[Avon-theatre-news] CORRECTED Newsletter Nov. 7th

Skip Huston Skip at TheAvon.com
Thu Nov 6 10:19:38 EST 2008

Folks: I was in such a hurry to get ahead of the game and send the newsletter last night instead of today, the standard Thursday, some errors sneaked in! Here is the corrected one. Sorry to bug ya'. S.
Showtimes, Programs, Erudition and Miscellaneous Folderol 
"All of Life's Answers are in the Movies!"  -Dr. Skippy P. Huston
WEEK OF FRIDAY, NOV. 7th  thru THURSDAY, NOV. 13th  ONLY!!  
Check out our cool website at: www.TheAvon.com

OPENING FRIDAY: TRANSSIBERIAN (R) An Overlooked Thriller!! One-Week-Only!!
                       BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA (PG) FRI, SAT & SUN ONLY!!

                  THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (PG13)

COMING NEXT WEEK: JAMES BOND IS BACK in "Quantum of Solace" (PG13) starring DANIEL CRAIG


CHANGELING (R)  Here is internationally-known film critic Leonard Maltin's review of our exclusive film, CHANGELING, the new powerhouse film from Clint Eastwood, and ONLY at the Avon!!

CHANGELING - Clint Eastwood adds another feather to his cap with the direction of this emotionally powerful, well-crafted film, while Angelina Jolie reminds us that she's more than must a tabloid darling with a beautifully modulated performance in the leading role. But the real hero of this film is the one who will likely receive the least attention, screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski, best known as the creator and principal writer of the TV series Babylon 5. A former reporter, he followed up on a tip from a friend about a forgotten true-life case that began in 1928. After a year of research in Los Angeles newspaper files, court records, and police files, he was ready to write a dramatization of this extraordinary tale, all of which is true. 
Jolie plays a single mother and working woman who comes home from her job one day to discover her nine-year-old son missing. When she tries to report the case the police inform her that they cannot begin a search until a child has been missing for at least twenty-four hours. This is the first in a long line of insults to which the woman is subjected, each one increasingly harsh. Changeling turns out to be as much a story about attitudes toward women as anything else, but it's to Eastwood's credit that he never lapses into melodrama, even when the setting is a psychopathic ward. It's that matter-of-fact approach to potentially sensational material that distinguishes Changeling and makes it so wrenching to watch at times, especially if you're a parent. 

Changeling is long, like most of Eastwood's movies, but it earns the right to extend past the two-hour mark because no time is wasted on superfluous or irrelevant material. Production Designer James J. Murakami deserves special credit for convincingly recreating the world of Los Angeles in the late 1920s and early '30s, and there is a lovely nod to Eastwood's longtime collaborator, the legendary designer Henry Bumstead. A roadside café in an early scene is called Bummy's, a reference to Bumstead's popular nickname

Jolie is surrounded by first-rate actors, not all of them well-known. Jason Butler Harner is especially potent as the insane and manipulative serial killer, and Jeffrey Donovan (the star of cable TV's Burn Notice) is chillingly effective as a heartless police captain on a corrupt Los Angeles force. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about John Malkovich in the role of a radio preacher (the real-life rabble rouser Rev. Gustav Briegleb) but his demeanor makes it difficult to take the character as seriously as one should. That's a small quibble about an otherwise superior film. -Leonard Maltin (used with permission)
(Showtimes in brackets are $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")
FRI: (5:00) - 8:00 
SAT & SUN: (2:00) - (5:00) - 8:00
MON, TUES & WED: 6:30
THURS: 7:15
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (PG13) As long as we are reading Leonard Maltin's reviews, let's take a look at the one he did for THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, which is now in it FINAL week at the Avon!!

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES - I love movies that take me to a particular time and place. Gina Prince-Bythewood's adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's best-selling novel takes place in 1964. President Johnson has just signed the historic Civil Rights Bill into law, but that hasn't changed attitudes in the South, as 14-year-old Dakota Fanning learns when she runs away from home with her black housekeeper (Jennifer Hudson). Fanning has been raised by her distant, often abusive father (Paul Bettany), who refuses to tell her about her mother, who died when the girl was four. So Fanning journeys to Tennessee, to a town she's certain her mother must have visited. Here she and Hudson are taken in by a big-hearted woman (Queen Latifah) who lives with her sisters (Alicia Keys and Sophie Okenedo) and provides the two refugees with shelter and love. 

