"He's not the Messiah! He's a very naughty boy!"
It is with these famous words that we bring you the end of summer, dear readers. But the end of summer vacation (and serious superfluous movie-watching) doesn't mean there's no fun to be had at the box office. There are still plenty of blockbusters in theaters, from sci-fi heroes to comic book brawlers, and there's nothing wrong with a less-than-crowded auditorium. There's still time to see some popcorn action and some animated hijinx before the awards season gets underway.
Here are the picks of the week.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Art Theater Co-op): The Art’s late night seriespresents the Monty Python classic, which tells the story of what would have happened if the three wise men had, y'know, gone to the wrong manger.
Why to Watch: The premise promises hilarity of... can't help it... Biblical proportions. The entire Python troupe does some of their best comedic work in this film, and nearly every moment contains a sight that will have you roaring in your seat. If you are an insomniac and need a good laugh, this film is a great time at the movies. If you need those eight hours of sleep, may I suggest you call in sick the next day? It's worth it.
Showing Thursday night @ 10:00 p.m.
What Maisie Knew (Art Theater Co-op): This film tells the story of a small childnamed Maisie who observes her parents as they go through a bitter custody battle to decide who has permanent custody.
Why to Watch: This film could easily be portrayed as another film that comments on how divorce affects a child. However, What Maisie Knew seems to take a slightly different route in that, while it does comment on that very topic, it does so through the young girl’s experiences. Who she meets and how she feels about them is just as important as how the parents are handling the divorce in front of their child. Onata Aprile, who portrays Maisie, is poised to be one of those child actresses whose presence stays with us long after Maisie’s journey is complete. And watch for compelling performances from Julianne Moore and True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård.
Showing Monday & Wednesday @ 7:30 p.m.
Planes (Savoy 16 IMAX): Dusty Crophopper is a little plane with big dreams.Specifically, he wants to compete in the world's biggest aerial race. There's only one problem: Dusty is afraid of heights.
Why to Watch: For those of you who might be thinking, "Two Pixar films in one year? Sweet!," calm down. This is not technically made by Pixar. And it has Dane Cook. As the lead. I never really enjoyed Cars or its even weaker (and inexcusably violent) sequel Cars 2, so the fact that Planes is a spinoff of those films didn’t give me much hope. With that said, Planes is a product of Disney Animation Studios, who mounted a comeback last year with the fantastic Wreck-It Ralph. I have every hope this film could be good as long as there’s a new lesson to learn and not the same old “fears can be conquered” bit. Plus, seriously, it has Val Kilmer. Who is already kind of a cartoon.
Showing @ 11:45 a.m., 2:00, 4:15, 6:30, and 8:50 p.m.
The Hunt (Art Theater Co-op): This intriguing foreign feature stars Hannibal'stitular cannibal Mads Mikkelsen as a teacher accused of assaulting a young child, causing his whole town to turn brutally against him.
Why to Watch: Since his appearance as the villain in Casino Royale, Mikkelsen has been a pretty mesmerizing screen presence. He’s a hard actor to classify, but there has always been something... unsettling about him. Perhaps that is the beauty of casting him in a role like this: a man who seems wrong somehow, who is put in the position of having to clear his name. The outcry of the townspeople, the insidiousness of rumors, and the power of Mikkelsen’s presence make this one worth watching.
Showing Tuesday & Thursday @ 7:30 p.m.
Elysium (Savoy 16 IMAX): Neill Blomkamp’s big-budget follow-up to the rivetingDistrict 9 is another action-packed sci-fi metaphor for social injustice.
Why To Watch: In addition to this film’s science-fantasy action sequences (metal exoskeletons riveted right onto people's bodies...?) and A-list cast (Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, and Jodie Foster), Elysium features a solid and compelling story of future one-percenters living in a floating paradise while the less fortunate literally work themselves to death on a sweltering, ruined Earth below. Matt Damon made himself one of the most bankable actors in the world in the smart, action-packed Bourne films; now he brings his proven brains and brawn to an epic, futuristic tale.
Showing in 2D @ 11:30 a.m., 2:10, 4:55, 7:30., and 10:05 p.m. Showing in 3D @ 11:00 a.m., 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, and 9:40 p.m.
The Wolverine (Savoy 16 IMAX): In addition to being dynamite company at a weenieroast (think about it), Wolverine is ready to take his act on the road. Claws McMuttonchops is back for another round, this time with slightly less invulnerability, some shiny new villains, and a new locale.
Why to Watch: By now, Hugh Jackman has become so ingrained in the collective consciousness as the berserker Logan that it’s nothing new to see him ripped and righteous on magazine covers. However, this film boasts a classy director in James Mangold (Walk the Line), and it has a lot to prove after the debacle that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (Way to ruin Deadpool, guys.) This time around, the filmmakers set the action in Japan, fulfilling many a fanboy wish by delving into this part of Logan's history. Watch out for some cameos by familiar faces from X-Men films past. I'm just sayin.'
Showing @ 11:05 a.m., 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, and 10:05 p.m..