by MIKE MACCOLLUM
So the only new limited-release film opening in Indiana theaters this Friday seems to be the documentary Racing Dreams– but it won’t be at the Indianapolis theater you might suspect would be showing it. But it will be showing at one Indy-area theater that has undergone a big change recently- and that is the headline news for this week’s back-from-vacation column….
THEATER OWNERSHIP CHANGE MERRY-GO-ROUND
Instead of the usual intro on limited-release movies opening in Indiana theaters this week, this time I think the really big news pertains to a good number of those theaters themselves. I first noticed that the AMC chain had acquired the Kerasotes theaters in Indiana several weeks ago- but I kept forgetting to write about the takeover until this week, when the (former) Kerasotes theaters started showing up on AMC’s site. A related issue is that as a result of the buyout, at least one other local theater has undergone an ownership change, and one more will be forthcoming. According to this article from The Indianapolis Star, the former AMC Greenwood Park 14 is now part of the Regal chain, due to “antitrust concerns”- and the Kerasotes-turned-AMC theater at the Glendale Mall must eventually be sold for the same reason.
Some AMC theatres- usually those with 20-plus screens- play some interesting, unusual movies every once in a while- subtitled commercial and/or arthouse imports from Korea or the Philippines, the occasional “almost, but not quite, straight-to-DVD” action/horror/whatever movie, and so on. It’s probably too much to expect that the former Kerasotes 16 and IMAX on the south side will be showing any of these movies now that it is the AMC Showplace Indianapolis 17- but I’m going to keep on hoping that they might be able to fit a few of these in, once the summer season ends.
And as for the potential new owners of the Glendale Mall theater- maybe the Cinemark folks could turn this into the only second-run theater on the north side of Indy…. (Or, since they have many first-run theaters as well, they could have their only first-run theater in the Indy area.) The Carmike chain has three other theaters in the state, and- at least on occasion- some of their theaters show a more interesting mix of movies than most of the other chains in the area… so maybe they could open their first theater in the state’s largest movie market. Or the US-branch of the Indian Phoenix/BIG Cinemas chain- which also shows more unusual movies more often than theaters already in the Indy area (even above and beyond the Indian films they program at many of their theaters)- could open their first theater in the state. (They already own at least one theater in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky.) Or maybe the Goodrich Quality Theatres folks (who have the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville), or the Rave chain (with the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield) could open their first theater in the city limits. Who knows? Whatever happens to the Glendale theater, let’s hope it stays open for the foreseeable future….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Racing Dreams– Academy-Award-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry directed this documentary about three young people (aged 11 to 13) who race in the World Karting Association, and dream of competing in NASCAR someday. At the same time, they must deal with the same problems and issues as everyone else at this stage in their lives. Racing Dreams- winner of the Audience Award for best Feature Length film at the 2009 Indianapolis International Film Festival- starts on Friday, May 28, at the AMC Showplace Indianapolis 17 (the former Kerasotes ShowPlace 16 and IMAX- see above) and the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield. The latter theater will have just two showings per day, by the way- an indication of how crowded the marketplace is this time of year, and also possibly a reflection of apparently underwhelming box office returns from openings in thirty-plus theaters out of state last week. Or at least so says boxofficemojo.com, which described Racing Dreams as “the greatest disappointment among limited releases” from last weekend. This isn’t meant as some sort of a slam against the movie, by the way- instead, I’m just letting you know that if you want to see this in a local theater, you had better do so this week.
Vedam– This is a Telugu-language action movie/drama from India with either three or five major characters/interwoven stories, depending on which source you believe. A young man from the slums, a rock star on the rise, and a hooker are three of the characters, per one source; another source claims that an older gentleman is another of the main characters, without adding any real information about the other character. According to manoranjaninc’s site, Vedam is currently scheduled to play at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Thursday, June 3, and Friday, June 4. Most Telugu films that get released to US theaters do not have English subtitles, so I suspect that that will be the case for Vedam as well- but I don’t have any evidence to confirm that as of yet. I also couldn’t find an official site for the film- but a youtube trailer is here, and Vedam‘s Wikipedia page is here.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Babies– This documentary is about four little ones- one living in Tokyo, another in Mongolia, a third in San Francisco, and the last in Namibia. According to its official site, the film “joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.” Babies holds over this week at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis (which will have four shows per day, the last at 7:15), the AMC Evansville 16, and the AMC Showplace Muncie 7 (which will have three shows per day). Also, the site for Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center says that Babies will start there on Friday, June 4.
