With the UW still on spring break, it’s a pretty dead weekend for movies around town. Things will pick up again during the middle of next week, but take heart — the Wisconsin Film Festival is less than two weeks away!
“The Host” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — Having come to the end of her “Twilight” movies, Hollywood attempts to continue author Stephenie Meyer’s winning streak with this sci-fi film about aliens who control minds, and the ragtag group of hot teenage rebels fighting them. It’s adapted and directed by Andrew Niccol, which could be great news (“Gattaca”) or awful (“In Time”).
“GI Joe: Retaliation” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — Dwayne Johnson continues his successful strategy of jumping into sequels to movies he wasn’t in (“Fast and Furious,” “Journey 2 the Mysterious Island”) with this action sequel. Bruce Willis is also in there, and the shocking thing is that this is probably better than the last “Die Hard” movie.
“Tyler Perry’s Temptation” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — Tyler Perry’s temptation is that he can’t resist putting his name above the title. His latest is an attempt at “Fatal Attraction”-style romantic thriller about a woman who strays outside her marriage. Perry obviously wants to make a message about the importance of fidelity and taking marriage seriously — which is why he cast Kim Kardashian in a supporting role.
“The Gatekeepers” (Sundance) — This illuminating Oscar-nominated documentary looks at the heads of Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service, as they tell the inside story of 40 years of counter-terrorism. It’s a fascinating look as well as a sobering reminder of how futile even a well-managed occupation ultimately is.
“Like Someone in Love” (Sundance) — After filming “Certified Copy” in Italy, legendary Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami moves to Tokyo for this drama about a call girl and the three men in her life. My review is here.
“Casablanca” (Sundance) — Come on, it’s “Casablanca,” only one of the most quoted (and misquoted) movies of all time. If you know it only by reputation, check it out — it’s actually a highly entertaining melodrama, full of colorful characters, intrigue and a wounded romanticism. Not only is it a great film, it’s a good one, too.
“The Fade” (Union South Marquee Theatre, 7 p.m.) — This intriguing-sounding documentary looks at a week in the life of four barbers, all either African or of African descent, in America, Britain, Ghana and Jamaica. Free!
“Lincoln” (Union South, 6 p.m.) — I expected another “War Horse” from Steven Spielberg, a gauzy paean that was as much a monument as a movie. Instead, I found “Lincoln” to be incredibly engrossing and even suspenseful, about a man living at the intersection of myth and mortal, idealism and pragmatism, and trying to pull off an audacious political masterstroke. Free!