In Delivery Man, a remake of the French Canadian comedy Starbuck, Vince Vaughn plays a man whose copious sperm donations in the 90s have yielded 533 children, a large contingent of which are suing to discover his identity. The movie opened last week, so this week’s long review is a late delivery. If you’re looking for a movie this holiday weekend, we recommend: Lenny Cooke, Ben and Joshua Safdie’s documentary about an NBA hopeful who washes out; Philomena, Stephen Frears’s fact-based drama in which an Irish woman tries to track down the child taken from her by convent nuns a half century earlier; and Third Ward TX, a short documentary about the rescue of a blighted Houston neighborhood.
Also reviewed in this week’s issue: Joe Swanberg’s All the Light in the Sky, with Jane Adams as a Hollywood actress pondering love and solar energy; Claire Denis’s Bastards, the tale of a horrible crime and the two families it entangles; Kasi Lemmons’s Black Nativity, a wholesome soul musical with Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett that’s supposedly based on the eponymous Langston Hughes play; Disney’s Frozen, a children’s animation that’s supposedly based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”; and Homefront, a brutal payback drama starring Jason Statham that was supposedly scripted by Sylvester Stallone.
Best bets for repertory: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948) at Gene Siskel Film Center; Joe Dante’s The Burbs (1989), Sunday at University of Chicago Doc Films; a rare screening of Olivier Assayas’s 330-minute Carlos (2011), next Thursday at Doc; bargain tickets for Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (1963) with Joseph Losey’s The Servant (1963) at Film Center; Claire Denis’s The Intruder (2004), Saturday and Thursday at Film Center; on a double bill, W.C. Fields in Million Dollar Legs (1932) and Joel McCrea in Girls About Town (1931), Sunday morning at Film Center; Terence Davies’s Of Time and the City (1988), Monday at Doc; and Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1976), Saturday at the Patio.
As for special events this weekend, the Sound of Music sing-alongs at Music Box are probably sold out already, and Northwestern University Block Museum of Art will be turning people away on Friday when it hosts a free preview of the Coen brothers’ forthcoming Inside Llewyn Davis. But don’t despair: on Wednesday there’s a free screening at Logan Center for the Arts of the French experimental feature From 2337 West Monroe Street, part of a series on the police killing of activist Fred Hampton; actor Greg Sestero appears at Music Box on Tuesday to read from his new book The Disaster Artist, about the making of the cult hit The Room; and Cinema Minima collects the best and worst moments from Star Trek: The Next Generation in its program Deck the Holodeck, screening Sunday at Cole’s Bar.