Calendar du C-U: February 12-18

February 12th, 2016

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
2/12/16-2/18/16

LOCAL FILMS, ETC.

Starting next week, find the “Flickers of the Week” right here!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Live Action (2/12-2/15, 2/16-2/17), Animation (2/12-2/14, 2/16-2/18), Documentary (2/15-2/16), ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2/12, 2/13, 10 p.m.; 2/18, 9:30 p.m.), CASABLANCA (2/14, 11:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. SPECTRE (2/12, 2/13, 7 p.m., free)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL: MY BROOKLYN: DEMYSTIFYING GENTRIFICATION (2/17, 6 p.m., free)

@ Plym Auditorium, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: MY BROOKLYN: DEMYSTIFYING GENTRIFICATION w/filmmaker Kelly Anderson (2/18, 7:30 p.m., free)

@ Room 327, Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (2/18, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Main Level, East Gallery, Krannert Art Museum, UIUC, Champaign, IL: “Time/Image” modern art exhibition (free; exhibit runs through 4/23)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: HOW TO BE SINGLE, KUNG FU PANDA 3 (2/12 on), YOUTH (2/12-2/17), THE BIG SHORT (2/12-2/15)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: THE PRINCESS BRIDE (2/12, 2/14, 7 p.m.), “dress up event” feat. THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (2/13, 1 p.m., free), CASABLANCA (2/13, 7 p.m.), SOME LIKE IT HOT (2/16, 7 p.m.), Bike BloNo presents BIKES VS. CARS (2/17, 7 p.m., free or donations), WBNQ presents HAIRSPRAY (2007; 2/18, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. LABYRINTH OF LIES (2/14, 1 & 4 p.m.; 2/16, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: DEADPOOL, HAIL CAESAR!, HOW TO BE SINGLE, ZOOLANDER 2, BROOKLYN, THE CHOICE, KUNG FU PANDA 3, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (2/12 on), THE BOY (2/12-2/14), 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI (2/13-2/15)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI (2/12-2/14, 2/17)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: DIRTY GRANDPA (2/12-2/14)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation presents Love Letters by A.R. Gurney (2/13, 2, 5, & 8 p.m., live performance)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: DEADPOOL, HOW TO BE SINGLE, ZOOLANDER 2, THE BOY, THE CHOICE, DIRTY GRANDPA, FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK, THE FINEST HOURS, HAIL CAESAR!, KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2/12 on), DigiNextEvents and the Grand Old Opry present AMERICAN SATURDAY NIGHT: LIVE FROM THE GRAND OLD OPRY (2/12, 7:30 p.m.; 2/13, 4:30 p.m.; 2/14, 7:30 p.m.), KRISHNA GAADI VEERA PREMA GAADHA (2/13, 6 p.m.; 2/14, 3 p.m.), RISEN (2/18, 7 & 9:30 p.m.), THE WITCH (2/18, 7 & 9:15 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: DEADPOOL (IMAX & standard), HOW TO BE SINGLE, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, ZOOLANDER 2, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, THE BIG SHORT, THE BOY, THE CHOICE, THE FINEST HOURS, HAIL CAESAR!, KUNG FU PANDA 3, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, THE REVENANT, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2/12 on), Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures present PRETTY IN PINK 30th Anniversary (2/14, 2 p.m.; 2/17, 7 p.m.), Fathom Events and BY Experience present “TED 2016: Dream – Opening Night” (2/15, 7 p.m., live simulcast), Shorts HD presents the Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016 (2/16, 7 p.m.), Fathom Events and BY Experience present “Women of Faith: An Amazing Joyful Journey” (2/18, 7 p.m.), RISEN (2/18, 7 & 9:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Village Mall 6, Danville, IL: DEADPOOL, HOW TO BE SINGLE, ZOOLANDER 2, THE BOY, THE CHOICE, KUNG FU PANDA 3, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (2/12 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL: SPECTRE, CRIMSON PEAK, LOVE THE COOPERS, 99 HOMES, TRUTH, GRANDMA, FREAKS OF NATURE, SHELTER, MI-5, THE KEEPING ROOM, WELCOME TO LEITH, more! (2/9 on)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

FOW: Nary a still ‘Image’ at KAM

February 10th, 2016

Dearest readers, it’s about that time! We reach the end of our four-week experiment in posing “Flickers of the Week” for your consideration as we investigate more closely the media/art events of choice in and near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Beginning on Friday, February 19, abbreviated blurbs will appear within the regular Calendar to help you select diversions wisely; those who might still be interested in providing the opinions on such matters for C-U Blogfidential should contact us at cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com to discuss! At this juncture before the merger, we highlight an ongoing exhibit at the University of IllinoisKrannert Art Museum that extrapolates and explores the very concept of time with a set of well-chosen pieces by artists from the world over.

Conceived by Amy L. Powell, the curator of modern and contemporary art at KAM, Time / Image was organized by and originally staged at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston in Houston, TX, where Powell was a curatorial fellow before arriving at UIUC. The exhibit should appeal to those who are willing to consider alternate iterations of “the motion picture” in a gallery context and how they might communicate stories and ideas. Eleven artists have employed variant “cinematic” sensibilities as well as forms, both physically static (e.g., photographs, sculpture, prints, found materials) and dynamic (e.g., multi-panel video projection, analog film-loop projection), to “seek out and develop temporal strategies in representation, whether in cinematic images that revive ghostly residues, in creative uses of juxtaposition that posit trans-historical and formal arrangements, or in their acute attention to artistic mediums claiming to represent time,” according to an introduction that greets visitors at the entrances.

