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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

Film Clips: Jan. 29

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Labor Day PG-13

This romantic melodrama, casting Josh Brolin as an escaped convict and Kate Winslet as depressed single mom Adele, cooks up the right chemistry. Brolin’s Frank demands refuge in widow Adele’s unkempt home that she shares with her 13-year-old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith). Perhaps wrongly convicted of murder, Frank sets about repairing Adele’s leaky faucets, coaching Henry in baseball and cooking up a storm of foods in a manner that speaks to Adele’s aching need. Too long anxious and lonely, Adele is drawn to Frank, and soon the pair plan to go on the run. Henry’s fears, nosy neighbors and Adele’s small town bank present obstacles, but as we all know, true love must inevitably find a way—and these fetching performances make us root for it! (Lisa Miller)

 

Let the Fire Burn Not Rated

In Jason Osder’s Let the Fire Burn, archival film from news broadcasts, interviews and courtroom hearings present a non-fictionalized historical documentary that is simultaneously fascinating and deeply disturbing. Let the Fire Burn documents Philadelphia’s MOVE organization, founded by Vincent Leaphart (aka John Africa), from the mid-1970s until its tragic final confrontation with the Philadelphia police in 1985. Osder lets the “found” footage tell the story in an unbiased manner that allows the viewer to decide who ultimately was responsible for the resulting tragedy. Osder should be commended for making an almost 30-year-old event seem fresh and relevant today. However, the real credit in this documentary goes to editor Nels Bangerter, whose ability to take a colossal amount of disjointed footage and turn it into a seamless, cohesive and fluid story makes the film equally gripping and tragic. (Jay Peschman)

7 p.m., Jan 31; 7 p.m., Feb. 1; and 5 p.m. Feb. 2, UW-Milwaukee Union Theatre.

 

That Awkward Moment R

Following the breakup of his “perfect” marriage, the best pals of Mikey (Michael B. Jordan)—Jason (Zac Efron) and Daniel (Miles Teller)—declare they too will remain single, indulging only in meaningless sex. Then, on the trio’s first night of carousing, Jason meets charmingly ditzy Ellie (Imogen Poots), Daniel falls for Ellie’s wing-woman Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) and Mikey goes gaga for a smart girl (Kate Simses). Not wanting to let his friends down, each guy downplays his romantic feelings, and as a result, all three manage to alienate their respective new partners. The film may sound like a date movie, but its focus on the male experience at the expense of its female characters makes this one for boys’ night out. (L.M.)

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