Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler March 11-17: Cinderella Walks Home Alone All Night

In Theaters.

We only get three movies this week. One of them is seemingly much anticipated. One is more likely to be shunned. And the third…goodness knows what you’ll make of it.

But before we get down to those, I think it’s worth pausing to give a nod to Asheville moviegoers for not only making The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the number one movie in town — OK, so it’s not a great movie, it still was a lot better than the other new options — but for getting out there and supporting such offbeat fare as What We Do in the Shadows. It’s this kind of thing that helps keep Asheville an art film destination — far in excess of other, bigger cities.

 

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This week we only get one art title — and it’s only getting two shows a day. The film is Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. It opens on Friday at The Carolina and plays only at 8:10 and 10:25 p.m. I’ve seen it — twice — and, in fact, gave it “Weekly Pick” in this week’s Xpress. So why is it only getting two shows a day? Well, despite my enthusiasm for it, and the fact that it has a 96 percent “approval” rating (66 positive vs. three negative reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s no denying that it is a specialized film for specialized audiences. After all, this is an arty black-and-while vampire picture in Persian with English subtitles — yet it was made in the U.S. with Taft, California playing the fictional town of Bad City, Iran. And, yes, it’s as offbeat as that sounds. It’s a dreamlike movie that doesn’t entirely work, but often does — and is always fascinating. It’s only being made available here by the theater’s commitment to make worthy — not always commercial — movies available to Asheville moviegoers. You can read my review in this week’s paper.

 

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The big deal movie of the week is Kenneth Branagh’s live action Cinderella — the latest in Disney’s apparent commitment to rework past animated glories as regular movies with real people. The interesting thing here is that this one appears to be non-revisionist, which is kind of refreshing. (Maybe the idea is that Into the Woods was enough Cinderella revision for a while.) And it’s expected to rake in $60-70 million this weekend. I confess — despite strong early reviews, Branagh directing, and the presence of Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett — I’m having a hard time getting jazzed about it. Considering, it’s being called visually beautiful — born out by the stills — I live in hope that that heavily blue and orange trailer does not represent the actual movie.

 

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There are, of course, no early reviews for Run All Night — the latest Liam Neeson action movie. (Didn’t we just have one?) Even the presence of Ed Harris does little to boost my interest in this. I’ve only seen two Jaume Collet-Serra pictures — House of Wax (2005) and Orphan (2009) — and they didn’t exactly make me want to follow his career.This marks his third Neeson actioner. This one has something to do with hit-man Neeson and his son (Joel Kinnaman) trying to get away from a crime boss (I’m guessing that’s Harris). For some unknown reason, this is said to run a whopping 114 minutes on what appears to be 80 minutes of plot.

This week we lose both Birdman (come on it’s been playing over three months and is on DVD) and Whiplash. One day distributors might learn that their Oscar-boost is diminished when the movie is already out on DVD. No, no they won’t.

Special Screenings

 

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This week the Thursday Horror Picture Show has Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977) at 8 p.m. on Thu., Mar. 12 in Theater Six at The Carolina. World Cinema is running Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949) on Fri., Mar. 13 at 8 p.m. in the Railroad Library in the Phil Mechanic Building. The Hendersonville Film Society is screening James Stewart in Henry Koster’s Harvey (1950) on Sun., Mar. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville. The Asheville Film Society has John Ford’s personal favorite of his films The Sun Shines Bright (1953) on Tue., Mar. 17 at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina. More on all titles in this week’s paper — with full reviews in the online edition.

On DVD

This week seems to consist of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

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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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25 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler March 11-17: Cinderella Walks Home Alone All Night

    • Ken Hanke

      You are correct. For some reason, we’ve rarely done more than list most of their special screenings. Then again, I assure you, no one wants to hear my opinion of Amadeus.

  1. Sally Sefton

    “It’s this kind of thing that helps keep Asheville an art film destination — far in excess of other, bigger cities.”

    I think you are a large part of this. You have nurtured an audience for these films that would not draw in other cities. Asheville is lucky to have you bringing so many otherwise forgotten films and this has helped to create a much more sophisticated audience I am quite sure. ( hoping you won’t argue with me on this.)

    • Ken Hanke

      I won’t really argue with you, though I think you my position is not quite that exalted, since the Fine Arts was an established theater before I was here and there was an art film series (on Sunday mornings, of all things) called Cinematique earlier than that. In fact, one of the reasons I moved here was finding a theater downtown that was showing Gods and Monsters and was bringing in The Third Man when I visited in the spring of ’99. There was already a market (maybe not as big) and I was a good fit. (Some would argue that.) By now — after almost 15 years — I have certainly had some kind of impact and influence, but I’d never say I created the art film market. Enhanced it maybe. Shaped it somewhat? Okay, but the audiences made it possible.

    • Me

      Yeah, I think Ken and Mountain Xpress are a big part of keeping Asheville an art film destination , God help Asheville when he retires.

  2. “It’s this kind of thing that helps keep Asheville an art film destination — far in excess of other, bigger cities.”

    To me, this has been the most pleasant discovery about Asheville since moving here five years ago. I would never have guessed such a good selection of art films came here (along with the AFS offerings), basically assuming the complete opposite.

    • Ken Hanke

      Having come from a cultural wilderness — you have to experience Fort Pierce, Fla. to believe it — I was careful in the selection of my next move.

  3. Edwin Arnaudin

    I’ve only seen two Jaume Collet-Serra pictures — House of Wax (2005) and Orphan (2009) — and they didn’t exactly make me want to follow his career.

    The only of his films I’ve seen is Non-Stop – a well-made action flick that’s compelling until the inevitable “bad guys reveal their motivations” speech.

  4. Xanadon't

    This trend of offbeat vampire films can continue for as long as it pleases! The more diluted Twilight‘s presence within vampire mythology becomes the better.

    Did Birdman set any records for longest run at Carolina? I know it doesn’t touch the Midnight in Paris streak over at Fine Arts, but wow it’s been nice to see such a deserving film hang around for so long.

    • Ken Hanke

      Actually, Midnight in Paris was at The Carolina longer than at the Fine Arts. Grand Budapest must have been about as long a run as Birdman. I prefer not to think how long that dumb food truck movie lasted.

      • Edwin Arnaudin

        I prefer not to think how long that dumb food truck movie lasted.

        It never happened. I repeat: It. Never. Happened.

  5. DrSerizawa

    Time for a big shot of incoherence on the horror front, eh?

    • Ken Hanke

      I wouldn’t call it incoherence. It’s just really odd. It makes sense within its own context. By this I mostly mean it’s not in the least hard to follow.

  6. Xanadon't

    Ken’s favorite film from last year just landed on Netflix.

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