Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (August 6, 2010)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

So four movies are opening in limited release across Indiana this week- that’s a higher number than usual, but I doubt that many folks will be making the effort to see all four in theaters, given the diverse genres (teen melodrama, war documentary, comedy mixed with crime drama, and mountain climbing doc) and screening locations. Still, there ought to be something out there this week- whether a new release or otherwise- in Indiana theaters to appeal to most tastes.

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Middle Men– A name cast and a brilliant ad slogan- “The guys who brought the XXX to the www”- weren’t enough to save this movie from sitting on the shelf for a year or two, or from going into an odd, limited release (about 250 screens in five major metropolitan areas- with no plans to expand into wider release later on, as far as I can tell). Luke Wilson has the lead role as Jack, a businessman who (back in 1995) gets mixed up with two fellows who came up with the way that pornography was sold over the Internet. Jack lives the high life for a while- but then he gets involved with a porn star, and the FBI starts to investigate his business…. Giovanni Ribisi, Gabriel Macht, James Caan, Jacinda Barrett, Kelsey Grammer, and Kevin Pollak head the supporting cast of Middle Men, which starts on Friday, August 6, at the Portage 16 and IMAX in Portage, the Cinemark at Valparaiso, the AMC Showplace Hobart 12, the AMC Showplace Michigan City 14, and the AMC Showplace Schererville 16.

Restrepo– This documentary focuses on a platoon of soldiers deployed at a small, isolated outpost in Afghanistan named “Restrepo.” According to the film’s official site, Restrepo is “an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley…. [t]he only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 94-minute deployment.” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger (who wrote the book The Perfect Storm) co-directed Restrepo, which starts on Friday, August 6, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Twelve– No, this isn’t yet another variation on Twelve Angry Men (that was the Russian film that came out within the last year or so). This Twelve is the Joel Schumacher-directed tale of White Mike, a high-school dropout who turns to dealing drugs on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Everything goes fine for a while, as long as Mike can conceal his activities from his longtime friends- but then the new drug Twelve appears on the scene, and one of Mike’s relatives becomes a victim of drug-related violence…. Chace Crawford stars as Mike, and the supporting cast includes Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Emily Meade, and Ellen Barkin; Kiefer Sutherland narrates. Twelve– which showed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but received (mostly) very negative reviews in spite of that- starts on Friday, August 6, at the Regal Village Park 17 in Carmel, the Regal Greenwood Park 14 in Greenwood, the AMC Showplace Muncie 12, and the Cinemark Movies 14 in Mishawaka.

The Wildest Dream– Which was part of this year’s Indianapolis International Film Festival, and which is about the first man who tried to make it to the top of Mount Everest, will open at the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, August 6. Liam Neeson narrates, by the way, and Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Dancy, and the late Natasha Richardson also contributed vocal performances.

NOTES- Once again demonstrating the sort of genius for advance publicity that ensures success in the digital age, the Tibbs Drive-In in Indianapolis has not posted its schedule for the upcoming week as of Thursday night. It isn’t very likely that the Tibbs will be showing anything that other theaters in town aren’t already showing- or didn’t show a few weeks ago- but if they do, I will try to post an update late Friday afternoon/early evening.

THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky– In 1913, Coco Chanel attended the Paris premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking work The Rite of Spring. Chanel loved The Rite of Spring, but most of the audience was outraged by it, and lustily booed the composition. Seven years later, following the Russian Revolution, Stravinsky is broke and living in Paris, and Chanel is now a wealthy fashion designer. She invites him (and his wife and children) to live in her villa, so that he can work on his music- but the pair also fall passionately in love with each other. Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen play the title roles in this romantic drama, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- albeit with only two showings per day (at 2 and 6:45 PM- although there won’t be a 6:45 showing on Wednesday, August 11, according to the KAC’s home page).

Coyote Falls– This is a new Road Runner cartoon short (done with CGI, rather than traditional hand-drawn animation, from the looks of it). The site for Martinsville’s Centerbrook Drive-In said that they will be showing this short from Friday, August 6, through Wednesday, August 11. I don’t know if any other theaters in town are showing this short- although the Wikipedia page for Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (also showing at the Centerbrook this week) says that Coyote Falls is attached to prints of Cats & Dogs– but the Centerbrook is the only place to mention it on their site this week, so I thought I would make note of it here.

