June 16, 2017
Grand Budapest HotelJune 16, 2017
Comedy / 2014 / 99 minutes
Wes Anderson’s 2014 offering The Grand Budapest Hotel is a master class in the sort of immaculate, anachronistic charm fans come to expect of the auteur; painterly framing, ornately detailed sets, old-fashioned special effects and richly realized characters firing off dialog as clever as it is quirky. Leading an ensemble cast of heavy-hitters, Ralph Fiennes delights as the debonair concierge working in the titular European hotel circa 1932, tending to the needs of the wealthy clientele and attempting to court rich older women, one of whom dies and bequeaths him a highly valuable painting. What follows is a clockwork plot worthy of the film’s meticulous design, spanning decades, at points both hilarious and heartbreaking, evoking a golden age Hollywood class and romanticism that only Anderson seems able to authentically deliver. Some of the cast’s notables include Saoirse Ronan, Adrian Brody, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law and Anderson regulars Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and, of course, Bill Murray.
The Basketball DiariesJune 16, 2017
Biography / 1995 / 104 minutes
Scott Kalvert’s 1995 adaptation of New York street poet Jim Carroll’s controversial The Basketball Diaries gave a pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio his first real leading role and showed the world that “Marky Mark” Wahlberg was capable of more than questionable hip hop and underwear modeling. As with Carroll’s memoir, the film deals with a promising high school basketball player’s descent into heroin addiction, a harrowing journey that leads to crime, death and ultimately redemption through art. Even this early in his career DiCaprio displays the enormity of his talent, proving that beneath his heartthrob exterior is an actor capable of reaching ecstatic highs and soul-plumbing lows with nary a false note. Wahlberg, as his main-man drug buddy, isn’t half bad either. With Juliette Lewis and future Sopranos alums Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperiolli.
ShowgirlsJune 16, 2017
Erotic / 1995 / 131 minutes
Following their smash hit Basic Instinct, director Paul Verhoeven and writer Joe Eszterhaus re-teamed for Showgirls, a movie that is widely, and rightfully, regarded as the pinnacle of 90s camp. The rags-to-riches story of a street-wise drifter – played with deadly earnestness by former Saved By the Bell star Elizabeth Berkeley – who wildly gyrates her way from lowly stripperhood to most lusted after showgirl in Las Vegas, losing friends and ruining lives along the way. Chocked-full awesomely arch dialog, gut-bustingly awkward dance sequences, delightful backstage back-stabbing, knock-down, drag-out catfights and the most howl-inducing pool sex scene every filmed, Showgirls is well-worthy of its status as a cult classic, crowning the Verhoeven/Eszterhaus team as kings of high-end sleaze. Featuring a clearly uncomfortable Kyle MacLachlan and a scene-stealing Gina Gershon as the cutthroat showgirl diva Berkeley seeks to dethrone.