Local Cinema Watch

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If you like unconventional love stories than the two films playing at the Bijou through Thursday should satisfy you.  If you want to show off to your friends how much of a film buff you are, than wait until Friday as two of the most acclaimed films of the year open.

Bellflower:Thriller/Drama/Romance – 2011 – 106 Min – Rated R. Playing at 6:30 p.m. through Thursday.

Are you a bit of a pyromaniac? Do you  like to watch things burn and blow up?  If you do than you might like Bellflower, a film about two friends  who  spend most of their free time  building  flame-throwers and weapons  of mass  destruction in hopes that a  global  apocalypse occurs and gives  them a  reason to form their imaginary gang “Mother Medusa.” While they wait for the supposed end of the world, one of them meets a young woman at a bar and his focus starts to change from rage and focused preparedness to love. Flame-throwers and romance, now who doesn’t want to see that?

Weekend: Drama/Romance – 2011 – 97 Min – Not Rated. Playing at 5:45 pm and 8:00 pm through Thursday.

Speaking of unconventional love stories, here’s something you don’t see often in Hollywood, a film about a romance between two young men. After a night of drinking with his straight friends, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just when it looks like he’ll go home alone again, he meets Glen. Russell expects the usual one-night stand, but that one night turns into a whole weekend spent in bars and beds getting drunk, taking drugs, telling stories and having sex. One night of fun turns into something more and with Glen leaving the country on Monday for two years, Russell struggles with the question, is two days spent with someone enough time to know you want to be with them for the long run?

Movies opening on Friday

Take Shelter: Drama – 2011 – 120 Min – Rated R. Starts on Nov. 11 at 5:00 pm, 7:45 pm and 9:20 pm. An additional screening is at 2:15 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Michael Shannon plays Curtis LaForche, a man who lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha and their six-year-old daughter Hannah, who is deaf. Curtis provides most of the household income as a crew chief for a sand-mining company while Samantha is a stay-at-home mom. Supporting the family including Hannah’s healthcare and special needs education, is a struggle for Curtis but they’re a happy family.

But Curtis’ happiness starts to turn into dread as he begins having nightmares about an apocalyptic storm. Convinced of an impending natural disaster, Curtis begins building a bomb shelter for his family despite money being tight. Curtis becomes more and more disturbed provoking intolerance among his friends and neighbors. But is this impending doom real or is it all in his head? Michael Shannon is a fascinating actor to watch because there’s always something a little off with him. He’s a ticking time-bomb ready to explode at any moment and he’s a perfect choice to play a man with deep psychological problems.

The Interrupters: Documentary – 2011 – 125 Min – Not Rated. Starts on Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m. and showing at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday.

If you’ve seen director Steve James previous work: Hoop Dreams or the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, you know that he likes to tell stories about people who come from nothing and try to better their lives. In The Interrupters, James tells the stories of three violence interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once embraced.

Shot over the course of a year, the film captures a period in Chicago when the city became a national representation of violence in major cities. The film’s main subjects work for an organization called CeaseFire, which believes that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases and that the treatment should be dealt similarly: go after the most infected and stop the infection at its source. Director Steve James tells stories that are meant to inform and expose issues we might not know about but should, and his latest film is no different.

The Last Circus: Cult/Exploitation/Comedy – 2010 – 107 Min – Rated R. Starts at 9:45 pm on Nov. 11-17.

The trailer for The Last Circus can be described in one word: insane. If you have a fear of clowns you might want to avoid this. The film chronicles two generations of clowns: a father at the height of the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s and a son at the tail end of it in the early 1970’s. The father is remembered as a great circus clown who also famously was recruited by a militia to fight Nation soldiers.

Fast forward to 1973 and his son Javier, also a clown, is trying to follow in his dad’s footsteps. The problem is he’s seen too much tragedy in his life and as a result, he’s a sad clown instead of a funny clown. He finds work in a circus where he befriends an odd cast of characters and soon falls in love with one of them who is in an abusive relationship with the happy clown. Now the sad clown and the happy clown must battle to win the girl.

Still playing at the Bijou is the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris. This Bijou favorite stars Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams as a couple who travel to Paris to wonder at the cities beauty and take a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The film is playing at 6:30 pm through Thursday and then at 4:45 pm on Nov. 11-17.

Over at The David Minor Theater, two films opened recently and they’re both about the struggles of love. One follows a group of people in present-day Los Angeles and the other is set during the Depression.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.:Comedy/Drama/Romance – 2011 – 118 Min – Rated PG-13. Showing at 9:45 pm on Wed, Nov. 9 and at 5:20 pm and 7:30 pm on Thurs, Nov. 10-17.

A talented cast highlight this romantic comedy about Cal  (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) a seemingly  happy couple living the American dream until Emily asks  for a divorce. Suddenly thrust into the single world again,  Cal seeks help and he finds mentorship from Jacob (Ryan  Gosling) a young, good-looking playboy whose mission is  now to help Cal get over his wife. But when Jacob falls for  Hannah (Emma Stone) the usually suave and steady  young bachelor needs Cal as much as Cal needs him. The  film also features Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei as love  interests for Cal and Emily.

Water for Elephants: Drama/Romance – 2011 – 120 Min – Rated PG-13. Showing at 7:40 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and at 5:20 pm on Thursday, Nov. 10-16.

Based on the popular book, Water for Elephants follows Jacob Jankoski (Robert Pattinson) a young veterinary student whose parents are killed. Now penniless and homeless, Jacob decides to join a traveling circus as their vet. But working for the unstable boss August, Jacob tries to cautiously maintain a life aboard the train of animals. But soon Jacob falls in love with August’s wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) and they must decide if they’re willing to risk staying together and escaping August’s abusiveness while also leaving behind the circus.

Still playing at David Minor:

Bridesmaids: Showing at 5:15 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Nov. 10-16. (Last Week)

Horrible Bosses: Showing at 7:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and at 9:40 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10-Nov. 16.

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