CINEMA CHAT – October 25, 2019

 Listen to this week’s Cinema Chat with Russ Collins and David Fair on 89.1 WEMU and at http://www.wemu.org/programs/cinema-chat

Halloween Is Here!!!

The Exorcist – Friday, October 26 at 9:30 PM at the State – Extended Directors Cut! One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (LINDA BLAIR) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (ELLEN BURSTYN) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (JASON MILLER), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil.

The Babadook – Saturday, October 27 at 11:59 PM at the State A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. — ONLY $8!

Frankenweenie – Sunday, October 28 at 1:30 PM at the State – In Tim Burton’s longer, animated version of his 1984 short, Young Victor Frankenstein (CHARLIE TAHAN) is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend: his dog, Sparky. But then, tragedy strikes, and Sparky shuffles off this mortal coil. Victor is heartbroken, but his science teacher (MARTIN LANDAU) gives him an idea! — FREE for kids 12 & under! Part of the Toyota Family-Friendly Film Series presented by the Benard L. Maas Foundation.

Suspiria – Wednesday, October 31 at 8:45 PM at the State as an early Halloween Screening! Opens Friday, November 2 for a full run at the State.  Remake of the cult classic Italian horror film. A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director (TILDA SWINTON), an ambitious young dancer (DAKOTA JOHNSON), and a grieving psychotherapist (LUTZ EBERSDORF). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

OPENING DOWNTOWN

At the Michigan: In Tea with the Dames viewers are invited to see happens when four legends of British stage and screen get together. Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins, and Dame Joan Plowright are among the most celebrated actresses of our time, with scores of iconic performances, decades of wisdom, and innumerable Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, and BAFTAs between them. They are also longtime friends who hereby invite you to join them for a weekend in the country as they catch up with one another, reminisce, and share their candid, delightfully irreverent thoughts on everything from art to aging to love to a life lived in the spotlight. Critics Consensus: Tea with the Dames proves there’s plenty of entertainment value to be found in rounding up a quartet of screen legends for a chat — and is likely to leave audiences wishing these stars would keep brewing up pots for an ongoing series.

At the Michigan: Based on a true story, Can You Ever Forgive Me? stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer who made her living in the 1970’s and 80’s profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (played by Richard E. Grant). Critics Consensus: Deftly directed and laced with dark wit, Can You Ever Forgive Me? proves a compelling showcase for deeply affecting work from Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy.

At the Michigan: Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years. Teenager Nicolas Sheff seems to have it all — good grades, editor of the school newspaper, actor, artist and athlete. When Nic’s addiction to meth threatens to destroy him, his desperate father does whatever he can to save his son and his family. Starring Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, and Amy Ryan. Critics Consensus: Beautiful Boy sees Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell delivering showcase work that’s powerful.

At the State: From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes National Geographic Documentary Film’s Free Solo, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock… the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park… without a rope. Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge, Honnold enters his story in the annals of human achievement. Critics Consensus: Free Solo depicts athletic feats that many viewers will find beyond reason – and grounds the attempts in passions that are all but universal.

At the State: Written and directed by Jonah Hill, Mid90s follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop. Critics Consensus: Mid90s tells a clear-eyed yet nostalgic coming-of-age tale that might mark the start of an auspicious new career for debuting writer-director Jonah Hill.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

The Secret of Super Moon and Canton Novelty will play Sunday, October 28 at 4:00 PM at the State as a part of the “Electric Shadows” film series presented by the Confucius Institute at U-M. Free and open to the public! The Secret of Super Moon (2015) is a short film of interviews, a few women talking about how they remember their previous relationships. These immensely personal and feminine narratives were brought into an insulated interior space, interweaved with each other to form a fictional time and space. Canton Novelty (2016) is a work about “creating” miracles in our everyday life. Ruohan, Lily and Zoe are close friends. They are spending their summer vacation together in the southern city of China, Guangzhou. They document their vacation time with their cell phones while they discover they have super-power.

NT Live: Frankenstein plays October 28 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan! An encore presentation of a performance originally broadcast live from the National Theatre in London. Presented in partnership with UMS. Directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), Frankenstein features Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting). Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the increasingly desperate and vengeful Creature determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal. Tickets available at UMS.org.

Man of Marble plays Wednesday, October 31 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan as a part of the Polish History in Film Masterpieces Film Series presented by the Polish Cultural Fund. Free and open to the public! In repressive mid-1970s Poland, documentary filmmaker Agnieszka (Krystyna Janda) begins work on a film about Mateusz Birkut (Jerzy Radziwilowicz), a bricklayer who had briefly been hailed as a hero of the proletariat in the 1950s, but then disappeared into obscurity. In piecing together details about the bricklayer’s mysterious life, she discovers that his involvement in organized labor had been viewed negatively by party bosses, and that her own investigations could put her in danger. Originally released in 1977. Directed by Andrzej Wajda.

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

At the Michigan: On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost on Armstrong and on the nation of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (played by Robert Redford), The Old Man & the Gun follows his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (played by Casey Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman (played by Sissy Spacek), who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.

At the State: Colette follows Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (played by Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris after marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as “Willy” (played by Dominic West). Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite a semi-autobiographical novel for him, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, Colette’s fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression.

In A Star is Born Bradley Cooper plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally (played by Lady Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer… until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.

Crazy Rich Asians is based on a global bestseller and follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu accompanying her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. She’s also surprised to learn that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy, and he’s considered one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse – Nick’s disapproving mother.

 

OPENING AT THE MULTIPLEX

Hunter Killer

Deep under the Arctic Ocean, American submarine Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler, Olympus Has Fallen, 300) is on the hunt for a U.S. sub in distress when he discovers a secret Russian coup is in the offing, threatening to dismantle the world order. Captain Glass must now assemble an elite group of Navy SEALs to rescue the kidnapped Russian president and sneak through enemy waters to stop WWIII Director: Donovan Marsh, Writers: Arne Schmidt, Jamie Moss.  Stars: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common

Johnny English Strikes Again

Critics Consensus: Johnny English Strikes Again might get a few giggles out of viewers pining for buffoonish pratfalls, but for the most part, this sequel simply strikes out.

After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.  Director: David Kerr.  Writer: William Davies. Stars: Olga Kurylenko, Rowan Atkinson, Michael Gambon, Emma Thompson

Indivisible

The extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather. When war etches battle scars on their hearts, they face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage. One marriage, one family, under God.  Director: David G. Evans. Writers: David G. Evans, Cheryl McKay

Stars: Justin Bruening, Sarah Drew, Jason George

London Fields

Clairvoyant femme fatale Nicola Six has been living with a dark premonition of her impending death by murder. She begins a tangled love affair with three uniquely different men: one of whom she knows will be her murderer. Director: Mathew Cullen.  Writers: Martin Amis (novel), Roberta Hanley

Stars: Amber Heard, Cara Delevingne, Gemma Chan, Billy Bob Thorton

That’s all for this week. See you at the movies!

 

From Russell B. Collins

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Exc. Dir., State & Michigan Theaters – Ann Arbor

Founding Director, Art House Convergence – Utah

Festival Founder, Cinetopia Festival – Detroit/A2