That 'Other Bond' Kicks Off 5 Movie Musts For This Week
By Joel Wicklund in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 14, 2015 2:30PM
Diana Rigg and George Lazenby in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (©1969 United Artists Corporation).
A 007 favorite, an overlooked superhero gem, and three very different relationship stories make our list of limited run or single-screening movies worth prioritizing this week.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Tuesday, July 14, 7:30 p.m.
George Lazenby may have just been the placeholder between Sean Connery and Roger Moore (with a single film return for Connery after this one), but his lone James Bond film is one of the best in the 53-year-old franchise. All the usual super-spy thrills are there and executed with panache in this 1969 classic, but it's the surprisingly sweet romantic edges and the unexpected ending that has always separated this one from the pack. Lazenby, whose acting experience was minimal when he was cast for the role, is no Connery, but he's not bad either, and he pulls off the movie's emotional finale with just the right subtle touch. Showing in a new 4K DCP restoration.
The Rocketeer at the Northbrook Public Library, Wednesday, July 15, 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The overabundance of superhero movies in recent years shouldn't prevent you from seeing this charming 1991 graphic novel adaptation—a box office disappointment in its day that holds up better than many movies of its type. Set in the late '30s and inspired by matinee serials of that era, it has much the same lighthearted and nostalgic tone of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The hero with the jetpack (Billy Campbell) mixes it up against a secret Nazi/Hollywood cabal while trying to save his gal (a young Jennifer Connelly). Director Joe Johnston would touch a lot of the same cultural bases 20 years later in Captain America: The First Avenger. Northbrook has long had one of the best area library film programs, and their auditorium recently reopened after retooling for DCP showings, while keeping their 35mm projection capabilities intact.
The Overnight, continuing at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema
We’re not sure if this squirm-worthy comedy of sexual discomfort will run past Thursday, but it's certainly nearing the end of its theatrical window, so see it now while you can still share the awkward laughs with a crowd. Jason Schwartzman is perfectly cast as the oh-so-welcoming swinger who invites an unsuspecting Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling to join his wife for what turns out to be a night of intense partying, bisexual seduction and full-fledged weirdness.
Say Anything - Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, Friday, July 17 & Saturday, July 18, Midnight.
Not a lot on Cameron Crowe's resume has held up well over the years, but this coming-of-age romantic comedy still delivers the goods. John Cusack has rarely been more likeable on the screen and Ione Skye is so appealing it leaves you wondering why she never became a bigger star. Sweet without getting too sticky, and empathetic to emotional growing pains across the board (jocks, brains, geeks, stoners), the movie's secret weapon is the near-perfect subplot with John Mahoney as Skye's loving but ethically compromised father. Could have done without that stupid "here's a pen" kiss-off to his character, but otherwise this movie hits all the right notes.
Safelight, opens Friday, July 17, at AMC's South Barrington 30
I don't want to oversell this very modest, character-driven drama. It would have been just one of many films of its type back in the '70s, but its quiet, deliberately paced, gentle tone is a refreshing change of pace in our amped-up era. Fine performances by Evan Peters (American Horror Story), Juno Temple (Killer Joe), and the undervalued (by Hollywood, at least) Christine Lahti highlight a story of the shy romance between a disabled teenage photographer and a truck stop prostitute. Safelight is opening Friday, but its theatrical release is barely existent—probably a contractual obligation for one of the cast members—so if you want to see it on the big screen, don't wait. We'll have a complete review of Safelight later this week.