Heroes in a half shell are indeed a bodaciously tempting offer, but if the rest of the month is looking pretty anemic for new movie offerings on a mass scale, maybe you’d like to scale down and sample one of these options? Note: Boyhood — Richard Linklater’s epic distillation of a 12-year shoot — is still in theaters, and both blogger Jonathon Sharp and I endorse it very highly. It’ll probably be in theaters indefinitely with the box-office change it’s pulling, but there’s no reason not to take two cracks at it. If you need any further urging, check out Twin Cities critic Niles Schwartz’s take at RogerEbert.com for an extra bolstering. Otherwise, how about these options? (Hint: It’s gonna be a busy Thursday.)


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Ongoing: Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces Of Polish Cinema (St. Anthony Main Theater)

If the names Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrzej Wajda, and Krzysztof Zanussi mean nothing to you, well, you’re probably reading the wrong column. If they do mean something to you and you aren’t already holding tickets to this Scorsese-curated, 21-film event, get on that post haste. Movies are running until the end of the month, and almost each and every one of them is a potential revelation to the uninitiated. Director Zanussi will actually be in attendance for a number of his movie screenings on Thursday — Camouflage, The Constant Factor, and The Illumination.


Tuesday, August 12: Dead Man (Trylon Microcinema)

For my money, director Jim Jarmusch has never had a more fully realized film than this revisionist western from back in the days when Johnny Depp was … well, when he was doing the exact opposite of whatever the hell he’s been doing for the last decade and change.


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Thursday, August 14: Internet Cat Video Festival 2014 (Walker Art Center)

One of the most ingenious and successful ideas to ever hit the Twin Cities film/art/meowsic scene goes back to its roots this year, transferring back from the State Fair to the hillside by the Walker Art Center. We’ll have a more full write-up later this week.


Thursday, August 14: An American in Paris (Heights Theater)

The Heights’ charming Vincente Minnelli retrospective continues with his arguably most successful film, in both terms of its box-office performance and, oh yeah, that Best Picture award. An American in Paris beat out heavyweight contenders A Streetcar Named Desire and A Place in the Sun for the big award, and though Minnelli himself didn’t win best director (he’d later win for Gigi), his imprint is everywhere. Gershwin, the City of Lights, and Gene Kelly at the height of his hoofing prowess. There are a lot of Minnelli films that have more meat on their bones, but this one’s still a pretty irresistible concoction.


Thursday, August 14: Can’t Stop The Serenity 2014 (Riverview Theater)

If you’re not a cat geek, you may still be a Joss Whedon geek. You might be both. You are probably both. Let’s just say you’re both and acknowledge that you’re going to be faced with a severe “Sophie’s Choice” this Thursday as the Riverview Theater presents “Can’t Stop the Serenity 2014,” 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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Eric Henderson