We pluralize “entrances” because two large-scale projections, An Afternoon Unregistered on the Richter Scale, 2011, by the Raqs Media Collective of India, and Ark of Martyrs (in progress), 2014, by Allen deSouza from California, have been placed in viewing enclaves separated from the bulk of the show by the central Rosann Gelvin Noel Gallery. Therefore, be sure to look for both parts when attending the exhibit. Additional artists whose pieces appear in the East Gallery portion of Time / Image include Siemon Allen, Matthew Buckingham, Andrea Geyer, Leslie Hewitt, Isaac Julien, Lorraine O’Grady, Trevor Paglen, Ruth Robbins, and Gary Simmons. Your humble editor visited KAM last week in preparation for this article and highly suggests that one allow approximately 90 minutes to take in the entire array including the projections, as three of the latter run 15-20 minutes each. Related events will include artist talks by members of Raq Media (Februrary 24) and Andrea Geyer (April 5), a “Time Symposium” performance/discussion (February 25), and Art Theater Co-op shows on March 7 and March 14.

Time / Image is on display through Saturday, April 23, in the East Gallery (Main Floor) of KAM, 500 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign, and open to the public Monday through Saturday except for holidays. Admission is free for all concurrent exhibits, although a $3 donation is suggested, and the full-color catalog of the show is priced at $45. This presentation is sponsored in part by Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artists Fund/College of Fine + Applied Arts, and Fred and Donna Giertz, and is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. For further information, please visit this page at the KAM Web site and this press release issued by the UI News Bureau.

~ Jason Pankoke

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p.s. Since we have no press assets for Time / Image, we’re making due with KAM marketing materials for illustration. In our “Still Life with Coffee (The Palette Café)” you will note a spring 2016 events booklet, its cover featuring the previously mentioned An Afternoon Unregistered on the Richter Scale, and an event card picturing The First and Last of the Modernists, Diptych 3 Blue (Charles and Michael) (detail), 2010, by Lorraine O’Grady. Filling out the grouping are photo cards taken from A Lexicon of Dusk, 2009-15, by Ruth Robbins, an installation that embraces the small wonders of “charged and indeterminate” moments. Visitors may approach a single long shelf mounted in the gallery and sift through stacks of postcards, each reproducing a cell phone image taken by the artist in her surroundings at dusk, and keep however many of the 26 variants they wish. An artist’s statement about the project appears at this link in conjunction with a Blaffer Art Gallery appearance back in October. Otherwise, hover and click!

p.s.2 Spend a contemplative moment or two, if you will, with Simeon Allen’s Screen II (edit), 2015, just inside the East Gallery entryway, and see if its resemblance to a certain famous science fiction monolith isn’t just the least bit eerie.

p.s.3 The communications school at the University of Houston is named after alumnus Jack J. Valenti, the often polarizing former president of the Motion Picture Association of America. Impress your friends with that trivia nugget.

p.s.4 What? An optical illusion? A mistake? Where?!?

Calendar du C-U: February 5-11

February 5th, 2016

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
2/5/16-2/11/16

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toMonday, February 8: Robin Christian (president, Dreamscape Cinema) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: ANOMALISA (2/5 on), TRUMBO (2/6, 11:30 a.m.; 2/7, 2:30 p.m.; 2/10, 2:30 p.m.), LABYRINTH (2/5, 2/6, 10 p.m.; 2/7, 11:30 a.m.; 2/10, 2/11, 10 p.m.)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2 (2/5, 2/6, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “Love Stinks” feat. 500 DAYS OF SUMMER (2/4, 7 p.m.), MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981; 2/5, 7 p.m.); Champaign-Urbana Design Organization presents PechaKucha Night Champaign-Urbana Vol. 20 feat. AJ Christensen (INTERSTELLAR), Nina Paley (SITA SINGS THE BLUES), Matt Wiley (Pens to Lens) (2/6, 8:20 p.m., $15 at door)

@ Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL: AsiaLENS: AEMS Documentary/Film Series presents TALES OF THE WALRA (2/9, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Accord, Champaign, IL: “Small Star Seminar” multi-media performance by Cory McAbee (THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT) (2/10, 8 p.m., $10)

@ Room 221, Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (2/11, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Main Level, East Gallery, Krannert Art Museum, UIUC, Champaign, IL: “Time/Image” modern art exhibition (free; exhibit runs through 4/23)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: THE BIG SHORT, KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D), THE FINEST HOURS (2/5 on), BROOKLYN (2/5-2/7)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: IP MAN 3 (2/5, 2/7, 7 p.m.), Beyond Normal Films presents MEET THE PATELS (2/6, 7 p.m.; 2/7, 1 p.m.), The Normal Humor (ISU) Open Mic Comedy Night (2/8, 9 p.m., free), CASABLANCA (2/9, 2/11, 7 p.m.), THE PRINCESS BRIDE (2/10, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. PHOENIX (2/7, 1 & 4 p.m.; 2/9, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE BOY, BROOKLYN, THE CHOICE, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, THE 5TH WAVE, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, DIRTY GRANDPA, THE FINEST HOURS, KUNG FU PANDA 3 (2/5 on), DEADPOOL (2/11, 7:15 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: KUNG FU PANDA 3 (2/5 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: THE REVENANT (2/5-2/7)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: THE CHOICE, HAIL CAESAR!, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, THE 5TH WAVE, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, THE BOY, DIRTY GRANDPA, FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK, THE FINEST HOURS, KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D), THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2/5 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: THE CHOICE, HAIL CAESAR!, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, THE 5TH WAVE, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, THE BIG SHORT, THE BOY, DIRTY GRANDPA, FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK, THE FINEST HOURS (IMAX 3-D & 2-D), JANE GOT A GUN, KUNG FU PANDA 3, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, ROOM, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (IMAX 3-D & 2-D) (2/5 on), THE LOOK OF SILENCE (2/9, 5 & 7:20 p.m.), THE LUFT GANGSTER: MEMOIRS OF A SECOND-CLASS HERO (2/10, 7 p.m.), Fathom Events, SpectiCast, Seventh Art Productions, and Exhibition on Screen present “Art & Architecture in Cinema: Goya – Visions of Flesh and Blood” (2/11, 7 p.m.), DEADPOOL (2/11, 7 & 9:30 p.m. (IMAX), 7:15 & 9:45 p.m. (standard))

@ AMC Village Mall 6, Danville, IL: THE CHOICE, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, THE BOY, FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK, THE FINEST HOURS (3-D & 2-D), KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D) (2/5 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL: BRIDGE OF SPIES, OUR BRAND IS CRISIS, SUFFRAGETTE, THE LAST WITCH HUNTER, ROCK THE KASBAH, EFFIE GRAY, THE VEIL, CURVE, FALLING SKIES (s5), more! (2/2 on)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Closed for the weekend!

