Movies This Week: May 2-8, 2014

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 The Retrieval

If you're a member of Austin Film Society, tonight marks the first event in a new monthly series called FREE Member Fridays! Actor Thomas Haden Church and director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais will be at the Marchesa for a special screening of their new film Whitewash. It is free for AFS members and general admission tickets will also be available for $15 at the door subject to capacity. AFS also is presenting the new release Hateship Loveship on Sunday afternoon. While this IFC Films release is available on VOD, this (along with a second showing next Friday) is your only chance to catch it locally on the big screen. The movie stars Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce and is an adaptation of a story by Alice Munro. Richard Linklater's Jewels In The Wasteland series returns on Wednesday night with a 35mm print of Coppola's 1983 feature Rumble Fish. Finally, the week in movies at the Marchesa wraps up on Thursday with Essential Cinema presenting Paul Mazursky's 1970 film Alex In Wonderland.

Violet Crown Cinema continues their Criterion Presents series this week with Steven Soderbergh's beautiful depression-era drama King Of The Hill on Tuesday night while the Paramount 100 series heads next door to the Stateside for a double feature of Renoir's Grand Illusion and Jean Vigo's L'Atalante

If you've never seen it on the big screen, William Wyler's 1959 epic Ben-Hur is debuting in a brand new 4K digital restoration at the Alamo Lakeline tomorrow and Sunday afternoon. The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz is delivering more Marx Brothers for you this weekend with A Night At The Opera from 1935. It plays tomorrow afternoon only. There are some great 35mm rep screenings at the Ritz this week including Arthur Penn's Night Moves on Monday, Bachelor Party with Tom Hanks on Tuesday and a Cinema Club screening of David O. Russell's truly hysterical Flirting With Disaster on Wednesday.

The Alamo will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with their annual tradition of a quote-along screening of The Three Amigos. This year, you can catch it at the Ritz, Lakeline and Slaughter Lane on Monday (and again on Thursday night only at the Ritz). If you missed out on Chef when it premiered during SXSW but would like to see a sneak preview of it, there's a special New York Critics Series screening of the film on Tuesday night at Alamo Slaughter Lane featuring a live Q&A simulcast from New York with Jon Favreau.  

Movies We've Seen

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker in Marc Webb's reboot of the superhero series. This time around, Jamie Foxx joins in on the fun as Electro and Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings) stars as Green Goblin. With a cast that also includes Emma Stone, Sally Field, Chris Cooper and Paul Giamatti, the summer movie season kicks off early and there are no other major releases this week because nobody wants to get in the way of this certain box office champ. Mike loved it -- read his review to find out why. (wide, available in 2D, 3D, digital IMAX 3D and also D-Box Digital Motion Seat screenings at area theaters)

The Retrieval (pictured above) - Austin-based filmmaker Chris Eska's latest film is a stunning Civil War drama that won multiple awards on the festival circuit last year. Don praised the film in his review from SXSW 2013, calling it "as close to perfect as a movie can be" and says that "the film's cast may be small, but their talents are enormous." I also caught the film last year and was blown away at how the crew pulled off such an authentic period piece on a limited budget. The film flat-out looks incredible and the acting is top-notch. Actor Tishuan Scott, director Chris Eska and producer Jason Wehling will be on hand for post-film Q&A sessions at select screenings tomorrow. (Regal Arbor)

Also Opening In Austin

Finding Vivian Maier - One of the year's most acclaimed films (currently sitting with a 96% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) is a documentary about a woman who worked as a nanny for 40 years in Chicago. During that time, she took over 100,000 pictures on the streets of the city. Her work was largely unseen while she was alive, but after a large batch of her negatives were purchased in an auction, it solidified Vivian's place in the history books. (Violet Crown Cinema)

On My Way - The legendary Catherine Deneuve stars in this French dramedy as an aging beauty queen on a road trip. (Regal Arbor)

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