On the Reel | TheUnion.com

On the Reel

This photo provided by courtesy Twentieth Century Fox shows, The Thing, from left, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Miles Teller as Dr. Reed Richards, and Kate Mara as Sue Storm, in a scene from the film, "Fantastic Four," releasing in U.S. theaters on Aug. 7, 2015. (Twentieth Century Fox via AP)
AP | Twentieth Century Fox

Fantastic Four

Rated PG-13, running time 100 minutes.

Special advance show tonight, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. and 10:20 p.m. at Sierra Cinemas.

The “first family of Marvel” has had some growing pains. While Marvel’s X-Men and the Avengers have built their big screen empires into well-oiled billion dollar franchises, the Fantastic Four have floundered with never-was and the never-should-have-been adaptations. First there was the Roger Corman-produced film that was killed before it hit theaters in 1994, and then two critically loathed, but decently profitable attempts in the mid-2000s with future Captain America Chris Evans as the Human Torch.

The Fantastic Four are among Marvel’s longest-running series and most beloved groups. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the scientists-turned-superheroes were relatable and wry in their interactions as a team — even when they weren’t fighting supervillains. When it debuted in November 1961, it was a refreshing revelation that helped inform the Marvel voice and set a path for Iron Man and Spider-Man.

The family aspect is derived from the brother and sister pairing of Sue and Johnny Storm, the bond between the four after they get powers, and the fact that Sue and Reed Richards eventually become Marvel’s most stable couple.

The Gift

Rated R, running time 120 minutes.

Starts Friday, Aug. 7 at Del Oro Theatre.

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon’s high school sends their world into a harrowing tailspin. Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo (Joel Edgerton) at first, but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to us, and are past bygones ever really bygones?

Ricki and the Flash

Rated PG-13, running time minutes.

Starts Friday, Aug. 7 at Sutton Cinemas.

Three-time Academy Award (R) winner Meryl Streep goes electric and takes on a whole new gig – a hard-rocking singer/guitarist. Streep stars as Ricki, a guitar heroine who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom, but is now returning home to make things right with her family. Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, who plays her fictional daughter; Rick Springfield, who takes on the role of a Flash member in love with Ricki; and Kevin Kline, who portrays Ricki’s long-suffering ex-husband.

Merchants of Doubt

Rated PG-13, running time 96 minutes.

Shows Sunday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. at The Nevada Theatre.

Sunday’s show is co-sponsored by the Nevada County Climate Change Coalition and SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival Jan. 14-17, 2016. We anticipate that a panel of local experts will be on hand for a Q&A. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver-tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. “Don’t underestimate Robert Kenner’s “Merchants of Doubt.” It may sound like a standard-issue advocacy documentary concerned with the perils of global warming, but it’s a lot more than that.” –Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times

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