What to go see this week

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What to go see this week

Thursday apr 18

Holy Motors

This French art house movie had a short run at the Cedar Lee Theatre earlier this year but it's such a strange movie, it's better suited to the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, which tends to champion such oddities. Directed by Leos Carax, the man behind the 1986 cult sci-fi flick Bad Blood, Holy Motors pairs him again with Denis Lavant, a versatile French actor who's up for just about anything. Here, Lavant plays Mr. Oscar, a Zelig-like character that randomly shows up in a variety of strange places before falling in love with a model (Eva Mendes). Don't worry too much about following the plot; it's all rather incomprehensible. Its whimsical sensibilities somehow even managed to win over a wide range of critics, one of whom deemed it a "cinematic sensation." We beg to differ. The film screens tonight at 6:45 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. (Jeff Niesel)

11141 East Blvd., 216-421-7450, cia.edu/cinematheque

Friday apr 19

Gimme the Loot

Much like Kids, Larry Clark's controversial 1995 drama about skateboarding teens, Adam Leon's Gimme the Loot centers on a two trouble-making teens who set out to tag a New York City landmark and leave their mark as the city's greatest graffiti artists. Or so they think. They need $500 and spend two days hustling around town to try to come up with the cash. The duo—Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sofia (Tashiana Washington) — aren't boyfriend/girlfriend but there's a degree of sexual tension that keeps things interesting. In fact, the plot here is forgettable but what keeps it together is the acting and dialogue. The film opens today at the Cedar Lee Theatre. (Niesel)

2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 440-349-3306, clevelandcinemas.com

The Lords of Salem

Originally more famous for fronting the hard rock act White Zombie, Rob Zombie has become a master of the grisly horror flick. His 2007 remake of Halloween is disturbingly violent. He shows a bit more subtlety with his latest feature, The Lords of Salem, which opens wide today. The film stars Zombie's wife Sheri Moon Zombie; she plays Heidi, a dreadlocked radio DJ who receives a mysterious album in the mail. She plays a track, and suddenly weird shit starts to happen. The album, of course, becomes a big hit, and Heidi and her fellow DJs receive a set of tickets to a concert that predictably enough turns out to be some kind of satanic meeting involving the witches of Salem. Taken as a parody, the film is campy good fun. Taken as a serious horror flick, it suffers from a predictable storyline and mediocre acting. The film opens today area-wide. (Niesel)

Room 237

Rodney Ascher's documentary about Stanley Kubrick's horror film The Shining artfully explores the various conspiracy theories associated with the movie. In one theory, the number 42 and a German typewriter suggest the film makes some kind of statement about the Holocaust. The film's title refers to the fact that Kubrick changed the name of the room in King's novel from 217 to 237, but Ascher also explores another theory about how numbers divisible by seven repeat throughout the movie. A guy who calls himself MSTRMIND — incidentally, he declined Ascher's request to be interviewed — asserts the film should be seen both forward and backward. A fascinating documentary that uses footage from a variety of Kubrick movies, Room 237 is as much a tribute to the late director as it is a documentary about one of the greatest horror movies of all time. It opens today at the Cedar Lee Theatre. (Niesel)

2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 440-349-3306, clevelandcinemas.com

Saturday apr 20

Major League

From the opening shot of the Guardians of Traffic on Lorain-Carnegie to the loving montages of portside industry, this film is as much an ode to Cleveland and its tortured sports history as it is a screwball comedy about baseball. At the Indians' home opener last week, there were more "Vaughn" jerseys—for Charlie Sheen's delinquent fire-throwing Ricky Vaughn—in the crowd than there were Kipnises, Brantleys or Santanas. If you're not familiar with the Major League premise, the movie opens after the Indians' owner has died and the team has fallen to his young, saucy bride. She's got her heart set on moving the franchise to Miami and can only do so if attendance dips to unprecedented lows. To that end, she populates her roster with has-beens, wackjobs and criminals and hopes for the best (i.e. the worst.) Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, Dennis Haysbert and Corbin Bernsen are the boyish faces of the most lovable Tribe squad before 1995. It's your fairly typical underdog story, but with some old-fashioned R-rated humor and vintage hometown boosterism. Additionally, with its celebration of Cleveland at the expense of corporate sports (emblemized by Miami, Florida), Major League is an almost prophetic document of the  agony and resilience of Cleveland in the 21st century. The perfect flick for the start of the baseball season, it screens tonight at midnight at the Capitol Theatre. (Sam Allard)

1390 W. 65th Street, 216-651-7295, clevelandcinemas.com

Wednesday apr 24

Tootsie

The most striking thing about Tootsie, maybe, is the degree to which Dustin Hoffman in drag resembles an honest-to-goodness middle-aged woman. Hoffman is Michael Dorsey in the film, a down-and-out actor who resorts to cross-dressing to land a major role in a New York soap opera. Things get complicated when he falls for his co-star and experiences the limitations of being a woman in the performing arts. It's occasionally slapstick, but never in the outlandish farcical vein of Big Momma's House or the like. It's more like Mrs. Doubtfire, where the drag is borne of necessity. Hoffman is predictably brilliant and Bill Murray is hysterical as his surly roommate. Roger Ebert, may he rest in peace, loved Tootsie. In his original 1982 review, he said it was the kind of Movie "with a capital M" that they used to make in the 1940s, "when they weren't afraid to mix up absurdity with seriousness, social comment with farce, and a little heartfelt tenderness right in there with the laughs." It plays tonight at 7 at Chagrin Cinemas as part of Cleveland Cinema's Laff Riot series. (Allard)

8200 East Washington St., Chagrin Falls, 440-543-2022, clevelandcinemas.com

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