What’s playing in Madison theaters, March 7-13, 2014


All week

300: Rise of An Empire” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance, Cinema Cafe) — Not a sequel, but a “sidequel” to the 2007 shirts-and-skins action epic, looking at another battle supposedly going on concurrently to the one in the first movie. Un-huh. But signifcantly, this is the first film screening in Point’s new Ultrascreen DLX that was recorded in the amazing Dolby Atmos. So it’ll seem like there are hot shirtless guys all around you!

Mr. Peabody & Sherman” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — While the “Dudley Do-Right” movie was an abomination, this animated version of the Jay Ward classic cartoon from “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” looks a little more promising. Looking forward to Will and Jaden Smith as “Aesop and Son” next.

“Omar” (Sundance) — My full review is here This Oscar-nominated Palestinian drama really plays like a thriller, following a young Palestinian man who gets caught by Israeli security and desperately tries to outwit them to save himself and his lover.


The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” (4:30 p.m, Union South Marquee Theatre, 1308 W. Dayton St.) — This web series cleverly turned “Pride and Prejudice” into a series of video diaries, retaining the flavor of the original even in the Skype age.

Captain Phillips” (6 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre) — My full review is here. Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances as a no-nonsense captain hijacked by Somali pirates in Paul Greengrass’ fact-based thriller. FREE!

Dallas Buyers Club” (6;30 p.m., Madison Public Library Pinney Branch, 204 Cottage Grove Road.) — All right, all right, all right! Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both got Oscars for their work in this conventional but poignant drama about AIDS patients smuggling drugs in from other countries. FREE!

Blue Submarine No. 6″ (6;45 p.m, Alicia Ashman Public Library, 733 N. High Point Blvd.) — Blue Subs No. 1 through 5 weren’t that interesting, but this anime film looks at the exploits of No. 6, tasked with grappling with strange undersea creature in a future where the ice caps have melted. FREE!

HUMP! Film Festival” (7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Majestic Theatre, 115 King St.)  — My interview with the executive producer is here. Sex advice columnist Dan Savage curated this collection of amateur — what else? — porn films for your edification and enjoyment. It takes all kinds, and you’ll see them all. $15 through majesticmadison.com.

“Marjoe” (7 p.m., UW-Cinematheque, 4070 Vilas Hall) — This Oscar-winning 1972 documentary followed former child preacher Marjoe Gortner around on an evangelizing tour, as he privately admits to the camera he’s in it just for the money. 35mm restored print! FREE!


Much Ado About Nothing” (9 p.m., Union South Marquee) — My full review is here. Joss Whedon took a break from filming the first “Avengers” movie to stage Shakespeare’s romantic comedy in his house with a few friends, and the result is one of the most playful and surprisingly thoughtful big-screen Bard films. FREE!

12 Monkeys” (11:30 p.m., Union South Marquee) — Probably Terry Gilliam’s most “mainstream” film sends Bruce Willis back in time from a dystopian future to stop a worldwide plague, only to find those dreams he’s been having all his life aren’t dreams. FREE!


Free Birds” (10 a.m, Point and Eastgate) — Turkeys are pardoned by the President and go back in time to the Pilgrims to — you know what, this just looked bad. But it’s only $2.

Much Ado About Nothing” (6 p.m., Union South Marquee) — See Friday listing.

HUMP! Film Festival” (7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Majestic Theatre) — See Friday listing.

Beau Travail” (7 p.m, UW-Cinematheque) — A March of Claire Denis films at the Cinematheque begins with this “Billy Budd”-inspired tale of French Legionnaires at a remote African outpost, and the tensions between them. FREE!

Captain Phillips” (8:30 p.m., Union South Marquee) — See Friday listing.

The Fifth Element” (11:30 p.m., Union SoutH Marquee) — Luc Besson’s candy-coated sci-fi mess is so odd that it’s hard not to watch, from Bruce Willis’ blond dye-job to whatever that thing is on Chris Tucker’s head. FREE!


Strangers on a Train” (2 p.m, Chazen Museum of Art, 800 University Ave.) — Criss cross. Two men meet and jokingly plan to murder the most irritating people in each other’s lives. Only one isn’t joking. FREE!

Captain Phillips” (3 p.m., Union South Marquee) — See Friday listing.


Rock of Ages” (Monday through Thursday, Point and Eastgate) — My full review is here. The leads are terrible, and the ’80s music is cheesy as hell, but there’s tawdry fun to be had in this film version of the jukebox Broadway musical, with Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Paul Giamatti all going WAY over the top. I’ll confess I got a little misty at the Tower Records scene, seeing all those little yellow price stickers again.

About Schmidt” (2 p.m., Madison Public Library Alicia Ashman Branch, 733 N. High Point Blvd.) — That’s “Nebraska”‘s June Squibb hitting the linoleum at the beginning of the film, sending widower Jack Nicholson on a cross-country journey in Alexander Payne’s heartbreaking and dryly funny film. FREE!”

Grindhouse Trailer-Bation” (7 p.m, Union South Marquee) — Sometimes the best parts of the movie are in the trailers, so in the case of scuzzy grindhouse films, why not show just the trailers? That’s what Marquee Mondays is doing with this bloody, sexy, funny collection of coming attractions of grindhouse fare. FREE!


Sleeper” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — One of Woody Allen’s funniest, silliest films finds the Woodman waking up in the future, which looks a lot like Boulder, Colorado in the ’70s. FREE!



Chicago” (1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sundance) — Sundance Classics gives them the old razzle-dazzle with this 2003 monster hit musical, worth it just for John C. Reilly’s “Mr. Cellophane” all by itself.

Seventh Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival (7 p.m.. Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave.) — The River Alliance sponsors this popular collection of short films, which remind us of Wisconsin’s natural beauty and remind us that it needs to be preserved. Tickets are $10 in advance through barrymorelive.com or $13 at the door, or a $30 VIP pass gets you all sorts of goodies, including a River Alliance membership.


Medora” (Madison Public Library Central Branch, 201 W. Mifflin St.) — Check out the Madison premiere of the documentary co-directed by “Found” magazine’s Davy Rothbart, about a down-and-out community whose fortunes parallel that of their varsity basketball team. FREE!

The Spectacular Now” (7 p.m, and 9:30 p.m., Union South Marquee) — My full review is here. UW students will be sent off to Spring Break with this deeply felt romantic drama about two high school kids (Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley) falling in love senior year. FREE!

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