Thursday, July 23, 2009

Now Playing: Away We Go (R); Bruno (R); Outrage (NR): and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!

I love the CinemaSalem e-news updates. The weather has some rain in it (again), so plan your escape to CinemaSalem and it's fresh popcorn with real butter. (And then make it a real date by adding dinner and/or drinks at one of the nearby restaurants!)

Tidbit #1: If you come to see Big Man Japan today or tomorrow, for goodness sake, stay through the final credits!

Tidbit #2: Last week's Harry Potter 6 midnight premiere completely sold out two theaters by 10:30 pm. For the several hundred whom we had to turn away, we're working on a three-screen interlock for next year's HP7a.

Tidbit #3: We had a ton of people coming to our weekly LOST parties last winter and spring, where we projected the mythic TV show for free on our big screen. Theories were discussed, friendships formed, community built, and popcorn sold. We'll be doing the same thing this coming winter when the final season unfolds, but we had a question for you: what other shows would you shuffle out of the comfort of your home to see on the big screen with a bunch of like-minded geniuses such as yourself? Glee? Friday Night Lights (on DirecTV before they go to NBC)? The Office/30 Rock? Desperate Housewives? The only technical requirement is that they be on weekday evenings and start at 9pm or later. Indicate your preference by replying to this email, and we'll count up the results and report back soon.

Tidbit #4: Last week's Discount Variety was one of the best yet, with a totally improvised, hilarious monologue about intercultural relationships by the comedienne and an awesome, courageous set of extraordinary music by someone who will soon be compared to Kate Bush. We hope to put some of it up online so you can catch it. In the meantime, mark August 20 on your calendars for the next Discount Variety show in the Café.

Tidbit #5: Away We Go (R) has been called " one of the best films about love I've ever seen" by the film critic at the Kansas City Star, who must have seen loads of movies. The Oregonian writes: "Away We Go is offbeat enough to feel like a breakthrough indie but familiar and warm enough to serve as a thinking person's romantic comedy."

Away We Go will screen Friday and Saturday at (12:00), (2:10), (4:20), 7:10 and 9:20; and Sunday-Thursday at (12:00), (2:10), (4:20) and 7:10.

Tidbit #6: Bruno (R) arrives at CinemaSalem with Sasha Baron Cohen's typical understated subtlety and a 69% positive rating at This is London loves it and also finds it important: "Brüno is a brave and necessary comedy. The film will appear to be a succès de scandale, and will outrage many people, but it is actually just a success, a film with an instinct for naming and shaming a host of overprotected wrongs. Go and see it."

Bruno will screen on Friday and Saturday at (12:30), (2:30), (5:00), 7:30 and 9:40; and Sunday-Thursday at (12:30), (2:30), (5:00) and 7:30.

Tidbit #7: In the Screening Room this week is Outrage (NR), which the New York Times calls an "indignant and methodical documentary which offers a lot of insight into the ideology and psychology of present-day political homophobia." The Philadelphia Inquirer was similarly impressed: "Despite its title, Outrage is calm, riveting, and provocative, taking pride in officials who come out and and taking aim at those who remain closeted," while the Hollywood Reporter submits "Audiences, regardless of their politics, will find Kirby Dick's film entertaining, brisk, visually interesting and perhaps even thrilling."

Outrage will play on Friday and Saturday at (11:45 AM), (1:45), (4:00), 7:00 and 9:00; and Sunday-Thursday at (11:45 AM), (1:45), (4:00) and 7:00.

Tidbit #8: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the best movie of the series, in the humble opinion of this scribe, yet remains accessible and engaging for people who haven't experienced the books or movies. The Los Angeles Times writes, "The Potter pictures have become the modern exemplars of establishment moviemaking," while across the pond, the Globe and Mail pens: "The experienced team behind the Harry Potter movie series is comfortably in the groove with the sixth film, which plays down the fantastic elements and introduces contrasting playful teenaged romance and a new tone of adult gloominess."

HP6 will play Friday and Saturday at (11:30 AM), (3:00), 6:45; and 10:00; and then Sunday-Thursday at (11:30 AM), (3:00) and 6:45.

Tidbit #9: One of the most exciting days of the year in Salem will occur on August 12. Why? Because that's the day of the Witches Cup Bike Race around the Salem Common. If you haven't seen this sort of race, it's truly exhilarating. The Witches Cup is a criterium -- a short fast bicycle race requiring a mix of power, speed and technical skills. Those skills include the ability to corner rapidly and sharply, all while riding safely with a large group on a short circuit, requiring exceptional fitness to outflank other riders and repeatedly accelerate around corners. These races are 45-60 minutes of very fast cycling, with racers averaging 25-35 mph and reaching speeds of up to 45 mph during sprints and attacks.

There will be less-intense, but just as fun racing starting at 4 pm, with the professional Witches Cup commencing at 6:45.

In conjunction with this great event, SunlightSolar is sponsoring a FREE showing of the cycling classic film, Breaking Away, on the big screens of CinemaSalem on August 12 at 10 am. Watching this great movie about youth, dreams, and cycling will get you in the mood for the races later in the afternoon.

So mark your calendars for a great day of racing on August 12.

Tidbit #10: Thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!

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