Saturday, October 20, 2018
Movies

Five offbeat movie choices to get you away from the multiplex this week

Hollywood is backloading December, waiting for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to bring moviegoers back to multiplexes. After no major releases last week, only James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is making any new impression at box offices this weekend. (Click here to read a review.)

Maybe it’s a good time to cast your eyes elsewhere.

Tampa Bay is dotted with offbeat movie experiences, from recurrences like Eckerd College’s International Cinema Series to pop-ups like a punk documentary at a record store. Here are four movies nowhere near multiplexes in product or price, plus a stay-at-home suggestion.

STAY HOME IN THE ROOM

Before seeing The Disaster Artist, watching the terrible movie it celebrates couldn’t hurt. Well, actually it does. Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is truly one of the best worst movies ever made, as impossible to describe as it is to sit through. Regrettably, it isn’t currently available on streaming services. You could buy a DVD on Amazon.com, but that’s $11 spent better elsewhere. If a friend offers to loan a copy, he is not a friend. You can find everything to know about The Room on YouTube, through compilations of favorite idiotic moments posted by fans. Bring your own spoon.

DON’T BREAK DOWN

Microgroove Records presents two screenings of the documentary Don’t Break Down, reuniting the influential American punk band Jawbreaker, whose fans include Billie Joe Armstrong. The Green Day frontman is among the talking heads extolling Jawbreaker’s virtues 11 years after the band dissolved. 7:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Microgroove Records, 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. $10.

ART IN THE CITY

Cranstan Cumberbatch has screened his drama Art in the City at various venues over the past year, spreading its message of homeless advocacy and homegrown filmmaking. Cumberbatch shares writing, directing and producing credits while starring as Art, a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD on St. Petersburg’s streets. The city’s sights and culture are backdrops for his resurrection.
3 p.m. Saturday at the Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N in St. Petersburg. $15 at the door.

SUNSET CINEMA AT PIER 60

Bring blankets or low lawn chairs to Clearwater Beach’s Pier 60 for free movies at 6 p.m. on a jumbo-sized screen. Friday’s selection is 2006’s Oscar winner Happy Feet (PG), the animated tale of a tap dancing penguin (voiced by Elijah Wood). Saturday brings Beauty and the Beast (PG), this year’s live-action version, not the Oscar-winning animated one. Now we need flesh-and-beak penguins to remake Happy Feet and the circle is complete.

ARTISTS AND MODELS ABROAD

The Dalí Museum regularly screens idiosyncratic movies free of charge in its lobby theater. The latest is Artists and Models Abroad, a 1938 musical comedy starring Jack Benny and Joan Bennett, left, at 1 p.m. Saturday. What would Salvador Dalí appreciate about this piece of Depression-era fluff? Probably the 20-minute fashion show sequence featuring avant garde designs by Schiaparelli, Lanvin, Patou, Paquin and for what it’s worth, the House of Worth.

ALSO OPENING: JUST GETTING STARTED

Actually, there is another movie besides The Disaster Artist opening this weekend. Just Getting Started (PG-13) just isn’t making a big deal about it.

Strange that a movie starring Academy Award winners Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman, both left, plus Rene Russo and the late Glenne Headly in her final film role can arrive so unceremoniously. Just Getting Started is written and directed by Ron Shelton of Bull Durham and White Men Can’t Jump fame, making its timid marketing more puzzling.

The movie sounds like a pleasant diversion for the AARP crowd, an action comedy set in a golf course community about a retired FBI agent (Jones) and a federally protected witness (Freeman) eluding a mob hit. Midnight Run with hip replacements. Please, play through.

in theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: One of 2017’s best films.

