David Edelstein will have you know that director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) has put “the eeriness back into space travel” with this unnerving film. The story of a spaceship that flies directly into the sun to save the dying star, the flick itself cruises into the arty territory so luminously established by 2001 and Solaris. But per Hollywood, it’s a movie star that the whole shebang orbits around: “Cillian Murphy, whose otherworldly blue eyes make him just about the coolest space protagonist imaginable.”
So far, most of the press (including this magazine) has focused on Long Island newcomer Nikki Blonsky—read our profile—and the fat-suited John Travolta. But this movie musical’s scene-stealer is, without a doubt, Christopher Walken. Remember the moves he made in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” video? This is the extended remix. When he and Travolta take a turn in the backyard of their Baltimore apartment, David Edelstein writes, “something magical happens.”
Decrepit, possibly diseased, and caught in the past, the New York Dolls, headlining this year’s Siren Fest, remind us of Coney Island. But we’re happy to trudge to the outer edges of Brooklyn and even risk Hep A to hear music from Williamsburg’s excitable basement duo Matt & Kim, Austin’s twee Voxtrot, and London’s buzzy lady-well-maybe-not-a-lady-fronted Noisettes. And despite everything, we’re looking forward to a little QT with Coney Island as it awaits its dismantling.
Mailer, self-promoter extraordinaire, is now offering retrospectives of his spotty history in movies (the Paley Center for Media, meanwhile, will screen a reel of his TV appearances). Choose from four films he directed plus eleven others with the Mailer imprint, from his boxing commentary in When We Were Kings to his bizarre Cremaster 2 cameo (at Anthology Film Archives). The must-see event? Mailer in the flesh, of course. On Sunday, he’ll speak after a screening of Tough Guys Don’t Dance at Walter Reade.
Why not just watch Fritz Lang’s sci-fi classic on DVD? First, your disc’s likely a hack-job edit nearly 40 minutes too short. Second, this digitally restored print is a wonder. Third, it’s simply not right to see a giant robot goddess on your tiny little (or even large-as-you-can-afford) TV. And did we mention that Lang supposedly based his premise (a brilliant, wealthy city supported by an underclass living below ground) on his first glimpse of the NYC skyline?
This occasion (don’t know which one? Mon Dieu!) calls for an affair that’s over-the-top. Our bet’s on this street party, with its fire-eaters, triple-decker Knight Bus, giant Muggle board, and mike-thrusting TV crews. Come in time to pre-purchase a book before the ka-ching of registers quits at 11 p.m.; the night culminates an hour later with the distribution of copies and the frantic skipping ahead by kids wondering whether their favorite character, er, lives.