On the Marquee: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Where The Wild Things Are,’ and more

Fish Fry and a Flick continues this weekend, a ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ panel and screening at the Public Library, this week’s releases and more.

Monday, August 12 & Wednesday August, 14: We Are Marshall

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

Thursday, August 13: Cars

Dusk @ Fowler Park in Oconomowoc (FREE)

Friday, August 14: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

7:15 p.m. (seating begins at 6) @ Peck Pavilion (929 N. Water St.) (FREE)

Friday, August 14: Big Hero 6

Dusk @ Malone Park (16400 W. Al Stigler Pkwy in New Berlin) (FREE)

***CRITIC’S CHOICE***

Friday, August 14: Straight Outta Compton, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. & Underdogs open in wide release

Check local listings for showtimes and pricing

Let me bypass the upcoming N.W.A. biopic (with fingers crossed it proves as incendiary and affirming as the music it’s chronicling) and the weird-looking CG kids movie about magically animated foosball characters and instead talk about Guy Ritchie’s stylish adaptation of the 60’s spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. For a long time this movie looked to be one of Soderbergh’s final cinematic forays with frequent collaborator George Clooney, and you can still see Ritchie aping a little of his Ocean’s movies with his editing and song choices here. For a filmmaker whose reputation has been staked on his kinetic directing style, it’s funny that U.N.C.L.E. falls apart whenever an action sequence breaks out. Overly edited in a style incongruous with the tone achieved otherwise (one chase sequence is particularly dire), they’re sore thumbs in what is otherwise a very palatable bit of summer entertainment. While not on par with Kingsman or Mission Impossible, it is a movie filled with good-looking people looking extremely good (an entire movie could – and should – be based on Alicia Vikander looking amazing in period-specific garb) while trading witticisms with one another. Special kudos to Armie Hammer and Vikander for striking up a winning chemistry in their scenes together. And while I remain unconvinced of Henry Cavill as a performer, he handles the casual barbs and looking nice in a suit requirements that his role asks of him here quite nicely. This is a pleasantly diverting time at the movies.

***CRITIC’S CHOICE***

Friday, August 14: Guardians of the Galaxy

Dusk @ Discovery World (500 N. Harbor Dr.) (FREE!)

Fish Fry and a Flick continues with James Gunn’s wildly successful adaptation of Marvel’s Z-list group of space outlaws, anchored by a star-making performance from Chris Pratt as the lovable rogue that heads up this crew populated by a giant sentient Tree, a talking raccoon, and two green-skinned cutthroat alien assassins. Humor and heart are the keys to winning over an audience in popcorn filmmaking – who would’ve thought?

***CRITIC’S CHOICE***

Saturday, August 15: Where the Wild Things Are

1:30 p.m. @ Koeppen-Gerlach Auditorium at the Milwaukee Public Library (FREE)

I must admit this is the film event I’m most looking forward to this weekend, due in small part to my involvement in it (I will be hosting a panel and Q&A with Tiny Film Invasion’s very own Blyth Meier after the film) but moreso because I think Spike Jonze made a really special children’s film that doesn’t pander or speak down to its audience at all, expanding and enriching slight source material without betraying what made it speak to everyone so resoundingly in the first place. It’s a film that feels dangerous, just like the unencumbered feelings the wild things are meant to represent while also capturing a very particular moment in a child’s life when they realize that their parents are not gods walking the Earth and are not always available to protect you. It’s a beautiful film and one I can’t wait to talk about more in depth this weekend – I hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 16: Grease Sing-a-long

2 p.m. & 7 p.m. @ Select local Marcus Theaters (purchase tickets here)

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Tom Fuchs is a Milwaukee-based film writer whose early love for cinema has grown into a happy obsession. He graduated with honors in Film Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has since focused on film criticism. He works closely with the Milwaukee Film Festival and has written reviews and ongoing columns for Milwaukee Magazine since 2012. In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs at home (watching movies), taking day trips to Chicago (to see movies), and reading books (about movies). You can follow him on Twitter @tjfuchs or email him at tjfuchs@gmail.com.