Cyrus– John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei star in the latest effort from the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay. Reilly is John, a man in his mid-forties who is still alone, even though several years have passed since he and his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) got divorced. He finally meets Molly, the woman of his dreams (Tomei, of course)- and is shocked to discover that she really likes him, too. But then John meets Molly’s son, Cyrus, who is in his twenties, and has an unusually close relationship with his mother- leading to a battle between the two men for Molly’s affections. Cyrus– a most unusual romantic (?) comedy- holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (where it will be shown twice daily, at 4:30 and 9:25 PM); it also starts Friday, August 6, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus and the Showplace Cinemas North in Evansville.

Everyone Else– A pair of German honeymooners are having a good time at an Italian resort- until they start to get on each other’s nerves as they get to know each other better. But these are only minor irritations- the real trouble starts when they meet another young couple, who are (very obviously) much happier than they are…. Everyone Else shows in Bloomington again this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, by way of The Ryder; the screenings start at 8 PM, and take place at the IU Fine Arts Building.

A Fish Called Wanda– John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin and Academy Award Winner Kevin Kline star in Charles Crichton’s hit 1988 comedy, which will be shown be shown at dusk this Friday, August 6, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s amphitheater. The screening is part of the IMA’s “Summer Nights” film series, and- as with most weeks- the doors open at 6:30 PM (or at 6 PM, if you’re a member of the IMA).

48-Hour Film Project– The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theatre will show thirty-four short films made by teams of filmmakers from the Indianapolis area in three sets- at 5, 7, and 9 PM- on Saturday, August 6. The site for the 48-Hour Film Project will tell you which films will be shown when; admission is $10 for each set of screenings, or if you want to see all three sets (and all thirty-four films), admission is $20.

Gen Con Indy– This annual convention- which continues through Sunday, August 8, at the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis- is mainly focused on gaming, according to its official site. But Gen Con also features a number of other events, including art exhibits, movie screenings, and other movie-related events. For more on the latter two categories, visit this page.

The Girl Who Played With Fire– This follow-up to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo finds computer hacker Lisbeth Salander framed for murder. Most people just assume that she’s guilty- but Mikael Blomkvist, Salander’s partner in a previous investigation, is determined to prove her innocence… and to find out which governmental and/or political bigwigs set up Salander. The Girl Who Played With Fire holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- and it will be in Bloomington starting on August 20, according to The Ryder’s site.

Harry Brown– Michael Caine plays Harry, a widower and veteran who lives in a neighborhood that is increasingly overrun by amoral and violent hooligans. After his best friend is killed by some of the vicious young punks- and the police aren’t especially helpful- Harry decides that he has to take on the youths himself, and that he must do so using their own violent methods. Harry Brown starts Friday, August 6, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.

Herb & Dorothy– Postal clerk Herbert Vogel and his librarian wife Dorothy have a very impressive collection of contemporary art that includes pieces by some of the biggest names in the art world. This documentary tells the story of the Vogels- and how they put together their art collection, in spite of limited funds. The Earth House Collective in Indianapolis will be showing Herb & Dorothy this Thursday, August 12, at 6:30 PM.

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 will have several shows per day this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work– You know who she is, and you most likely either love her or hate her- but you may not know Joan Rivers nearly as well as you think you do, according to this documentary from co-directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. The film follows a year in the life of Rivers; fellow comedians Kathy Griffin and Don Rickles also appear, along with Rivers’ daughter, Melissa. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work starts on Friday, August 6, at the AMC Evansville 16, and the AMC Showplace Muncie 7 (which will have two shows per day, at 7:20 and 9:40 PM).

The Kids Are All Right– Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) directed and co-wrote this comedy about a pair of lesbian mothers, Nic and Jules (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening), who have two teenaged children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) by way of an anonymous sperm donor. When the older of the kids turns eighteen, she decides to track down the donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Paul is much more laid back than Nic, and his increasing involvement with the family leads to a number of complications. The Kids Are All Right holds over this week at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis, the AMC Glendale Showplace 12 in Indianapolis, the Regal Village Park 17 in Carmel, the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the AMC Showplace 7 in Muncie, the AMC Evansville 16, the AMC Schererville Showplace 16, the AMC South Bend Showplace 16, the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the Eastside 9 in Lafayette, and the AMC Showplace Bloomington 11. It also starts on Friday, August 6, at the AMC Showplace Michigan City 14, the Carmike 20 and Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne, the Great Escape 16 in New Albany, and the Cinemark Movies 14 in Mishawaka.

