The Week in Movies, May 12-18
Post by Sean Weitner on 5/11/2006 9:53pm
I feel bad for not having been more on top of the closing of University Square 4 last weekend. Four screens closing is a big deal in the exhibition picture of a town this size, particularly when those are the only mainstream screens downtown. (The Orpheum has been succeeding with the most offbeat programming of any commercial theater in town, although their grand opening was The Phantom Menace .) The reinvention of U Square 4 over the last five or so years has been smart -- serving as a critical Wisconsin Film Fest venue, adding much more expansive concessions, including beer, and the occasional archival repertory show, often at midnight and typically cult. And that's what will be most missed about U Square -- midnight shows! Apart from the occasional Orpheum midnighter (Rocky Horror et al.), the latest show you'll find in town is 10:30, but U Square would break out the weekend 12 am shows. That said, the exhibition was on par with the town's budget 'plexes, which made it a hard sell for mobile downtowners who didn't get the student discount. (The closing of U Square may mean a lot of grads finally toss out their student IDs.) University Square needs the redevelopment -- you just can't get away with a one-story strip mall on such desirable property -- but it's a shame that new screens are part of the plan. For as much money as has passed through downtown dedicated to new arts facilities, you'd think someone would see the cultural and economic upside of more isthmus exhibition.
The Madison-shot short film Buckystein (pictured) -- about a mad UW scientist who brings a badger back to life (shades of Re-Animator, one of the best films to be made by a director with Madison heritage) -- premieres at the Barrymore Saturday. Bill Lueders notes "saying it has a B-movie plot smacks of grade inflation," but you can judge for yourself from the trailer.
The Sky Vu Drive-In in Monroe opens this overcast weekend, with an appropriately bleak double-bill of RV and The Benchwarmers, where as the Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre in Jefferson is still playing Mission: Impossible III and Failure to Launch.
Opening this week: Art School Confidential, which reunites the writer and director of Ghost World for an acid take on, well, art school; The Devil's Miner, a documentary about child labor in Bolivia; Just My Luck, a fortune-swapping comedy starring Lindsay Lohan; Kinky Boots casts Chiwetel Ejiofor in a cross-dressing Britcom rehash of The Full Monty; On a Clear Day chronicles a dissolute Glaswegian's attempt to swim the English Channel; and Poseidon, which also opens in IMAX, remakes the disaster classic.
Opening at the budgets: Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Mrs. Henderson Presents, She's the Man.