OPENING FRIDAY: WINCHESTER
Helen Mirren is quite a dame, an esteemed actor defying the rigid image of one so revered in British theater, then Hollywood for so long. She’s not above anything.
Classy and saucy at once, Mirren has always been game for anything eyebrow-raising on screen, from racy ingenue days with Caligula to riddling her stature with RED bullets. This weekend Mirren, 72, takes another career turn, this time to horror, where she never dabbled before.
Winchester (PG-13) casts the Academy Award winner as Sarah Winchester, true-life heir to a gun manufacturing fortune, and one wacky architect. Maybe you’ve seen her work on reality shows about the world’s creepiest places, including the Winchester House in San Jose, Calif., a mansion of mazes leading to countless nowheres.
Urban legend claims Sarah ordered random construction to continue day and night for decades until her death in 1922. Some say it came from her sanity-crippling guilt for all the people killed by Winchester rifles and their ghosts haunt the place. That’s enough to make a movie and reportedly a few points about gun control.
Unfortunately, CBS Films didn’t offer Winchester to critics for review. That may be the scariest thing about the movie.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FILM SERIES
February is Black History Month, and the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive, is presenting the African-American Film Series, showcasing recent movies about black history and culture.
Things kick off at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman as future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Reginald Hudlin’s 2017 biopic focuses on an early civil rights case that makes a difference in Marshall’s career.
Upcoming screenings include Love Beats Rhymes (Feb. 13) and Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Feb. 20).
Admission is free. (727) 587-6715.
TOTALLY ’80S CLASSIC MOVIES: RAMBO AND ROBIN
Tampa Theatre presents two vastly different takes on the Vietnam War this weekend in its Totally ’80s Classic Movies series.
Friday’s 10:30 p.m. screening of 1982’s First Blood (R) is deadly serious, with Sylvester Stallone as special ops veteran John Rambo, at war stateside with combat memories and a bullying sheriff (Brian Dennehy).
Sunday’s 3 p.m. screening of Good Morning, Vietnam (R) is strictly for laughs, some unintentional when Robin Williams gets too sentimental as U.S. Armed Services radio DJ Adrian Cronauer. Williams earned his first Oscar nomination in the 1987 hit.
711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $10, $7 Tampa Theatre members. (813) 274-8286. tampatheatre.org.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 The Shape of Water: Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fantasy leads with 13 Oscar nominations.
2 Call Me by Your Name: Remember the name Timothée Chalamet, above, an Oscar nominee for best actor.
3 I, Tonya: Margot Robbie is Oscar-nominated as Tonya Harding, skating on thin ice.
4 The Greatest Showman: An original musical about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.
5 Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig’s best picture Oscar nominee also earned directing and writing nods.
(Dates subject to change)
Feb. 9: Fifty Shades Freed; The 15:17 to Paris; Peter Rabbit; Gringo
Feb. 16: Black Panther; Early Man
Feb. 23: Annihilation; Game Night; War With Grandpa; Every Day
March 2: Death Wish; Red Sparrow; Alpha
March 9: A Wrinkle in Time; Gringo; The Upside; The Hurricane Heist
March 16: Tomb Raider; Love, Simon
March 23: Isle of Dogs; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Sherlock Gnomes; Midnight Sun