Cinema Chat: 'Downton Abbey' opens nationwide, 'Men,' 'Emergency' and more
OPENING THIS WEEK
"Downton Abbey: A New Era"— NOW PLAYING AT THE MICHIGAN, OPENS FRIDAY MAY 20 AT THE MULTIPLEX
This charming film reunites the original principal cast. Downton creator and Academy-Award® winner Julian Fellowes will once again write the film’s screenplay. BAFTA and Emmy-nominated director Simon Curtis ("My Week with Marilyn") will join the filmmaking team to direct the sequel. In the film, The Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) mysteriously inherits a Villa in the South of France, providing a convenient escape for the Crawley family as the Downton Abbey estate is used for a film shoot.
"Men" — OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 20 AT THE STATE
In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper (Jessie Buckley) retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to have found a place to heal. But someone or something from the surrounding woods appears to be stalking her. What begins as simmering dread becomes a fully formed nightmare, inhabited by her darkest memories and fears in visionary filmmaker Alex Garland's ("Ex Machina," "Annihilation") feverish, shape-shifting new horror film.
"Emergency" — OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 20 AT THE STATE
Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and his best friend, Sean (RJ Cyler), are both seniors in college about to embark on an epic night of Spring Break parties. Sean has the whole night planned out, including every party they will hit on their "legendary tour." Kunle is down, yet mostly concerned with finishing up his mold experiment in his lab, as his acceptance to Princeton is hinging on the results. They return to their apartment to pre-game, yet find that their roommate, Carlos (Sebastian Chacon), left the door open. As they enter with trepidation, Sean and Kunle discover a drunk, semi-conscious White female they don't know on the floor and an oblivious Carlos, who didn't hear her come in over the videogame blaring in his ears. Kunle wants to call the cops, but Sean vehemently opposes the idea concerned how it will look when the cops show up (two Black men, one Latino man and a passed out White woman). Together, Carlos, Sean and Kunle load the girl -- who they nickname Goldilocks, but whose real name is Emma (Maddie Nichols) -- into Sean's van, with the intention of taking her somewhere safe rather than calling the police. Meanwhile, Emma's sister, Maddy (Sabrina Carpenter), has realized that Emma left the party they were at, and begins to search for her in a drunk panic using Emma's phone's location. What ensues is a chaotic, hilarious, and tension-filled chase all over town as our trio grapples with their differences while attempting to bring Emma to safety.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN
"Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" — PLAYS FRIDAY, MAY 20 AT 10 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
Celebrating its 35th anniversary! The second of three films directed by Michigan native Sam Rami (who directed “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," currently playing at the State) in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) once again battling horrifying demons at a secluded cabin in the woods. After discovering an audiotape left by a college professor that contains voices reading from the Book of the Dead, Ash's girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) becomes possessed by evil spirits that are awakened by the voices on the tape. Ash soon discovers there is no escaping the woods.
- "My Neighbor Totoro" – plays 5/27
"Sweet Smell of Success" — PLAYS SATURDAY, MAY 21 AT 8 PM AT THE MICHIGAN
New York City newspaper writer J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) holds considerable sway over public opinion with his Broadway column, but one thing that he can't control is his younger sister, Susan (Susan Harrison), who is in a relationship with aspiring jazz guitarist Steve Dallas (Marty Milner). Hunsecker strongly disproves of the romance and recruits publicist Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) to find a way to split the couple, no matter how ruthless the method.
- "Taxi Driver" – plays 5/28
A 2022 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange. It is the sequel to "Doctor Strange" (2016) and the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange and Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. In the film, Strange and his allies travel into the multiverse to face a mysterious new adversary. Directed my Michigan native Sam Raimi.
In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, stole Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery's history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly -- he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge -- Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage -- how and why he used the Duke to achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale. Starring Jim Broadbent and Dame Helen Mirren.
France, 1963. Anne is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background by disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so...
Céline Sciamma ("Portrait of a Lady on Fire") continues to prove herself as one of the most accomplished and unpredictable contemporary French filmmakers. Following the death of her beloved grandmother, 8-year-old Nelly accompanies her parents to her mother's childhood home to begin the difficult process of cleaning out its contents. As Nelly explores the house and nearby woods, she is immediately drawn to a neighbor her own age building a treehouse. What follows is a tender tale of childhood grief, memory and connection.
This a 2022 epic historical action-drama film directed by Robert Eggers ("The Witch") and co-written by Eggers and Sjón. Based on the legend of Amleth – a figure in a medieval Scandinavian legend, the direct inspiration of the character of Prince Hamlet, the hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. The film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk, and Willem Dafoe. Filming took place from August to December 2020 in locations throughout Ireland. The film has received critical acclaim, with particular praise aimed at its direction, production values, and the performances of the cast.
A 2022 American action comedy film directed by Tom Gormican from a screenplay co-written with Kevin Etten. The film stars Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself, along with a supporting cast that includes Pedro Pascal, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tiffany Haddish.
Its world premiere was at South by Southwest on March 12, 2022. The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances and chemistry of Cage and Pascal.
In the film, Cage begrudgingly accepts a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a billionaire super fan. When things take a wild turn, Cage is forced to become a version of some of his most iconic and beloved characters in order to extricate his wife and daughter from the fan whom the CIA has informed him is a notorious arms dealer.
Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert ("Swiss Army Man"), collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can't seem to finish her taxes.
ADVANCE TICKETS NOW ON SALE
"Top Gun: Maverick" — OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 27 AT THE STATE
After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.” Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
"Jurassic World: Dominion" — OPENS FRIDAY, JUNE 10 AT THE STATE WITH ADVANCE SCREENINGS THURSDAY, JUNE 9
This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Oscar®-winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill in a bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe. From "Jurassic World" architect and director Colin Trevorrow, the film takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live--and hunt--alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures.
Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support. Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.