RED WHITE & BLUE: CLASSICS FOR JULY 4TH
While a bunch of our favoeite spots will be taking a well earned break for the July 4th holiday, several will be playing some choice cuts themed on holiday weekends at the beach (Jaws), unchecked mega-patriotism (Team America) or the just plain terrible (Karate Cop). Here's our picks of movies for the night before and day of America's big backyard cook put, should you choose to spend it inside (plus a couple of picks across the pond, and down under);
Wed July 4th 6:25pm
TEAM AMERCIA: WORLD POLICE (2004 / 35mm Print)
Prince Charles Cinema, London UK
Perhaps the most appropriate is showing over in England, as the South Park creators savage the post 9/11 patriotism of America's goal for world peace (on their terms of course). This brilliant parody, in the style of Thunderbirds, is obscenely over the top and scathing as Team America send in their newest weapon, a famed actor, to round out the most elite anti-terror force in the world. "America! F*&k yeah!"
Tues July 3rd 2:55pm & 7pm
JAWS (1975 / DCP) plus DUEL (1971 / 35mm Print)
Castro Theatre, San Francisco CA
Back to back Spielberg classics with the obviously appropriate shark attack film, while Duel, Spielberg's first feature length film, is an unbelievably tense and ambiguous thriller of a man trying to outrun a merciless truck driver, hellbent on running him off the road.
Tues July 3rd 7:30pm
KARATE COP (1991 / DCP)
Hollywood Theatre, Portland OR
In the future, there is no law or order. Only John Travis - the last cop on Earth. Across a desolate land littered with ghost towns and haunted by desperate criminals, Travis and Rachel, a beautiful scientist he saves from marauding scavengers, search for a hidden crystal, a stone which will enable them to activate a dormant transporting device. In their frantic quest, they must defeat a gladiator killing machine in a martial arts blood match - a fight to the death. (Program notes by Hollywood Theatre)
Tues July 3rd 7:30pm
ALLIGATOR (1980 / 35mm scan) plus JAWS 5: CRUEL JAWS (1995 / Digital)
Texas Theatre, Dallas TX
First up is ALLIGATOR (1980) which will be shown via 35mm scan provided by the G William Jones archive at SMU. This is actually quite an entertaining film featuring the inimitable Robert Forster and ….. uhhhhh… Robin Riker I guess? This alligator is massive and it smashes the crap out of everything. Featuring the direction of Hollywood biggie Lewis Teague (CUJO, Jewel of the Nile, The Cat’s Eye) and a story and screenplay by Texas’ own John Sayles (Lone Star, Brother From Another Planet), this flick will satisfy all your deepest desires to see dummies get eaten by a 50-foot alligator.
After such a classy flick like Alligator, the Texas Theatre has no choice but to double up with one of our favorite sharksploitation movies that pretends to be a sequel to Jaws but isn’t, JAWS 5: CRUEL JAWS (1995). This film was directed by the “Italian Ed Wood” himself, Bruno Mattei. He is famous for ripping off not just music or stories, but actual footage from other movies and this film is no exception. One of the main characters looks like he was probably Hulk Hogan’s stunt double, there simply can’t be any other explanation for his hair and handlebar mustache. The dialogue in this movie is bizarre in its ineptitude, which is the hallmark of any Mattei flick. Y’all are gonna love it. (Program notes by Texas Theatre)
Tues July 3rd 7pm
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998 / DCP) plus FARGO (1996 / DCP)
Paramount Theatre, Austin TX
The magnificent Paramount in Austin presents a double bill of late 90s alternative comedies. Well, Fargo is most certainly of the more unsettling, dark comedy vibe.
Tues July 3rd 2pm & 7pm
THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954 / DCP)
Frida Cinema, Santa Ana CA
The Frida presents one of the most influential motion pictures of all time, which must be seen on the big screen. the simple premise of a village needing the protection of an elite group of warriors has been remade and retold many times (most notably as the western The Magnificent Seven in 1960) but Kurosawa's bold vision remains essential to this day.
Tues July 3rd 3pm, 5:30pm & 8pm
JAWS (1975 / DCP)
Frida Cinema, Santa Ana CA
It's the film that changed the summer blockbuster forever! Fraught with production problems including a rather uncooperative mechanical shark, Spielberg took the master stroke of building unbearable tension but what you don't see. Still brilliant.
