L.A. Weekly’s Movie Guide is your look at the hottest films in Los Angeles theaters this week — from indie art house gems and classics to popcorn-perfect blockbusters and new movies garnering buzz. Check here every week before you make your big screen plans.

Opening wide 

Friday, January 17

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (Columbia Pictures)

The boys are back in town and they aren’t quite the youthful badasses they used to be. Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Will Smith and Martin Lawrence joined forces for the madcap buddy cop flick, Bad Boys, but it has, and Bad Boys for Life sees the duo coming to terms with aging in different ways. Mike Lowrey (Smith) is still holding onto the wild life in midlife, while his partner Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) is counting the days til he can settle down into retirement. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, this third installment plays off the odd couple trope that made the original so much fun, with a plot concerning a Romanian gangster out for revenge on the bickering duo. Original director Michael Bay isn’t on board for this one, but his slick, explosive style serves as obvious inspiration, with the bounty of explosive moments audiences expect, from car chases to shootouts.

Read our review HERE.

DOLITTLE (Universal Pictures)

Talking animals are tough to pull off these days, as we’re all a little CGI’d out about now. But if anyone can make chatty critters seem real again it might be Robert Downey Jr. in his  latest, Dolittle. The Iron Man star tries on a weird Welsh accent in this reimagining concerning the doctor who talks to animals. Based on Hugh Lofting’s book The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (versus the other well-known tale, The Story of Doctor Dolittle), the movie promises to meld a Pirates of the Carribean–esque look with a Lion King–style live action creature feature feel, minus the laughs Eddie Murphy brought to the character back in 1998. This one also boasts a host of big celebrity voices and a score by Danny Elfman.

Limited Releases

Friday, January 17

THE WAVE (Epic Pictures)

The Wave has the makings of a late-night weirdo cult fave. It stars Justin Long as a young lawyer leading a ho-hum life until he ingests a mysterious hallucinogenic drug that changes everything. Based on the trailer, this one is shot to make viewers feel like we’re tripping right along with him. Arena Cinelounge, 6464 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Jan. 17, multiple showtimes; $16. arenascreen.com.

THE END OF QUANTUM REALITY (Philos Sophia Initiative Foundation)

Wolfgang Smith declares The End of Quantum Reality in this new documentary from director Katheryne Thomas and writer Rick DeLano, the man behind 2014’s The Principle (concerning arguments against the “Copernican principle” and asserting that Earth is at the center of the universe). DeLano narrates and thinkers and scientists including Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Olavo de Carvalho discuss Smith’s latest theories about the universe and the science community’s attempts to quantify its existence within the arc of human history, which he says is wrong. It’s heady stuff and non-academics may have a tough time following it all, but those interested in questions about existence and how physics, chemistry and math play into it will be fascinated. Arena Cinelounge, 6464 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Jan. 17, multiple showtimes; $16. theendofquantumreality.com/.

Special Screenings:

FREAKED (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

The soundtrack and score to the 1993’s creepy gross-out cult classic Freaked is coming out on vinyl, and to celebrate Mondo Music screens the film and presents a panel after the screening. The film is a who’s who of pop culture with the likes of Randy Quaid, Mr. T, Brooke Shields, Bobcat Goldthwait and the skeleton of Paul Lynde. The storyline follows an evil company and its toxic mutant farm (created from a chemical it created called Zygrot 24) set up like a carnival attraction. The panel features the directors, writers, production designers and special effects artists, plus actors John Hawkes and Lee Arenberg and artists heard on the record, including Henry Rollins and Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers. Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.; $12, $8 members. americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/freaked-0.

(Courtesy American Cinematheque)

Celebrating the directorial work of women — from Academy Award winners, industry heavyweights, animators, and documentarians to music video directors and up-and-comers on the film fest circuit — the 15th Annual Focus on Female Directors screening features some must-sees by female filmmakers. Highlights include Sophia Nahli Allison’s dreamy A Love Song for Latasha, Catherine Hardwicke’s short Puppy Does the Gumbo (from when she was a UCLA student film student in the ’80s), Soudade Kaadan’s 2019 Sundance Festival Grand Prize winner Aziza and the world premiere of Rachel Wolther’s Cinema Rules Everything Around Me about NYC cinephile Caroline Golum. Discussion after the screening. Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.; $12, $8 members. americancinemathequecalendar.com/.


Also at the Aero this week, A Tribute to Noah Baumbach honors the acclaimed filmmaker whose Marriage Story just nabbed a slew of Oscar noms. The Scarlett Johansson/Adam Driver relationship study is screened on Saturday, with The Squid and the Whale and Kicking and Screaming presented on Sunday; all three will be introduced by the director himself. Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave.; Sat., Jan. 18, 1 p.m. & Sun., Jan. 19 1:30 p.m.; $15, $13 members. americancinemathequecalendar.com.


LA Weekly