Starring: Henrik Malberg, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Birgitte Federspiel, Cay Kristiansen


In Brief: It is sobering to realize that Ordet (1955) — a film about madness, religious intolerance, a stillborn child, death and maybe a miracle — is probably Carl Theodore Dreyer's sunniest film. That says a lot about Dreyer's filmography, and while I do not doubt his greatness or his importance as a filmmaker, he's…
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehreneich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum

Hail, Caesar!

The Story: Studio head and "fixer" Eddie Mannix tries to hold things together — and keep them out of the papers — when a big star is kidnapped. The Lowdown: The Coen Brothers in a gleefully playful mood with a film that at once spoofs and honors the last days of the old Hollywood. It's…
Starring: Michael Moore

Where to Invade Next

The Story: Michael Moore goes on a world tour to see how other countries handle education, health care, banking, business, etc. — in search of ideas to bring back to the U.S.  The Lowdown: Lighter than usual Moore documentary that operates in a unusually upbeat manner for the usually more provocative filmmaker.
la ronde
Starring: Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret, Simone Simon, Danielle Darrieux, Fernand Gravey, Isa Miranda

La Ronde

In Brief: Stylistically, the films of Max Ophuls are certainly of a piece, in a similar tone of voice. All of them could be summed up with the same phrase used by the narrator (Anton Walbrook) of La Ronde (1950) when he explains that the story is set in 1900 Vienna: "I adore the past. It is…
Man and the Monster, The (1959)_034
Starring: Enrique Rambal, Abel Salazar, Martha Roth, Ofelia Guilmáin, Ana Laura Baledon

The Man and the Monster

In Brief: Long on atmosphere, short on logic, and generally a lot of fun — either despite or because of one of the dumbest werewolf makeup designs ever — The Man and the Monster (1959) is fairly typical of Mexican horror films of the late 1950s and early 1960s. These movies were given short shrift for…
Starring: Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott, Dorothy Lamour, Elizabeth Patterson, Raymond Walburn, Charles Bickford, Akim Tamiroff

High, Wide and Handsome

In Brief: The AFS tried to run this last year, but the weather was against it. Maybe there'll be better luck this time. ... Rouben Mamoulian did his most important work at Paramount, but he left the studio in 1933. In 1937, he came back for one more film: the little-seen and mostly forgotten High, Wide and…
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Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler February 10-16: How to Invade Zoolander Deadpool Next

In Theaters. This week’s Next Big Thing would seem to be wisecracking, R-rated superhero I freely admit to never having heard of prior to this movie. But there’s also the new Michael Moore documentary, a sequel I’m not sure anyone asked for, and something I’m pretty sure nobody asked for. While the Coen Brothers’ latest […]

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David Thewlis, Devon Bostick, Aaron Ashmore, Dale Dickey


The Story: A detective investigating a child abuse case uncovers what appears to be a far-reaching Satanic cult. The Lowdown: By no means the disaster (at least artistically) it's been painted as, this is an unusual horror movie — one that critiques and subverts its own genre, and one that seems to alienate a lot of…
Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells, David Sibley, Sam Alexander

45 Years

The Story: A marriage of 45 years is threatened by the shadows of events that preceded it. The Lowdown: Deliberately paced and relying heavily on the viewer to pick up on nuance, but paying big dividends for those open to it. Charlotte Rampling fully deserves that Oscar nomination, but so did the overlooked Tom Courtenay.
Starring: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Angie Dickinson, Richard Conte, Joey Bishop, Akim Tamiroff

Ocean’s 11

In Brief: Quite the best thing about the 1960 Ocean's 11 is that it formed the basis for Steven Soderbergh's 2001 Ocean's Eleven. That's a statement that's likely to wring the withers of fans of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, but the truth is the original movie just plain isn't very good, unless you're…
Starring: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison, Tommy Bupp

It’s a Gift

In Brief: Generally considered — along with The Bank Dick (1940) — the best of W.C. Fields' movies, It's a Gift (1934) presents the Great Man as Harold Bissonette (pronounced Biss-o-nay), the owner of a small grocery store in Wappinger Falls, N.J. His great dream is to own an "orange ranch" in California, something that…
Starring: James LeGros, Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm, Paua Irvine, Samantha Phillips

Phantasm II

In Brief: In honor of the late Angus Scrimm, best known for playing "The Tall Man" in this series, the Thursday Horror Picture Show is running Don Coscarelli's Phantasm II. This is one of those rare sequels that's as good as — in some ways better than — the original. In fact, the only thing…
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Fred Willard, Mike Epps, Affion Crockett, Jane Seymour, Florence Henderson

Fifty Shades of Black

The Story: An attempt at a parody of last year's Fifty Shades of Grey. The Lowdown: So spectacularly unfunny that it makes the movie it's trying to spoof look like a "laff riot." A strong contender for worst of the year. Very strong.
Starring: (Voices) Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, James Hong, J.K. Simmons, Jackie Chan

Kung Fu Panda 3

The Story: Po the Panda must find his inner "chi" to defeat a new threat. The Lowdown: Great to look at and blessed with clever lines and a reasonable amount of warmth, this latest series entry nonetheless shows signs of fatigue before it's over.
Starring: Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg, David Gulpilil, John Meillon, Robert McDarra


In Brief: This is a makeup showing for the Jan. 22 screening that fell prey to the snow. Prior to Walkabout (1971) Nicolas Roeg had co-directed (with Donald Cammell) only one film, the astonishing Performance, so a good deal was riding on the cinematographer-turned-filmmaker’s second outing. Could Roeg pull off a solo film? Indeed, he could. In…
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Rufus Sewell

The Holiday

In Brief: Just why this is being run is a concern quite beyond my comprehension. Saying this is the best (read: least obnoxious) film in Nancy Meyers' oeuvre is one of those judgment calls on a par with picking the best Martin and Lewis picture. Any way you look at it you lose. One thing I…
Starring: Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Leopoldo Trieste, Riccardo Fellini, Leonora Ruffo

I Vitelloni

In Brief: Long before Judd Apatow turned the 30-something-man-boy into a cottage industry (in fact, long before Apatow was even born), Federico Fellini made I Vitelloni (1953), which remains probably the best such look at emotionally stunted males. It's a film that has been all but overlooked because of the fame of Fellini's La Strada…
Starring: David Bowie, Candy Clark, Rip Torn, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey

The Man Who Fell to Earth

In Brief: To mark the passing of David Bowie, the Asheville Film Society is showing Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Despite the fact that this is every inch a Nicolas Roeg film, it is also a film that is unthinkable with anyone other than Bowie. The film is based on a…
Starring: Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan, Russell Johnson, Leslie Bradley, Mel Welles

Attack of the Crab Monsters

In Brief: Roger Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) is a perfect — and perfectly enjoyable — example of the type of movie that was being churned out in the late 1950s. Surprisingly, it's also frequently stylish and has a remarkably well-written screenplay. Bear in mind, however, that we’re talking well-written within the context of movies about…