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

FOW: Films revive stage stories

January 30th, 2016

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As we collected information for this week’s Calendar, we felt underwhelmed by the new offerings opening in MICRO-FILM Country. Our companion “Flickers of the Week” segment will therefore give props to slightly older entertainments we believe will be worth your while! If you happened to miss the controversial Spike Lee joint CHI-RAQ or the handsomely staged MACBETH during their back-to-back bookings at the Art Theater Co-op in December, fresh chances await you to take in these adaptations of famous playwrights from centuries ago. Directed by Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel and starring the equally great Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, MACBETH interprets with cinematic verve the legendary tragedy by William Shakespeare about the cursed efforts of a victorious general and his ambitious wife to gain the throne of Scotland for themselves; it plays the Normal Theater, 209 North St., Normal, at 7 p.m. later tonight, Saturday, January 30, and tomorrow night, Sunday, January 31, where its production values and sweep can be appreciated in full before the Radius-TWC release is relegated to a streaming afterlife through Amazon Prime. Moving from a timeless lesson in greed to a timely reflection of cultural unease in the United States, sister company Amazon Studios produced as their first big-screen foray CHI-RAQ, directed by Lee from a screenplay he wrote with Kevin Willmott that radically updates the Greek “war comedy” Lysistrada by Aristophanes. In this rambunctious iteration featuring Teyonah Parris as a sleek and modernized Lysistrada, the women living in Chicago’s South Side band together and launch a “sex strike” against men in a valiant attempt to curb gang violence and heal African-American neighborhoods. CHI-RAQ has moved through the distribution pipeline amazingly fast, from a too-brief theatrical launch via Roadside Attractions to its addition on Amazon Instant Video at year’s end to a DVD/Blu-ray berth courtesy Lionsgate this past Tuesday, January 26. Family Video now stocks the disc for rental if you still rely on physical media for your movie viewing at home.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. If we had filed our recommendations earlier, we might have instead sung praises for the Normal Theater’s Thursday night presentation of THRONE OF BLOOD (1957), the famous Macbeth retelling set in medieval Japan. How often in this day and age does one get to bask in the awesomeness of Akira Kurosawa filmmaking mastery or Toshiro Mifune acting prowess with an audience and outside a cinema studies class? Behold the black-and-white majesty of KUMONOSU-JÔ (SPIDER’S WEB CASTLE) in a vintage Toho Co. trailer shared on-line by Criterion Dungeon as well as the beautifully vivid gallery one can amass with a simple Google Image search.

p.s.2 Interested in picking and pontificating over the “Flicker of the Week” for the C-U community? Write us at cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com!

[Updated 1/30/16, 8:30 p.m. CST]

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Calendar du C-U: Jan. 29-Feb. 4

January 29th, 2016

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/29/16-2/4/16

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toFriday, January 29: Hugo Ong (alumnus, Illini Film & Video) … Saturday, January 30: Eric Watkins (composer, SUNSHINE, Pens to Lens 2015) … Sunday, January 31: Paul Scrabo (filmmaker, DR. HORROR’S EROTIC HOUSE OF IDIOTS) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: TRUMBO, YOUTH (1/29 on)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. BRIDGE OF SPIES (1/29, 1/30, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “Fermented Flicks: 3 Nights + 3 Films + 3 Wines” feat. BOTTLE SHOCK (1/28, 7:30 p.m.), BIG NIGHT (1/29, 7:30 p.m.), SIDEWAYS (1/30, 7:30 p.m.), Reel Deals presents “Love Stinks” feat. WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (2/1, 2/2, 7 p.m.), 500 DAYS OF SUMMER (2/3, 2/4, 7 p.m.), MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981; 2/5, 7 p.m.)

@ Bresnan Meeting Center, Champaign Park District, Champaign, IL: Pens to Lens* Screenwriting Class, Grades K-8 (1/30, 2-3:30 p.m., sign-up deadline is past)

@ Room 221, Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (2/4, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Main Level, East Gallery, Krannert Art Museum, UIUC, Champaign, IL: “Time/Image” modern art exhibition (free; exhibit runs through 4/23)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: THE FINEST HOURS, DIRTY GRANDPA, BROOKLYN (1/29 on), “Crime, Courtroom & Conspiracy Movies” classes with Skip Huston (Thursdays, 1/21-3/10, 6:30 p.m., enroll @ Avon)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: THRONE OF BLOOD (1/29, 7 p.m.), MACBETH (2015; 1/30, 1/31, 7 p.m.), THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (2/2, 7 p.m.), Beyond Normal Films presents MEET THE PATELS (2/4, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. JAFAR PANAHI’S TAXI (1/31, 1 & 4 p.m.; 2/2, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE FINEST HOURS (3-D & 2-D), KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D), THE 5TH WAVE, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, DIRTY GRANDPA, RIDE ALONG 2 (1/29 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: KUNG FU PANDA 3 (1/29 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: DADDY’S HOME (1/29-1/31)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation presents GOOSEBUMPS (1/29-1/31)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK, THE FINEST HOURS (3-D & 2-D), KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D), THE 5TH WAVE, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, THE BOY, DADDY’S HOME, DIRTY GRANDPA, NORM OF THE NORTH, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (1/29 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK, THE FINEST HOURS (IMAX 3-D, 3-D & 2-D), JANE GOT A GUN, KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D), THE 5TH WAVE, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, THE BIG SHORT, THE BOY, DADDY’S HOME, DIRTY GRANDPA, NORM OF THE NORTH, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, ROOM, SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (IMAX 3-D & 2-D) (1/29 on), Fathom Events presents Metropolitan Opera Live: Turandot (1/30, 11:55 a.m., live simulcast; 2/3, 6:30 p.m., encore presentation), STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE (2/2, 5 & 7:45 p.m.)

