by MIKE MACCOLLUM
From the four movies that opened in limited release across Indiana last week, we go to just two such movies opening in the state this week- and both of this week’s movies are opening in just one city, and at just one theater (the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis). But even if neither of the movies below appeals to you, there are holdovers and special screenings aplenty across the state this week- and several interesting offerings are on the horizon for future weeks as well. As usual, read on below for more, more, more….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Don Seenu– Seenu is a man who is obsessed with becoming a “don,” or crime boss- and finds out he just may have what it takes to accomplish his goal. This Telugu-language comedy from India (which is apparently NOT subtitled in English) will have two showings at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis this weekend- at 9:30 PM on Friday, August 13, and at 6 PM on Saturday, August 14.
Peepli [Live]– Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan co-produced this satirical comedy (or tragicomedy, per at least one review) about the mass media sensation that erupts when two poverty-stricken men (both facing the loss of their farms) are told by a politician that their families might be better off if they commit suicide- and one of the farmers seriously starts to consider whether or not he really should kill himself. Peepli [Live]– which is doing very well on Rotten Tomatoes right now (for whatever that’s worth), and is doing even better on the IMDb’s “User Rating” system as of now (for whatever that’s worth)- starts on Friday, August 13, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis. According to Manoranjaninc.com’s site, Peepli [Live] is in Hindi, but is subtitled in English- so if Indianapolis art film fans who’ve already seen everything on offer at the Keystone Art Cinema this week might want to give this atypical-sounding Indian film a try.
NOTE- I know that it’s getting to be like Groundhog Day with this note, but… 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 their schedule for the upcoming week on their site 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
Friday the 13th– The 1980 movie- that led to ten “sequels” (loosely defined, for some of them), one (official) remake, and eleventy jillion or so rip-offs- will be shown at Shelbyville’s Strand Theater at 8 PM on… Friday, August 13.
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 of the Korean War 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 holds over this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
Harvey Putter and the Ridiculous Premise– This is exactly what the title sounds like- a feature-length spoof of the Harry Potter movies. It will be shown several times this weekend at the IU South Bend campus; see the “screenings” tab on the movie’s official site for more information.
His Girl Friday– Why is this movie so popular this weekend? I have no idea- but that may be because I’ve never seen His Girl Friday. If you haven’t seen it either, you won’t be lacking in opportunities this week- Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre will be showing His Girl Friday at 2 and 7:30 PM on Friday, August 13, and at 7:30 PM on Saturday, August 14. Meanwhile, if Indianapolis residents have a hankering for Howard Hawks- and/or Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, and Ralph Bellamy- they can check out the screening at 8 PM on Saturday, August 14, at the Garfield Park Arts Center. As with most “Vintage Movie Night” presentations, local film historian Eric Grayson will introduce the screening, and a cartoon short will precede the feature presentation as well.
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 holds over this week (although with only one or two shows per day) at both the AMC Evansville 16, and the AMC Showplace Muncie 7.
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 a pair of 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 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 AMC Showplace Bloomington 11, 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. (But check individual theater schedules for show times- some of the above theaters will have only one or two showings per day of TKAAR this week.) The Kids Are All Right also opens on Friday, August 13, at the Coldwater Crossing 14 in Fort Wayne.
Micmacs– Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest is about a fellow named Bazil, whose father was killed by a landmine. Since Bazil is now also homeless after getting a stray bullet lodged in his head, it’s not hard to understand why he bands together with some other societal outcasts to get revenge on the companies and people who made the weapons that harmed him. Micmacs– which has an eccentric visual style reminiscent of Delicatessen and City of Lost Children– starts on Friday, August 13 at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne. (The 4 PM showing on Sunday, August 15, will be followed by a “Movie Talk,” by the way.)
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 last weekend. 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 holds over this week (albeit with only one, two, or three shows per day, depending on the theater and day of the week) 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.
(By the way- if this sounds like your kind of movie, see the “Next Week and Beyond” section below for some well-nigh-useless speculation about whether or not Middle Men will expand elsewhere in Indiana next Friday.)
