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Cinema Chat: 'Fast X' kicks off the 2023 summer blockbuster season, 'Master Gardener' 'and Polite Society' star at Ann Arbor's movie palaces

State Theatre
Wikipedia Media Commons


  1. "Fast X" – May 19
  2. "The Little Mermaid" – May 29
  3. "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" – June 2
  4. "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts"– June 9
  5. "Pixar's Elemental" – June 16
  6. "The Flash" – June 16
  7. "Asteroid City" – June 16
  8. "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" – June 30
  9. "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" – July 12
  10. "Barbie" – July 21
  11. "Oppenheimer" – July 21
  12. "Disney's Haunted Mansion" – July 28
  13. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" – August 4



The tenth film in the Fast & Furious Saga, launches the final chapters of one of cinema’s most storied and popular global franchises, now in its third decade and still going strong with the same core cast and characters as when it began.

Over many missions and against impossible odds, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family have outsmarted, outnerved and outdriven every foe in their path. Now, they confront the most lethal opponent they’ve ever faced: A terrifying threat emerging from the shadows of the past who’s fueled by blood revenge, and who is determined to shatter this family and destroy everything—and everyone—that Dom loves, forever.

The film stars returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jason Statham, John Cena and Scott Eastwood, with Oscar® winners Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and Brie Larson.


Directed by Academy Award® nominee Paul Schrader, writer of Martin Scorsese classics such as "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," and "The Last Temptation of Christ," as well as his own recent acclaimed films "First Reformed" (2017) and "The Card Counter" (2021).

Based on his original screenplay, the film follows Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton), a meticulous horticulturist devoted to tending the grounds of the historic estate of the wealthy Mrs. Haverhill (three-time Academy Award® nominee Sigourney Weaver). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.

"Polite Society" — OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 19 AT THE STATE

A 2023 Sundance breakout hit! A martial artist-in-training believes she must save her older sister from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, she tries to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood.


Another fresh off the festival circuit, having played at the Venice International Film Festival among many others.

A transgender woman returns home to care for her ailing mother who she hasn’t seen in years in this tender portrait of family, forgiveness, and acceptance.


"Legally Blonde" — PLAYS FRIDAY, MAY 19 AT 9:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Late Nights at the State series

Before it was a hit musical, there was this 2001 summer hit. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), a sorority girl, attempts to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis) by getting a Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School, and in the process, overcomes stereotypes against blondes and triumphs as a successful lawyer.

"2001: A Space Odyssey" — PLAYS SATURDAY, MAY 20 AT 7 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Part of the Science on Screen Series

Our final screening in our cinema lecture series, celebrating Kubrick’s sci-fi epic with a post-film discussion with Dr. Mark Moldwin, Professor of Climate, Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan and Executive Director of NASA’s Michigan Space Grant Consortium, discussing the future of space travel in government, as well as private sectors, and the role that will AI have in shaping our travels in the cosmos.

An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship's computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine that results in a mind-bending trek through space and time.


Part of the Films We Love Series

Mel Brooks’s quotable take on Star Wars and the 70s & 80s sci-fi boom. In a distant galaxy, planet Spaceball has depleted its air supply, leaving its citizens reliant on a product called "Perri-Air." In desperation, Spaceball's leader President Skroob (Mel Brooks) orders the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to kidnap Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) of oxygenrich Druidia and hold her hostage in exchange for air. But help arrives for the Princess in the form of renegade space pilot Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his half-man, half-dog partner, Barf (John Candy).



This film tells the story of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the two men that charted the course of the spectacular rise and catastrophic demise of the world's first smartphone.

A biographical comedy-drama film about the history of the BlackBerry line of mobile phones. It is directed by Matt Johnson from a script by Johnson and producer Matthew Miller, which was adapted from Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s book "Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry," and stars Jay Barucheland Glenn Howerton in the lead roles as Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, respectively. It also stars Johnson, Rich Sommer, Michael Ironside, Martin Donovan, Michelle Giroux, SungWon Cho, Saul Rubinek, and Cary Elwes. It premiered in competition at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2023

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" 

A 2023 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team "Guardians of the Galaxy," produced by Marvel Studios, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the third and final movie in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, and the sequel to "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017) and the 32nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan,Pom Klementieff,Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Elizabeth Debicki, Maria Bakalova, and Sylvester Stallone.

The beloved band of Marvel misfits are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.

"Beau Is Afraid"

A paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster. A 2023 American surrealist black tragicomedy horror film written, directed, and co-produced by Ari Aster. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as the title character, Beau Wassermann, a mild-mannered but paranoia-ridden man who embarks on a surreal odyssey to get home to his mother, confronting his greatest fears along the way. The film includes a supporting ensemble cast of Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan,Kylie Rogers,Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini, Zoe Lister-Jones, andRichard Kind.


A 2022 American biographical drama film directed by Stephen Williams and written by Stefani Robinson. It is based on the life of the titular French-Caribbean musician Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, played by Kelvin Harrison Jr. The film also stars Samara Weaving, Lucy Boynton, Marton Csokas, Alex Fitzalan, and Minnie Driver. The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

The rise and resurgence of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a French-Caribbean violinist and composer who rose to fame through his musical prodigy. But a complicated love life and the racism of 18th Century French aristocrats leads to a falling out with Queen Marie Antoinette, and Saint-Georges realizes that things must change.


A Japanese Anime film about the 17-year-old Suzume's journey. It begins in the quiet town in Kyushu when she encounters a young man who tells her, "I'm looking for a door." What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob.... Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster. The stars. The sunset. The morning sky. Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky--guided by these mysterious doors, Suzume's journey to close doors is about to begin.

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Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
Nick Alderink is the cinema program director of Marquee Arts, the nonprofit that oversees the Michigan Theater and State Theatre in Ann Arbor.
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