@ AMC Village Mall 6, Danville, IL: FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK, THE FINEST HOURS (3-D & 2-D), KUNG FU PANDA 3 (3-D & 2-D), THE 5TH WAVE, THE BOY, DIRTY GRANDPA (1/29 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL: GOOSEBUMPS, CHI-RAQ, BURNT, A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND, THE ASSASSIN, THE WANNABE, DA VINCI’S DEMONS (s3), more! (1/26 on)

@ Landmark’s Century Centre Cinemas, Chicago, IL: Midwest Independent Film Festival presents FOR GRACE w/filmmakers (2/2, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. Producers Panel, 7:30 p.m. screening)

@ various venues, Park City, UT: 32nd annual Sundance Film Festival (through 1/31)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

Snag these sexy MFs ASAP, BFFs!

January 28th, 2016

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As we begin inundating the movie universe of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond with friendly reminders that C-U Blogfidential will reach its 10th anniversary on Thursday, February 25, we can’t help but dream big about the related editorial we’ll be creating and commissioning for our dearest readers! This most certainly will reach back far enough to make mention of MICRO-FILM, for which a silently observed 10th anniversary also passed recently as its last print edition arrived in October 2005. We’re content to not burble prematurely about what’s on our minds regarding MF in the present and future, although we’d like to shine a spotlight on our flagship title’s past and, more specifically, its material legacy. In several waves beginning later this year, we will begin the long process of cleaning up and clearing out the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters in sesquicentennial Champaign – this is not code for “we’re moving” or “we’re closing shop,” by the way – so we can make room, redecorate, and stash a little cash to aid the process. We now focus on our stockpile of beloved MF back issues.

CUBlog wants to make sure our periodical predecessor ends up safe and secure in your library, movie culture fans! MFHQ houses plenty of spare MF copies and we’ll happily make them available for purchase at a discount; since we have yet to release electronic versions of this seminal run from 1999 to 2005, this is the only way to relive how the Paper Opteryx first took flight during the glorious peak of independent film awareness in the United States! Those who are green to our original MICRO-FILM scene can visit the dormant Web site for content crunches of all seven issues, cleanly designed and compassionately written to cover the exciting growth of international cinema produced during the dawn of low-cost digital workflow and do-it-yourself Internet outreach. Features, interviews, commentaries, and reviews take on the era’s hot topics and key personalities, involving the likes of Kevin Smith, Michael Moore, Lars von Trier, Guy Maddin, Jeff Krulik, Sarah Jacobson, Roger Ebert, Lloyd Kaufman, Esther Bell, Jon Moritsugu, Bill Viola, Cory McAbee, John McNaughton, Jill Godmilow, Bruce Campbell, Mark Borchardt, and more!

Start by clicking this link to open a PDF mail order form in your browser, or right-click to download the same to your computer, for viewing and printing. Our standard special between now and June 30 is $20 for any four MF issues, post-paid in the continental United States and Canada; you may order in the old-fashioned manner through the mail or send a PayPal payment to cuconfidential@gmail.com with clear-as-day notes telling us what you’d like and where you’d like us to ship it. Just for the CUBlog faithful, we’ll offer extra specials as well! Send us a cool $30, and we’ll send back the complete MF seven-issue run post-paid; send us instead a big-ass $40, and we’ll load you up with MICRO-FILM 1-7, the rare MICRO-FILM ‘zine The Warning Shot, and the equally rare MICRO-FILM newsletters released exclusively in the C-U … amazingly, post-paid! You can only purchase these bundles directly from MFHQ, so be sure to plunder that Christmas money and submit those orders before we begin weeding out our wares! This clearance sale does not include C-U Confidential digests, either past or upcoming.

The graphic below, which you can click to enlarge for easy reading, is a bonus peek behind the ironic curtains when MICRO-FILM still reigned supreme in our lives and utmost attention was paid to delivering the best annual film journal we could. Created in mid-2005 for one of our former “middle men,” Ubiquity Distributors in Brooklyn, NY, this “sales sheet” helped them to convince vendors to carry MF 7, painting the magazine as an invaluable source and picturing the covers of issues 5, 6, and the yet-to-be-released 7 for emphasis. It also features a clean-shaven William Kephart modeling a little choice reading material! (That would be MF 2.) Here’s to filmmakers continuing to “entertain and engage today’s sophisticated media audience without kowtowing to Hollywood’s sensibilities,” according to our MICRO-FILM self-promotional copy from a decade ago, and that pretty much goes for CUBlog as well!

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Not that many copies of MICRO-FILM issues 3 and 4 remain. Pro tip for collectors!

p.s.2 CUZine will reach its own 10th anniversary next year, so it might be nice to finally publish it again

p.s.3 Please don’t pester us about when “more stuff” will be up for sale. In good time, gang, in good time.

