Today, you can watch Adam Sandler do a funny voice and make funny faces (he's really stretching as an actor!) on 3,000 screens. Or, in just a few locations, you can check out these...
INDIE THEATRICAL RELEASES
- The Promotion. It's here it's here it's here! You guys, it's finally here! A bunch of us saw this at South By Southwest in March, and since then we've been raving about it pretty much every chance we get. And now it's finally in theaters! And everyone we raved about it to will see it with too-high expectations and be disappointed! So, um, forget everything we said and just see it. It's, you know, kinda funny or whatever. No big deal. Opens today in New York, L.A., and Chicago; expands next week.
- Mongol is an Oscar-nominated biopic covering the early life of the world's most famous Mongol, a fellow by the name of Genghis Khan. (I believe the sequel will be called Mongol II: The Wrath of Khan.) Cinematical's me gave it a very positive review at the Portland International Film Festival a few months back. It opens today in New York and L.A.
- Miss Conception stars Heather Graham as a British woman (?) who learns she only has one ovum left (??) and therefore must get pregnant within the next month or she'll never get pregnant at all. The Variety review suggests it's approximately as bad as it sounds. Opens today in L.A.
- When Did You Last See Your Father? is a drama from Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie, Shopgirl), starring Colin Firth as the subject of the question and Jim Broadbent as the object. (Sequel title: When Did You Last Mess with the Zohan?) Cinematical's James Rocchi gave it a mostly positive review at Toronto last year (when the title was the even-more-unwieldy And When Did You Last See Your Father?).
- 13 Months of Sunshine, based on a true story, is about an Ethiopian woman who marries an Ethiopian man -- already a U.S. citizen -- so that she can get her green card. The naturalization process takes a year, during which the marriage of convenience blossoms into something more, etc., etc. Just like What Happens in Vegas, only, you know, not stupid. It's playing this weekend exclusively at the Culver Plaza Theater in L.A. Here's the film's website.
Boston: The Brattle Theatre is celebrating some anniversaries this weekend with screenings of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Touch of Evil (both released 50 years ago) and Monty Python's Meaning of Life (25th anniversary). There's also a free screening Saturday morning of Jaws, which is 33 years old, which isn't really a milestone. But hey, how much of an excuse do you need to see Jaws on the big screen?
Brooklyn, N.Y.: This is the final weekend of the Sundance Film Festival's mini-visit to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. There are still some terrific titles on the docket, too: Choke, Trouble the Water, Frozen River, Stranded, etc., etc. Go, New Yorkers! Take advantage of this rare opportunity of a Utah film festival bringing its major titles to your sleepy little burg!
Denver: It is said that Orson Welles watched Stagecoach (1939) every day while shooting Citizen Kane. So why not see the movie that helped inspired the guy who made the Best Movie Ever©? Stagecoach is screening for free on Saturday at the Starz FilmCenter as part of its Tattered Cover Free Classics series.
Los Angeles: The silver lining on the cloud of a Hollywood legend's death is that it means someone will do a retrospective screening of the legend's greatest stuff. Case in point: American Cinematheque is screening Charlton Heston's Ben-Hur, El Cid, and The Ten Commandments this weekend at the Egyptian Theatre. Big-screen classics on the big screen. The way God and Chuck intended. Pry a few dollars out of your cold, dead hands and go watch 'em.
Los Angeles: But hey, who says a screen legend has to die before you can do a retrospective? Over at the Aero Theatre, they're honoring Clint Eastwood this week, with screenings and discussions of some of his classics. Tonight: Dirty Harry and A Perfect World; Saturday is The Outlaw Josey Wales and High Plains Drifter; Sunday is Breezy and Honkytonk Man; and Wednesday is Unforgiven, introduced by L.A. Times film critic Kevin Thomas. I don't know about you, but I feel lucky.
New York City: Sure, Italy has produced some of the greatest films -- and filmmakers -- in history. But what has the boot-shaped country done for us lately? Find out this week as the Film Society of Lincoln Center presents "Open Roads: New Italian Cinema," a selection of features and shorts made in Italy within the last year or so. Is the next Fellini among them? Or just the next Robert Benigni? Time will tell.
Oklahoma City: Don't let the name of the DeadCenter Film Festival scare you off -- it's not a horror fest. The name refers to OK City's geographic location smack dab in the middle of the United States, and the festival is the usual mix of independent features, documentaries, and shorts. It kicks off Wednesday and runs through June 15, and films include American Teen (which apparently wants to play at every single film festival in America before its theatrical release next month), Greensboro: Closer to the Truth, and Nerdcore Rising.
Portland, Ore.: Egypt is one of the major forces in Middle Eastern cinema, yet we don't see very many Egyptian films distributed in the U.S. -- not nearly as many as we get from Iran or Israel, for example. The Northwest Film Center will help rectify that this weekend with a series of Egyptian films from the current decade -- and all the screenings are free. It's a pyramid of value, folks!
Salt Lake City: The sight of a shy Johnny Depp meekly accepting his sham trophies at the rigged MTV Movie Awards last week might have made you nostalgic for his 21 Jump Street days. As it happens, the Tower Theatre's midnight movie this weekend is Cry-Baby (1990), so you can get your fix of pre-piracy Depp.
Seattle: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stax Records -- responsible for many of the funk and soul hits of the 1960s and '70s -- the Northwest Film Forum has screenings of two Stax documentaries. One is new, Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story; the other is the 1973 classic concert film Wattstax. Both screen Sunday through Thursday.