New Jersey journalist Bob Bowdon appears at the Landmark on Friday night to introduce the 7:30 PM screening of his excellent documentary The Cartel. It's a factual and fair-minded conservative critique of the education crisis in America that takes as a case study Bowdon's home state, which is number one in the country for per-student spending but still produces dismal classroom results.
This week's long review is Harry Brown, with Michael Caine as an old man who turns vigilante after his best friend is murdered by drug dealers. Another good bet opening this weekend is The Square, a nifty Australian noir about an adulterous couple whose plans to steal a sack of loot from the woman's husband go, uh, south.
Other new releases reviewed include Exit Through the Gift Shop, a cagey documentary about street art and its commodification; A Nightmare on Elm Street, a remake of the original movie with Jackie Earle Haley taking over for Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger; The Scientist, a low-budget SF movie about a traumatized quantum physicist laboring over a mysterious invention; and Who Do You Love, a biopic about Chicago record men Phil and Leonard Chess (no, you haven't seen it—that was Cadillac Records).
Notable repertory screenings this week: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale (1944), screening Saturday at Bank of America Cinema; Akira Kurosawa's Drunken Angel (1948), with shows Saturday and Tuesday night at Gene Siskel Film Center; Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead (1983), with midnight shows Friday and Saturday at Music Box; Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (1958), also at the Siskel Center, on Saturday afternoon and Thursday night; Otto Preminger's Saint Joan (1957), projected from an archival print at Doc Films on Sunday; and Anthony Mann's Winchester '73, projected in 35-millimeter at Northbrook Public Library.