Wednesday, April 24th: Upstream Color
7 p.m. @ Oriental Theater (FREE if member of Milwaukee Film)
It’s something of a humblebrag to add a film to the weekly recommendations that can only be attended by members of Milwaukee Film, but when the film is as beautiful and remarkable as Upstream Color (in what looks to be the only theatrical screening that will occur in the Milwaukee area, no less), I feel the need to speak up. While time has run out for you to sign up for Milwaukee Film and be granted admittance to this particular screening, 12 free advance movie screenings a year (past screenings have included The Artist, Holy Motors and Silver Linings Playbook) along with other benefits is nothing to sneeze at. And consider this fair notice that you’ll be hearing a lot more about Upstream Color later this year when the “Best of 2013” rubble settles. It’s that damn good.
Wednesday, April 24th: All This and Heaven Too
7:30 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/$5/free for adults/seniors and students/museum members)
For those of us unable to catch Upstream Color on Wednesday night, Charles Allis Art Museum offers an appealing alternative with the continuation of their “Popular Novels Adapted to the Screen” series with Bette Davis in All This and Heaven Too. Melodrama with a capital M, the film features a doomed romance between Davis’ governess and Charles Boyer’s head of the house/royal subject. The museum’s movie night screenings are some of the most unique and intimate cinema-going experiences one can have locally, and I heartily recommend giving one a chance.
Friday, April 26th: Pain and Gain
(Opens in all major local theaters, check listings for showtimes and pricing)
Unfortunately unavailable for review ahead of release, Michael Bay’s latest opus Pain and Gain hits theaters this Friday nationwide. (This is no joke. If you’re ever interested, I can mount a mean defense of Bad Boys II as a misunderstood work of genius.) Eschewing his normal scope (cities appear to remain unleveled in this picture) but not his traditional frenetic style and pace, the film tackles a true story a trio of bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion and kidnapping scheme that spirals further and further out of control. Think a roid-enraged Coen Brothers and you might be heading in the right direction. With advance reviews singling out Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s performance as a career best, this is well-worth checking out if you know what you’re getting into.
Saturday, April 27th: Role Play
Midnight @ Rosebud Theater ($10)
A special locally grown treat comes for you this Saturday at midnight at the Rosebud Theater, with a special encore screening (accompanied by a comedy show) of local filmmaker Charles Whitmore III’s newest feature film Role Play. A more adult spin on the Freaky Friday trope, the film follows Reginald and Raquel after they switch bodies after a visit to a marriage counselor in an attempt to save their faltering relationship. After a successful premiere that took place at the Milwaukee Art Museum, this is a great second opportunity to support local filmmaking efforts.
Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28: National Velvet
10:30 a.m. @ Times Cinema ($4!)
And as is becoming custom in this column, we wrap up the week with the Times Cinema’s weekend matinee series, wrapping up April’s “Animal Adventures” theme with Elizabeth Taylor’s first starring role in National Velvet. Taylor plays Velvet, a young English girl who wins a horse in a village lottery and then goes about training it to compete in the Grand National Steeplechase. Another in a line of timeless classics shown on the weekend by the Times, this is another gem worth catching before next month’s fantasy lineup drops.
That’s all for this week! Happy (belated) cinema-going!