Haven’t done one of these in a while! Necessity is the mother of re-invention, I suppose. Tonight, I’m in the rare position of being caught up on all current reviews and, rather than dig through the hundred or so in my backlog that need to be written, decided to cast a glance forward.
So, what to look forward to in June 2016 at the movies? Current release-wise, there sure isn’t much – save maybe “Finding Dory,” which I’m hoping will not be another “Cars 2” from Pixar. So I’m mostly going to count on repertory screenings and other more eclectic venues to provide my moviegoing fun for the month. Here’s a little bit of what I’m working with in Houston (since virtually none of the indie releases I want to see have been booked yet, grr):
“Infinitely Polar Bear” was a pleasant surprise among indie releases last summer, with Mark Ruffalo pulling off an impressively committed performance that could have so easily flown off the rails. It’s making a brief comeback after a short stint in Houston for a one-night only event to benefit Jewish Family Service of Houston. Young professionals even get a special price of $25, which includes lots of food and 8th Wonder Brewery beer. All things considered, a pretty good deal for a good cause. And any movie is better with people than it is to watch alone on Starz via your Apple TV.
This could potentially be the back-to-back movie night champion of them all. On Friday, June 10, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is showing an all-time favorite of mine, Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” on their giant IMAX screen. And somehow, it’s only $5!
Then, the following evening, Alamo Drafthouse is presenting a double-feature of “Raiders”-related films. This is not your average retrospective, mind you. The first film is “Raiders: The Adaptation,” a fan film from the ’80s made by a bunch of Spielberg-inspired teenagers, which has gone on to gain cult status. The second is a new documentary about the making of that film, titled “Raiders: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.” Better yet, two of the original filmmakers will be in attendance. Pretty sweet stuff!
Also at Alamo Drafthouse (but their Mason Park location), assuming that I’m not otherwise tied up with Father’s Day activities, I’ll be headed to see “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” on the big screen. Shamefully, I have never seen it. But hey, three hour films aren’t so bad when you can order food without getting up from your seat!
Market Square Park in Downtown Houston is presenting an outdoor screening of an all-time great from the Coen Brothers, 1996’s “Fargo.” The irony is not lost on me that the temperature could be triple digits outside while watching a film set in sub-zero temperatures.
Musical biopics have gotten pretty subpar these days, I’ll admit. But even though it might run the standard playbook, I will always have a soft spot for “Walk the Line.” At the very least, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon are a pair for the ages. And yes, I will stay up to watch it at midnight when it plays at the River Oaks Theater.
I’m really digging the synergy in Brazos Bookstore’s “Summer of Kubrick” series, which engages both readers and film buffs across town with tandem book clubs and movie screenings. I’m totally planning to dust off my copy of “A Clockwork Orange” that has sat unread on my bookshelf for nearly a decade for August, but in the month of June, I’m just planning to attend the “2001: A Space Odyssey” screening at the Alamo Drafthouse. Maybe seeing it on the big screen will help me finally lock into Kubrick’s deliberate (read: almost unbearably slow) pacing.
(P.S. – This trailer, cut by the BFI for a 2014 rerelease, is worth watching.)
And depending on the films they show, I’m also hoping to make a trip out to Showboat in the outskirts of town for my first drive-in movie experience!