Weekend movies: ‘Captive State’ sets alien invasion in Chicago

One of the most unexpected thrill rides from the summer of 2011 was Rupert Wyatt’s whip-smart “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

This week, Wyatt seeks to get back into our good graces after a forgettable follow-up, “The Gambler,” which all but folded even with Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson in it.

In “Captive State,” Wyatt returns to fertile sci-fi terrain a fed-up nation revolts against alien invaders and the formidable lies they’ve been force-fed. It’s set in Chicago and stars Ashton Sanders, John Goodman and Vera Farmiga. We have high hopes.

If sci-fi doesn’t razzle-dazzle you, three other big studio releases might just work.

For families, there’s “Wonder Park,” an animated romp wherein an amusement park from one girl’s active imagination becomes fully realized later in her life. Too bad irritating chimpanzombies are going bananas over tearing it down.

For teens and tweens who embraced “The Fault in Our Stars” and are devotees of “Riverdale” (and who isn’t?), there’s “Five Feet Apart.” It stars “Riverdale” heartthrob Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson as cystic fibrosis patients who become romantically involved. “Jane the Virgin” actor Justin Baldoni helms his first feature, a debut certain to leave audiences a total bawling wreck.

For adults craving character-focused dramas, hang with “Gloria Bell” starring the radiant Julianne Moore. It’s an American redo of 2013’s Chile’s exceptional “Gloria,” which took a deep dive into the single life of a 50-something woman who lives vibrantly and embarks on a new relationship found on the dance floor. Sebastian Lelio returns to direct this L.A.-set version.

Indie offerings

Topping the list is “Ash Is Purest White,” a distinct slow-burner that you’ll piece apart days afterwards. From the justly celebrated filmmaker Jia Zhangke, it’s a thoughtfully constructed, occasionally funny melodrama delving into the complex relationship between a gangster (Fan Liao) and his industrious girlfriend (Tao Zhao, in an impeccable performance). Their human drama plays out while China’s evolution is evocatively crystalized in the background. It opens Friday in Berkeley, San Francisco and San Rafael, and then opens March 22 in Fremont, Santa Clara and Milpitas.

Another must-see is “Sorry Angel,” a subtle, poignant gay romance set in 1993 Paris. Christophe Honore’s beautifully directed and acted piece follows a charismatic 21-year-old in pursuit of a writer who’s a dad and is also HIV-positive. It’s an observant film that fully commits to creating unforgettable, multi-dimensional characters. Pierre Deladonchamps, as the writer, and Vincent Lacoste, as the

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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