Dining          Events          A&E          Style          The Daily Mil          Blogs          Photos          Guides          Magazine
On the Marquee for the Week of Feb. 3, 2014
A whole host of options more entertaining than last night's Super Bowl blowout are on tap this week.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Punch Drunk Love

Monday, Feb. 3-Sunday, Feb. 9:
Watch a Philip Seymour Hoffman movie (or five)

A tremendous blow was delivered to film-lovers at large this weekend (and most horribly of all, three children have been deprived of their father) when Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away. A performer of extraordinary empathy, able to mine genuine feeling from any character he played (such was his talent that he could oscillate between sad-sack, rage-filled and utterly cuddly effortlessly in each performance), he leaves behind an immense body of work that any actor would be proud of. Although it will always feel as though we were robbed of many more decades of Oscar-worthy performances from Hoffman (from what I hear, his work in A Most Wanted Man might yet net him awards in 2014), there's no better way to pay tribute to the man than by enjoying his work throughout the week. My personal PSH Rushmore would have to include Synecdoche, New York, The Master, 25th Hour and Magnolia. But he really elevated any material he was given and was as assured a barometer of quality as you'll ever see in a performer. Whether you revisit old favorites or treat yourself to work yet unseen, you're guaranteed quality no matter what you choose. Rest in peace Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Monday, Feb. 3 – Thursday, Feb. 6: Before Midnight and Blue Jasmine
@ Marcus Majestic, North Shore, South Shore and Ridge Cinemas ($5!)

Marcus theaters bring back two of my favorite movies of last year just in case audiences missed out on them. Of the two, I'd have to lean strongly toward Before Midnight, a perfect continuation of Richard Linklater's collaboration with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, deepening their examination of love's evolution during the course of a relationship while fitting into the character they've created like a comfy pair of slippers. It's a masterpiece. Blue Jasmine is no slouch either, filled to the brim with phenomenal performances while attempting the type of incisive character study of a neurotic's briskly crumbling facade that is unlike anything Woody Allen has ever attempted before. You can't wrong with either one.

Wednesday, Feb. 5: Groundhog Day
2 p.m. & 7 p.m. @ AMC Mayfair 18

Even though it's been proven to be no better an indicator of weather patterns that our nation's scourge of meteorologists, our nation still turns its head toward Punxsutawney Phil and his low-fi recreation of Plato's cave experiment to determine whether or not our winter will extend ever further towards spring. I think this is in no small part due to just how amazing Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day proved to be, a near-perfectly structured comedy that pairs philosophical underpinnings alongside one of Bill Murray's all-time great performances.

Friday, Feb. 7: Monuments Men and The LEGO Movie open nationwide
Check local listings for showtimes

Now that we've gotten the toxic waste dump that is January's release schedule out of the way, we can slowly wean ourselves back onto quality mainstream releases with a pair to look forward to this week. George Clooney's latest directing effort did curiously move from Oscar season into this release date, but I'm focusing more on the first part of that than the last and remembering he's yet to steer me wrong from the director's chair. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, on the other hand, have been staking their careers on taking premises that seem razor-thin at best (the spare children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and an adaptation of TV's 21 Jump Street) and spinning wonderfully hilarious and heartfelt entertainment out of them all the same. I would be shocked if The LEGO Movie didn't continue them on their path of world domination, but we'll see this weekend!

Starts Friday, Feb. 7 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 16: The 17th Annual Festival of Films in French
@ UWM Union Theatre (click here for showtimes and selections)

A chance to get a little bit of culture into what can sometimes become a slightly xenophobic film diet, UWM's festival of French films allows for a whole spate of films both current and classic to get the big-screen treatment they richly deserve while allowing for audiences to take in cinema they might otherwise never even think to see. You'll certainly see a couple more recommendations that run more specific in next week's “On the Marquee” but rest assured if you take a chance on any of the films being showcased over next week and change expectations will certainly be met!

Saturday, Feb. 8: My Favorite Wife
7 p.m. @ The Church in the City, 2648 N. Hackett Ave. ($3) 

Although other of his screwball collaborations may end up receiving more critical accolades (work with Rosalind Russell and Katharine Hepburn can do that sometimes), for my money Cary Grant's chemistry was never better than when he was paired with Irene Dunne. Both The Awful Truth and My Favorite Wife are sterling examples of just how far we've fallen from the sophisticated romantic comedy work of the ’30s and ’40s to our “brodacious” examinations of modern romance. Randolph Scott plays the hunkiest Baxter of all-time in this love quadrangle in which Grant remarries after Dunne is declared dead after her ship went down at sea, only to find that she survived the shipwreck on an island with Scott's vitruvian man. Screwball ensues.

You must login to post a comment. Login or Register

MOST Viewed
Reviewing 'Expendables 3'
POSTED 8/27/2014

MOST Commented
A Man for No Seasons
POSTED 8/29/2014