Image courtesy of Fast and Furious 6.
The summer movie season is kicking into high gear this week with two big tent-pole releases (The Hangover III and Fast & Furious 6), but that isn’t all there is to take in at Milwaukee-area theaters.
Wednesday, May 22: Kings Row
7 p.m. at Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/$5/free for adults/seniors and students/museum members)
Charles Allis Art Museum’s "popular novels adapted to the screen" series continues here with a somewhat forgotten 1942 melodrama that tracks the dark side of small town life through five children growing up at the turn of the century. Ronald Reagan referred to this as his career's best work, and the inclusion of Ann Sheridan, Claude Rains and Charles Coburn certainly can’t hurt.
Wednesday, May 22: Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie
7 p.m. at Pabst Theatre (tickets $39.50 each, 18+ only)
While the Kevin Smith "Askewniverse" has lost all of its luster for this particular moviegoer in recent years (Smith is some sort of scatological Peter Pan, and these films are his Neverland), there are those that will be more than excited to catch the live Q&A/discussion with Smith and co-star Jason Mewes as well as their newest film adventure - this time in the realm of animation. Smith is definitely a gifted public speaker, so the Q&A section should be full of fun anecdotes, but if the trailer for the movie is any indication, you may want to stock up on PBR tallboys to help nurse you through that portion of the evening.
Friday, May 24: Fast & Furious 6
Opens wide at all major theater chains (check listings for showtimes and pricing)
It isn’t often than a film series gets better as it chugs along, but Fast Five bucked that trend with its Ocean’s Eleven by way of Jersey Shore plotting and crackerjack action sequences. Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is our summer movie Buddha, spouting meathead aphorisms while pounding Coronas with Paul Walker in between car chases. And if anything matches the delightful intensity of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s throwdown with Diesel in the last movie (which resembled nothing so much as slabs of raw meat slamming into each other repeatedly) this will be one of the most entertaining diversions of the summer season.
Moviegoers Picks: Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 24-May 26: Star Trek Into Darkness, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Giant Spider
Box Office opens at 7:30pm, show starts at dusk at Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre ($8/$6/$5/free for Adults 12-64/Seniors 65-99/Children 5-11/Children 4 and under and Seniors over 100)
One of my absolute favorite venues for taking in a movie (especially one of the summer blockbusting and crowd-pleasing variety) is the drive-in theater. There are only a handful of venues left to take in a movie in this fashion (the Highway 18 is in Jefferson, there’s also the Keno Drive-In in Kenosha and a couple further north of the Milwaukee area), and no better weekend each year to enjoy the drive-in than Memorial Day Weekend. Each year, the Highway 18 unfurls a triple feature during this holiday, giving you that little extra bang for your buck. The Star Trek and G.I. Joe sequels both look to be prime drive-in fodder (charismatic stars blowing things up handsomely tends to fit the bill) and indie filmmaker Christopher Mihm’s The Giant Spider looks to be a good bit of fun, too (every year he makes a new cinematic homage to ‘drive-in cinema’). A great opportunity to kick back and take in multiple movies for one low ticket price while also honking when the hot dog jumps into the bun.
Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26: Saving Private Ryan
10 a.m. at Times Cinema ($4!)
And after taking advantage of a great movie deal that the Memorial Day weekend has afforded you, why not end your cinematic week with this testament to the will and courage of our armed forces in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Featuring what old trailers would described as “a constellation of stars,” the film still holds up fifteen years later as a great cinematic depiction of war’s infinite horrors and is a worthy form of tribute to those who serve on this holiday weekend.