8/30/18 – 9/5/18
Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including a $2 screening of a former Movie of the Month.
New Releases We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
1. A Touch of Zen (1971) – A digital restoration of King Hu’s 3.5-hour wuxia epic (billed in the trailer as “the masterpiece that inspired Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon“) is playing for one night only at The Broad Theater, tonight! (8/30/18). According to the Facebook event page, the screening will be preceded by “a complimentary Chinese Tea Ceremony demonstration and tasting” of “two authentic, specialty Chinese teas prepared in the traditional Gongfu style.” I’m far from an expert in Chinese martial arts cinema, but this seems like a once-in-a-lifetime event, not to be missed.
2. Searching – John Cho stars in a classy update to the Unfriended-style laptop thriller, attempting to lift one of my favorite trashy genres, the Evil-Internet horror film, out of the lowly ranks of titles like Friend Request & FearDotCom into something more respectable. Consider me intrigued.
3. The Little Stranger – Domhnall Gleeson stars in a Gothic horror throwback that looks to deliver all the goods you’d expect from that costumed, ghostly genre. Given how weirdly muted the response has been to 2018’s other Gothic horrors (in order of excellence: Beast, Marrowbone, Winchester), I doubt it’ll make much of a splash, but I’m totally on the hook for what’s promised in the trailer.
4. Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood – A tabloid-friendly documentary about Scotty Bowers, a former WWII soldier & gas station attendant famous for his same-sex prostitution exploits with practically all of Old Hollywood. The filmmaking craft doesn’t appear to be anything special, but anyone with a passing interest in the Hollywood Babylon-style sex scandals of the early movie industry will likely be interested in Scotty’s eagerness to tell-all. Only playing at The Broad Theater.
5. BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee hasn’t exactly disappeared, but it feels like he’s been hiding in plain sight for the last decade or so by dedicating his efforts to small-scale, limited appeal experiments (like, for instance, a Kickstarter-funded remake of the esoteric cult classic Ganja & Hess). BlacKkKlansman appears to be a much better-funded, commercially minded picture than we’ve seen from the infamous indie auteur in a long while, one that filters satirical jabs at Trumpian racial politics through a classic buddy cop genre structure & a historical look back at the not-so-distant past of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s incredibly exciting.
6. Crazy Rich Asians – Part wish-fulfillment rom-com & part extravagant wealth porn, this comedic romance fantasy looks like a crucial slice of escapist fun. It also promises to incite a much-needed corrective for Hollywood’s dismally deficient Asian American representation on the big screen, so it’s a worthy film to support while it’s playing in theaters.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
1. Babe 2: Pig in the City (1998) – A former Swampflix Movie of the Month & one of the only George Miller pictures that gives Mad Max: Fury Road a run for its money in pure cinematic excess is screening for a measly $2 fee at Broad Theater, Tuesday night 9/4/18. It’s a rare opportunity to see this Swampflix-approved cult classic big & loud with a rowdy, late-night crowd.
2. Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Festival – To celebrate ten years of cinematic superhero glut & ever-expanding Disney bank accounts, AMC is screening the entire MCU catalog, from Iron Man (2008) to Infinity War (2018), all Labor Day weekend. Check out the “festival’s” full monstrous schedule here for details and check out our MCU review series Agents of S.W.A.M.P.F.L.I.X. to see which films in the franchise we believe survived the test of time & are worth the trip to the theater.
3. Eighth Grade – The Broad Theater is teaming up with A24 to host what appears to be the last New Orleans screening of Bo Burnham’s coming-of-age drama/anxiety-fueled social nightmare free for all teachers in the New Orleans area, Wednesday 9/5/18 at 7pm.
4. Sorry to Bother You – Every week for the past month I’ve been amazed that this weird, divisive film is still holding on in its local theatrical run, but there are still a few stray daily screenings listed across the city. From Boomer’s review: “These continue to be dark days, and though we may not know how to fix them, we must not get used to them. And if you like your social commentary candy-colored but lacking in neat, pat answers, go see Sorry to Bother You. Hell, go see it even if that’s not your bag; your comfort zone could become your noose if you don’t push your boundaries.”
5. Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again – This decade-late sequel to the ABBA jukebox musical is notably better-made on a technical level than its predecessor (it shares a cinematographer with most Wes Anderson productions?), but it’s also a hell of a lot less horny & bizarre. For the most part, though, Here We Go Again delivers more of the same Mamma Mia! goodness, except this time with a little Cher for flavor. Britnee’s an especially big fan of this franchise and you can hear our dual review of both Mammas Mia! on a recent episode of the podcast.
6. The Happytime Murders – Melissa McCarthy stars in a crime thriller parody alongside dozens of foul-mouthed puppets, directed by Brian Henson (son of Jim). Look, I know the reviews are horrendous and this Puppets Gone Wild comedy gimmick has been done plenty times before (Let My Puppets Come, Meet The Feebles, Greg the Bunny, Wonder Showzen, Crank Yankers, Avenue Q, Brian Henson’s own No, You Shut Up! to name a few), but the joke is still funny to me, because I’m an immature dweeb.