“Neighbors” (all week, Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — My full review is here. The studio comedy is on the ropes (or maybe you’re looking forward to seeing that “Blended” thing with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore?) so when a good one comes along it’s worth pointing out. Nick Stoller’s consistently funny film, about a turf war between new parents (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) and the frat next-door (led by Zac Efron) exists in the Apatowverse of raunch and sweetness, but it’s tighter than an Apatow epic. Plus, it offers a great comic role to Byrne that basically thumbs its nose at all the underwritten “wife” roles in most other comedies. Take note, Sandler.
“Le Week-End” (all week, Sundance) — My full review is here. Don’t believe the trailer, which tries to sell this film about a long-married British couple (Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan) vacationing in Paris as sort of an autumnal “Before Sunrise.” In fact, it’s more like the troubled “Before Midnight,” as husband and wife assess their lives and whether they want to continue them together or not. Bonus points for a supporting role by Jeff Goldblum, Goldblumming it up delightfully. I’ll be hosting a free post-show chat after the 6:50 p.m. Tuesday show at Sundance Cinemas.
“Paprika” (midnight Friday and Saturday, Union South Marquee) — My full review from 2007 is here. As goes the spring semester, so goes the Union South Marquee. But the Marquee has one last weekend of good films playing for free, including “Synedoche, New York” with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman tonight and “Inside Llewyn Davis” Saturday and Sunday. But I really want to point out the last midnight show of the spring, the gorgeous and gonzo 2006 anime “Paprika,” in which therapists can enter their patients’ dreams. Which sounds all fine and dandy, until someone figures out how to bring the dreams back into the real world. Seriously, it’s an eye-popper. FREE!
“The Best of the 48 Hour Film Festival” (5;30 p.m. Friday, High Noon Saloon) — All over Madison, local filmmakers downed some coffee and took on the challenge of making a new short film in just two days. Of the 29 films made, these will be the best of the bunch, with awards handed out to the best of the bunch. The $5 cover seems well worth it.
“It Felt Like Love” (7 p.m., Friday, UW-Cinematheque) — My full review is here. It’s also the final weekend of the Cinematheque’s spring series (but they’ll be back in the summer), and it’s going out with the Madison premiere of an acclaimed new film by Eliza Hittman, following the unwise exploits of a 14-year-old girl hungering for sexual experience. Hittman will take part in a post-show Q&A via Skype. FREE!