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Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

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Eric Henderson Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson joined the WCCO.COM web team in June 2006 and currently...
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Quite a few new interesting new offerings are seeing full release over the next week or two, including The Act of Killing and Blackfish at the Lagoon, Only God Forgives at the St. Anthony Main Theater, and wide releases for quite a few promising entries like Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. But there’s still many smaller offerings, single-screenings and retrospectives to consider over the next week. Here is a list of some of the best limited release options you’ll want to check out this week.

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Monday, August 5 & Tuesday, August 6: Daimajin (Trylon Microcinema)

If Pacific Rim whetted your appetite for more gigantic monster mayhem, the Trylon has you covered this month with their delirious series of daikaiju flicks from Japan. The first monster in the series, Daimajin, may not have quite the name recognition in the west as Godzilla or Gamera, but this 1960s blend of monster movies and samurai epics — in which the destruction of a religious idol unleashes the fury of a vengeful God — is more than worth a look.

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Thursday, August 8: Serenity + Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog (Riverview Theater)

Fans of Joss Whedon will be on cloud nine this Thursday as the Riverview Theater presents “Can’t Stop the Serenity 2013,” a double feature in support of both rampant Whedon fandom as well as Equality Now. Serenity alone would be enough, but add a screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog to the marquee, and watch the nerds break out a collective cold sweat of anticipation.

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Thursday, August 8: Rio Bravo (Heights Theater)

I made no secret last week that Howard Hawks represents something of a blind spot for me, but give the director credit where credit’s due. At the top of his game, his movies really move. Even when they’re longer than The Ten Commandments. Case in point, this 1959 western in which Dean Martin’s boozer deputy and Ricky Nelson’s uber-green gunslinger back up John Wayne’s crusty sheriff as their town comes under seige, which somehow makes its 141-minute running time glide by effortlessly. The movie later inspired John Carpenter’s even more lithe classic Assault on Precinct 13.

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Friday, August 9 through Thursday, August 15: Back To The Future Trilogy (Parkway Theater)

In praising the original Back to the Future, I wrote: “In stark contrast to, say, every single action blockbuster in the last 15 years, Back to the Future‘s secret weapon is its ingenious, Rube Goldbergian screenplay, which juggles multiple time periods and temporal paradoxes so deftly, it makes Christopher Nolan (Inception) look hopelessly clumsy.” The second film amps up the time-traveling hijinks exponentially, and comes off … well, pretty hopelessly clumsy. But it’s sort of precious in its own shaggy way. I’ve got no love for the third film, but for anyone willing to do a side-by-side-by-side comparison, the entire trilogy is urged to head over to the Parkway Theater this weekend to rediscover the exact force of 1.21 gigawatts.

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Friday, August 9 through Thursday, August 15: Polish Film Festival (St. Anthony Main Theater)

This year’s Polish Film Festival at St. Anthony Main puts the movies of Roman Polanski front and center, with screenings of Chinatown (his most respected film) and The Fearless Vampire Killers, or: Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck (one of his most underrated, next to Bitter Moon) featured prominently in this year’s schedule. But dig deeper and you’ll find a whole host of secret gems, such as the incendiary political drama Black Thursday, the transgressive brother-sister flirtations of Shameless, and even some live performances from pianists interpreting the music of Chopin and other Polish composers.

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