New 'Die Hard,' acclaimed 'Amour,' and more at the movies
“Amour” is a film everyone older than 35 should see (plus it should be seen by anyone younger than 35 who appreciates great films). Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Picture, it follows Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emanuelle Riva), who are cultivated, retired music teachers living in retirement in Paris. One day, Anne has a mild stroke and a series of subsequent health issues cascade down on this loving family. The couple endures the changes in very human, but ultimately surprising ways. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times says, “A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between played by two titans of French cinema.” “Amour” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.
Inspired by a true story, “Any Day Now” tells a story of love, acceptance, and creating your own family. In the late 1970s, when Marco (Isaac Leyva), an abandoned teenager with Down syndrome, is taken in by committed couple Rudy (Alan Cumming) and Paul (Garret Dillahunt), he finds in them the family he’s never had. However, when their unconventional living arrangement is discovered by the authorities, Rudy and Paul must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to love as their own. “Any Day Now” plays Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 19 and 20, at the Michigan Theater.
Opening at the multiplex
"Beautiful Creatures," a supernatural love story set in the South, tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. "Beautiful Creatures” opens today!
In “Safe Haven,” a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, but her reluctance to join the tight-knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, but dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller. “Safe Haven” opens today.
In the animated film “Escape From Planet Earth,” astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet. Featuring the voices of Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba and James Gandolfini, “Escape From Planet Earth” opens Friday.
Special screenings downtown
With “Sunny,” director Kang Hyeong-chul follows “Speedy Scandal” (2008) with a film about high-school classmates who meet after 25 years and re-live memories of the 1980s. With great performances and a charming storyline, “Sunny” was Korea’s biggest box-office hit in 2011. “Sunny” plays Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, and admission is free!
This week’s midnight movie at the State Theatre is “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” starring Jim Carrey. It plays Saturday, Feb 16 at 11:59 p.m.
“Kung Fu Panda” features an unlikely kung fu hero out to defeat a treacherous enemy spreading chaos throughout the countryside. Featuring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, and Jackie Chan, “Kung Fu Panda” plays Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, and admission is free for kids 12 and under.
In “Inside Job,” producer/director Charles Ferguson speaks at length with journalists, politicians, and financial insiders in order to offer a clearer picture of the economic meltdown that hit America starting in 2008. “Inside Job” plays Sunday, Feb 17 at 5 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.
In “Pump up the Volume,” Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) is a quiet, studious student, who at night fires up his pirate radio transmitter and broadcasts to the community his angry philosophy about the state of teenage life. This classic '80s teen film plays as part of the New Line, New Hollywood series Monday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.
The Michigan will also host “The Greenhorns,” a documentary that focuses on the new generation of farmers at the heart of the nation’s local food movement. Following the movie, participants can meet with representatives from the Michigan Young Farmers Coalition. “The Greenhorns” plays Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
See you at the movies!
Russ Collins is executive director of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. Tune in to the audio version of “Cinema Chat” on WEMU radio (89.1-FM) each Thursday at 7:40 a.m. and 5:40 p.m., or listen to it online at WEMU's web site.