by MIKE MACCOLLUM
As you might expect, the holiday rush/screen shortage once again means that there isn’t much new in the way of limited release movies coming to Indiana theaters this week- and there isn’t much holding over, either. Still, we will be getting one movie that’s getting a lot of award buzz this week- along with a romantic comedy from India. At least some relief is coming in January, however- see “Next Week and Beyond” for more- although (as of now) next weekend looks like a complete washout in terms of new movies. Dive into this mixed bag by reading on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
The King’s Speech– Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Timothy Spall, Jennifer Ehle- it sounds like they managed to get an okay* cast for this one, eh? Firth stars as a member of Britain’s royal family who unexpectedly finds himself in the king’s chair in the 1930s. Since he has horrible trouble speaking in public- and since the country wants to hear from its monarch as Europe seems to be heading towards another major war- this means the new king will have to find someone to help him overcome his problem. That’s where distinctly non- traditional speech therapist Lionel Logue (Rush) enters the picture…. Tom Hooper (The Damned United, the John Adams mini-series) directed The King’s Speech, which seems to be a favorite in at least a few awards categories- as of now, at least. The King’s Speech starts on Saturday, December 25, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (where it will be on two screens), the Castleton Square 14 and Showplace 17 (both also in Indianapolis), the Village Park 17 in Carmel, the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the Showplace Bloomington 11, the Portage 16 and IMAX, and the Showplace Schererville 16.
(*In the same sense that winning $20 million dollars or so is “okay”, that is.)
Manmadhan Ambu (a.k.a. Manmadan Ambu)– Veteran Indian actor Kamal Haasan stars in- and wrote the screenplay for- this romantic comedy (which, according to some sources I’ve seen online, also has a “tragic” plot twist at one point). Haasan plays a down-on-his-luck former Army officer who is hired by the jealous, super-rich ex-boyfriend of a famous actress to spy on her while she is on a cruise ship vacation with her female friend. Manmadhan Ambu– which is in Tamil, and apparently does not have English subtitles- starts on Saturday, December 25, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis; it is currently scheduled to be there through Tuesday, December 27.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS AND EVENTS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Conviction– Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell star in this based-on-fact story about a woman who spent many years trying to free her brother from prison, following his conviction on what she believed to be trumped-up charges. Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Peter Gallagher and Juliette Lewis are also in the cast; Tony Goldwyn directed. Conviction will be shown this Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.
Fair Game– Doug Liman (Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) directed this ripped-from-the-not-all-that-recent headlines account of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), her husband, Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), and the political firestorm in which they were involved beginning in 2003. Bruce McGill, Sam Shepard, Polly Holliday, Brooke Smith, Iris Bahr and Adam LeFevre are all in the supporting cast. Fair Game holds over through Tuesday, December 28 (with a day off for Christmas) at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest– The cinematic version of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy features Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) once again fighting to expose powerful people who prey on others- although Lisabeth reportedly spends a fairly substantial chunk of this installment confined to an intensive care unit, recovering from the injuries she suffered at the end of The Girl Who Played With Fire. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest will be shown on some days (but not others) this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne; see their site for days and times.
It’s a Wonderful Life– Two weeks ago, the holiday classic had a few weekend showings at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre. Now, it will be playing a regular run- with several showings per day- at the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, through Sunday, December 26. To see Frank Capra’s film- classic though it may be- getting a run at a regular commercial theater is a real surprise- right up there with “Landmark buying Glendale” on my “things I didn’t expect” list….
John Macgibbon Film- What is this mysterious object, and who is this John Macgibbon- or, since there seem to be several people with this name, which John Macgibbon is this? Well, you’ve got me- all I know for now is that this will be at the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis from 4 to 6 PM on Wednesday, December 29. (And if you want some laughs, click on this title on the Earth House’s “Calendar” feature- and then click on “more details.” Although a basic knowledge of the English language might lead you to suspect that this will let you see “more details” about the film, in fact there is absolutely nothing on the “more details” page that wasn’t already on the “calendar” page. Yippy skippy… I tried calling the Earth House for more information, but the person I talked to had never heard of the movie either…)
127 Hours– James Franco plays mountain climber Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire; it holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, although there will be only two shows per day (at 5:15 and 10:10 PM) from Saturday through Thursday. In case Ralston’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you may remember a story in the news back in 2003, about the man who had to cut off one of his own arms- and survived- after the limb got trapped underneath a large, immovable rock. Well, that was Aron Ralston- and that scene is pretty intense. Amber Tamblyn, Treat Williams, Lizzy Caplan, Kate Burton, Kate Mara and Clémence Poésy are also in 127 Hours, per the IMDb, but most of them aren’t in the movie for all that long- Franco is onscreen by himself for the majority of the film. (And Lizzy Caplan, unless I missed something, isn’t in the movie for more than ten to fifteen seconds… and while that is two or three times as long as Phil Silvers was in The Cheap Detective, for example, anyone who is seeing 127 Hours for Ms. Caplan is in for a big letdown.)
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale– According to the page for this Finnish film on the site of its US distributor, Oscilloscope, Rare Exports is “a wildly humorous nightmare,” “a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern-day morality,” and “a darkly comic gem” about what happens when the not-so-merry real-life Santa Claus is discovered in the frozen wilds of northern Finland. The Cinema Center in Fort Wayne will be showing Rare Exports on some days (but not others) this week; check their site for days and times.
