Dear New Parkway Lover:
My apologies to all of you longtime readers who have put up with my overly wordy writing AND my lack of proper web-linking etiquette. Leave it to dedicated reader, Melissa Smith, to straighten me out and teach me how to hyperlink. So now you’ll still get the diarrhea of the keyboard but it will all now have a much cleaner look to it. Thank you, Melissa. I’ve actually been wanting to learn how to do this for a while, so here goes…
In addition to letting you know the highlights for the week, I’m also going to put in a plug for several other March events for which you’ll want to get advance tickets. As for this week, be sure to check out:
•Birdemic Tomorrow—Have you ever seen something that is so phenomenal that words betray it? Birdemic is that thing. Birdemic is that event, the one you don’t want to miss, the one you’ll tell your grandchildren about, when you were here at the New Parkway for the first showing. I’d heard about things being so bad that they’re good, but until seeing this, I was not a believer. This has everything! The writing, the editing, the cinematography, the scantily clad foxy woman, the Bay Area connection. This is the next great thing. Be there!
•The Waiting Room and Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary are back for another week after full houses and guest speakers in week 1.
•Encore screening on Saturday at 4:45 of the very powerful Flag Wars as part of the Brooklyn Reconstructed Series.
•Burlesque on Saturday at midnight. Movies, music, pasties…this is good stuff. Advance tickets here!
•Return of the FREE Appreciating Diversity Film Series on Tuesday night, this month showing Lives Worth Living.
•Quick reminder that we’ve got awesome and mostly free café activities every Monday through Thursday nights. We’re having a great response to our live music on Mondays, 6-9PM (beer tasting could use some more tasters 7:30-9), Trivia Tuesday (7:30-9) was packed, Happy Artsy Wednesday is getting off the ground (Happy Hour 5-7, arts and crafts from 7:30-9), and board games all night on Thursdays. You should check it out. These activities are the new internet, only with real friends, real chatting, and real meet-ups.
And some other not-to-be-missed March events:
•Nerd Nite—The demand for Nerd Nite has been so big that we’ve expanded from one screen to two. So if you’re not celebrating Passover on the 25th, come celebrate your nerdiness or the nerdiness of others with the 6th chapter of Nerd Nite East Bay: Sleep, War of 1812, and Meteorites. Doors at 7, show starts at 8.
•LOTR Movie Marathon--in honor of March 24th being marathon day in Oakland, we're presenting our first-ever movie marathon at the New Parkway. We'll be showing the Lord of the Rings trilogy, one after the other after the other. And we'll be serving up special food and drink to make this an unforgettable morning, afternoon, and evening. So join us for our first hobbitty marathon.
•Easter Brunch + Movies--we're offering a couple of mid-day/early afternoon brunches on Easter Sunday, each with its own bunny movie. We'll start at 12:30 with the family-friendly Hop and then show the 1950 classic, Harvey, at 1:30. For each movie, we'll have family style French-ish food offerings, including sweet and savory crepes and yummy salads. A great way to celebrate Easter no matter your religion.
US vs Mexico Soccer—OK, so maybe it’s not Spain vs. Germany in terms of quality, but it’s a huge game for many Bay Area residents as we look ahead to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil., and we’ll have it on our giant screen. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 26th and join us!
Patron Appreciation Day—we might have more than one of these but, as some of you know, March 22nd was the day that the old Parkway went dark—with only three days notice, mind you—which was the event that got this whole New Parkway thing underway. So come out for half-price beers and free popcorn all night long. We love you, New Parkway patrons, and hope you’ll join us on the 22nd to celebrate the Parkway being back in our lives.
Here’s what Adam has to say about this week’s features:
I think it's safe to say that this week has one of the strongest lineups of new movies since the New Parkway opened. Catering for every taste (unless you like Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill') this is the VIP film buffet you have been waiting for. If last week was a solid Marriott offering, we are now bumping it up to a Fairmont offering with exceptional quality and variety. I think I have taken this analogy far enough. Or too far probably.
Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow has balls (disclaimer: not literally). Having perfected the dumb, high-octane, awesome thriller genre with Point Break (classic Keanu: what's a 50 year storm?) she made one of the most gripping movies ever made with 'The Hurt Locker' over 2 years ago. She is probably the best action director in Hollywood with the exception of her ex-husband James Cameron.
