New Films Offer Options for All at Box Office

A trio of diverse films—a foreign language drama, the latest Michael Moore documentary and an LGBT comedy thriller—all opening next week in South Florida offer audiences a wide selection of entertainment options: 

“The Club”

Opens Feb. 12 at Tower Theater Miami and O Cinema Miami Beach and Feb. 19 at Living Room Theaters, Boca Raton

Check local listings for show times.

“The Club,” the Chilean Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film is an apt counterpart to “Spotlight,” Tom McCarthy’s critically-lauded ensemble drama about the newspaper investigation that broke open the Catholic Church abuse scandal in Boston.

Living in exile in a seaside village, four disgraced priests and their caretaker, a nun, receive a surprise visit from a Vatican emissary. Their uncomfortably comfortable existence—a seeming purgatory void of absolution—turns dark as one of the priests’ victims shows up at the gate and yells profanities at the men, stirring feelings of shame. 

Director Pablo Larrain’s film is dark and disturbing, a complex psychological portrait of men who committed heinous abuses and the attempts of the church to reconcile theology with organized religion.

“Where to Invade Next”

Opens Feb. 12

Check local listings for theaters and show times.

Filmmaker Michael Moore is a polarizing figure, drawing admiration from liberals and disgust from conservatives. His latest film, “Where to Invade Next,” based on the premise that all the United States lost every military conflict since World War II and if we invaded more “enlightened” countries, we could finally reap the benefits of war.

Moore heads to Europe, where he sets his sights on invading Italy, where workers receive long lunches and even longer vacations; France, where school students eat gourmet meals every day; Finland, rated first for student achievement. Slovenia, where college education is free and student debt is unheard of; Iceland, where the government broke up the banks after the tiny country’s financial crisis; and Germany, where the population is publicly shamed for its anti-Semitic past.

He has some points. Americans do work more hours and the financial rewards aren’t being distributed equally. Our children do eat crap—and prefer it. College students are amassing incredible levels of debt with a weak job market awaiting them. The Big Banks did pretty much get away with causing the collapse of the financial industry. And, as the last seven years have taught us, the United States is far from a post-racial society.

But, each of the countries he cites has flaws, too. France faces a 25 percent unemployment rate among young people. Finland, Slovenia and Iceland are relatively small, homogenous societies. Italy has a raging national debt and stagnated economy. I would wager that most citizens of any of these countries would still emigrate to the United States, given the chance.

As the prototypical moderate—a fiscal conservative and liberal on social issues—I found the film disturbing and got tired of his pummeling of “our” country. The United States is not perfect, but still one of the greatest societies in history. I would suspect I’m not alone in this opinion.

“You’re Killing Me”

MiFo LGBT Film Festival GLOW Series

Thursday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m.

O Cinema Wynwood, Miami

Tickets $10 at MiFoFilm.com.

The MiFo LGBT Film Festival may be more than two months away, but organizers are offering a twisted teaser, “You’re Killing Me,” next week on Thursday, Feb.18 for one screening.

This black comedy, directed by Jim Hanson, stars Matthew McKelligon as a brooding serial killer a la “Dexter.” Through his twisted logic, Joe is doing his victims—mostly bitter queens—a favor by offing them and then dismembering their bodies. But then, he becomes enamored with an Internet video star, George (Jeffery Self). George doesn’t know what to think of his spooky stalker, but the narcissistic actor likes the attention and doesn’t quite know what to think when Joe reveals he’s a serial killer. 

Hanson has high aspirations for this part-comedy, part-horror film, but, whether he intended or not, he ended up with a hot campy mess that is short on laughs. McKelligon is a compelling killer and makes the most of the predictable script from Hanson and Self (also author of the books, “50 Shades of Gay” and “Straight People”).

The unexpected highlight is a cameo appearance by Mindy Cohn (“Facts of Life”) as Joe’s final, unsuspecting victim. I found myself screaming at the screen as she offered Joe a lift. No, drive, Nat, drive!

Like many LGBT features on the festival circuit, the production values are strong (especially for a low budget, crowdfunded project) and the film is accentuated with especially tuneful original songs penned by Jared Lekites.


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