Well it’s been a short week here in the city and it almost feels like throwing your entire life into a garbage bin yet again would be a little bit premature. As Winnie the Pooh once said, “People say nothing’s impossible, but I do nothing everyday.” Do you want to look like Winnie the Pooh? Then don’t live like Winnie the Pooh, pawing at pots full of sweets all day and rolling around on your rump. Get out there and do something, even if that something is moving positions from sitting in front of one screen to lounging in front of a much larger screen. You still walked to the theater, right?
Whatever, just check out our list of five ways to not be Winnie the Pooh this weekend and beyond.
This film adaptation of a short horror story by 19th-century Ukrainian-Russian author Nikolai Gogol follows a few seminary students as they drunkenly cavort around the countryside on holiday. In typical white male fashion, they happen upon a beautiful young girl who is an enchanting weirdo, and immediately assume she’s a witch. One of the students, Khoma, decides to kill her. Excellent idea, Khoma. You really did it this time. Turns out the “witch” is just an innocent peasant girl. Or is she? In anticipation of the funeral, Khoma must preside over the body for three days and three nights inside a spooky church to watch out for evil spirits hoping to capitalize on a lonely corpse. We’re guessing something wicked shows up. Friday, Jan. 23rd, 7:30 pm at Spectacle Theater; tickets, $5 at the door
A bizarro film by Famed Japanese comedy directory Hitoshi Matsumoto centering around a family man who seems to have tread all the usual avenues of sexual deviance, but still yearns for more. Seeking a far more unusual experience, he solicits the help of a “boutique dominatrix agency” that promises to push his sexual adventures beyond the boundaries of anything he’s ever known by providing him with a gaggle of impressive dominatrixes, each with a different pain-inflicting specialty of her own. But these women will not be at the John’s beck and call — instead they launch surprise, guerrilla attacks on him as he goes about his daily routine. As expected, things go horribly wrong when the assaults start happening closer to home. Friday and Saturday midnight screenings, 12:20 am at IFC Center; tickets, $14
Spare me the eye rolls because Soviet history rules– deal with it. And dare I say that sometimes even sports history can be rather fascinating. After all it’s pretty similar to politics — players say the same things over and over again, yet their delivery of results depends on a variety of variables generally outside of their control, making the whole spectacle kind of a sham anyway. Slava Fetisov, team captain for the Red Army hockey team, one of the most successful in Soviet History, narrates the documentary. Fetisov was a legendary defenseman who went on to become something of an accidental dissident, along with eight other hockey players who were allowed during the period of glasnost to travel to the United States in the early 1980s and play for NHL teams. A major force in the film is the hard ass coach Anatoli Tarasov, who created a brutal 11-month long training schedule that won the team numerous victories. Despite the coach’s success, he was eventually purged by the Party. Let’s just hope this documentary isn’t following the tired old story line of yay-democracy-the-communists-were-evil-losers, because hopefully we all know by now things were never that simple. Friday January 23rd through Wednesday January 29th at Sunshine Cinema; tickets, $13.50
Maybe the first big screenplay written by Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives), Bronson is (sadly?) without a Ryan Gosling, but it’s definitely still worth a gander. And if you understand ogling men to be your prerogative, then you won’t be disappointed, there’s plenty of body worship to go around in this film. Some might say that’s just one aspect of the film’s shortcoming as an all-style no-substance kind of work, but whatever– Bronson makes like Tarantino and Wong Kar-wai, transforming violence and sadism into pure fashion, which is no doubt alluring. Better yet, Bronson is based on a true story, which makes it all the more exciting and disturbing to watch. Michael Peterson is an average British bloke who just happens to be a bit of a troublemaker. After committing armed robbery, he’s sent to prison where he adopts the name Charles Bronson (after his favorite American actor) and transforms himself into a hardened, sadistic prisoner. Bronson spends much of his time in solitary confinement, having earned it through incredibly violent acts committed against his fellow prisoners and the prison guards. The film is one-part prison fetish story, one part true-crime drama, but all parts fun. Friday January 23rd and Saturday January 24th midnight screenings at Nitehawk Cinema; tickets, $11
The official movie poster for Taken 3– it’s the third installment of Liam Neeson’s career-ruining saga of vengeful father, uncle, distant relative– promises, “It ends here.” We find that hard to believe, because we get the feeling that as long as there are stupid people in this world, there will be a market for the Taken franchise. Last we heard, the studios were pumping Liam Neeson full of virgin blood and ground-up Tiger claw in an effort to keep him living for the next 50 or so years so they can make another billion or so on this awful, awful excuse for cinema. But if nothing else, Taken movies can be utilized as weeder courses– if your friends or a new love interest fail the test (i.e. they suggest you pay actual dollars to go see one of these films), toss them in the garbage. January 22nd through January 29th at AMC Loews Village 7; tickets, $14.29