Big Night– Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci co-directed (and appear in) this 1996 drama about a pair of brothers hoping to save their restaurant. It will be shown for free at Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center on Tuesday, June 1, at 7:30 PM, as part of the Cinema Center’s “Food Flicks” series.
City Island– Vince Rizzo is a prison guard, father, and would-be actor. Vince fathered a son, Tony, twenty years ago, but abandoned him. When the two meet again, Vince decides to take Tony home to his “new” family- but he doesn’t tell them the truth about Tony’s identity. That isn’t all that unusual, though, since everyone else in his family has some pretty big secrets of their own- until everything starts unraveling, and some embarrassing truths are revealed. Andy Garcia stars as Vince, and Julianna Margulies plays his wife; Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin are also in the cast of this comedy, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, where it will be shown two times per day (at 4 and 9 PM).
The Eclipse– According to its official site, this is “a film about the challenges of love, fear of the unknown and release from the burden of grief.” Since the death of his wife two years ago, teacher Michael Farr has been raising his two children himself. More recently, he has started to have odd visions- and hear weird noises- in the night. Michael doesn’t know whether these sights and sounds are a product of his imagination, or if they have a supernatural source. When Michael volunteers at a literary festival in his town, he meets author Lena Morelle, whose books deal with haunted houses and other unearthly topics; Michael tells Lena all about what he has been going through, in the hope that he has found someone who might believe that his house could be haunted. But Lena is distracted by the presence of fellow writer Nicholas Holden. She had a short-lived romantic relationship with the much better-known Holden last year; he is in love with her- and even wants to abandon his wife for Lena- but she just wants to find a way to avoid Nicholas’ attentions. Over the next few days, Michael, Lena and Nicholas will find their lives altered in ways they never could have expected. Ciarán Hinds, Iben Hjejle and Aidan Quinn star in The Eclipse, which will be shown in Bloomington on Friday, May 28, and Saturday, May 29; go to The Ryder’s site for more information on when and where.
The Ghost Writer– A talented British ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) signs on to finish the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), even though the previous writer who was working on the project– who was also the ex-PM’s longtime assistant– died before he could complete his work. Soon after the new writer and the politician meet to discuss the project, one of Lang’s former cabinet members claims that Lang authorized a war crime. The writer starts to suspect that his predecessor’s death wasn’t an accident– and that the former British leader may have been doing the CIA’s bidding while he was in office. Roman Polanski’s political thriller- which co-stars Kim Cattrall and Olivia Williams, and features appearances by Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, Jim Belushi, and Eli Wallach- holds over for another week at the Starplex Coventry 13 in Fort Wayne.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo– A smash-hit in Europe, and based on an international best-seller, this is a thriller about an investigation into the decades-old disappearance of a young woman, Harriet Vanger, from a small Swedish island- most of which is owned by her wealthy and powerful family. Harriet’s now-elderly uncle Henrik is convinced that she was murdered- most likely by a member of their own very odd family. Henrik wants to get to the bottom of the mystery before he dies, so he hires investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist to look at the case with fresh eyes. Blomkvist eventually finds himself working with a most unexpected partner- a hyper-intelligent (and extremely anti-social) computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (the dragon-tattooed girl of the title). As the pair gets closer to discovering what really happened, they find that someone is very determined to prevent them from finding the truth…. Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Sven-Bertil Taube and Gunnel Lindblom (Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, Scenes from a Marriage) are all in the cast of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (with one show per day, at 9:15), and opens on Friday, May 28, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.
Hubble 3D- Leonardo DiCaprio narrates this documentary about NASA’s space telescope, its much-publicized initial problems, and the efforts of astronauts to repair the Hubble. According to its official site, Hubble 3D lets moviegoers “journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings;” it continues this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum, with one morning show per day (except on Tuesday).
Jaws– Steven Spielberg’s movie about a big, hungry shark will be shown at the historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin on Friday, May 28, at 2 and 7:30 PM, and on Saturday, May 29, at 7:30 PM.
Kites– Hrithik Roshan stars as J, a wounded man who has been left to die in the brutal heat of the Mexican desert. He struggles to stay alive only because he is determined to find Natasha (Barbara Mori). Although she was engaged to another man, Natasha and J fell head-over-heels in love at first sight. The pair attempted to flee, but could not outrun their pursuers- and now, J may be on the verge of making a horrifying discovery…. Kites– the original Indian version, and not the Brett Ratner “remix,” thankfully- continues this week at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis. According to manoranjaninc.com’s site, Kites will be shown twice daily (at 5 and 7:30 PM) through Wednesday, June 2, at the G14- although the theater’s “schedule” page on movietickets.com has different show times. I suspect that the latter page has the more accurate information, but you might want to call the theater yourself, just to be certain.
