Those of you in the greater Savannah area who are looking to catch something on the big screen a bit off the beaten path, or for those who prefer to support independent theaters over corporate chain cinemas whenever possible, you’ll have plenty of options for doing both those things during the next seven days.
On Jan. 24, the historic Mars Theatre in Springfield finishes its run of the brand-new superhero box-office smash “Aquaman.” at 7 p.m. With $6 admission for all ages, this intimate, restored nonprofit multi-purpose venue is a great place to catch a first-run film, as it supports this small community immensely.
On Jan. 25 the Mars Theatre marks the opening night of a three-day engagement of “Green Book,” the highly-praised race relations dramedy which was loosely (some say incredibly loosely) based on the true story of a talented black jazz pianist who engaged the services of a less than open-minded white guy to act as his chauffer and protection during a 1962 concert tour of the segregated American South. Mahershala Ali (HBO’s “True Detective”) and Viggo Mortensen (“Eastern Promises”) star as the mismatched duo in a film that was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and won the Globe for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. Showtimes at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 and 26, and 3 p.m. Jan. 27.
A few nights later, the Mars opens “Vice,” the latest feature from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Adam McKay (“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “The Big Short,” HBO’s “Eastbound & Down”). It’s a darkly comedic biopic of former Vice President of the USA (and, many believe, an un-indicted war criminal) Dick Cheney. Bitingly satirical, the film has drawn mixed reviews. Some critics deem it marvelously realized and exceedingly clever, while others view it as little more than a hateful screed against Cheney and the hawkish, neo-con political figures he has come to personify. Christian Bale (“The Mechanic,” “The Dark Night”) has won universal raves, however, for his lead performance as V.P. Cheney, and recently took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his effort. Showtimes at 7 p.m. on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, plus 3 p.m. on Feb. 3.
On the southside
Heading out to the southside of town, the AMC Classic Savannah 11 multiplex (formerly known as the Carmike Wynnsong 11) is offering only on Jan. 26 three high-def streaming viewings of the brand-new concert film “Love Yourself in Seoul,” starring the worldwide phenomenon that is the South Korean boy-band septet BTS.
Shot at the Olympic Stadium in that capital city, it’s a huge-budget production that purports to give the band’s fans an up-close and personal look at the hip-hop-inspired R&B group that is said to be the reason that one out of every 13 foreigners who travel to South Korea do so, and the moneymaking machine that has reportedly injected over $3.5 billion a year into the South Korean economy. Showtimes at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
On the beach
Moving out to the beach, Tybee Island’s cozy restored Post Theater concludes its three-day engagement of Greek director Yorgos (“The Lobster”) Lanthimos’ pitch-black dark comedy “The Favourite” with shows on Jan. 24 and 25. Based on actual historic events surrounding the rather meteoric rise of a minor yet doggedly ambitious aristocrat in early 18th century Britain, it’s a hilarious and at times unsettling fever dream of the disgusting largesse of old-school royalty that is bolstered by wonderfully creative cinematography and production and costume design that most viewers will find mesmerizing. Easily one of the most challenging and memorable films of last year, it practically demands to be seen on the big screen. Showtimes at 7 p.m. each night.
On the park
And finally, on Jan. 30 at the Sentient Bean Coffeehouse on Forsyth Park, the Psychotronic Film Society’s weekly, award-winning series of underappreciated and/or marginalized movies continues with its third installment of something they call the FPS. That stands for Failed Pilot Society, those few nights a year when the organization hosts a mystery screening of lost or merely forgotten pilot episodes of network or cable TV series that were either rejected and thus never subsequently made or were quickly canceled, never making it to syndication, and essentially vanishing from public view.
On these FPS nights, the exact titles of the pilots being shown are not revealed publicly in advance. In other words, no one knows just what will appear on screen until it does. It could be one lengthy made-for-TV movie meant to launch a weekly hour-long action, sci-fi, mystery or drama series. Or, it could be two or more half-hour pilots for sitcoms or game shows. The pilots in question could be terrific, in which case it’s a real loss they were never greenlit. Or, they could be laughably misguided or terribly made, in which case it’s a chance to stare in amazement at a deadly bullet dodged by the viewing public.
Either way, it’s highly unlikely most folks will have even heard of these programs, let alone have seen them before. Adventurous viewers are encouraged to take a chance, buy a ticket and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Showtime is 8 p.m. with discounts on craft beer and organic wine during the program, and a full vegetarian menu available.
Until next week, 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
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 24
Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St.
What: “The Favourite”
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 24, 25
Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave. Tybee Island
What: “Green Book”
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 25, 26; 3 p.m. Jan. 27
Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St. Springfield
What: “BTS World Tour – Love Yourself In Seoul”
When: 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. Jan. 26
Where: AMC Classic Savannah 11, 1150 Shawnee St.
What: “The Failed Pilot Society”
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 30
Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 31, Feb. 1; 3 p.m. Feb. 3
Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St.