All week (opened Wednesday)
“Oldboy” (Point) — Spike Lee attempts an American remake of Park Chan-wook’s cult classic about revenge, long-held secrets, and unfortunate octopi. Josh Brolin plays an ordinary jerk who gets imprisoned for 20 years, then tries to figure out who did it, and why.
Happy Turkey Day!
To the general populace, Turkey Day is just another way of saying Thanksgiving. But to a select few, the phrase conjures more than just images of turkey, cranberries and your Uncle Dan talking with his mouth full. For “Mystery Science Theater 3000” fans, Turkey Day was truly something to celebrate.
“Frozen” is now playing at Point, Eastgate and Star Cinema. PG, 1:25, three and a half stars out of four.
Disney’s “Frozen” is set in a faraway kingdom suffering under a curse of eternal winter, plagued by subzero temperatures and frozen lakes. To which I say, sitting here in Wisconsin, I’ll bet that must be pretty rough on you there, faraway kingdom.
Pick of the week: “Crystal Fairy”: My full review is here. Michael Cera is very un-Bluth-like as a drug tourist in Chile, obsessed with finding a rare cactus that can be turned into a powerful hallucinogenic. Dragging his Chilean friends along the way, he runs into a hippie girl (Gaby Hoffmann) who upends his quest. It’s a very dry, very strange comedy, and something more besides.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — My full review is here. The second installment of the blockbuster series sends Katniss back to the Hunger Games, but goes bigger and deeper than the first film.
“Kill Your Darlings” is now playing at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:40, three stars out of four. Note: Closes Wednesday.
We’ve now had three films featuring Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation play at Sundance Cinemas in Madison. Walter Salles’ elegaic adaptation of Kerouac’s “On The Road” played in the spring, and “Big Sur,” which looked at a tormented Kerouac at middle-age, just played there last month.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens Friday at Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema and Sundance. PG-13, 2:26, three and a half stars out of four.
If you want a reminder of how well “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” does what it does, make sure to get to the theater early to see the trailers for all the other young-adult films trying to emulate it. One plucky teenage girl after another fulfilling her destiny against a dystopian future — where have we seen that before?