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On the Marquee for the Week of Oct. 28, 2013
Milwaukee is offering up plenty of horror this Halloween week

For the first time in recent memory, there are no horror films opening in theaters this Halloween week. However, if you’re looking to get your scream on in a movie theater, the UWM Union Theatre, the Rosebud and the Times are shrewdly picking up the slack and offering up some horror classics through the week.

Monday, Oct. 28: Kelly Kirshtner’s Horror Classic plays the Union.
7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.) FREE.

As it says on the theater’s website: “The horror genre has a tremendous range, reinventing itself in different forms for different decades and audiences. It's tricky work disentangling classic horror from more modern, often gory developments in the genre. Take a peek at some key moments in the evolution of the horror genre with Kelly Kirshtner's Horror Classic, a six-week miniseries featuring a selection of both classic and modern films that tend towards the scary rather than the gruesome.”

UWM Film Department Professor Kelly Kirshtner will introduce each screening and conduct post-screening discussions.

Wednesday, Oct. 30: Marcus Theatres’ and The Metropolitan Opera present an encore screening of Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Nose starring Tony winner Paulo Szot
6:30 p.m. @ Marcus Theatres (the Majestic, Menomonee Falls, North Shore, & South Shore) Check with theaters for ticket pricing.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s satirical opera, The Nose, receives an encore showing this Wednesday, Oct. 30 at select theaters across the country, and locally at select Marcus Theatres.

The William Kentridge production – which initially dazzled audiences at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2010 during its first presentation – is currently being reprised at the Lincoln Center with the Met’s original lead, Tony winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific), reprising his role as the hapless Russian bureaucrat Kovalyov, whose nose leaves his face to take on an identity of its own.

Since the play didn’t conform to communist sensibilities of the day when it was staged in an ill-advised concert performance in the Soviet Union back in 1929, The Nose’s journey to stage respectability has been a long one. The Met’s 2010 staging and this revival likely afforded many opera aficionados their first-ever chance to experience this nearly-lost work.

Wednesday, Oct. 30: The UWM Union screens Suspiria
7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.) FREE.

On Halloween Eve, embrace your inner-Wiccan both on the big screen, and later on at home on the boob tube with the latest installment of “American Horror Story: Coven” starring Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates, which has been on a roll since it began earlier this month.

Screening as part of the theater’s “Cinema Classics” series, Italian director Dario Argento’s Suspiria is a “beautiful dream-like horror film which tells the tale of an American ballet dancer who enrolls at a famous ballet school in Europe only to discover it is run by a coven of witches.”

The 1977 film is in Italian with English subtitles, and runs 92 minutes.

Thursday, Oct. 31: The Omen’s Damien scares the hell out of everyone at the Union Theatre
7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.) FREE.

In another Cinema Classics screening event for this week at the Union Theatre, following a string of unsettling events an American ambassador to Great Britain and his wife (Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, respectively) learn that their son, Damien, is the Antichrist in director Richard Donner’s The Omen (1976).

Don’t pass up the chance to catch this true original on the big screen. It’s one of the scariest horror films of all time. There’s a 2006 remake with Mia Farrow that should be skipped, just like all the sequels and remakes (including the most recent remake with Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore, playing theaters now) of the original Carrie (1976) which starred Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.

Thursday, Oct. 31: A Halloween night screening of Ghostbusters at the Rosebud!
9:30 p.m. @ The Rosebud Cinema (6823 W. North Ave.) Tickets are $5.

What better way to celebrate Halloween with family (besides handing out candy and trick-or-treating, of course) than to watch this 1984 classic about a group of drummed-out parapsychologists who declare war against the paranormal element trying to take over New York City?

True, star Bill Murray may not think much of the film – or its admittedly questionable 1989 sequel - but c’mon? If you’re of a particular age, watching Ghostbusters was a rite of passage.

As Ray Parker Jr famously sang, “There’s something strange…in your neighbor/Who you gonna call?/Ghostbusters!/If there’s something weird…and it don’t look good/Who you gonna call?/Ghostbusters!”

If that doesn’t take Ghostbusters fans back, nothing will. And better this than having to suffer through another viewing of The Little Vampire or, dare I say it, Hocus Pocus. Yes, the film has its fans, but I’m not one of them.

Friday, Nov. 1: The Times Cinema presents a late-night screening of the original Halloween (1978) starring Jamie Lee Curtis
12 a.m. @ The Times Cinema (5906 W. Vliet St.) Tickets are $5.

In the last of their month-long “October Terror!” screening series, the Times is screening director John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic. Emmy nominee Jamie Lee Curtis stars in the film as Laurie Strode, a teenage girl who is stalked by a recently escaped, murderous psychopath who returns to their small hometown in order to reek all sorts of blood-filled havoc on Halloween night, hence the title.

Friday, Nov. 1: British filmmaker Steve McQueen’s hotly anticipated third feature, 12 Years A Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender, opens in local theaters.
Check local listings for details.

Last year brought writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s slavery era-set ode to spaghetti westerns and blaxploitation, Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz (who won his second Oscar for best supporting actor for his efforts) as Django, a freed slave, and the dentist/bounty hunter who ushered his freedom, respectively, who team up to take down a charming, yet ruthless plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) who owns the title character’s wife (Kerry Washington). Tarantino won an Oscar for his original screenplay, and the film was nominated for five Oscars overall including best picture.

This year brings British artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen’s universally acclaimed third feature film, 12 Year A Slave, starring British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, as a free black man from upstate New York in the Antebellum era, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery and endures all sorts of horrors over a 12-year period until he is freed.

The film, based on a book of the same name written by Northup, was adapted for the big screen by Mequon-native John Ridley. The Oscar buzz on the film is loud, and the supporting cast is sick (Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Dwight Henry, newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Alfre Woodard).

Fans and admirers of McQueen’s first two films (Hunger and Shame, both starring Fassbender) know that he has no problem showing you the beauty as well as the ugliness of the human condition. It’ll be a hard watch for sure but a rewarding one.

Saturday, Nov. 2 - Sunday, Nov. 3: Marcus Theatre’s Pop 3-D Family Film Series presents How To Train Your Dragon
10 a.m. @ Marcus Theatres (the Hillside, North Shore, the Ridge, & South Shore) Tickets are $3.

Presented by Real D 3-D, Marcus Theatres wraps up its six-week Pop 3-D Family Film Series with two mid-morning screenings of DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon (2010), a superb animated film that has been described as the best animated film that Pixar (the modern-day masters of the art form) had nothing to do with.

Based on the book of the same name by Cressida Cowell, this Oscar-nominated action-adventure-comedy features the voice talent of Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, a young Viking who dreams of battling against dragons that routinely raid their isle, but his rough and gruff father (voiced by Gerard Butler) won’t allow him to do so thinking his son isn’t cut out for the job. Hiccup disobeys his father’s wishes, and manages to capture a young dragon with a device he’s invented but can’t bring himself to slay the creature. As a result, the two develop a bond that flies in the face of conventional wisdom and forces Hiccup’s fellow Vikings to re-evaluate their stance on the mysterious flying creatures.

If you didn’t catch the film in its original 3-D theatrical release, don’t let the opportunity pass you by again to see How To Train Your Dragon on the big screen in 3-D. Standard 2-D projection just doesn’t begin to do full justice to the film’s high-flying battle sequences which utilize 3-D technology better than any film has since the filmmaking technique came back with a vengeance in recent years.

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