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Cinema Chat: 'Still Alice', 'Kingsman: The Secret Service', Fifty Shades of Grey' and More

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Julianne Moore's performance in 'Still Alice' is winning rave reviews. The nation is buzzing about the opening of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Listen  for conversation on those movies and more with David Fair and Russ Collins in this week's edition of 'Cinema Chat.' 

Valentine’s Day Treat Downtown

Blue Hawaii

One of Elvis Presley‘s most successful post-Army vehicles, “Blue Hawaii” casts Elvis as scion to a Hawaiian pineapple fortune. His snooty mother (Angela Lansbury) wants Presley to take over the management of the family business, but he’d rather make his own way in the world. He lands a job at a tourist agency, and incidentally finds time to dally with distaff lovelies played by the likes of Joan Blackman and Nancy Walters.

Among the songs featured in the film are the title number and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Michigan Theater members are admitted free to this screening of “Blue Hawaii!” Chocolates from Schakolad Chocolate Factory and sparkling wine will be served at the FREE member reception from 6:15-7 PM. The event is FREE to all Michigan Theater members. AND the screening of “Blue Hawaii” is open to all, regular movie admission prices apply for non-Michigan Theater members, tickets to the screening only will go on sale at 7:00 PM. “Blue Hawaii” plays Saturday, February 14 at 7:30 PM. Hawaiian attire encouraged!

Opening Downtown

Still Alice

Opens Friday:  In “Still Alice” Oscar nominee Julianne Moore stars as Alice Howland, a happily married renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to herself - that is, to who she once was - is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Also stars Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish.

James Rocchi of TheWrap says, "’Still Alice’ might sound maudlin, or more on the frequency of a made-for-TV movie than what it is. But this is not only sensitive material handled with tact, it's also sensitive material bolstered and braced by Moore's stunning performance.”

“Still Alice” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.  On Sunday, February 15, the Michigan will host a special screening of the film at 3 PM, featuring a post-film panel discussion and Q&A with representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association and the UM Geriatrics Center Silver Clubs, as well as a UM professor of neurology.

The Imitation Game

“The Imitation Game” begins during the winter of 1952, when British authorities entered the home of mathematician and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of 'gross indecency', an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality - little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, Turing was credited with cracking the so-

called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine.

Dave Calhoun from Time Out says, “Hidden codes, secret meanings and mixed messages pulse through the reliable, old-fashioned, buzzing copper wires of this true-life British period drama.”

Two Days, One Night - moves to the State

Friday, February 13. For the first time, Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne team up with a major international star, Oscar Nominee Marion Cotillard, to create a universal story about working-class people living on the edges of society. Sandra (Cotillard) has just returned to work after recovering from a serious bout with depression. Realizing that the company can operate with one fewer employee, management tells Sandra she is to be let go. After learning that her co-workers will vote to decide her fate on Monday morning, Sandra races against time over the course of the weekend, often with the help of her husband, to convince each of her fellow employees to sacrifice their much-needed bonuses so she can keep her job. With each encounter, Sandra is brought into a different world with unexpected results in this powerful statement on community solidarity.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2015 – LIVE ACTION

Opens Friday, February 6 at the State. See all the nominees for Best Animated, Live Action, and Documentary Shorts before the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on February 22.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2015 – ANIMATION

Opens Friday, February 6 at the State. See all the nominees for Best Animated, Live Action, and Documentary Shorts before the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on February 22.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2015 – DOCUMENTARY

See all the nominees for Best Animated, Live Action, and Documentary Shorts before the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on February 22.

Opening at the Multiplex

Kingman: The Secret Service

Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick Ass,” “X-Men First Class”), “Kingsman: The Secret Service” tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice says, “Everything in ‘Kingsman’ is familiar, cribbed from James Bond and a thousand other sources, yet every setup gets twisted twice, and then once more, just when you think you're ahead of it.” “Kingsman: The Secret Service” opens Friday.

Fifty Shades of Grey

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is based on the hit erotic novel about Anastasia Steele, a literature student, who goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey, as a favor to her roommate. At the interview she encounters a beautiful, brilliant and intimidating man. The innocent and naive Ana is irresistibly attracted to him, despite his enigmatic reserve and unusual advice. She finds herself desperate to get close to him. Similarly, Christian Gary is attracted to Ana's beauty and independent spirit, admitting he wants her to be close, but in his own terms.  “Fifty Shades of Grey” opens Friday.

Special Screenings Downtown

The Divine Move

“The Divine Move” is presented free as part of Korean Cinema Now series sponsored by the Nam Center for Korean Studies. Tae-seok, a professional player of the Korean board game Baduk, loses a high-stakes game to infamous underground gambler Sal-soo. Tae-seok ends up framed for the murder of his own brother, locked up in prison and vowing revenge he trains ferociously to defeat Sal-soo. After serving his seven-year prison sentence, he gathers skilled colleagues, who also want revenge and slowly penetrates Sal-soo’s inner circle and his gambling lair, eliminating Sal-soo’s men one by one. But Sal-soo discovers Tae-seok’s true identity and engages him in one final game that will seal the fates of the two men involved. “The Divine Move” plays Saturday, February 14 at 2 PM. Free admission!

The Michigan Theater Noir Series

The Big Sleep

“The Big Sleep,” this week’s Noir film, is the definitive Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall vehicle. Bogart is cast as Raymond Chandler‘s cynical private eye Philip Marlowe. With an extremely complex storyline, screenwriters William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Jules Furthmann were forced to consult Raymond Chandler for advice (he was as confused by the plot as the screenwriters). The end result was one of the most famously baffling film noirs, but also one of the most successful in sheer effect and star power. “The Big Sleep” plays Monday, February 16 at 7 PM.

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu