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Al Gore Still Inspires Humanity To Fight Climate Change

Do you think Al Gore gave up when climate deniers managed to stall efforts against climate change? As the sequel to the Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth shows, our former Vice President believes it’s still not too late to unleash a renewable energy revolution.

For those who want the inspiration of Al Gore but without the depressing subject matter, try a Sundance hit documentary about the senior class of a special Baltimore charter school.

Those seeking something a lot more offbeat have two praiseworthy films to choose from. One involves a children’s show made for an audience of one. The other is a science fiction horror tale using alien sex to comment on Mexican sexual politics.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

A decade after An Inconvenient Truth hit the public consciousness, this follow-up documentary follows the country-hopping ex-Vice President Al Gore. Not only is he helping train an international army of climate champions, but he’s influencing international climate policy behind the scenes. Despite President Trump and the Koch Brothers, Al Gore still believes that human ingenuity and determination can propel the world into an energy revolution.

Now at the Alamo Drafthouse, the AMC Bay Street 16, the CineArts at the Empire, the CineArts Sequoia, the Embarcadero Center Cinemas, the Piedmont Theatre, the Redwood Downtown 20, and the Shattuck Cinemas

The Battleship Island

During World War II, the Japanese Army forced thousands of Koreans and Chinese to work the Japanese mining operation at Hashima Island, located off the coast of Nagasaki. Director Ryoo Seung-wan’s action film builds its story of the captive laborers’ escape from the Japanese hellhole through the stories of five characters. They are: a jazz musician and his young daughter, a Seoul mobster, a comfort woman, and a ruthlessly efficient Office of Strategic Services operative. Needless to say, Korean flag-waving and hissing at Japanese soldiers is highly encouraged.

Now at the Century 20 Daly City

Brigsby Bear

Brigsby Bear is the title of a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James (Kyle Mooney). When the show abruptly ends on a cliffhanger, James’ world seriously changes as he sets out to finish the story himself. But there’s more to the film than this bare bones description hints at.

Now at the AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8 and the Century San Francisco Centre 9

Finally Found Someone

Disgraced PR strategist Raffy tries to rebuild his reputation by taking on #ChosBride April as a client. April created a viral sensation when she publicly caused a scene after she was stood up at the altar. Raffy figures the best way to help April is to repair her broken heart. But personal feelings start creating complications.

Now at the Century 20 Daly City and the Century at Tanforan

From The Land Of The Moon

Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard stars in this post-World War II romantic drama about the pursuit of true love at all costs. The free-spirited Gabrielle (Cotillard) lives in a small South of France village, dreaming of finding true love. However, such dreams are considered scandalous in that post-World War II society. Gabrielle’s parents marry her off to honest laborer Jose to make Gabrielle “respectable.” Yet the young woman feels imprisoned by social respectability. Hope comes when Gabrielle meets injured Indochinese War veteran Andre Sauvage (Louis Garrel). She’s convinced that they can run away together, but will her dream become reality?

Now at the Opera Plaza Cinemas

Jab Harry Met Sejal

The newest pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Anoushka Sharma is a romantic drama. Harry (Khan) is a footloose Indian tour guide with relationship issues. Sejal (Sharma), a sheltered woman from a well-to-do family, needs Harry’s services to track down a lost engagement ring. But as they search through various European locales, Harry appoints himself Sejal’s protector. Guess what eventually happens.

Now at the AMC Van Ness 14 and the Century 12 San Mateo

Person To Person

On one day in New York City, a variety of characters deal with questions of life both mundane and profound. A fanatical music lover’s trying to make a big score on a vintage record. The music lover’s heartbroken roommate is trying to correct a terrible mistake. A teenager witnesses her best friend’s new relationship. And a trainee reporter at a tabloid covers a murder case involving a life-weary clock shop owner. The cast includes Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson, and Philip Baker Hall.

Now at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Some Freaks

Ian MacAllister McDonald’s debut feature tells the story of three flawed high-school friends making the transition to college and wondering whether their flaws are part of their identities. Matt is shy and scrawny and wears an eyepatch. Closeted Elmo is publicly a homophobe. Jill is a spectacularly overweight teen. Jill and Matt become a couple until she goes away to college, and they’re separated for six months. But when Jill returns fifty pounds lighter and looking conventionally pretty, Matt panics out of fear that he won’t be able to hold on to her.

Now at the AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8

Step

Amanda Lipitz’ Sundance hit takes viewers into Baltimore’s inner city. Her documentary subjects are the high school senior class of Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. The school’s goal is to have all these girls from low-income homes accepted into college. Many of these girls would be the first in their families to do so. What allows these girls to bond together is step performance, which uses the body as both a percussive and expressive instrument.

Now at the AMC Bay Street 16, the AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8, the California Theatre and the Century San Francisco Centre 9

The Untamed

Amat Escalante’s award-winning science fiction sexual horror drama makes its Bay Area theatrical debut. Alejandra and brother Fabian are both sexually dominated by the tyrannical Angel. One day, a strung out yet strangely exhilarated young woman named Veronica comes to the clinic Fabian works at. She’s there to get treatment for a supposed dog bite. But after befriending both Alejandra and Fabian, the exhilarated woman directs the siblings to a countryside chalet. The elderly scholarly couple who live there have a mysterious guest responsible for Veronica’s condition. But not everyone who meets the guest leaves strangely exhilarated.

Now 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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