The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Great Expectations

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on May 26, 2006 4:12PM

Remember how Memorial Day weekend used to be the official kickoff to the summer movie season? This year has thrown that conventional wisdom out the proverbial window.

Three “event” films have already had their shot at a stellar opening weekend this month: The Da Vinci Code, Mission Impossible III and Poseidon. While the latter two haven’t exactly lived up to expectations (especially Poseidon), Da Vinci Code had so many people flocking to the theater, you’d have thought they were showing Tom Hanks: The Porn Years as a featurette before the main attraction. In Chicagoist’s considered opinion, Da Vinci isn’t worth your time (much less your nine bucks) even if you loved the book. On the other hand, Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Mission Impossible III sets a new 2006_05_xmen.jpgstandard for screen villains, and the film itself shows that you can have character development alongside stuff blowin’ up real good.

With X-Men 3: The Last Stand as the only new film in wide release this weekend, we won’t be surprised if we see some doom and gloom stories on Monday about how fewer people went to the movies over this Memorial Day weekend than last year’s (even though three films made their debut over the same holiday weekend in 2005).

If you’d like to avoid all the kids and casual moviegoers this weekend, here are some other options for your cinematic pleasure:

For a take on the story of the Holy Grail that’s completely different, the Music Box is showing Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a midnight movie this weekend.

A slew of classic films is showing at the Siskel Center. This weekend at the Gene they’re showcasing films from the Library of Congress with a Curator’s Choice selection of short films including the Bugs Bunny operatic classic What’s Up, Doc? You can also catch Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Morocco (with Marlene Dietrich), and Twelve O’Clock High with Gregory Peck. Check The Gene’s site for days and times.

If you’re looking to go old school then the Silent Film Festival continues this weekend. You can also trek out to the LaSalle Bank Cinema for the WWII drama Decision Before Dawn. Finally, if your cineaste itch needs scratching, you can head down to U of C as Doc Films will be showing the concluding chapters of Kieslowski’s Decalogue on Monday.