89.1 WEMU

Cinema Chat: 'Hunt For The Wilderpeople,' 'Zero Days,' 'Suicide Squad,' And More

Aug 4, 2016

Michigan Theater Upstairs Lobby
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

There's still plenty of movies left to see at your local art house and multiplex this summer.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about the movie business and all the films coming to the big screen this weekend.

Opening Downtown

"Hunt for the Wilderpeople"

The Cinetopia 2016 Audience Award winner returns to Ann Arbor!  Ricky is your typical misfit kid who loves causing trouble, and you will love every ounce of him.  When Ricky heads to his latest foster home, he connects with his sweet Aunt Bella and his new home in the New Zealand bush.  The tough one to read is Bella’s husband, Uncle Hec, who could do without the hip-hop loving young kid.  When an unfortunate situation puts Ricky at risk of getting ripped out of his newfound home, he decides to head out into the bush with his dog, Tupac, to escape the authorities.  Despite his grumpiest efforts, Uncle Hec helps Ricky navigate the new landscape, and their escape turns into a hilarious and heartwarming adventure.  Sam Neill and newcomer Julian Dennison make the perfect pair in this coming-of-age buddy comedy.  “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” opens Friday at the Michigan.

Special Screenings Downtown

"Zero Days"

This is a documentary thriller about the world of cyberwar.  For the first time, the film tells the complete story of Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware (known as a “worm” for its ability to burrow from computer to computer on its own) that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target.  “Zero Days” is the most comprehensive accounting to date of how a clandestine mission hatched by two allies with clashing agendas opened forever the Pandora’s Box of cyberwarfare.  “Zero Days” plays Thursday, August 4 at the Michigan.

"Horse Feathers"

The Summer Classic Film Series continues with the Marx Brothers’ “Horse Feathers.”  Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho) takes over as President of Huxley College.  His son Frank (Zeppo) convinces him to buy a couple of football players at a local speakeasy so Huxley can have a winning team. For some bizarre reason, Wagstaff mistakes Baravelli (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo) for the genuine article, after getting involved with Baravelli in the famous “swordfish” scene.  Meanwhile, Wagstaff and his son are competing for the affections of the college widow (Thelma Todd), who is trying to get a hold of Huxley’s football signals.  “Horse Feathers” plays Sunday, August 7 at 1:30 PM and Tuesday, August 9 at 7 PM at the Michigan.

August 14 & 16: Fargo

August 21 & 23:  Sound of Music Sing-A-Long

August 28 & 30: Metropolis w/ Live Organ

September 5: Casablanca (Free for Students)

Continuing Downtown

“Café Society”

Set in the 1930s, Woody Allen's bittersweet romance follows Bronx-born Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.  Centering on events in the lives of Bobby's colorful Bronx family, the film is a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age.  “Café Society” continues at the Michigan.

"Captain Fantastic"

Deep in the isolated forests of the Pacific Northwest, a devoted father (Viggo Mortensen) dedicates his life to transforming his six young children into extraordinary adults.  But when a tragedy strikes the family, they are forced to leave this self-created paradise and begin a journey into the outside world that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent and brings into question everything he's taught them.  “Captain Fantastic” continues at the State.

"Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie"

Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to: shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London's trendiest hotspots.  Blamed for a major incident at an uber-fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi.  Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!  “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” continues at the State.

Opening at the Multiplex

"Suicide Squad"

This film assembles a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provides them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and sends them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity.  However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?  Starring Will Smith, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie, “Suicide Squad” opens Friday.

"Nine Lives"

Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a daredevil billionaire at the top of his game, but his workaholic lifestyle has disconnected him from his family, particularly his beautiful wife Lara (Jennifer Garner) and his adoring daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman).  Needing a present for Rebecca's birthday is here, Tom buys a seemingly harmless cat from a mysterious pet store.  En route to his daughter's party, Tom has a terrible accident.  When he regains consciousness he discovers that somehow, he has become trapped inside the body of the cat.  Adopted by his own family, he begins to experience what life is truly like for the family pet, and as a cat, Tom begins to see his family and his life through a new and unexpected perspective.  “Nine Lives” 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 dfair@emich.edu