Dear New Parkway Lover:
This week, we’re holding over two movies (Perks of Being a Wallflower and Holy Motors) and welcoming in two others (Flight, Killing Them Softly), and we’ve got lots of other special events, all happening at 474 24th Street in Oakland with info on line at www.thenewparkway.com . Please read what Adam’s got to say followed by info about First Friday and other goodies:
It is that time of year again. After gorging ourselves on copious amounts of food and drink, we make the pledge to live a better life and be healthier. You can almost imagine the smug, self-satisfied facial expressions on gym owners across the country. But life is all about balance. Or if you believe my workout DVD, strengthening your core (I always imagine it is my spine but I could be wrong). In these bleak, cold winter months it is important to replenish your emotional state as well. Seeing a movie at the New Parkway can deliver both. Great food (calories to fit any January restriction), delicious drinks and amazing movies. What are you waiting for? Dive in below for what movies we are enchanting you with this week.
Finally. After 10 years of spending (wasting) his time in digital animation, Robert Zemeckis is finally back where he belongs, directing live action movies. This is the man responsible for 'Back to the Future part 3', 'Forrest Gump', 'Death Becomes Her' and 'Contact'. If you don't like one of those movies, you are a hollow, soulless person like William H Macy in the Cooler. You instantly chill the room like a Dementor and happily suck the happiness and joy from everyone. Everyone else can rejoice that one of the finest directors in the world is back on top form.
The main attraction without question is Denzel Washington, on scintillating form. Yes, he does entertainingly stupid thrillers too often (Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, Unstoppable, Safehouse, the list goes on). But every so often he gets lucky. He is given the room and story to deliver a masterful performance that keeps you gripped until the very end. This is old-fashioned movie making at it's finest, deftly combining some exhilarating action with outstanding performances. Let's face it. We all love Denzel. If you don't love him, never admit it. Because people will dislike you and question your judgment. Now we can see him in an exceptional movie that appeals to all ages and genders.
Usually when you go to see a movie, you know exactly what you are getting. Sometimes the title explains the entire plot (Friends with Benefits, He's Just Not That Into You). The trailer handholds you through the story so there is almost no need to see the movie. There are very few surprises left in cinema. Romantic comedies (meet, fight, break up, re-union), Horror (ghost, ghoul, scary little girl is behind you), Tim Burton (Johnny Depp in heavy make up and Helena Bonham Carter). Very few movies come along that truly surprise anymore. Holy Motors is completely original.
One of the highest rated movies of the year (90% on Rotten Tomatoes), this gem is hard to describe. It's kind of a French road movie. It is completely surreal. It is really funny. Trying to describe the plot is like trying to explain the meaning of life. This is a movie that the UK newspapers fell in love with and they hate the French. Go in with an open mind and experience something new. You can be one of those 'interesting people' who goes to see French surrealist cinema but actually ends up thoroughly enjoying it.
Killing Them Softly
This comes highly recommended. With a caveat. Some people do not like movies to challenge them. That is not to say this movie is a challenge to watch because it is very entertaining, fast, and stylized. But is has some interesting commentary and viewpoints on America that some people will reject. That's fine. They can always watch 'Armageddon' when Bruce Willis personally saves the world, draped in an American flag.
Brad Pitt is just cool in this. Despite his incredibly cheesy perfume ads, he just oozes coolness in this movie. How he dresses. How he talks. How he acts. This is as close to Steve McQueen as you are going to get. This movie is very tense and if you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, this will probably send you over the edge. If you are on the verge, please stop checking email and seek help. Maybe check out 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' at the Parkway on the way there. It is funny, brutal and quite violent so don't pretend I did not warn you. It has James Gandolfini in it. He is as wonderful as you would expect.
Also, it is 90 minutes! Whatever happened to the 90 minute movie? Every self-indulgent film needs to be 2-3 hours now. Hollywood seems to think it's like an all-you-can-eat buffet and unless we eat to the point of self-hatred, we won't be happy. I love how fast and focused this movie is.
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Novelists are usually apprehensive when Hollywood pays them off and proceeds to butcher their beloved work. It is a rarity for novelists to write the screenplay for the movie and only once in a blue moon do they direct their screenplay. But Stephen Chbosky is the exception (and quite possibly an egomaniac) that proves the rule. Based on his best selling novel, this excellent coming-of-age high school movie stars Emma Watson (Hermione from Harry Potter is still in high school but way less annoying) and Logan Lerman (you probably know his face but won't be able to name previous movies).
Good high school movies are rare. This film 'captures the phenomenon of high school with all the tenderness and horror it deserves' (Film.com). It seems the only critics that disliked it were three Australians. But they were probably drunk on Fosters (wild stereotype of the week). Because it is one of the most critically adored movies of the year. Also as an added bonus, you get one of the best soundtracks of the year. I didn't realize there were so many good songs from the early 1990's. Or maybe this movie just includes all of them. So to recap: great story, funny script, excellent soundtrack, cold beer, tasty wine, succulent pizza and snacks. All in one place.
And now for the non-feature presentations at the theater…
First Friday—this Friday is the first of 2013, and our debut on the Art Murmur scene since we opened to the public. Come by to see us in our new home! Our doors will be open, free of charge, from 6-9PM, and we’ll be selling food, showing some shorts, and should have one of the best beer selections on the circuit. At 9PM, we’ll clear the houses, clean the place up a bit, and then show our feature films at 9:30 and 10:00, either for $6.
Sports Sunday—it’s NFL playoff time, and we’ll have football on the giant screen running from noon to 5 on Sunday. We’ll start with the second half of the Colts-Ravens game and then see the Seahawks-Redskins game in its entirety. A great way to see the game as we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday in HD Grande!
Documentary Tuesday—we’re also debuting our prime time documentary slot (how many other theaters can say that?) with the Brooklyn Reconstructed series. We had a sneak preview of the series last month and it totally sold out so get your advance tickets now for Lemonade: Detroit and My Brooklyn at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/307625. In fact, you can read all about the screenings through that link. Not to be missed!
Thrillville and Parkway Classics—Sunday at 6, we’ll be showing Blue Hawaii as part of Thrillville. Will will tell you all about it on Facebook. And on Thursday, don’t miss one of the all-time Parkway faves, Purple Rain, in which Prince will melt you with his looks and music. Buy advance tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/315031.
Queer Cinema—Have you been out to our Sunday afternoon Queer Cinema at the New Parkway? Its popularity is growing by the week and this Sunday, come check out “It Gets Messy In Here”. 3PM is the start time and you can read all about the film at: http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/it-gets-messy-in-here-a-review/.
Baby Brigade—Parents can finally come to the theater again, and bring their less than quiet child/children with them. This week we’re showing Flight, since Killing Them Softly would not have been the right choice for a movie with screaming childen. $6 for adults, crying little ones are free (though expected to be on your lap).
2 for 1 Wednesday—the name says it all. Included in this is…
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 which hopefully has all the latest and greatest (as should our home page).
A Note About Safety—We sadly had a report of someone having their car window broken while attending the New Parkway. Please be sure to not leave any valuables in your vehicle, and consider parking in one of the nearby lots (like the YMCA) if you prefer driving over public transportation. We hope that this will not be a growing trend, but want to encourage all theatergoers to take precautions when possible.
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We look forward to seeing you at the theater!