Movie Maniac

Screen Scene: ‘Fantastic Four’ gets a reboot; ‘Close Encounters’ at Orpheum

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”
“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” Courtesy photo

New this week

▪ “Fantastic Four” – Marvel reboots one its most beloved comics, about four young outsiders who acquire amazing abilities after a trip to an alternate universe changes their physical forms.

▪ “The Gift” – Actor Joel Edgerton (“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “The Great Gatsby”) wrote, directed and stars in this intense-looking drama about a married couple (Jason Bateman, going against type here, and Rebecca Hall) whose lives are thrown into chaos when an acquaintance from the husband’s past shows up.

▪ “Irrational Man” – Writer-director Woody Allen’s latest opens in Wichita after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and follows a tormented philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) who finds a will to live when he commits an existential act. I know, sounds vague. But that’s Allen for you.

▪ “Ricki and the Flash” – This at first may seem like a run-of-the-mill dysfunctional family drama, but its pedigree is impressive: It stars three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep and her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, it’s written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody (“Juno”), and it’s directed by another Oscar winner in Jonathan Demme (“Silence of the Lambs”). It’s about a mother (Streep) who must return home to the family she abandoned in pursuit of a rock ’n’ roll career. And more Oscars.

▪ “Shaun the Sheep Movie” – More from the creative Brits who gave us the hilariously droll stop-motion animated comedies “Chicken Run” and the “Wallace and Gromit” films? Yes, please! This follows a mischievous sheep who longs for a day off and gets more than he bargained for.

Film series

▪ Summer of Spielberg: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” – One of my favorite films of all time (I’m not sci-fi geek at all) is about a group of people who share a psychic connection to alien beings who make contact with Earth. Showing at 7 p.m. Monday at Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. Tickets are $5; $4 for students, seniors or military.

▪ Return of the Cults:Heavy Metal” – This animated tale is about a glowing orb that terrorizes a young girl with stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror. Showing at 7 and 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Warren Old Town, 353 N. Mead. Tickets are $5.

Special event

▪ “Return of a Night With Rawdzilla” – I will be showing six of my recent short films in a showcase at 9:15 and 11 p.m. Sunday at the Alibi Room, 919 E. Douglas. Admission is free; 21 to enter. Mr. Natural Soul Kitchen will be set up out back starting at 7.