Movies: ‘A Most Violent Year,’ ‘Black Sea’

Jan. 29, 2015 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition
Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac are a couple who struggle with their business in “A Most Violent Year.” (A24 Films)

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac are a couple who struggle with their business in “A Most Violent Year.” (A24 Films)

Wide-release film synopses from the Los Angeles Times.

OPENING FRIDAY, JAN. 30

‘The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin’
(Not reviewed)
A soldier is assigned to guard a child who is needed to stop an evil villain. In Filipino with English subtitles. (Not Rated, 1:45) At Kapolei and Pearlridge West

‘Black or White’
** 1/2
A widower (Kevin Costner) raising his biracial granddaughter (Jillian Estell) becomes embroiled in a bitter custody battle when the girl’s paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) turns up seeking custody. With Gillian Jacobs. Written and directed by Mike Binder. (PG-13, 2:01)

‘Black Sea’
**
A rogue submarine captain (Jude Law) assembles a misfit crew to go after a sunken treasure rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea. With Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn. Directed by Kevin Macdonald. (R, 1:54) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18 and Ward Stadium

‘The Loft’
(Not reviewed)
Five married guys sharing a loft in the city to carry out hidden affairs are shocked to find the dead body of an unknown woman there. With Karl Urban, James Marsden and Wentworth Miller. Directed by Erik Van Looy. (R, 1:43) At Pearlridge West

‘A Most Violent Year’
****
In winter 1981, during one of the most crime-ridden winters in New York City’s history, an immigrant businessman (Oscar Isaac) and his family try to stake their claim in the world while rampant violence, decay and corruption threaten to undo all they’ve worked for. With Jessica Chastain and Albert Brooks. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor. (R, 2:05) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18 and Kahala 8

‘Oscar Shorts 2015: Live Action’
***
Separate programs showcasing this year’s Academy Award-nominated live-action short films. Multiple actors, writers and directors. Films in the animated and documentary categories were not reviewed. Live-action and animated shorts will be shown alternately at Kahala 8

‘Project Almanac’
* 1/2
A brilliant high school student (Jonny Weston) and his friends uncover blueprints for a time machine and build one, with potentially dire consequences. With Sofia Black-D’Elia and Sam Lerner. Directed by Dean Israelite. (PG-13, 1:44)

‘Song of the Sea’
*** 1/2
A 10-year-old boy and his younger sister, who is the last of the mythological creatures known as Selkies, embark on a fantastical journey. With the voices of Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan and David Rawle. Directed by Tomm Moore. Animated feature film Oscar nominee. (PG, 1:33) At Kahala 8

NOW PLAYING

‘American Sniper’
***
A biopic about Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the most lethal sharpshooter in U.S. military history, and the danger and personal turmoil he endured. With Sienna Miller and Jake McDorman. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Oscar nominee for best picture and actor. (R, 2:14)

‘Birdman’
****
A washed-up actor (Michael Keaton) famous for playing an iconic superhero struggles to mount a Broadway play. With Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Andrea Riseborough. Written by Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo. Directed by Inarritu. Oscar nominee for best picture, director, actor, supporting actor and supporting actress. (R, 1:59)

‘Blackhat’
*
A convicted hacker (Chris Hemsworth) serving a 15-year sentence is furloughed to hunt a high-level cyber-crime network. With Viola Davis and Tang Wei. Written by Michael Mann and Morgan Davis Foehl. Directed by Mann. (R, 2:13) At Ward Stadium

‘The Boy Next Door’
 1/2
A high school teacher coping with a failed marriage and raising a teenage son has an affair with her much younger neighbor, who becomes increasingly obsessed with her. With Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman and John Corbett. Written by Barbara Curry. Directed by Rob Cohen. (R, 1:31)

‘Cake’
**
A woman becomes fixated on the suicide of a member of her chronic-pain support group and inserts herself into the lives of the husband and son the deceased woman left behind. With Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza and Anna Kendrick. Written by Patrick Tobin. Directed by Daniel Barnz. (NR, 1:38) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18 and Kahala 8

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’
** 1/2
Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf companions battle the dragon Smaug and forces of dark lord Sauron. With Ian McKellen. Directed by Peter Jackson. In 3-D, IMAX and HFR. (PG-13, 2:21)

