Monday, December 11, 2017
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Movie Planner: 'The Circle,' 'How to Be a Latin Lover,' 'Sleight' open

OPENING Thursday: THE CIRCLE

Tom Hanks and Emma Watson are box office roadkill this weekend, as The Fate of the Furious roars while The Circle (PG-13) looks like a zero.

The Circle is a sci-fi thriller with Hanks as a social media mogul whose latest unethical idea shatters all expectations of privacy. Watson plays a fast-rising associate whose disenchantment with the program leads to danger. Hanks is listed eighth in the cast, suggesting his role isn't large.

Now and then Hanks turns out a odd project like this or A Hologram for the King, funded by United Arab Emirates investors and distributed on the fringe. STX Entertainment didn't even offer The Circle to critics for review. That doesn't happen to such a beloved movie star, a two-time Oscar winner, unless it's a dud along the lines of Cloud Atlas.

One hopeful sign: The Circle is directed by talented James Ponsoldt, who's three-for-three in my book after Smashed, The Spectacular Now with Miles Teller and The End of the Tour. On the other hand, Watson's true co-star appears to be Ellar Coltrane, grown up since Boyhood.

Sadly, The Circle serves as a swan song for Bill Paxton, who died in February after a heart attack. Hopefully Paxton shares a scene with Hanks, which would be their first teaming on screen since Apollo 13.

INDIE FLICKS:

HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER

Not even Salma Hayek can stop traffic for The Fate of the Furious. Hayek shares How to Be a Latin Lover (PG-13), a comedy directed by Ken Marino of Wet Hot American Summer fame.

Lessons in Latin seduction are provided by Maximo (Eugenio Derbez), who makes his living off wealthy women in need. His occupation leads to divorce after 25 years of complicated marriage. Hayek plays the estranged sister giving Maximo a place to stay while he strays.

Marino surrounds Derbez with solid comic actors including Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Michael Cera and Rob Corddry. There's a chance that Hayek shares a scene with legendary sex symbol Raquel Welch, which just might burn holes in movie screens.

SLEIGHT

A minor Sundance hit gets one Tampa Bay screen, and it can be a noisy one.

J.D. Dillard's urban magician thriller Sleight (R) stars Jacob Latimore (Collateral Beauty)as an illusionist putting his skills to dangerous work.

Lattimore's Bo cares for his younger sister after their parents' deaths, scamming money with slight of hand. When the girl is kidnapped, Bo has a lot of abracadabra to do.

Slight opens Friday only at Studio Movie Grill in Tampa's University Mall. Good dining service requires bustle and sound that can distract others from the movie. It's a theater trend that Bo should make disappear.

In theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 The Fate of the Furious: It's raining cars, hallelujah, in another lap around the blockbuster track.

2 Colossal: Anne Hathaway, right, is a monster, sort of, in a weirdly lovable movie.

3 Get Out: Jordan Peele makes race relations scarier than ever with bold horror satire.

4 Gifted: Math prodigy (Mckenna Grace) tries being a kid. Written by St. Petersburg's Tom Flynn.

5 Going in Style: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin make a lame script sing.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; The Dinner

May 12: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; Snatched; The Wall; Lowriders

May 19: Alien: Covenant; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

   
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Published: 12/11/17