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MOVIES The Big Lebowski

Dude, you get to see it this week!

FILM CLIPS The following are reviews of films currently playing in Indianapolis area theaters. Reviews are written by Ed Johnson-Ott (EJO) unless otherwise noted.


Cinema for stoners BY E D JO H N S O N - O T T EJO H N S O N O T T @N U V O . N E T Editors note: In keeping with the spirit of this issue, we asked our long-time movie reviewer to single out the best movies to watch… on weed.


Disney animal documentary aimed at kids, with names given to the lions and cheetahs so the filmmakers can build stories around them. Samuel L. Jackson narrates. 90 minutes.


As part of their Roving Cinema series, Indy Film Fest is screening cult classic The Big Lebowski in a bowling alley. That’s right, Jillian’s, 141 S. Meridian St., has bowling, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets to camp out in the bowling lanes to make the most of the first come, first serve seating. Five dollars will get you in the door, or, for parties of up to six people, a $75 price tag will get true fans into the Big Lebowski Party which includes one game of bowling and reserved lane seats for the film. Free popcorn will be provided by Yelp. Wednesday, April 20; doors open at 6 p.m.; film at 7:30 p.m. For more: 560-4433 or


This critically acclaimed cinematic concert rockumentary will take audiences back to the ‘70s for a one-night in-theater event. The film was shot during the Grateful Dead’s concerts at Winterland Arena in San Francisco in 1974, prior to the band taking a two-year sabbatical. Under the direction of the band’s lead guitarist Jerry Garcia and co-directed by Leon Gast, these legendary 1974 concerts capture the Grateful Dead at the pinnacle of their psychedelic worldwide fame while documenting the Dead Head experience. Premieres at Galaxy 14, AMC Castleton Square 14, and AMC Showplace Indianapolis 17, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.fathomevents. com for ticket information.


Davy Rothbart, who looks for love in all the right places, but all the wrong ways. Davy tours North America promoting his magazine FOUND. Along the way, Davy seeks advice on his tortured love life from people he meets (Zooey Deschanel, Ira Glass, Newt Gingrich, Davy’s mom, and others), and attempts to follow that advice, with comic and surprising results. The film weaves multiple stories to illustrate the joys and dangers of romantic pursuit. Premieres April 26 at Big Car Gallery (1043 Virginia Ave.), at 8 p.m. Admission is $8. A Q&A with Rothbart will follow the film;

Waking Life

Dreams within dreams. Richard Linklater’s superb 2001 philosophical film is talky in the best way, drifting from conversation to conversation, presenting an array of intriguing ideas passionately expressed, with the mundane and the profound all jumbled up. The visuals are wonderful: liveaction footage rotoscope-animated to create an enhanced reality. Waking Life is a joy to experience. Let it wash over you. And do see it again when you’re in a more downto-earth state of mind. It’ll lift you back up.

Yellow Submarine

The Beatles were barely involved in the making of this 1968 cartoon treat. Their contribution to the movie is a brief, disinvolved live-action cameo at the end. The voice actors portraying The Beatles are pretty bad, and the puns are real groaners. Doesn’t matter, because the fairy tale is packed with dazzling animated wonders set to Beatles’ songs. Yellow Submarine is a hallucinogenic feast of sights, sounds and silly blather.

Mars Attacks!

Tim Burton’s 1996 comic alien invasion movie, based on an infamous series of trading cards from the ‘60s, is a riotous celebration of anarchy, or maybe just interplanetary bad manners. The humans in the movie are a mess – note the fact that none of the authority figures can make a coherent speech – and the computer-animated Martians are maniacal, delightful brats. Hey, the movie has a scene where Pierce Brosnan – his disembodied head being held by mechanical tongs – flirts with Sarah Jessica Parker, whose head has been grafted onto the body of a chihuahua!


Want to know how confused the studio executives were by Zardoz? I saw it in NYC when it opened in 1974 and ushers passed out explanatory brochures to those waiting in line. It’s not that complicated: In the future, effete immortals live in lush seclusion, while the barbaric hordes outside the periphery shield are controlled by the false god Zardoz, with assists from guntoting thugs wearing red diapers. The fun begins when curious thug Zed, played by Sean Connery, sneaks past the barrier. A near-naked primitive in neo-Eden – what fun! John Boorman (Deliverance) wrote and directed this pompous, playful, often funny exercise.


Tim Burton’s 1988 – why do I keep telling you the years of these movies. Years don’t matter when you’re high! Anyhoo dude, the film is a bizarre dark comedy about a deranged dead guy who exorcises the living. Michael Keaton stars, with Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Winona Ryder. Very weird, very entertaining.

Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece is an epic journey into insanity. The mix of images, acting and music on the trip is stunning, often horrifying, and unforgettable. Best keep a copy of Yellow Submarine handy in case this freaks you out.

Altered States

This documentary captures the roadtripping lifestyle of


Dark comedy. Sad sack Frank (Rainn Wilson) snaps when his ex-addict wife (Liv Tyler) disappears with a drug dealer (Kevin Bacon). He emerges as a DIY superhero called Crimson Bolt, with a hand-made suit, a wrench and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page). 96 minutes.

Sci-fi with some seriously whacked-out visuals. William Hurt gets high in a sensory deprivation tank and we get to watch his visions. After a while, elements of the trips start manifesting themselves in the “real” world. The overwrought climax is great, so cool that a-ha ripped it off for their classic video, “Take On Me.”

They Live

This deliciously clunky John Carpenter flick about alien invaders is really a deliciously ponderous commentary on society. The secret messages will make you go “oooh.” The five + minutes fight scene between Roddy Piper and Keith David will make you wonder if your sense of time has been fucked-up forever. Plus you get to hear Piper say, “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass ... and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

Run Lola Run

Red-headed tough girl Lola (Franka Potente) has 20 minutes to save her boyfriend. The film presents three runs with different outcomes. Never mind that and don’t worry about the subtitles. This is one of the most kinetic movies ever made. Jump in. „

100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 04.20.11-04.27.11 // a&e


NUVO: Indy's Alternative Voice - April 20, 2011  

The Green Issue