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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Film Clips: Aug. 20

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If I Stay PG-13

A promising 17-year-old classical musician, Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz), endures a terrible automobile accident involving her entire family. As she lies in a coma, Mia sees the disappointing outcome of her romance with rock-musician Adam (Jamie Blackley), as well as the difficulties she will face in a future that doesn’t include some of those she loves most. She also relives key events from her past. Mia’s dilemma is whether to fight for a life promising much sorrow, or to embrace a relatively peaceful death. Mia’s out-of-body experience allows her to observe friends and loved ones attempting to persuade her to stay, as well as the efforts of her medical caregivers. From a bestselling 2009 young adult novel by Gayle Forman, who wrote a sequel to this weepy tale, the story reflects upon what is most important in life, and how easily it can all be lost. (Lisa Miller)

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For R

The sequel to Sin City adapts several stories from the graphic novels by Frank Miller who also codirects. Some tales are prequels to the first film, others occur after it, and still others are unpublished or written for this movie. A trio of femme fatales, played by Jessica Alba, Eva Green and Rosario Dawson, each seek revenge against corrupt politicians (Powers Boothe) and killers, while the protagonists played by Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, each also seek their pound of flesh. Stylishly filmed in high-contrast black and white that is decorated with pops of color (red lips are a favorite), the film creates a violent fantasy land populated by sirens transitioning into stone-cold killers. (L.M.)

 

When the Game Stands Tall PG

Jim Caviezel portrays Bob Ladouceur, the real-life high school football coach overseeing his team’s remarkable 12-year winning streak. Since the actor’s brooding style is a poor fit for an inspirational coach, it’s tempting to wonder whether Caviezel, a devout Catholic who appeared as Christ in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, won the role because this miracle occurred at De La Salle’s Catholic High School in Concord, Calif. Soon after we join the story, Ladouceur and his team suffer unexpected setbacks that put an abrupt end to the team’s 151 straight wins. The focus quickly shifts to Ladouceur’s efforts to muster his players for the battle to win back their pride. Ladouceur’s insistence to players that “Football isn’t everything” registers as ironic because his team’s feat is the reason this story is being told. (L.M.)