Coppola, Scorcese & David Lynch At The Movies

By Chris Narloch

Movie theaters continue to look for ways to lure patrons away from streaming services like Netflix, and showing classic films is one way to attract baby boomers back to the big screen.

I know I enjoy seeing films I remember from my childhood or early adulthood again, and local theaters are showing several vintage titles this month that were directed by some of the finest movie directors ever.

 

Read on for the dates and details of those special film events, and then check out my thoughts on the latest new movies at the multiplex.

The Esquire IMAX

This is your last weekend to see the IMAX 2D Experience of “Apocalypse Now: Final Cut,” a new version of Francis Ford Coppola’s movie masterpiece about the Vietnam War, which will play through this Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019.

Now in its 40th year, “Apocalypse Now” returns in a never-before-seen restored cut. The film has been re-mastered in 4K Ultra HD, and “Apocalypse Now: Final Cut” employs a groundbreaking sound system engineered to create a truly visceral movie experience.

In addition, the film has been enhanced with High Dynamic Range (HDR), delivering spectacular colors and highlights, with brighter “brights” and darker “darks.” The result is breathtaking realism.

After being blown away by “Apocalypse Now: Final Cut,” you will want to come back again and experience another current IMAX movie, “Apollo 11,” a fascinating documentary that features never-before-seen footage and audio recordings.

“Apollo 11” takes you straight into the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embark on a historic trip to the moon.

You can even see the new “Fast and the Furious” film, “Hobbs & Shaw,” which is also playing at Sacramento’s Esquire IMAX on K Street into early September.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.imax.com/imax-esquire-oo.

The Crest Theatre

One of director David Lynch’s strangest films – and that’s saying something – “Mulholland Drive” will return to the big screen this Sunday evening, Aug. 25, 2019, in all its glory, for one night only.

I love Lynch (“Blue Velvet,” “Twin Peaks,” “The Elephant Man”) so I will definitely be there to see one of his finest films -- a hypnotic tale of an aspiring actress (Naomi Watts) who helps a mysterious, dark-haired beauty (Laura Elena Harring) attempt to discover her true identity, after the woman experiences amnesia following a car crash.

For more information, visit www.crestsacramento.com.

The Tower Theatre

If your taste in movies runs to the dark and disturbing, then I can recommend the new drama “Luce,” which stars Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth, and Naomi Watts as the teacher (Spencer) and adoptive parents (Roth and Watts) of an African-American teenager, who writes a very disturbing class paper and then is discovered to have explosives in his locker.

The mysterious boy in “Luce” is played by Kelvin Harrison Jr. whose masterful performance keeps the viewer guessing until the very end of this thought-provoking, big-screen adaptation of an acclaimed play by JC Lee that deals with issues of privacy, privilege and racism.

The Tower will also present Martin Scorcese’s mob masterpiece, “Goodfellas,” for one night only, on the evening of Monday, Sep. 2, as part of an ongoing “90s Rewind” film festival. That movie stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, and Samuel L. Jackson.

For Tower Theatre show times, visit www.readingcinemasus.com/tower.

Multiplex Movies

If I were you, I would stay far away from the awful chick-flick mob movie “The Kitchen,” which wastes a dynamite cast that includes Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Moss, Common, and Margo Martindale. “Goodfellas” it ain’t.

There are, however, several fine films currently in wide release that deserve to be seen before they vanish from local theaters, including “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.”

“The Peanut Butter Falcon,” a sweet, feel-good film that actually works, stars a terrific Shia LaBeouf and also features fine work by Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, and John Hawkes.

The true heart of “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” however, is Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down Syndrome who gives a charming performance as a young man who runs away from a care home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler.

The funny, entertaining dramedy “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” features a superb performance by the great Cate Blanchett, as a formerly famous oddball architect who needs to get her mojo back.

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” was directed by the very talented Richard Linklater (“Boyhood,” “Dazed and Confused”), and the movie is as quirky as its heroine, who responds to an intervention her husband (Billy Crudup) stages by climbing out a Seattle window and taking off for Antarctica.

If, like me, you long to be scared but don’t care for horror movies that are super gory, the PG-13 thrills in “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” may be right up your alley. Teenagers in peril are a staple of the horror genre, but the young people in this movie are more resourceful (and more likable) than in your average shocker.

“Scary Stories…” receives a slight demerit for an open ending that is clearly crying out for a sequel, but the rest of the movie is a stylish chiller about a book whose scary stories come to life.

Finally, TCM Big Screen Classics will bring the 1962 historical epic “Lawrence of Arabia” back to theaters, on Sep. 1 and 4. For theater locations, visit www.fathomevents.com.

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