If you’ve had enough bullshit summer blockbusters, make a beeline to River East 21, Landmark’s Century Centre, or Century 12/CineArts 6 this weekend and check out Kathryn Bigelow’s blistering war movie The Hurt Locker, easily one of the year’s best. Movies about the Iraq war are about as popular as swine flu, so as the radio guys always say at previews, “Go see it on opening weekend so we can keep it in the theaters.” In contrast to the movies they’re usually talking about, this one actually belongs there.
Also this week: Phil Grabsky follows his documentary In Search of Mozart—one of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s highest grossing films—with a fascinating companion piece, In Search of Beethoven. It opens today at Film Center for a four-week run, with Grabsky appearing in person Friday through Sunday.
Film Center also presents the Chicago premiere of Jean-Luc Godard’s Made in U.S.A., which Fred Camper describes as an “attack on conventional ways of meaning and the bourgeois complacency fostered by mass entertainment.”
In this week’s issue, look for new reviews of Blood: The Last Vampire, a live-action remake of the cult anime flick; Brüno, the latest put-on from Sacha Baron Cohen; Favorite Son, an indie drama about a ballplayer on the way down; How Much Does the Trojan Horse Weigh?, a Polish drama about a woman who travels back in time to her first marriage; I Love You, Beth Cooper, an excruciating comedy about nerds cavorting with cheerleaders; and Loot, a documentary about a man searching for treasure buried in Austria and the Philippines during World War II.
Best bets for repertory: Orson Welles’s Falstaff pastiche Chimes at Midnight, screening Saturday at Doc Films; Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible, showing Saturday at midnight as part of the Facets Night School series; Joseph von Sternberg’s The Scarlet Empress, screening Saturday at Bank of America Cinema; Fritz Lang’s superb noir Scarlet Street, also at Doc Films, on Friday; and Godard’s 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, with discounted tickets for those also seeing Made in U.S.A.