1. Movies

What's on screen this week: Gasparilla Film Festival, 'Tomb Raider,' 'Love, Simon'

Two staples of Tampa Bay's cinema scene are joining forces with a combined 34 years of audience participation.

The 12th annual Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival is now featuring the 22nd annual Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival. Two sources of good taste that should taste great together.

Gasparilla's opening night March 20 begins at 5 p.m. with a VIP reception at the Vault, steps away from Tampa Theatre. Tickets are $65 including admission to the 8 p.m. screening at the historic movie palace.

The opening night film is Michael Berry's Stuck, a musical drama about six New Yorkers stranded on a subway, singing their states of mind. Berry and actor Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Do the Right Thing) will introduce Stuck and join a Q&A session afterward. Tickets are $15 for movie admission only.

Beginning March 21, AMC Centro Ybor 20 in Ybor City becomes Gasparilla's main screening venue. Movies begin at 5:15 p.m. Visit for details.

The Jewish Film Festival opens March 21 at 6 p.m. with a reception at Bryan Glazer Family JCC, 522 N Howard Ave., Tampa. The opening night movie at 7:30 is Sam Garbarski's post-World War II comedy Bye Bye Germany, following Holocaust survivors to the United States. Tickets are $36, available at

We'll highlight more Gasparilla/Jewish film festival offerings next Weekend including appearances by actor Eric Stoltz (Mask, Pulp Fiction) and two genuine disaster artists, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, who gifted us The Room.

Read more about the festivals' collaboration, an interview with Sestero and Wiseau, and lineup suggestions in Sunday's Latitudes.



Alicia Vikander follows in the hiking boot prints of Angelina Jolie with Tomb Raider (PG-13), a reboot of the Lara Croft franchise.

Both actors chose the video game jungle adventurer as their first major movie role after winning Academy Awards for best supporting actress. Coincidence? Let's hope so since Jolie's version satisfies only when compared to its hapless sequel.

Vikander's Lara Croft appears more rough-and-tumble tomboy than Jolie's gunpowder poseur. She's the daughter of an explorer (Dominic West) who disappears on a mythical island off Japan's coast. The villain behind all hell breaking loose is played by a movie star waiting to happen, Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight).

Read a review at


For all those moviegoers who dodged Call Me by Your Name for being too risque and slow, there's Love, Simon (PG-13), the DeGrassi High version.

Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) stars as Simon Spier, a gay, closeted teenager who is accidentally outed, then comes to terms with family, friends and himself. Simon begins an email flirtation with a mysterious boy named Blue, compelled to learn his identity.

As further proof of Love, Simon's commitment to peppy, feel-good entertainment, Simon's supportive parents are played by Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner. What's in your wallet may wish to stay there.

1 Gasparilla and Jewish Film Festivals: Indie film avengers assemble.

2 Black Panther: Marvel's latest superhero (Chadwick Boseman) is a cultural game changer.

3 Annihilation: Alex Garland's sci-fi bio-puzzle starring Natalie Portman.

4 Red Sparrow: An unapologetically sexist, sadistic spy yarn starring Jennifer Lawrence.

5 Early Man: Nick Park's stop-motion clay animation style never gets old.


(Dates subject to change)

March 23: Isle of Dogs; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Sherlock Gnomes; Midnight Sun; Unsane

March 30: Ready Player One; The Death of Stalin

April 3: A Quiet Place

April 6: Blockers; You Were Never Really Here; Chappaquiddick

April 13: Overboard; Truth or Dare

April 20: Rampage; Super Troopers 2; Dolphins; Duck Duck Goose

April 27: Animal Crackers; Traffik