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Robert Pattinson Combs NYC For Bail Money

Robert Pattinson plays a desperate brother in a new crime thriller. Those used to seeing Robert Pattinson in a heart-throb role will have a freak-out. Others will feel Pattinson’s extending his range.

Equally controversial, yet not starring Robert Pattinson, is Bertrand Bonello’s look at contemporary terrorism. This film will provoke praise or scorn, never indifference.

Edgy comedy fans have a couple of strong choices. In one, Aubrey Plaza plays an Instagram stalker. In the other, Brett Gelman gets his white privilege ridiculed.

Whatever you decide to see, life’s too short to waste it on crappy movies unless you’re watching MST3K or Rifftrax.

The Adventurers

Master thief Zhang (Andy Lau) enlists the help of tech specialist Po (Tony Yang) and sexy master of disguise Red (Shu Qi) to pull off the heist of a lifetime. Their target: three pieces of rare jewelry kept in super-secure locations around the world. Their problem: a determined cop (Jean Reno) determined to bring the thieves down.

Opens August 18 at the AMC Metreon 16

Dave Made A Maze

Would-be artist Dave has an unfortunate reputation for not completing anything he begins. While girlfriend Annie goes out of town for the weekend, Dave takes up a new, scaled-down project. What could be difficult about building a cardboard maze in his living room? But as Annie discovers on her return three days later, her boyfriend’s lost inside his maze and refuses to be a quitter by coming out. The girlfriend puts together an odd rescue expedition to enter the maze and find Dave. However, the rescuers discover that: Dave’s maze is a cardboard TARDIS, the maze is booby-trapped, and there’s a minotaur running loose. Oh yes, Dave doesn’t have a maze escape plan.

Opens August 18 at the Roxie Theatre

Escapes

Michael Almereyda’s documentary portrait of old friend Hampton Fancher might best be described as “wind him up and listen to Hampton’s stories about his life.” Fancher might be best known to the average moviegoer as the scripter for Blade Runner. But Almereyda’s subject has also been a flamenco dancer, a TV actor, a lover of beautiful starlets, and a survivor of more than a few near fatal encounters. In short, Fancher might well be the living embodiment of duende.

Opens August 18 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Good Time

Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) robs a bank with the help of his mentally challenged brother Nick (co-director Benny Safdie). But booby-trapped loot leads to Nick getting arrested and sent to Riker’s Island. Connie embarks on a series of misadventures over the course of one very long night to raise the money to get Nick bailed out. Through this long evening, there will be encounters with an LSD-filled soda bottle, a vicious attack dog, and an amusement park break-in. Josh and Benny Safdie’s crime drama could be a welcome throwback to 1970s crime films. Or Good Time could do for Robert Pattinson what Spring Breakers did for Selena Gomez as far as their fans are concerned.

Now at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas and the AMC Metreon 16

Hare Krishna! The Mantra, The Movement, And The Swami Who Started It All

In this documentary, John Greisser recounts the story of how Srila Prabhupada founded a spiritual movement that would eventually become an international sensation. Beginning in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury during the 1960s counterculture movement, Prabhupada’s movement would catch on with the hippies and even gain celebrity followers such as Allen Ginsberg. But as a Hollywood Reporter reviewer notes, don’t expect the film to address the controversies surrounding the Hare Krishnas.

Opens August 18 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood

Ingrid Goes West

Instafriendship-obsessed Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) has just been released from a mental hospital. (The hospital stay resulted from Ingrid’s macing an Instafriend bride at her wedding reception.) Scrolling through Instagram, the mentally unbalanced woman picks a new object of obsession: Instagram influencer Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). Using her mother’s inheritance, Ingrid stalks Taylor through social media and eventually becomes a real life friend to the influencer. But how long can their relationship really last?

Now at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas and the AMC Metreon 16

Lemon

Struggling actor Isaac Lachmann (co-writer Brett Gelman) finds his life’s taking a high-dive into a very deep toilet. Fellow actors’ careers are flourishing while his languishes. Isaac’s blind girlfriend of 10 years is leaving him. At a family reunion, he’s constantly treated as the family loser. A new romance offers some hope. But he really can’t shake the feeling that he’s the victim of a universe turned feral. One of the highly buzzed films from Sundance’s NEXT section gets its theatrical debut.

Opens August 18 at the Roxie Theatre

Marjorie Prime

The second Michael Almereyda film opening this week is an adaptation of Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play. In the near future, it’s commercially possible to resurrect a departed loved one in age-customized holographic form. Marjorie (Lois Smith, who originated the role) decides to bring back husband Walter (Jon Hamm) at the age at which she first met him. However, the holograms don’t come pre-programmed with the backstory of the recreated person. That information comes from anecdotes told from memory. And as Marjorie soon discovers, what she remembers about her life with Walter contradicts in many ways what other family members remember.

Opens August 18 at the Roxie Theatre and the Smith Rafael Film Center

Nocturama

Bertrand Bonello’s contemporary terrorism drama will divide S.F. audiences. In contemporary Paris, an interracial group of teens and young adults initiate a plan to burn down or blow up some city landmarks. The viewer knows nothing of either the aims or motivations of this group. The film follows these young terrorists as they commit their acts of mayhem and later hole up in a luxury shopping mall. How the viewer feels about these protagonists over this very long day is precisely the film’s key question.

Opens August 19 at the Roxie Theatre

The Trip To Spain

Actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s third trip of scenery, food, and celebrity mimicry takes them to Spain. Coogan’s hoping to use the trip to finally start on his travel memoir and to meet his adult son. Brydon just wants to temporarily escape his family’s newest squalling addition. What begins as a fun journey, though, soon descends into bickering and drama from home accompanying them. Expect everything from Don Quixote allusions to a tribute to the Monty Python sketch “The Spanish Inquisition.”

Opens August 18 at the Albany Twin, the Clay Theatre, the Smith Rafael Film Center

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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