Only one festival this week, but it’s a big one. Frameline LGBT continues through this week and beyond.
A- Your Sister’s Sister,Kabuki, Embarcadero, opens Friday. This romantic sex comedy kept surprising me. I thought it was shallow; then the characters deepened. I figured out whom was going to end up with whom, and what artificial crisis would end the second act. Boy, was I wrong! It just kept getting better–more surprising, more character-driven and realistic, and funnier, because the humor came from a knowledge of real human behavior. So many movies start promising and deteriorate; it was nice to see one that just kept getting better. Read my full review.
Best of God (Wednesday) & Best of Drugs (Thursday), Balboa. Comedian Owen Egerton takes his audience through two different collections of film clips, one from "the most outlandish religious films from the 1930′s to modern day," the other moves from "Reefer Madness and Marijuana Girl to the sincere PSAs of the 1980′s featuring Pee Wee Herman, Clint Eastwood and McGruff the Crime Dog all the way to haunting neo-classic anti-meth videos of today."
B- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Stanford, Friday through Sunday. Howard Hawks’ musical battle of the sexes contains a handful of wonderful dance numbers and some good comic moments, but there are too many weak scenes to wholeheartedly recommend it. The real surprise is in the leading ladies. Gentlemen helped turn Marilyn Monroe into a star, but co-star Jane Russell blows her out of the water. In this film, at least, Russell is funnier and sexier. On a double bill with another Howard Hawks comedy, Monkey Business, which stars Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, with a yet-unknown Monroe in a small role. Film historian David Thomson will introduce Saturday’s 7:30 screening.
A Comedy Short Subject Night, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Saturday, 7:30. The laugh line-up is exceptionally good this month. "Easy Street" is one of Charlie Chaplin’s best two-reel comedies. The same goes for Buster Keaton’s "Neighbors" and Charlie Chase’s "Mighty Like a Moose." I’ve never seen "Should Married Men Go Home," but it’s Laurel and Hardy. How bad could it be? Judy Rosenberg will tickle the ivories while Chaplin, Keaton, Chase, and L&H tickle your funny bone.
A Dr. Strangelove, UA Berkeley, Thursday, 9:00. We like to look back at earlier decades as simpler, less fearful times, but Stanley Kubrick’s “nightmare comedy” reminds you just how scary things once were. Thank heaven we no longer have idiots like those running the country! It’s also very funny.
A Headhunters, Aquarius, opens Friday. Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) leads the good life. He’s rich, powerful, and has a beautiful wife. But even his high-paying, high-status job can’t pay for his lavish lifestyle, so he moonlights as a burglar, breaking into homes and stealing expensive paintings. But then something goes seriously wrong. Then it gets worse. Much worse. Before long, avoiding the police is the least of his worries. The result is the most entertaining new movie I’ve yet seen this year–a thriller of Hitchcockian quality. Warning: This movie has several very violent scenes. See my full review.
Yellow Submarine, Elmwood, Saturday, noon. The Beatles’ one animated feature–which to my knowledge hasn’t played the Bay Area in years–has been restored, and is receiving special theatrical presentations. It’s been too long since I’ve seen this whimsical fantasy for me to issue a grade. If memory serves, Yellow Submarine is a wonderful movie for taking drugs, and equally wonderful for taking your kids. Just don’t take both.