A party and classic-car rally is planned for Oct. 5. By next year, the Hollywood studios will stop sending canisters of film to theaters, so without expensive digital projectors to show movies on hard drives, many independent exhibitors will go out of business. The digital transition has been especially hard on North America’s 400 drive-ins. Projecting an image onto a large drive-in screen requires a high-powered machine that could cost $80,000–a big investment for a seasonal business. This summer, Honda sponsored Project Drive-In as a promotional tie-in with the upcoming movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” It awarded digital projectors to the top five drive-ins in a national poll. Although the humble Starlite did not make the cut in the initial voting, Honda extended the offer to four more facilities, and today the Starlite got the joyous news. The other recipients include first-round winners in Saco, Maine.; Honor, Mich.; Graham, Tex.; McHenry, Ill. and Newburg, Ore.; and second-round winners in Elizabethtown, Tenn., Monetta, S.C. and Ocala, Fla. This means that the four nearest drive-ins to St. Louis–the Starlite, the Skyview in Belleville, the Skyview in Litchfield, Ill. and the 19 in Cuba, Mo.–will be digital in 2014. Nationwide, hundreds of small-town drive-ins face closure at the end of this season; but for St.
On Movies: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ‘Don Jon’: Getting past that objectification thing
Given gravitas by Christian imagery and a mood of millennial survivalist desperation, this pulp procedural joins a long line of films that sell themselves by way of the very depravity and malignant moral imagination they pretend to deplore. Ann Hornaday 1/2 Thanks for Sharing (R) Although Blumbergs script focuses on the fraught romance between Adam and Phoebe, it is, improbably, the relationship between Neil, whom most people would consider a creep, and Dede, a woman who might once have been called a nymphomaniac, that is the films sweetest pleasure. Their platonic friendship (yes, platonic!) is rendered with great humor, poignancy and dignity. Michael OSullivan (No rating) The Wizard of Oz 3D IMAX (PG) Seeing The Wizard of Oz on the big screen also offers an opportunity to consider the incredible special effects, considering the film was shot more than seven decades ago and long before computer-generated imagery. The black-and-white scenes of Dorothy battling against the wind as a twister approaches were especially transporting. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Wadjda (PG) Youre seeing a world on screen that, until now, has been largely hidden from the filmgoing world at large. Because in addition to being a terrific garden-variety coming-of-age film, Wadjda happens to be the first feature-length movie ever made in Saudi Arabia all the more notable in that its been made by a woman, about a young girl chafing against the religious and social strictures of a kingdom literally shrouded in sexual anxiety, misogyny and severe repression. Ann Hornaday 1/2 Salinger (PG-13) While much of the movie consists of variations on this same theme that Salinger was a brilliant, flawed man the film also delves into more salacious matters, including the role of Catcher in the shootings of Ronald Reagan, John Lennon and Rebecca Schaeffer (gunmen John Hinckley Jr., Mark David Chapman and Robert John Bardo were all fans of the novel). Stephanie Merry The Henchmans War (Unrated) Greene, a native Washingtonian with a handful of local directorial and co-producing credits on his resume, has an eye for urban grit and an ear for tough-guy dialogue. He makes excellent use of his shadowy locations, lending War the coveted visual grime that enhances such pulp-noir material. Sean OConnell 1/2 Battle of the Year (PG-13) Lee is attempting to keep a spotlight shining on b-boy culture, an aggressive style of street dancing that consists of body-contorting twists, flips, leaps, spins and poses set to hip-hop music. Lee showcased this next level of competitive breakdancing in his award-winning 2008 documentary Planet B-Boy , and a feature film building on that awareness makes complete sensejust not five years later, when the fad appears to have faded. Sean OConnell My Lucky Star (Unrated) Bringing Sophies comics to life, the movie interjects drawings and animated sequences. The camera spins excitedly, and the editing is brisk. Split-screen compositions evoke the 1960s, as do Sophies pop-art ensembles, which include a lilac wig with matching lipstick. This girlie romp is less about martial arts and espionage than stuffed animals and dress-up. Mark Jenkins 1/2 Good OlFreda (PG) Ryan White weaves in archival footage of girls fainting and images of old headlines. The soundtrack consists primarily of Beatles covers. While the tales of the bands spectacular rise create a genial mood, the film feels superficial. Kelly can be cagey, and when a voice offscreen asks if she ever dated any of the guys, she demurs, saying, Thats personal. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Ip Man: The Final Fight (PG-13) The showiest action sequence involves lion dancers who battle atop high wooden posts. The grittiest and final one sends Ip to save one of his former pupils, whos risked fighting for money inside the gangster-controlled Kowloon Walled City. To add to the drama, the showdown occurs during a typhoon. Mark Jenkins Generation Iron (PG-13) Generation Iron succeeds where other rote sports docs often struggle. Instead of clinging to cliches, Yudin wisely uses the inherent eccentricities of the bodybuilding community to help distance his film from convention.
HORROR MOVIES UNCUT FRIDAY SEPTEMBER THE 20TH
4/5 PARANORMAL ASYLUM- This is the worst movie on the list this week and really was a pain to watch. From start to finish there was a luminous effect that held through the movie. It became really annoying and so did the interaction with the spirits. The film had slight potential when it started but as soon as the evil started Asylum went downhill from there. I like that they story involved the Typhoid Mary tale but the film became stale and pointless as soon as it introduced the dark spirit. Stay away from this one folks as the film clocks in around an hour and forty five minutes so unless you don’t want to lose that time stay away.1/5 WORLD WAR Z – Read my review for World War Z here, I really enjoyed World War Z and was anxious to see how it would translate to the home audience. So far so good as we live in an age of big televisions so big blockbuster films work at home too. Try not to hate Brad Pitt as if you dont know what type of actor he is but look at how well the movie blends together and to me that sticks out more than anything. This film is very entertaining from start to finish and that is all it needed to be. 4/5 THE HAUNTING OF HELENA- I didnt have high expectations for this film as I felt the plot reminded me of Darkness Falls. I felt the mother played by Harriet MacMasters Green did a fine job of carrying the movie but too many things hurt this film.
. “That was a big part of why she was keen to play this part and satirize that aspect of our culture.” Don Jon, which was originally titled Don Jon’s Addiction, also boasts a pivotal turn from Julianne Moore, playing a woman Gordon-Levitt’s character runs into at a community college night class. “Julianne, she’s just been in some of my favorite movies of all time. She’s such a terrific actress, whether it’s Magnolia or The Big Lebowski or Far From Heaven or Safe or Short Cuts – so many great, great movies, and she brings such heart and honesty to all of her characters. That was really important. . . . And I was just flattered and honored that she read the script and liked it. I felt very fortunate.” Although the seed of the idea for Don Jon goes back five years or so, it wasn’t until Gordon-Levitt was in Vancouver making 50/50 – the 2011 comedy with Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick about a guy diagnosed with cancer – that everything clicked. “50/50 is a comedy that is not all about the jokes,” Gordon-Levitt explains, on the phone from Boston recently. “The humor comes from the people in the story, the characters, the human beings. “And then I thought of trying to tell this story in that tone, finding the humor in what could be seen as a dark situation, and I started thinking of this version of a contemporary Don Juan character.” He adds: “The idea of me playing this guy with the gym body and shiny hair made me laugh.