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Margot Robbie Makes Tonya Harding A Rebel Antiheroine

Margot Robbie gives one of the best performances of the year in the gem that highlights this light week of openings. She makes viewers grudgingly admire the notorious Tonya Harding.

Otherwise, the week’s other big draw will be an adaptation of an Agatha Christie non-series mystery. This adaptation boasts a livelier cast than the recent Murder on the Orient Express.

Fans of Asian pop entertainments opening this week will disagree with the above. None of these films may have Margot Robbie. But there is a much-awaited sequel to an Indian action blockbuster and an adaptation of a popular fantasy webcomic. There’s also something to be said for seeing Jackie Chan swinging from the top of the Sydney Opera House.

Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds

Firefighter Ja-hong dies unexpectedly. To get reincarnated, the dead man will be escorted through the afterlife and face seven trials. But his bigger challenge may be showing he lived a noble life. This action-packed fantasy epic adapts a popular webcomic.

Opens December 22 at the AMC Metreon 16

Bleeding Steel

Years ago, special agent Lin Dong (Jackie Chan) protected a powerful witness at great personal cost. Now that old tragedy returns to haunt Dong. He’s targeted by ruthless cyborgs somehow connected to that old incident. More importantly, the young woman Dong’s now protecting from a ruthless criminal gang feels somehow connected as well.

Opens December 22 at the Century 20 Daly City and the Century at Tanforan

Crooked House

Catering tycoon Aristide Leonides has just been murdered. Granddaughter Sophia asks ex-lover and private detective Charles Hayward to solve the crime. But which member of the Leonides family did the deed? Was it ex-ham actress Magda (Gillian Anderson)? New household head and Aristide’s sister Edith (Glenn Close)? Aristide’s younger second wife (and suspected golddigger) Brenda (Christina Hendricks)? Or was it someone else entirely? Can Charles both find the murderer and win back Sophia’s love? Based on the Agatha Christie novel.

Opens December 22 at the Smith Rafael Film Center

I, Tonya

Tonya Harding becomes a sympathetic antiheroine in this strange but true dark comedy. Set up as a fake “20 years later” documentary, the film recounts Harding’s involvement in the insane events leading up to the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. Margot Robbie plays Harding as a talented but rebellious skater sadistically coached by LaVona (Allison Janney), aka the Stage Mother From Hell. Skating judges who genteelly disliked Harding’s white trash roots also undermined her. The entrance of Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) into Harding’s life seems to promise better times. Instead, Gillooly would be involved in the scandal that would end Harding’s skating career.

Now at the AMC Bay Street 16 and the Embarcadero Center Cinemas

Tiger Zinda Hai

In this sequel to the Indian action blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger, it’s eight years after the first film ended. East Indian secret agent Tiger has been disavowed by his agency. However, when terrorist Abu Usman take 46 Indian nurses hostage in Iraq, the agency is forced to re-activate Tiger. The Indian superspy partners with Pakistani agent (and ex-lover) Zoya to rescue the hostages and take down Usman.

Opens December 22 at the AMC Van Ness 14

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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