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Cinema Chat: 'Tea With The Dames,' 'Beautiful Boy,' 'Hunter Killer,' And More

Oct 25, 2018

Michigan & State Theaters
Credit Joshua Walker / flickr.com

There's one more weekend until Halloween, so be sure to squeeze in a scary movie...if you dare!  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins about the latest movies you can check out at your local movie house this weekend.


HALLOWEEN IS HERE!!!

"The Exorcist"

Friday, October 26 at 9:30pm at the State!  Extended Directors Cut!  One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events.  When young Regan (LINDA BLAIR) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (ELLEN BURSTYN) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end.  A local priest (JASON MILLER), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil.

"The Babadook"

Saturday, October 27 at 11:59pm at the State!  A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

"Frankenweenie" 

Sunday, October 28 at 1:30 PM at the State!  In Tim Burton’s longer, animated version of his 1984 short, Young Victor Frankenstein (CHARLIE TAHAN) 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! — FREE for kids 12 & under!  Part of the Toyota Family-Friendly Film Series presented by the Benard L. Maas Foundation.

"Suspiria"

Wednesday, October 31 at 8:45 PM at the State as an early Halloween Screening!  Opens Friday, November 2 for a full run at the State.  Remake of the cult classic Italian horror film.  A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe's artistic director (TILDA SWINTON), an ambitious young dancer (DAKOTA JOHNSON), and a grieving psychotherapist (LUTZ EBERSDORF).  Some will succumb to the nightmare.  Others will finally wake up.

OPENING DOWNTOWN

"Tea with the Dames"

At the Michigan: In this film, viewers are invited to see happens when four legends of British stage and screen get together.  Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins, and Dame Joan Plowright are among the most celebrated actresses of our time, with scores of iconic performances, decades of wisdom, and innumerable Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, and BAFTAs between them.  They are also longtime friends who hereby invite you to join them for a weekend in the country as they catch up with one another, reminisce, and share their candid, delightfully irreverent thoughts on everything from art to aging to love to a life lived in the spotlight.

"Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

At the Michigan: Based on a true story, this film stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer who made her living in the 1970's and 80's profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder, and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen.  When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (played by Richard E. Grant). 

"Beautiful Boy"

At the Michigan: Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, this film chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.  Teenager Nicolas Sheff seems to have it all -- good grades, editor of the school newspaper, actor, artist and athlete.  When Nic's addiction to meth threatens to destroy him, his desperate father does whatever he can to save his son and his family.  Starring Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, and Amy Ryan.

"Free Solo"

At the State: From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes this National Geographic Documentary Film, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world's most famous rock... the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park... without a rope.  Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold's climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death.  Succeeding in this challenge, Honnold enters his story in the annals of human achievement.  

"Mid90s"

At the State: Written and directed by Jonah Hill, this film follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era L.A., who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop. 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

"The Secret of Supermoon"

This film is part of a double feature that will play Sunday, October 28 at 4:00 PM at the State as a part of the “Electric Shadows” film series presented by the Confucius Institute at U-M.  Free and open to the public!  This is a short film of interviews, a few women talking about how they remember their previous relationships. These immensely personal and feminine narratives were brought into an insulated interior space, interweaved with each other to form a fictional time and space. 

"Canton Novelty"

This film is part of a double feature that will play Sunday, October 28 at 4:00 PM at the State as a part of the “Electric Shadows” film series presented by the Confucius Institute at U-M.  Free and open to the public!  This is a work about “creating” miracles in our everyday life.  Ruohan, Lily and Zoe are close friends.  They are spending their summer vacation together in the southern city of  Guangzhou, China.  They document their vacation time with their cell phones while they discover they have super-powers.

"NT Live: Frankenstein"

This plays October 28 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan!  An encore presentation of a performance originally broadcast live from the National Theatre in London.  Presented in partnership with UMS.  Directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting," "Slumdog Millionaire"), it features Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s "Sherlock") and Jonny Lee Miller ("Trainspotting").  Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker.  Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the increasingly desperate and vengeful Creature determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.  Tickets available at UMS.org.

"Man of Marble"

This film plays Wednesday, October 31 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan as a part of the Polish History in Film Masterpieces Film Series presented by the Polish Cultural Fund.  Free and open to the public!  In repressive mid-1970s Poland, documentary filmmaker Agnieszka (Krystyna Janda) begins work on a film about Mateusz Birkut (Jerzy Radziwilowicz), a bricklayer who had briefly been hailed as a hero of the proletariat in the 1950s, but then disappeared into obscurity.  In piecing together details about the bricklayer’s mysterious life, she discovers that his involvement in organized labor had been viewed negatively by party bosses, and that her own investigations could put her in danger.  Originally released in 1977.  Directed by Andrzej Wajda.

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"First Man"

At the Michigan: On the heels of their six-time Academy Award ®-winning smash, "La La Land," Oscar ®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for the riveting story of NASA's mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969.  A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost on Armstrong and on the nation of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

"The Old Man and the Gun"

Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (played by Robert Redford), this film follows his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.  Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (played by Casey Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest's commitment to his craft, and a woman (played by Sissy Spacek), who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.

"Colette"

At the State: This film follows Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (played by Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris after marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as "Willy" (played by Dominic West).  Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite a semi-autobiographical novel for him, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation.  After its success, Colette's fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression. 

"A Star is Born"

Bradley Cooper plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers--and falls in love with--struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga).  She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer... until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight.  But even as Ally's career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.

"Crazy Rich Asians"

This film is based on a global bestseller and follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu accompanying her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore.  She's also surprised to learn that Nick's family is extremely wealthy and he's considered one of the country's most eligible bachelors.  Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse - Nick's disapproving mother. 

OPENING AT THE MULTIPLEX

"Hunter Killer"

Deep under the Arctic Ocean, American submarine Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler, "Olympus Has Fallen," "300") is on the hunt for a U.S. sub in distress when he discovers a secret Russian coup is in the offing, threatening to dismantle the world order.  Captain Glass must now assemble an elite group of Navy SEALs to rescue the kidnapped Russian president and sneak through enemy waters to stop WWIII.  Director: Donovan Marsh.  Writers: Arne Schmidt, Jamie Moss.  Also stars Gary Oldman and Common.

"Johnny English Strikes Again"

After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.  Director: David Kerr.  Writer: William Davies.  Stars: Olga Kurylenko, Rowan Atkinson, Michael Gambon, Emma Thompson

"Indivisible"

The extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather.  When war etches battle scars on their hearts, they face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage.  One marriage, one family, under God.  Director: David G. Evans.  Writers: David G. Evans, Cheryl McKay.  Stars: Justin Bruening, Sarah Drew, Jason George.

"London Fields"

Clairvoyant femme fatale Nicola Six has been living with a dark premonition of her impending death by murder.  She begins a tangled love affair with three uniquely different men: one of whom she knows will be her murderer.  Director: Mathew Cullen.  Writers: Martin Amis (novel), Roberta Hanley.  Stars: Amber Heard, Cara Delevingne, Gemma Chan, Billy Bob Thornton.

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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