Monday, December 22 through Wednesday, December 23: The Rivoli’s Christmas screenings continue and conclude. All screenings at The Rivoli in Cedarburg ($3.50!) 12/22: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer at 1 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 3:30 p.m. & A Christmas Story at 7 p.m. 12/23: It’s a Wonderful Life at 1 p.m., Elf at 3:30 […]
Monday, December 22 through Wednesday, December 23: The Rivoli’s Christmas screenings continue and conclude.
All screenings at The Rivoli in Cedarburg ($3.50!)
12/22: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer at 1 p.m., National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 3:30 p.m. & A Christmas Story at 7 p.m.
12/23: It’s a Wonderful Life at 1 p.m., Elf at 3:30 p.m. & White Christmas at 7 p.m.
We already delved into The Rivoli’s delightful Christmas programming last week, and it concludes on Monday and Tuesday with a bevy of holiday classics. For the cost of a single ticket spent seeing a current blockbuster, you could treat yourself to a triple feature with films both modern and classic. Perfect for those looking to get out of the house this holiday.
Wednesday, December 24: A Christmas Story & It’s A Wonderful Life
10 a.m. at The Rosebud Cinema and The Times Cinema, respectively ($5!)
We already talked specifically about these screenings last time, with the Times and Rosebud both scheduling morning screenings of these holiday classics, so I won’t waste your time repeating the reasons to go check them out. Simply know that the option is available to you and well worth taking advantage of.
Thursday, December 25: The Gambler, Into the Woods, Unbroken and The Imitation Game open locally
Check local listings for showtimes and pricing.
If you’re not looking for cinematic entertaining geared toward the holiday season, the major local releases should have you covered. I will briefly make mention here of the cowardly choice of theater chains to scrap screening the now-infamous R-rated comedy The Interview – there was no imminent danger from a country incapable of providing electricity for its own citizenry to suddenly descend upon multiplexes nationwide with acts of terror, and the principles our country are founded upon rely heavily on the defense of free speech even when the speech is something we’d rather not hear.
Comedy is one of the surest weapons we have against fear-mongering (see To Be or Not To Be, The Great Dictator or Four Lions for proof of this at work), and by succumbing to threats deemed insubstantial by our own government, theater-owners nationwide have done free speech and the future of socially conscious film-making a grave disservice. What hope do we have of seeing vital film-making sneak through the system when a broad comedy taking aim at a tyrant can be bullied off of our screens?
Anyway, getting off my soapbox, there are plenty of options this week. Rupert Wyatt pleasantly surprised me with how deftly he handled Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so I’ll happily see what he managed with Brie Larson, Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman and Michael K. Williams in this remake of the 1974 James Toback-penned film The Gambler. Also dropping this week is the big Disney winter musical Into the Woods, a Sondheim adaptation brought to the big screen by Chicago director Rob Marshall with an all-star cast (Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp and Emily Blunt to name but a few). I’ll reserve more involved commentary for my forthcoming review, but Sondheim’s music remains as strong as ever and there are many game performers doing their best here, even if the end product doesn’t quite live up to the stage edition’s high standards.
We’re also gifted with two uplifting biopics that should be making a fair amount of noise this Oscar season, with Angelina Jolie’s WWII POW epic Unbroken opening alongside the story of Alan Turing’s breaking of the Enigma code in The Imitation Game. I’ve yet to see Unbroken, but I know of the sterling reputation of its source material (from author Laura Hillenbrand, who also penned the book that inspired Seabiscuit) and am always ready and willing to see films that have had the Coen brothers’ fingerprints on them in any fashion (they’re two of four credited screenwriters on the project).
I have seen The Imitation Game, however, and can safely say that it’s a crowd-pleasing biopic that doesn’t skirt the social prejudices that plagued Turing (who was gay) throughout his life. Benedict Cumberbatch has a well-earned reputation for managing to find the humanity buried deep underneath these “tortured genius” characters, and his performance is something I wouldn’t find fault in being recognized this Oscar season. Supporting work from Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Charles Dance help flesh out the periphery. Thus concludes a bevy of options to defuse familial tension this week.
Happy Holidays, moviegoers!