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Cinema Chat: 'Southside With You,' 'The Innocents,' 'Hands Of Stone,' And More

Michigan Theater
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August can still bring hot and wet weather, so why not spend it in a nice, cool movie theater?  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about the movie business and all the films heading to the big screen this weekend.

Opening Downtown

"Southside With You"

Inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama's first date, this film recounts the eventful summer day in 1989 when a young law firm associate named Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) tried to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson (TikaSumpter) during a daylong date that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago, to a screening of Spike Lee's “Do the Right Thing,” to the site of their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor.  RichardRoeper of the Chicago Sun-Times says, “Thanks to a nimble, fast-paced, witty script and sure-handed direction from Richard Tanne and immensely charming performances from TikaSumpter and Parker Sawyers, ‘Southside With You’ is maybe the most romantic movie I’ve seen this year.”  “Southside With You” opens Friday at the State.

"The Innocents"

The Second World War is finally over, and Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor working in Warsaw, is treating the last survivors of the German camps.  When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy.  A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters' fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Reverend Mother.  Facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.  Moira MacDonald of the Seattle Times writes, “Shot in artful, quiet light (many of the frames look like elegant paintings), ‘The Innocents’ is beautifully performed by its nearly all-female cast; each nun, even those unnamed, is given her own personality and story.”  “The Innocents” opens Friday at the Michigan.

Special Screenings Downtown

"The Matrix"

Neo (KeanuReeves) believes that Morpheus (LaurenceFishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can answer his question — What is the Matrix?  Neo is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a beautiful stranger who leads him into an underworld where he meets Morpheus.  They fight a brutal battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously intelligent secret agents.  It is a truth that could cost Neo something more precious than his life.  “The Matrix” plays Saturday, August 27 at 11:59 PM at the State.  Tickets just $8!

Continuing Downtown


At the Michigan, you can catch this film based on the Phillip Roth novel about a working-class Jewish student from New Jersey, who attends a small Ohio college where he struggles with sexual repression and cultural disaffection amid the ongoing Korean War.

"Hunt for the Wilderpeople"

The hilarious and heart-warming Cinetopia Audience Award winner about a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

"Don't Think Twice"

Continuing at the State, this film explores what happens when turmoil strikes a New York improv group when one member leaves to star in a television show. 

Opening at the Multiplex

"Hands of Stone"

This film follows the life of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50.  In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words "no mas" (no more).  Also starring RobertDeNiro as legendary trainer Ray Arcel,“Hands of Stone” opens Friday.

"Don't Breathe"

A trio of reckless thieves breaks into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they'll get away with the perfect heist.  They're wrong.  “Don’t Breathe” opens Friday.

"Mechanic: Resurrection"

When the deceitful actions of a cunning but beautiful woman (Jessica Alba) force Arthur Bishop (JasonStatham) to return to the life he left behind, his life is once again in danger as he has to complete an impossible list of assassinations of the most dangerous men in the world.  “Mechanic: Resurrection” opens Friday.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

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