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Cinema Chat: 'The Trip', 'The Drop', 'Alive Inside', 'No Good Deed' And 'Dolphin Tale 2'

Sep 11, 2014

Michigan Theater Executive Director and CEO, Russ Collins, has plenty of movie news and previews in "Cinema Chat" this week. 

Opening Downtown

The Trip

Michael Winterbottom’s largely improvised 2010 film, “The Trip,” took comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon—or semifictionalized versions—on a restaurant tour around northern England. In “The Trip To Italy,” Winterbottom reunites the pair for a new culinary road trip, retracing the steps of the Romantic poets’ grand tour of Italy and indulging in some sparkling banter and impersonation-offs.

Rewetting our palates from the earlier film, the characters enjoy mouthwatering meals in gorgeous settings from Liguria to Capri while riffing on subjects as varied as actor Justin Batman’s vocal register, the artistic merits of “Jagged Little Pill,” and, of course, the virtue of sequels.

“The Trip to Italy” effortlessly melds the brilliant comic interplay between Coogan and Brydon into quieter moments of self-reflection, letting audiences into their insightful ruminations on the nuances of friendship and the juggling of family and career. The result is a biting portrait of modern-day masculinity. “The Trip to Italy” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.

The Drop

“The Drop” is a new crime drama from Michaël R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of “Bullhead” (Cinetopia 2012).

Based on a screenplay from Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone”), the film follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters - "money drops" in the underworld of Brooklyn bars.

Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past. “The Drop” opens Friday at the State Theatre.

Alive Inside

“Alive Inside” is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music.

His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short. This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times says, “In a world drowning in bad news about dementia - an estimated 5 million Americans currently suffer, 10 million serve as their caregivers, with both numbers inevitably going up - "Alive Inside" is positively tonic.” “Alive Inside” plays Wednesday & Thursday, September 17 & 18 

Michigan Theater Marquee
Credit michtheater.org

Special Screenings Downtown

Night Train

The Michigan Theater is proud to present, in association with the University of Michigan’s Weiser Center, Masterpieces of Polish Cinema. The curator and host of the series is the renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese.

This series, presented at just a couple dozen cinemas in North America continues with “Night Train” directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz. The film follows the emotions of two travelers—changing from mutual aversion to closeness without hope of a future—plays out amidst the human microcosm of a night train. “Night Train” plays Monday, September 15 at 7PM at the Michigan Theater.

American Dreams in China

The film series Electric Shadows: Premiere Contemporary Chinese Films continues with “American Dreams in China.” Chang, Wang and Meng are friends with very different personalities that share a common dream.

While Meng goes to the US to make his fortune, Wang and Cheng stay in China and eventually open the New Dream English language school which is a hit. Meng returns to join them and together, they make New Dream an enormous success until their school becomes involved in a scandal, where their commitment to their dreams and each other is tested. “American Dreams in China plays Wednesday, September 17 at 7PM. FREE admission!

Opening at the Cineplex

No Good Deed

In “No Good Deed” Terri (Taraji P. Henson), a happy wife and mother of two, is pulled from the comfort of their everyday life when her home and children are threatened by Colin (Idris Elba), a charming stranger who smooth-talks his way into her house, claiming car trouble. The unexpected invitation leaves her and her family terrorized and fighting for survival. “No Good Deed” opens Friday.

Dolphin Tale 2

"Dolphin Tale 2" continues the story of the dolphin Winter, whose rescue and recovery-thanks to a prosthetic tail, inspired the 2011 family hit movie "Dolphin Tale." The film reunites the entire main cast, led by Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby"), Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, and, of course, the remarkable dolphin Winter as herself. Charles Martin Smith, who directed "Dolphin Tale," wrote the sequel and is again at the helm. "Dolphin Tale 2" opensFriday.