It's that strange time of year: the cinematic in-between zone when "The Boy Next Door" and "Boyhood" compete, if not necessarily for the same audiences or awards.
If one doesn't want to see either cougar bait or Oscar bait, what else is available? Plenty. The in-between zone is a time not just for camp and class, but sleepers and second-runs. And with the weather still wickedly polar, it's the right time for screen time.
Gabe Polsky's documentary "Red Army" is a zippy journey through the former Soviet Union's dominant hockey program, whose name gives title to this tale. The sprightly telling recounts the U.S.S.R institution from infancy to heyday, shows the effect on the personal lives of the men who ruled the ice, and catalogs those players' eventual leap to the National Hockey League, which coincided with massive changes for the U.S.S.R. and Russia. Worth the viewing is watching Red Army star Slava Fetisov discuss the "Miracle on Ice," when the U.S. team beat his at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. At Landmark's E Street Cinema and at AMC Loews Shirlington 7 in Arlington, Va.
Birds and Bats
Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance" is collecting awards and people continue to, ahem, flock to it, perhaps just to see Michael Keaton again. The AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Md., has done everyone a favor by scheduling "Birdman" screenings alongside the films that provide the context for its plot and star: Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns." Keaton played the Dark Knight in those weirdo masterpieces, the straight-man superhero to the scenery-chewing villains of Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito and Christopher Walken. Then he flew the coop from the role until returning, in a meta kind of way, with "Birdman." You can see all three movies over the Presidents Day weekend at AFI.
Warming Up to This Movie
Who wouldn't want to see a movie about an aspiring heating oil magnate in 1981 New York City, who is trying to get a loan so he can buy property from some Orthodox Jews in Queens? Not your cup of tea? Actually, it is. Go see J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year." They don't make movies like this one anymore, so when they do, it's a must. Area theaters.
Not March Yet?
If you haven't seen Ava DuVernay's "Selma," yet, it's time. It's up for Oscars. It's Black History Month. It's a few weeks away from the 50th anniversary of the Selma-Montgomery March. Rep. John Lewis' second installment of "March" is on bookshelves. It's all happening. Area theaters.
The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress
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