Maryada Ramanna (aka Maryadha Ramanna)– In thisTelegu-language action film (which apparently is not subtitled in English), a good guy (played by Sunil) returns to his hometown in India’s Andhra Pradesh region several years after his father and a bad man’s brother killed each other. Sunil and the bad guy don’t recognize each other at first, so the bad man offers to put him up at his house. When the bad man realizes just who his guest really is, he decides to let him stay at his house in peace- but when Sunil leaves, the bad man vows that he will hunt Sunil down, and kill him. Maryada Ramanna returns to the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis this week for one more showing- at 9 PM on Friday, August 6.

Pearl– According to this film’s official site, “Chickasaw aviatrix” Pearl Carter Scott became the youngest licensed pilot in America in the 1920s. Famed pilot Wiley Post gave Ms. Carter Scott her first airplane ride at the age of 12, and she was so intrigued that Post gave her a flying lesson and convinced her father to buy her a plane of her own. Elijah DeJesus plays the title role in Pearl, which is (per its official site) “a production of the Chickasaw Nation.” (By the way- Ms. Carter Scott is still alive and 94 years old, according to her MySpace page.) Pearl will be shown at 7 PM on Tuesday, August 10, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.

Please Give– Kate (Catherine Keener) and her husband Alex (Oliver Platt) run a pricey, faddish furniture store in Manhattan. Unbeknownst to their customers, Kate and Alex stock their store with items they buy on the cheap from the families of dead people- and then massively mark up. That’s just one thing that’s been bothering Kate, however- she also has concerns about her marriage, and wants to discourage her daughter’s materialistic tendencies. At the same time, Kate worries about the homeless people and general poverty in New York City- and she also must deal with her crotchety old neighbor Andra, and Andra’s two granddaughters. Please Give is the fourth collaboration between Catherine Keener and writer/director Nicole Holofcener; Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet, Kevin Corrigan, and Ann Guilbert (“Millie Helper” from The Dick Van Dyke Show) are in the supporting cast. This comedy/drama continues this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.

The Towering Inferno– I never understood the appeal of the big disaster movies of the ‘seventies- even after I actually saw some of them, like The Towering Inferno itself. Those of you who do enjoy this sort of thing- famous actors getting killed off, or narrowly escaping death, and lots of stuff going wrong on a big scale- can check out The Towering Inferno this weekend at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre. The Artcraft will have screenings at 2 and 7:30 PM on Friday, August 6, and at 7:30 PM on Saturday, August 7.

The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D– World champion surfer Kelly Slater is your guide through this 3D thrill-ride of a surfing movie, which continues this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.

The Warlords– Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro star as a former general and two bandits who join forces in the nineteenth century- only to find that their pledge to be loyal blood brothers until they die might not work out quite as they anticipated…. The Warlords was released to US theaters by Magnolia Pictures, a corporate sibling of the Landmark Theatres chain. However, like many (most?) Magnolia releases, The Warlords bypassed Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- but it will be showing in Bloomington at 7:30 this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, thanks to the folks at The Ryder; the venue is the IU Fine Arts Building. (And for those of you who are already busy this weekend, The Ryder’s site says that The Warlords will be showing next weekend as well.)

