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Cinema Chat: 'Three Identical Strangers,' 'Blindspotting,' 'Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,' And More

Michigan Theater
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The 2018 Ann Arbor Art Fairs take center stage for the next four days, but there's always time to catch a good flick!  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins about the films worth checking out this weekend.


"Three Identical Strangers"

At the State: Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families.  Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret -- a secret with radical repercussions for us all. 

Dr. Larry Perlman, who was a young assistant to the doctor in charge of this project, will do a Q&A following the 6:45 PM screening on Monday, 7/23. 


At the State: This film stars Daveed Diggs as Collin, who must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning.  He and his troublemaking childhood best friend, Miles (played by Rafael Casal), work as movers, and when Collin witnesses a police shooting, the two men's friendship is tested as they grapple with identity and their changed realities in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood they grew up in.  Longtime friends and collaborators Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about friendship and the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of Oakland.


At the Michigan: This film takes place on a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son.  Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled "fragrances."  The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village's deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back, originally lost during the second World War.  Other villagers are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions they have claimed as their own.

"Yellow Submarine"

At the Michigan: This film is back by popular demand for a full run with on-screen lyrics!  The music-loving inhabitants of Pepperland are under siege by the Blue Meanies, a nasty group of music-hating creatures.  The Lord Mayor of Pepperland dispatches sailor Old Fred to Liverpool, England, where he is to recruit the help of the Beatles.  The sympathetic Beatles ride a yellow submarine to the occupied Pepperland, where the Blue Meanies have no chance against the Fab Four's groovy tunes. 


"The Living Daylights"

SavCo Hospitality Summer Classic Film Series returns with more selections than ever celebrating generations of filmmakers and their nostalgic treasures.  The Michigan Theater will have screenings every Sunday at1:30 PM and Tuesday at 7:00 PM.  The James Bond retrospective Double-O Summer continues with this film playing Sunday, July 22 at 1:30 PM, in which James Bond is living on the edge to stop an evil arms dealer from starting another world war.  Bond crosses all seven continents to stop the evil Whitaker and General Koskov.


On Tuesday, July 24 at 7:00 PM, this film will play, where James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow Agent formerly believed to be dead.


Midnights are also back at the State Theatre with $8 screenings every Saturday night in July!  On Saturday, July 21 at 11:59 PM, the surreal shocker will be playing.  Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly-born mutant child.



At the State: This film starsVera Farmiga as Laura, a single mother, who has a constant need to put others and stray animal before her own needs. When her estranged, criminally-minded father Jack (played by Christopher Plummer) is kicked out of his retirement home, Laura agrees to drive him down the coast to live with her sister JoJo (played by Kristen Schaal) in LA.  Along for the ride is her bright but troubled son Henry.  Without telling Laura, Jack convinces Henry to help him sell off his supply of marijuana at every stop of their journey, resulting in unexpected reunions with old friends and family. 

"Sorry to Bother You"

At the State: The film takes place in a dystopian, not-too-distant future Oakland, California, where black telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) discovers a magical key to professional success.  This key propels him into a macabre universe of “powercalling” that leads to material glory.  Cast also features: Terry CrewsSteven YeunOmari HardwickJermaine FowlerDanny GloverPatton Oswalt, and David Cross.


This film follows Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson), an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American Frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska).  As Samuel traverses the Wild West with a drunkard named Parson Henry (David Zellner) and a miniature horse called Butterscotch, their once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain, and damsel. 

"Woman Walks Ahead"

Cinetopia Film Festival Audience Award winner for U.S. Narrative, this film tells the story of Catherine Weldon (played by Jessica Chastain), a widowed painter from New York, who, in the 1890's, travels to North Dakota to paint a portrait of ChiefSitting Bull (played by Michael Greyeyes).  She embarks on a dangerous journey to meet the Chief but must also face off with an Army officer intent on war with the Native Americans.

"Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

This film takes an intimate look at America's favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers.  A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.

"Hearts Beat Loud"

This film stars Nick Offerman as a single dad and record store owner who is preparing to send his hard-working daughter off to college, while being forced to close his vintage shop.  Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, the two turn their weekly "jam sesh" into a father-daughter live act.  After their first song becomes an Internet breakout, the two embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery.


An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star:Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.


"Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again"

Ten years after "Mamma Mia! The Movie" grossed more than $600 million, you’re invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA.  With the film’s original cast returning and new additions including Lily James, Andy Garcia, and Oscar® winner Cher, the musical comedy opens this Friday.

Reprising their roles are Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep as Donna, Julie Waltersas Rosie and Christine Baranskias Tanya.  Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper reunite as Sophie and Sky, while Pierce BrosnanStellan Skarsgård, and Oscar® winner Colin Firth return to play Sophie’s three possible dads: Sam, Bill, and Harry.


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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

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
Russ Collins is the executive director of Marquee Arts, the nonprofit that oversees the Michigan Theater and State Theater in Ann Arbor.
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