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IOW: DP did BLOOD work in C-U

January 23rd, 2016

Rock music fans worldwide have been struck in the heart these first weeks of 2016 with the losses of David Bowie, Glenn Frey from The Eagles, “Lemmy” Kilmister from Mötorhead, and others, but cinema aficionados closed out 2015 in grief themselves upon learning that the cinematographers Haskell Wexler and Vilmos Zsigmond had also left this mortal coil. Wexler, an Oscar-winner for the black-and-white WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? in 1967 and full-color BOUND FOR GLORY in 1977, acted as director of photography (DP) on other notable films including ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, COMING HOME, FACES, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, BLAZE, and the inventive docudrama hybrid set in his native Chicago that he also directed, MEDIUM COOL. Himself an Academy Award recipient for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND in 1978, Zsigmond emigrated from Hungary in the Fifties to pursue his Hollywood dream and would lend his touch to the likes of DELIVERANCE, BLOW OUT, THE LONG GOODBYE, HEAVEN’S GATE, THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS, and CASSANDRA’S DREAM. Whereas Zsigmond toiled in the B-movie trenches for more than a decade before receiving his big-studio break on THE PICASSO SUMMER (1969), Wexler tirelessly spent his last decade making social issue exposes of a kind that pepper his filmography throughout. Wexler passed away on Sunday, December 27, at age 93, and the 85-year-old Zsigmond followed on Friday, January 1; please look below for links to articles and documentaries commemorating their lives and accomplishments.

Other than paying our respects, C-U Blogfidential has added purpose in discussing them apart from recalling Wexler’s local appearances at Roger Ebert’s Film Festival in 2003 and 2013; it so happens that both venerated artists had done professional work on east central Illinois soil in the past. Set decorators and CGI compositors transformed the Danville Dans stadium of Danville into major league ballparks of another era for THE BABE (1992), filmmaker Arthur Hiller’s drama starring John Goodman as legendary slugger “Babe” Ruth; Wexler provided DP finesse for this Universal Pictures release. Zsigmond co-photographed the documentary DEATH RIDERS (1976) with its director, James Wilson, capturing the exploits of the Death Riders Motorcycle Thrill Show based in Danville; a scene captured during a performance in nearby Cayuga, Indiana, ends with a teenage stunt man’s grandmother fainting in the stands! Crown International Pictures distributed it during the height of America’s “car and trucker” craze. Finally, the production crew for the two-part Paramount Pictures television movie FLESH AND BLOOD (1979) used Land of Lincoln locations to full effect; DP Zsigmond “took his camera into the Cook County Jail, Joliet State Penitentiary [sic] and the streets of Chicago, among other places,” wrote reviewer Chris Palmer in the October 13-14, 1979, edition of the Bangor [Maine] Daily News just before BLOOD premiered on CBS-TV. “The result is a realism and, yes, a seaminess that gives the film its guts,” he also remarked.

Considering BLOOD has yet to reach home video or streaming nearly 40 years after its original air dates, we have little more than vintage journalism and foggy Internet forum anecdotes on which to gauge this adaptation of the Pete Hamill bestseller. However, a window into its production past does exist, hence our justification for filing this under “Images of the Week.” Among the “other places” obliquely cited as Illinois shooting locations by Palmer, the University of IllinoisAssembly Hall doubled as an arena and soundstage in which small-screen veteran Jud Taylor and his team staged a pair of boxing match sequences set in New York City and Las Vegas. A short preview article on p.10 of the November 22, 1978, edition of the Urbana Morning Courier tells of a then-impending, four-day shoot on December 2 and 4-6 requiring up to 1,000 extras as fight fans in the audience, while a follow-up piece run on p.3 of the November 29 issue reveals the visiting stars to be Tom Berenger (LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR), Suzanne Pleshette (THE BOB NEWHART SHOW), and John Cassavetes (THE FURY). For our purposes, the prize could be won on pages 1 and 3 of the December 5 Courier as they reproduce an on-set story by Dan Doyle and behind-the-scenes snaps by Jerry Lower; while Doyle’s report is relatively flat and dismissive, due in part to “quite a bit of sitting around” on the set between takes with all the other “non-stars,” it is nice to see the cast and crew of FLESH AND BLOOD in crisp monochrome action.

To honor Zsigmond and continue our efforts to inch towards a complete picture of the movies of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond, we share with you four of the five Lower glossies stored in the files of the Champaign County Historical Archives at the Urbana Free Library. Their patient staff also helped us retrieve the companion articles via – you guessed it – microfilm. Be sure to hover over each image for a short description and scroll down for even more Seventies-era folderol.

~ Jason Pankoke

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FOW: “Fermented Flicks” are fine

January 22nd, 2016

A toast to Friday, dearest connoisseurs! We celebrate with our next “Flickers of the Week” consisting of three wine-centric dramedies making up “Fermented Flicks,” the latest themed film series to play the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign. On each of the consecutive nights, January 28-30, wine experts from nearby Farren’s Pub & Eatery will offer a different choice bottle for sale (along with samples, we presume) to audience members, who can enjoy one of the following cinema vintages while in the house: BOTTLE SHOCK (2008), a retelling of the “Judgment of Paris” blind wine taste test in 1976 starring Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, and the late Alan Rickman (Thursday, January 28), BIG NIGHT (1996), the story of immigrant brothers played by Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci who prepare a grand feast at their Italian restaurant in 1950s New Jersey (Friday, January 29), and SIDEWAYS (2004), the tale of two college buddies (Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church) who attempt to stave off middle-age doldrums with a road trip to California wine country (Saturday, January 30). Shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $4. That said, we’d like to salute the Champaign Park District staff member tasked with drumming up these groupings for his or her relatively creative efforts, in particular to differentiate them from the News-Gazette’s once-a-month “classic Hollywood” presentations. While both SIDEWAYS and BIG NIGHT rated as independent box-office hits and critical darlings when first released, BOTTLE SHOCK comes out of the blue, to us at the least; Google it for general impressions or, if you are of the MICRO-FILM mind, take a look at this Film Independent “case study” on how its filmmakers managed to finance, produce, and distribute the picture. We found it informative as should any of our friends involved with recent Sleepy Creek Vineyards video shenanigans.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Splashing visions of vineyards and vino on the Virginia’s silver screen at this time might just be an act of programming providence. On the very same Friday, January 29, the UIUC Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana will host the ninth annual “Tastings” gala, presented by Art Mart and organized by the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum as a fundraiser for the latter. Proceeds from gala tickets, auction bids, and (presumably) wine sales will go towards operating costs for the museum and upkeep for the 101-year-old Orpheum Theatre in downtown Champaign where its attractions are housed.

p.s.2 Those readers who are enamored with this “Reel Deals” set in particular should get a cultural kick out of the “home version” launched by Turner Classic Movies back in October.

p.s.3 Interested in picking and pontificating over the “Flicker of the Week” for the C-U community? Write us at cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com!

