Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
Military marksman Col. Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines, Running Scared) is called into top-secret duty to neutralize a surveillance robot gone haywire in San Francisco. It won't be easy, because for one thing, the android is undetectable from a human. For another, it has a built-in nuclear bomb that will detonate upon imminent threat.
I plead guilty: My friends and I have goofed around with a camcorder before and made stupid movies, but we were smart enough to know that no one outside ourselves would think they were funny. If only the makers of Caesar and Otto's Deadly Xmas realized the same.
• Get your “Goat” when a slew of musical master talents — including Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Stuart Duncan and vocalist Aoife O’Donovan — combine for “The Goat Rodeo Sessions Live,” a multigenre concert screening at 6:30 p.m. tonight at AMC Quail Springs 24, Cinemark Tinseltown and, in Norman, Hollywood Spotlight 14. For more information, visit fathomevents.com.
• Too lazy to get out for a movie? Then type this in on your Google machine: http://vimeo.com/34790491. (Or just look below, if you’re that lazy.) Through today, that lets you watch mumblecore giant Joe Swanberg’s new film, “Marriage Material,” for the price of $0.00, courtesy of Factory 25.
It’s about a young couple who agree to babysit a pal’s baby pictured for a day; much talking ensues. Swanberg’s style is not for me, but far be it from me to deny you from determining whether you share such sentiment.
• Oklahoma City University Film Institute’s series sets its sights on Iran with “Children of Heaven,” about two poor siblings who share a pair of shoes. The acclaimed 1997 family drama shows for free at 2 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Kerr-McGee Auditorium of the Meinders School of Business, 2501 N. Blackwelder. For more information, call 208-5472. —Rod Lott