Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets
The Oscar nominations are out, and basically everything on the shortlist this year is in theaters for those who missed them up until this point. And there’s plenty of great new documentaries to catch on Netflix (to which I’d also add the Oscar-nominated The Square, Cutie and the Boxer and Dirty Wars). If you’re all caught up, though, there are plenty of other options to keep you busy on this cold week. Here are this week’s best bets:
Wednesday, Jan. 22: B-Movie Bingo Presents Samurai Cop (Walker Art Center)
Well now this is just ingenious. As part of the museum’s “Cabin Fever” series of events designed to get Twin Cities residents out of their winter doldrums, the Walker Art Cetner will be hosting a night of “B-Movie Bingo.” Show up, pay nothing, sit back and enjoy Robert Z’Dar and Matt Hannon’s epic piece of crap Samurai Cop, and if you’re paying attention to the various clichés included on your bingo card, you may just win something … or nothing, that part’s not clear. Either way, what else you got going on during what’s going to be one of the coldest weeks of the year?
Wednesday, Jan. 22: Leprechaun 4: In Space (Trylon Microcinema)
Apparently this Wednesday is the unofficial Bad Movie Day. Because over along the Hiawatha corridor, the Trylon and Trash Film Debauchery are launching into the stratosphere with the fourth movie from the surprisingly reality-flexible Leprechaun series. (There are at last count seven.) This one follows where Hellraiser: Bloodline did, among fourth entries, by taking the carnage into space, where no one can hear you rip off a dozen other movies. By the way, Brian Trenchard-Smith, the director of this little classic, is also the guy behind Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, Tyrannosaurus Azteca, and Pimpin’ Pee-Wee.
Wednesday, Jan. 22 & Thursday, Jan. 23: Double Indemnity (Parkway Theater)
Walter: I wish you’d tell me what’s engraved on that anklet.
Phyllis: Just my name.
Walter: As for instance?
Walter: Phyllis. I think I like that.
Phyllis: But you’re not sure?
Walter: I’d have to drive it around the block a couple of times.
Phyllis: Mr. Neff, why don’t you drop by tomorrow evening about 8:30. He’ll be in then.
Phyllis: My husband. You were anxious to talk to him weren’t you?
Walter: Yeah, I was, but I’m sort of getting over the idea, if you know what I mean.
Phyllis: There’s a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.
Walter: How fast was I going, officer?
Phyllis: I’d say around 90.
Walter: Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
Phyllis: Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
Walter: Suppose it doesn’t take.
Phyllis: Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
Walter: Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
Phyllis: Suppose you try putting it on my husband’s shoulder.
Walter: That tears it. Eight-thirty tomorrow evening then, Mrs. Dietrichson?
Phyllis: That’s what I suggested.
Walter: You’ll be here too?
Phyllis: I guess so, I usually am.
Walter: Same chair, same perfume, same anklet?
Phyllis: I wonder if I know what you mean.
Walter: I wonder if you wonder.
Thursday, Jan. 23: The Room (Uptown Theater)
The phrase “so bad it’s good” has been robbed of its value in this post-Sharknado epoch. But The Room is so real deal that it alone could resuscitate the tag. What I wrote a few years ago still applies: “If Coleman Francis has an antecedent, it’s Tommy Wiseau. In just the last few years, The Room has achieved the sort of near-instant cult cachet Francis never really managed. It’s not difficult to see why. Wiseau’s movie is astonishingly out of touch with how human beings interact with each other. A blind alien working from a dog’s crib notes would come up with a more convincing description of how a dinner party evolves than Wiseau. Worse, he wrote his screenplay apparently after having read only the chapter on exposition. Each scene features characters either coming back from or about to head off to do something much more interesting than whatever happens in the movie. Maybe it’s all some sort of avant-garde experiment.” Catch a midnight screening of it this weekend at the Uptown.
Friday, Jan. 24 thru Sunday, Jan. 26: Run Lola Run (Trylon Microcinema)
Few movies in the post-rave late ’90s felt as fresh, speedy and invigorating as Tom Tykwer’s (“what ever happened to?” #1) remarkably propulsive action jaunt, which starred Franke Potente (“what ever happened to?” #2) as Lola, who is tasked to save her boyfriend after a drug deal goes bad, and in expertly playful fashion does so three different times, with greatly varying results. The philosophical message that small changes in routine can have lasting effects is stated with all the subtlety (read: lack thereof) of the movie’s burbling-pounding techno score (“what ever happened to?” #3), but in this case, it’s the delivery that matters, not the message. And on that count, Run Lola Run remains one of the most briskly entertaining films of its era.