Your Weekend in Film

Partner up to switch things up

Two (or more) minds are better than one, as all the new releases landing in theatres this weekend will prove. Of note is the return to writer Philip K. Dick’s bleak, neon-glazed, and perpetually drenched future that went underappreciated when it debuted in 1982.

This Week’s Pick: Blade Runner 2049

The sequel to Ridley Scott’s other influential sci-fi outing sees replicant-retiring officer K (Ryan Gosling) unearthing a truth connected to Deckard (Harrison Ford) and the future of our species. Marc Savlov: “There are layers upon layers of subtext to dig through, but the film is never a slog even at over two-and-a-half hours.” 3.5 stars.

Also Reviewed

Dolores. The life and achievements of National Farmworkers Association’s co-founder are highlighted in this documentary. Marjorie Baumgarten: “Although Huerta lived her feminism, her embrace of that ideology came later in life, perhaps as she witnessed her legacy becoming obscured by the great shadow cast by Chavez and his memory.” 3.5 stars.

Flatliners. Remake-quel of 1990’s med-students-being-too-ambitious horror follows another set of the same crowd. Danielle White: “After the clique first starts taking turns at doing the death, they briefly develop superpowers … for one fleeting moment we could have had a very different film.” 1 star.

The Mountain Between Us. Two strangers must band together to survive alpine-bound hazards after their plane crashes. Marc Savlov: “Both Winslet and Elba acquit themselves admirably, but the budding romance between the two ignites not so much as a flicker of interest from the audience.” 1.5 stars.

Victoria & Abdul. Queen Victoria befriends an Indian clerk and pays no mind to the mounting criticism. Marjorie Baumgarten: “Aside from Abdul’s natural desire to make the most of his opportunity, Lee Hall’s screenplay (based on a book by Shrabani Basu) reveals absolutely nothing about this Muslim man and what he thinks of the situation.” 2.5 stars.

My Little Pony: The Movie. The kaleidoscopic Mane 6 set out to save Ponyville from a villainous entity. Steve Davis: “Inexplicably, three screenwriters receive credit for the script, which rehashes just about every MLP television episode and straight-to-video flick ever made.” 2 stars.

Also Opening

Literally, Right Before Aaron. Common sense is clearly not around when a man attends his ex-girlfriend’s wedding in this romantic comedy.

The Stray. Family-bonding camping trip becomes something more after lightning strikes in this faith-based film.

Trafficked. Three women, victims of a human trafficking ring, devise a plan to escape a Texas brothel.

Year by the Sea. A woman reclaims her pre-husband and pre-children time by moving to a bucolic oceanic town.

Thirst Street. American flight attendant has feelings for a Parisian bartender. It goes downhill from there.

Special Screenings

We sat down with director David Gordon Green, whose film Stronger is currently screening, and talked about the challenges of making a true-story film, heroism, and what’s next.

Grab somebody and come on down to an animated New Orleans when The Princess and the Frog screens Friday. Of the fairy-tale musical, Marjorie Baumgarten writes: “Directors Clements and Musker are the guys behind Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, and they employ their keen senses of story, pacing, and killer comic rhythm to support a new twist (several, actually) on an old amphibian.”

Have to say, appreciate the wordplay. Celebrate the blazing career of actor Harrison Ford, and ready for his return in Blade Runner 2049, with the Harr-a-Thon Ford: A Ford Fiesta! on Friday and Saturday.

Dare you a double-bill more super. See Wonder Woman and Superman bruising villainy and preserving hope back-to-back from the comfort of your vehicle on Friday. The event should also get you in the mindset for the new Justice League trailer dropping Sunday.

Give a neglected classic some love. After being removed from distribution, rescored, recut, and retitled (many times), the 1973 experimental horror film Ganja & Hess is now in its rightful form, screening throughout the weekend.

Check out the Chronicle's Film Listings for daily showtimes, reviews, and Special Screenings.

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