Friday December 11 – Thursday December 17

Featured Film:

Star Wars Marathon at the Cinemark Lincoln Square and the Century Federal Way

In preparation for next Thursday’s premiere of The Force Awakens, a couple of local screens are playing the first six Star Wars films beginning at 3 am Wednesday night (or Thursday morning). They appear to be starting with The Phantom Menace, which would totally be the wrong way to watch them (other than chronological release order, the best way to marathon the films is IV-V-I-II-III-VI), except of course for the fact that the shows begin at 3 am. No sober or sane person has watched The Phantom Menace at 3am in 16 1/2 years, so they might as well throw that one on first. Wise viewers will simply sleep in and show up around the two-thirds point of Attack of the Clones. Anyway, we talked a lot about Star Wars (both the series and George Lucas in general and the 1977 film in particular) on this week’s episode of The George Sanders Show. 

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Playing This Week:

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

Chi-Raq (Spike Lee) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984) Fri-Mon
Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton, 1990) Fri-Tues

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

Chi-Raq (Spike Lee) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) Sun & Weds Only
Boruto: Naruto the Movie (Hiroyuki Yamashita) Sun Only
Star Wars Marathon (Various) Weds Only Our Podcast

Grand Cinema:

Macbeth (Justin Kurzel) Fri-Thurs Our Review
White Christmas (Michael Curtiz, 1954) Weds Only Sing-along
Eyes of the Totem (WS Van Dyke, 1927) Thurs Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) Fri-Thurs 35mm
VHS Uber Alles presents Droid (Peter Williams, 1988) Fri Only VHS

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Tamasha (Imtiaz Ali) Fri-Weds
Bengal Tiger (Sampath Nandi) Fri-Weds
Boruto: Naruto the Movie (Hiroyuki Yamashita) Sun Only
Star Wars Marathon (Various) Weds Only Our Podcast

Regal Meridian:

Tamasha (Imtiaz Ali) Fri-Thurs
Fall in Love Like a Star (Tony Chan) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Tyler Oakley’s Snervous Fri-Sun
Iraq in Fragments (James Longley, 2006) Sat Only 35mm
The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (David Russo, 2009) Sat Only
Twisted Flicks featuring Prom Queen: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Nicholas Webster, 1964) Sat Only

AMC Pacific Place:

Our Times (Frankie Chen) Fri-Weds
She Remembers, He Forgets (Adam Wong) Fri-Weds

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Sooraj Barjatya) Fri-Thurs
Tamasha 
(Imtiaz Ali) Fri-Thurs
A Second Chance (Cathy Garcia-Molina) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Room:

Framing Pictures: A Floating Conversation About Film Fri Only
A Kid for Two Farthings (Carol Reed, 1955) Sun Only
Action Movie Night Sun Only
Santa Claus: The Movie (Jeannot Szwarf, 1985) Mon Only
Dead Bang (John Frankenheimer, 1989) Tues Only
The Shop Around the Corner (Ernest Lubitsch, 1940) Weds Only
Nutcracker: The Untold Story (Andrei Konchalovsky, 2009) Weds Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

Macbeth (Justin Kurzel) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Film Center:

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971) Fri-Sun Smell-o-Vision
The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 1987) Fri-Sun Quote-Along
Taming Wild (Elsa Sinclair) Tues Only

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

James White (Josh Mond) Fri-Thurs Our Review
The Girl in the Book (Marya Cohn) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Macbeth (Justin Kurzel) Fri-Sun Our Review
Janis: Little Girl Blue (Amy Berg) Fri-Thurs
Billy Liar plus Advanced Screening of 45 Years (John Schlesinger, 1963/Andrew Haigh, 2015) Mon Only 35mm/DCP Our Review

In Wide Release:

Brooklyn (John Crowley) Our Review
Spotlight 
(Tom McCarthy) Our Review
Creed 
(Ryan Coogler) Our Review
Bridge of Spies
 (Steven Spielberg) Our Review
The Martian (Ridley Scott) Our Review
Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review
Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle) Our Review

Macbeth (Justin Kurzel, 2015)

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Opening this week at a few screens around town (the Uptown, the Seven Gables, along with the Grand in Tacoma) is the latest high-profile adaptation of a Shakespeare play, with Michael Fassbender as the Scottish usurper and Marion Cotillard as his ambitious wife. Directed by Justin Kurzel, this Macbeth proves a solid entry in what must be considered the Games of Thronesification of the historical film, with an outsized emphasis on the lurid details of medieval warfare. The brooding sense of doom, of course, comes right out of Shakespeare, but where previous adaptations by Orson Welles and Akira Kurosawa found shadows and fog in the text, Kurzel finds blood. Whether that is an improvement or not I think depends a great deal on how important you feel verisimilitude is to realism. At its best, the film has some of the hallucinatory power that gives the play an eternal aura of mystery, like Nicolas Winding Refn’s psychotic Viking epic Valhalla Rising, but with words. At its worst, it’s simply Fassbender looking confused and mumbling incoherently.

