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.
Recently reopened after Project 180 renovations, downtown’s Myriad Botanical Gardens at 301 W. Reno has ushered in its new digs with “Movies Under the Stars.” The weekly Wednesday series began last week with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Shrek played last night, but several more screenings are scheduled, all free, all beginning at 9 p.m.
For the rest of the summer, expect: • July 25, Grease • Aug. 1, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (pictured, duh) • Aug. 8, West Side Story • Aug. 15, Never Cry Wolf • Aug. 22, U2: Rattle and Hum • Aug. 29, Sherlock Holmes
That’s quite a lineup compared to the usual suspects of such free film series, with U2: Rattle and Hum striking me as a particularly inspired choice. I have fond memories of seeing that music doc three times to a largely empty theater at the long-ago-closed AMC Northwest 8. (Yes, kids, this thing we call “you too” was the Justin Bieber and Katy Perry of my day: They were so big, they had their own picture show!) Suddenly, I have an itch to dig out the soundtrack.
Please note that coolers are permitted, but not open containers of *hic!* alcohol. For more information, call 297-3995 or visit myriadgardens.org. —Rod Lott