So it looks like Memorial Day weekend is going to be wet, at least part of the time.
Fortunately, Austin is the best city of its size for cinephiles in the United States. (Yeah, I said it.) And a possibly rainy three-day weekend is a fantastic time to catch up on new releases, repertory screenings and second-run movies.
The big movies opening this week are “Baywatch,” the self-consciously parodic reboot of the insanely popular TV series, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” both of which are playing all over the place.
As for bigger movies from earlier in the year, I was not wild about “Alien:Covenant,” and I don’t see that changing any time … ever.
But in retrospect I was perhaps a little too hard on “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”
Over at the Alamo Drafthouses, a new restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s still-incredible “Stalker” plays 2 p.m. May 27 and 6 p.m. May 28 at Alamo Ritz. Also at the Ritz, check out Kurt Russell (currently in “Guardians”) when he was much younger in “Escape from New York,” which is playing a number of times.
The Austin Film Society’s newly refurbished AFS Cinema is now open for business. This weekend’s
Over at the discounted Southwest Theaters Lake Creek 7 we have “Kong: Skull Island,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” “Get Out,” “The Lego Batman Movie,” “Power Rangers,” “Logan,” “The Shack,” and “Ghost in the Shell.”
Of these, “Get Out” is absolutely essential viewing. Jordan Peele’s horror film about race and privilege is that rare bird: a smart film that is also one of the year’s most unexpected hits.
I am also in the tank for “Logan,”easily the strongest (and most adult — this one is NOT for kids) of Fox’s X-Men franchise. I also enjoyed “Kong: Skull Island,” which had a much stronger monster-to-screentime ration than the “Godzilla” reboot from 2014, while I can recommend “The Lego Batman Movie” with little reservation.
If you don’t feel like leaving the house, you really should do what you can to catch up on Showtime’s new season of “Twin Peaks.” All 18 episodes were co-written and directed by David Lynch; the first four are currently available for streaming on the Showtime site (subscription needed). It is very easily the weirdest thing on television, a showcase for Lynch’s tics, interests and singular vision.
Over on Netflix, David Michôd’s “War Machine” stars Brad Pitt as a general very obliviously based on NATO-forces-in-Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal. With Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley, Topher Grace and more.