Any Film Scene readers seen the new indie thriller “Hereditary” yet? This latest high-profile release from the reliably solid arthouse distributor A24 is playing at a couple of corporate multiplexes around our area. I recommend strongly that if you have any interest in old-school psychological horror flicks like “The Wicker Man,” “Don’t Look Now” and “Rosemary’s Baby” — or even something more recent like 2011’s “Kill List” — you catch it in a theatrical setting.
On a big screen in a darkened room with an attentive, quiet audience is the best way to see such an atmospheric and unsettling slow-burn of a picture, which is not quite as flat-out amazing as many critics would have you believe, yet still way above average for a modern-day scare film. If you are gonna go, do yourself a huge favor and don’t read anything specific about the plot. Go in blind and you’ll thank me later.
‘The Last Jedi’
Looking ahead now to specialty cinema events taking place in our area over the next seven days: on June 21, Tybee Island’s historic Post Theater screens last year’s entry in the ever-growing “Star Wars” franchise, “The Last Jedi.” If you missed it the first time around, this may be one of your last chances to see it in a theater any time soon. Two showtimes, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission prices to all our listings can be found in the accompanying sidebar. Spoiler alert: Darth Vader is Luke’s father!
Action & animation
Longtime Film Scene readers know the tiny town of Springfield boasts its own restored historic single-screen theater quite similar to the Tybee Post. At 7 p.m. June 21, 22 and 23, the Mars Theatre will show the just-released, CGI-packed, dinosaurs-run-amuck sequel “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” starring Geraldine Chaplin, Jeff Goldblum, B.D. Wong and some new guy named Pratt (I believe).
Then, on June 26, their summertime Two for Tuesdays series of cheap, kid-friendly flicks continues with 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. showings of the recently released animated adaptation of author Beatrix Potter’s “Peter Rabbit” tales, starring late-night talk show host James Corden as the voice of the titular bunny. As one might suspect, tickets are just $2.
Drum roll, please
Out on the Southside, the Regal Stadium 10 behind the Savannah Mall has four notable offerings on tap in the upcoming week, starting with a live, streaming simulcast of the 2018 Drum Corps Intl. Tour Premiere at 8:30 p.m. June 21. This is your chance to witness this year’s first semi-final competition among the top school marching drum corps in both the U.S. and Canada. Get up close to the dynamic, percussive, synchronized action through high-def video and digital audio (you may seriously want to bring earplugs).
Now, in case Bluffton is a more convenient viewing location for some readers, the next three events at the Regal will also be shown at the Cinemark multiplex in that nearby South Carolina town.
On June 24 and 27, the Turner Classic Movies cable network presents a special two-day national re-release of the 1961 romantic musical tragedy “West Side Story.” It stars the always dazzling Rita Moreno, the eternally perplexing Natalie Wood, the multi-talented George Chakiris, and two actors known by many for their key roles in the original 1990s “Twin Peaks” TV series: Russ Tamblyn and Richard Beymer.
Directed by the late, great Robert Wise (“The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “The Sound of Music,” “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”), with song and dance sequences overseen by dancer, choreographer and stage director Jerome Robbins, this 1961 film was an adaptation of Leonard Bernstein’s and Stephen Sondheim’s smash hit Broadway musical. The story is an update of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” set against the backdrop of tensions between ethnically divided New York City street gangs of the 1950s. It took home a cool 10 Academy Awards and remains one of the most respected and fondly remembered motion pictures of its kind. In fact, to date, no other movie musical has swept the Oscars in such a manner.
I should also mention that just a few days ago, it was revealed that Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner and legendary Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg are partnering on an upcoming remake of “West Side Story,” featuring ethnically appropriate actors (rather than the primarily Caucasian actors of the original film, who were made up in “brownface” to play Latino characters). Interesting, huh?
This is a carefully restored version of the 1961 film in its original, ultra-widescreen aspect ratio of 2.20:1. It has routinely been improperly formatted over the decades, resulting in significant portions of each frame of film going unseen by audiences. Also, there is a six-minute “appreciation” of the film by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. Showtime is 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 24 and 27, but only at the Regal June 27.
June 25 and June 28 find a professionally filmed live stage performance of the recent Broadway musical “Bandstand” showing, courtesy of Fathom Events. Set in mid-1940s United States, it’s the tale of a group of traumatized and despondent WWII veterans who form a pop musical combo in hopes of winning a massive talent search, which is broadcast live on nationwide radio.
The stage show was directed by Andy Blankenbuehler, who theater fans may know as the 2016 Tony Award-winning choreographer of the sensational “Hamilton.” Well, he received the 2017 Best Choreographer Tony Award for his work on “Bandstand.” As a bonus feature, this program includes previously unreleased backstage footage of the cast and crew. Shows 7 p.m. each night.
Then, on June 27, the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series returns with an encore presentation of “Il Trovatore,” Giuseppe Verdi’s 1853 melodramatic opera in four acts, which stands as one of the most popular operatic productions of all time. The cast of characters includes a dashing troubadour, a doomed heroine, dueling suitors, and a mysterious gypsy. Sir David McVicar’s production runs 2 hours and 40 minutes, and boasts a set design heavily inspired by the works of 18th- and 19th-century Spanish painter Francisco Goya. In spoken and sung Italian with English subtitles. Showtimes are 7 p.m. at both the Regal and Cinemark, with an additional 1 p.m. matinee in Bluffton.
And finally, on June 27 at The Sentient Bean, the Psychotronic Film Society uses its regular weekly series of underappreciated and/or marginalized feature films from around the world to salute legendary B-movie and TV actor, sardonic author and occasional movie director Bruce Campbell.
He is beloved for originating the timeless character of Ash Williams in Sam Raimi’s original “Evil Dead” slapstick horror-comedy films and later, in the phenomenally cathartic (yet prematurely canceled) cable series “Ash vs Evil Dead,” as well as for quirky, recurring roles in such popular TV shows as “Burn Notice,” “The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr.” and “Xena: Warrior Princess.” Campbell has become an outspoken booster of low-budget indie “genre” filmmaking, and is known as a caustic and quick-witted figurehead in the world of low-budget horror, exploitation and sci-fi programming.
In honor of his 60th birthday, the PFS will screen one of his least-known feature films, and one that is a guilty pleasure for many of his loyal fans. The exact title will remain a closely guarded secret right up until showtime, but it can be said that the script is centered around a fairly outrageous concept and offers plenty of opportunities for Bruce’s trademark off-kilter sense of humor to shine through. Adventurous viewers are encouraged to take a chance, buy a ticket and be surprised. Showtime 8 p.m., with a full vegetarian menu and discounts on organic wine and craft beer during the show.
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 the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah.
IF YOU GO
What: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 21
Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.
What: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
When: 7 p.m. June 21-23
Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St., Springfield
What: “2018 Drum Corps Intl. Tour Premiere”
When: 8:30 p.m. June 21
Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave.
What: “West Side Story”
When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 24; June 27 Regal only
Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave.; Cinemark, Bluffton
What: “Bandstand — The Broadway Musical”
When: 7 p.m. June 25 and 28
Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee Ave.; Cinemark, Bluffton
What: “Peter Rabbit”
When: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 26
Where: Mars Theatre
What: The Met Live in HD "Il Trovatore”
When: 7 p.m. June 27; 1 p.m. Cinemark only
Where: Regal Stadium 10; Cinemark, Bluffton
What: Bruce Campbell Mystery Movie
When: 8 p.m. June 27
Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.