‘The Imitation Game’
*** 1/2
A biopic about British mathematician and cryptologist Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), who helped the Allies crack Nazi Germany’s Enigma Code during World War II but was persecuted by his own government for homosexuality. With Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode. Directed by Morten Tyldum. (PG-13, 1:54)

‘The Interview’
***
James Franco and Seth Rogen pair up for a farcical film that, thanks to the Sony Pictures hacking scandal, is the movie everyone is talking about. A producer (Rogen) and celebrity talk-show host (Franco) get an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the CIA asks the pair to kill the dictator. (R, 1:52) Streaming on www.youtube.com and www.play.google.com

‘Into the Woods’
** 1/2
In this adaptation of the Tony-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim, a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), who have been cursed by a witch (Meryl Streep), head into a dark forest to make their deepest wishes come true, crossing paths with Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and other classic fairy tale characters. Written by James Lapine. Directed by Rob Marshall. (PG, 2:04)

‘Mortdecai’
*
A roguish art dealer races to recover a stolen painting that may hold the key to a stash of Nazi gold. With Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor. Written by Eric Aronson. Directed by David Koepp. (R, 1:47)

‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’
* 1/2
A museum security guard (Ben Stiller) travels the globe on a quest to save the magic of an ancient artifact that brings history to life. With Robin Williams and Owen Wilson. Directed by Shawn Levy. (PG, 1:37) At Dole Cannery Stadium 18

‘Ode to My Father’
(Not reviewed)
A film that follows a North Korean refugee who loses his father and younger sister during wartime. Yunjin Kim (“Lost”) plays the wife of the refugee. In Korean with English subtitles. (NR, 2:06) At Pearlridge West

‘Paddington’
***
A young Peruvian bear travels to the city in search of a home in this film based on Michael Bond’s children’s books. With Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins. Written and directed by Paul King. (PG, 1:35)

‘Selma’
****
A dramatic account of the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) led a campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. With Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Alessandro Nivola. Directed by Ava DuVernay. Oscar nominee for best picture. (PG-13, 2:08)

‘Strange Magic’
*
Goblins, elves, fairies and imps battle over a powerful potion in this animated musical inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” With the voices of Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood and Kristin Chenoweth. Written by David Berenbaum, Irene Mecchi and Gary Rydstrom. Directed by Rydstrom. (PG, 1:39)

‘Taken 3’
(Not reviewed)
An ex-spook with a very particular set of skills finds himself on the run from a savvy police inspector after being falsely accused of killing his wife. With Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace. Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. Directed by Olivier Megaton. (PG-13, 1:48)

‘The Theory of Everything’
*** 1/2
A biopic about British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne), tracing his days at Cambridge, his romance with future wife Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) and his diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. With Charlie Cox and Emily Watson. Directed by James Marsh. Oscar nominee for best picture, actor and actress. (PG-13, 2:03) At Kahala 8

‘The Wedding Ringer’
** 1/2
A successful but socially awkward groom-to-be (Josh Gad) enlists a best-man-for-hire (Kevin Hart) to fill out his half of the bridal party. With Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting. Written by Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender. Directed by Garelick. (R, 1:41)

‘Whiplash’
*** 1/2
A determined 19-year-old jazz drummer (Miles Teller) at an elite music conservatory is pushed to the brink by his autocratic instructor (J.K. Simmons). Written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Oscar nominee for best picture and supporting actor. (R, 1:46)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

‘Game of Thrones’
The last two episodes (9 and 10) of last season’s HBO hit show make it to the IMAX screen. Season five begins on April 12. At Dole Cannery Stadium 18

The Met: ‘Les Contes d’Hoffmann’
Jacques Offenbach’s tale features Vittorio Grigolo in the title role with American soprano Erin Morley in her debut as the mechanical doll Olympia. At 12:55 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dole Cannery Stadium 18. $18-$24

Oscar Classics Film Series
Every Thursday in February, enjoy an Oscar-winning film that has been digitally remastered. Films scheduled are: “Braveheart,” Thursday; “An American in Paris,” Feb. 12; “The Godfather,” Feb. 19; and “Gone with the Wind,” Feb. 26. At Ward Stadium. $7

Director Jorge Guiterrez based the design of his animated feature “The Book of Life” on Mexican folk art. (20th Century Fox)

Director Jorge Guiterrez based the design of his animated feature “The Book of Life” on Mexican folk art.
(20th Century Fox)

DORIS DUKE THEATRE
Honolulu Museum of Art,
900 S. Beretania St. (532-8768, honolulumuseum.org); $10, $8 for members

