Saturday, July 21, 2018
Things To Do

In theaters this week: 'Beatriz at Dinner,' 'The Hero,' 'A Very Sordid Wedding'

INDIE FLICKS:

BEATRIZ AT DINNER

Miguel Arteta's culture war comedy Beatriz at Dinner (R) gets a lot off its chest in just 80 minutes. "Comedy" is a term loosely used since the laughs stick in your throat, using indelicate topics for sly purpose.

Salma Hayek is a quiet storm as Beatriz, an otherworldy health therapist whose car won't start after a session at a longtime customer's mansion. Cathy (Connie Britton) is a one-percenter with a heart and deep affection for Beatriz. Cathy is hosting a dinner for her pushy husband's law partner and wife (Jay Duplass, Chloe Sevigny) to welcome an enormously wealthy new client.

He's Doug Strutt, played by John Lithgow, who like Hayek has seldom been better on screen. Doug builds anything to make a fortune, without regard for life, human or animal. He's crude, self-entitled, everything Beatriz's New Age psyche and history as a Mexican immigrant repels. Doug may have even played a part in that history.

Mike White's screenplay builds a comfy maze of white privilege, sets Beatriz in the middle and rivals Get Out for socially stratified satire. It takes a while for Arteta's ideas to click but his finale begins as revenge served cold and ends with chilling symbolism. Grade: B+ (West Shore 14 and Veterans 24 in Tampa, Regency 20 in Brandon)

THE HERO

Sam Elliott's low-key masculinity is showcased in The Hero (R), a dreary character study without much else to recommend it.

Elliott plays Lee Hayden, a TV cowboy whose lone hit decades ago never paid off in Hollywood. Now he narrates barbecue sauce and gets stoned too often. A movie role is offered and a western historical society wants to present him with a genre icon award, around the same time Lee learns he has cancer.

Good thing Lee has plenty of folks with whom to discuss mortality, often while staring into SoCal canyons and the Pacific. Elliott strikes romantic sparks with Laura Prepon's aspiring standup comedian, sparks joints with a pot buddy (Nick Offerman) and jumps through familiar reconciliation hoops with his daughter (Krysten Ritter).

Every fallen-star cliche director/co-writer Brett Haley employs goes down smoother with Elliott's baritone and unforced cool. He has deserved a spotlight role for years and now deserves a finer one. Grade: C (Opens June 30)

TIGLFF: A VERY SORDID WEDDING

Last year's Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival featured a sold-out performance by comedian Del Shores. The festival banks on his popularity again Friday with the Tampa Bay premiere of Shores' new movie, A Very Sordid Wedding.

It's a sequel to Shores' play Sordid Lives that spawned a 2000 movie and a LOGO channel series set in bible-thumping Winters, Texas. The town's first same-sex marriage sets off silly repercussions enacted by an eager cast including old pros Bonnie Bedelia, Dale Dickey and Caroline Rhea. Co-star Anne Walker will attend Friday's screening with Shores.

Showtime is 8 p.m. at Sundial 19 in St. Petersburg. General admission tickets are sold out but VIP packages ($50-$125) are available. tiglff.com.

SUMMER FILM CLASSICS: THE GRADUATE

Tampa Theatre, you're trying to seduce us.

Aren't you?

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Graduate with a screening Sunday should do the trick.

Mike Nichols' classic dramedy introduced Dustin Hoffman as college grad Benjamin Braddock, whose disillusionment leads to an affair with family friend Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) while dating her daughter (Katharine Ross). Nichols won an Oscar for directing.

Showtime is 3 p.m. After the screening USF film professor Harriet Deer will lead a brief discussion. $10. tampatheatre.org.

OPENING June 28:

BABY DRIVER

One of 2017's buzziest movies is Edgar Wright's Baby Driver (R), starring Ansel Elgort as a heist driver choreographing his getaways to a killer iPod mix. Along the way Baby sideswipes lowlifes played by two Oscar winners (Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx) and mad man Jon Hamm.

Baby Driver jumps the gun on competition with a Wednesday opening.

A review will be published at tampabay.com/movies.

In theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins show boys how it's done.

2 My Cousin Rachel: Rachel Weisz keeps us guessing in a Victorian mystery.

3 Megan Leavey: True love story of a U.S. Marine (Kate Mara) and her K9 dog.

4 Beatriz at Dinner: A Mexican immigrant (Salma Hayek) one-ups some one-percenters.

5 The Mummy: You know you want to see Tom Cruise get kicked around again.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

June 30: The Beguiled; The House; Despicable Me 3

July 7: Spider-Man: Homecoming; The Big Sick

July 14: War for the Planet of the Apes

     
Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, July 21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, July 21

Chicago & Reo Speedwagon: Two of the most successful, legendary and critically acclaimed rock bands perform some of their greatest hits and more. 7:30 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.50-$129.50. (813) 740-2...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Twenty One Pilots sell out Tampa concert hours after tickets go on sale

Twenty One Pilots sell out Tampa concert hours after tickets go on sale

Not that you needed any proof that Twenty One Pilots are the most popular alternative act in America.But if you slept on tickets to their upcoming fall tour, you might be out of luck.The Ohio duo's Nov. 3 concert at Tampa's Amalie Arena sold virtuall...
Published: 07/20/18
See 'Unseen Worlds' in glass in St. Pete, plus art events for kids this week

See 'Unseen Worlds' in glass in St. Pete, plus art events for kids this week

Art events for kids around Tampa Bay this week.
Published: 07/20/18
Try these self-guided Tampa Bay food tours

Try these self-guided Tampa Bay food tours

Here's where to eat, and eat some more, around Tampa Bay.
Published: 07/20/18
Where to get a good hot dog for National Hot Dog Day in Tampa Bay

Where to get a good hot dog for National Hot Dog Day in Tampa Bay

Who has the best hot dogs in the Tampa Bay area?
Published: 07/20/18
This week's top concerts: Dave Matthews vs. Smashing Pumpkins, and more

This week's top concerts: Dave Matthews vs. Smashing Pumpkins, and more

Chicago, Rascal Flatts and more concert picks this week.
Published: 07/20/18
In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’.
Published: 07/20/18
17 things to do on Saturday, July 21

17 things to do on Saturday, July 21

Our editors' picks for things to do.
Published: 07/20/18
Rabid otters, flying fish, brain-eating amoebas: Here’s how Florida can kill you

Rabid otters, flying fish, brain-eating amoebas: Here’s how Florida can kill you

Many people know that Florida is one of the more dangerous places to live in terms of intense tropical weather. We’re one of the world’s most hurricane-vulnerable regions (80 indirect storm deaths in 2017), and often noted as the lightning capital of...
Published: 07/20/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Sunday July 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Sunday July 22

Safety Last!: Tampa Theatre’s Summer Classic Movie Series throws in a true classic this week with the iconic silent film Safety Last! (1923) accompanied by music performed on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. 3 p.m., Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St....
Published: 07/20/18