Sundance comes back to Ann Arbor!

Direct from the Sundance Film Festival “The East,” stars Brit Marling (“Arbitrage”), Ellen Page (“Juno,” “Inception”), Alexander Skarsgård (“True Blood”), Patricia Clarkson and Julia Ormond (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Legends of the  Fall”). An operative for an elite private intelligence firm goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious Eco-terrorist organization attacking major corporations. Early reviews have been strong and the Michigan theater staff who saw it at Sundance agrees! Britt Marling is destined to breakout  as a major movie talent with this role, and Variety concurs saying “Marling, who delivered ace support in  ‘Arbitrage’ and ‘Sound of My Voice’ (as well as toplining the little-seen ‘Another Earth’), carries the picture effortlessly”. Get your tickets before this special Sundance premiere screening sells out!  This premiere is one week from today, Thursday, January 31, at 8:00 pm at the Michigan Theater. Coming directly from Sundance will be star and screenwriter Britt Marling, director/writer Zal Batmanglij and Sundance Film Festival Program Director Trevor Groth!

Opening downtown

In “Quartet,” directed by Dustin Hoffman, lifelong friends Wilf and Reggie, together with former colleague Cissy, are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Verdi’s birthday, the residents give a concert to raise funds for their home. But life-long conflicts and financial problems threaten the musical and interpersonal harmony. Starring Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly, this much anticipated film is based on Ronald Harwood‘s stage  play of the same name. “Quartet” is actor Dustin Hoffman‘s directorial  debut, and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says, “Hoffman uses all he’s  learned as a virtuoso actor to shape a film of flesh-and-blood  characters, flushed with humor and tenderness.” “Quartet” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.

In “Smashed” Kate and Charlie are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and drinking- especially the drinking. When Kate’s drinking leads her to dangerous places and her job as a school teacher is put into jeopardy, she decides to join AA and get sober. But, sobriety isn’t as easy as Kate had anticipated. Tom Long of the Detroit News says, “[The accomplished actors] make their characters feel like flesh and blood, not stereotypical Lost Weekenders. Their love is as real as their future is shaky. And that’s the film’s great tragedy.” “Smashed” plays January 25, 27 & 28 at the Michigan Theater.

“Holy Motors” is the most buzzed about film in the specialty film world. It is a beautifully photographed, very odd tale of Monsieur Oscar, the shadowy main character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man… He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part – but where are the cameras? “Holy Motors” plays January 29 & 30 at the Michigan Theater.

Special Screenings Downtown

A rare opportunity to see “Porcile,” a 1969 Italian film was written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as Julian, the son of German industrialist Klotz (Alberto Lionello). In part one Klotz seeks to go into business with a former Nazi (Ugo Tognazzi), who spent most of World War II collecting human skulls for experiments with brain matter. As a protest, Julian refuses to marry his fiancé from a pre-arranged marriage, and he becomes romantically involved with pigs. Part two finds a man driven to cannibalism by hunger while wandering Mount Etna. “Porcile,” part of the New Line and New Hollywood series plays Monday, January 28th at the Michigan Theater.

Opening at the Multiplex

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” finds the heroes of the German fairy tale all grown up and with a taste for Witch blood. Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, they have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches…their past. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” opens Friday.

“Movie 43,” from the twisted minds of producers Peter Farrelly (“Hall Pass,” “Shallow Hal”) and Charles Wessler (“There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb & Dumber”), comes this outrageous new ensemble comedy starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood. “Movie 43″ is not for the easily-offended and contains jaw-dropping, sometimes shockingly disturbing storylines.” Movie 43″ opens Friday.

In “Parker” Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez team up amidst the unparalleled wealth and glamor of Palm Beach to get their cut of the loot! Based on the series of bestselling novels by Donald E. Westlake, the film is directed by Academy Award nominee Taylor Hackford  (“Ray”) and also stars Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce (HBO’s “The Wire”)  and Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte. “Parker” opens Friday.

See you at the Movies!