What if the ghost is Jewish?
It’s finally here! No, not Twilight—Avengers: Endgame! The movie that broke online ticketing nationwide finally arrives to reveal how the original-recipe Avengers save the heroes everyone is actually excited about after Thanos snapped them out of existence. Expect recent addition Captain Marvel to have a big hand in the MCU’s salvation, as well. Still, Endgame is the 22nd Marvel movie since 2008, so it does not feel like as big of a cinematic event as, say, The Phantom Menace or The Force Awakens. Even if you did not get your tickets early, Endgame will be available on so many screens, you should be able to find a time that is right for you. See it at Ciné if you can!
With the rest of Hollywood hiding out until the traditional summer blockbuster period begins, you can enjoy other cinematic options around the Classic City this week. On Apr. 25, Ciné hosts a special screening of En el Séptimo Día (On the Seventh Day) from award-winning filmmaker Jim McKay (Girls Town). The film narrates a week in the lives of several undocumented immigrants living and working around Brooklyn, NY. McKay will be present for an introduction and post-film Q&A. The screening is free; get there early for a reception in the lobby bar.
On Apr. 26, Southern Brewing Company’s Movies on Tap features the infamous 1995 Kevin Costner adventure Waterworld. Set in a world drowned by melting polar ice caps, this aquatic take on Mad Max is far from the total disaster suggested by its pre-release buzz. Still, that buzz remains the most memorable aspect of what is ultimately an unremarkable, bloated, mid-’90s action flick. Dennis Hopper made a more interesting baddie (“Dry land is not just our destination! It is our destiny!”) than Costner did a hero.
Speaking of Costner heroes, Movies at Tate offers a second chance to see the uncalled-for new Robin Hood from Apr. 26–28. Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx attempt to jumpstart a hip new franchise about robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but this Robin is unlikely to get an attempt to pay off that last-act reveal of Jamie Dornan as the Sheriff of Nottingham we actually know and hate. For all its flaws, Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was better, simply because of Alan Rickman’s Sheriff.
Robin Hood is paired with the DCEU’s biggest international hit, Aquaman, a fun flick worth seeing on the big screen again. Conjuring filmmaker James Wan nails the goofy Shakespearean vibe of the King of Atlantis’ struggle for his crown. In Aquaman’s first solo adventure, an often shirtless Jason Momoa knows when to whip his hair and when to quip. Did I mention a giant octopus plays the drums? (His name is Topo, and he is one of Aquaman’s longtime animal sidekicks who dates back to the Silver Age.) These screenings are perfect for anyone who skipped Aquaman but enjoyed Shazam!
Finally, Flicker is hosting movie trivia and a couple of screenings on Apr. 29. Compete in Ghastly Horror Society Trivia at 7 p.m. before watching a couple of giallo classics from Mario Bava: 1964’s Blood and Black Lace and 1963’s The Whip and the Body, which stars Christopher Lee. The former guarantees “the eight greatest shocks ever filmed!” The latter is considered underrated amongst Bava connoisseurs.
How does last week’s new horror entry compare?
THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (R) La Llorona, aka the Weeping Woman, is easily the least interesting addition to the Conjuring universe, which is unnecessary and unfortunate. A well-known Mexican folktale, La Llorona was a beautiful woman who drowned her two boys in a jealous rage. Now, the angry spirit drowns any children she mistakes for her own. Apparently, the legend is used to frighten children into behaving. The Curse of La Llorona could have taken that tack and used the spirit to torment various children, disobedient and out after their bedtime, rather than rehash the worn-out modern ghost story that dominates this horror subgenre.
Linda Cardellini plays a widowed mother of two who unwittingly unleashes the vengeful Mexican ghost on a home visit to inspect the welfare of two young boys. The boys wind up dead, and her children end up on the receiving end of La Llorona’s unpleasant maternal instincts. If not for the assistance of the movie’s most interesting character, former priest turned ghost hunter Rafael (Raymond Cruz, aka Tuco Salamanca from “Breaking Bad”), the results would have been far grislier and less entertaining. I suggest a Rafael spinoff. Without him, The Curse of La Llorona would simply be all jump scares and tatty plotting.