89.1 WEMU

Cinema Chat: 'Denial,' 'The Dressmaker,' 'Train To Busan,' 'Jack Reacher,' And More

Oct 20, 2016

Michigan Theater Lobby
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The leaves are changing and so are your options for what to see at your local movie theater.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about the movie business and all the flicks coming to the big screen this weekend.

Opening Downtown


This film recounts Deborah Lipstadt's (Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier.  In the English legal system, the burden of proof is on the accused, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred.  “Denial” opens Friday.

"The Dressmaker"

Glamorous dressmaker Tilly (Kate Winslet) returns to her hometown in rural Australia to reconnect with her ailing mother and exact sweet revenge on the community that banished her as a child.  As her plan unfolds, she finds love with a local man (Liam Hemsworth) and success transforming the town with her exquisite creations.  “The Dressmaker” opens Friday.

Special Screenings Downtown

"Train to Busan"

This is a harrowing zombie horror-thriller that follows a group of terrified passengers fighting their way through a countrywide viral outbreak while trapped on a suspicion-filled, blood-drenched train ride to Busan, a southern resort city in South Korea that has managed to hold off the zombie hordes... or so everyone hopes.  “Train to Busan” plays Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday.


On the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala, a marriage is arranged for seventeen-year-old María by her Kaqchikel parents.  But María yearns for Pepe, who dreams of travelling to what he calls "the other side of the volcano:" the United States.  “Ixcanul” plays Sunday to Tuesday.

Continuing Downtown

"The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years"

Based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966), the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim.  The film explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary musical and pop culture phenomenon. Directed by Ron Howard, “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years” now playing at the Michigan Theater.

"American Honey"

Star (Sasha Lane), a teenage girl from a troubled home, runs away with a traveling sales crew that sells magazine subscriptions door to door. One of this gang of teenagers, Jake (Shia LaBeouf), leads her to a lifestyle of hard partying, law-bending and young love.

"Pretty in Pink"

The Kids in America: '80s Teen Classics film series continues!  Andie (Molly Ringwald) is an outcast at her Chicago high school, hanging out either with her boss (Annie Potts) or her quirky classmate Duckie (Jon Cryer).  When one of the rich and popular kids at school, Blane (Andrew McCarthy), asks Andie out, it seems too good to be true.  As Andie starts falling for Blane, she begins to realizes that dating someone from a different social sphere is not easy. “Pretty in Pink” plays Monday, October 24 at 7 PM.

"The Blues Brothers"

After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) — collectively known as the “Blues Brothers.” Jake’s first task is to save the orphanage the brothers grew up in from closing, by raising $5,000 to pay back taxes. The two are convinced they can earn the money by getting their old band back together.  However, after playing several gigs and making a few enemies, the brothers face daunting odds to deliver the money on time.  “The Blues Brothers” plays Thursday, October 20 at 9:30 PM as part of the ‘80s After Dark film series.  


Young Victor Frankenstein is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend: his dog, Sparky.  But then, tragedy strikes, and Sparky shuffles off this mortal coil.  Victor is heartbroken, but his science teacher (Martin Landau) gives him an idea of how to jolt old Sparky back to life.  “Frankenweenie” plays Saturday, October 22 at 11:30 AM.  Free for kids 12 and under!

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show"

In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist.  As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and Frank-N-Furter’s latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.”  “Rocky Horror Picture Show” plays Saturday, October 22 at 10 PM.


This very special presentation of the 1922 film classic will have live organ accompaniment on the Michigan Theater’s grand Barton Organ by the Michigan’s gifted organist, Stephen Warner (who will play an original score he wrote).  An Ann Arbor tradition continues with Nosferatu — the first vampire movie!  A real estate agent (Gustav von Wangenheim) begins conducting business with the eerie Count Orlok (the beyond-creepy Max Schreck), who goes on a rampage when he becomes obsessed with the man’s beautiful wife.  Roger Ebert said it best about this Michigan Theater Halloween tradition: “[Nosferatu] doesn’t scare us, but it haunts us. It shows not that vampires can jump out of the shadows, but that evil can grow there, nourished on death.”  "Nosferatu" plays Thursday, October 27 at 8 PM. 

"Oasis: Supersonic"

An essential look at the meteoric rise of seminal '90s rock band Oasis, immersing us in the raucous rock stars’ fast-paced world of electrifying music, wild debauchery, and epic fraternal feuding.  “Oasis: Supersonic” plays Wednesday, October 26.

"Being Mortal"

This film delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness.  Investigating the practice of caring for the dying, surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande shares stories from the people and families he encounters.  “Being Mortal,” presented by Arbor Hospice, plays Wednesday, October 26 at 6:30 PM. 

Opening at the Multiplex

"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"

This film finds the itinerant problem-solver (Tom Cruise) accused of murder and learning that he may have a child he has never met.  “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” opens Friday.

"Keeping Up With the Joneses"

A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.  Starring Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, and Gal Gadot, “Keeping Up With the Joneses” opens Friday.

"Ouija: Origin of Evil"

The film tells the terrifying tale of a widowed mother and her two daughters, who add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home.  “Ouija: Origin of Evil” opens Friday.

"Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween"

Madea winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a hilarious, haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, and assorted ghouls while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens. “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween” opens Friday.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu