A strange thing happened this month: a film starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz, based on the well-regarded 1966 Michael Caine-Shirley MacLaine film, and scripted by Joel and Ethan Coen, was shoved into 10 theaters nationwide, Video On Demand and iTunes with all the enthusiasm of a kid cleaning the gutters. Reviews have been dreadful for the heist comedy, which sat on a shelf for two years after a weak British release.
“Gambit” is a reminder that not every Coen Brothers project is a huge success, although the Brothers-approved “Fargo” series on FX is faring much better. The Coens have not announced their next directorial project, but their 2013film “Inside Llewyn Davis” can now be enjoyed at home, and Rochester’s Dryden Theatre is offering a summer-long “Films of Joel and Ethan Coen” series.
At 2 p.m. May 11, the series offers the Coens’ second film, the absurdist screwball kidnapping comedy “Raising Arizona.” Upcoming films in the series, continuing through June, include the somber, stylish gangster drama “Miller’s Crossing” (May 16 and 18), “Barton Fink” (May 23), “Fargo” (May 30 and June 1) and “The Big Lebowski” (June 6 and 8). These are a small taste of upcoming Dryden fare; consider that this coming week sees screenings of the documentary “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” (May 10); “Burden of Dreams,” Les Blank’s account of the making of Werner Herzog’s epic “Fitzcarraldo” (May 13); and, Elvis in “Viva Las Vegas” (May 14).
In other weekend movie news, the Screening Room Cinema Arts Cafe (3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst) has a Sherlock Holmes double feature on May 10 and 13, with both nights featuring Basil Rathbone in “Terror By Night” and “The Woman in Green.”
At the rather odd time of 12:55 p.m. May 10, the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD season features Rossini’s La Cenerentola at Regal’s Transit and Elmwood cinemas.
And if you have not already noticed, the Transit Drive-In has reopened for the season. That, friends, means summer is officially here, no matter what the calendar may tell you.
– Christopher Schobert