Best bets this week• “The Wind Rises” – This Oscar nominee for best animated feature is about the life of Jiro Horikoshi, who would go on to design the Zero, Japan’s World War II fighter plane.
• “Stalingrad” – Speaking of World War II, this drama – a huge hit in its native Russia – follows a band of Russian soldiers who fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army. In Russian and German with English subtitles (yes, you will have to read). The film should be visually spectacular, though, in IMAX 3-D.
Also opening Friday• “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version ” – Nobody knows how to wear out a welcome like newsman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), so we get this re-release of the sequel with a raunchier rating (it was originally PG-13) and – apparently someone counted –763 new jokes.
• “Non-Stop” – Still refusing to age, Liam Neeson continues to fancy himself an action star, as he plays a U.S. air marshal on a flight from New York City to London who receives a series of text messages demanding the airline transfer $150 million into an off-shore account or a passenger on the flight will be killed every 20 minutes. That’ll put a damper on beverage service.
• “Son of God” – This historical drama portrays the life of Jesus, from birth through his preaching, crucifixion and resurrection.
Where to watch the Oscars on Sunday
Some Oscar parties around town:• “A Night on the Red Carpet” – This benefit for Episcopal Social Services will feature live and silent auctions, a wine pull, food and live entertainment in addition to viewing the Oscars. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas. Tickets are $80 (a portion of it is tax-deductible) and can be purchased online at ess.ticketleap.com/redcarpet2014 or at the door. For more information, call 316-269-4160.
• “Annual Oscar Party” – Rain Cafe and Lounge, 518 E. Douglas, will offer a ballot contest with prizes, two-for-one well drinks and half-priced burgers. Ballots must be filled out before the Oscars begin at 7 p.m. Sunday. Must be 21 after 11 p.m.
• “Watch the Oscars with Tallgrass” – Tallgrass Film Association is hosting this “unofficial” viewing party starting at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Monarch, 579 W. Douglas (under 21 admitted). Drink specials for those of age include $3 bottles of beer and draws.