[Updated 1/23/16, 12:30 a.m. CST]

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BOTTLE SHOCK artwork © Freestyle Releasing

Calendar du C-U: January 22-28

January 22nd, 2016

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/22/16-1/28/16

NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: YOUTH (1/22 on), THE THING (1982; 1/22, 1/23, 1/27, 1/28, 10 p.m.), Royal National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, and BY Experience present “National Theatre Live: Jane Eyre (1/23, 1/24, 12 p.m.), The Program in Jewish Culture and Society at UIUC presents A BORROWED IDENTITY (1/25, 7:30 p.m., Q&A w/author Sayed Kashua, free)

@ Pine Lounge, Main Floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Union Board presents “Films at the Union” feat. GOOSEBUMPS (1/22, 1/23, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: The News-Gazette Film Series presents SHANE (1/23, 1 & 7 p.m.), Reel Deals presents “Fermented Flicks: 3 Nights + 3 Films + 3 Wines” feat. BOTTLE SHOCK (1/28, 7:30 p.m.), BIG NIGHT (1/29, 7:30 p.m.), SIDEWAYS (1/30, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Main Level, East Gallery, Krannert Art Museum, UIUC, Champaign, IL: Reception for “Time/Image” modern art exhibition w/opening remarks by Amy L. Powell (1/28, 6-7 p.m., free; exhibit runs through 4/23)

@ Room 205, Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Illini Film & Video meeting (1/28, 7:30 p.m.)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: DIRTY GRANDPA, BROOKLYN, THE REVENANT (1/22 on), “Crime, Courtroom & Conspiracy Movies” classes with Skip Huston (Thursdays, 1/21-3/10, 6:30 p.m., enroll @ Avon)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: WJBC presents 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1/21, 7 p.m.), MOONWALKERS (1/22-1/24, 7 p.m.), The Normal Humor (ISU) Open Mic Comedy Night (1/25, 9 p.m., free), THRONE OF BLOOD (1/27, 7 p.m.), MACBETH (2015; 1/28, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. THE SECOND MOTHER (1/24, 1 & 4 p.m.; 1/26, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE 5TH WAVE, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, DIRTY GRANDPA, NORM OF THE NORTH, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, SISTERS (1/22 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP (1/22-1/24, 1/27)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (1/22-1/24)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation presents THE INTERN (1/22-1/24)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: THE 5TH WAVE, THE BOY, DIRTY GRANDPA, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, DADDY’S HOME, THE FOREST, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, NORM OF THE NORTH, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (1/22 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: THE 5TH WAVE, THE BOY, BRIDGE OF SPIES, DIRTY GRANDPA, ROOM, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, THE BIG SHORT, CAROL, DADDY’S HOME, THE FOREST, THE GOOD DINOSAUR, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, JOY, NORM OF THE NORTH, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2, SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (IMAX 3-D & 2-D) (1/22 on), Fathom Events, SpectiCast, and Nexo Digital present “Art & Architecture in Cinema: Florence and he Uffizi Gallery” (1/27, 7 p.m.), Fathom Events, IGN, and RiffTrax.com present Best of RiffTrax Live! THE ROOM (1/28, 7:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Village Mall 6, Danville, IL: THE 5TH WAVE, THE BOY, DIRTY GRANDPA, DADDY’S HOME, NORM OF THE NORTH, THE REVENANT, RIDE ALONG 2 (1/22 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, EVEREST, WOODLAWN, THE INTERN, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, STONEWALL, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, HOW WE GOT AWAY WITH IT, SAMBA, DEATHGASM, 12 MONKEYS (s1), more! (1/19 on)

@ various venues, Park City, UT: 32nd annual Sundance Film Festival (through 1/31)

@ Treasure Mountain Inn, etc., Park City, UT: 22nd annual Slamdance Film Festival (1/22-1/28)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

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FOW: Bowie exits EARTH for stars

January 15th, 2016

C-U Blogfidential is happy to debut a new department called “Flicker of the Week” in which your humble editor and guests wax ecstatic about film and media happenings in our immediate geography, selected due to the writer’s personal whim and not necessarily a proclamation of “the best” of what is playing at the moment in Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond. Beginning today, we will share our immediate choices for the most interesting, offbeat, integral, and out-there public presentations as solo posts during the next four Fridays and then fold the sequence into our weekly Calendar.

We’d be remiss to not make note of the iconic David Bowie who passed away on Sunday, January 10, at age 69, dampening the hearts of music, fashion, and movie fans worldwide. Local theaters have since booked a pair of his fantasy features in remarkably short order – thank you, industry-mandated digital delivery – to recognize the malleable greatness of our “Ziggy Stardust” now returned to the stars. The Normal Theater, 209 North St., Normal, will conjure the Jim Henson/George Lucas collaboration LABYRINTH (1986) late tomorrow, Saturday, January 16, 10:30 p.m., and again on Sunday, January 17, 1 p.m. The next day, Monday, January 18, 7:30 p.m., the trippy consumerism parable directed by Nicholas Roeg, THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1976), will alight at the Art Theater Co-op, 126 W. Church St., Champaign; their customers will also receive a chance in early February to dive into LABYRINTH.

