City Pulse - Movies <![CDATA[Train in vain]]> Maybe you’ve heard of “Snowpiercer,” the sci fi action thriller starring Chris Evans (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) set on a futuristic supertrain. According to the buzz, it’s a visionary twist on the postapocalyptic epic, where the remnants of humanity have fallen into a rigid caste system after the world has been devastated by a new Ice Age. Sort of like last winter here in mid-Michigan — so hey, it’s relatable. ]]> <![CDATA[Gorilla warfare]]> In the 1981 film “Quest for Fire,” three early humans seek out a new pilot light that will keep their tribal fire sustained. It’s the simplest story ever told: Man have flame, man lose flame, man look for flame without being eaten by saber-toothed lions. The filmmakers tried to create as authentic a film as possible, even developed proto-languages based on the earliest known human words, and for 100 unsubtitled minutes you can see what it was like for our earliest ancestors to realize the power of their intelligence and experience the dawning of consciousness. It was a groundbreaking film that has for years been without equal. ]]> <![CDATA[Crisis of faith]]> The Bible is so hot, you guys. Besides the recent surprise hit films “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven Is for Real,” there was “Son of God,” yet another biopic of Jesus, and “Noah,” which confused just as many devout filmgoers as it angered with the liberties it took from its Old Testament roots. Coming soon: Christian Bale begs Pharaoh to let his people go in “Exodus: Gods and Kings” this fall, and “Mary,” the prequel to “The Passion of the Christ” coming next spring.]]> <![CDATA[Fall forward]]> As the smoke clears on the summer movie season and the Hollywood studios reap their blockbuster earnings (or bemoan their losses), Studio C! in Okemos is making some room once again for the East Lansing Film Series.]]> <![CDATA[Reefer blandness]]> Some comedies demand repeat viewings to allow your brain to wrap around the complexity or the subtlety of the humor, or to soak in a boldly original acting performance. Admittedly, I was no fan of “The Big Lebowski,” “Best in Show” or “Zoolander” the first time I saw them, but I now rank them among my favorites.]]> <![CDATA[Appraising race]]> Between the recent George Zimmerman acquittal and that still-trending celebrity chef nastiness, we are reminded, yet again, that we do not live in anything close to a post-racist society. Apparently America can elect a black president, but it just can’t seem to shake 237 years of ingrained bigotry. Seriously … can we all get along?]]> <![CDATA[Backwoods royalty]]> In the magically surreal world of 'The Kings of Summer,' 15-year-old Joe Toy and a couple of his buddies build a functional two-story house out of found materials, 'Gilligan’s Island'-style, in the middle of a suburban Ohio patch of woods. Then they run away from home to live in it for a summer.]]> <![CDATA[Star pluckers]]> Last month, reported that the NSA surveillance scandal inspired a 5,000 percent jump in online sales of the George Orwell novel “1984,” which depicts a ubiquitously monitoring dystopian state.]]> <![CDATA[Use your illusion]]> The 2006 dueling magician movie "The Prestige" laid out the three aspects of a magic trick: The pledge (introduction of a seemingly normal object), the turn (making something extraordinary happen to that object) and the prestige.]]> <![CDATA[Mississippi 'Mud']]> After an electrifying breakthrough performance in 1996's "A Time to Kill" — followed by solid showings in "Contact" and "Amistad" — Matthew McConaughey mostly slummed it through the '00s.]]> <![CDATA[Heavy metal]]> Since the superhero genre was reinvigorated in 2000 with the earnest "X-Men" flick, comic book movies have become, with a few exceptions, less laughable and more laugh-all-the-way-to-the-bankable — and attracting top-tier acting talent, to boot.]]> <![CDATA[League of extraordinary gentleman]]> The first time we see Jackie Robinson in the biopic "42," he's in silhouette, crouched like a tiger, leading off about 10 feet from first base at a Negro League night game. The pitcher winds up, throws one over the plate, and Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) breaks into a loping sprint.]]> <![CDATA[Capital City Film Festival brings the magic]]> Capital City Film Festival director Dominic Cochran calls the 55 submitted and curated films the festival’s "strongest line-up so far," opting to include a couple that have already been out for awhile.]]> <![CDATA[Requiem for a medium]]> <![CDATA[Capital City Film Festival Reviews]]> Reviews of "Andrew Bird: Fever Year," "Holy Motors," "Tchoupitoulas," "The Story of Luke" and "Only the Young."]]> <![CDATA[The kids are all Reich]]> Nazis are easy narrative villains — the systematic slaughter of 11 million people really puts them in their own class of evil. Consequently, in literature and film, it's a bold move to depict them as anything less than cold-blooded monsters.]]> <![CDATA[The Screening Room]]> In a perfect world, a visionary filmmaker such as Sam Raimi could make a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" without having it compared to its 1939 predecessor, inarguably one of the greatest motion pictures ever made. Sure, we're in the middle of a spate of subpar big screen adaptations and "re-imaginings" of classic children's stories, but it's hardly fair to make Raimi pay for the sins of his peers. But films aren't made in a vacuum; every allusion has its price. ]]> <![CDATA[April in the C]]> Next week, the lights go down for the East Lansing Film Society Film Series' final month of programming before taking the summer off. So long, Werner Herzog; hey there, Iron Man — gotta give those blockbusters room to breathe.]]> <![CDATA[Catching fire]]> If it weren't a true story, it would seem like a cliché: The dead city handling its own cremation, one abandoned building at a time. For decades, Detroit has been slipping from obsolescence into an all-out hell on Earth. But according to the Detroit firefighter documentary "Burn," not everyone has given up on the decaying metropolis just yet.]]> <![CDATA[C! worthy]]> In its first two months, experimental film theater Studio C! in Okemos has already transformed the concept of a night at the movies for mid-Michigan filmgoers. It has food several notches above your typical megaplex fare (think appetizers, pizzas and sandwiches) as well as a liquor license and, for a modest upgrade price, lush reclining seats. Oh, and for the last month it’s shown a slew of award-winning films that were largely unavailable in Lansing.]]>