Smile Politely

What to Watch: Oct. 28-Nov. 1

Just in time for the week of Halloween, we’ve got a mixed bag of goodies here at What to Watch. Let’s see, we’ve got… a Stallone/Shwarzenneger flick, a 70s Stephen King remake, some political documentaries, an Oscar contender about an astronaut, and one of the strangest Japanese horror freak-outs of all time.

Now we just need some Pixie Stix, and we’re all set.

Here’s this week’s What to Watch. 

Escape Plan (Savoy 16 IMAX): Sylvester Stallone plays a man trying to escape out ofthe world’s most difficult prison with the help of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Why to Watch: What else do you really need?  It’s two elderly action stars of the 80s proving they can still fight—or at least that their stunt doubles can. I love movies like this because they foster happy nostalgia from my childhood of watching Rambo and Predator. It’s great to see Arnie and Sly finally team up without it being another Expendables sequel. (Check out the picture. Do these two not look like the world’s most competitive Little League coaches? HEY. THERE’S A MOVIE.) There’s lots of adrenaline pumping action and cheesy one-liners to enjoyl. Carb up and go see it.

Showing @ 11:20 a.m., 1:55 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 10:05 p.m. 

Inequality For All (The Art Theater Co-op): This film explores the continuingfinancial gap between the rich and the poor. Our guide for this film is Robert Reich, an advisor in the Clinton administration.

Why to Watch: I like this film because it is shown from the perspective of the people affected. Sure, you can argue Robert Reich is a member of the 1%, but he’s also one of the few people to try and put a human face on a financial problem that has plagued this country for decades. We already know how the problem started, I’m interested in not only how bad it could get but how it can be get better. How can we be a good society again?

Shows Thursday afternoon @ 2:30 p.m.

Hausu (The Art Theater Co-op): The Art Theater Co-op calls this a “JAPANESE POP-ART PSYCHEDELIC HAUNTED HAUSE HORROR FROM 1977!”

Why to Watch: As if the above description isn’t reason enough, this is a film that absolutely has to be seen to be believed. It’s incredibly trippy, like live-action Manga, and it has achieved such cult superstardom that the Criterion Collection issued an edition of it. If at all possible, go see this on a big screen.

Shows Wednesday night @ 10 p.m.


Carrie (Savoy 16 IMAX): A bullied teenage misfit gets the ultimate revenge in this update of the Stephen King classic.

Why to Watch: Just in time for Halloween, a (more or less) classic horror film is remade. Chloe Grace Moretz stars in the role made legendary by Sissy Spacek, and Julianne Moore takes over for Piper Laurie as the titular teenager’s domineering mother. These two ladies never turn in less than stellar performances, and the topic of school bullying couldn’t possibly be more relevant in today’s social culture.

Showing @ 12:05 p.m., 12:35 p.m., 2:25 p.m., 3 p.m.,  4:50 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 7:10 p.m., 7:40 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 10 p.m. 

Gravity (Savoy 16 IMAX): Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in this mesmerizing space adventure about a mishap during a “routine” NASA maintenance mission.

Why to Watch: Seriously. How many times have I included this movie in the W2W now? Sixty? You need to see it. If for no other reason than to reaffirm your quavering belief that Sandra Bullock is a better-than-average actor and to see What We Can Do with movies nowadays. But, here’s my original pitch, one more time: Alfonso Cuaron’s visually stunning trip to outer space stars GeorgeClooney as a seasoned astronaut and Sandra Bullock as a scientiest rookie. The two-person crew is sent on a relatively simple mission (if there is such a thing in zero-gravity) when, naturally, Something Goes Wrong. From there on, the film follows Bullock’s character as she attempts to save herself and return to earth. Early buzz on the film is that Bullock’s work is tremendous and that the film’s look and effects are very much worth seeing on the big screen. I will be shocked if Bullock’s performance isn’t heavily touted at Oscar time. If you have the chance to see it in 3D, do it.

Showing in 2D @ 11:40 a.m. and 6:40 p.m. Showing in 3D @ 2 p.m., 4:15 p.m., and 8:45 p.m. Showing in IMAX 3D @ 12:10 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9:15 p.m.

Dangerous Docs Festival (The Art Theater Co-op): The Art continues its string of smart, creative, thought-provoking documentary films all this week. Visit The Art’s website for details, including titles, showtimes, and panel discussions.


Ender’s Game (Savoy 16 IMAX): I seriously can’t keep track of the number of peoplewho have told me how long they’ve been waiting for this book to be made into a movie. I’m not kidding; it’s becoming annoying. In any event, here it is: Ender Wiggin, boy genius, leads Earth’s last defense against an encroaching alien armada. Also on hand are Sir Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, and science fiction’s answer to that guy who wouldn’t give back your ball after it went into his yard, Harrison Ford. The trailer is interesting, the book is a young adult classic, and if you can get past the repellant opinions of the book’s author, you might just be in for a good time.

Last Vegas (Savoy 16 IMAX): This could also have been titled Geezer Hangover, Ithink, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The premise of a bunch of guys getting together for a weekend of debauchery before one of them gets hitched is nothing new, but it is pretty impressive that this go-round features not one but five Oscar winners: Michael Douglas (as the groom-to-be), Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, and supporting gal Mary Steenbergen. It’s such a stale idea, and yet I’m completely on board for this because of the people involved. Could this also be called The Golden Guys? And, if so, does that make Kevin Kline the Estelle Getty? Just wondering.

Free Birds (Savoy 16 IMAX): From the makers of Despicable Me comes this time-travel adventure about two turkeys—one a pampered pet (Owen Wilson), the other an action wack-job (Woody Harrelson)—who attempt to rewrite history by getting turkeys off the menu at the First Thanksgiving. Amy Poehler is also on hand as what I’m guessing has to be the most adorable type-A lady turkey of all time. The pedigree of the filmmakers is impressive, and there’s something so attractive about the idea of Harrelson as a demented action hero (which is a little redundant, but okay…). If this works, it could become a holiday classic.

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