The five movies you need to see in Madison: July 4-10, 2014

godzilla-1954

Godzilla: The Original Japanese Version” (Friday, July 4, 7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — There’s something a little . . . perverse . . . about showing the original 1950 Japanese “Godzilla” on Independence Day, given that the big green lizard’s swath of destruction is a metaphor for the devastation Japan suffered five years early at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And, well, that was us. If you’ve only seen the campy color sequels on Saturday afternoon TV or “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” you should check out this haunting version. FREE!

Snowpiercer” (all week, Star Cinema) — Bong Joon Ho has not exactly tiptoed into Hollywood with his English-language debut — the “Host” director’s dystopian sci-fi epic is a bizarre allegorical tale of rich and poor, crammed together in one supertrain that’s ringing a world frozen by climate change. It’s the movie “Elysium” was afraid to be.

Rifftrax: Sharknado” (Thursday, July 10, 7 p.m., Point and Eastgate) — This may be like shooting man-eating fish in a barrel for the Rifftrax crew, given that the notorious Syfy Channel movie wasn’t meant to be good, and easily achieved that goal. But you know the ex-“MST3K” riffers will have a grand old time picking apart a movie so far beyond bad as to become some kind of surreal video art installation, albeit one with Tara Reid.

The Immigrant” (all week, Sundance) — James Gray’s sumptuous and emotionally brutal period drama was supposed to have been left for dead by its distributor The Weinstein Company, who reportedly didn’t like the downbeat tone and asked for changes that Gray refused to make. But after two weeks at Point and now a second week at Sundance, the film has had remarkable resilience in Madison. Better take advantage of that while you still can.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (Monday, July 7, 9 p.m., Memorial Union Terrace) — While it’s now possible to make my fillings hurt just by uttering the catch phrases “Oh behave!” or “Yeah, baby!” it’s easy to forget that the 1997 original was a weird, fun little spoof of ’60s spy movies that bombed at the box office but became a cult hit on video. In other words, perfect for the Lakeside Cinema “Feels Like the First Time” outdoor film series. And, I promise, no Goldmember. FREE!

 

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