Movie Planner: ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’



Trainspotting isn’t the only 1996 release getting a makeover this weekend. The same year, Ghost in the Shell proved Japanese anime to be theatrically viable in the United States. Stylish, futuristic sex and violence with subtitles could sell tickets, not just VHS bootlegs.

Now Ghost in the Shell is live-action and tamer judging by its PG-13 rating. Scarlett Johansson, right, slips into the form-fitting fight suits of Major, a cyber-enhanced soldier fighting terrorism. Major also has a little Jason Bourne to her backstory after learning her supervisors are lying about her past. Now it’s personal, even for a cyborg.

A review will be published at


Based on a true story, The Zookeeper’s Wife (PG-13) enables Jessica Chastain, above, to break out her Polish accent, a requirement to earn her Meryl Streep merit badge.

Chastain plays Antonina Zabinski who, alongside her husband, Jan, (Johan Heldenbergh) owned the Warsaw Zoo during World War II. The German occupation inspired the Zabinskis to secretly shelter hundreds of Jewish refugees among the animal inhabitants. Daniel Brühl co-stars as a German zoologist unaware that he’s assisting.

Directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider), The Zookeeper’s Wife is based on Diane Ackerman’s book culled from Antonina’s diaries and adapted by Angela Workman. Toss in Chastain’s lead performance and executive producer title and it’s seldom that so many women shepherd a Hollywood project.


Tampa Bay jazz legend Ernie Calhoun is the subject of Soulful Tenor, a documentary getting its world premiere Sunday at Hillsborough Community College in Ybor City.

Directed by Arielle Stevenson, Soulful Tenor traces Calhoun’s musical career that began on Tampa’s Central Avenue and went on the road in 1938, crossing paths with greats like Ray Charles. The movie will be followed by a concert featuring local jazz all-stars.

Calhoun’s tribute is presented by Tampa Jazz Club and Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association with a portion of the proceeds going to their scholarship programs. $15 advance, $20 day of. Free for HCC-Ybor students with ID.

In theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 Logan: Requiem for a Marvel mutant (Hugh Jackman). Best comic book flick since The Dark Knight.

2 Get Out: Jordan Peele makes race relations scarier than ever with bold horror satire.

3 Life: Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds do the Alien routine with a great ending.

4 John Wick Chapter 2: Keanu Reeves is a 21st century Chuck Norris.

5 The Last Word: Shirley MacLaine makes the most of a late, plum role.


(Dates subject to change)

April 7: Going in Style; Smurfs: The Lost Village

April 12: Gifted

April 14: The Fate of the Furious

April 21: Free Fire; The Lost City of Z; Unforgettable

April 28: The Circle; How to Be a Latin Lover

May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 12: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; Snatched; Lowriders

Movie Planner: ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ 03/29/17

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:11am]

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