Greetings, all. This week’s preview of the next seven days’ worth of alternative cinema screenings find Tybee Island’s restored historic Post Theater leading the pack, with three different films on tap in their cozy, 200-seat single-screen auditorium.

Existential dogs

First up is the brand-new release “A Dog’s Journey,” which is the sequel to the well-regarded 2017 film “A Dog’s Purpose.” That imaginative melodrama about the inner life of a dog who is in search of the meaning of his own existence. Showtimes at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 6.

 

Local affair

On June 7, the Tybee Post kicks off a three-day run of “The Poison Rose,” a dark and meandering neo-noir which was shot right here in our area about a year ago. It was directed by three different guys, including George Gallo, Francesco Cinquemani and Luca Giliberto. Usually, that’s never a good sign. However, Gallo is the fellow who wrote the screenplay for the plucky, evergreen 1988 crime comedy “Midnight Run,” so there’s that.

Critics have offered mixed takes on the finished product, with some enjoying the movie. However, many have lamented that most or all of the actors involved, including a ridiculously wigged John Travolta, a put-upon Morgan Freeman and a somewhat bizarrely flamboyant Brendan Fraser, seem irredeemably bored throughout the entire affair. The plot itself is also said to be riddled with convoluted twists and lapses of logic which may make it difficult for some viewers to submerge themselves in the story enough to suspend disbelief.

Still, anytime a feature film with name actors is shot here in our area, it’s always a welcome sight and something worth checking out on the big screen. Especially because, given the recent passage of Gov. Brian Kemp’s exceedingly contentious "Heartbeat Bill" and the subsequent economic pushback from media, TV and movie conglomerates which has developed in its wake, there may be fewer and fewer productions taking up shop on the Georgia coast in the very near future. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. June 7 through 9, with an additional 3 p.m. matinee June 9.

 

Lego's for all

And finally, the Tybee Post presents the recently released sequel to 2014’s smash CGI hit “The Lego Movie.” “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” was written and produced by the same team who wrote and directed that initial installment, which grossed almost $500 million dollars at the worldwide box office and also earned near universal plaudits from critics and viewers alike for its exemplary animation, screenplay and uplifting message.

This sequel was directed by Mike Mitchell, the same guy who helped make “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” which was shot in Savannah a few years back. That stoner/kids comedy blended CGI animation with live-action footage directed by Mitchell was filmed in our historic downtown and on Tybee. Then again, he is also the same guy who made “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” so your mileage may vary.

This 2019 family-friendly film finds many of the voice actors from the first Lego block-based feature reprising their roles from that inaugural outing, including: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day and Will Ferrell. New additions to the cast include Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph. It’s an action comedy with clever dialog that has so far grossed almost $200 million and earned solid positive reviews from critics worldwide. It seems tailor-made for a fun, independent venue of this sort. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. June 11 through 13, with 3 p.m. matinees June 12 and 13.

 

Spiritual saga

Moving out to the nearby Springfield, their own restored historic movie house known as the Mars Theatre offers a return engagement of the recently-released family drama “Breakthrough,” starring Topher Grace (TV’s “That ’70s Show”) and Mike Colter (Netflix’s “Luke Cage”), which screened there first about a month ago.

Based on the true tale of a young boy who fought for his life after falling into an icy Midwestern lake, it’s been called one of the best faith-based theatrical films made and released in the past several years. Now, be advised: viewers who are not already at home with the particular brand of Evangelical Christianity which forms the basis for this heartwarming message movie may not appreciate the tone of the picture. Those who do will find plenty to like about this spiritual saga. Showtimes at 7 p.m. June 7 and 8 with a 3 p.m. matinee June 9.

On June 11, the Mars Theatre offers its own one-day engagement of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” They’ll show it twice on that day, first at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. This is part of their Two For Tuesday series, which finds them screening youth-centric films twice on Tuesdays throughout the summer for schoolkids on vacation. Best of all, admission to these Tuesday shows is just $2 per person. Beat that!

 

PFS: Elementary nightmare 

And last, but not least, heading downtown to the Sentient Bean Coffeehouse on the southern end of Forsyth Park, on June 12 the Psychotronic Film Society’s long-running weekly showcase of underrated or downright obscure feature films from around the globe continues with a rare public screening of the near-forgotten B&W nuclear holocaust drama “Ladybug, Ladybug.”

Made in 1963, just after the USA was gripped with terror by the Cuban Missile Crisis, this low-budget indie sleeper about a rural American elementary school whose teachers, administrators and students are frightened and confused by a nuclear attack warning siren boasts a phenomenal cast and even today packs a powerful wallop.

Directed by Frank Perry and co-written by his wife Eleanor Perry the film is something of a lost classic, and marks the big-screen debut of beloved character actor William Daniels (TV’s “St. Elsewhere,” “Knight Rider” and “Boy Meets World”). Frank and Eleanor Perry would later work together on a handful of other notable movies with cult followings, including “The Swimmer” and “Diary of a Mad Housewife.” He would later direct the Joan Crawford biopic “Mommie Dearest” on his own.

“Ladybug, Ladybug” was actually based on a real-life incident that occurred at an American elementary school and is one of the least-known but most affecting films ever made about the threat of nuclear war. The PFS will screen the full, uncut theatrical version of the film. Showtime is at 8 p.m.

 

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

What: “A Dog’s Journey”

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

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave., Tybee Island

Cost: $5-$8

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “The Poison Rose”

When: 7 p.m. June 7-9; 3 p.m. June 9

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave., Tybee Island

Cost: $8

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “Breakthrough”

When: 7 p.m. June 7-8; 3 p.m. June 9

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

Cost: $7

Info: marstheatre.com

 

What: “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

When: 10 a.m. 2 p.m. June 11

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

Cost: $2

Info: marstheatre.com

 

What: “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

When: 7 p.m. June 11-13; 3 p.m. June 12-13

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave., Tybee Island

Cost: $5-$8

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “Ladybug, Ladybug”

When: 8 p.m. June 12

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

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav