This Week in Cinemas & Streams: Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon reunite for ‘Midnight Special’

 

A dramatic dip in sophomore weekend crowds suggest that while director Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may be a must-see movie for blockbuster movie buffs, its flat reviews are keeping fans from watching it a second time.

Still, don’t lose hope about a storytelling rebound with the upcoming DC Universe blockbuster Justice League, set to open Nov. 17, 2017 from from Warner Bros. In the meantime, take a break from superhero movies and use the springtime to catch some indie-spirited fare.

 

JAEDEN LIEBERHER as Alton in director Jeff Nichols' sci-fi thriller "MIDNIGHT SPECIAL," a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Faliro House Productions, released by Warner Bros. Pictures.

JAEDEN LIEBERHER as Alton in director Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi thriller “MIDNIGHT SPECIAL,” a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Faliro House Productions, released by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Indie vet Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud) shifts to studio fare with his Warner Bros. release Midnight Special. Luckily, his smart storytelling remains intact. A young boy named Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) reveals otherworldly powers that attract the attention of government officials and religious extremists. With the help of his father Roy (Michael Shannon), Alton tries to outwit and outrun the authorities.

Michael Shannon reunites with his Take Shelter director; proving them to be a powerful, storytelling pair. Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton and Sam Shepard round out the cast.

Writer/director Richard Linklater describes his 1980-set, comedy Everybody Wants Some!! as a “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 breakout film Dazed and Confused. Set around a group of friends stumbling into adulthood on a collage campus, Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, J. Quinton Johnson, Glen Powell and Wyatt Russell, some of them making their feature film debuts, round out the ensemble cast in the Paramount Pictures release.

After being booted by the Tribeca Film Festival, filmmakers Andrew Wakefield brings his documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up To Catastrophe straight to audiences at New York’s Angelika Film Center. Exploring a possible link between the MMR vaccine and the rise in cases of autism, Wakefield and co-writer Del Matthew Bigtree also argue that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) destroyed relevant data from a 2004 study. Look for the Cinema Libre Studio release to expand to nationwide art houses after its successful New York debut.

Francofonia, the latest art drama from Russian master Alexander Sokurov premiering at New York’s Film Forum, is set in 1940 occupied Paris. Two art professionals, the Louvre’s director, Jacques Jaujard (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing), and Nazi emissary, Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich (Benjamin Utzerath), become unlikely collaborators with the task of preserving the museum’s priceless works.

Fans of Sokurov’s 2002 film Russian Ark, set in St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, understand that no other filmmakers can match his philosophical storytelling and thoughtful meditations on art, history and humanity. For moviegoers experiencing Sokurov for the first time, Francofonia, from Music Box Films, promises a movie experience without equal.

Miles Ahead Don Cheadle directs and stars in the Miles Davis drama 'Miles Ahead.'

Miles Ahead
Don Cheadle directs and stars in the Miles Davis drama ‘Miles Ahead.’

Don Cheadle is a veteran actor known for numerous movies and the Showtime series House of Lies. Miles Ahead, with Cheadle starring as Jazz legend Miles Davis, marks his directorial debut.

In the movie, at the start of its platform release from Sony Pictures Classics, Davis waits for a check from his record company while holed up in his Manhattan apartment.

Michael Stuhlbarg, Keith Stanfield, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Ewan McGregor provide supporting performances. Cheadle also claims co-writing credit on the film alongside Steven Baigelman.

 

The acclaimed documentary series Stranger Than Fiction (STF) returns Tuesday to New York’s IFC Center with special previews, classic screenings and visiting filmmakers. Organized by veteran programmer Thom Powers and producer Raphaela Neihausen, STF Spring 2016 launches with Monsieur Le President, director Victoria Campbell’s film about Haitian voodoo priest Gaston Jean Edy and his attempt to rebuild a Port-au-Prince medical clinic after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake.

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