OPENING Thursday: Captain America ... and Spidey?
The Avengers are again assembling, for the first time in movies with an old friend.
Spider-Man is back in the fold, after decades of battling the only supervillain alliance who could possibly derail Marvel's empire.
The Mutant Liberation Front? The Serpent Society?
No, even more dastardly: movie studio lawyers.
Captain America: Civil War (PG-13) opens Thursday night, in Hollywood's peculiar way of plugging a movie's Friday release date for months, then jumping the gun.
For the first time ever, Spider-Man will join his Marvel comrades in a movie, after Sony threw in the towel that Disney will now use to clean up.
And it took James Bond to get us here.
In the 1980s, Marvel sold Spidey's rights to Cannon Films, a B-movie studio later absorbed by MGM. In between, Marvel reacquired the rights and sold them to Columbia Pictures. MGM sued, claiming Spider-Man was part of their Cannon acquisition.
The studios agreed to a swap; Columbia took Spider-Man, and MGM got full ownership of the then-struggling James Bond franchise they'd previously shared.
Columbia, later Sony, eventually turned out a successful Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire in the 2000s, jump-starting superhero cinema. A recent attempt to reboot the franchise with Andrew Garfield underwhelmed, so Sony sold the rights to Disney, nearly completing its set of Marvel superheroes. (Watch out, Fox and your X-Men.)
So, here we are, and where is that? Can't say for sure since Captain America: Civil War wasn't screened in time for Weekend. A review will be published at tampabay.com/movies.
FUNDRAISER: Last Pitcher show?
For years, Tampa Pitcher Show has been a refuge for Tampa Bay's independent filmmaking scene, a place where even the cheesiest of efforts can be exhibited and respected.
Times have changed and Tampa Pitcher Show apparently isn't aging well. Unable to afford a digital projection setup, the theater has been leasing one for $20,000 to show new releases like The Jungle Book, causing other expenses to mount. A bunch of local filmmakers are raising funds Saturday to keep Tampa Pitcher Show "open as long as possible."
Admission is $10, including five raffle tickets, with more available to buy. Doors opens at noon for seven hours of shoestring cinema with titles like Mombie and Gynecologist: The Musical. B-movie star Joel Wynkoop will serve as master of ceremonies for an afternoon of movies, giveaways and a performance by standup comedian Nicole Lauren.
Tampa Pitcher Show is located at 14416 N Dale Mabry Highway. (813) 963-0578. tampapitchershow.net.
INDIE FLICKS: The Congressman
Treat Williams is an actor we never see enough in movies, so an unassuming political comedy titled The Congressman (R) may be worth a peek.
Williams plays Charlie Winship, a Maine politico caught on video doing something a congressman shouldn't. An affair? A drug deal? No, Charlie fails to stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, leading to public rancor and self-exile in a remote fishing village. Just the sort of place an emotionally hollowed person might reconstruct a soul.
The Congressman opens Friday at Tampa Theatre.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 Miles Ahead: Writer-director Don Cheadle reveals music legend Miles Davis.
2 Demolition: There's no more interesting actor working today than Jake Gyllenhaal.
3 Midnight Special: Three-quarters great, the rest merely gripping.
4 Green Room: Punk rockers chased by skinheads, in a gut-twisting thriller.
5 Eye in the Sky: Antiterrorism military officer (Helen Mirren) conducts drone warfare.
(dates subject to change)
May 13: The Darkness; Money Monster; Kidnap; The Man Who Knew Infinity
May 20: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising; Angry Birds; The Nice Guys
May 27: X-Men: Apocalypse; Alice Through the Looking Glass; The Lobster; The Meddler
June 3: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; Me Before You
June 10: Warcraft; Now You See Me 2; The Conjuring 2: The Endfield Experiment
June 17: Finding Dory; Central Intelligence
June 24: Independence Day: Resurgence; Free State of Jones; Swiss Army Man
June 29: The Shallows