We’ve got Spike Lee, Robin Hood, Mother’s Day, a Miracle Worker, and classic Kung Fu (but no festivals) this week in Bay Area movie theaters.
Do the Right Thing, Cerrito, Thursday, 9:30
It’s been far too long since I’ve seen Spike Lee’s masterpiece, which I suspect would get an A or even an A+ if I were to see it again. Unfortunately, with a 9:30 starting time on a weeknight, I doubt I’ll catch it this week.
Dragon Inn, Opera Plaza, Shattuck, opens Friday
This was the first Hong Kong action movie I ever saw. It blew me away. But that was a long time ago. It’s considered a classic, and has just received a new 4K restoration.
Ultimate ’90s Sing-Along, New Mission, Thursday, 7:45
This “Sing-Along Dance Party” promises to present “the best music videos of the ’90s for “singing along with, jumping around to, and awkwardly slow dancing next to your grade school crush to.”
Mother’s Day at the Lark, Lark, Sunday
The Lark will screen three movies about mothers on Sunday. The festivities start at 1:00 with the Sing-along version of Mama Mia! Your singing voice is probably better than Pierce Brosnan’s. I give this one a D+. Places In the Heart screens at 4:00; I haven’t seen this one. Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother, plays at 7:00. I haven’t seen this in years, but I remember liking it. Separate admissions.
Enter the Dragon, various CineMark Theaters, Sunday, 2:00; Wednesday, 2:00 & 7:00)
I haven’t seen this movie in years, and while I liked it when I saw it, I was never a real big fan. This is the flick that brought the martial arts genre to America, and made Bruce Lee famous on this side of the Pacific, even if he didn’t live to enjoy the fame. Look closely to catch Jackie Chan as an extra.
A+ The Adventures of Robin Hood, Stanford, Friday through Sunday
Not every masterpiece needs to provide a deep understanding of the human condition; some are just plain fun. And none more so than this 1938 Errol Flynn swashbuckler. For 102 minutes, you get to live in a world where virtue–graceful, witty, rebellious, good-looking, and wholeheartedly romantic virtue–triumphs completely over grim-faced tyranny. Flynn was no actor, but no one could match him for handling a sword, a beautiful woman, or a witty line, all while wearing tights. The great supporting cast includes Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, and Technicolor–a name that really meant something special in 1938. Read my A+ essay. On a double bill with The Strawberry Blonde.
A Boogie Nights, Roxie, Saturday
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic tale of pornographers with delusions of talent provides us with several heart-wrenching characters, from Mark Wahlberg’s nice, well-endowed, but not-too-bright young man to Julianne Moore’s porn queen/mother hen. Set in the late 70s and early 80s, Boogle Nights tracks porn’s fall from gutter chic to soulless video. The excellent cast also includes Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. On a double bill with The Last Days of Disco, which I really need to see.
B+ The Miracle Worker, Castro, Tuesday
As Annie Sullivan, Anne Bancroft plays the proud and determined young teacher to perfection. But it’s the very young Patty Duke who gets the juicier part, even without dialog, as Helen Keller. Let’s face it: even if it wasn’t based on a true story that everyone knows, it would still be predictable. But so what? It’s still a touching story. On a very strange Patty Duke memorial double bill with Valley of the Dolls.
Lebowskies (frequently-revived classics):
- Princess Mononoke, New Parkway, opens Friday
- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Balboa, Saturday, 10:00am
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Pacific Film Archive, Saturday, 2:00
- Rocky Horror Picture Show, Guild, Saturday, 11:55pm
- The Shining, New Parkway, Tuesday, 8:45 MY BOOK VS. FILM ESSAY