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Plenty of intriguing options open locally this weekend, 'The Awful Truth' at Charles Allis, and 'Back to the Future' screens at the Marcus Center's Peck Pavilion.

Monday, Aug. 3 & Wednesday, Aug. 5: Jerry Maguire

7 p.m. @ Select local Marcus Theaters (buy tickets here)

Marcus Theaters are bringing a series of football-themed movies to us over the coming weeks and they’re kicking off with a movie only tangentially football-related (yet still quite good!) in Jerry Maguire. Tom Cruise is as his Cruise-iest with his performance here, and this is probably as close as Cameron Crowe will get to emulating his idol Billy Wilder with a film in his career.

Tuesday, Aug. 4 through Wednesday, Aug. 12: Dragonball Z: Resurrection F

7 p.m. @ Select local Marcus Theaters (buy tickets here)

Dragonball Z was appointment after school viewing in my childhood, an insane slow burn of a story wherein a villain is introduced and our heroes must spend what seemed like 25 episodes powering up before they were accomplished enough to take them on. I must admit I’m intrigued to see how I’d react to this latest Dragonball film – it’s sure to be a nearly incoherent cacophony of hero poses, boiler plate dialogue and kinetic action.

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Shaun the Sheep opens nationwide

Check local listings for showtimes/pricing

Aardman Animations are on par with Studio Ghibli and Pixar in terms of success records in my humble opinion, even if their work isn’t as highly esteemed or profitable. And while I’ve never seen an episode of their Shaun the Sheep television program, I’m certain to catch this big screen adaptation in theaters. They make perfectly calibrated, ingeniously crafted pieces of family entertainment and I have no reason to believe this would prove an exception to that rule.

***CRITIC’S CHOICE***

Wednesday, Aug. 5: The Awful Truth

7:30 p.m. @ Charles Allis Art Museum ($7/$5/free for seniors/students/museum members)

The Charles Allis summer Irene Dunne celebration continues with one of the greatest screwball comedies of all time. Cary Grant and Dunne play a couple dealing with an acrimonious divorce, with the largest rancor reserved for determining who gets the keep the dog. The dialogue crackles, Dunne and Grant have extraordinary chemistry, and the movie is rightfully considered one of the exemplars of its genre. If you’ve never seen this before, this is the must-see screening of the week for true movie buffs.

Thursday, Aug. 6: Back to the Future

7:15 p.m. (seating begins at 6 p.m.) @ Peck Pavilion (outside of the Marcus Center – 929 N. Water St.) (FREE)

Speaking of impeccably made, Robert Zemeckis’ masterpiece plays yet again in the Milwaukee area this week. This is one of the great screenplays in all of cinematic history, and the movie itself is no slouch either.

Friday, Aug. 7: Big Hero 6

7 p.m. @ Village Park in Sussex (N63W24459 Main St.) & Elm Grove (Village Park – 13600 Juneau Road) (Both FREE)

In an attempt to break a Guinness record for “most Big Hero 6 screenings in a summer”, it will be playing again – twice! – At two separate outdoor movie events this Friday evening. You don’t need me to tell you that it’s great – but I will: it’s great.

Friday, Aug. 7:  Dark Places, Fantastic Four, The Gift & Ricki and the Flash all open locally

Check local listings for showtimes/pricing

Plenty of intriguing options coming to us this weekend. Gone Girl opened the floodgates for Gillian Flynn movie adaptations, so it’s no surprise that in short order we’re seeing another coming down the pike in Dark Places. Charlize Theron is one of our finest performers, so seeing her sink her teeth into this story of a tortured woman who begins to look deeper into the murder of her family at the hands of her brother only to find that things might not be as clean-cut as they appeared to her as a child.

And Fantastic Four, while it has a troubled production history and an underwhelming ad campaign to this point, is still worthy of interest. Josh Trank’s first feature Chronicle breathed new life into the tired found footage genre, and this cast is too good for the movie to be a disaster. Plus, Philip Glass film score collabo with Marco Beltrami? GTFO if you’re not at least intrigued by the pedigree involved here.

 

While Joel Edgerton is mostly known in the US as an actor, he has both screenwriting and directing credits to his name, including the very well-regarded Australian crime drama The Square. So I’m plenty jazzed to see him make his mark in what critics are saying is an extremely dark and twisted thriller with The Gift. Rebecca Hall is a stalwart performer and I can’t wait to see Jason Bateman spread his wings from the sarcastic straight-man role he has so effortlessly perfected in recent years.

And there’s yet another drama worth plunking down cash for in Ricki and the Flash. Meryl Streep acting alongside her daughter in a film from Jonathan Demme that was written by Diablo Cody? Plus Jenny Lewis helped write the original music performed by Streep in the film? Again, GTFO if you’re not on board with that incredible lineup of talent.

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