What’s playing in Madison theaters, Aug. 16 to 22, 2013


All week

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — Daniels’ last film was “The Paperboy,” the worst film of 2012 by a country mile, and seeing him do a name-above-the-title drama about a Presidential butler (Forest Whitaker) working for seven presidential exercises in stunt casting (John Cusack as Nixon?) looked like he was going for a two-fer. But this is getting good reviews!

Love is All You Need” (Sundance) — My full review is here. After dark dramas like “Things We Lost in the Fire” and “Brothers,” Danish director Susannah Bier lightens her mood considerably with this sweetly sad tale of a cancer survivor (Trine Lyrholm) and a widower (Pierce Brosnan) finding love of their own at their children’s wedding.

Paranoia” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — My full review is here. Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman are slumming it in this copycat corporate thriller about rival billiionaires trying to destroy each other. While the two old pros are kind of fun, each gets about 20 minutes of screen time, the rest devoted to Liam Hemsworth removing his shirt so many times that it even made Matthew McConaughey uncomfortable.

Jobs” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — Amazingly, it sounds like the problem with this biopic about Steve Jobs isn’t the casting of Ashton Kutcher in the title role. It’s that the whole film is the kind of flabby, adoring hagiography that Jobs himself probably would have sent back to the factory.

Kick-Ass 2” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — Confession: I loathed the original “Kick-Ass,” a mean-spirited, unfunny and unexciting riff on the superhero genre. Subtract Nicolas Cage and add Jim Carrey, and you have not given me a reason to see the sequel.

“Once Upon a Time in Mumbai — Dobarra!” (Star Cinema) — No question that films from India have a hot following in the United States — Star is playing both the box office smash “Chennai Express” and this sequel to a 2010 gangster epic.


Kwik Stop” (7 p.m.,, Union South Marquee Theater, 1208 W. Dayton St.) — My interview with Michael Gilio is here. This 2001 indie drama, poignant and hard to pin down, might have vanished without a trace if Roger Ebert hadn’t tirelessly championed it. As part of the UW-Cinematheque’s Ebert tribute, writer-director-star Michael Gilio will screen the film and talk about Ebert’s impact on it. FREE!


WALL-E” (9 p.m., Memorial Union Terrace) — Is this the last great Pixar film? Now that the beloved animation house has caught sequelitis, it’s good to see this sci-fi romance, which starts with a masterful, nearly dialogue-free half-hour about the last robot on Earth and evolves into a surprisingly pointed satire of consumer culture. FREE!


Oblivion” (10 p.m., Star Cinema) — Tom Cruise plays the last man on Earth, cleaning up — hey, this is “WALL-E” too! Or another recent sci-fi film, which I won’t give away. Anyway, it’s gorgeous on the big screen, and admission is only $3, with proceeds going to autism research.


Oblivion” (10 p.m. Star Cinema) — See Monday listing.


Oblivion” (10 p.m. Star Cinema) — See Monday listing.


Smiles of a Summer Night” (7 p.m. 4070 Vilas Hall) — Ingmar Bergman does the unthinkable — and makes a comedy. Lovers criss-cross at a country estate in a romantic farce that Roger Ebert was a big fan of. FREE!

One thought on “What’s playing in Madison theaters, Aug. 16 to 22, 2013

  1. Pingback: Madison Arts Reads, Aug. 16, 2013 | arts extract

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