Zero Dark Thirty details the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. But this movie is so much more. It successfully captures the entire 'War on Terror' and skillfully weaves it throughout the story while never straying too far from Jessica Chastain's character who is the main analyst responsible for finding Bin Laden. Showing both the questionable methods of data extraction in addition to questionable payoffs and wrong leads, this movie is definitely one of the strongest of the year. It also features a strong supporting cast of both Kyle Chandler and James Gandolfini. Combine Tony Soprano with Coach Taylor and you have movie gold, guaranteed. Don't miss this one. The final assault is one of the finest action sequences ever committed to film. Especially considering you already know the ending.
At this point, I am slightly worried about the roles Daniel Day Lewis chooses to take on. Known for this intense method acting as part of his preparation for playing the frontiersman in 'The Last Of The Mohicans', he learned how to build canoes. As the Irish artist Christy Brown in My Left Foot, he spent almost the entire shoot in a wheelchair. Every role he takes on, he invests himself fully into it and the results are usually worth the intensity. Winning his unprecedented third Oscar for Lincoln, there was never a question regarding if he deserved it. Rather you feel sorry for the other actors in years he is nominated.
But his acting would mean nothing without a worthy story to support him. And Tony Kushner's screenplay detailing the push to end slavery constitutionally, is absolutely exceptional. Showing both Lincoln's mastery of politics and his charming personality in addition to other questionable political methods, this movie moves fast but never leaves you behind. It also features Tommy Lee Jones (dignified), and James Spader (hilarious) in great form.
Just when you think Zombie movies have been done to death (the trailer for World War Z makes my head hurt- and wonder if Brad Pitt sold his soul to appear young forever), the odd gem pops up (Shaun of the Dead was one of the best zombie movies ever) and Warm Bodies definitely falls into this category. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack and a romance begins.
This movie is funny, unique and definitely has the feel of a cult classic. It is also surprisingly emotional, and thick with irony. If you like the supernatural genre (vampires, werewolves, zombies) and want to get that pungent Twilight taste out of your mouth, this movie is the ticket. Sometimes you don't want to go to a movie and sit on edge (Zero Dark Thirty) or inadvertently learn some history (Lincoln). Sometimes you you just want to soak up a good zombie horror teenage comedy. And this does the job. Very well.
And now for more information about our repertory and special events programming:
New Parkway Family Classics—this week we’re showing 20 THOUSAND FINGERS OF DR. T, not to be confused with the 20 Thousand Fingers of Mr. T (which would be scary), a movie by Dr. Seuss. So that means it will be kid-friendly and fantabulous. Friday at 4:30 and Saturday at 12:30.
Spectrum Queer Cinema—SPECTRUM Queer Media.com presents SHELTER at 3PM on Sunday. When his college dreams are sidelined by family obligations, a young man finds comfort in surfing with his best friend's brother. "The most realistic gay love story since BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN." - Jeremy Kinser, FRONTIERS
hosted by VANESSA, QUEEN OF SCREAM (of THE QUEEN'S SLUMBER PARTY)
See stop motion animation god Ray Harryhausen's iconic Venusian beast The Ymir rampage across the big screen in the full color version of this cult classic creature feature, authorized and supervised by Ray himself! Guest hosted by sexy, spooky cinema siren Vanessa, Queen of Scream, producer of The Queen's Slumber Party.
Baby Brigade—This week there’s only one showing, Lincoln at 4:30, since we’ve got a rental after that. Sorry! But we’re now partnering with www.510Families.com to bring you these great family friendly showings, so there might be some added perks for folks who come on out.
Films from Afar—Come see Pedro Almodovar’s All About My Mother as part of our Foreign Cinema Night. 7:30 on Monday. You won’t be disappointed!
Doc Night—It’s a shame to promote a movie that’s already sold out but here goes anyways since we’ll likely add some showings: there’s something that Bay Area people love about midwives. I mean, is there ever a pregnancy that doesn’t involve a discussion of it at some point? And there are a lot of people getting pregnant in the Bay Area. That all being the case, I guess Ina May Gaskin is a big name, or at least she can sell lots of movie tickets. Here’s the info about the movie and stay tuned for word of other showings.
2 for 1 Wednesdays—All day Wednesday, 2 for 1 admission prices with movies starting at 3:30. And now with Happy Hour drinks from 5-7PM followed by arts and crafts projects in the café that you can do with your buzz on.
Parkway Classics— Will the Thrill's PARKWAY CLASSICS presents: FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998). Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro star in director Terry Gilliam's suitably surrealistic and stunningly stylized adaptation of legendary gonzo author Hunter S. Thompson's trailblazing tome; take a hallucinatory cinematic trip unlike any other.
Thanks for your continued and growing support of the New Parkway Theater. We hope to see you soon!