Woody Allen Needs To Be Absolutely Fabulous

The new Woody Allen film, which features such A-listers as Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, dominates the weekend’s openings. However, it could be argued that the Absolutely Fabulous movie has more wit and bad behavior to burn than anything Woody Allen could produce.

For those looking for something a little less intimidating, there’s a documentary about a heavy metal/speed punk band composed of 12- to 13-year-olds who’ve gotten their big break.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprise their classic TV sitcom characters for the big screen. High living Londoners Patsy (Lumley) and Edina (Saunders) get subjected to constant media hounding after they get blamed for a major incident at a spectacularly trendy launch party. The duo flee to the French Riviera, the playground of the rich. Being penniless doesn’t stop Patsy and Edina from cooking up a scheme to live the high life again and forever!

Opens July 22 at the Aquarius Theatre, the Embarcadero Center Cinemas, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the UA Stonestown Twin

The Blackout Experiments

Rich Fox’s horror documentary concerns several people who have immersed themselves in the horror experience known as Blackout. Participants go to a secret location. Once inside, they are subjected to frightening, painful, or even sensual experiences playing on their deepest fears. Some participants find the experience traumatic. But what of those who become obsessed with repeating a Blackout session?

Opens July 22 at the Roxie Theatre

Breaking A Monster

Luke Meyer’s documentary follows the breakout year of the heavy metal/speed punk band Unlocking The Truth. The band consists of three teenage friends from Brooklyn, aged 12 and 13 years. A YouTube video of an Unlocking The Truth performance turns the boys into an Internet sensation. Coachella and even a Sony Records contract wait in the band’s future. But can these boys deliver the music?

Opens July 22 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Cafe Society

The new film from Woody Allen is a bittersweet romance partly set in 1930s Hollywood. Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) wants more out of life than working in his father’s jewelry store. Bobby flees to Hollywood to work for his high-powered agent uncle Phil (Steve Carell). Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), Uncle Phil’s assistant, and Bobby fall in love. However, the New Yorker’s plan to marry Vonnie, return to the East Coast, and get involved in high society nightlife doesn’t lead to the happy ending he envisions.

Opens July 22 at the Albany Twin, the Embarcadero Center Cinemas, and the Piedmont Theatre


In this Philippine suspense thriller, actor Enrique Gil does something different from his usual romantic comedy roles. Carlo (Gil) is the only son of a wealthy family. However, there are hints that the family’s wealth comes from questionable dealings by Carlo’s Customs official father. Then Carlo himself gets kidnapped by a gang of robbers…

Opens July 22 at the Century at Tanforan

For A Few Bullets

In 1940 China, a pair of thieves plot to steal a rare treasure. But plot goes by the wayside as the film’s dedicated to tossing in as many chases, action sequences, and sloppy contrivances as possible. If the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” revival crew don’t pick up this film for comic riffing, it will be very disappointing.

Opens July 22 at the AMC Metreon 16

Imagine You And Me

Gara (Maine Mendoza) works as an OFW near Italy’s Lake Como. Though in her 20s, the young woman believes her love life has been jinxed since birth. Her only emotional refuge is in romantic fantasies. Then one day, medical student Andrew (Alden Richards) catches Gara’s eye. She’s attracted to his romantic waiting for a woman who never comes. However, her dreams get dashed by Andrew’s being one of her employers’ nephews…and by Andrew’s own surly attitude. Will Gara and Andrew find in each other the love they seek?

Opens July 22 at the Century at Tanforan

One Night Only

In this Chinese crime drama, ex-con Gao Ye returns to civilian life. However, his life is in ruins thanks to his excess gambling. A mysterious prostitute’s proposition leads Ye to formulate an audacious scheme to rebuild his life. But his plan soon goes badly awry. Will Ye and the hooker live to see another day?

Opens July 22 at the AMC Metreon 16

Three Wise Cousins

In this romantic comedy from New Zealand, Adam is a New Zealand Samoan man who has a crush on Mary. Unfortunately for the lovestruck man, Mary only likes “real” Pacific Island men. To achieve that sense of realness, Adam returns to his motherland to get a crash course from cousins Mose and Tavita on being more Samoan. However, between such activities as climbing a coconut tree barefoot and getting wakened by a Samoan alarm clock, the potential lover may soon regret his return to Samoa.

Screens July 22 at the UA Berkeley 7 and the UA Stonestown Twin

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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