YBOR CITY ON SCREEN: THE WEIGHT OF REMEMBERING
On the same weekend Ben Affleck fakes Ybor City in Live by Night (review, Page 12), the real thing gets a world premiere.
The Weight of Remembering is the second Ybor City chronicle co-produced by Centro Español of Tampa, filmmaker Luis Argeo and New York University professor James Fernandez.
The quasi-documentary premieres 3 p.m. Sunday at Tampa Theatre, where their first project A Legacy of Smoke debuted in 2014. Tickets for this one-time showing are $12.
Coincidentally, The Weight of Remembering serves as a companion piece to Affleck's glitzier fiction.
Argeo uses a fictional framing device to explore history. A man's research into a 3-ounce fishing sinker bequeathed by his grandfather leads to remembrances of Ybor's Spanish and Cuban immigrants around the turn of the 20th century, a vibrant culture Affleck dramatizes. We sense through Argeo's use of archives and oral histories how accurately Live by Night imitates their legacies.
Both The Weight of Remembering and A Legacy of Smoke will be available on DVD at the premiere. centroespanoltampa.org.
OPENING THURSDAY PATRIOTS DAY
Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg pay respect to another true-life bravery tale in Patriots Day (R), re-enacting the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and its ensuing manhunt. Like Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon, it's brawny action with a conscience, a sense of responsibility to get details right.
Wahlberg's composite first responder is hard to swallow; how is this guy everywhere the action is? Yet the rest of Patriots Day is piano-wire tension, even if you know the key details, which I thought I did. Berg depicts a city in determined shock, investigators playing by ear and two terrorists going about their deadly business.
Berg directs a terrific ensemble including Kevin Bacon as an FBI agent, John Goodman as Boston's police commissioner and J.K. Simmons as a suburban cop crucial to ending the terror. Patriots Day could muster late, patriotic Oscars support like American Sniper did two years ago.
Read a Grade B+ review here.
Martin Scorsese completes his unofficial theological trilogy with Silence (R), set in 17th-century Japan where Jesuits (Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver) are dispatched to find a missing priest (Liam Neeson) and spread Catholicism. The culture clash is bloody, the priests persecuted to the brink of spiritual doubt.
Silence has been Scorsese's passion project for two decades, adapted by the filmmaker and Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York) from Shusaku Endo's novel. If the film shares a provocative, challenging nature with The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun, Scorsese's endurance pays off.
Read a review of Silence at tampabay.com/movies.
ALSO OPENING (BUT WHO CARES?)
January is a notorious movie month, a dumping ground for studio writeoffs that might flop even harder at any other time of the year. Just in case you're interested . . .
Sleepless (R) puts Oscar winner Jamie Foxx in Mel Gibson's Ransom shoes, commanding bad guys to give him back his son. The kidnapped teenager is stashed inside a nightclub, so maybe Foxx can knock out a verse of Blame It between smackdowns.
The Bye Bye Man (PG-13) is a riff on the Slenderman viral hoax, getting its own movie next year. Two names in the cast offer creepy promise: motion-capture whiz Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth) as the monster and Faye Dunaway (!) as Widow Redmon, who hopefully doesn't like wire hangers, either.
Finally, there's Monster Trucks (PG). See, there's a truck with a shoddily animated monster under the hood. Just one despite the plural title. Any questions? Good.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 A Monster Calls: A grieving boy gets tough love from a tree monster (voice of Liam Neeson).
2 Patriots Day: White-knuckle reenactment of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack and manhunt.
3 Hidden Figures: True story of African-American women making NASA go 'round.
4 Fences: Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are deserving Golden Globes nominees.
5 Lion: An Indian boy is lost, adopted and reunited with his mother by using Google Earth.
(Dates subject to change)
Jan. 20: 20th Century Women; Split; The Founder; xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
Jan. 27: Gold; A Dog's Purpose; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Feb. 3: Rings; The Space Between Us; Collide
Feb. 10: The Lego Batman Movie; John Wick: Chapter 2; Fifty Shades Darker