In this week’s issue Leor Galil takes a hard look at Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, which opens Friday after considerable hubbub. And we’ve got capsule reviews of: The Armor of Light, a documentary about a rabidly pro-life evangelical leader who becomes a convert to gun control; Creed, the new Rocky sequel, written and directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station); The Dark Valley, a German western about a vendetta playing out in a frontier town; The Forbidden Room, the latest camp fantasia from Canadian director Guy Maddin (The Saddest Music in the World); James White, a powerful indie drama with Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon; Janis: Little Girl Blue, a new documentary portrait of Janis Joplin; Legend, starring Tom Hardy as the British gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray; Movement + Location, a low-budget sci-fi drama about time travelers; and The Office, a Chinese musical from crime-movie specialist Johnnie To (Election, Sparrow).
Best bets for repertory: Brian De Palma’s Blow Out (1981), Saturday and Monday at Music Box; Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Friday and Sunday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Terry Jones’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1972), midnight Friday and Saturday at Landmark’s Century Centre; Howard Hawks’s Tiger Shark (1932) with Edward G. Robinson, Wednesday at Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium, and Robert Aldrich’s What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Sunday at Doc.
Three special events light up the Music Box this week: Chicago International Movies & Music Festival presents Sergei Eisenstein’s Que Viva Mexico! (1932) with live accompaniment by Sones de Mexico, Julie Andrews vanquishes the Nazis with song in Sing-a-Long Sound of Music, and a weeklong series collects Quentin Tarantino favorites (Jackie Brown, Inglourious Basterds) and Quentin Tarantino’s favorites (Coffy, Five Fingers of Death, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More).