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Cinema Chat: Bruce Campbell Live, 'Landline,' 'The Glass Castle,' And More

Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons

In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about all of the films hitting the big screen this weekend.  Plus, Russ talks about an upcoming event starring Michigan-born, B-movie legend, Bruce Campbell!


Hosted live by Bruce Campbell, "Last Fan Standing" is an interactive trivia quest built from four primary pillars of content: fantasy, horror, sci-fi and superheroes.  Not your average quiz show or trivia contest, "Last Fan Standing" tests your knowledge about the things that really matter.  Through provided "audience response devices" (clickers if you insist on getting technical), each audience member participates in a series of multiple choice questions, where the players with the fastest-correct answers advance to the Podium Rounds.  The Podium Rounds bring the top four (4) players from the audience to a winner-take-all trivia battle.  After each round, the player with the lowest score is eliminated, until there is only one...Last Fan Standing!

All tickets include a signed hardcover copy of “Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor,” Campbell’s latest memoir.  Campbell will sign books at the conclusion of the event.

Opening Downtown


Set in 1990s Manhattan, “Landline” is a warm, insightful and comedic drama about a family united by secrets and lies, directed by Gillian Robespierre (“Obvious Child”).  When two sisters suspect their father (John Turturro) may be having an affair, it sends them into a tailspin that reveals cracks in the family façade.  For the first time, older sister Dana (Jenny Slate), recently engaged and struggling with her own fidelity, finds herself bonding with her wild teenage sister Ali (Abby Quinn).  The two try to uncover the truth without tipping off their mother (Edie Falco) and discover the messy reality of love and sex in the process.  “Landline” opens Friday.

Continuing Downtown

"An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power"

A decade after “An Inconvenient Truth” brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, the riveting and rousing follow-up shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.  Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes-in moments private and public, funny and poignant-as he pursues the empowering notion that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.  Our extraordinary former vice president invites us along on an inspirational journey across the globe that delivers the tools to heal our planet. 

"The Big Sick"

This film tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents.  When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.

Special Screenings Downtown

End of Summer Classics

"Steamboat Bill Jr."

In the 1928 silent comedy, college boy William Canfield Jr. (Buster Keaton) reunites with his boat captain father in a Mississippi River town.  Though he’s flummoxed by Willie’s citified appearance, the elder Canfield seems to have found an ally to help him compete with fellow riverboat owner John James King (Tom McGuire).  Willie finds himself falling for King’s daughter, Mary (Marion Byron), but he has more pressing concerns when the weather turns bad and his father in arrested.  Featuring live organ accompaniment from Andrew Rogers, “Steamboat Bill Jr.”  plays Sunday, August 13 at 1:30 PM and Tuesday, August 15 at 7 PM.

20-Aug                        Wizard of Oz

22-Aug                        Wizard of Oz

27-Aug                        Sing-A-Long Little Mermaid

29-Aug                        Sing-A-Long Little Mermaid

3-Sep                          Children of Men

4-Sep                          Psycho

5-Sep                          Children of Men

Lynch After Dark

Celebrating the return of Twin Peaks, we’ll take a look at career of David Lynch, featuring selections which find focus in science fiction, mystery, love, and the outright weird.  Beginning August 3rd with Eraserhead, this After Dark Series will also continue every Thursday in August at 9:30 PM with Dune, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, and Lost Highway.


Based on the acclaimed science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, this film is set in the year 10191, when a spice called melange is the most valuable substance known in the universe, and its only source is the desert planet Arrakis.  A royal decree awards Arrakis to Duke Leto Atreides and ousts his bitter enemies, the Harkonnens.  However, when the Harkonnens violently seize back their fiefdom, it is up to Paul (Kyle MacLachlan), Leto’s son, to lead the Fremen, the natives of Arrakis, in a battle for control of the planet and its spice.  “Dune” plays Thursday, August 10 at 9:30 PM.

"Blue Velvet"

College student Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns home after his father has a stroke.  When he discovers a severed ear in an abandoned field, Beaumont teams up with detective’s daughter Sandy Williams (Laura Dern) to solve the mystery.  They believe beautiful lounge singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) may be connected with the case, and Beaumont finds himself becoming drawn into her dark, twisted world.  “Blue Velvet” plays Thursday, August 17 at 9:30 PM.

24-Aug            Wild At Heart

31-Aug            Lost Highway

Opening at the Multiplex

"The Glass Castle"

Chronicling the adventures of an eccentric, resilient and tight-knit family, this is a remarkable story of unconditional love.  Brie Larson brings Jeannette Walls's best-selling memoir to life as a young woman who, influenced by the joyfully wild nature of her deeply dysfunctional father (Woody Harrelson), found the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.  “The Glass Castle” opens Friday.

"Annabelle: Creation"

In this film, a couple still grieving the death of their daughter take in children from a local orphanage, but the family are soon terrorized by a demented doll known as Annabelle.  Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto star in this horror sequel.  “Annabelle: Creation” opens Friday.

"The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature"

Surly Squirrel and the gang are back in Oakton, where the evil mayor has decided to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a dangerous amusement park in its place.  Surly and his ragtag group of animal friends band together to save their home, defeat the mayor, and take back the park.  Featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, and Maya Rudolph, “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” 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

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