cinema chat: Acclaimed 'Intouchables,' 'Total Recall,' classic 'Jaws,' and more
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This week's "Cinema Chat" was prepared by Amanda Bynum and Brian Hunter, the film programming team at the Michigan Theater.
Editor's note: Comment on today's "Cinema Chat" for a chance to win free movie tickets to the Michigan Theater. Some time between now and 9 a.m. Monday, leave a comment on this column. Offer your opinion on a recent movie you've seen, or on anything the column mentions. A winner will be randomly selected, and we’ll notify that person via the email address they signed up with. They will get two passes to a movie of their choice, courtesy of The Michigan Theater. Full rules here.
“The Intouchables” is an irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, and has broken box office records in its native France and across Europe. Based on a true story of friendship between a quadriplegic millionaire (Francois Cluzet) and his street smart ex-con caretaker (Omar Sy, who received the France’s Cesar Award for Best Actor), the film depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common. Tom Long of the Detroit News says, “There are some good reasons why ‘The Intouchables’ has become a huge international hit. It's fun to watch. It offers hope for all variety of hopeless people. It has a breakout star in Omar Sy. It touches on real-world problems like immigration and poverty without hammering them to death. And again, it's fun to watch.” “The Intouchables” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.
Special screenings downtown
Opening at the multiplex
"Total Recall," inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick (and supposedly much truer to that story than the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film), takes place in the futuristic political setting of 2084. After being devastated by war, Earth is divided into two superpowers, Euroamerica/Western Hemisphere and New Shanghai/Eastern Hemisphere, who are locked in a battle for supremacy. In this world lives Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), a factory worker suffering from violent nightmares. Dissatisfied with his lowly existence, Quaid visits Rekall, a corporation that provides its clients with implanted artificial memories of the lives they would like to have - but when armed men storm the company, Quaid kills them with no idea where his abilities have come from. He returns home to his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) who, after trying to kill him, reveals that he really is a secret agent and she is not really his wife. Finding himself on the run from the police - controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world - Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. “Total Recall” opens Friday.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” based on author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney's third and fourth Wimpy Kid books, continues right where the previous film left off: describing Greg's worst summer ever! Hapless Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) whips up a whopper about landing a job at a posh country club for the summer, but still finds himself mixed up in a mortifying public pool mishap, and enduring a disastrous camping trip as the heat soars. Devin Bostick, Rachael Harris, and Steve Zahn co-star. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” opens Friday.
Still playing downtown
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” is sure to be one of the summer’s most talked-about films. After stunning crowds at Sundance, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film, it also went on to win the Camera d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In a forgotten but defiant bayou community, cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a 6-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe - until a fierce storm changes her reality. Tom Long of the Detroit News says, “The atmosphere (Director Benh) Zeitlin develops here is moist with promise and danger, and he moves back and forth between outright fable and pungent reality with an astounding sureness of vision for a first-time director.” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” continues at the Michigan Theater.
See you at the movies!