Opening Downtown

In “Victoria and Abdul,” Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.  Owen Gleiberman of Variety writes “Dench is 82 now, but she remains the world’s most formidable pixie, and in ‘Victoria & Abdul’ she’s in her element and in her snappish, showbiz-melancholy prime.” “Victoria and Abdul” opens Friday October 6, with special advance screenings beginning Thursday October 5.

Limited Engagements

In “Columbus,” when a renowned architecture scholar falls suddenly ill during a speaking tour, his son Jin (John Cho) finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana – a small Midwestern city celebrated for its many significant modernist buildings. Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young architecture enthusiast. As their intimacy develops, Jin and Casey explore both the town and their conflicted emotions. “Columbus” plays throughout the week of October 6.

In “Ex Libris: New York Public Library,” legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman brings his incisive vision behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest institutions of learning, capturing the vast programmatic scope of NYC’s library system. The NYPL is blessed with uniformly passionate staff and deeply devoted, appreciative bibliophiles and beneficiaries across its 92 branches. The film reveals a venerable place of welcome, cultural exchange, and intellectual creativity.  “Ex Libris: New York Public Library” plays October 8 and 10.

Special Screenings Downtown

Inspired by the hit TV series “Stranger Things,” the Michigan Theater’s “Stranger and Stranger” film series kicks off with the horror/sci-fi classic “Firestarter!” As youths, Andy McGee (David Keith) and his future wife, Vicky (Heather Locklear), participated in secret experiments, allowing themselves to be subjected to mysterious medical tests. Years later, the couple’s daughter, Charlie (a young Drew Barrymore), begins to exhibit the ability of setting fires solely with her mind. This volatile talent makes the youngster extremely dangerous and soon she becomes a target for the enigmatic agency known as “The Shop.”  “Firestarter” plays Thursday October 5 at 9:30 PM.

All of your favorite villains from the 1930s and 1940s come to the Michigan Theater in the Classics Monsters film series!  In “Frankenstein,” an obsessed scientist attempts to create life by assembling a creature from body parts of the deceased.  Dr. Frankenstein succeeds in animating his monster (played by Boris Karloff) but, confused and traumatized, it escapes to the countryside and begins to wreak havoc.  In the follow-up film “Bride of Frankenstein,” the doctor finds himself under the control of his former mentor, who coerces Frankenstein into constructing a mate (Elsa Lanchester) for the Monster. Meanwhile, the Monster remains on the run from those who wish to destroy him.   “Frankenstein” plays Monday October 9 at 7 PM; “Bride of Frankenstein” plays Monday October 9 at 8:45 PM.

The “Stranger and Stranger” film series continues with the horror/sci-fi classic “The Thing!” In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one. “The Thing” plays Thursday October 12 at 9:30 PM.

Opening at the Multiplex

In “Blade Runner 2049,” thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.  “Blade Runner 2049” opens Friday.

In “The Mountain Between Us,” stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. Starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, “The Mountain Between Us” opens Friday.

In “My Little Pony: The Movie,” a dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.  “My Little Pony: The Movie” opens Friday.

See you at the movies!

 

From Russell B. Collins

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Director, State & Michigan Theaters – Ann Arbor

Founder/Director, Art House Convergence – Utah

Artistic Dir./Founder, Cinetopia Festival Detroit/A2

Strengthening communities with persistent creativity