What’s playing in Madison theaters: Dec. 6 to 12, 2013


All week

Out of the Furnace” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — Writer-director Scott Cooper follows up “Crazy Heart” with a much darker film, as an ex-con (Christian Bale) tries to free his brother (Casey Affleck) from the clutches of his hometown’s meth kingpin (Woody Harrelson).

August Eighth” (Star Cinema) — Remember when you couldn’t find a subtitled movie in a multiplex to save your life? Now, the global film economy has opened the doors to all kinds of foreign hit films playing in America, from Bollywood films to Spanish-language (“Instructions Not Included”) to, now, Russian, with this action movie that mixes gritty combat scenes with fanciful sci-fi/fantasy CGI.

Nebraska” (Sundance) — Alexander Payne mixes comedy, drama and a whole lot of Midwestern black-and-white photography of this take of a cranky old man (Bruce Dern) and his estranged son (Will Forte), who travel from Montana to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that is almost certainly bogus.


Pacific Rim” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre, 1308 W. Dayton St.) — Guillermo Del Toro brings the best robot “Jaeger” pilots in the world together (and coincidentally hits all the key global markets for film) to battle aliens in this sci-fi epic, which is cheesy and silly (isn’t Charlie Day basically playing the kid from the Gamera movies?) but pretty fun.

Nothing But a Man” (7 p.m, UW-Cinematheque, 4070 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave.) — In this 1964 drama, a working-class African-American struggles to overcome bigotry and live up to his responsibilities, but it’s not that easy. FREE!

Ai Weiwei Never Sorry” (9:30 p.m., Union South) — My interview with director Alison Klayman is here. Klayman documents the life and art of the Chinese dissident artist, who uses art to speak for the forgotten and tweak the nose of the authorities. FREE!

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (midnight, Union South) — Before he did “Iron Man 3” with Robert Downey, Jr., he played a big role in resurrecting Downey’s career with this twisty, witty action thriller. And yes, it also takes place at Christmas. FREE!


Pacific Rim” (6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Union South) — See Friday listing.

Fig Leaves” (7 p.m., UW-Cinematheque) — This may be the strangest film in Howard Hawks’ early career, a comedy about warring spouses that moves from 1926 to prehistoric times. FREE!

A Girl in Every Port” (8:30 p.m., UW-Cinematheque) — The second half of a Hawks double feature follows two carefree sailors who travel the world looking for adventure and romance. FREE! Pianist David Drazin will provide live accompaniment for both silent films.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (midnight, Union South) — See Friday listing.


East of Eden” (2 p.m, Chazen Museum of Art) — The Cinematheque at the Chazen salute to Cinemascope film continues with this Elia Kazan’s sumptuous adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel about warring brothers, one of them James Dean. FREE!

Pacific Rim” (3 p.m., Union South) — See Friday listing.


Inside Llewyn Davis” (7 p.m., UW Cinematheque) — The Cinematheque presents an early sneak preview of the Coen Brothers’ new movie, about a fictional Greenwich Village folk singer whose doesn’t hit the heights of contemporaries Bob Dylan or Joan Baez. FREE!


Meet Me In St. Louis” (1:40 p.m., and 4:20 p.m., Point and Eastgate) — Vincent Minnelli directs Judy Garland in this beloved musical, and the two of them went on to conceive Liza Minnelli, so imagine what “Arrested Development” would be like if this movie never existed! Better go see it just to be on the safe side.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (7 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., Point and Eastgate) — The Griswolds decided to stay home for their third film (who can blame them after “European Vacation”), but trouble follows them in the form of annoying relatives, electrical nightmares, and a squirrel stowaway.

Cash on Demand” (7 p.m., Union South) — The UW-Cinematheque finishes off its “Marquee Mondays” series of movie gems with this 1962 Hammer film, a sly twist on “A Christmas Carol” in which the Scrooge is a cold-hearted bank manager (Peter Cushing). A thief attempts to rob the bank, hoping to use the animosity of Cushing’s employees against him. God bless us every one!


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1 p.m, Point and Eastgate) — See Monday listing.

Meet Me in St. Louis” (3:20 p.m., Point and Eastgate) — See Monday listing.


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1:20 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sundance Cinemas, and 4:40 p.m. and 9:40 p.m., Point and Eastgate) — See Monday listing.

Meet Me in St. Louis” (2 p..m and 7 p.m., Point and Eastgate) — See Monday listing.

The Infidel” (7 p.m, Union South Marquee Theatre) — A British Muslim family man discovers a family secrets — he was adopted, and his birth parents are Jewish — in this comedy. FREE!


Meet Me in St. Louis” (noon, Point and Eastgate) — See Monday listing

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (2:40 p.m., Point and Eastgate) — See Monday listing

Inside Llewyn Davis” (7 p.m., UW Cinematheque) — A second chance to see the new Coen Brothers movie before it opens in Madison on Dec. 20.

Downton Abbey Season Four Premiere” (7 p.m., Union South) — Season 4 doesn’t hit the airwaves until Jan. 1, but Wisconsin Public Television is offering DA fans to see the episode early on the big screen. As someone who saw the second-season premiere of “Sherlock” with a full house at the Marquee, I highly recommend the experience. FREE!

The Hobbit Marathon” (8:30 p.m., Point, Star Cinema and Eastgate) — The gargantuan first movie alone qualifies as a cinematic marathon, but local theaters are packing it with the new “Desolation of Smaug” as a double feature, with “Smaug” starting at midnight.

Turn Me On, Dammit!” (9:30 p.m, Union South Marquee) — A Norwegian teenage girl’s hormones are out of control is this raunchy yet winning comedy. FREE!

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