Dear New Parkway Lover:
We’ve got four features, one big football game, scantily clad dancers at midnight, an Obama inauguration, Thrillville, double Baby Brigade, family movies, and Spectrum Queer Cinema. Here’s what Adam has to say about our features:
The Awards season has fully kicked off with the Golden Globes out of the way. Watching Tommy Lee Jones gazing at Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig with murderous hate as they made fun of 'Hope Springs' made the overall self-congratulation and out-of-control egotism easier to watch. I am not sure if actors realize we don't care about their managers, agents, or family (unless they fawn over their spouse only to divorce a week later). They should be forced to describe who they had to back-stab for the role. I did quite like how Jennifer Lawrence could not resist rubbing in her victory with gleeful joy with 'I beat Meryl Streep'. Not 'I don't deserve to be here with these nominees', blah blah blah. I beat Meryl Streep so suck it losers. Awesome. Here are the movies for this week…
This is 40
I'll be honest. If you have never liked a Judd Apatow movie this is not going to change your mind. If you found yourself grinning or laughing to '40 Year old Virgin', or 'Knocked up', this will be right down your alley. If you liked the first half of 'Funny People' but found the last hour weird, meandering and somewhat depressing, this might not be down your alley but it's certainly on your block. 'This is 40' is as close to auto-biographical as you can get. It stars Apatow's real wife (Leslie Mann in her best role in years), and kids. Paul Rudd (very hard to dislike although 'I Love You, Man' pushed me to the edge) is the husband dealing with life at 40.
Once you get over the fact that 'This is 40' is for wealthy, privileged yuppies, this is a funny, thoroughly enjoyable movie. It has a wonderfully diverse supporting cast including Melissa McCarthy, Albert Brooks, Lena Dunham and John Lithgow. If you are young, you can get a snapshot of what life may be like in 20 years (hair starts growing everywhere if you are a guy). This was also supposed to be out last summer but it was moved to make room for 'Snow White and the Huntsman'. So another reason to hold a lifetime grudge against Kristen Stewart.
Did you find 'An Inconvenient Truth' a gripping documentary on the effects of climate change? Did you find Al Gore to be really fat from the last time you saw him as Vice President? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, the perfect follow-up is here. Acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Through beautiful time capture video, he takes you on a great adventure that needs to be seen to be believed (unless as a kid you believed in the Easter Bunny- then you are just gullible).
This outstanding documentary currently has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the only detractors are the San Francisco Chronicle (pretty sure they are owned by the Koch brothers) and a website called 'Little White Lies' (the name itself is evil). So if you drive a Prius (or considered buying one) you owe it to yourself and humanity to see this movie and spread the word. It is both gorgeous and gripping and definitely worth a watch.
Life Of Pi
This got 11 Oscar nominations. Need I say more? What's that you say? 'Chicago' got 13 nominations. An Oscar nomination isn't worth the paper it's printed on? That might be a bit harsh. There are plenty of movies that are fully deserving of their nominations and awards. 'Life of Pi' is one of them. See below for my write up from last week:
It turns out Tom Hanks in 'Castaway' was a bit of a whiny baby. He got to 'survive' on a tropical island with delicious fruit and a cell phone that did not work and ocean views. Most people would pay for this luxury. Pi has to survive in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a boat with a man-eating tiger. I think we all think less of Tom Hanks now. Based on the best selling Booker prize-winning novel, Ang Lee's movie successfully takes you on a journey you have never been before.
Without question, it is a visual wonder, indulging you with scenes of absolute beauty. It also takes you on a spiritual journey. In 2010 Barack Obama wrote to the novel's author describing Life of Pi as "an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling". But then again, he is a politician and might have been looking for some votes. Ang Lee definitely does the book justice. Skilfully weaving everything together, this is one you don't want to miss on the big screen.
