At the movies: Jan. 18, 2013

Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013, 2:19 pm
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New in theaters

Regal 14 Stadium Cinemas, Moline:

-- "Broken City" (R) -- "The Last Stand" (R) -- "Mama" (PG-13) Rave Motion Pictures 53, Davenport: -- "Broken City" (R)
-- "The Last Stand" (R)
-- "Mama" (PG-13)

Nova 6 Cinemas, Moline:
-- "Anna Karenina" (R) Central Theater, Geneseo:
-- "Lincoln" (PG-13)

Aledo Opera House: -- "Red Dawn" (PG-13)
These are mini-reviews of some of the movies currently playing in the Quad-Cities area.

"Texas Chainsaw 3D" (R, 92 minutes).As with far too many recent horror sequels and reboots, "Texas Chainsaw 3D," the latest off-target entry in the once radically unnerving series, has little on its mind beyond good-time gore.For those mapping along, this "Chainsaw" is a direct sequel to the original 1974 film, negating the previous sequels and ignoring the more recent reboot and prequel.The original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" leaves audiences feeling hollowed out, dispirited and dissolute. "Texas Chainsaw 3D" is simply a bummer for being a big nothing. -- Los Angeles Times

"Les Miserables" (PG-13, 158 minutes).The people who put "Les Misérables" on screen dreamed a mighty dream, they really did. They dreamed of filming one of the most popular of modern theatrical musicals — 60 million tickets sold in 42 countries and 21 languages since its 1980 Paris debut — in a way that had not been done before, enhancing the emotion of what already was a hugely emotional piece. And, despite some built-in obstacles, they succeeded to a surprising extent. -- Los Angeles Times
Following are Roger Ebert's mini-reviews of new video releases.

Coming to video Tuesday, Jan. 22: "Pina" (PG, 103 min.). A 3-D performance film by Wim Wenders, based on the work of the much-loved German choreographer Pina Bausch, who died shortly before filming began. I watched the film in a sort of reverie. The dancers seemed particularly absorbed. They had performed these dances many times before, but always with Pina Bausch present. Now they were on their own, in homage. Rating: Three and a half stars.
"For a Good Time, Call..." (R, 86 min.). Two enemies from college become roommates in a luxury Manhattan apartment and support themselves by running a phone sex service. Starring Lauren Anne Miller, Ari Graynor and Justin Long as the obligatory gay best friend. Stupid, vulgar, crass and mercilessly formulaic. High-spirited performances by Miller and Graynor, who deserve better material. Rating: Two stars.
"Keep the Lights On" (Not rated, 103 min.) follows a long-term relationship between two men who possibly shouldn't have started it. Erik (Thure Lindhardt) is a Danish filmmaker living in Manhattan. Paul (Zachary Booth) works in publishing. They meet through a phone sex chat line, feel instant chemistry, and begin an on-again, off-again romance filled with jealousy, uneasiness and disappointment. Perceptive character study, said to be autobiographical, by Ira Sachs. Has a hypnotic, gloomy intensity. Rating: Three and a half stars.
"Searching for Sugar Man" (PG-13, 86 min.). About a man who was known only by his music, named Rodriguez, whose face was half-hidden by long, flowing hair and dark glasses; he sang in folk music bars with his back turned to the audience. His first album got a rare four-star review from Billboard. Neither it nor the second one sold well, and the story seemed to end there. But several years later his albums traveled half the world away to South Africa, where bootleg copies passed from hand to hand and his songs became anthems of the anti-apartheid movement. He outsold Elvis and the Beatles. Yet the real Rodriguez remained a mystery, and this documentary -- spellbinding and inspirational -- is about the search for the real man. Rating: Four stars.
"End of Watch" (R, 109 min.). One of the best police movies in recent years, a virtuoso joining of performances and startling action. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as Taylor and Zavala, two Los Angeles street cops who bend a few rules but must be acknowledged as heroes. They're transferred to a tough district, where their persistence leads them to a Mexican drug cartel operating in L.A. This is really an assignment for a detective, but they don't avoid risk, and eventually become so dangerous to the cartel that a hit is ordered against them. Rating: Four stars.
"The Possession" (PG-13, 92 min.). The possession of the title is a dark wood box with a carved inscription in Hebrew informing the finder that it entraps a dybbuk, an evil spirit that will cleave to the soul of anyone unlucky enough to release it. This box turns up in a yard sale, and is purchased by a young girl named Em (Natasha Calis). Her divorced parents are played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, Matisyahu is effective as a Hasidic exorcist. The people are persuasive, the box is scary. Rating: Three and a half stars.



Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.

(More History)