'Toole, Duke Sandefur and Duncan Scott. Directed by John Putch. No rating. -- MCT

"Here Comes the Boom" (PG, 105 minutes. An apathetic biology teacher and erstwhile college wrestler moonlights as a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money for his flagging school. With Kevin James, Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler. Written by James and Allan Loeb. Directed by Frank Coraci. No rating. -- MCT

"Seven Psychopaths" (R, 109 minutes). Colin Farrell stars as a blocked Hollywood screenwriter who finds inspiration from a loony group of psychopaths, some in his life and some in his imagination. Christopher Walken excels as a professional dog-napper, Sam Rockwell is his partner and Woody Harrelson is a relentless gangster who comes looking for Bonny, his beloved Shih Tzu, which they hold as hostage. Inspired goofiness written and directed by Martin McDonagh ("In Bruges"). Rating: 3 1/2 stars.

"Sinister" (R, 110 minutes). After discovering a box of mysterious old home movies at his family's new home, a true-crime novelist unleashes an evil supernatural presence. With Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio and James Ransone. Written by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. Directed by Derrickson. No rating. -- MCT

Last week

"Frankenweenie" (Animated comedy, PG, 87 minutes). Young Victor Frankenstein loves his dog, Sparky, and when the mutt runs into traffic and is blindsided, Victor takes inspiration from a science class and re-animates his pet using lightning bolts. Tim Burton's stop-action b&w comedy takes its inspiration from "The Bride of Frankenstein" and other horror movies, and the character of Mr. Rzykruski, the science teacher, is certainly modeled on Vincent Price. With the voices of Martin Landau, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Charlie Tahan and Winona Ryder. Rating: 3 stars.

"Taken 2" (Action, PG-13, 91 minutes). They say that the family that's kidnapped together, stays together, and Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen are back in a pumped-up sequel to "Taken" (2008). This time the whole family is kidnapped by the vengeance-minded Krasniqi (Rade Sherbedgia), whose son was killed by Neeson in the earlier film (after the son attempted to turn the girl into a sex slave, to be sure). First-rate chases tear through (and up) Istanbul, and Neeson does some amazing, lifesaving mental calculations. Rating: 3 stars.

Coming to video Tuesday, Oct. 16

"Moonrise Kingdom" (Comedy, PG-13, 94 minutes, 2012). Wes Anderson's enchanted new film takes place on an island that might as well be ruled by Prospero. Sam and Suzy (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) are young teens who set out on a trek and pitch camp in a hidden cove. Her parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and the Scout master (Edward Norton) follow, aided by the police chief (Bruce Willis) and Social Services (Tilda Swinton). Meanwhile, a hurricane approaches. Whimsical magic realism painted on a gorgeous palette. Rating: 3 1/2 stars.

"Prometheus" (Sc-fi, R, 124 minutes, 2012). A magnificent science fiction film, raising questions about the origin of human life. The spaceship Prometheus arrives at an Earth-sized moon and discovers a vast pyramid containing aliens slumbering in suspended animation. The film combines tantalizing ideas and startling horror. Noomi Rapace plays a crew member with awesome fortitude, Michael Fassbinder is an intriguing android, and Charlize Theron is the ice queen representing the company that financed the ship. Staggering visuals, expert horror, mind-challenging ideas and enough unanswered questions to prime the inevitable sequel. Rating: 4 stars.



Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.

(More History)