There's only one major movie release set to storm multiplexes this coming weekend -- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 -- and there's a lot of rain and sleet in the 7-day forecast, so don't even pretend you don't want to hole up and catch some offbeat movie selections this week. Here are some of the best bets (almost all of which coincidentally just happen to be screening at some of our favorite indie movie theaters in Minnesota).
Monday, April 28: The 39 Steps (Riverview Theater)
Take-Up and Riverview's Hitchcock festival continues this week with possibly his most famous and beloved British film. (Of the competition, only the original The Man Who Knew Too Much and the delightful The Lady Vanishes compare.) Plot twists are just the half of it. You can see just what made the future Master of Suspense's technique so attractive to Hollywood, who snapped him up within just a couple years and, well, the rest is history.
Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3: The Karate Kid (Uptown Theater)
The trials and tribulations of scrawny Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and his training by covert sensei Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita) may now be a staple of "You May Be A Child of the '80s If..." checklists, but beyond its eminently quotable "Wax on! Wax off!" interludes are the same moments of quiet underdog dignity that director John G. Avildsen's Rocky such a massive hit. (It doesn't hurt that the screenplay is tighter and fits ever so nicely within its contemporary context of John Hughes, Reagan-era triumphalism, et al.) Catch a midnight showing at the Uptown Theater this weekend, because nothing's ever gonna keep you down.
Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4: The Bridge on the River Kwai (Trylon Microcinema)
Adjusted for inflation, still among the highest-grossing best picture winners ever, and yet so very few people these days seem to have seen it. While maybe not quite a patch on David Lean's other big Oscar-winner from that period (the 1962 Lawrence of Arabia), there's still an impressive apparatus at work in this war epic, and an even more impressive bit of performance from Alec Guinness.
Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4: Next Look (Walker Art Center)
The first weekend of the Walker Art Center's "Next Look" series takes starts this upcoming Friday, and the weekend brings screenings of three movies fresh from Sundance, including Dear White People, Obvious Child, and Fishing Without Nets. I'll have a Q&A in a few days with the Walker's curator Sheryl Mousley about this year's selections, so keep an eye out.
Friday, May 2 through Thursday, May 8: Hateship Loveship (St. Anthony Main Theater)
Between this and The Skeleton Twins (which closed out the MSPIFF last weekend), it's certainly primetime for those who have been itching to see former Saturday Night Live comedienne Kristen Wiig flex her dramatic chops. Jonathon Sharp will review this one in full later this week.
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