Also continuing this week is 'Hitchcock' in a limited number of shows. So this is your last chance to see Anthony Hopkins in delicious form while eating delicious pizza in a movie theater. More info below:
Every few years, movies about very similar topics come out within months of each other. 'Armageddon' and 'Deep Impact'. 'Antz' and 'A Bug's Life'. 'Capote' and 'Infamous'. Skip, skip, watch, skip, watch, watch. Fortunately this year, we get two quality movies on Alfred Hitchcock. 'The Girl' was broadcast on HBO late last year and delved into the making of 'The Birds'. It is excellent and well worth checking out if you are a HBO subscriber. 'Hitchcock' focuses on the making of 'Psycho' with Anthony Hopkins in the title role. In Hannibal Lector form, he eats it up and delivers his best performance in years.
He has some talented support as well with Helen Mirren giving one of the best performances this year. It's also a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at one of the scariest movies ever made and how 'Psycho' became his biggest hit. If you have never seen 'Psycho' I would highly recommend you seek it out. Before you watch 'Hitchcock'. You don't want any spoilers for this one. If we don't support older actors working in film, we are going to get more Kristen Stewart movies. A lot more. So let's support good movies and diminish the possibility of a 'Twilight' reboot franchise.
And now for some info about all of the other stuff going on this week at the theater:
Burlesque-- We've got burlesque on Saturday night at midnight. I don't even know what burlesque is though it seems like it involves some dancing women. And I'm told this dancing will take place with movies in the background, which sounds apropos since we are, after all, a movie theater. $10 at midnight gets you in for the show. Advance tickets also available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/318288
Spectrum Queer Cinema—Join us for the award winning “Mosquita y Mari”. See this amazing film, with director Aurora Guerrero in person, Sunday at 3PM. Advanced tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/307627.
Inauguration Breakfast— We'll open our doors at 8AM for viewing of the festivities from Washington DC, see Obama getting sworn in for his second term, and then listen to his presidential address to the nation. Breakfast will be served (omnivore, veggie, vegan, and gluten-free options) and is included in the $15 price of admission. For a full choice of breakfast offerings, you must buy your advance ticket at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/318861.
49ers Playoff Game—Come root on the Niners (or the Falcons) in the NFC Championship game, live from Atlanta. Game starts at around noon with doors opening at 11. We’ll have our full menu and won’t run out of beer gas this time around. $10 entry includes one drink coupon. The game sold out last week so consider getting your advance tickets online at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/318857.
New Parkway Family Classics—This is a new Saturday lunchtime feature (preview showing on Friday afternoons) of a family-friendly classic. This week, we’re showing Madagascar. Yay! Hope to see you on Friday at 4 or on Saturday at 11AM.
Thrillville—On the 20th at 6PM, Thrillville Theater presents the all-time fantasy classic JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) with masterful stop motion special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. Skeleton fight!
Parkway Classics—will the string of sold-out shows continue? If so, we’ll be adding a second show, about a half an hour later so bring on the pre-sales. This week’s offering is Raiders of the Lost Ark. Will the Thrill's Parkway Classics presents Steven Spielberg's original, iconic adventure classic RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981), Harrison Ford's first gig as Indiana Jones. Whip it, whip it good. Advance tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/318389.
Double Baby Brigade—Two showings of Baby Brigade next Monday, 4:30 and 6:30PM. Great showing last week at 6:30 but 4:30 could really use a bunch more babies. So come on out for some adult fun with baby in tow. All ages welcome! Check the schedule for what’s playing this week.
2 for 1 Wednesday—Every Wednesday, two people for the price of one. Included in this are…
Senior Special—a special 3:30 showing (or approximately that) geared towards the senior crowd, but open to everyone.
Afterschool Special—since school gets out early on Wednesdays in Oakland, we hope that students will come join us for a 4PM showing of a teen-friendly movie. And at 2 for 1 prices, perhaps the whole family would like to attend.
For the full schedule, please check out: http://thenewparkway.com/schedule.php, or our home page with a synopsis of all of our current offerings.
Mailing List Removal—if you’ve had enough of this and want to be removed from the list, please do so at: http://thenewparkway.com/unsubscribe.php