What’s playing in Madison theaters: July 5-11, 2013

THE LONE RANGER

All week

Despicable Me 2” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance, Cinema Café) — My full review is here. While the first “Despicable Me” was a delightfully naughty animated film with a great premise (Blofeld becomes a single dad), the sequel plays too nice, reducing the diabolical Gru to a feeble hero. The Minions are still funny, though, and the 3D is eye-popping, especially during the closing credits.

The Lone Ranger” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance, Cinema Café) — Tonto gets equal status with the Masked Man — not surprising, since Tonto is played by Johnny Depp. Many critics have been slagging Gore Verbinski’s film as another overbloated action epic in the vein of a later “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, but I’m seeing enough dissenters, who see sly wit and even subversive themes beneath the mayhem, to make me want to check it out.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain” (Eastgate, Sundance) — A mix of tour footage and performance from the immensely popular comedian’s Madison Square Garden show, which shows his ability to tell long, surreal stories that build in manic intensity.

Monday

Men in Black” (UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9 p.m.) — After being disappointed by last summer’s “Men in Black 3,” I went back to the 1997 original wondering if it was as good as I remembered. It was — still funny and fleet-footed, and any movie that features Green Bay’s own Tony Shahloub as an alien who can regrow his own head is worth seeing. FREE!

Tuesday

African Cats” (10 a.m., Point and Eastgate) — It’s nice to see Marcus’ Kids Dream summer film series is going heavy on Disney nature documentaries, since it provides nice counter-programming to the animated mayhem elsewhere. Here, the film follows a cheetah, a lion and a lion cub on their adventures, with Samuel L. Jackson narrating. (Don’t worry, it’s G-rated.) Admission is $2.

Wednesday

African Cats” (10 a.m., Point and Eastgate) — See Tuesday listing.

Thursday

Le Grand Amour” (UW Cinematheque, 4070 Vilas Hall, 7 p.m.) — Cinematheque is back! And the free on-campus film series is bigger and better than ever this summer, with a big tribute to the late Roger Ebert. We’ll get into that next week, but the summer series also includes the films of French comic filmmaker Pierre Etaix, whose absurdist satire was an inspiration to Terry Gilliam, David Lynch and others. The series begins with the daffy “Le Grand Amour,” in which a married man pines for his young secretary. It’s preceded by a short, “Happy Anniversary,” in which a couple’s celebrating is thwarted by Paris traffic. FREE!

African Cats” (10 a.m., Point and Eastgate) — See Tuesday listing.

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