The Secret Life of Bees explores the interior world of its young heroine and the sisters who become her surrogate family, along with the harsh world outside the oasis of their home, where angry bigots still rule the roost. Prince-Bythewood never allows her film to descend into cheap melodrama, even though some of its most vivid episodes are as upsetting as they are inevitable. What keeps the film on course, aside from a well-written and evocative screenplay, is the skill of its ensemble. Young Fanning fulfills the promise she showed in her earliest work as a child, while Latifah commands the screen, filling it with warmth as few actors can. Hudson is a natural who never seems to be reciting memorized lines, and another singer-turned-actress, Alicia Keys, acquits herself well as the most independent-minded of Latifah's sisters. The other sibling, a fragile and sensitive creature, is beautifully played by Okenedo, who avoids theatricality and seems touching and genuine. 

Like a good novel, The Secret Life of Bees takes us on an emotional journey. It's a trip well worth taking. -Leonard Maltin (used with permission)
(Showtimes in brackets are $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")
FRI: (4:00) - 7:00 
SAT & SUN: (1:00) - (4:00) - 7:00
MON thru THURS: 7:00
TRANSSIBERIAN (R)  I wanted to find an "overlooked" film for this week that will give all of you who see it a sense of discovery. TRANSSIBERIAN is a film you will tell all your friends about! Here is the review from the Rotten Tomatoes website, which, by the way, gave it a whopping 92% positive! (That equates to either a 4-star or 3 1/2 star review!)

With TRANSSIBERIAN, filmmaker Brad Anderson proves once again that he has an exceptional ability to craft a suspenseful thriller. Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) have just finished working with children overseas as part of a church project. Before flying back to the States, they decide to travel from Beijing to Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Express train, where they meet two fellow travelers, the handsome Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and young Abby (Kate Mara). The couples bond, but gradually Jessie becomes worried that her new friends are involved in drug trafficking. At that point, the web has been spun, and when the intimidating Russian detective, Grinko (Ben Kingsley), arrives, Roy and Jessie become innocent targets in a dangerous chase. Anderson's script, co-written with Will Conroy, helps to elevate TRANSSIBERIAN beyond mere thriller status. It remains a well-executed portrait of a complicated relationship between two real people. Mortimer is her usual fantastic self, and it's fun to watch Harrelson play an average, upbeat American guy. Throw the always riveting Kingsley into the mix and you have a motion picture that is above average in every way. By the time the film reaches its payoff, viewers will have felt as if they, too, took a ride on the Trans-Siberian Express.
(Showtimes in brackets are $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")
FRI thru WEDNESDAY: 7:15
BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA (PG) Just for fun, here is a weekend-only all-matinee priced reprise of the huge family hit! Check your brain at the door, and have some real fun with this one! All Shows ONLY $5.50!!
(Showtimes in brackets are $5.50 'Bargain Matinees")
FRI: (4:15)  
SAT & SUN: (1:15) - (4:15)

Don't forget the BOGART MOVIES class for the Richland-at-the-Avon film classes starts Thursday, Nov. 13th @ 6:30 PM. This is a special 5-week only class that will end on Dec. 18th (after skipping Thanksgiving Thursday). Here is a rare chance to see 5 classic Bogart movies on the big screen, with a discussion afterward with some like-minded film buffs and just regular folks too.

The list of selected films is not the regular Bogarts you see all the time, but a carefully chosen sampling of classic films from all the times of his career in Hollywood.
This special short-form class is only $50, and you can sign up with Richland, or simply come down a little earlier than 6:30 on the first night of class. A Richland official will be there to enroll you.

I hope to see you there for this one!
Then, in Janury we go into an 8-week "AMERICANA AT THE MOVIES: PART 2", and, after that, a 6 week series on MARILYN MONROE!
The Richland-at-the Avon Film classes are great fun and informative too!
Seeya' Soon, Folks!!
-Skip Huston

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