movies this week: there can be more than one

You might wonder why I’m bothering with Movies This Week this week. We all know exactly which single movie has opened around the country, already pulling in more than $16 million just from midnight and overnight screenings, which has yanked the US box office out of its springtime slump, and which is dominating most theaters in town this week.
However, it is possible that Austin might contain a few people who don’t want to go see the big George Lucas extravaganza and would like to find out if any other movies are playing around town this weekend. Or perhaps some people saw the big movie already but would like to watch something else too.
If you didn’t catch them on opening weekend, you can still find some good movies playing in first-run theaters. Kung Fu Hustle and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room are both great films in entirely different ways. (I wouldn’t try them as a double-feature, though.) I can’t believe the Arbor is still showing Bride and Prejudice, which I would also recommend.
And there are lots of special event screenings in Austin this week, whether you like lesbian spy spoofs, Thirties musicals, John Hughes flicks, or Humphrey Bogart double-features.
Alamo Downtown, Alamo Lake Creek, Dobie, and Arbor Great Hills are the Austin theaters where you know you won’t have to push your way past long lines of lightsaber-loving fans to get to the smaller movie you might want to see. And you can always head over to Spider House or Pedazo Chunk for their regular DVD screenings.
And if you wanted to stay home to watch a movie, you could rent The Fearless Freaks, the documentary about the Flaming Lips that was just released on DVD.

New movies in Austin this week:
Head-On—German film about the consequences of a couple that enters a marriage of convenience. Sounds a bit grim.
Major Dundee—Dobie is showing the restored version of this 1965 Sam Peckinpah movie. This is the movie I want to see this weekend. I don’t care if it stars Charlton Heston, it also has the usual fine Peckinpah supporting cast, including the irresistable James Coburn.
Revenge of the Sith—What could I possibly say that hasn’t been said already? I’m not planning to see it myself, but I know this movie will please a lot of people who have been waiting for, hell, decades to see what happens to the Star Wars universe.
I did take a certain glee in reading Anthony Lane’s review from The New Yorker. Warning: the review does give away certain elements of the storyline, although I didn’t find it much more revealing than the trailers. Also, if you don’t like reviews in the same vein as John Simon or Dorothy Parker, you might want to skip this one. (Also, this is not the article’s permanent link, so read it now or you might have to dig around for it later.)
Notable events/revivals in Austin:
The Paramount’s Summer Film Classics schedule is online here. Check it out.
Also, Alamo Downtown has posted its schedule for June. Their lineup looks great, including The Jerk, Shaun of the Dead, Dazed and Confused, a South Park sing-along, and another screening of Viva Les Amis.
ABBA: The Movie—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Mon. 5/23 (for $1) and at midnight Thurs-Sat. 5/26-28. Just for you, sweetie: a 1977 film about the Swedish band directed by, weirdly enough, Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, Chocolat).
Casablanca—Playing at the Paramount Fri-Sat. 5/27-28. It isn’t really summer in Austin unless the Paramount shows Casablanca. (I wish they were showing it in a double-feature with The African Queen, which isn’t on DVD, or The Maltese Falcon … or anything other than Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which I found annoying.)
Dark Side of the Rainbow—Playing at Alamo Village at midnight on Fri-Sat. 5/20-21, and at Alamo Downtown on Sun. 5/22 and Tues. 5/24. Alamo syncs the Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz.
D.E.B.S.—Playing at Arbor Great Hills on Thurs. 5/26. Satire of female double-agent/action movies, sponsored by aGLIFF. Looks like it could be lots of fun. Geez, it’s going to be really hard to decide between this and Top Hat at Paramount.
E.T.—Playing at Alamo South on Sat-Sun. 5/28-29 as part of their new Summer Kids Camp series. The theater will show a kids’ movie at noon every weekend this summer. Nice idea. I hope they pick other good films.
Metropolis—Playing at Alamo Drafthouse on Fri. 5/27 with a live accompaniment by turntable performer DJ Nick Nack.
Popaganda: the Art and Crimes of Ron English—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Tues-Thurs 5/24-26. The trailer for this 2004 movie looked good the first dozen times we saw it at Alamo, but admittedly we spend more time than most people at Alamo. It’s a documentary about Ron English, who repaints New York billboards and ads to make statements about popular culture. I’m hoping to see this if I can.
Pretty in Pink—Playing at Alamo Lake Creek on Wed. 5/25 as part of their new Pick a Flick series.
Talk Radio—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Wed. 5/25 with Eric Bogosian in attendance. If you buy Bogosian’s latest book Wasted Beauty, you get in the movie for free, and he’ll sign it after the screening.
Top Hat—Playing at the Paramount on Thurs. 5/26 to open the Summer Film Classics series. Admission is 50 cents! A great opportunity to see one of the best Astaire-Rogers films, which won’t be on DVD until August.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre—Playing at the Paramount Fri-Sat. 5/27-28 on a double-feature with Casablanca. I saw this movie last year and found it disappointing, but most people seem to love it. New print.
At home, I have My Little Chickadee to watch on DVD, and I think we are getting the DVD for The Slums of Beverly Hills too.
I still need to write reviews for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Bad News Bears, But I’m a Cheerleader, Spy Kids 2, The Celluloid Closet, The Iron Giant, Raging Bull, and Maria Full of Grace. Whew. I can barely remember a couple of those.