Cinema Chat: 'White Christmas,' 'Looney Tunes,' 'Rules Don't Apply,' 'Allied,' And More

Nov 23, 2016

Michigan Theater Upstairs Lobby
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

After finishing your Thanksgiving turkey, how about a movie and popcorn this weekend? There are a number of new movie options for you to choose from. Also, in this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater executive director and CEO Russ Collins also make their predictions for the Michigan-Ohio State game on Saturday! Who do you think will win? 


Sing-Along White Christmas is Back! 

Celebrate the Michigan Theater tradition of Sing-Along “White Christmas” with on-screen lyrics, interactive props and more!  Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play war buddies turned entertainers who fall for a pair of sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen).  Sing-Along “White Christmas” plays Friday, November 25 at 7:30 PM.  Join us for caroling with the Barton organ from 7 – 7:30 PM!

More Holiday Movie Fun

Enjoy a laugh as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and all of the Looney Tunes gang take over the silver screen of the historic Michigan Theater.  This selection of Warner Bros. cartoons for all ages offers the perfect pit stop during the start of the busy holiday shopping season.  Looney Tunes shorts play Friday, November 25 at 11:30 AM.

FREE Holiday classic -- "The Muppet Christmas Carol" - Sunday, November 27 at 1:30 PM

Part of the Holiday Classics Film Series.  The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine).

"Elf" - Sunday, December 4 at 1:30 PM

"Prancer" - Sunday, December 11 at 1:30 PM

"It’s a Wonderful Life" - Sunday, December 18 at 1:30 PM  

Opening Downtown

"Loving"

This film celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry - and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.  “Loving” opened Tuesday. 

Special Screenings Downtown  

"WarGames"

High school student David (Matthew Broderick) unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games.  After starting a game of Global Thermonuclear War, David leads the supercomputer to activate the nation’s nuclear arsenal in response to his simulated threat as the Soviet Union.  Once the clueless hacker comes to his senses, David, with help from his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy), must find a way to alert the authorities to stop the onset of World War III.  “WarGames” plays Monday, November 28 at 7 PM as part of the Kids in America: ‘80s Teen Classics film series.

LAST FILM IN SERIES - Thursday, December 8   "Gremlins"  9:30 PM

"Eagle Huntress" (SPC) opens 12/2

"Manchester By the Sea" (Roadside) opens 12/9

"The Pickle Recipe" (Adopt) opens 12/16 - filmmaker appearances opening weekend

"Jackie" (Fox Searchlight) opens Wednesday, 12/21 - pre show approved Tuesday, 12/20 7:00pm or later 

Continuing Downtown  

"A Man Called Ove"

Sweden’s biggest hit since “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”  Adapted from the best-selling novel by Fredrik Bachman, “A Man Called Ove” follows the titular character, Ove, the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire.  Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks.  What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it’s shared.  Alissa Simon of Variety calls the film “a touching comic crowd pleaser that may call for a tissue or two by the end.” 

"Moonlight"

A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, this film chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.  The story of his struggle to find himself is told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality.  At once a vital portrait of contemporary African-American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love, “Moonlight” is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths.  Ty Burr of the Boston Globe writes, “In its quietly radical grace, it's a cultural watershed - a work that dismantles all the ways our media view young black men and puts in their place a series of intimate truths.”

"The Handmaiden"

A ravishing new crime drama inspired by the British novel “Fingersmith.”  Having transposed the story to 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, director Park Chan-wook presents a gripping and sensual tale of a young Japanese lady living on a secluded estate and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but who is secretly involved in a conman's plot to defraud her of her large inheritance.  “The Handmaiden” opens Friday.  

Opening at the Multiplex

"Allied"

This tells the story of intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt), who, in 1942 North Africa, encounters French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotilliard) on a deadly mission behind enemy lines.  Reunited in London, their relationship is threatened by the extreme pressures of the war.  “Allied” opens Wednesday.

"Bad Santa 2"

Billy Bob Thornton returns to the screen as America's favorite anti-hero, Willie.  Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick Marcus (Tony Cox) to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve.  “Bad Santa 2” opens Wednesday.

"Moana"

This film tells the story of an adventurous teenage girl who sails out on a daring mission to save her people.  During her journey, Moana meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder.  “Moana” opens Wednesday.

"Rules Don't Apply"

Aspiring actress Marla (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver Frank (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty, who also wrote and directed the film), for whom they work.  Marla and Frank’s instant attraction defies Hughes' #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress.  “Rules Don’t Apply” opens Wednesday.

"Miss Sloane"

In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C.  Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win.  But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price.  “Miss Sloane” 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