© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cinema Chat: 'The Irishman,' 'Dark Waters,' 'Frozen II,' And More

Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons

It's another exciting week in film with a slight, yet almost cinematic twist.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's Michael Jewett sits in for Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins to talk about the new films opening in theaters this weekend with WEMU's David Fair.



From Martin Scorsese comes the biographical crime thriller, which had its world premiere at the 57th New York Film Festival.  This film follows Frank Sheeran (played by Robert De Niro) as he recalls his past years working for the Bufalino crime family.  Now older, the WWII veteran once again reflects on his most prolific hits and, in particular, considers his involvement with his good friend Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance in 1975.  Also starsAl Pacino andJoe Pesci


An American-French drama film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival!  Unfolding over the course of a late summer’s day in the fabled resort town of Sintra, Portugal, this film follows three generations who have gathered for a vacation organized by the family matriarch (played by Isabelle Huppert).  In this fairy tale setting, husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and lovers – stirred by their romantic impulses – discover the cracks between them, as well as unexpected depth of feeling.  


Acclaimed writer and director Rian Johnson ("Brick," "Looper," "Star Wars: The Last Jedi") pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie in this film.  When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (played by Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig) is enlisted to investigate.  From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.  Also stars Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, and Jaeden Martell

"Dark Waters"

Inspired by a shocking true story, a tenacious attorney (played by Mark Ruffalo) uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths due to one of the world’s largest corporations.  In the process, he risks everything – his future, his family, and his own life – to expose the truth.  Also stars Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, and Bill Camp.  

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"-- OPENING DECEMBER 19 AT THE STATE THEATRE!  Tickets On Sale NOW (They are moving fast, get them before they are sold out!)

This film is produced, co-written, and directed by J. J. Abrams.  It will be the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following "The Force Awakens" (2015) and "The Last Jedi" (2017), and the final episode of the nine-part "Skywalker saga."  A year after the events of "The Last Jedi," the remnants of the Resistance face the First Order once again—while reckoning with the past and their own inner turmoil.  Meanwhile, the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its climax, altogether bringing the Skywalker saga to a definitive end.


"Get Out"

This film plays Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23 at 11:00 PM at the State Theatre as a part of the Late-Night Film Series.  Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean.  At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

Late Nights – Fridays & Saturdays at 10:00 PM at the State!

Grab some popcorn and come watch our favorite late night movies.

  • 12/6 and 12/7 at 10 PM--Love, Actually
  • 12/13 and 12/14 at 11 PM--Black Christmas

"Philip Glass's Akhnaten"

The Metropolitan Opera presents an encore screening, live in HD on Saturday, November 23 at 12:55 PM at the Michigan Theater.  Director Phelim McDermott tackles another one of Philip Glass’ modern masterpieces, with star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo as the revolutionary title ruler who transformed ancient Egypt.  To match the opera’s hypnotic, ritualistic music, McDermott offers an arresting vision that includes a virtuosic company of acrobats and jugglers.  Karen Kamensek conducts. 


Mark your calendar for Saturday, February 1, 2020.  The U-M School of Music, Theater and Dance will jointly present the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of "Porgy and Bess," by George and Ira Gershwin.  The U-M is home to a substantial Gershwin archive and assisted with the research into this seminal and controversial musical masterwork.

"Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp"

This film plays Sunday, November 24 at 3:00 PM at the Michigan Theater as a part of The Toyota Family-Friendly Film Series – FREE for kids 12 and under!  In this silent film from 1917, based on one of the tales from "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights," the story of Aladdin and the Princess Badr al-badr’s adventures are told through child actors.  This film will have LIVE organ accompaniment by our head organist, Andrew Rogers!  Also, prior to the film, Andrew will do an organ demonstration on the original and newly restored 1928 Barton Organ for you and the family.  It’s a great way for the young and old to learn how an organ works.

