film

Baby Driver / facebook.com

Summertime is peak season for moviegoers. Studios tend to release blockbusters, and market their films toward the younger audiences who are mostly out of school.

This summer saw the release of movies like Wonder Woman, Valerian, Dunkirk, Baby Driver, and Girls Trip. But as nationally syndicated radio host and resident film review Ryan Jay notes, some films worked better than others:
 

Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Sophia Coppola's latest film, "The Beguiled," is set at a Confederate girls school in Virginia, where a group of sheltered young women take in a union soldier during the Civil War. The film is a remake of a 1971 film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood and both are adaptations of the 1966 book "Painted Devil," by Thomas P. Cullinan. 

mts3k.com

Before its recent reboot on Netflix, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) was a longtime staple of Comedy Central in the 1990s. The show featured a hapless guy shot into space, sentenced to watch bad movies with his homemade robots. 

Originally that hapless guy went by the name of Joel and was played by the show's creator, Joel Hodgson, a native of Fort Atkinson who found inspiration in Milwaukee television programs of the 1970s. "Local TV was so influential on the creation of Mystery Science Theater," says Hodgson. 

Audrey Nowakowski

The Oriental Theatre on Milwaukee's east side turned 90 at the beginning of this month. Its first day in operation was on July 2nd, 1927.

Lake Effect recently highlighted Milwaukee Film’s long-term lease of the Oriental Theatre, which will begin in July of next year.  Milwaukee Film is the latest in a long line of organizations and individuals who have operated the theater during its history.

UWM

Milwaukee Film - which runs the annual Milwaukee Film Festival - recently announced it had acquired a 31-year lease for the Oriental Theater that begins in July, 2018.  Milwaukee Film’s executive director, Jonathan Jackson, couldn't be happier.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Since its release on June 2nd, the new Wonder Woman film has broken records and grossed more than half a billion dollars at the box office worldwide. It is seen as a turning point for DC Comic movies, who audiences have often seen as falling short of their Marvel Universe competition.

t2trainspottingmovie.com

Trainspotting debuted in 1996, directed Danny Boyle. Based on the Irvine Welsh novel of the same name, the film followed a group of friends and heroin addicts trapped in the Edinburgh drug scene and the challenges each faces to stay in - or get out. It was a gritty, brutal, and bleakly funny film, and it launched the career of Ewan McGregor.

Robb Rosenfeld / Mongrel Media

Romantic comedies geared towards general audiences can often be clean-cut, full of predictable plots, romantic and escapist.

freefire-movie.com / A24 Films

1970s, Boston, shoulder pads, big hair, empty warehouse, and lots and lots of guns. That may very well summarize all you need to know before seeing Free Fire.

It’s the latest by filmmaker Ben Wheatley - a shoot-out action comedy about an arms deals gone wrong.  And really, it’s essentially just a 90-minute shoot-out, according to arts and entertainment editor of the Shepherd Express, and Lake Effect film contributor, Dave Luhrssen.

trumanfilm.com

The majority of movies you’ll find at your local multiplex or even smaller theaters are high-budget Hollywood films.  But there are exceptions, such as a new film festival debuting Thursday night.

C Fitz

The month of March is marked as a time to celebrate women’s history in America, and for many, Jewel Thais-Williams is an important figure in that history.

She’s the founder of the legendary Los Angeles night club - the Catch One. For 42 years, the Catch was a place where politicians and everyday people of all colors, cultures and backgrounds could come together and dance the night away – and more importantly, be accepted.

20th Century Fox

Released earlier this month, Logan, starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, is not your typical superhero – or even your typical X-Men movie. Since the first comic was released in 1963, X-Men has been a part of pop culture, serving as a moral force and connecting to people who felt like outsiders.

20th Century Women/A24 films

The film 20th Century Women is set in 1979, a time of disco, new wave feminism and punk. It’s a boy’s coming of age story, told through five characters, ranging in age from 15 to 55, all living under one roof.

lalaland.movie / © 2016 Summit Entertainment, LLC

La La Land made Golden Globe history this past weekend – winning 7 awards, including best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture, best actor and actress and musical score. But, whether it will continue its success at the Oscars remains to be seen.

Paying homage to MGM’s golden age of movie musicals, classics such as Singing In the Rain, Funny Face and An American in Paris are just a few of La La Land's inspirations. There’s singing, dancing, piano playing, painted sets and a star-studded cast.

lalaland.com / 2016 Summit Entertainment

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, an average number of 600 movies are released each year in the United States. Although arts and entertainment editor of the Shepherd Express and film contributor Dave Luhrssen does not see every single film released, choosing the top films that came to Milwaukee is a challenging and necessary task as a critic.

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