Movies This Week: July 19-25, 2013

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Ryan Gosling stars in "Only God Forgives"

When you combine all of the titles that are opening wide in theaters this weekend with the specialty screenings in Austin, you have almost an overwhelming amount of titles to choose from at the movies. Hopefully, this summary will help you nail down a schedule and get out there to see as much as humanly possible. 

For my money, the most exciting choice in town is the Austin Film Society booking of Louis Malle's Viva Maria! You'll get the beauty of Bridget Bardot and Jeanne Moreau in 35mm as members of a cabaret act who accidentally invent the striptease. Upon its original American release in 1965, the film was dubbed in English, but these screenings will be in French with English subtitles. This is one I've always intended to see and I can't imagine a better way to catch it for the first time than in a 'Scope print at the Marchesa. It's playing tonight and again on Sunday evening. 

This week's selections for the Paramount Summer Film Series include The Pink Panther and A Shot In The Dark on Saturday and Sunday. The early show on Saturday features a Scavenger Hunt that gets underway at 11:30 am. A double feature dubbed "Naughty, Bawdy 1933" also takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday with Dinner At Eight and Design For Living. All titles at the Paramount are presented in 35mm. 

Fritz Lang's sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis plays in Austin on a fairly regular basis, but this week is the first opportunity to see a much longer cut that is being touted as The Complete Metropolis. Tuesday through Thursday, Alamo Drafthouse Ritz is presenting this as part of their Big Screen Classics series. Previous releases of the film have clocked in under two hours, but this recently restored version incorporates more than 25 minutes of previously unseen footage and is 153 minutes long with a re-recorded score in surround sound. 

Movies We've Seen

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me -- After debuting at SXSW this year as a work-in-progress, the final cut of a documentary about the greatest band you probably never heard is now available on VOD and is hitting the Ritz this Sunday afternoon. It also is the featured Music Monday selection for the week. I'll have a full review posted this weekend, but I guarantee that fans of the band are going to love this film and hopefully casual viewers will get turned on to some fantastic, timeless music. (Alamo Ritz/VOD)

The Conjuring -- James Wan's outrageously creepy tale of supernatural possession is surprisingly smart, especially for a summer horror release. I caught an AICN screening of this a few weeks back with the incredibly charming Lili Taylor in tow for a Q&A. While I was ultimately somewhat disappointed in the final act, Rod liked it it a lot, arguing "it's the plausibility that makes it terrifying" in his review. (wide)  

Only God Forgives -- Nicolas Winding Refn reunites with star Ryan Gosling, but this thriller set in Bangkok fails to replicate the success of Drive. With languid pacing and occasionally spellbinding brutality, it's an understatement to say that this is not going to appeal to all tastes. If you have more than a casual interest in seeing it, I'll stand behind a big-screen viewing (even though I had mixed feelings about it and it's available now on VOD) because the cinematography is truly gorgeous and watching Kristen Scott Thomas in a ruthless performance is worth every penny of your ticket. Jette isn't really sure how she felt about it either, but notes in her review that it was "vivid and disturbing enough to stick with me for days." (Alamo Slaughter Lane/VOD)

Red 2 -- After the surprise financial success of Red in the fall of 2010, it's no surprise that a sequel was greenlighted. The stars of the first film like Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich are back and this time Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Korean film star Lee Byung-hun join in on the fun. J.C. says it's "so bland and inconsequential that it feels as though a sequel wasn’t really needed at all." Look for his review this weekend. (wide) 

R.I.P.D. -- Have you ever hoped that Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds would star together in a buddy cop comedy set in the afterlife? Anybody? Is this thing on? Just watching the trailer for this one made me want to douse my eyeballs with bleach. Mike saw it at last night's press screening and said, "Every time I started to think, 'Here's where it starts to suck,' the movie did something to make me laugh in spite of myself." (wide)

Turbo -- One of two films this week with Ryan Reynolds (who voices lead snail Theodore), this animated toon from Dreamworks opened earlier this week. In his review, Mike argues that it's worth watching in 3D and that it's "actually fun for the whole family." 

Other Movies Opening In Austin

Fill The Void -- Sony Pictures Classics has another unexpected arthouse hit with this drama about a family of Orthodox Jews in Tel Aviv. Director Rama Burshtein, a practicing Orthodox woman, has said she was inspired by the works of Jane Austen. The film won seven Israeli Academy Awards including Best Film and Best Director. (Regal Arbor)

Girl Most Likely -- This comedy with Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening played on the festival circuit as Imogene. Now retitled, the movie seems like it would see more success in a multi-platform release that included VOD. Instead, it's likely to struggle in an overcrowded marketplace thanks to lousy reviews. This one wasn't screened for Austin critics, which is never a good sign. (AMC Barton Creek, Regal Arbor)

Om 3D -- Billed as the first Indian 3D action film, Om was shot in 5K resolution and is being screened locally in Real 3D digital. Also known as Blue Sky, this is presented in Telegu without English subtitles. (Tinseltown 17)

Ramaiya Vastavaiya -- This Bollywood romance is about a young rich man from Australia who goes back to India for his cousin's wedding and falls for her best friend.  (Tinseltown 17)