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Film Scene: Kids’ classics top the lineup in Savannah, Tybee and beyond

 

Film Scene: Kids’ classics top the lineup in Savannah, Tybee and beyond

31 May 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many specialty cinema events taking place in the greater Savannah area over the next seven days that it’s somewhat hard to fathom. See what I did there?

Still, here at Film Scene, it’s our business to provide a bird’s-eye view of the whole celluloid mishegoss. So, let’s do this.

Family-friendly on Tybee

First up is one of several high-profile, family-friendly feature films being offered over the next couple of summer months by the good folks at Tybee Post Theater. On June 1 (and again June 8), they’ll show director Jon Favreau’s (“Iron Man”) 2016 take on the classic amalgamation of Rudyard Kipling tales known collectively as “The Jungle Book.”

June 6 finds the Post offering 2016’s Polynesian-themed animated Disney adventure-comedy “Moana,” and June 7 sees the venue presenting the well-reviewed fantasy flick which is 2016’s “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” starring recent Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne. Each of these films is suitable for well-behaved kids (hint, hint) and shows twice, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on their respective dates. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for those younger than 12.

‘Being Mortal’

Next up is the June 1 screening of the 2015 PBS-made documentary “Being Mortal,” at Wilmington Island’s Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Based on the 2014 book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by the telegenic endocrine surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande, the film serves as a primer for the wide assortment of choices available to those seeking “end of life care” for themselves (or a loved one suffering from a terminal illness). The movie showcases a number of lesser-known approaches and alternatives to needlessly prolonging treatments, which can often ruin the quality of life for the patient in their final months, weeks and days.

Hospice Care of Georgia is sponsoring this informative event, which will be followed by a discussion of such matters as creating living wills, transferring power of attorney and other key elements of caring compassionately for the dying. Despite the screening location at a house of worship, the film itself is non-denominational and members of all faiths (or none) are encouraged to attend. Free of charge, but the organizers ask audience members to reserve a spot in advance at redeemersav.org or 912-897-1133.

Political docudrama

The same night at the same time, Fathom Events offers an encore screening of the new, religious-themed political docudrama “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem,” at the Regal Savannah Stadium 10 multiplex behind the Savannah Mall. Based on the Six-Day War that pitted the state of Israel against the combined forces of Syria, Jordan and what would later be known as Egypt, it offers a fictionalized narrative centered around the tale of Israel’s 55th Paratrooper Brigade and their impassioned defense of what was then a barely 20-year-old nation. Showtime is 7 p.m., with $13.38 admission.

Free Disney smash hit

Moving on to June 2, SCAD offers an unexpected treat for young and old alike: a completely free screening of director Bill Condon’s (“Gods and Monsters,” the “Twilight” saga) recent box-office smash “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson as — you guessed it — the Beast. Heh.

Produced by Disney Studios, it’s an updated, live-action version of that studio’s own animated musical fairy tale classic from 1991. This new film, however, adds several new songs to the popular original score, and also features such big-screen luminaries as Kevin Kline (“A Fish Called Wanda”), Stanley Tucci (“Monkey Shines”), Emma Thompson (“Sense and Sensibility”) and Ian McKellen (TV’s “Vicious”) in key supporting roles.

The 1,100-capacity balconied Trustees Theater is a wonderful venue in which to see such a grand sort of feature. I suggest arriving early, not only to get your choice of seats, but also because SCAD’s current security protocols (which are now in place at the nearby Lucas Theatre as well) include a visual check of all bags and passing through a metal detector, which tends to slow things down a bit on the way in. 7 p.m. showtime with free admission to the general public.

‘JONAH’ encore

The next morning, June 3, Fathom Events is back at its favorite local venue, the Regal Savannah Stadium 10, with an encore presentation of “JONAH: On Stage!” Described as a “hit musical,” this technically elaborate stage presentation of the biblical tale of the titular guy who found himself inside a whale’s belly was shot in high-def digital video and is said to look and sound great on the big screen. A family-friendly presentation that aims for a humorous take on the “lovable yet stubborn prophet,” it screens just once at 11 a.m., with $13.38 admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and also charged in advance online at fathomevents.com.

Milestone anniversary

The next day at the same venue (as well as at the Cinemark in nearby Bluffton, S.C.), Fathom celebrates the 45th anniversary of the initial theatrical release of director Francis Ford Coppola’s landmark organized crime drama “The Godfather,” with a two-day rerelease that finds that epic, beloved Mafia saga back on the silver screen again in all its restored glory.