As “Jareth the Goblin King” in the youth-skewing LABYRINTH and alien “Thomas Jerome Newton” in the slippery and cerebral EARTH, Bowie projects an unearthliness and sensuality to memorable effect, while the films themselves are striking archetypes of what constituted fantastical (and relatively analog) storytelling in their respective decades. Drenched with the distinctive visual sensibilities of Henson and Roeg, the productions offer innumerable delights worth experiencing on the big screen. EARTH holds added significance for yours truly as one of the first films I wrote about for a local publication, in this case The Octopus, as a program note for “The 1st Annual Octopus Sci-fi Film Festival” held at Urbana’s Thunderbird Theater in June 1996. Sadly, publisher Paul Young would never follow up this epic 35mm outpouring of science fiction splendor, although further Octo-shows did enliven the so-called “Brew ‘n View” as it was alternately known back then.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Interested in picking and pontificating over the “Flicker of the Week” for the C-U community? Write us at cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com!

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LABYRINTH artwork © TriStar Pictures

Calendar du C-U: January 15-21

January 15th, 2016

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/15/16-1/21/16

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toFriday, January 15: Sarah Franklin (former staff, Art Theater Co-op) … Monday, January 18: John Charles (contributor, Video Watchdog) … Wednesday, January 20: Thomas Polk (vice president, Illini Film & Video) … Thursday, January 21: Nan Holda (director, Institute 4 Creativity) … celebrate!

PassingsSunday, January 10: TJ Meyer, 77 (member, Central Illinois Film Commission) … you will be missed.


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: CAROL (1/15 on), REPO MAN (1/15, 1/16, 1/20, 1/21, 10 p.m.), THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1/18, 7:30 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “Cubicle Blues” feat. OFFICE SPACE (1/19, 1/21, 7 p.m.)

@ WILL-TV, Campbell Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL: Champaign Movie Makers meeting, “Lighting Recreation” (1/19, 7 p.m., free)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: BROOKLYN, THE REVENANT (1/15 on), STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (1/15-1/20), “Crime, Courtroom & Conspiracy Movies” classes with Skip Huston (Thursdays, 1/21-3/10, 6:30 p.m., enroll @ Avon)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: CLUE (1/14, 1/16, 7 p.m.), LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1/15, 7 p.m.; 1/17, 6:30 p.m.), LABYRINTH (1/16, 10:30 p.m.; 1/17, 1 p.m.), THE LADY EVE (1/19, 7 p.m.), WJBC presents 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1/21, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. MEET THE PATELS (1/17, 1 & 4 p.m.; 1/19, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: NORM OF THE NORTH, RIDE ALONG 2, SISTERS, THE REVENANT, THE BIG SHORT, DADDY’S HOME, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/15 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: DADDY’S HOME (1/15-1/17, 1/20)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (1/15-1/17)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation presents HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (1/15-1/17)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, THE DANISH GIRL, NORM OF THE NORTH, RIDE ALONG 2, SPOTLIGHT, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, THE BIG SHORT, DADDY’S HOME, THE FOREST, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, THE REVENANT, SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/15 on), NANNAKU PREMATHO (1/15, 9:30 p.m.; 1/16, 6:30 p.m.; 1/17, 3:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, CAROL, THE DANISH GIRL, NORM OF THE NORTH, RIDE ALONG 2, THE BIG SHORT, DADDY’S HOME, THE FOREST, THE GOOD DINOSAUR, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, JOY, THE REVENANT, SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (IMAX 3-D & 2-D), Fathom Events presents Metropolitan Opera Live: The Pearl Fishers (1/16, 11:55 a.m., live simulcast; 1/20, 6:30 p.m., encore presentation), Fathom Events, 20th Century Fox, and TCM present BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1/17, 2 p.m.; 1/20, 7 p.m.), Fathom Events, RGM-New Breed, and RCA Inspiration present “Covered: Alive in Asia” concert feat. Israel Houghton & New Breed (1/19, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Village Mall 6, Danville, IL: NORM OF THE NORTH, RIDE ALONG 2, DADDY’S HOME, THE FOREST, THE REVENANT, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/15 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL: THE MARTIAN, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, IRRATIONAL MAN, SINISTER 2, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION, FLUTTER, MR. ROBOT (s1), more! (1/12 on)

@ various venues, Park City, UT: 32nd annual Sundance Film Festival (1/21-1/31)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

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Calendar du C-U: January 8-14

January 8th, 2016

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/8/16-1/14/16

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toTuesday, January 12: Damian Duffy (host, Damian Duffy Hates Everything podcast) … celebrate!

PassingsSunday, December 27: Haskell Wexler, 93 (cinematographer, THE BABE) … Friday, January 1: Vilmos Zsigmond, 85 (cinematographer, FLESH AND BLOOD, DEATH RIDERS) … you will be missed.


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: CAROL (1/8 on), SPACEBALLS (1/8, 1/9, 1/13, 1/14, 10 p.m.)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: THE REVENANT, JOY, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/8 on), “Crime, Courtroom & Conspiracy Movies” classes with Skip Huston (Thursdays, 1/21-3/10, 6:30 p.m., enroll @ Avon)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: VICTORIA (1/8-1/10, 7 p.m.), CLUE (1/14, 7 p.m.)

@ AMC Parkway 8 Theatre, Springfield, IL: Springfield Art Association presents the Molly Schlich Independent | International Film Series feat. HUMAN CAPITAL (1/10, 1 & 4 p.m.; 1/12, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE REVENANT, THE BIG SHORT, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, JOY, DADDY’S HOME, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/8 on), ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP (1/9, 1/10, 1:40 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (1/8-1/10, 1/13)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: SISTERS, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP (1/8-1/10), LADY AND THE TRAMP (1/9, 11 a.m., free)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Save the Lorraine Foundation presents THE VISIT (1/8-1/10)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: THE FOREST, THE REVENANT, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, THE BIG SHORT, CONCUSSION, DADDY’S HOME, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, JOY, POINT BREAK, SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/8 on), RIDE ALONG 2 (1/14, 7 & 9:30 p.m.)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: THE FOREST, THE MASKED SAINT, THE REVENANT, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, THE BIG SHORT, CONCUSSION, CREED, DADDY’S HOME, THE GOOD DINOSAUR, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2, JOY, POINT BREAK, SISTERS, SPOTLIGHT, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (IMAX 3-D & 2-D) (1/8 on), Fathom Events, Touchstone Pictures, TriStar Pictures, and RiffTrax.com present Best of RiffTrax Live! STARSHIP TROOPERS (1/14, 7:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Village Mall 6, Danville, IL: THE BIG SHORT, THE FOREST, THE REVENANT, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, DADDY’S HOME, SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/8 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL: SICARIO, THE VISIT, CAPTIVE, THE WALK, SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE, THE GREEN INFERNO, HELL AND BACK, EXPERIMENTER, ASHBY, SHANGHAI, MEMORIES OF THE SWORD, TRUE DETECTIVE (s2), more! (1/5 on)

