"Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Pitch Perfect 2" open this weekend. Plus: "Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of," "Where Hope Grows," and more screen this week.

Tuesday, May 12: Rifftrax presents The Room

7:30 p.m. @ select local Marcus Theaters (click here to purchase tickets)

A modern cult classic gets the Rifftrax treatment here.  I don’t necessarily think The Room necessitates people making jokes over it, the film itself is weird and hilarious enough without any punching up, but these guys are pros and this should be a blast to watch. Just be sure to have seen Tommy Wiseau’s masterwork in its originally intentioned glory before you see this version!

Wednesday, May 13: Lea & Darija

7 p.m. @ Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center (FREE!)

Based on the story of two children performers – one Croatian Jewish and the other her non-Jewish singing and dancing partner – and how the Nazi occupation of Croatia changed their lives forever.

Wednesday, May 13:  Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of

7 p.m. @ Marcus Majestic (Purchase tickets here)

All you people, you can see, you can see that Backstreet’s back for one night only in theaters, telling the story of their ascent to super-stardom and their decision to reunite and tour twenty years after their initial success. There’s Bad Boy Backstreet, Blonde Backstreet, Non-threatening Lead Backstreet, Father Figure Backstreet and Baby Backstreet and they’re all here to tell their honestly genuinely remarkable story. Fans should not miss this chance to catch this doc on the big screen.

Thursday, May 14 & Friday, May 15: Senior Screenings

7 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (FREE!)

UWM closes up shop for the summer with screenings of completed works from graduates of their film program!

Friday, May 15: Far From the Madding Crowd, Pitch Perfect 2, Lambert & Stamp, Where Hope Grows, Bombay Velvet & Mad Max: Fury Road all open in local release

Check local listings for showtimes/pricing

Movies finally have decided it’s safe to come back to theaters after the Avengers made its two-week rampage through box office receipts, so you get a healthy smattering of options this week ranging from art house period piece to the movie I’ve been waiting patiently many years for. But let’s start with the lush adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s famed novel being shepherded to the screen by Thomas Vinterberg, one of the famed Dogme 95 proprietors. With Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Matthias Schoenaerts leading the way, this story of a self-actualized Victorian heiress and her wildly different suitors looks lush and well-performed.

You’d think I was a pyromaniac the number of times I’ve been burnt by comedy sequels, but it’s hard to resist the hope that each subsequent volume will capture the magic of their original, so I venture once more into the breach – clear eyes, full hearts can’t lose – and hopefully neither can the Bellas in this sequel to the delightful acapella smash hit from 2012.

Also dropping is Where Hope Grows, a faith-based inspirational drama about a washed up, alcoholic former baseball star who befriends a young man with Down Syndrome. Hopefully it’s not as cloying as such a thing could potentially be.

 

If you’re looking to spice up your weekend moviegoing, then try out the sprawling Indian period crime drama Bombay Velvet!

Otherwise, the main event of the weekend/summer/year for me is Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller’s return to the post-apocalyptic action franchise that made his name. Early word is rhapsodic, and the trailer and troubled production history suggest an epic piece of action cinema the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. I am giddy for this one.

Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17: The Muppet Movie

10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. @ select local Marcus Theaters (click here to purchase tickets – $5)

Muppet Mania begins this weekend and lasts through the summer at select Marcus Theaters, and what better place to start than with the original movie classic The Muppet Movie. Filled with delightful cameos and great music from Paul Williams, it endures for good reason – this is a great chance to introduce its charms to a younger generation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE6i23QHSqk

Sunday, May 17: 2015 MFA Graduates Program

6 p.m. @ UWM Union Theatre (FREE!)

Round out your week with even more completed films from UWM students, this time from graduates of the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program!  A great chance to see the talent incubated by our local film programs.

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