With his good looks, Liev Schreiber (TV's Ray Donovan) seems born to play an astronaut. In Magnet Releasing's The Last Days on Mars, he finally gets the chance. As chief systems officer Vincent Campbell, he's part of Aurora's six-month mission on the red planet with only 19 hours left to go before heading home. What could go wrong?
According to The Slumber Party Massacre, young women love to have group sleepovers so fun that the girls don't have the good sense to leave the house when their party is crashed by the arrival of a drill-wielding serial killer.
We vilify people for bad behavior in real life, yet celebrate it in our entertainment, particularly on the small screen. When the results are as strong as the current crop, all new (or new-ish) to DVD and/or Blu-ray, why question the disconnect?
Prior to his Spider-Man trilogy, director Sam Raimi cut his superhero-movie teeth on 1990's Darkman, a character of his own creation. Although it's clearly not the most polished of his works, the summer sleeper plays even better as the years tick by. Look no further than Shout! Factory's colorful re-release on Blu-ray.
Someday, celebrity cyclist Lance Armstrong may regret hiring Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to document his 2009 "comeback," but I doubt it. As The Armstrong Lie demonstrates time and again for two mostly gripping hours, the athlete is still unable to tell the whole truth and nothing but.
Again, lotsa local film and TV happenings are on the immediate horizon, so let’s run through them on the record so I can say, “I told you about that!”’’
• Count Gregore is returning to TV! Count Gregore is returning to TV! OK, so it’s only for one night, but still. The local horror host legend (and last year’s grand marshal of Gazette’s Halloween Parade) will grace the airwaves of KSBI TV 52 (Cox channel 7) at 11 p.m. on Halloween. The flick he’ll host? 1962’s sci-fi schlock classic “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.” TiVo, set.
• Ken Loach’s work doesn’t often play the Sooner State. Depending on your tastes, that may be a good thing. If you fall on the +1 side, you’ll want to catch “Kes” at Oklahoma City University’s free screening, 2 p.m. Nov. 6. The 1969 film about a boy and his falcon yielded praise from none other than Roger Ebert. Then again, Ebert gave “Garfield” three stars.
• On topic, City Arts Center screens the documentary “OT: Our Town” at 6 p.m. Nov. 3, followed by an open discussion on arts in education. The film follows high school students as they produce Thornton Wilder’s classic play on no budget and no stage. Not only is admission free, but so are popcorn and refreshments. Win win. To RSVP, call 951-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• As Semisonic once sang, “It’s all about chemistry, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh.” It’s the International Year of Chemistry, and University of Central Oklahoma will celebrate your least favorite high school science class with screenings of two films: 1943’s “Madame Curie” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and 2010’s “The Illusionist” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in Pegasus Theater inside UCO’s Liberal Arts Building. The former is $6, the latter is free (not to mention just a damn fine animated film). For more information, call 974-5476 or email email@example.com.
• Remember the documentary about Wayman Tisdale we told you about? Before “The Wayman Tisdale Story” hits DVD, you can see it on the big screen, scheduled for Nov. 6 at Moorehouse Church in Oklahoma City, Nov. 9 at Oklahoma Hall of Fame in Muskogee, and Nov. 12 at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. No, I have no idea where Moorehouse Church is, either, but all the screenings are — recurring theme detected — free!
• Prepare to yell “Krup you!” to Officer Krupke all over again, as the Oscar-winning musical “West Side Story” hits theaters for one night only in a 50th-anniversary event. With 7 p.m. Nov. 9 screenings set at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24 and Cinemark Tinseltown USA, the film also includes a special discussion with producer Walter Mirisch and actor George Chakiris, moderated by Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.
• And finally, if you’re one of those people who’d rather make movies than just watch them, make plans to attend “12x5,” a presentation by the Cinematic Artists of Norman. Beginning at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at Mainsite Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main in Norman, the event gives a dozen film professionals five minutes apiece to share their knowledge. That’s a lot of shared knowledge for not a lot of money — in fact, it’s free! For more information, call 355-3226 or visit cinematicartistsofnorman.org. —Rod Lott