Every Wednesday, we find you five movies for you to check out over the coming 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.
For its biggest fans, The Breakfast Club is more than just a great high school movie, it's almost a battle cry. When a quintet of students from different cliques are forced to share a Saturday detention together, the walls separating them begin to crack, crumble and eventually fall in riveting fashion as their roiling fears, uncertainties, and resentments rush to the surface.
Hughes' movie continues to survive because it speaks to what every high school student wants at one point or another: to know that they're not so awkward or different after all, and that the confusion and insecurity they feel isn't theirs alone. As long as young people feel that way (and I think that's something we can count on), Hughes' movie will continue to work its cathartic magic.
John Dies at the End and Phantasm Starts playing at the Texas Theatre Thursday night.
Fans of the writer-director Don Coscarelli will be pleased to see that the Texas Theatre has paired the filmmaker's newest work -- the loopy, genre-defying John Dies at the End -- with his 1979 cult horror film, Phantasm. The former comes with Paul Giamatti as a journalist trying to get to the bottom of a young man's strange, grisly story. Phantasm pits two brothers (played by Michael Baldwin and Bill Thornbury) against an evil undertaker known as the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm). Phantasm plays with John from Thursday through Sunday, with John finishing its run next Thursday.
Like this year's Amour, Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is one of the few truly international films to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Here, Lee and martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping create stunning, balletic action sequences that see characters jumping from treetop to treetop or skimming across the surface of a pond like a stone. There's more beauty in what Lee, Woo-ping, and the actors accomplish here than in all the CGI power of Lee's most recent film, Life of Pi.
The Sacrifice DVD/Netflix Streaming.
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The Sacrifice is not the best of Andrei Tarkovsky's work, but with its arrival on Netflix this month it is the most readily available. Starring Erlander Josephson as a man who makes a deal with God on the eve of the Apocalypse, The Sacrifice is mysterious and mystical, building, as all of Tarkovsky's films do, to a riveting and surprising finale that forces you to rethink everything that's come before. This was the director's last film before his death. It feels at times like he's parodying his own aesthetic tics, with some scenes running painfully long but despite that, it's a visually stunning work with an interesting premise.
Side Effects Wide release.
Steven Soderbergh claims that Side Effects, which stars Rooney Mara as a woman under the influence of a new anxiety prescription, will be his last theatrical film. After this, all he has left is a TV biopic about Liberace called Behind the Candelabra, and then that's it -- time for sweet, sweet retirement. Time will only tell if the acclaimed director, who just turned 50 last month, will really give up filmmaking for good. But just in case, you won't want to miss his last big screen outing.