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On the Marquee for the week of May 5, 2014
Frat boys, Shirley Temple, boofing and good old-fashioned revenge comprise this week in Milwaukee cinema.

***CRITIC'S CHOICE***

Monday, May 5 through Sunday, May 11: Blue Ruin
Available for On Demand rental through YouTube, Amazon and local cable providers

It's a slow week for local cinema options with the UWM spring calendar coming to a close and the majority of major releases being soundly in the “don't bother” category (unless you like garish computer-animated sequels to the Wizard of Oz, in that case – this is your week). So I'll take this opportunity to stump for a film that more than likely will never hit any big screens in the Milwaukee area but is certainly worthy of your time in Blue Ruin. Written, directed and shot by Jeremy Saulnier while starring his best friend of many years Macon Blair, the film is an amazing meditation on revenge that upholds everything that makes a suspense thriller so intense while simultaneously deconstructing it. It is no spoiler to say that Blair's character of Dwight carries out the vengeance he believes necessary early on in the picture, and the rest of the movie acts as his attempt at making sense of what he's done while also trying to survive. Imagine an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle with Jesse Eisenberg as his replacement and you'll start to get an idea of how this film approaches its dirty deeds from the perspective of its decidedly non-proficient lead. Thrilling, oftentimes blackly comic and gorgeously performed shot, Blue Ruin is easily one of the best pictures of the year.

 

 

Wednesday, May 7 and Saturday, May 10: The Wolf of Wall Street
7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (FREE!)

I've already written extensively about the latest (and greatest!) collaboration between Scorcese and DiCaprio, so I don't think I need to say much more other than I think Wolf of Wall Street is slightly underrated (if such a thing can be said about a multiple Oscar-nominated, critically-acclaimed film). It is easily the funniest movie of Scorcese's career and is filled throughout with numerous show-stopping comedic set pieces. But don't let the humor distract from the message at the heart of the picture, and never assume that because the actor and director made an amusing picture that its message isn’t a moral one, as well. Depiction isn't endorsement, and the final shot of the film should prove beyond a doubt that Scorcese is in full control of his faculties here.

 


Friday, May 9: Neighbors opens nationwide
Check local listings for showtimes

Nicholas Stoller's directing career started so promisingly with the heartfelt and hilarious Forgetting Sarah Marshall but quickly petered out in Get Him to the Greek and The Five-Year Engagement, both movies with promising premises that don't do enough to justify the emotional investment in their dramatic portions. But all indications are that he's rallied considerably with the Rose Byrne/Seth Rogen vehicle Neighbors, managing to craft believable and lovable characters (a married couple raising a newborn child finds a fraternity moving in next door – complications ensue) while delivering a memorable, raunchy comedy. We're due for a great mainstream comedy, and my review later this week will let you know if Neighbors lives up to that challenge.

 


Saturday, May 10: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
7 p.m. @ The Church in the City ($3) 

The Focus Film Society pays its respect to the recently-deceased Shirley Temple, not with one of her indelible child performances but instead her possibly finest performance from her teenaged years in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. In it, Temple plays a teenage girl who develops a major infatuation over Cary Grant's considerably older bachelor who made quite the impression during his visiting lecture at her school. Convinced to play along until her fervor for him fades away, Grant finds himself falling for Temple's older sister played by the incomparable Myrna Loy. The film's script netted its writer Sidney Sheldon an Academy Award before he went on to success as a novelist and television creator (I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart), so you know its creative bonafides are in place. A witty and well-performed piece of classic cinema to round out your cinematic week.

 





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POSTED 7/11/2014