I live in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham. There is a movie theatre down the street from me called The Edge 12. I can walk there from my home, if I so desire. This theatre has twelve screens. They frequently show films of great merit. They also show films for everyone else. We all get to choose.
Three new films open at The Edge 12 today:
Written and directed by Mike Mills.
Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic.
The life-affirming and “deeply optimistic” (says Roger Ebert) Beginners is structured as a series of interconnected flashbacks. Following the death of his father Hal (Plummer), Oliver (McGregor) reflects on their relationship following the death of Oliver’s mother. Shortly after her death, Hal comes out as gay to his son and begins exploring that aspect of his life. Hal finds a boyfriend (Visnjic) and surrounds himself with a new circle of friends. Hal is then diagnosed with terminal cancer and, following an extended illness during which Oliver helps care for him, dies.
Several months after Hal’s death, Oliver meets Anna (Laurent), a French actress. Oliver’s unresolved emotions surrounding his father’s death and his parents’ life together, along with Anna’s conflicted feelings about her emotionally unstable father, initially interfere with their relationship but they resolve to stay together…despite the precocious involvement of Arthur, Oliver’s wittily-subtitled dog. (See, it’s not just your run of the mill heart-warming romance!)
Beginners is based on the true-life coming out of Mills’ father at the age of 75, five years before his death.
The Change-Up (2011)
Directed by David Dobkin.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin.
Mitch and Dave (Reynolds and Bateman, respectively), two friends who have drifted apart, now lead different lives; Dave is an overworked lawyer, husband, and father of three, while Mitch is a single, quasi-employed man-child. Both believe the other has a better life (of course…dramatic tension!), and while peeing into a wishing fountain, the two remark how much they each would prefer the other’s lifestyle. The next morning, they wake up to find themselves in each others’ bodies, living unfamiliar lives.
Clearly, these two were not heeding the primary lesson of Ghostbusters:
Here’s the Change-Up trailer:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Directed by Rupert Wyatt.
Starring James Franco, John Lithgow, Frieda Pinto, Brian Cox, and Andy Serkis (who is making a career of acting through CGI manipulation: first as Gollum, this time as a “damned dirty ape“).
In the beginning, there was a bare-chested, loin-clothed Charlton Heston riding with his mute female human companion on a horse along the “new” Eastern seaboard of the U.S. But, if you’ve seen the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie, you know that that beginning was really the end. Almost, anyway.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes precedes the 1968 Planet of the Apes story on the chronological timeline, detailing the events that lead to the overthrow of humanity’s control of planet Earth and its displacement at the top of the chain by its simian relatives. In story, it most closely resembles 1972′s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes; but, with all of the technological advances that nearly forty years of subsequent moviemaking can provide, just about everything else about it is different. What makes this movie’s release even more exciting are the early reviews: an 85% critics rating, and a 90% intent-to-see rating from the general public on Rotten Tomatoes.
Here’s the basic story: San Francisco-based scientist Will Rodman (Franco) is working on a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease by performing tests on apes. The first test subject is a chimpanzee named Caesar (Serkis), whose parents had been captured in Africa. Rodman’s “cure” not only repairs brain cells, but genetically modifies Caesar’s way of thinking, creating human-like intelligence in him. Caesar learns unbelievably well, but human authorities order him to be locked up. He eventually proves smart enough to escape from his cage and releases an airborne-strain of the cure that advances the intelligence of his fellow apes. Caesar soon builds an army of enhanced apes in order to overthrow humanity and assert apes as Earth’s dominant species.
See you there.
The following ten films have been extended for another week:
• Captain America: The First Avenger (3D)
• Cars 2
• Cowboys and Aliens
• Crazy, Stupid Love
• Friends with Benefits
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (3D)
• The Smurfs
• Transformers: Dark of the Moon (3D)
• The Tree of Life
• Zindagi Na Lilegi Dobara
The following three films ended their current run this week:
• Cave of Forgotten Dreams
• Horrible Bosses
The Edge 12 has some ongoing promotions. Tuesdays have been dubbed “$5.00 Tuesdays”: most films can be seen for just a $5.00 admission ticket. And, on Fridays, The Edge 12 offers free popcorn at all shows.
The Edge 12 Theatre is located at 7001 Crestwood Boulevard. A recording detailing all movie times can be accessed by telephoning (205) 795-3500; a real live human answers the phone at (205) 795-3595. Showtimes can also be found on the MovieTickets website. The theatre has a Facebook page under the name The Edge 12 Birmingham and tweets under the handle @Edge12Bhm.