Dear New Parkway Lover:
Lots of great stuff coming up at the New Parkway (474 24th Street, www.thenewparkway.com) in the upcoming week, including:
•The 49ers playoff game on Saturday, and five hours of Sports Sunday on…Sunday
•The debut of the New Parkway Family Classics, a Saturday 11AM-1PM lunchtime program, this week featuring ET. Preview screening the day before—Friday—at 4PM.
•Doubling the Baby Brigade fun, with one early showing at 4:30 and then a “later” showing at 6:30. Come with babies or without.
•An encore presentation of the sold out Brooklyn Reconstructed, 4:45 on Saturday, looking at gentrification and urban development in Detroit and NYC.
Check our website for listings on these and all other programs. Now for Adam’s take on our features:
It's a fresh new week and we have some excellent new movies to cheer you up on a dreary January evening. You are going to be pining for movies of this quality when the post Oscar dump-pile of movies comes rolling in around February. You are truly spoiled for choice. Every one of these movies should be featured in the Oscars next month (no guarantees- Cuba Gooding Jr is an Oscar winner so literally anyone can be nominated). So without further delay let's dig into this week's selection of masterpieces that you can enjoy in sumptuous surroundings with delightful treats at the Parkway.
Life of Pi
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.
Has Hollywood ever made a grown up movie about sex? Watching Fatal Attraction when I was fifteen made a lifetime impression on me. I vowed never to cheat on my wife. Or if I did, I would never give my real name and do it in a foreign city. The Sessions is the one of the first movies to deal with sex in a grown up, mature and funny way. This is a real crowd-pleaser. If you were to tell me a movie about a paralyzed poet hiring a sex surrogate to lose his virginity would be a real crowd-pleaser last year, I would call you a filthy liar. But wonders never cease and this really is one of the best movies of the year.
I love John Hawkes. You might know him as Sol (Bullock's friend) on 'Deadwood'. Or a meth addict in 'Winter's Bone'. Or Dustin Powers on 'Eastbound and Down'. He is wonderful in this movie. Expect a similar career trajectory as Phillip Seymour Hoffman with Oscar buzz building with each movie. He is expertly supported by Helen Hunt (in award winning form) and William H Macy (always good in everything- Jurassic Park 3 being the exception that proves the rule). You might think this isn't the best movie to bring your mother in law or first date to, but you would be wrong. Just don't tell them what it's about before you go or you might end up looking like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver inviting Cybill Shepherd to a porno movie. They will be pleasantly surprised.
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 of the other stuff:
New Parkway Family Classics—This is a new Saturday lunchtime feature (preview showing on Friday afternoons) of a family-friendly classic. We’re kicking it off with E.T., and what young person—and adult—wouldn’t want to see it and then say “phone home” in a raspy voice for the next week. Get your tickets at the theater or online at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/316389.
Sports Sunday—it’s NFL playoff time, and we’ll have football on the giant screen running from noon to 5 on Sunday. That means one and a half games for a simple $5 minimum food/drink purchase. It’s really big and really HD. Don’t miss it, or the 49ers game on Saturday at 5PM.
Brooklyn Reconstructed—this sells out every time, so come check out an amazing documentary showing for the second time (since scores of people were turned away at the door). More info and advance tickets available at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/307625.
Documentary Tuesday—our second Tuesday event—after the sold-out first one—will be our presentation of This is Not a Film, a clandestine documentary that got rave reviews. Read about it and get advance tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/315820.
Thrillville—on Sunday night at 6PM, we’re presenting Forbidden Planet as part of Thrillville Theater. It’s Will the Thrill's favorite sci-fi flick, an all-time classic and reportedly the inspiration for "Star Trek"; loosely based on William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" except it has Robby the Robot, monsters from the Id, futuristic/midcentury modern decor, Leslie Nielsen (of "Naked Gun") trying not to be funny, and Anne "Honey West" Francis wearing skimpy but sparkly space dresses, which makes all the difference.
Parkway Classics—every Parkway Classic has sold out so get your advance tickets for The Goonies, a crowd-pleasing favorite with ageless appeal about a gang of typical fun-loving '80s kids who find a treasure map and embark on a thrilling hunt for hidden pirate booty; directed by Richard Donner ("Superman"), written by Steven Spielberg ("Raiders of the Lost Ark," etc etc etc) and Chris Columbus, the guy who wrote "Gremlins" and two "Harry Potter" movies, not the explorer guy who allegedly discovered America. He gets enough credit already. Advance tix at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/316216.
Queer Cinema—Come out at 3PM for another great showing of Spectrum Queer Cinema. Details at: http://www.spectrumqueermedia.com/
Double Baby Brigade—Two showings for Baby Brigade next week, 4:30 for Hitchcock and 6:30 for the Life of Pi. We only had a handful of babies show up last week and we need a good crowd to keep this offering going. So we’re hoping that a choice of two times will work out for everyone. Come on out and support.
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 or our home page with synopsies.
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