@ NBC-TV: 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (1/10, 7 p.m. CST)

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar du C-U: January 1-7

January 1st, 2016

Our unique movie and media Calendar appears every Friday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the discerning tastes of citizens in the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

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PLAYING THIS WEEK
1/1/16-1/7/16

MILESTONES

Happy Birthday toThursday, January 7: Steve Christopher (actor, USING), Trevor Dowdy (actor, THE ADVENTURES OF THE SCREAMING APE) … celebrate!


NOW PLAYING

@ The Art Theater Co-op, Champaign, IL: THE DANISH GIRL (1/1 on)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL: Reel Deals presents “Cubicle Blues” feat. 9 TO 5 (1/5, 1/7, 7 p.m.)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: JOY, DADDY’S HOME, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/1 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (12/31, 6:30 p.m.), THE WIZARD OF OZ (1/1, 7 p.m.; 1/ 2, 1 & 7 p.m.; 1/3, 7 p.m.), ROPE (1/5, 7 p.m.), TOUCH OF EVIL (1/6, 1/7, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lincoln Theater 4, Lincoln, IL: THE HATEFUL EIGHT, POINT BREAK (3-D & 2-D), JOY, DADDY’S HOME, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D), ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP (1/1 on)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (1/1 on)

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL: ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP (1/30, 1/1-1/3)

@ Carmike 13, Champaign, IL: THE HATEFUL EIGHT, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, THE BIG SHORT, CONCUSSION, DADDY’S HOME, THE GOOD DINOSAUR, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2, JOY, POINT BREAK (3-D & 2-D), SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/1 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL: THE HATEFUL EIGHT, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, THE BIG SHORT, CONCUSSION, CREED, DADDY’S HOME, THE GOOD DINOSAUR, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2, JOY, POINT BREAK (3-D & 2-D), SISTERS, SPOTLIGHT, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (IMAX 3-D, 3-D & 2-D) (1/1 on), Fathom Events, BBC, PBS, and MASTERPIECE THEATRE present SHERLOCK: THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE (1/5, 1/6, 7:30 p.m.)

@ AMC Village Mall 6, Danville, IL: ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, CONCUSSION, DADDY’S HOME, POINT BREAK (3-D & 2-D), SISTERS, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (3-D & 2-D) (1/1 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL: THE PERFECT GUY, A WALK IN THE WOODS, HITMAN: AGENT 47, HEIST, BONE TOMAHAWK, JENNY’S WEDDING, SHAMELESS (s5), RAY DONOVAN (s3), JIM HENSON’S TURKEY HOLLOW, more! (12/29 on)

@ The Little Lorraine, Hoopeston, IL: Closed for the week!

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Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Also find out what is “Coming Soon” by hitting the jump below. Go see ‘em, C-U!

Read the rest of this entry »

IOW: Conner’s ‘I DO’ debut soon

December 30th, 2015

Nestled amongst the on-line Christmas hullabaloo of last week was a cinematic present from independent producer Kimberly D. Conner of Predestined Arts & Entertainment in Springfield, the new trailer for her second full-length film BEFORE ‘I DO’. We thought it prudent to re-gift the long-awaited sneak peek as our final “Image of the Week” for 2015, dearest revelers, so you can view it right here on C-U Blogfidential! (Thanks to her canny timing, it is the third “first look” at downstate Illinois movie projects to appear here in less than two weeks. Keep them coming, gang!) Not unlike JUMP IN, her previous feature distributed nationally by Maverick Entertainment little more than a year ago, BEFORE ‘I DO’ is a layered relationship drama led by a stellar African-American cast, this time including Jensen Atwood, Omar Gooding, Andrea Kelly, Harold Dennis, Thea Camara, Joel King, Lamar Barnes, Danielle Ward, Kathleen Turner, Michelle Ivy, and Michael Pittman. An official plot crunch describes the action of the film, based on Conner’s own screenplay, as “a story about two firefighters [in which] their bond is tested when one is left at the altar. Firefighter by day, artist by night, Caleb Abrams (Atwood) finds himself at a crossroad [sic] … when Asia Redmond (Ivy) shows up at Caleb’s doorstep out of the blue one year later [after the cancelled wedding]. He unknowingly opens the door to a game of Russian roulette, inviting humbling consequences.” Filmed in Springfield and adjacent Dawson in 2014, BEFORE ‘I DO’ will most likely premiere in the Capital City soon after the New Year with legitimate release occurring in the near future. Once you’ve checked out the trailer – promising a subdued, mature approach to the material and photographed with naturalism by Michael Ware – be sure to follow the respective Facebook and Twitter accounts for developments. We’ll close with a bonus video, this an interview between Maverick personality Simply Tiffany Soul and producer/director Conner that provides anecdotes about the making of JUMP IN as well as the latter’s background and goals. It is an empowering listen with charm to spare, if we do say so ourselves!

Following this week’s Calendar, we’ll rejoin you on the flip side with all the crackling headlines you can handle in 2016 about the movies of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond!

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. At this point, it is probably never too soon to remind you that we have an important milestone to herald once the winter begins making way for spring – the 10th anniversary of CUBlog arrives in late February! More soon on that esoteric achievement, as we go…