Continue reading “Macbeth (Justin Kurzel, 2015)”

Friday December 4 – Thursday December 10

Featured Film:

Zodiac on 35mm at the Seattle Art Museum

Bringing the Seattle Art Museum’s 38th Film Noir series to an end this week is David Fincher’s paranoid procedural Zodiac, from 2007. Like all the films in the series, this one is presented on 35mm film, an ever-increasing rarity on Seattle Screens, especially for so recent a film. Zodiac stars Robert Downey Jr, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo as reporters and investigators who become increasingly obsessed with a serial killer who sends cryptic clues and terrorizes the Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Fincher and his collaborators make meticulous use of digital effects to recreate the environments of the era, but most palpable is the sense of dread, the fear that solving the crime will ultimately prove an impossibility. The darkest truth of any in film noir: that evil is truly incomprehensible.

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Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, 1953) Fri-Tues
Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988) Fri-Tues

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

Chi-Raq (Spike Lee) Fri-Thurs
Teton Gravity Research: The Sammy C Project Weds Only

Century Federal Way:

Mukhtiar Chadha (Gifty) Fri-Thurs
Judge Singh LLB
(Atharv Baluja) Fri-Thurs
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Jeremiah S. Check, 1989) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Bikes vs. Cars (Fredrik Gertten) Tues Only
Calling My Children (David Binder) Thurs Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Taxi (Jafar Panahi) Fri, Sat, Mon, Weds, Thurs
Bikes vs. Cars (Fredrik Gertten) Fri-Thurs
EXcinema presents The Spaces Between Cities (Various) Tues Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Tamasha (Imtiaz Ali) Fri-Tues
Shankarabaranum (Kona Venkat) Fri-Thurs

Regal Meridian:

Tamasha (Imtiaz Ali) Fri-Thurs
Fall in Love Like a Star (Tony Chan) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Paul Taylor: Creative Domain (Kate Geiss) Fri-Sun
Xenia (Panos H. Koutras) Fri-Sun
God Bless the Child (Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck) Fri Only
Next Dance Cinema (Various) Mon Only
Phoebe’s Father (John Helde) Tues Only
Tyler Oakley’s Snervous Thurs-Sun

AMC Pacific Place:

Our Times (Frankie Chen) Fri-Thurs
She Remembers, He Forgets (Adam Wong) Fri-Thurs
Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990) Weds Only

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Sooraj Barjatya) Fri-Thurs
Tamasha 
(Imtiaz Ali) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Room:

WNUF Halloween Special (Chris LaMartina, Shawn Jones, James Branscome, 2013) Fri Only
The House of Yes (Mark Waters, 1997) Sat Only
A Year without Santa Claus (Rankin/Bass, 1974) Sun Only
The Long Kiss Goodnight (Renny Harlin, 1996) Sun Only
Carol for Another Christmas (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1964) Mon Only
I Confess (Alfred Hitchcock, 1953) Tues Only
The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960) Weds Only
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black, 2005) Thurs Only

Seattle Art Museum:

Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) Thurs Only 35mm

SIFF Film Center:

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971) Fri-Sun Smell-o-Vision
The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 1987) Fri-Sun Quote-Along

AMC Southcenter:

Chi-Raq (Spike Lee) Fri-Thurs
Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990) Weds Only

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

Life (Anton Corbijn) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson) Fri-Sun
Janis: Little Girl Blue (Amy Berg) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

East Side Sushi (Anthony Lucero) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

Brooklyn (John Crowley) Our Review
Spotlight 
(Tom McCarthy) Our Review
Creed
(Ryan Coogler) Our Review
Bridge of Spies
 (Steven Spielberg) Our Review
The Martian (Ridley Scott) Our Review
Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro) Our Review
Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review
Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle) Our Review

This Week at the Multiplex

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The second phase of Awards Season is upon us, with early Oscar contenders spreading like a winter cold across Seattle Screens. Late November is the final stretch before the Christmas glut, when studios dump all their high profile releases at the same time, a phenomenon which never ceased to amaze me in my former life in the theater business: the early weeks of December are always a wasteland, while a dozen quality films come out at the same time at the end of the month, stretching into January, when certain releases will finally make it out of the New York-LA bubble to grace us in the hinterlands with their Oscar lunges. Most November releases will be forgotten by that time, the awards bloggers twiddling with their own self-created narratives, while the actual business of handing out awards is mostly accomplished. I caught up with a few of the films with strong cases for end-of-the-year recognition last weekend at the local mall, Brooklyn, Spotlight and Creed, all of which are very fine films you can catch all over town, at least for a couple more weeks.

Continue reading “This Week at the Multiplex”