Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler September 30-October 6: Sleeping with the Sicario Martian

In Theaters.  OK, here it is — the first week of the real fall movie season and we have one mainstream release, one expanding to mainstream art title and one little art title of some note which is likely to be crushed under the combined weight of those two. That’s assuming it isn’t already going […]

New Movie Releases

Starring: John Wood, Shannon Whisnant, Marian Lytle, Tom Lytle, Peg Wood, Lisa Whisnant

Finders Keepers

The Story: The thoroughly preposterous — but true — story of the battle over possession of an amputated foot. The Lowdown: Every bit as strange as it sounds, the film is at once very funny, yet strangely moving and even tragic.
Starring: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, Khushal Yousafzai, Atal Yousafzai

He Named Me Malala

The Story: Straightforward, informational documentary on Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in her native Pakistan. The Lowdown: At once solid — as concerns the basic story — and disappointingly insubstantial — as concerns creating a portrait of its famous subject. It's mostly a thumbnail sketch, made reasonably worthwhile by the…
Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, Daniel Kaluuya, Jon Bernthal


The Story: A naive FBI agent is thrust into the corrupt world of the drug wars. The Lowdown: Despite being well-made and well-acted (and all the art house accolades it has received), this is essentially just another violent crime drama straining — and failing — to be a significant statement.
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristin Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Donald Glover

The Martian

The Story: Matt Damon as a man stranded on Mars fighting for survival and hoping for a rescue.  The Lowdown: A grandly entertaining film on every level. It's smart, funny, suspenseful, clever and beautifully acted. Is it profound? Not really, but it's such great entertainment that it hardly matters.
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale

The Walk

The Story: A dramatic retelling of Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The Lowdown: A glossy, but unnecessary, retread of a story told more effectively (and affectingly) seven years ago.

Special Screenings This Week

Starring: Barbara Kent, Glenn Tryon, Fay Holderness, Gusztav Partos, Eddie Phillips, Andy Devine


In Brief: I first read about Paul Fejos’ Lonesome (1928) when I was in high school — a rather long time ago. I don’t remember the book, but I do remember that the film sounded like something I wanted to see, just from the story. I’ve always been drawn to movies with simple stories that are built on…
Starring: Jason Robards, Britt Eckland, Norman Wisdom, Forrest Tucker, Harry Andrews, Joseph Wiseman

The Night They Raided Minsky’s

In Brief: The Night They Raided Minsky’s (1968) is a surprisingly pleasant early William Friedkin film that (like any number of movies editor Ralph Rosenblum tried to take credit for “saving”) works far better than so many films trying to depict the 1920s. Oh, the music isn’t exactly period, and the sleaze factor of burlesque is…
Starring: Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer, Ving Rhames, Bill Cobbs, Kelly Jo Minter

The People Under the Stairs

In Brief: The Thursday Horror Picture Show's second film in their tribute to Wes Craven is his often-overlooked and undervalued (and most political) film, The People Under the Stairs (1991). Because of their already-somewhat-outsider — even disreputable — status, it’s not that uncommon to find horror films pretty fearless in what they’ll explore in terms of subtext. Distributors…
Starring: Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitta Pettersson

The Virgin Spring

In Brief: Highly regarded, but little loved, Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1960) was a title the director himself seems to have had little fondness for. I tend to agree with that. The fact that it was successfully marketed on the exploitation value of its story — rape and revenge — should perhaps tell you…