If you’ve been on a desert island all summer and still haven’t done Barbenheimer, there’s still a chance to catch “Barbie” at The State and “Oppenheimer” at The Michigan. For the rest of the movie-going crowd, here are a few of the new releases and special screenings at The Michigan and State Theaters this September.
Emma Seligman is back with another great comedy, a follow-up to her indie hit “Shiva Baby,” for what promises to be one of the — if not the — funniest movies of the year, “Bottoms.”
This is a raunchy, but unique high school comedy about two girls, PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri), who are neither pretty nor popular but hatch a plan to change all that by starting a fight club as a way to lose their virginities to cheerleaders. Teaching self-defense to cheerleaders, they think, will endear them to the more popular set and maybe they’ll get lucky!? Self-defense club gets pretty brutal and here the film veers into “Heathers” territory, an obvious influence. The good news is the filmmakers seem to be able to home in on what made the humor in “Heathers” work, making the audience root for the anti-hero key here.
“Bottoms” also stars Kaia Gerber and Marshawn Lynch.
Now Playing at the State Theater.
“Golda” stars an almost unrecognizable Helen Mirren as Israel’s first and only female Prime Minister, Golda Meir. This is not, however, a biopic but instead examines her leadership during the 18-day Yom Kippur War which came close to escalating beyond the battle for Israeli-occupied Sinai Peninsula with both United States and Russia supplying their allies. The performances are the film’s strength, and Mirren, along with Live Schreiber as Henry Kissinger, are well worth seeing. This film does give the viewer a look at the most important event of Meir’s time in office but doesn’t tell us how she became a world leader who was nick-named the Iron Lady.
Now playing at the State Theatre.
This third installment of “The Equalizer” finds Robert McCall (Denzell Washington) in southern Italy battling the mob and trying to protect his friends. Dakota Fanning and Eugenio Mastrandrea co-star.
Now playing at the State Theatre.
Based on a non-fiction book by British neurologist Oliver Sacks, the character of Dr. Sayer is loosely based on Sacks. “Awakenings” is the story of a neurologist (Robin Williams) who tried to help victims of an encephalitis epidemic decades ago who have since been in a catatonic state. Penny Marshall directs one of the best films of the 90s. The screening includes a pre-film panel discussion at 6 p.m. with Michelle Hastings, Ph.D.; Maria G. Castro, Ph.D.; Christiane Wobus, Ph.D.; Henry Paulson, M.D., Ph.D.; Peter Todd, M.D., Ph.D.; and moderated by Nils G. Walter, Ph.D.
Playing at the Michigan Theater Sept. 27.
The Armenian genocide of WW I isn’t a subject that has been much discussed or presented on film. Based on the true story of Aurora Mardiganian, the film follows a genocide survivor who becomes a silent film star who escaped slavery and journeys far to tell the world about the Armenian Genocide. The film uses a mix of animation and archive footage to tell its story and has won multiple awards.
Director Inna Sahakyan will be in attendance for post-film Q&As on Friday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the State Theatre.
Part of the 50 Years of Scorsese series that kicks off this month, “King of Comedy” stars Robert De Niro as Rupert Pupkin, a passionate but unsuccessful comic who will do anything to make it big. He confronts his idol, talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), asking for a guest spot on his show. When he is given the runaround, he stalks and ultimately kidnaps Langford with the help of another obsessed fan (Sandra Bernhard). Black comedy at its finest.
Playing at the Michigan Theater Sept. 11
In honor of William Friedkin who passed away August 7, Michigan Theater is screening “The French Connection” starring Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, and the greatest car chase in cinema history!
Playing at the Michigan Theater Sept. 25.