Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Things To Do

Movie planner: 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' 'Alice Through the Looking Glass,' 'A Bigger Splash' and more


Twentieth Century Fox allowed reviews of X-Men: Apocalypse (PG-13) to be posted two weeks ago, much earlier than usual for a reported $234 million blockbuster. Or any movie, for that matter.

Fox may have guessed (correctly) that critics wouldn't be kind, hoping moviegoers would have short memories. Just in case, here's an excerpt from my grade C+ review, available at tbtim.es/10lb:

"Despite epic intentions, X-Men: Apocalypse reveals a franchise running in place, its levitation twist on destruction — things fall up rather than down — now a tired visual cliche. It feels like a finale no one has the courage to admit … (with) a steadily unimpressive supervillain. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac, encased like Tut) is ridiculously beatable, considering he's the first mutant and has been soaking up powers from others for thousands of years."


On the other hand reaching for your wallet, Disney kept local critics away from Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG) until too late for Weekend to review.

In 2010, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland opened a new revenue stream for Disney, turning animated favorites like The Jungle Book and Cinderella into quasi-live action fantasies. Burton turned over the sequel's directing chores to James Bobin (The Muppets).

Mia Wasikowska returns as Alice Kingsleigh, called back to Wonderland when the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is threatened by the clockwork villain Time (Sasha Baron Cohen).

Alice Through the Looking Glass marks the final screen performance — albeit in voice only — by the late Alan Rickman, as the hookah-smoking caterpillar Absolem.

INDIE FLICKS: A Bigger Splash

The erotically cryptic A Bigger Splash (R) stars Tilda Swinton as Marianne, a Bowie-esque rock star recuperating from throat surgery at a seaside Italian villa with her soulmate Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Their sensual respite is interrupted by Marianne's former lover and producer Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and his recently discovered daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). Suspicion leads to temptation and murder, as flashbacks reveal twists in the elder trio's relationship.

Fiennes' performance is the chief attraction here, a bolt of kinky bonhomie that's darkly unhinged, dabbed with regret. Harry's omnisexual appetites make anything possible in this foursome, more so when they entertain guests. A Bigger Splash is boldly sexual, making its shallow mystery of intentions tolerable until it must be solved and isn't. Swinton and Schoenaerts radiate jaded hedonism; Johnson plays the Lolita card well. The fewer clothes anyone wears, the better. A Bigger Splash opens Friday at select theaters. B

Love & Friendship

Writer-director Whit Stillman reunites his The Last Days of Disco stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny in Love & Friendship (PG), adapted from Jane Austen's short novel Lady Susan.

Variety reviewer Justin Chang deemed Love & Friendship "a supremely elegant and delicately filigreed adaptation. … With his love of fine clothes and finer diction, Stillman proves an unsurprisingly intuitive fit for Austen, but he also knows just how to give her pointed social satire an extra stab of wink-wink postmodern drollery without breaking the spell."

Love & Friendship opens Friday at select theaters.

in theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Ta

1 Sing Street: Dublin lads form an '80s pop band, from the creator of Once.

2 Captain America: Civil War: Marvel's superhero family in smart disarray.

3 Money Monster: George Clooney leverages his star power in a Dog Day Afternoon-ish thriller.

4 The Nice Guys: Russell Crowe is the brawn, Ryan Gosling the birdbrain.

5 A Bigger Splash: Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton play erotic head games.


(dates subject to change)

June 3: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; The Lobster; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; Me Before You

June 10: Warcraft; Now You See Me 2; The Conjuring 2: The Endfield Experiment

June 17: Finding Dory; Central Intelligence

June 24: Independence Day: Resurgence; Free State of Jones

June 29: The Shallows

July 1: The BFG; The Legend of Tarzan; Swiss Army Man

Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Guillermo del Toro’s lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" has landed a leading 13 nominations and Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for best director by the Academy Awards."Mudbound" cinematographer Rac...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he "used to be a comedian" and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault ca...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Neil Diamond says he has Parkinson’s, retires from touring

Neil Diamond says he has Parkinson’s, retires from touring

NEW YORK — Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who turns 77 on Wednesday, is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50...
Updated: 3 hours ago
We Tried That: Taking a food tour of Dunedin

We Tried That: Taking a food tour of Dunedin

It’s cold and overcast when I pull into Sea Sea Riders, a seafood restaurant on Dunedin’s Main Street. I’m flustered because I’m running late, about 5 minutes past our 1 p.m. start time, and I pull my sweater around me to ward off a gust of wind as I...
Published: 01/23/18
What’s your most romantic food story? We want to hear it

What’s your most romantic food story? We want to hear it

Calling all romantic foodies: We want to hear about your tales of love and food. For Valentine’s Day this year, we’re looking into some famously adorable dishes, like Engagement Chicken, a roast chicken first published in Glamour magazine in 2004 tha...
Published: 01/23/18

Hernando County Greek Festival packs food and fun

BROOKSVILLE — What started eight years ago as a one-day indoor festival quickly grew and expanded to two, then three days.Its popularity most likely is the food and pastries, which often causes sudden outbursts of "Opa!"The three-day Hernando County ...
Published: 01/23/18

Hernando Events for Jan. 26

Events26 FridayBeginning Birding Hike: Join a member of the Hernando Audubon Society for a guided hike to find the feathered winter residents of Chinsegut. Program starts with a short observation session at well-stocked feeders then a walk to the vie...
Published: 01/23/18

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballArkansas at Georgia6:30 p.m.SECProvidence at Villanova6:30 p.m.FS1Kansas at Oklahoma7 p.m.ESPNWisconsin at Iowa7 p.m.ESPN2Oklahoma State at Texas Tech7 p.m.ESPNewsVanderbilt at Tennessee7 p.m.ESPNUDavidson at Dayton7 p.m.CBSSNW...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

ST. PETERSBURGThe bay area’s thriving glass art scene adds another member to its ranks today when the Imagine Museum officially opens in downtown St. Petersburg.Dedicated to the movement of studio glass, the museum is the brainchild of benefactor Tri...
Updated: 12 hours ago
This year’s Florida State Fair food oddities include catfish ‘sundae’ and chicken and waffles pizza

This year’s Florida State Fair food oddities include catfish ‘sundae’ and chicken and waffles pizza

Being the first in the country on the fair-going calendar, the Florida State Fair is also the first to roll out the outrageous, deep-fried, bacon-wrapped, cheese-covered foods on a stick that perfume the midway. While cotton candy, corn dogs and funn...
Published: 01/22/18