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Cinema Chat: Cinetopia, Merchants Of Doubt, Queen and Country, Aloha, Iris And More

May 28, 2015

'Cinema Chat' wraps up the Cannes Film Festival, looks ahead to the Cinetopia Film Festival and covers the movies opening this weekend. 


Cinetopia Festival Guides Available

Festival Guides for Cinetopia are now available and can be picked up at the Michigan or State Theater. You can also get the full schedule of films and events at “cinetopiafestival.org”. The festival will take place June 5 throughJune 14 in Detroit and Ann Arbor. 72 films will be screened during the festival. A few I am especially looking forward to having festival goers see include:

Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” - Opening night film in Detroit on lawn of DIA, playing Ann Arbor June 13.

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” - Sundance Audience & Grand Jury Prize winner - June 6, Detroit only.

“Pale Moon” - Audience Award winner of the Tokyo International Film Festival and a US premiere!

40th Anniversary screening of “Jaws” - Free outdoor screening on Maynard street!

“Court” - Multiple festival winner and winner of the Indian “Oscar” for best film.

“Summer of Sangaile” - Sundance Best Foreign Language Film from Lithuania.

“The Tribe” - Cannes Film Festival favorite from last year.

“Christmas Again” - Nice, very personal film from Sundance.

“Imperial Dreams” - Winner of Best of Next at 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

“Mistress America” - Closing night film from Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s.

Truly, the best films from the world’s best film festivals; hope to see you there!

Opening Downtown

Merchants of Doubt

Inspired by the acclaimed book, “Merchants of Doubt,” this documentary film takes the audience on a satirically comedic and illuminating ride into the heart of American media spin. A secretive group of highly charismatic, silver-tongued pundits-for-hire present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.  “Merchants of Doubt” opens Friday at the State Theatre.

Queen and Country

“Queen and Country” is director John Boorman’s the hilarious follow-up to his film “Hope and Glory,” the 1987 film nominated for 5 Academy Awards.  “Queen and Country” picks up the story nearly a decade later as Bill (Callum Turner) begins basic training in the early 1950s, during the Korean War. Bill and his mate Percy (Caleb Landry Jones) never get near Korea, but engage in a constant battle of wits with the Catch-22-worthy, Sgt. Major Bradley (the brilliant David Thewlis). The film is a wonderfully funny depiction of a still-recovering postwar England.  “Queen and Country” plays May 29-31 at the Michigan.


“Iris” pairs legendary 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even in Iris' dotage, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. “Iris” opens Sunday May 31 at the Michigan.

Opening at the Multiplex


In “Aloha,” a celebrated military contractor (Bradley Cooper) returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs – the US Space program in Honolulu, Hawaii – and reconnects with a long-ago love (Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him. Directed by Cameron Crowe, “Aloha” opens Friday.

San Andreas

In “San Andreas,” after the infamous geological fault gives, it triggering a magnitude 9-plus earthquake. A search and rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter. But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over…it’s just getting started.  “San Andreas” opens Friday.


“Entourage" is the much-anticipated big-screen version of the award-winning hit HBO series.  Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), together with his boys Eric, Turtle, and Johnny, are back...and back in business with super-agent turned studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood.  “Entourage” opens Wednesday June 3.

Special Screenings Downtown

White God

In “White God,” when young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed 'unfit' by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called 'unfit' dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time housepet who has learned all too well from his 'Masters' in his journey through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beats him.  “White God” plays May 28 at the Michigan Theater.

Alive Inside

“Alive Inside” is a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Presented by Big Hearts for Seniors, “Alive Inside” plays Thursday May 28 at 7 PM. 


Ben Stiller co-wrote, directed, and stars in “Zoolander,” a perfect “midnight” film and well-regarded spoof of the fashion industry and male models. “Zoolander” plays Saturday May 30 at 11:59 PM at the State Theatre.  Tickets just $8!