Music people as seen by Terrence Malick, bank robbery as revenge by seniors and a Smurfy surprise

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There’s a bigger surprise. She finds an entire second village and these Smurfs are all females. They’re like mini-Amazons and include a super-chatty one (voiced by Ariel Winter), a belligerent one (Michelle Rodriguez) and a wise leader (Julia Roberts). Gargamel, of course, delights in the discovery and plots yet another of his attempts to destroy the Smurfs. That climaxes in a huge air battle. The action gets typically frantic but the story around it has heart and gets strongly poignant near the end. I also enjoyed the look of the animation. It’s like a story-book, not super-realistic like so many other animated films these days. And notice this: the artwork was 100% done here in Vancouver. The story and the voices were sent up from California but local animators created the pictures. (International Village, Marine Gateway and suburban theatres) 3 ½  out of 5

DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE:  Fans of the shadowy director are going to find this a treat. Lynch sits in a chair for about an hour and half and talks about his life and what shaped his art. At times he’s seen in his studio drawing, painting or shaping globs of paint by hand into dark peculiar images.

We know his movies including Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive and his TV series Twin Peaks, with its re-make arriving next month. Here we can see what he was trained for, his painting, although I enjoyed his talk far more. He escaped from his “super-happy household” in Virginia, went to art school in Boston where he hated the rigid teaching and hated to go out. He moved to Philadelphia where a “sick fear in the air” influenced his art. He explains in detail how his first movie, Eraserhead, came about. He also talks of visiting a morgue, driving stoned and absorbing “deep darkness and splendor.” Low-key but weirdly compelling. This is the third film about him directed by Jon Nguyen, a true Lynch-head apparently. (Showing several times at the VanCity Theatre. Also two movies and a collection of his short films. See for details.) 3 ½ out of 5

REEL TO REAL: There are two days and several notable films left in this festival aimed at young audiences. These are all playing at the VanCity Theatre starting this afternoon.  has more information.

Considering Love & Other Magic is about counseling a boy who is convinced he’s a work of fiction. He lives in a mansion with creepy back passages, a famous author (Sheila McCarthy) and possibly a mysterious detective. It’s recommended for ages 13+ and the director and two cast members will talk about it after the 5:30 screening.

Play Your Gender (at 7:45) is about the music business and the secondary position women find themselves in it. Local musician Kinnie Starr produced and wrote it and well-known performers like Melissa Auf der Maur, Sara Quinn, Chantal Kreviazuk and others tell how things really are for women in music.  Recommended 11+

Saturday has five European films. These I’ve seen .

Polina (at 4 pm) is perfect for teen girls. In it a young woman in Russia dreams of becoming a ballerina, is accepted to train at the Bolshoi but finds the regimen too strict and runs off to France with one of the male dancers (played by Canadian actor Niels Schneider). 


She eventually lands in Belgium with another dancer (Jérémie Bélingard, of the Paris Opera Ballet). Along the way Juliette Binoche is her teacher. There are crushing family issues, injuries and a fine tale of a woman finding herself.

Pat & Mat (10 am) is animated and recommended for 5+ but I’d say older, at least 8+. It has 10 very funny vignettes in which a couple of bumbling handymen do home improvements. Move a sink from one wall to another? Automate an orange squeezer or a vacuum cleaner? There are pitfalls and they hit them all.


More in New Movies

Bad Boys shoot again; Adam Sandler gets loud in Uncut Gems and Clemency ruminates on capital punishment

And for the kids: A superior Japanese anime in Weathering With You, Robert Downey Jr. talking to the animals in Dolittle and your chance to sing along with Frozen II.

1917: a must-see, Just Mercy, a should-see, and Underwater, a don’t-bother

But do check out three others making a welcome return from last fall’s film festival

So many contenders for 2019's 10-best list, plus a festival of new and classic Italian films

There are no new reviews this week. That’s because except for one small horror movie (see below) no new films opened. There’s a sizable bunch coming next week but right now, especially as the awards...
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