Tues July 3rd 9:30pm
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988 / 35mm Print)
Alamo Drafthouse, New York City
This movie has a great title. But it’s a little vague. It’s like saying FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: BLOODY KNIFE. A more fitting title would be FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: CARRIE WHITE GOES TO THERAPY BECAUSE OF HER TELEKINESIS WHILE JASON WALKS AROUND AND KILLS PEOPLE AND THEN JASON FIGHTS CARRIE AT THE END. See? That title is so good! Now you’re stoked to see this movie!! And that’s before we even told you that it was directed by goop-master John Carl Beuchler. Or that Bernie from WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S stars as a doctor who loses his shit every five minutes. Or that this movie finds Jason ripping apart the most righteous group of teen party animals since FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER. You’re welcome! (Joseph A. Ziemba for Alamo Drathouse)
Wed July 4th 7:30pm
BOTTLE ROCKET (1996 / DCP)
Astor Theatre, Melbourne Australia
Wes Anderson's debut film. Upon his release from a mental hospital following a nervous breakdown, the directionless Anthony joins his friend Dignan, who seems far less sane than the former. Dignan has hatched a hare-brained scheme for an as-yet-unspecified crime spree that somehow involves his former boss, the (supposedly) legendary Mr. Henry. With the help of their pathetic neighbor and pal Bob, Anthony and Dignan pull a job and hit the road, where Anthony finds love with motel maid Inez. When our boys finally hook up with Mr. Henry, the ensuing escapade turns out to be far from what anyone expected. (Program notes by Astor Theatre)
Tues July 3rd & Wed July 4th 7pm
THE HIT (1984 / 35mm Print)
Metrograph, New York City
Screening followed by a conversation with Terence Stamp and a signing of his memoir, The Ocean Fell into the Drop. The cream of English screen acting is on display in Frears’ auspicious, underseen sophomore feature, in which turncoat gangster Terence Stamp is ferreted out of hiding in his Spanish villa by two hitmen—old pro John Hurt and young hothead Tim Roth, taking their quarry on the road while police inspector Fernando Rey follows in hot pursuit, acquiring firebrand Laura del Sol, and a heavy load of problems, along the way. A standout in Metrograph’s recent Stamp retrospective, which was only missing the man and legend himself—and guess who’s coming to introduce this screening, and sticking around to sign copies of The Ocean Fell into the Drop, his marvelous new memoir? (Program notes by Metrograph)
Wed July 4th 7:30pm
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998 / 35mm Print)
Dryden Theatre, Rochester NY
A US Army captain (Tom Hanks) leads a mission to rescue a GI trapped behind enemy lines in France on D-Day after all three of the soldier’s brothers are killed in action. As the search commences, the close-knit squad sets out through areas still thick with Nazis. This revolutionary picture raised a bar in depicting savagery of war and established itself as a modern classic within days after its release in July 1998, with critics praising it as “searing, heartbreaking, so intense it turns your body into a single tube of clenched muscle, this is simply the greatest war movie ever made, and one of the great American movies” (Washington Post), a “soberly magnificent . . . ultimate devastating letter home” (New York Times) and “a harrowing World War II epic about the struggle to uphold decency in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, the visual masterwork finds Spielberg atop his craft, weaving heart-pounding action and gut-wrenching emotion—often during the same sequence—that will leave viewers silently shaken. (The Hollywood Reporter via Dryden Theatre)
Wed July 4th 6pm
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978 / Digital)
Syndicated, Brooklyn NY
A remake of the unquestionably terrifying and memorable 1955 version, the late 70s production comes across as stark and chilling thanks to the aesthetic of movies from the era. Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) takes his friend's (Brooke Adams) complaint of her husband's rather odd behavior as a relationship breakdown of sorts, but the behavior begins to manifest in others around him. As a writer (Jeff Goldblum) and his wife (Veronica Cartwright) come across a terrifying discovery, the clock begins to tick as Bennell must work quickly as a silent alien threat manifests exponentially across the city. A perfect analogy for the current immigrant phobia perpetrated by white America, the film was originally a cautionary tale against communism in its original 1955 version.