Every week, we find you five movies for you to check out over the coming week or weekend, from the latest wide release to weird local screenings to timely classics you can watch on your couch. Did we miss something? Let readers know in the comments.
American Beauty Screens Wednesday night at Cinemarks across the country Sam Mendes' first feature film received nearly universal praise when it was released in 1999. Critics loved it and so did Hollywood. At the 72nd Academy Awards in 2000, it walked away with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. In the years since, it seems collective passions have cooled, and some of us may feel a bit embarrassed to have gotten so worked up over a plastic bag tumbling in the wind. But fair is fair--Mendes has had a solid filmmaking career, and this is where it started. If you missed it on the big screen in 1999, you can catch it tonight at Cinemarks across the country.
The Evil Dead, Y Tu Mamá También and The Ten Commandment This weekend at the Texas Theatre If you're a fan of extremes, you'll want to make the Texas Theatre your home away from home this weekend. You can start with the extreme gore of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, which runs from Thursday through Sunday, then follow it up with the extreme eroticism of Alfonso Cuarón's Y Tu Mamá También on Saturday. If you're still hungry for more after that, return for the extreme piety of The Ten Commandments on Sunday. Maybe I'm the only one who sees irony in a lineup like this, but I hope not.
Beyond the Hills Starts Friday at the Magnolia If you didn't know it--and I wouldn't blame you, honestly--Romanian filmmakers are currently having themselves a bit of a New Wave. No film is exactly the same, but an overarching element seems to be an obsession with filming scenes with as little cutting as possible, creating an austere sense of realism in direct opposition to the quickly cut works Hollywood churns out. With that, some of you have checked out already, but for those still reading, this Friday, the Magnolia will begin a one-week engagement of Beyond the Hills. It's the latest work from Cristian Mungiu, whose previous film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days won the top prize at Cannes in 2007. Praise for Beyond the Hills hasn't been as exuberant, but it's still earning plenty of acclaim.
Donnie Darko Screens midnight Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Richard Kelly's trippy first film didn't do so hot at the box office when it opened in 2001, but by now it's earned the kind of following that The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Room or any other midnight movie fixture has. There also seems to be a particular preference for the original cut over the director's cut you'll find on DVD. That's what the Inwood will be showing Friday and Saturday for fans of the sci-fi/fantasy picture.