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Cinema Chat: 'Yesterday,' 'Spider-Man: Far From Home,' And More

Jun 27, 2019

Michigan Theater View from the Stage
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Looking to the beat the heat?  A nice, cool movie theater can always do the job.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair sits down with Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins about the latest movie news and all of the new films landing on the big screen this weekend.

OPENING DOWNTOWN

"Yesterday"

At the Michigan (Sneak peek Thursday, June 27 and opens for a full run Friday, June 28): In this film, Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel, BBC's "Eastenders") is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again").  Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed... and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed.  Also stars Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon.  

"Non-Fiction"

At the Michigan (Opens Friday, June 28): Juliette Binoche and Guillame Canet reunite with acclaimed director Olivier Assayas for this wry, slyly seductive tale of sex, lies, and literature.  Set amidst the bohemian intelligentsia of the Parisian publishing world, this film traces the romantic and emotional fallout that results when a controversial writer begins blurring the line between fact and fiction, using his real-life love affairs -- including a passionate fling with an actress who happens to be married to his editor -- as fodder for his explosive new novel.  

"Spider-Man: Far from Home"

At the State (Opens Tuesday, July 2): Peter Parker returns in the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series!  Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation.  However, Peter's plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!

"Midsommar"

At the State (Opens Wednesday, July 3): From the visionary mind of Ari Aster ("Hereditary") comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight called Midsommar.  Dani and Christian are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart.  But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village.  What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing. 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

"The Right Stuff"

This film plays Sunday, June 30 at 1:30 PM and Wednesday, July 3 at 7:00 PM at Michigan Theater as a part of The SavCo Hospitality Summer Classic Film Series, presented by the University of Michigan Credit Union with media support from MLive.  All summer long, we will be celebrating generations of filmmakers and their nostalgic treasures!  This adaptation of the non-fiction novel by Tom Wolfe chronicles the first 15 years of America's space program.  By focusing on the lives of the Mercury astronauts, including John Glenn (played by Ed Harris) and Alan Shepard (played by Scott Glenn), the film recounts the dangers and frustrations experienced by those involved with NASA's earliest achievements.  It also depicts their family lives and the personal crises they endured during an era of great political turmoil and technological innovation.

"Do the Right Thing"

This film plays Sunday, June 30 at 4:00 PM at the State Theatre.  We will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of this classic Spike Lee joint, presented with a new 4K restoration!  Salvatore "Sal" Fragione (played by Danny Aiello) is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn.  A neighborhood local, Buggin' Out (played by Giancarlo Esposito), becomes upset when he sees that the pizzeria's Wall of Fame exhibits only Italian actors.  Buggin' Out believes a pizzeria in a black neighborhood should showcase black actors, but Sal disagrees.  The wall becomes a symbol of racism and hate to Buggin' Out and to other people in the neighborhood, and tensions rise.

"Casablanca"

This film plays Wednesday, July 3 at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market as a part of Cinetopia Film Festival’s free summer outdoor screenings.  Join us for this FREE MOVIE and enjoy food trucks, a beer garden, pre-movie entertainment and circus performances, popcorn, and more!  Festivities start at 6pm and movies at sundown!  Rick Blaine (played by Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (played by Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo (played by Paul Henreid).  Laszlo is a famed rebel, and with Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country.

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"Pavarotti"

At the Michigan: The Cinetopia Secretopia hit returns!  From the filmmaking team behind the highly-acclaimed documentary "The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years," this is a riveting film that lifts the curtain on the icon who brought opera to the people.  Academy Award® winner Ron Howard puts audiences front row center for an exploration of The Voice…The Man…The Legend.  Luciano Pavarotti gave his life to the music and a voice to the world.  This cinematic event features history-making performances and intimate interviews, including never-before-seen footage and cutting-edge Dolby Atmos technology

"Late Night"

Moving from the Michigan to the State: In this film, a legendary late-night talk show host’s (played by Emma Thompson) world is turned upside down when she hires her first and only female staff writer (played by Mindy Kaling).  Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision brings about unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women who are separated by culture and generation become united by their love of a biting punchline.  

"Shadow"

At the State: With this film, director Zhang Yimou ("Hero," "House of Flying Daggers") once again pushes the boundaries of wuxia action to create a film like no other, masterfully painting a canvas of inky blacks and greys punctuated with bursts of color from the blood of the defeated.  In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a “shadow,” a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the King himself.  Now he must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the King does not want.

"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"

This film is a poignant and sweeping story of hometowns and how they’re made—and kept alive—by the people who love them.  Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco.  Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.  As he struggles to reconnect with his family and reconstruct the community he longs for, his hopes blind him to the reality of his situation.

"Framing John DeLorean"

The Cinetopia 2019 hit returns for a full run!  This film recounts the extraordinary life and legend of the controversial automaker, tracing his meteoric rise through the ranks of General Motors, his obsessive quest to build a sports car that would conquer the world, and his shocking fall from grace on charges of cocaine trafficking.  Interweaving a treasure trove of archival footage with dramatic vignettes starring Alec Baldwin, the film is a gripping look at a man who gambled everything in his pursuit of the American Dream. 

"The Dead Don't Die"

This film follows the small town of Centerville, where something is not quite right.  The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable, and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behaviors.  News reports are scary, and scientists are concerned.  But no one foresees the strangest and most dangerous repercussion that will soon start plaguing Centerville: the dead rise from their graves and feast on the living, and the citizens must battle for their survival.  Stars Bill MurrayAdam DriverTilda SwintonChloë SevignySteve BuscemiDanny GloverCaleb Landry JonesRosie PerezIggy Pop (Ann Arbor native), Sara DriverRZASelena Gomez, and Carol Kane.  Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch.  

"Booksmart"

Told from a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective, this film is an unfiltered comedy about high school best friends and the bonds we create that last a lifetime.  Capturing the spirit of our times, the film is a coming of age story for a new generation.  The story follows Dever and Feldstein's characters, two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high school graduation, suddenly realize that they should have worked less and played more.  Determined never to fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night. From Director Olivia Wilde and starring Kaitlyn DeverBeanie FeldsteinJessica WilliamsLisa KudrowWill Forte, and Jason Sudeikis

OPENING AT THE MULTIPLEX FRIDAY, JUNE 28

"Annabelle Comes Home"

This film opens in theaters nationwide this Friday!  This is the sequel to 2014's "Annabelle" and 2017's "Annabelle: Creation," and as the seventh installment in the Conjuring Universe franchise.  Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her "safely" behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest's holy blessing.  But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target -- the Warrens' ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends.

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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