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THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

It's that time of year again: another Spider-Man movie. This is the second film in a series of four that is itself a reboot of a trilogy. The people over at Marvel seem to be trying to replace the twice-monthly comic book with twice-monthly multimillion-dollar comic-book-movie revenue. You may be asking yourself,

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What's the point?

Try watching 2014's installment as a commentary on genetic modification. Spider-Man (reprised by Andrew Garfield), endowed with godlike powers by an altered arachnid, must use his abilities against villainous Electro (the always-exciting Jamie Foxx), a high-voltage hoodlum turned bad after an unfortunate encounter with a genetically modified eel. Regardless of what we think, they're going to make a sequel.

Opens May 2.

IL SORPASSO

Director Dino Risi's 1962 film centers around a road trip taken by two strangers, one an overworked student and the other an aging playboy with a flashy sports car. Over the course of two days, their travels across the highways of Italy draw them together in an unlikely friendship, each one learning that something deeper lies beneath their stereotypical facades. But like all great comedies (and this is one of Italy's best), tragedy is always lurking, and the two men are given no happy ending to their journey.

Plays May 3 at 11:30 a.m., May 5 at 7 p.m., and May 8 at 9 p.m. at the Charles Theatre.

JODOROWSKY'S DUNE

Two weeks ago, we ran a review of a film about a film that wasn't made-and that film,

Jodorowsky's Dune

, almost didn't run at the Charles-it opens there this week after a three-week delay. Alejandro Jodorowsky's films are often compared to psychedelic trips, and it's easy to see why. Both are essentially aesthetic experiences that sometimes pass into moments of near-epiphany, only to collapse back into nausea and discomfort. If you've got the right temperament, though, they can be interesting at least and exhilarating at best. This documentary, about Jodorowsky's valiant attempt at adapting Frank Herbert's

Dune

for the big screen, is perhaps just the right dosage. In the mid-'70s, the Chilean filmmaker wrote a script as fat as a phonebook for a 12- or even 20-hour-long film that he intended to enlist H.R. Giger to design and Salvador Dali and Orson Welles to act in. Told through interviews with the auteur himself and those involved with the production,

Jodorowsky's Dune

adroitly makes the case that his botched epic lives on in the filmic DNA of all those dark sci-fi masterpieces that were to follow.

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Opens May 2 at the Charles Theatre.

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