2 The Florida Project: Homeless children make their own magic in Disney World’s shadow.

3 Lady Bird: Saoirse Ronan shines in Greta Gerwig’s directing debut.

4 The Disaster Artist: James Franco celebrates the worst movie ever.

5 Last Flag Flying: Richard Linklater’s sequel of sorts to The Last Detail.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

Dec. 15: Star Wars: The Last Jedi; The Shape of Water; Wonder Wheel; Ferdinand

Dec. 20: The Greatest Showman; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

   
Comments
In theaters this week: ‘Halloween,’ ‘The Oath,’ ‘The Old Man & The Gun,’ Tampa Theatre gets in spooky spirit

In theaters this week: ‘Halloween,’ ‘The Oath,’ ‘The Old Man & The Gun,’ Tampa Theatre gets in spooky spirit

Catch loads of Halloween classics at Tampa Theatre or the Halloween revival that brings Jamie Lee Curtis back after 40 years.
Published: 10/17/18
What makes the new ‘Halloween’ such a thrill is how it deviates from the original

What makes the new ‘Halloween’ such a thrill is how it deviates from the original

Decades after John Carpenter’s slasher landmark, David Gordon Green has resurrected the faceless Boogeyman of Halloween and set him loose on another Halloween night, 40 years later.
Published: 10/17/18
‘The Oath’ is a political satire that’s ripped, like a Band-Aid, from today’s headlines

‘The Oath’ is a political satire that’s ripped, like a Band-Aid, from today’s headlines

This blistering political satire may reopen a political wound that has barely had time to heal.
Published: 10/17/18
How Lady Gaga's real life mirrors - and doesn't mirror - her character in 'A Star Is Born'

How Lady Gaga's real life mirrors - and doesn't mirror - her character in 'A Star Is Born'

Maybe you watched the trailer for "A Star Is Born," and thought, huh, that's weird. We're supposed to believe that Lady Gaga lacks the confidence to sing her own songs, or that she is unattractive, and, therefore, she couldn't have a singing career? ...
Published: 10/13/18
‘First Man’ aims to make us feel, and see, what Neil Armstrong felt and saw

‘First Man’ aims to make us feel, and see, what Neil Armstrong felt and saw

There’s enough going on in director Damien Chazelle’s tense, distinctive Neil Armstrong biopic First Man to leave the climactic, inspired Apollo 11 moon landing sequence aside for a few paragraphs. So hang in there, please, and we’ll get to the damn ...
Published: 10/11/18
What’s in theaters this week: ‘First Man,’ ‘Bad Times at the El Royale,’ ‘The Hate U Give’

What’s in theaters this week: ‘First Man,’ ‘Bad Times at the El Royale,’ ‘The Hate U Give’

From Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong to Goosebumps 2, here’s what movies are releasing this week.
Published: 10/10/18
Updated: 10/11/18
‘The Hate U Give’ is an essential movie for 2018

‘The Hate U Give’ is an essential movie for 2018

The movie examines Black Lives Matter in a powerful, timely and deeply moving tale.
Published: 10/09/18
Need a giant glacier? An Eiffel Tower? Tampa prop master Tandova Ecenia is selling them off after 38 years

Need a giant glacier? An Eiffel Tower? Tampa prop master Tandova Ecenia is selling them off after 38 years

TAMPA — Tandova Ecenia has her choice of how to ride off into the sunset — dozens of pony-on-a-stick toys, a covered wagon, a 65-foot pirate ship replica.“I have a little of everything,” Ecenia said with a laugh.Not for lo...
Published: 10/08/18
Why I’m done watching movies made by bad men

Why I’m done watching movies made by bad men

There are times when I’m just done. This is one of those times.It was reported this week that Mel Gibson is co-writing and directing a reboot of The Wild Bunch, Sam Peckinpah’s revolutionary 1969 Western. Leaving aside whether we need this movie (we ...
Updated one month ago
So did Russian bots try to bring down 'Star Wars'? After furor, man who authored study says not exactly

So did Russian bots try to bring down 'Star Wars'? After furor, man who authored study says not exactly

The internet has been aflame this week over a study suggesting Russian trolls and bots had been deployed as part of a campaign to bring down one of the biggest movies in the "Star Wars" franchise."Russian trolls stoked 'Star Wars: The ...
Updated one month ago