“The Godfather” is a sight to behold (which many folks enthusiastically list as their favorite film of all time), and is generally considered to be the most influential gangster film ever made — and that’s a worldwide designation. It earned a whopping 10 Oscar nominations back in 1972, and took home the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay. So, what are you waiting for? Pace yourself on the sodee-pop, though, as the film is almost three hours long. $13.38 admission, with showtimes at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 4 and again June 7.

Two for Tuesdays

The Mars Theatre in nearby Springfield gets in on the family-friendly summertime film action June 6 with the launch of this year’s low-dough series known as “Two for Tuesdays Kids Movies.” Each Tuesday for eight weeks in a row, this restored, single-screen venue has booked a different child-pleasing feature, which will show twice that day, at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

June 6, it’s 2007’s animated adventure-comedy “The Bee Movie,” starring the vocal talents of Jerry Seinfeld, Matthew Broderick, Barry Levinson, Chris Rock and Sting (among many, many others). Admission is just $2 for all guests (regardless of age), with small popcorns only $2 and small soft drinks only $1 each.

Dean Martin tribute

And finally, the next night, June 7, back in Savannah at The Sentient Bean, the Psychotronic Film Society’s long-running weekly series of unpredictable and underappreciated motion pictures continues with a slight anomaly. The PFS pays tribute to the life and legacy of the late, beloved singing actor and comic Dean Martin on the 100th anniversary of his birth — however, they are not doing so by showing one of Martin’s many feature films. Instead, they will screen a specially made 75-minute compilation of rarely seen highlights from Dean’s infamous NBC-TV variety show, which ran from 1965-74 (for an amazing 264 episodes), but has never been shown publicly since.

Packed with a veritable who’s who of guest stars (including top comedians, actors, musicians and vocalists), that series found Martin holding court and interacting with a wide swath of household names in all sorts of ways — from campy sketch comedy to schmaltzy song-and-dance numbers — with an ever-present highball glass and cigarette in tow.

This selection of standout routines and musical performances from Martin’s variety show was curated just for this one-night-only screening, and functions as a time capsule of Hollywood and network TV from that period. Showtime is 8 p.m., with $8 admission and discounts on organic wine and craft beer during the show (as Dean would surely appreciate).

Until next issue, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

Jim Reed directs Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah. Email psychotronicfilms@hotmail.com.

JIM’S NOTES

The computer-animated feature “Moana” is — believe it or not — the 56th animated feature film made by Disney Studios. Film critic Joe Morgenstern, writing in the Wall Street Journal, surely made many readers chuckle when he wrote of the film that it was “beautiful in more ways than I can tell, thanks to the brilliance of more animators than I could count.”

The most recent Disney version of “Beauty and the Beast” (a live-action update of their 1991 animated musical) has to date grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide. This astounding total makes it the single highest-grossing motion picture of 2017. Additionally, it now sstands as the 10th highest-grossing film ever made. While principal photography only took three months, the film itself had been in development for almost three years. The studio wound up spending almost $150 million simply to advertise the film worldwide.

Dean Martin had no interest in starring in his own network TV variety show, so when approached by NBC, rather than turn the offer down outright, he decided instead to cheekily make a list of what he believed were unreasonable demands — forcing them to abandon the idea. To his shock, the network agreed to all his requests, and he was thus forced to accept their contract. Famously, this contract stipulated that Martin was not required to show up to any rehearsals. So, he would arrive just before the show taped in front of a live audience, and frequently flubbed his lines or singing parts. He insisted that no re-takes be done, and that his mistakes and the reactions of his co-stars be kept in the final shows. This added to the show’s unpredictable nature and became a late-career trademark for the performer.

IF YOU GO

What: “Being Mortal”

When: 7 p.m. June 1

Where: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 51 Wilmington Island Road

Cost: Free

Info: redeemersav.org

What: “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem”

When: 7 p.m. June 1

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave.

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “The Jungle Book”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 1

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: “Beauty and the Beast” (2017 live-action version)

When: 7 p.m. June 2

Where: Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St.

Cost: Free

Info: trusteestheater.com

What: “JONAH: On Stage!”

When: 11 a.m. June 3

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave.

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “The Godfather” 45th anniversary

When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 4 and 7

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave., and Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “The Bee Movie”

When: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 6

Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St., Springfield

Cost: $2

Info: marstheatre.com

What: “Moana”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 6

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 7

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: Dean Martin 100th Birthday Tribute

When: 8 p.m. June 7

Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

What: “The Jungle Book”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 8

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

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