Holy crap. For three weeks now the top three grossing films have been (in this order) Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Skyfall, and Lincoln.
Odds are you may be looking for something different this weekend, as the only big release on the horizon for next weekend is Playing for Keeps. Here are some of the best alternative screening options for the next seven days:
Monday, Dec. 3 & Tuesday Dec. 4: Die Hard (Trylon Microcinema)
Dark Christmas movies are on deck Mondays and Tuesday as the Trylon, which is plenty awesome, though I wish they could’ve found a way to also program Amicus’s 1972 anthology Tales from the Crypt, which memorably opened with murderess Joan Collins getting menaced by a psycho Santa Claus. Anyway, Trylon’s program opens with the 1988’s second most crass Christmas movie, the explosive and incredibly trend-setting Die Hard. (No offense, but John McClane takes a backseat to Bill Murray’s scrooge Frank Cross in my book.) As Ben Stiller memorably quipped, “Yabba dabba doo, dabba dooba dabba deebee dabba.”
Tuesday, Dec. 4: Team the Best Team (St. Anthony Main)
One night only for this documentary about Doomtree, the Twin Cities hip-hop collective featuring, among others, Dessa, P.O.S, Sims, Lazerbeak, and Paper Tiger. You know you have to. (Also available on DVD if you’re looking for a new holiday gift idea.)
Friday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 9: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Trylon Microcinema)
All month long, the Trylon is pimping out the P&P. That’s Powell & Pressburger, also known as the Archers, also known as being among the few British filmmakers to actually make much of a mark on the (British) movie magazine Sight & Sound’s much-publicized list of the greatest films ever. Their series will culminate with their Christmas offering of The Red Shoes — a movie I’ve never considered anything like a “holiday movie,” but would watch pretty much every day of the year so no harm, no foul — and kicks off with a movie that shares DNA with a much more widely heralded holiday classic. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which delivers on the outsized promise of its title, is like a daft mid-war It’s a Wonderful Life.
Saturday, Dec. 8 & Sunday, Dec. 9: White Christmas (Heights Theater)
Thanks to climate change, we’re all dreaming (and only dreaming) of a white Christmas. Dry your tears with a screening of this saccharine but potent holiday classic, which functions as an ersatz sequel to the vastly superior Holiday Inn. It’s big, it’s stuffed, it’s heavy and it refuses to leave your system. It’s the movie version of fruitcake.
Sunday, Dec. 9: Barrymore (St. Anthony Main)
You’d think being the oldest actor to ever win an Academy Award would’ve been a nice feather in Christopher Plummer’s hat, but it looks like he intends to keep on keeping on. The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul will be presenting screenings of his live stage performance of Barrymore, a peek into the fallen fortunes of acting god John Barrymore as he attempts to piece together something like a comeback as Richard III. Also included in the bill is the making-of documentary featurette Backstage with Barrymore. Expect a few nostrils to flare.