Ondine– Colin Farrell plays an Irish fisherman who finds that he has caught a young woman, Ondine, in his net. As the fisherman falls head over heels in love with Ondine, his daughter starts to believe that Ondine has magical powers- and the people in the village start to come up with their own ideas about her…. In spite of Farrell’s presence in a leading role- and in spite of the fact that this film was directed by Neil Jordan- it looks like it will be bypassing theatrical release in Indianapolis; instead, Ondine will be playing at 8 PM this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in at the IU Fine Arts Building in Bloomington, by way of the folks at The Ryder.
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 (except for Monday and Tuesday) at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
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… [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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Stand by Me– Rob Reiner’s much-loved 1986 film version of the Stephen King novella The Body is this week’s entry in the “Summer Nights” film series at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. 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 amphitheater.
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.
The Wildest Dream– 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- holds over this week at the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis. Liam Neeson narrates, by the way, and Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Dancy, and the late Natasha Richardson also contributed vocal performances.
Winter’s Bone– After her criminally-inclined father takes off on yet another of his mysterious, unexplained absences, 17-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 Rifftrax folks are doing some live riffing to a (colorized) print of Reefer Madness on Thursday, August 19; several “never-before-seen shorts” are also part of the program, according to the official site for this event. Also, the children’s film (or edited-together-TV-shows-or-videos, as the case may be) Strawberry Shortcake: The Glimmerberry Ball Movie will be shown at a number of Indiana theaters as well. 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, Manoranjaninc’s home page had no news about upcoming Indian films at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
But the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis has made a few updates to their schedule in the last few days. As of now, the KAC’s home page says that both the Robert Duvall/Sissy Spacek/Bill Murray starrer (and Sony Pictures Classics release) Get Low and the Cold War espionage drama Farewell are scheduled to open at that theater on Friday, August 20.
The Get Low booking makes official the release date that had been posted on that film’s US site a few weeks ago, while Farewell (apparently) will be opening one week earlier than the date that had been posted on that movie’s official US site late last month.
But if some movies get earlier release dates, others get their release in Indiana postponed (or at least I’m hoping that it’s just a postponement, and not something worse). As noted in this space several weeks ago, the official US site for veteran director Alain Resnais’ Wild Grass claimed that it would open at the Keystone Art Cinema on August 20. It now looks like this will not happen (although that date still was on Wild Grass’ US site as of Thursday evening). Since Sony Pictures Classics is releasing Wild Grass in the US, it most likely will be at the KAC some day- but just not on August 20th, apparently.
One other bit of news from the KAC’s site is that Bruce Beresford’s drama Mao’s Last Dancer will open at that theater on September 3rd; the same date appears on the film’s official US site as well.
In other news, the site for the war drama Lebanon says that it will open at the KAC on Friday, October 1st. Lebanon is a Sony Pictures Classics release in the US, so (wait for it) it will almost certainly be at the KAC some day, even if it misses the October 1 date.
Middle Men– Last week, I said that this comedy/drama about the businessmen who helped to revolutionize the way that pornography was sold over the internet had no known plans for further expansion beyond the 250-plus screens it opened on in five major metropolitan areas on August 6. Well, just a few days ago, I noticed that the release chart page on variety.com’s site said that Middle Men is supposed to go into expanded release on August 20. Given the film’s relatively soft opening (a per-screen average of less than $2000, according to Variety.com), that may not happen. But, then again, Middle Men does have a few names in the cast (see entry in the above section)- and it looks like it won’t be playing at many (if any) of its initial theaters beyond this week, so Paramount Vantage will have 200+ prints to book in other theaters as of August 20, if they think it’s worth the trouble and expense (of shipping the prints and so on). So maybe, just maybe, Middle Men could show up in a theater or two with 16 or more screens to play with (like the Village Park 17 in Carmel, or the Shiloh Crossing 18 in Avon, or the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield) next Friday. The world holds its collective breath in eager anticipation, awaiting the momentous decision….
Finally- in a big change of pace from a movie about internet porn- the site for the Christian-oriented film What If…– which stars Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson and John Ratzenberger- says that it will be opening in Noblesville (no theater specified as of yet) at some time in October.
Screenings for next Friday:
The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s “Summer Nights” movie for next week is L.A. Confidential. 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 amphitheater.