Tuesday, Dec. 3: All The Boys Love Mandy Lane
Available on DVD, click here to purchase
Jonathan Levine has carved out quite the eclectic niche in Hollywood with output ranging from The Wackness to 50/50 to this year's Warm Bodies, but the film that put him on the map has been languishing in studio limbo for the better part of a decade until it finally sees a US DVD release this Tuesday. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane was a festival darling (ignore the generic qualities of the trailer below and trust the general critical consensus) that for reasons out of its control has languished on the shelf since 2007. Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, Drive Angry) plays the titular object of male desire, whose weekend getaway with her classmates turns into a blood-soaked free-for-all.
Wednesday, Dec. 4: Lady on a Train
7:30 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/5/Free for Adults/Seniors and Students/Museum Members)
Charles Allis kicks off its December lineup with the wildly overused noir thriller/musical hybrid that is Lady on a Train. Since sarcasm doesn't translate to print very handily, let me indicate how bizarre a union the murder mystery and musical genres are and implore you to give this unique melding of those worlds a shot. Deanna Durbin is known more as a historical footnote now than as the major star that she once was (Anne Frank had her picture pasted on the wall as her family hid during World War II), and this attempt at moving her career onto a more mature trajectory was unfortunately rejected by larger audiences. Durbin's character witnesses a murder while on a train and enlists the help of a mystery novelist in order to crack the case. In lieu of a trailer, enjoy this opening 10 minutes dubbed into Russian for maximum confusion.
Thursday, Dec. 5: Rifftrax Live – Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
7 p.m. @ Marcus Ridge/Marcus South Shore Cinemas ($12.50)
What better way to get your Christmas-themed viewing underway this holiday season than with the cult camptacular that is Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. And you needn't worry about trying to make it through the movie on your own (trust me, it's a Herculean task) as the gentlemen behind Rifftrax will be providing running commentary throughout in order to make the viewing more palatable. And seeing as how Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett cut their teeth on Mystery Science Theater 3000, I'm reasonably sure you'll have a laugh or two during this special event.
Friday, Dec. 6: Eternal – The Soul of Rock in the Heartland of America
Midnight @ Times Cinema ($5!)
For those about to rock locally, this documentary salutes you. A look at the Southeastern Wisconsin hard rock/heavy metal scene over the past few decades, Eternal is a treat for fans of the local scene or those looking for a gateway into the headbanger's ball. With a two-day hard rock concert showcase at the film's center, this doc aims to please diehards and film enthusiasts alike.
Friday, Dec. 6 – Sunday, Dec. 8: The Trials of Muhammad Ali
12/6: 9 p.m., 12/7: 7 p.m. and 12/8: 5 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (Free!!!)
For all the amazing bouts and indelible legacy Muhammad Ali left on the world of boxing through his prowess in the ring, his life outside the squared circle is perhaps his greatest legacy. From joining the Nation of Islam (and changing his name from Cassius Clay) to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War all the way to his continued work for social equality to this very day, Ali remains as compelling and divisive a figure as ever. Kartemquin Films (makers of The Interrupters and Hoop Dreams) brings us this unique look into one of sport’s most enduring figureheads.