Mother– Bong Joon-ho (The Host; Memories of Murder) directed this murder mystery about a single mother with a twenty-seven year old son, Do-joon, who is (as the film’s page on the official site of its US distributor puts it) “simple-minded” and frequently “behaves in foolish or simply dangerous ways.” After getting drunk one night, Do-joon sees a schoolgirl, and he follows her until he loses track of her. When the girl’s body is found the next morning, Do-joon is accused of committing the crime. Since the local police don’t really put a lot of effort into the case- and since the Do-joon has less-than-top-flight legal representation- he is quickly convicted. Do-joon’s mother, however, cannot believe that her son is a killer, and sets out to find the real murderer. Mother will be shown this week (except for Tuesday, June 1) at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne. Also, there will be screenings in Bloomington on Friday, May 28, and Saturday, May 29; go to The Ryder’s site for time and location info.
The Runaways– Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in this film about the all-girl-band, which was written and directed by Floria Sigismondi. Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat, Tatum O’Neal and veteran actress Peggy Stewart are all in the supporting cast of The Runaways, which was co-executive-produced by Joan Jett herself; it starts on Friday, May 28, at the Starplex Coventry 13 in Fort Wayne.
The Secret in Their Eyes– Retired criminal court worker Benjamin Esposito decides to use his new-found free time to write a book. Following the maxim “write what you know,” Benjamin bases his novel on a 1974 murder case which he tried to help solve at the time. But Benjamin lived in Buenos Aires, and the Argentina of 1974 could be a dangerous, violent place- so his investigation puts him and the friends who are helping him in peril. As the present-day Benjamin writes his novel, his memories of the past- especially the mistakes he made, and the opportunities he lost- threaten to overwhelm him…. The Secret in Their Eyes– which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film a few weeks ago- holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Also getting theatrical play in Indiana this week: Barbie in a Mermaid Tale. For more information – including theaters, show times, and days- click on the title, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumbs until you reach the desired information.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
OK, all of the links I tried to post in my comment from last Thursday about upcoming films never surfaced, so I will be repeating a lot of info from that comment- but with updates and links (where needed and/or appropriate) this time.
Exit Through the Gift Shop– I saw a free preview of this one last week, and I’m still not certain if it’s a real documentary, a put-on, or some combination of the two. Whatever this movie might be, it is now scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, June 11, according to the theater’s home page.
Harry Brown– Michael Caine stars as a vengeful Korean War veteran in this drama from England; the Keystone Art Cinema’s home page now says that Harry Brown is supposed to open there on Friday, June 11.
Mother and Child– Writer/director Rodrigo Garcia’s ensemble drama about three women dealing with issues related to adoption is now scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema on Friday, June 18, per the theater’s home page.
Across the Universe– Julie Taymor’s 2007 drama with lots of music from the Beatles kicks off the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s “Summer Nights” series of outdoor films on Friday, June 4.
Burma VJ– This award-winning documentary about a 2007 uprising in Myanmar/Burma- which was shot by an independent group of journalists in that country- will be shown as a fundraiser for Exodus Refugee of Indianapolis at the Central Library in Indianapolis on Friday, June 18, at 7 PM.
Godkiller– According to its official site, this is both the “epic story of a boy’s quest to save his sister” and “a twisted, sci-horror animated film.” Lance Henriksen, Danielle Harris and Bill Moseley are among the voice cast of Godkiller, which will be shown at the Cinema Grill in Indianapolis on Friday, June 4. (As of now, this looks like a one-night, one time showing- but it may turn out to be a full week run. I’ll let you know when I find out more definite information.)
Leach– The Hamilton 16 and IMAX will have an encore showing of this made-in-Indiana thriller at 9:30 AM (yes, AM) on Saturday, June 5.
The Lottery– This documentary about students hoping to win spaces in a charter school will be shown at the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield on Tuesday, June 8, at 7:30 PM.
Singam– Manoranjaninc added this Tamil-language film to their site this week; as of now, it is scheduled to be shown at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 5, at 9:30 PM. And while the image for the film on manoranjaninc’s site makes Singam look like a romance or comedy, the film’s official site says that it is about a cop going after smugglers- and at least some of the images here are much darker in tone. Then again, since Singam is an Indian film, it is probably both a gritty action film about a cop and (to a greater or lesser extent) a romance, and/or comedy and/or musical….