Film Clips: Oct. 22
Following the arrest and conviction of 8-year-old Billy’s mom, 86-year-old Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) intends to deliver his motherless grandson to the boy’s dad. The pair sets out on a cross-country road trip, but instead of teaching Billy life lessons, Irving seeks female sexual companionship in strip clubs. One stopover finds young Billy entering a beauty pageant for little girls where the cross-dressing lad shows off his stripper moves. The film’s gag is duping regular folk into believing that Irving’s antics are for real, but if they can’t spot the old man’s young body, then these rubes all need glasses. (Lisa Miller)
The Counselor R
Craving something new and exciting, a high-profile attorney inserts himself and his fiancé (Penelope Cruz) into the middle of a cocaine deal spearheaded by Mexican drug lords. Known simply as The Counselor (Michael Fassbender), the attorney joins forces with a hard-partying club owner (Javier Bardem) and with a world-weary, Western-wear-favoring dude going by the name Westray (Brad Pitt). Written for the screen by Cormac McCarthy, the story is both violent and philosophical underneath its chatty characters. Given McCarthy’s peculiar turn of mind (he wrote No Country For Old Men), the story remains unpredictable by taking its share of unforeseen turns. (L.M.)
Milwaukee Short Film Festival
Milwaukee’s longest-running film festival, named Best Local Festival a few years ago by MovieMaker magazine, is back for another year and another weekend of films unlikely to be seen elsewhere in town on big screens. As the name promises, the festival’s focus is on short subjects. But the scope doesn’t stop with Milwaukee shorts by Jim Carrier, Linda Cieslik and others; expanding to embrace the world, MSFF will screen local premieres of films from Singapore, Ireland, Germany, Iran and elsewhere. For more information, go to: festival.milwaukeeindependentfilmsociety.org. (David Luhrssen)
Oct. 25-26, Lubar Auditorium, Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive.
Movie Collectible Show
Milwaukee’s genial movie historian Dale Kuntz, the man behind the Charles Allis Art Museum’s film series, is hosting his annual fall movie memorabilia show. Twenty Midwest dealers will be selling cinema collectibles, including posters, books, stills, autographs, DVDs and more, with new and used, contemporary and classic items on sale. It’s one of the only events of its kind in the area. (Morton Shlabotnik)
Sunday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m, Burnham Bowl Hall, 6016 W. Burnham St. Admission is $3.
Muscle Shoals PG
Muscle Shoals was an unremarkable Alabama town where a non-descript building housed a recording studio that captured the ears of the world in the 1960s. Muscle Shoals is a documentary of the studio and its remarkable role in Southern soul music. Bono calls it “magic,” a word echoed by many of the interviewed musicians at a loss to describe how such a unique sound came from local boy Rick Hall’s studio. The countryside surrounding the town is sublime, the regional history is harsh and from this convergence of beauty and hardship came music rising from the heart and the pit of the stomach. Remarkably, the Muscle Shoals sound featured racially integrated bands at a time of great racial tension. (D.L.)
Thursday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m., UW-Milwaukee Union Theatre.