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Tom Hiddleston In The Class War Middle

The strongest of this week’s openings happen to be literary adaptations. The Matteo Garrone film adapts a trio of bizarre folktales with the help of Salma Hayek among others. The Ben Wheatley film features Tom Hiddleston in the lead role of a man caught in the middle of a literal class war.

If seeing Tom Hiddleston really lose it over buying a paint can doesn’t do it for you, go for the high octane shootings and punchouts seen in a film directed by a former assistant to Ringo Lam and Johnnie To.

Being Charlie

In this new drama from Rob Reiner (Stand By Me), Charlie Mills has treated substance abuse rehab like a revolving door. But on his newest return home, the now 18-year-old Charlie gets an unwelcome surprise. His gubernatorial candidate father (Cary Elwes) has staged an intervention to force Charlie to finally confront his substance abuse issues. At the new adult rehabilitation facility, the candidate’s son meets and falls in love with kindred spirit Eva (Morgan Saylor). But will Charlie’s new romance finally lead him to healing, or will it be another dead end?

Opens May 13 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas

Dark Horse

This documentary concerns a group of Welsh workingmen who decide to breed a racehorse. The foal, raised in a mining village slagheap, becomes both a source of inspiration to its owners as well as a champion which beats the finest thoroughbreds. But a near fatal accident befalling the workingmen’s horse threatens to end their dreams.

Opens May 13 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas

High-Rise

Director Ben Wheatley (A Field In England) adapts J.G. Ballard’s satirical novel of class warfare in a modern high-rise skyscraper. Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) moves into a luxurious 40-story apartment building designed by the enigmatic Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons). In this building, the floor you live on reflects your social standing. Dr. Laing lives high enough to socialize with both upper class bohemian Charlotte (Sienna Miller) and the charismatic lower class documentarian Wilder (Luke Evans) and his wife Helen (Elizabeth Moss). But power failures and design problems whose effects fall heavily on the building’s lower class residents soon sparks social unrest. Seeing Tom Hiddleston both dance with a group of stewardesses and making the viewer’s gorge rise twice (not at the same time) makes this film a must see.

Opens May 13 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Kill Zone 2

Soi Cheang, former Johnnie To and Ringo Lam assistant, helms this spectacular martial arts action thriller. Tony Jaa (Ong Baak) is a principled Thai prison guard whose daughter is dying of leukemia. His daughter’s only hope is the bone marrow of a particular prisoner: a betrayed undercover cop (Wu Jing). However, the prison’s corrupt warden (Zhang Jin) is in league with a black market organ-trafficking ring. Lots of righteous ass-kicking naturally result.

Opens May 13 at the 4-Star Theatre

Men And Chicken

Gabriel and Elias (Mads Mikkelsen) are two socially maladjusted brothers who travel to the isolated Danish island of Ork to re-connect with their roots. The brothers’ search leads them to a ruined and abandoned house where both men and animals live together. Yet the human residents of this house also share Gabriel and Elias’ hereditary harelip and loony behavioral tendencies. Why that is, you’ll have to see for yourself. Definitely one for the weird humor fans.

Opens May 13 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Sundown

In this coming-of-age comedy, high school seniors Logan and Blake head for Puerto Vallarta for Spring Break debauchery. However, the partying gets curtailed when local beauty Gaby (Camilla Belle) steals a Rolex watch belonging to Logan’s grandfather. The boys track the stolen heirloom down to a local gangster’s lair. However, that criminal chief wants to be paid triple the watch’s value before he’ll return it. And that’s just the beginning…

Opens May 13 at the Shattuck Cinemas

Tale Of Tales

Matteo Garrone (director of the widely acclaimed Gomorrah) goes from gangsters to gothic with this adaptation of three fantastically macabre tales from 17th century folklorist Giambattista Basile. Darkwood’s King (John C. Reilly) and Queen (Salma Hayek) decide to conceive a child through very unusual means. Highhills’ none-too-bright King (Toby Jones) marries his daughter off to an ogre and gets obsessed with breeding a giant flea. Finally, Strongcliff’s sex-obsessed King (Vincent Cassel) gets an unpleasant surprise regarding the woman he’s fallen in love with.

Opens May 13 at the Roxie Theatre

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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