NT Live: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

This event plays Sunday, November 24 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater.  A feuding fairy King and Queen of the forest cross paths with four runaway lovers and a troupe of actors trying to rehearse a play.  As their dispute grows, the magical royal couple meddles with mortal lives, leading to love triangles, mistaken identities, and transformations…with hilarious, but dark, consequences.  Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy, produced by the Bridge Theatre in London, features Gwendoline Christie ("Game of Thrones"), Oliver Chris, David Moorst, and Hammed Animashaun as Titania, Oberon, Puck, and Bottom.  Directed by Nicholas Hytner.

"His Girl Friday"

This film plays Monday, November 25 at 7:30 PM at the State Theatre as the finale of our Journalism on Screen Film Series.  When hard-charging New York newspaper editor Walter Burns (played by Cary Grant) discovers that his ex-wife, investigative reporter Hildy Johnson (played by Rosalind Russell), has gotten engaged to milquetoast insurance agent Bruce Baldwin (played by Ralph Bellamy), he unsuccessfully tries to lure her away from tame domestic life with a story about the impending execution of convicted murderer Earl Williams.  But when Hildy discovers Williams may be innocent, her reporter instincts take over.  This film will be followed by a Q&A with Robert Yoon, Howard R. Marsh, Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Michigan and former CNN Director of Political Research, and Zoe Clark, Program Director of Michigan Radio and Co-Host of 'It's Just Politics'.

"The Aeronauts"

This film plays Tuesday, November 26 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater.  Set in 1862, this film follows wealthy young widow Amelia Wren (played by Felicity Jones) and ambitious scientist James Glaisher (played by Eddie Redmayne) as they mount a balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone in history.  This is a journey to the very edge of existence, where the air is thin and the chances of survival are slim.  As their perilous ascent reveals their true selves, this unlikely pair discover things about each other and themselves that help them find their place in the world they have left behind. 


"The Report"

At the Michigan: This is the story of Daniel Jones (played by Adam Driver), lead investigator for the US Senate’s sweeping study into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was found to be brutal, immoral, and ineffective.  With the truth at stake, Jones battled tirelessly to make public what many in power sought to keep hidden.  Also stars Annette Bening and Jon Hamm.  

"The Lighthouse"

From Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind modern horror masterpiece "The Witch," comes this hypnotic and hallucinatory tale shot in black-and-white.  This film follows two lighthouse keepers (played by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe) on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.  The two are faced with solitude and start to lose their sanity and become threatened by their worst nightmares. 

"Pain and Glory"

At the State: Nominated for the Palme d’Or and Winner for Best Actor (Banderas) at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival!  This film tells of a series of reencounters experienced by Salvador Mallo (played by Antonio Banderas), a film director in his physical decline.  Some of them in the flesh, others remembered: his childhood in the 60s, his first adult love in the Madrid of the 80s, the pain of the breakup of that love while it was still alive and intense, writing as the only therapy to forget the unforgettable, the early discovery of cinema, and the void, the infinite void that creates the incapacity to keep on making films.  In recovering his past, Salvador finds the urgent need to recount it, and in that need he also finds his salvation.  Also stars Penelope Cruz

"Jojo Rabbit"

Writer-director Taika Waititi ("Thor: Ragnarok," "Hunt for the Wilderpeople") brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (played by Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic.  Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (played by Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. 


Winner of the Palme D’or Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival!  Bong Joon Ho brings his work home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale.  Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth.  And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else.  Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity.  Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. 


Winner of the Golden Lion at the 76th Venice International Film Festival!  Director Todd Phillips' film centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen.  Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society.  A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him.  Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.  


"Frozen II"

Why was Elsa born with magical powers?  The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom.  Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey far away from the kingdom of Arendelle.  In the original film, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world.  In this sequel, she must hope they are enough.

"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"

Tom Hanksportrays Mister Rogers in this timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.  After a jaded magazine writer (played by Emmy-winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— 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

Michael Jewett is the long-time host of 89.1 Jazz every weekday afternoon. Besides his on-air work; Michael is WEMU’s Operations Manager. Mr. Jewett started working for WEMU in 1983. He’s been on the air longer than any other current WEMU music host.
Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
Related Content