Cinema Chat: 'Step,' 'The Hitman's Bodyguard,' 'Logan Lucky,' And More

Aug 17, 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 all of the news out of Hollywood and all of the new and returning flicks hitting the big screen this weekend.


BRUCE CAMPBELL – LIVE! -- WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30 at 7:30 PM

Hosted live by Bruce Campbell, "Last Fan Standing" is an interactive trivia quest built from four primary pillars of content: fantasy, horror, sci-fi and superheroes.  Not your average quiz show or trivia contest, "Last Fan Standing" tests your knowledge about the things that really matter.  Through provided "audience response devices" (clickers if you insist on getting technical), each audience member participates in a series of multiple choice questions, where the players with the fastest-correct answers advance to the Podium Rounds.  The Podium Rounds bring the top four (4) players from the audience to a winner-take-all trivia battle.  After each round, the player with the lowest score is eliminated, until there is only one...Last Fan Standing!

All tickets include a signed hardcover copy of “Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor,” Campbell’s latest memoir.  Campbell will sign books at the conclusion of the event.

Opening Downtown

"Step"

Winner of the Cinetopia 2017 Audience Award for Best Documentary, this film tells the story of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, which aspires to send every single one of its students to college, despite whatever obstacles stand in their way.  The film follows three BLSYW students and step dance team members as they enter their senior year, tackle college applications, and nurture their collective love of art.  These “Lethal Ladies” have a constant support team by their side to help them navigate the tricky relationship between growing up and the dreams of youth.  The film was the winner of the Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking.  “Step” opens Friday.

Continuing Downtown

"An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power"

Great films are continuing at the Michigan Theater!  A decade after “An Inconvenient Truth” brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, the riveting and rousing follow-up shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.  Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. 

"The Big Sick"

This film tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents.  When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.

"Landline"

This is a warm, insightful and comedic drama about a family united by secrets and lies, directed by Gillian Robespierre (“Obvious Child”).  When two sisters suspect their father (John Turturro) may be having an affair, it sends them into a tailspin that reveals cracks in the family façade.  For the first time, older sister Dana (Jenny Slate), recently engaged and struggling with her own fidelity, finds herself bonding with her wild teenage sister Ali (Abby Quinn).  The two try to uncover the truth without tipping off their mother (Edie Falco) and discover the messy reality of love and sex in the process.  

Special Screenings Downtown

End of Summer Classics

"The Wizard of Oz"

In the classic movie musical, when a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz.  They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and en route they meet a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) that needs a brain, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) who wants courage.  The wizard asks the group to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) to earn his help.  The film ranked #6 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list, ranking the greatest American films of all time.  “The Wizard of Oz” plays Sunday, August 20 at 1:30 PM and Tuesday, August 22 at 7 PM.

27-Aug                        Sing-A-Long Little Mermaid

29-Aug                        Sing-A-Long Little Mermaid

3-Sep                          Children of Men

4-Sep                          Psycho

5-Sep                          Children of Men

Lynch After Dark

Celebrating the return of Twin Peaks, we’ll take a look at career of David Lynch, featuring selections which find focus in science fiction, mystery, love, and the outright weird.  Beginning August 3rd with Eraserhead, this After Dark Series will also continue every Thursday in August at 9:30 PM with Dune, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, and Lost Highway.

"Blue Velvet"

College student Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns home after his father has a stroke.  When he discovers a severed ear in an abandoned field, Beaumont teams up with detective’s daughter Sandy Williams (Laura Dern) to solve the mystery.  They believe beautiful lounge singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) may be connected with the case, and Beaumont finds himself becoming drawn into her dark, twisted world.  “Blue Velvet” plays Thursday, August 17 at 9:30 PM.

"Wild at Heart"

After serving prison time for a self-defense killing, Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) reunites with girlfriend Lula Fortune (Laura Dern).  Lula’s mother, Marietta (Diane Ladd), desperate to keep them apart, hires a hit man to kill Sailor.  But he finds a whole new set of troubles when he and Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe), an old buddy who’s also out to get Sailor, try to rob a store.  When Sailor lands in jail yet again, the young lovers appear further than ever from the shared life they covet.  “Wild at Heart” plays Thursday, August 24 at 9:30 PM.

31-Aug            Lost Highway

Opening at the Multiplex

"The Hitman's Bodyguard"

The world's top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson).  The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours.  During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades, and a merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood.  Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson's equally notorious wife.  “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” opens Friday.

"Logan Lucky"

Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Directed by Steven Soderbergh and also starring Daniel Craig and Katie Holmes, “Logan Lucky” opens Friday.

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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