Eighth annual bollywood film festival

‘The Lunchbox’
12:30 p.m. Friday
A bored young housewife decides to spice up her marriage by sending lunchboxes to her neglectful husband at work, but they’re delivered to another office worker, who responds to her simple notes. The mixup leads to an unexpected friendship between two lonely people. In Hindi with English subtitles. (2014, India, 1:44)

Opera on Screen: ‘The Barber of Seville: Opera de Paris’
1 p.m. Sunday and 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, $20, $18 for members
Gioachino Rossini’s comic masterpiece pits old opera against the new in a performance captured live in September. (Opera in two acts, 3:04)

‘In the Realm of the Senses: Ai no korida’
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a question-and-answer session
Oshima Nagisa’s controversial film tells the tale of a torrid affair in prewar Japan and is part of programming related to the museum’s current exhibition, “Modern Love: 20th-Century Japa­nese Erotic Art.” Rated NR-17. In Japa­nese with English subtitles. (1976, Japan, 1:49)

MOVIE MUSEUM
3566 Harding Ave. (735-8771); $5, $4 members

‘The Book of Life’
Noon, 3:45, 5:30 and 9:15 p.m. Friday; and 2:30 and 9:15 p.m. Sunday
This animated fantasy, voiced by Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum, is based on Mexico’s Day of the Dead and revolves around a love triangle between Maria, macho Joaquin and sensitive Manolo. Rated PG. (2014, 1:35)

‘Rudderless’
1:45 and 7:15 p.m. Friday
William H. Macy’s directorial debut about a grieving father who finds his deceased son’s stash of demo tapes and lyrics, and forms a band. With Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Laurence Fishburne and Selena Gomez. Rated R for language. (2014, 1:45)

‘Fury’
Noon, 2:30, 6:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday
A commander of a Sherman tank in Germany in April 1945 finds his crew outnumbered and outgunned against the Allies as they make their final push to Berlin. With Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf, Logan Lerman and Michael Pena. (2014, U.K./China/U.S., 2:14)

‘Life’s a Breeze’
5 p.m. Saturday and noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m. Monday
Four grown children decide to clear out their mother’s cluttered home, hauling away loads of old newspapers, paperback novels and an ancient mattress. Little do the siblings know that stuffed in the mattress was 1 million euros — and a frantic search begins. Rated R for language. (2013, Ireland/Sweden, 1:23)

‘The Judge’
Noon, 4:15 and 6:45 p.m. Sunday
An arrogant big-time attorney from Chicago returns to his hometown in Indiana to attend his mother’s funeral. While he can’t stand the sight of his estranged father, a powerful and influential man townies call the Judge, he is forced to defend him when accusations of murder arise. With Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton. Rated R. (2014, 2:21)

‘Elsa y Fred’
1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Monday
This love story centers on a 77-year-old hypochondriac named Fred and a joyous 82-year-old woman named Elsa. A framed picture of Anita Ekberg hangs on the wall in Elsa’s apartment; Elsa believes she is Anita and refuses to let reality squash her dreams. In Spanish with English subtitles. (2005, Argentina/Spain, 1:48)

‘The Price of Forgiveness’
Noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday
Two young men vying for the beautiful and flirtatious Maxoye try to capture her heart by trying to save their Senegalese village, where a thick fog is preventing fishermen from working and the fish have mysteriously disappeared. For ages 13 and older. In Wolof with English subtitles. (2001, Senegal/France, 1:30)

‘Nothing but the Best’
1:45, 5:15 and 8:45 p.m. Thursday
Black comedy about a handsome and talented working-class man who is stuck in a job with no advancement opportunities. He befriends an upper-class man and discovers other ways of getting to the top. For ages 13 and older. (1964, U.K., 1:39)

MONDAY MOVIE NIGHT @ FRESH CAFE
7 p.m. Monday, 1111 Nuuanu Ave. (436-4326), $5 at the door

Double-feature:
» ‘Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution’
Vanessa Schultz directs this documentary about our permaculture community, seeking to inspire viewers to create a sustainable future. (2013, 0:27)

» ‘The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil’
The people of Cuba faced an ongoing challenge once they lost access to Soviet oil in the early 1990s. This film, directed by Faith Morgan, tells the story of Cuba’s transition from a mechanized agricultural system to an organic farming system based on local, urban gardens. (2006, 0:53)

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