Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler June 15-21: Finding Genius Intelligence

In Theaters.

This week we arrive at one of those eagerly-awaited (by many) movies (read: it’s the new Next Big Thing), another movie that I assume has some kind of audience, and an art title that has Asheville written all over it. It is this last that I have seen (twice) and have the most interest in.

I was glad to see that Marguerite got enough attention this past weekend to earn it a second weekend, but truthfully, it should have gotten more. You have a week to make up for lost time. Use it wisely. Remember, you’re not only supporting art films, but a local business.




The art title opening this week is Michael Grandage’s Genius — starting Friday (with a Thursday evening show at the Fine Arts at least) at Carolina Cinemark and Fine Arts Theatre. If you don’t know, this is the biographical drama about the relationship between writer Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) and his editor Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth) — with appearances by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce) and Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West). And it’s honestly very good. Now, you might want to know that, no, none of the film takes place in Asheville (apart from one brief bit that’s supposed to be Riverside Cemetery), but considering that it only covers 1929-1938 that’s hardly surprising. What makes the film so good, though, is that it has a genuinely literary — even poetic — feel that is rarely found in the movies. It’s intelligent and entertaining and certainly a film that’s worth your attention. (There will, of course, be complaints about accents, etc. There always are with this kind of film.)




First up in the unseen is Rawson Marshall Thurber’s Central Intelligence — doing that Friday-opening-with-Thursday-evening-shows thing at Carolina Cinemark, Epic of Hendersonville, Regal Biltmore Grande, UA Beaucatcher. I have to say that “Rawson Marshall Thurber” is a pretty high-toned name for a guy with a movie being advertised with, “Saving the World Takes a Little Hart and a Big Johnson.” OK, I grant you that that refers to the movie’s stars, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, but still…Anyway, this appears to be all about an accountant (Hart) becoming involved with an old classmate (Johnson), who has become a CIA agent and involved in some top secret spy stuff. You can probably take it from there — and you’re welcome to it.




The big deal this week is Disney-Pixar’s Finding Dory — starting Friday (with Thursday evening shows, yes) at Carmike 10, Carolina Cinemark, Co-ed of Brevard, Epic of Hendersonville, Regal Biltmore Grande. This, of course, is the inevitable sequel to the much-loved Finding Nemo (2003). The studio blurb says this “reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way.” Yes, that sounds — at least in the life-lessons department — like just about every animated film of the 21st century, but that’s not surprising. I have nothing against this (and with those grotesque creatures from the latest Ice Age movie looming at me on my computer screen as I write this, it looks even better), but neither am I wound up about it. Others will be.

We don’t really lose anything this week, though the Fine Arts is splitting Love & Friendship (1:20, 4:20) with The Lobster (7:20 — pre-empted on Wednesday and Thursday — and 9:40 late show on Friday and Saturday). Grail Moviehouse is holding Marguerite and Maggie’s Plan, while Carolina Cinemark is holding The Lobster, Love & Friendship and Maggie’s Plan.

Special Screenings




This week the Thursday Horror Picture Show shows William Cameron Menzies’ Invaders from Mars (1953) on June 16 at 7:30 the Grail Moviehouse (45 S. French Broad Ave.). World Cinema is showing Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes (1938) at 8 p.m. on Fri., June 17 at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). The Hendersonville Film Society is running the biopic Saving Mr. Banks (2013) Sunday, June 19, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement  Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. The Asheville Film Society is screening Stanley Donen’s Charade (1963) on Tuesday June 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Grail Moviehouse — note new time and new location. More on all titles in this week’s Xpress and in the online edition.


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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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30 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler June 15-21: Finding Genius Intelligence

  1. Big Al

    “There will, of course, be complaints about accents, etc. There always are with this kind of film.”

    As long as Colin Firth does not try that stupid “Texas” accent he affected in “Our Town”, I will survive. It was bad enough the hack job that movie made of my birthplace of Durham, but his accent added insult to injury.

    • Big Al

      Let me add that in spite of his accent faux pas, I still love Colin Firth.

      And Jude Law. And Guy Pearce. And Dominic West (Man-crush!). And Laura Linney.

      Nicole Kidman is OK.

      All these Brits and Aussies in a film about American literature. Weird.

    • Ken Hanke

      Wait a minute…when was Firth in Our Town and when was it set in Durham?

      • Edwin Arnaudin

        I think he means Main Street, which is set and was filmed in Bull City.

        • Ken Hanke

          I see. It’s Main Street, but it’s not Main Street by Sinclair Lewis, merely something by Horton Foote (a very far cry from Lewis) called Main Street

  2. Carl Baker

    It bears mentioning that the film “Genius” draws heavily from A. Scott Berg’s biography, “Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius.”

    • Ken Hanke

      Well, it’s interesting. Not sure what to make of it. It doesn’t look good enough to be really good, but it doesn’t look bad enough for burying it. An actual complete cut of it might tip it either way.

      • Yeah. It’s those things that are actually unseen or unknown that makes the mind curious. The fact that Lewis buried it all these years has added to the myth of this picture. It’s probably not as terrible as he thinks it is. I am completely fascinated by it, though. To make a musical comparison, it’s become the SMiLE (Beach Boys) of film. But we did finally get a completed SMiLE from Brian Wilson. I somehow doubt that Lewis ever revisits this…

        • Ken Hanke

          As it stands it reminds me of a friend’s reaction to finally seeing the legendarily awful Bob Hope-Katharine Hepburn movie The Iron Petticoat which was kept out of circulation for years — “This? This is it? I was expecting Ed Wood and got Robert Z. Leonard.”

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