Monday, Jan. 13-Thursday, Jan. 16: Out of Africa and Gladiator
@ Marcus Majestic, North Shore, South Shore and Ridge Cinemas ($5!)
In celebration of Oscar season kicking into full gear (nominations are announced this Thursday), the Marcus theater is showcasing Oscar winners all through the month of January. This week sees Ridley Scott's Gladiator and Sydney Pollack's Out of Africa getting the honor. Both are lavish cinematic epics, and a chance to catch either on the big screen at this point is a rare treat indeed. So whether you prefer your cinema to be deliberately paced and filled with plot-drive syphilis or more kinetic and full of quality Joaquin Phoenix haircut action, the Marcus theaters have got you covered.
Tuesday, Jan. 14: The Oriental Reopens!
Call or check online to confirm showtimes
After the great boilerpocalypse of 2014, the Oriental reopens its gorgeous doors to the public starting on Tuesday. With Spike Jonze's phenomenal Her, Scorcese's amazing Wolf of Wall Street and the Coen's masterful Inside Llewyn Davis all showing, there's no excuse to not avail yourself of the majestic interiors that Milwaukee's finest (OK, only) cinema palace has to offer while taking in one (or hell, all three) of the finest movies to hit theaters in 2013. Let's all show the Oriental how happy we are to have it back (as depicted by Leo below).
Tuesday, Jan. 14: Short Term 12, You're Next, Riddick, The Spectacular Now, Fruitvale Station, Blue Caprice and The Act of Killing all released on home video
Available at finer media retailers
I've written about all of these releases at some point or another over the course of the past year, but Tuesday sees a massive bounty of quality 2013 titles making their bow on DVD and Blu-Ray. If held at gunpoint I'd tell you to go with Short Term 12, but the better solution would be to take a sick day (or three) from work and plow through all of these fantastic releases one after another. It would be hard for them to be much more thematically and dramatically diverse than they already are, so there's little chance you'll get burnt out. So what are you waiting for – go outside and slip on those ice patches already and treat yourself!
Wednesday, Jan. 15: Bitter Sweet
7:30 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/5/free for adults/seniors and students/museum members)
Charles Allis begins their winter musical programming with one of the many Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy collabos. This a big screen adaptation of Noel Coward's operetta of the same name. A British aristocrat runs off with her decidedly non-aristocratic (see: no money, more problems) music teacher as they attempt to make a living while waiting for his operetta to be performed. Eddy and MacDonald are simpatico performers, having made numerous films together (and having been rumored to both hate one another and have had a torrid affair resulting in a pregnancy) and the Charles Allis guarantees one of the most unique screening venues that Milwaukee has to offer.
Thursday and Friday, Jan. 16-17: Fight Club
10 p.m. (1/16) and midnight (1/17) @ Times Cinema ($5!)
Wildly misinterpreted upon initial release in some circles as a celebration of the very notions it was condemning (hint: if you came out of the film amped up to bro-down in your own personal fight club, you missed the point), Fight Club's reputation has been rightly corrected to the cultural milestone status it richly deserves. The film delves into issues that have only become more prevalent in the decade and a half since its initial release, and is well worth a rewatch for those who have gone without for some time, or even better, a chance for a big-screen viewing for those who have yet to partake in David Fincher's grotesquely kinetic look at the relationship between Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden and Edward Norton’s emasculated everyman.
Friday, Jan. 17: Ride Along
Opens wide, check local listings
Here is where I admit my never-ending soft spot for the Ice Cube buddy picture formula – yes, I'm the guy who paid to see All About the Benjamins in theaters. And although his transition into rapper-slash-theatrical-elder statesman brought to him through magical fridge portals has been appreciated, I've still held out hope we'd get a little taste of the Cube of old. And although Ride Along is rated PG-13 and therefore won't fully sate my hunger for some righteous Grumpy Cube, it does appear to be the most promising vehicle yet for comedian Kevin Hart to prove his theatrical bona fides. Add to that the reliable yeoman's work provided by director Tim Story (Barbershop, Fantastic Four) and I've got hope that this will pan out well. You'll know by Friday, when my review drops.