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Cinema Chat: CinemaCon Recap, 'The Aftermath,' 'Shazam!,' And More

State Theatre
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More signs of spring are popping up--warmer temperatures, baseball, and great movies!  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks with the executive director of the Michigan Theater and State Theatre, Russ Collins, about the latest movie news and all of the new flicks dropping into your local theater this weekend.


"The Aftermath"

At the State (Sneak Peek Thursday, Apr. 4 and opens for a full run Friday, Apr. 5): In this film, it's 1946, and Rachael Morgan (played by Keira Knightley) arrives in the ruins of Hamburg to be reunited with her husband, Lewis (played by Jason Clarke), who is a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city.  As they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an unexpected decision: They will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower (played by Alexander Skarsgard) and his troubled daughter.  In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.  Based on the novel by Rhidian Brook.


"Bohemian Rhapsody Sing-Along"

Join us for a foot-stomping celebration of this Golden Globe® winner (and Oscar® nominee) for Best Picture, which plays Friday, April 5 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater!  Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers.  The film traces the rise of the band through their iconic songs, their near-implosion as Mercury’s lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music.  Stars Golden Globe® winner Rami Malek and will have onscreen lyrics!

"The Princess Bride"

This film plays Friday, April 5 at 10 PM at the Michigan Theater!  A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love.  He must find her after a long separation and save her. They must battle the evils of the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited with each other.  Based on the William Goldman novel "The Princess Bride," which earned its own loyal audience.  Audiences are encouraged to quote-along and interact with the film!

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Winner of the 2019 Oscar for Best Animated Feature, this film plays Saturday, April 6 at 10 PM at the State Theatre as a part of Late-Nights at the State.  Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind "The Lego Movie" and "21 Jump Street," bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind.  The film introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

"The Rebound"

This film plays Monday, April 8 at 7:30 PM at the Michigan Theater.  The University of Michigan is taking a part of this campaign to create more inclusion in society.  This screening will be followed by a film discussion and admission is FREE!  The acclaimed film offers an insider’s perspective to adapted sports and the world of disability as it follows the underdog journey of the Miami Heat Wheels wheelchair basketball team in their quest for their first NWBA National Championship.  The cameras don’t stop when the players leave the court: the film follows the athletes through daily life with a disability as they reach for new heights.  The film has been an official selection at more than twenty film festivals and fifty special screenings, received numerous awards, and has been piloted successfully in schools and university research studies.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival

This event plays Tuesday, April 9 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater.  In 1986, The Banff Mountain Film Festival began an outreach program to bring the festival to other communities.  Banff’s Festival organizers wanted to share the efforts and talents of the world’s finest mountain filmmakers with a larger audience. Like the first festival in Banff, the tour began small: three cities across Canada.  The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour brings mountain films to thousands of people who cannot make the annual trek to the Canadian Rockies.  Ignite your passion for the outdoors, adventure, action, and travel!  The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will exhilarate you with amazing big-screen stories and inspire your next adventure.

"Y Tu Mamá También"

This film plays Tuesday, April 9 at 7 PM at the State Theatre as a part of The Films of Alfonso Cuarón.  The lives of Julio and Tenoch, like those of 17-year old boys everywhere, are ruled by raging hormones, intense friendships, and a headlong rush into adulthood.  Over the course of a summer, the two best friends, while living out a carefree cross-country escapade with a gorgeous older woman, also find connection with each other, themselves and the world around them.  The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars as well as Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes.

"Summer Wars"

This film plays Wednesday, April 10 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater as a part of the Icons of Anime Film Series.  Kenji is a teenage math prodigy recruited by his secret crush Natsuki for the ultimate summer job – passing himself off as Natsuki’s boyfriend for four days during her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration.  But when Kenji solves a 2,056 digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting Oz, a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes.  Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake.

"The Trip"

This film plays Wednesday, April 10 at 7 PM at the State Theatre as a part of Wine Down Wednesdays.  You’ve made it halfway through the week, so you deserve half-off a glass of wine at the State, paired perfectly with a film celebrating our love of wine.  Playing loose versions of themselves, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reprise their hilariously fictionalized roles from "Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story" and reunite with acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom for an acerbically witty, largely improvised ride through the English countryside.  Tapped by The Observer to review fine restaurants throughout the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, Steve finds himself without a traveling companion after his girlfriend decides not to go at the last minute.  After being turned down by everyone else he knows, Steve extends an invitation to Rob, and together the pair attempt to navigate the winding back roads of rural England.



At the Michigan: Adapted from Anna Segher's 1942 novel, this film transposes the original story to the present, blurring periods to create a timeless exploration of the plight of displaced people.  As fascism spreads, German refugee Georg (played by Franz Rogowski) flees to Marseille and assumes the identity of the dead writer whose transit papers he is carrying.  Living among refugees from around the world, Georg falls for Marie (played by Paula Beer), a mysterious woman searching for her husband--the man whose identity he has stolen. 

"Gloria Bell"

In this film, Gloria (played by Julianne Moore) is a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around L.A.  After meeting Arnold (played by John Turturro) on a night out, she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance, filled with both the joys of budding love and the complications of dating, identity, and family. 

"Apollo 11"

Moving to the State: Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, this film takes us straight to the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names.  The film was one of the opening-night documentaries at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, offering a fully captivating look at the mission whose 50th anniversary will arrive in July of this year.

"The Mustang"

At the State: This film follows Roman (played by Matthias Schoenaerts), a convict in a rural Nevada prison who struggles to escape his violent past.  As a part of his state-mandated social rehabilitation, Roman is required to participate in an "outdoor maintenance" program.  Spotted by a no-nonsense veteran trainer (played by Bruce Dern) and helped by an outgoing fellow inmate and trick rider (played by Jason Mitchell), Roman is accepted into the selective wild horse training section of the program, where he finds his own humanity in gentling an especially unbreakable mustang.

"The Beach Bum"

At the State: This film follows Moondog (played by Matthew McConaughey), who is a fun-loving, pot-smoking, beer-drinking writer who lives life on his own terms in Florida.  However, if he can put down the drugs for just one minute, he may finally be able to put his talent to good use and finish the next great American novel.  Co-starring Snoop DoggZac Efron, and Isla Fisher, this is a refreshingly original and subversive new comedy from director Harmony Korine("Kids," "Spring Breakers").


This is a new nightmare from the mind of Oscar® winner Jordan Peele, writer/director of "Get Out."  Accompanied by her husband and children, Adelaide Wilson (played by Lupita Nyong'o) returns to the beach home where she grew up.  Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows concerned that something bad is going to happen to her family.  Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. Also stars Winston DukeElisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker

"Captain Marvel"

The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.  Set in the 1990s, this is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Brie Larson ("The Spectacular Now," "Trainwreck," "Room" – Academy Award for Best Actress) stars as Danvers, alongside Samuel L. JacksonBen MendelsohnDjimon HounsouLee PaceLashana LynchGemma ChanAnnette BeningClark Gregg, and Jude Law.  



We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.  In Billy Batson's (played by Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word “SHAZAM!”  In this film, a streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (played byZachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart--inside a ripped, godlike body--Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!  Can he fly?  Does he have X-ray vision?  Can he shoot lightning out of his hands?  Can he skip his social studies test?  Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child.  But he'll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (played by Mark Strong).  Opens nationwide this Friday, April 5!

"Pet Sematary"

Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, this film follows Dr. Louis Creed (played by Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (played by Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family's new home.  When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (played by John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.  Opens nationwide this Friday, April 5!

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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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