Smash His Camera– Leon Gast (When We Were Kings) directed this documentary about photographer Ron Galella- allegedly both the first of the “paparazzi” and Andy Warhol’s favorite photog; Galella’s also still working, even though he’s in his late seventies. Smash His Camera will be showing at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater on Thursday, December 30, at 7 PM. (This screening doesn’t seem to be a part of the IMA’s soon-to-close “Andy Warhol Enterprises” exhibit, by the way- but they do mention Warhol (and the exhibit) in the write-up for Smash His Camera on their site. The film’s official site makes no mention of Warhol, but it does say that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued Galella- and that Marlon Brando punched him.)
Tamara Drewe– Stephen Frears directed this adaptation of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds; Gemma Arterton plays the title character. According to its press kit, Tamara Drewe is a “contemporary comedy of manners” set in the English countryside. Ms. Drewe was once an ugly duckling, but now she’s a very attractive young woman who writes for a big newspaper- and she causes quite a stir when she returns to the village in which she was born. Tamara Drewe will be at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis through Friday, December 24- and the last show that day will be at 6:50 PM, in light of the fact that it is Christmas Eve.
Tees Maar Khan– Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif star in this Bollywood action comedy about a big time con man and crook who has evaded any and all authorities- from around the globe- for years. Now, though, he and his gang have been hired to pull off their biggest job yet, which involves robbing a fast-moving train with many guards…. Farah Khan (Om Shanti Om) directed Tees Maar Khan, which is in Hindi with English subtitles- and which is scheduled (as of now, at least) to be at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis through at least Wednesday, December 29.
(By the way: Several days ago, I noticed a posting on the IMDb’s “Comments” page for TMK which noted that at least one bit in the film was very similar to one in Vittorio De Sica’s 1966 film After the Fox– which was written by Neal Simon and Cesare Zavattini (from a play by Simon), and which had Peter Sellers, Victor Mature and Britt Ekland in the main roles. Then, just before TMK was due to hit theaters, director Farah Khan revealed that TMK is an official remake of After the Fox- although it apparently retains only the basic plot line, and the vast majority of the story points have been massively changed…. I also noticed that there is a 1963 Pakistani film on the IMDb by the name of Tees Maar Khan– but I’ve found nothing to indicate whether this TMK has anything to do with the current one.)
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: The children’s film Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas will show at a number of Indiana theaters throughout the week; other theaters will show it only on the weekend. Also, Titanica continues (except on Saturday and Sunday) at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis.
For more information on either one of the above (including theater locations and/or show times), click on the highlighted text above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
Made in Dagenham’s opening date at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis will indeed be January 7, according to both the Landmark site’s “showtimes” for Indianapolis (at the left side of the page) and the other part of their Indianapolis page (at the bottom of the other two thirds of the screen). Previously, only the “showtimes” feature said that Dagenham (see below for more info) would hit Indy on January 7.
As for this coming Friday, it looks (as of now, at least) like Indiana movie fans in general (whether they’re into wide-release movies, limited-release films, or all of the above) will have jack squat nada opening on local theater screens on December 31. That may be because most people have other plans on New Year’s Eve- or maybe things will change between now and then. Landmark’s Indianapolis page- or at least the bottom right two thirds of it- still says that I Love You, Phillip Morris (again, see below for more) is set to open at the Keystone Art Cinema on January 7- but that film isn’t on the “showtimes” feature yet for January 7, or any other day. Maybe Phillip Morris will get shifted to December 31, or January 1- or maybe (perhaps more likely) Manoranjaninc has some not-on-its-site yet surprise planned for the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis next weekend. We shall see….
Meanwhile, the site for the Yes Cinema in Columbus now says that it will have two showings of the comedy Punching the Clown next month- one showing each on January 12 and 16. Punching the Clown (which won an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2009 Slamdance Festival) stars comedian/singer (and frequent Bob & Tom Show guest) Henry Phillips, in the story of a comedian/singer who has a hard life on the road. After he moves to Los Angeles, though, his career starts to take off- for a while, at least….
Also, the site for The Ryder now says that Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 will be at the Fine Arts Building at IU Bloomington starting on Friday, January 7. Previously, as I recall, they had said that Mesrine would open on January 17 (a typo, perhaps?). And wait- there’s even more good news from The Ryder’s site: Mesrine (for its opening weekend, at least) will be in the “Downstairs” room at the Fine Arts- supposedly a much better place to see a movie than the “Upstairs” room. And The Ryder also says that Howl– which stars James Franco as poet Allen Ginsberg- will be in Bloomington starting on January 14.
The only other upcoming limited-release movie that I know about with a scheduled Indiana opening is “underground cult movie sensation” and “retro-futuristic steam-punk thriller” Zenith. The site for US distributor Cinema Purgatorio still says that this science fiction film- which is also a “fictional recreation of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiment,” per the same page- will be at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis from January 21- 27.
I Love You, Phillip Morris– Part of the Indianapolis page on Landmark Theatres’ site used to say that this one would open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Saturday, December 25. That won’t happen- but another part of the same page still says that this comedy/drama will start at the KAC on Friday, January 7. Whenever Phillip Morris gets to Indianapolis, it was written and directed by Bad Santa writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and co-stars Leslie Mann. (I’m forgoing a plot summary on this one for now, since the trailer had been in theaters- and the trailer and other publicity material have been online- for quite a while now, as the distribution of this movie was delayed for months and months by various factors… so I assume most everybody knows what this one is about already anyway.)
Made in Dagenham– Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James and Rosamund Pike head the cast of this based-on-a-true-story comedy/drama from Britain. Hawkins stars as Rita O’Grady, who works at a Ford factory in Dagenham, England, in the 1960s. Rita is talked into going to a meeting with a representative of the car company, with shop steward Connie (James) also in attendance. After Rita observes the lack of respect which she and her fellow female employees are given by management, she leads the women in a struggle against the company (among others) for better treatment.