Film preview: Your guide to the best movies to catch this weekend
If you’re reading this, you survived the first full week of classes, so congratulations! To celebrate, some of you might be interested in taking a trip over to Regal Cinemas — yes, freshmen, the neon lights are very fun — or to our beloved local independent theater, The Belcourt. Some of you might even want to stay on campus Friday night, and hey, that’s alright too.
The following is a guide to the films coming out this weekend — either in wide theatrical release, to streaming and disc rental or even playing here at Belmont.
Live on Fridays in the Johnson Large Theater
Avengers: Infinity War (Friday at 10 p.m.)
Belmont’s Student Activities Programming Board is kicking off its weekly “Live on Fridays” series with a bang this year, with a showing of “Avengers: Infinity War.” If you’ve been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe but didn’t get around to catching the latest “Avengers” flick in theaters, Friday night’s showing is for you. Even if you’ve already seen it, “Infinity War” is packed full of enough easter eggs, characters and epic superhero action to warrant a second viewing. And there’s no better way to watch the culmination of a decade’s worth of superhero movies and world-building than on the big screen right on campus.
Check it out if you liked: Any of the previous MCU films or comic book movies
Searching (In theaters Friday)
If the desktop-oriented style of 2015’s “Unfriended” — and its 2018 sequel “Dark Web” — intrigued you, but its by-the-numbers story left you disappointed, “Searching” might be right up your alley. The directorial and screenwriting debut of Aneesh Chaganty, “Searching” is about a man who searches for his missing daughter by following her online footprints. The movie is shot and styled in the same computer-point-of-view fashion as the “Unfriended” movies. Starring John Cho of the “Star Trek” and “Harold and Kumar” franchises, “Searching” was extremely well-received by critics and fans earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. It may be sneaking in just under the wire before this new desktop-thriller style becomes another played-out trend, but if you’re willing to trust the critics, “Searching” may well be worth a ticket.
Check it out if you liked: “Unfriended,” “Taken,” “Gone Girl,” “Paranormal Activity”
Operation Finale (In theaters Friday)
“Operation Finale” tells the real-life story of the Israeli Mossad spies who tracked down one of the key orchestrators of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, who went into hiding in Argentina after the conclusion of World War II. Starring Oscar Isaac as Mossad operative Peter Malkin and Sir Ben Kingsley as Eichmann, “Operation Finale” might be the film to catch if you’re looking for a little historical drama this weekend.
Check it out if you liked: “Munich,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Valkyrie”
At the Belcourt
Blaze (Friday and Saturday)
Another selection from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Blaze” is the biopic of Texas songwriting legend Blaze Foley. Based on the book “Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze” by Sybil Rosen and directed by Ethan Hawke (“Training Day,” “Before Sunrise”), “Blaze” was well-received by critics at Sundance earlier in the year and will open at the Belcourt on Friday. Tickets for showings featuring a post-film discussion with Hawke himself have already sold out, but tickets for late-night showings on Friday and Saturday are still available.
Check it out if you liked: “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Crazy Heart,” “Walk the Line”
Essential Westerns Series (through September)
Starting earlier in August and running until the end of September, the Belcourt is celebrating Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays with screenings of some of the greatest Western films of all time. The series includes film introductions from local critics, authors and professors — including Belmont’s own Dr. Amy Bertram earlier this month — and features culturally significant westerns from each of the last six decades. Upcoming films include “Ulzana’s Raid,” “Unforgiven,” “The Naked Spur,” “Shane” and more.Click here for more information and tickets.
2001: A Space Odyssey (Monday through Thursday)
The first time I saw Stanley Kubrick’s towering sci-fi masterpiece, “2001: A Space Oddysey” was on Netflix via my laptop and some ratty earbuds. The experience was somehow less than satisfying. The second time I saw “2001” was in Belmont’s own Johnson Large Theater, and the experience was mind-blowing. That being said, if you haven’t seen “2001” yet, do yourself a favor and see it on the big screen. The Belcourt will be screening a 4K restoration of “2001” on Monday, overseen by Christopher Nolan for a timed release coinciding with the film’s 50th anniversary. Ticket information is available here.
Check it out if you liked: Any science-fiction movie from the past five decades
Redbox and Streaming
Movie tickets, like college, can be expensive. Fortunately for us Belmont students, there’s a Redbox conveniently located at the Belmont Boulevard Circle K and a seemingly endless supply of streaming services to choose from. Here are some films new to streaming and rental this week that are worth checking out.
– “Active Measures”
-“Avengers: Infinity War”