On the Marquee: ‘Trainwreck,’ ‘Ant-Man,’ ‘Grand Budapest,’ and more

‘Trainwreck’ and ‘Ant-Man’ premiere, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘Wayne’s World’ screen outdoors, and much more.

Tuesday, July 14 & Thursday, July 16: The Croods

10 a.m. & 1 p.m. @ The Times Cinema and Avalon Theater ($2)

I’ve never seen this Dreamworks picture about a cave-dwelling family forced to interact with the outside world, but reviews were moderately positive upon its release, and the voice cast (Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener) is solid.  Far worse ways to keep the kids occupied in the morning/early afternoon this week.

Tuesday, July 14: The LEGO Movie

Dusk @ Village Park in Elm Grove (13600 Juneau Rd.)

As for an animated picture I have seen (and talked about endlessly in a near-infinite number of ‘On the Marquee’ columns at this point), you can’t do much better than The LEGO Movie. Breathlessly paced, endlessly inventive and fun for kids and adults alike, it’s a great choice for an outdoor movie, so pack some blankets and snacks and head out to Elm Grove.

***CRITIC’S CHOICE***

Friday, July 17: Trainwreck and Ant-Man open in wide release locally

Check local listings for showtimes/pricing

Two solid mainstream options drop this weekend. Trainwreck is the big cinematic bow for comedian Amy Schumer, and she proves herself more than capable of making the leap. Carrying the majority of the film’s comedic and dramatic weight, this should mark the beginning of a successful movie career. It’s also a slight departure for director Judd Apatow, whose recent film output was becoming a bit more jaded/curdled – Trainwreck is a rom-com that reminds you that the formula can really work if room is allowed for brilliant personalities to lay their imprimatur upon genre standards and make it their own.

On the flipside of singular voices working in film, we have the latest offering from the unstoppable Marvel juggernaut. I’ve had concerns about their latest ever since Edgar Wright (only one of the best directors working today) left the project over “creative differences” (as if Marvel wasn’t aware of his distinctive working habits ahead of time), but replacement director Peyton Reed has a strong track record (Yes Man the only genuinely meh work in his filmography) and Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish still receiving writing credits suggest the skeleton of what they had built might still be in place. And how often do we get the chance to see Paul Rudd: action hunk? Let’s all keep our fingers crossed in unison for this one.

Friday, July 17: Infinitely Polar Bear & Mr. Holmes open in limited release locally

Check local listings for showtimes/pricing

Two smaller offerings also make their way locally this weekend, both of which are worth your time. Mark Ruffalo is always good in movies, so Mark Ruffalo playing the lead in a film is a good thing. Infinitely Polar Bear’s trailer whelmed me (no over or under, just general whelm-ment), but critical word has been resoundingly positive, and once again, Mark Ruffalo. That alone makes it worthy of your time and money. If that film’s story of a manic depressive father tasked with caring for his two daughters doesn’t whet your indie appetite, perhaps the reuniting of Sir Ian McKellan and director Bill Condon in a tale following an elderly Sherlock Holmes in the twilight of his career/life will prove more amiable. Their last collaboration was the stunning Gods and Monsters over seventeen years ago, but early indications are that they’ve struck gold again here.

Friday, July 17: The Grand Budapest Hotel continues the Milwaukee Bike-In Movie Series

8 p.m. @ The Holton St. Swing Park

Let’s start with what is unquestionably the best film to be playing at an outdoor screening this Friday (there are three locally). Grand Budapest and its elegant and refined sensibility might seem incongruous with an outdoor movie setting, but pick up an ornate pastry beforehand and allow yourself to be immersed in the beautiful remembrance of a world that never was that Wes Anderson created here. This might be his very best work in a career devoid of missteps.

Friday, July 17: Finding Nemo

Dusk @ South Milwaukee Downtown (11th and Madison) (FREE)

While not my favorite Pixar film, it’s impossible to deny Finding Nemo’s charms. Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres play off one another brilliantly, and even without a child of my own, I cannot deny the effectiveness of its story of an overprotective father desperate to rescue his son. It’s a wonderful family-oriented option as opposed to our next Friday night outdoor experience…

Friday, July 17: Wayne’s World continues 2015’s Fish Fry and a Flick series

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

A quirk of the scheduling allows for Fish Fry and a Flick to run two weeks concurrently this year, coming hot off the heels of last week’s Beetlejuice screening, we have the 90’s comedy classic Wayne’s World. Having revisited the film last year, I can report with confidence that it holds up quite nicely and the brief Milwaukee sojourn that takes place in the film along with the Bohemian Rhapsody sequence suggests the audience interaction game will be on point throughout the evening.  Should be fun.

Sunday, July 19: Double Indemnity

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

And then to wrap your cinematic week up with something classical, head over to a local Marcus Theater and check out the Billy Wilder film noir classic Double Indemnity. I’ve previously expressed my unwavering affection for Barbara Stanwyck in On the Marquee before, so I won’t go into further detail now except to say I would gladly go in with her on an insurance-based murder plot, no questions asked. And once you’re seduced by her performance here, you’ll have no question as to why Fred MacMurray’s Walter Neff did the same. It’s an all-time classic you should absolutely acquaint yourself with.

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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.