August brings with it the chaos of back-to-school season, without quite leaving behind the long and lazy feel of summer. Whether your summer break is coming to an end, your summer job is coming to an end, or you don't remember the last time you had a summer break or summer job, a movie is always a quick and simple way to immerse yourself in another world for a few hours. Try doing it on the cushy seats of The Loft, on the grass of Reid Park, or in a museum plaza under the stars.
Landline, named for an almost-forgotten mode of communication, opens Friday, Aug. 4. The comedy is brought by writer/director Gillian Robespierre and actress Jenny Slate (the team behind 2014's award-winning Obvious Child). Featuring everything from an impending marriage to a wild teenager to a parental affair, and rife with '90's nostalgia, the film explores the way that families change as people grow.
With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 17 percent, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time makes for a perfect Mondo Monday pick on Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. The long-awaited sequel (11 years) to cult classic The Beastmaster has been hailed as "one of the most ludicrous films ever made" and "pretty much a bust." It features Marc Singer as Dar, an absurdly muscly barbarian who travels across time and dimensions to '90s Los Angeles with his tiger, hawk and ferrets in tow.
The cult classic pick for Friday, Aug. 4 and Saturday, Aug 5. Is Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, showing at 10 p.m. This week, Romy and Michele will join audiences in Tucson as they return to the Old Pueblo for their 10-year high school reunion. Find out whether they manage to impress their former adversaries with their elaborate lies about their entrepreneurial savvy. The Big Lebowski will screen at 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 12. Follow the Dude down to the bowling alley, into the toilet and ultimately through the wringer while he mourns the loss of his rug, which really tied the room together.
If you like your flicks with a side of solar panels and Humanities scholar-led discussions, don't miss this week's Rolling Reels event, an outdoor screening shown out of the Loft Solar Cinema. Buck will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Robles Elementary School in Three Point. This 2011 doc chronicles the life of "horse whisperer" Buck Brannaman, who, as a child endured physical abuse from his father and went on to teach others how to train and communicate with horses through understanding and instilling a sense of security.
The Empire Ranch Foundation is showing its seventh annual Summer Western Movie at The Loft at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2. Ride the High Country, made in 1962, has all the ingredients for a quintessential Western: an ex-lawmen, a shipment of gold and a good-guy vs. bad-guy gunfight.
Hare Krishna! shows through the Loft Cinema at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m. This documentary chronicles the life of Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Hare Krishna movement, which began in the 1960s. The film features early interviews with Prabhupada, and filmmaker John Griesser will be present for post-film Q&A.
The UA Poetry club presents a free screening of Welcome to This House on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m. Barbara Hammer directs this documentary about the many places that poet Elizabeth Bishop did her work. Taking place in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, and featuring interviews with friends of Elizabeth, fellow poets and scholars, this feature film brings the gifted and multi-faceted poet to life.
Escapes, a new doc about Blade Runner screenwriter and producer Hampton Fancher, screens Thursday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The film, which was executive produced by Wes Anderson, features interviews with Fancher and footage from his acting career. A Q&A with director Michael Almereyda will be held after the film.
Aug. 4 marks the first Friday of August, and with it comes the Loft's First Friday shorts at 9 p.m. Up to 15 people can submit their short films on the day of the event, and they're guaranteed three minutes of playing time (after which they may or may not be shut down by the audience's call for a formidable striking of the gong). A $200 cash prize is awarded to each month's winner.
See loftcinema.org for more information.
Cinema La Placita
Cinema La Placita's outdoor movie screenings continue on Thursday nights at 7:30 in the Tucson Museum of Art plaza. Three bucks gets you a seat, popcorn and the chance to pretend it's already the weekend. Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing shows on Thursday, Aug. 3. See Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez's feature film debuts in this frequenter of "greatest films of all time" lists.
Woody Allen's brilliant Crimes and Misdemeanors shows Thursday, Aug. 10. Drenched in wry self-deprecation and romantic missteps, and with heavy existential overtones, it's an Allen film through and through, commonly considered one of his finest.
Visit cinemalaplacita.com for more information.
Harkins Theatres presents their Tuesday Night Classics series, shown on the big screen at 7 p.m. for $5. Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino's feature-length debut, shows Tuesday, Aug. 8. There's nothing like 99 minutes of violent crimes, mysterious aliases and that one part with the ear to snap you out of your early-workweek reverie.
See harkinstheatres.com to learn more.
Cox Communications Movies in the Park
These first-Friday events, held at the Reid Park, May to September, begin with activities at 6 p.m. and continue with a movie screening at 7:45. Kick back on a blanket or lawn chair from home while you enjoy Zootopia, showing Friday, Aug. 4. Follow a bunny with big dreams as she encounters a pawpsicle scam, a kidnapping heist and even (horror of horrors!) a trip to the DMV.
See saaca.org/moviespark for more info.
Arizona Theatre Company
The Arizona Theatre Company is serving up drinks, popcorn and classic films at the Temple of Music and Art for $10 a pop. A Night at the Opera, featuring the Marx Brothers in their first flick sans Zeppo, will show Friday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. Join the troupe on a trip overseas, under deck and through the test of time as they try their hands in the world of opera.
Oscar classic Rebel Without a Cause shows Sunday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. If you're thinking twice about treating yourself to a midday movie before you gear up to face the week, try to remember that Jim Stark didn't need a cause, so why should you?
Check out arizonatheatre.org for more info.