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Local Cinema Watch

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by Ryan Beltram
Eugene Daily News

What’s up movie fans. This week in local cinema we’ve got three new films opening. Last week the Bijou debuted a holiday film about an evil santa kidnapping children. This week they show another unconventional Christmas movie involving Santa and martians. Besides that, they also have a well-reviewed film about the events leading up to the financial crisis starting. One new film begins at David Minor and it’s the best summer blockbuster from this year.

At the Bijou this week:

Margin Call: Drama – 2011 – 107 Min – Rated R. Starts on Friday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 and 8 pm; additional showing at 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Featuring an excellent cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons, Margin Call follows a group of people working at an investment firm in the summer of 2008. After being laid off by the firm, Eric (Stanley Tucci), a senior risks analyst, slips a USB drive to Peter (Zachary Quinto), an entry-level analyst too young and cheap to fire.

While in an empty office, Peter views the information on the drive and realizes the firm and the market are on the brink of disaster. Peter’s discovery starts a chain reaction of higher-ups calling an all-night meeting to discuss whether they should inform others of the impending financial meltdown or cut their losses and get out when they can.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: Comedy – 1964 – 81 Min – Not Rated. Special screenings at 12:30 am on Saturday and Sunday.

If you looked up B-movie in the dictionary, it would probably list this film among others. Upset that their children have become obsessed with television and its romantic portrayal of Santa Claus, Martians head for Earth to kidnap the jolly fat man. In the process of grabbing Santa, the Martians also take two children and return to Mars.

But the power and spirit of Christmas overcome the Martians as they begin to embrace happiness and holiday cheer. How Ed Wood didn’t get his hands on this movie is amazing.

Still Playing at the Bijou:

The Way: Showing at 5 and 7:45 pm, Wednesday and Thursday. Playing at 4:50 and 7:30 pm, Friday-Sunday with an additional screening at 2:15 pm on the weekend.

Into the Abyss: Final two showings at 4:45 and 7:05 pm, Wednesday and Thursday.

Rare Exports : A Christmas Tale: Showing at 9:25 pm, Wednesday and Thursday. Playing at 10:10 pm Friday-Sunday.

Midnight in Paris: Playing at 12 pm Saturday and Sunday.

The Room: Showing at 10:30 pm Friday and Saturday.

One new film opens this week at David Minor:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Action – 2011 – 105 Min – Rated PG-13. Opens on Friday, Dec. 16 at 7:25 pm.

If you had told me at the beginning of the year that the best summer movie would not only be the last one of the summer, but also a remake/prequel of a tired franchise, I would have been shocked. But to my and many people’s surprise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes turned out to be an emotional, entertaining film.

You would think the star of the movie would be James  Franco. But really the lead of the film is Andy Serkis  playing Caesar, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee  experimented on to find a cure for Alzheimer’s  disease. Following an argument with his boss on the  legitimacy of his work with the chimp, Will (James  Franco) takes the animal home with him and raises it  as if it were his own child. The film follows Caesar’s  childhood and progression into an extremely intelligent  creature.

But when an incident with a neighbor forces Caesar to  live with his own kind, he begins to realize the true  nature of man and the role apes play in this world.  How the filmmakers were able to cram this much  story in under two hours is amazing. The best  summer blockbusters are the ones that can balance  the spectacle and story equally. Rise of the Planet of  the Apes does that and also ingeniously sets up a  sequel that could feel like its own story and not a  retread of the first film.

Still playing at David Minor:

Friends with Benefits: Showing at 4:50 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Showing at 7:25 pm Dec. 15-16 and Dec. 18-21. (Saturday showing is cancelled).

Super 8: Showing at 4:50 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Showing at 9:20 pm Dec. 15-21.

Our Idiot Brother: Showing at 6:50 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Showing at 9:20 pm Dec. 15-21.

The Hangover Part II: Final two screenings at 6:50 and 10:40 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Cowboys & Aliens: Showing at 8:40 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Showing at 5:15 pm Dec. 15 and Dec. 17-21. (Friday showing is Cancelled).

Crazy, Stupid, Love: Showing at 8:40 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Showing at 5:15 pm Dec. 15-21.

30 Minutes or Less: Final showing at 10:40 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 14.

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