Winter’s Bone– After her criminally-inclined father takes off on yet another of his mysterious, unexplained absences, seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly learns that dad put the family home up for bail- and if he doesn’t show up for his hearing, Ree and her mother and siblings will be homeless. Facing lack of convenient transportation, harsh winter weather, and defiantly uncooperative kinfolk, Ree doggedly searches for her father- all too aware of the dire consequences if she doesn’t succeed…. Winter’s Bone– which was based on Daniel Woodrell’s excellent novel- won two major prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and the Grand Jury Prize in the Drama category), and features a much-praised performance by Jennifer Lawrence as Ree. It holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Also on big screens in Indiana this week: The Drum Corps International 2010 World Championship Quarterfinals take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Thursday, August 12- but it will also be on theater screens across the state as well. Also, the children’s films (or edited-together-TV-shows-or-videos, as the case may be) Strawberry Shortcake: The Glimmerberry Ball Movie and (maybe) Sesame Workshop: Summer Beach Party will be shown at a number of Indiana theaters as well. (The former is supposed to be the “official” Kidtoons movie for August, but the online schedule pages for at least a few Indiana theaters- such as the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis- claim that they will be showing the July Kidtoons entry, Sesame Workshop, instead. I suspect that these online schedules are incorrect, and Strawberry Shortcake will be shown at all theaters listed on the Kidtoons site- but you never know….) For more information on which theaters will be showing these- and other information, such as show times- click on the relevant title above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND

As of Thursday afternoon, the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis had no news about upcoming limited release/art films on their home page.

Manoranjaninc’s home page has one new title this week, the satirical comedy Peepli [Live]. As of Thursday afternoon, only one showing is scheduled at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis- at 9:30 PM on Friday, August 13. I suspect that a few more show times will be added later on, since Aamir Khan (Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, 3 Idiots) produced the film- but we’ll most likely have to wait a few days to find out….

One other title also showed up online this week as a future big-screen release in Indiana. The Big Uneasy is a documentary about the levee system that failed to protect New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (and which apparently is being rebuilt using the same likely-to-fail standards); it was directed by actor/writer Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap, The Simpsons, and other credits too numerous to mention). As of now, The Big Uneasy is scheduled to be shown on Monday, August 30, at the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne- although other Indiana locations could be added in future weeks.

I mentioned the vampire comedy/horror movie/musical Suck (which has a cast that includes Jessica Pare, Dave Foley, Moby, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Alice Cooper, and Malcolm McDowell) last week, noting that it will be at the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield on September 2. This week, the film’s site added two other Indiana theaters for September 2- the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne and the Showplace East in Evansville.

Screenings for next Friday:

The classic comedy His Girl Friday will be showing at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre next Friday, August 13, at 2 and 7:30 PM (as well as next Saturday, August 14, at 7:30 PM). And by odd coincidence (?), His Girl Friday also will be the “Vintage Movie Night” film for August at the Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis. That event starts at 8 PM; the film will be preceded by an introduction- from film collector and historian Eric Grayson- and a short cartoon.

Another, very different “Friday” film- the original Friday the 13th, from 1980- will be shown at the Strand Theater in Shelbyville. The movie starts at 8 PM on… Friday, August 13th.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art, on the other hand, bravely resists the “Friday in the title” trend by showing Rob Reiner’s much-loved Stand by Me as their “Summer Nights” movie for next week. As usual, the film starts at dusk; the doors open at 6 PM for IMA members (and 6:30 for everyone else), and the film will be shown in the IMA’s outdoor amphitheater.

4 responses to “Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (August 6, 2010)

  1. Saw Winter’s Bone last weekend and it is really, really good. I’m going to catch up with The Girl Who Played With Fire this weekend.

  2. I’m excited that Warlords is getting a screening anywhere in Indiana, even if it is almost certainly a DVD projection. Thanks for letting us know that it’s on next weekend so I can save an evening to drive down to Bloomington.

  3. Restrepo does leave the valley, for a forceful series of exit interviews of surviving members of the unit. This only adds to the power of the film. The photographers did an excellent job of capturing the personalities and the problems of the participants. The handling of the village elders, still living in the middle ages, is exceptional. Stay for the closing credits. The outtakes will show you the other films the editors could have crafted from the available footage, and make you admire the product you have just seen all the more.

  4. Restropo is a very interesting counterpoint to the fiction films about the Iraq/Afghan wars. I think that I got a true glimpse of the soldier’s experience without the convention of a story arc beyond ‘we deploy, we fight, we leave’. And I particularly respect and appreciate their choice to focus on soldiers who survive the posting rather than going for the easy manipulation of the viewer’s emotions. This film is intelligent and restrained in its approach and keeps the focus always on the soldiers. It’s about their experiences and emotions, not ours.

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s