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Cinema Chat: 'So B. It,' 'Me, The "Other,"' 'The Snowman,' And More

Oct 19, 2017

Michigan Theater Balcony
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about the movie business and all of the flicks you can check out in theaters this weekend.


Opening Downtown

"So B. It"

This is an adaption of the novel written by Ann Arbor native Sarah Weeks.  It tells the story of a 12-year-old girl named Heidi and her childlike mother who has only 22 words in her vocabulary.  They live happily under the protection of their neighbor Bernadette, but one day, Heidi’s mother says a word she’s never heard before, which initiates a journey of self-discovery across the country to discover the truth and tragedy of where her mother came from.  "So B. It" opens Friday, October 20, and Sarah Weeks will be in attendance of the screening on Sunday, October 22 at 2:30 PM.

Continuing Downtown

"Victoria and Abdul" 

Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) golden jubilee.  The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself.  As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy.  As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.  Owen Gleiberman of Variety writes “Dench is 82 now, but she remains the world’s most formidable pixie, and in ‘Victoria & Abdul’ she’s in her element and in her snappish, showbiz-melancholy prime.” 

"Battle of the Sexes"

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's World #1 Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the “Battle of the Sexes” and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.  As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles.  Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.  

Limited Engagements

"Ugetsu"

The new digital restoration of the 1954 fantasy film from Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, arrives for one day only of screenings!  The film tells a fantastical story of a potter and a farmer, Genjura and Tobei, with aspirations of wealth, luxury, and fame.  One day, their dreams come true when they meet a vengeful ghost who bewitches them and gives them everything they could hope for.  But with the fulfillment of their greatest desires comes the loss of the ones they love.  "Ugetsu" plays Tuesday, October 24 at 7:15 and 9:45 PM.

"Me, the 'Other'" 

This is a local documentary film about the struggles faced by a diverse group of students living in Washtenaw County who are on some level experiencing prejudice in their lives.  The film explores a wide range of social issues faced by these students such as race, ethnicity, socio-economic, religion, gender, sexual orientation, immigration, and living with medical conditions.  Simply said, the film is about the flight of the human spirit once the cloud of prejudice is removed.  "Me, The 'Other'" is free and open to the public and will play Saturday, October 21 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

Special Screenings Downtown

"The Phantom of the Opera" 

Next Wednesday, October 25, a Michigan Theater Halloween tradition returns as we screen a silent horror classic with live organ accompaniment from our own Stephen Warner on the Barton Organ. This year, we will play the 1925 film starring Lon Chaney.  This familiar adaptation tells the story of an aspiring young opera singer, Christine Daaé, who discovers that she has a mysterious admirer intent on helping her become a lead performer.  This masked presence is a horribly disfigured recluse, known at The Phantom, who lives underneath the Paris Opera House.  When the Phantom takes Christine prisoner and demands her devotion and affection, her suitor, Viscount Raoul de Chagny, sets out to rescue her.

"The Mist"

Our Stranger and Stranger film series continues!  This modern adaptation of the 1980 novella by Stephen King finds a father and son trapped inside a grocery store as a thick fog envelopes the town after a violent thunder storm and an increased presence of military activity draws suspicion. Terror then mounts as deadly, Lovecraft-ian creatures reveal themselves outside.  Could this be Armageddon, or is something more sinister going on?  "The Mist" plays Thursday, October 19 at 9:30 PM. Next Thursday, the series will continue with "Poltergeist."

"The Wolf Man"

Classic Monsters continues next Monday with the 1941 Universal horror picture starring Lon Chaney Jr.  When his brother dies, Larry Talbot (Chaney), returns to Wales to reconcile with his father (Claude Rains).  While there, he purchases a silver walking cane in effort to impress an attractive shopkeeper, but it becomes a greater necessity when he is attacked by a wolf that same night and must use it in his defense.  The next day, he learns the wolf was actually a man (Bela Lugosi), a werewolf, and now he has become one himself.  "The Wolf Man" plays Monday, October 23rd at 7:00 PM.

Opening at the Multiplex

"The Snowman"

This film stars Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson. “When an elite crime squad's lead detective (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again.  With the help of a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

"Only The Brave" 

This film stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, and Jeff Bridges.  “The heroic story of one unit of local firefighters that through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities, and our country become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the country.  As most of us run from danger, they run toward it--they watch over our lives, our homes, everything we hold dear, as they forge a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

"Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" 

This film returns Tyler Perry to his classic character.  Madea and the gang are back for this hilarious sequel.  Madea, Bam, and Hattie venture to a haunted campground and the group must literally run for their lives when monsters, goblins and the bogeyman are unleashed.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

"Geostorm"

This film stars Gerard Butler.  “When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate start to attack Earth, it's a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone. (IMDB)

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu