Nosferatu, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Saturday, 7:30. The first (and unauthorized) film version of Dracula, and you can forget about sexy vampires here. Max Schreck plays Count Orlok (renamed in a failed attempt to avoid lawsuits) as a reptilian predator in vaguely human form. This isn’t the scariest monster movie ever made, but it’s probably the creepiest. Not be confused with Werner Herzog’s 1979 remake. Short subjects include Buster Keaton’s “The Haunted House.” Accompanied by the Invisible Ensemble led by Molly Axtmann.
Double Feature: Iron Man & The Dark Knight, Castro, Friday and Saturday. For Iron Man, Director Jon Favreau and his team of writers inserted all the requisite thrills into a story strong enough to support the pyrotechnics rather than get buried by them. That story centers on weapons tycoon, genius, and all-around jerk Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), a man whose latent conscience brings him to turn himself into a superhero. See my full review. As far back as Memento, the Nolan brothers have seen evil as an influence most likely to corrupt those dedicated to fighting it. In The Dark Kight, no one–including Bruce Wayne/Batman himself (Christian Bale)–gets away without moral compromises. But what can you expect when fighting the Joker, who is absolutely nuts in Heath Ledger’s final performance. For more details, see my full review.
Donnie Darko, Cerrito, Thursday, 9:15. How many alienated-teenager-in-suburbia-time-travel-science-fantasy comedies can you name? Okay, there’s Back to the Future and its sequels, but add the adjectives horrific and surreal to that description, and Donnie Darko stands alone. And how many alienated movie teenagers have to deal with a slick self-help guru and a six-foot rabbit named Frank (think Harvey, only vicious). It’s not entirely clear what’s going on in this strange movie, but that just adds to the fun.
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