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‘IT’ BECOMES A FRANCHISE

 

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019

Stephen King continues to churn out a couple of novels a year or more and Hollywood continues to put them on film, including the 2017 “It” remake (of a 1990 TV miniseries), which has now led to a sequel that opens this weekend without any new competition, aside from four art-house films — two documentaries at the Broadway downtown and a couple of biographies at various Megaplex theaters.

“It Chapter Two” (R). Twenty years after the events of “It” (2017) the members of the Losers Club are now adults (played by James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and others) and most have left the small town of Derry, Maine, to go their separate ways. But when children begin to disappear once again, the only “Loser” that remained in town (Isaiah Mustafa) summons the others to help him put down Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) once and for all.

“Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” (PG-13). As gender roles, sexuality, race relations and religion were being radicalized in the 1960s a musical about oppressed Russian Jews appeared to be an uphill battle, but as this documentary shows, it grew into something with universal appeal. With Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Harold Prince, Josh Mostel, Chaim Topol, Joel Grey, Rosalind Harris, Austin Pendleton, Harvey Firestein, Stephen Sondheim, Norman Jewison, Itzhak Perlman and many more. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

  

“The Cat Rescuers” (Not Rated). This quirky documentary follows a few of the hundreds of dedicated volunteers in New York City that try to rescue the tens of thousands of feral and abandoned cats prowling the streets and alleyways of the city that never sleeps. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

“Frank & Ava” (Not Rated). His career is on the wane and hers is hot when Frank Sinatra (Rico Simonini) and Ava Gardner (Emily Elicia Low) begin a torrid, tempestuous affair. They marry in 1951 but Ava soon heads for Spain to film “The Barefoot Contessa,” where she has an affair with a bullfighter, while a despondent Frank aggressively lobbies for a role in “From Here to Eternity” (which he would eventually get, and for which he’d receive an Oscar). Ambitious, low-budget, amateur effort with minor roles for Harry Dean Stanton (in his last film), Lukas Haas and Eric Roberts.

“Vita & Virginia” (Not Rated). Poet/novelist Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) and literary icon Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) travel in different circles in 1920s London, but Vita is determined to meet Virginia. When she does, it’s the beginning of an unconventional affair, despite both being in conventional marriages. And Virginia is inspired by Vita as she writes her novel “Orlando.” With Isabella Rossellini.