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Cinema Chat: 'True Story', 'Selma', 'Foxcatcher', 'Taken 3', 'Inherent Vice' And More

Michigan Theater

A major Ann Arbor announcement from the Sundance Film Festival, Hollywood news and movie previews. It's all a part of  this week's edition of 'Cinema Chat!'    


Sundance Film Festival to Ann Arbor. Only at the Michigan Theater

TRUE STORY  (tentatively)

The Michigan Theater is honored to continue its relationship with the Sundance Film Festival with a special screening of a 2015 Sundance Film Festival film with guest appearances! Check back soon for the announcement of the title and special guest details.  Ticketmaster outlets. Charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Selected especially for the Michigan Theater by Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper, “True Story,” directed by Rupert Goold from a script he co-wrote with David Kajganich, centers on disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) meeting accused killer Christian Longo (James Franco) — who has taken on Finkel’s identity;  his investigation morphs into a game of cat and mouse.

2014 Sundance Shorts: ANIMATION

Sunday, February 1 at 4:30 PM &  Tuesday, February 3 at 7 PM. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 12 at and all Ticketmaster outlets. Charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 The Animated Shorts program (95 minutes) consists of 8 animated films, ranging in vivid style from handmade drawing and painting to puppetry. Fueled by artistic expression and limited only by their runtime, short films transcend traditional storytelling. They are a significant and popular way artists can connect with audiences.

2014 Sundance Shorts: LIVE ACTION

Sunday & Wednesday, February 1 & 4 at 7 PM. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 12 at at and all Ticketmaster outlets. Charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. The Live Action program (94 minutes), featuring both fiction and documentary films, ranges from beautiful insight and the struggle to understand life to a hilarious, all-too-familiar government deposition. Fueled by artistic expression and limited only by their runtime, short films transcend traditional storytelling.

Science on Screen presentation of “The Imitation Game” TONIGHT January 8 at 7 PM.

Special guest Kevin Compton, PhD., professor at UM Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  Prof. Compton’s talk, Breaking the Codes, will address the science of cryptography, the different versions of the Enigma machine that Nazi Germany used to encode communications during World War II, other WW II cryptanalysis efforts aside from what is shown in the film, and the life of Alan Turing. There will be a brief Q&A session after the movie.

Opening Downtown


“Selma,” directed by my very talented acquaintance Ava DuVernay, chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.

The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director DuVernay, who is already getting much Oscar buzz for her work on “Selma,” tells the real story of how King and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.

James Rocchi of TheWrap says, "’Selma’ is one of the best American films of the year - and indeed perhaps the best - precisely because it does not simply show what Dr. King did for America in his day; it also wonders explicitly what we have left undone for America in ours.” Nominated for 4 Golden Globes, “Selma” opens tonight starting at 7 PM at the State Theatre.


Based on true events, “Foxcatcher” is a psychological drama that tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire (Golden Globe Nominee Steve Carell, a great performance in a not-at-all comic role) and two champion wrestlers (Channing Tatum and Golden Globe Nominee Mark Ruffalo).

Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor says, “It's rare to see an American movie that explores, let alone acknowledges, the class system in this country, or one that gets so far inside the abyss of the ethic that drives so many men to succeed -- and to implode when they don't.”  Nominated for 3 Golden Globes, “Foxcatcher” opens Fridayat the Michigan Theater.

Continuing Downtown



“Wild” -- starring Reece Witherspoon, based on memoir by Cheryl Strayed, screenplay by Nick Hornby

Antarctica: A Year on Ice

“Antarctica: A Year on Ice” -- Ends today at 4:30 at the State Theatre

Opening at the Multiplex

Taken 3 

In “Taken 3” Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, whose reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his "particular set of skills" to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now - his daughter. “Taken 3” opens Friday.

Inherent Vice

"Inherent Vice" is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello's ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin...well, easy for her to say.

It's the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," that's being way too overused - except this one usually leads to trouble. The cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon, “Inherent Vice" opens Friday.

Special Screenings Downtown

Miss Granny

“Miss Granny” is a 2014 South Korean comedy-drama film about a woman in her 70s who magically finds herself in the body of her 20-year-old self after having her picture taken at a mysterious photo studio. “Miss Granny” plays Saturday,January 10 at 2 PM. Free admission! Part of Korean Cinema Now presented by the Nam Center for Korean Studies.

Pokemon: The First Movie

This week’s Midnight at the State movie is “Pokemon: The First Movie.” It plays at 11:59 PM on Saturday at the State Theatre.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie” is the original live-action, feature film adaptation of the cult comic book and the popular animated television show. FREE for kids 12 & under! “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie” plays Sunday, January 11 at 1:30 PM as part of the Toyota Family-Friendly Film Series presented by the Benard L. Maas Foundation.

Noir - Seventeen Stories of Sex, Suspense & Murder!

Take a walk in the shadows with a specially curated lineup of 17 films based on hard-boiled crime stories from iconic American authors such as Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Philip K. Dick. These legendary films feature cinematic heavy-hitters in some of their most memorable roles, and showcase the best of film noir’s trademark Expressionistic aesthetic, grim neo-realism themes, gritty leads and of course, sultry femme fatales.

Kicking off the series on Monday,January 12th at 7 PM is “The Maltese Falcon,” the film that helped Humphrey Bogart achieve true stardom as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye.

1/12: The Maltese Falcon

1/19: Laura

1/26: Double Indemnity

2/2: Leave Her to Heaven

2/4: Blade Runner at the State

2/9: The Postman Always Rings Twice

2/16: The Big Sleep

2/23: The Killers

3/2: Lady in the Lake

3/9: The Lady From Shanghai

3/16: Born to Kill

3/23: They Live by Night

3/30: The Asphalt Jungle

4/6: The Big Heat

4/13: Kiss Me Deadly

4/20: Blood Simple

4/27: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.