Nobody likes to create hype like writer-director J.J. Abrams ("Lost," "Star Trek"), and the Internet has been buzzing about this movie ever since teasers surfaced a year ago. Now it's finally here and looks to be a return to the glory days of escapism flicks. The story follows a group of kids who witness a mysterious train crash and the ensuing chaos that happens in their small town when some sort of monster escapes. Yeah, never a good thing.
Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen returns with this romantic comedy-fantasy — that was the opening night presentation at the Cannes Film Festival — about a successful screenwriter who travels to Paris and longs for the glory days of its pop culture. Magically, he's whisked back to 1920s Paris and hanging out with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. The film recalls the creative playfulness of Allen's early work ("Purple Rose of Cairo") and should be a real charmer. Date movie alert!
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Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog swings back and forth between documentaries ("Grizzly Man") and narratives ("Rescue Dawn"). Here, he gets unprecedented access to film deep inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, exploring the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind. The film is in 3-D, so it should be visually spectacular.
Also opening today
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Based on the popular children's books, this big-screen adaptation follows the titular third-grade heroine as she sets out to have the most thrilling summer of her life.
Tallgrass' Cinema Alfresco offering this week is David Lynch's surreal 1986 mystery that follows a young man (a young Kyle MacLachlan) who discovers a severed ear in a field near his home. He does some investigating and uncovers a seedy, masochistic underworld in his idyllic small town. Showing Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Rock Island Studios, 338 N. Mead. Admission is free.
The Murdock Theatre's Film Series presents this drama by Francis Ford Coppola that follows the reunion of two estranged brothers in Buenos Aires. After they get reacquainted, the younger brother (up-and-comer Alden Ehrenreich) is suddenly starring in his older sibling's (a typically neurotic and abrasive Vincent Gallo) new play. Showing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Murdock Theatre, 556. N. Broadway. Tickets are $7.