Good news: Your weekend moviegoing needs have been simplified. Every Friday morning, our What To See guide will highlight the new releases opening in New York City and NYC repertory screenings that are most worth your time.
Here's your guide for the weekend of May 8 - May 10.
If you like action heroes when they’re just, you know, talking…
Director: Henry Hobson
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
Forget everything you know about Ah-nuld, previous movies, namely his one-liners and action hero pedigree. Maggie is nothing like The Terminator, or Total Recall, or True Lies. Quiet, restrained, and dialogue-driven, it’s a small-scale zombie drama that’s introducing Schwarzenegger to the art-house.
And, believe it or not, he's at right at home there. Directed by first-timer Henry Hobson, Maggie, which premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, approaches zombie cinema through a fresh lens. Schwarzenegger plays the loving father of a sweet, kind-hearted teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who’s slowly turning into an undead flesh-eater. With a zombie tally you could add up with one hand, Maggie isn’t concerned with ghouls or scares—it’s touchingly intimate, underlying its bleakness with Schwarzenegger and Breslin’s heart-tugging interactions.
Where to see it: City Cinemas Village East, today, Saturday, and Sunday at 11:40 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:50 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9:50 p.m.
Proof that Brooklyn, like Baltimore, has been home to crooked cops for decades…
The Seven Five (2015)
Director: Tiller Russell
Now that Martin Scorsese is done filming his next movie, Silence, in Taipei, somebody needs to get him a copy of The Seven Five, immediately. It’s the best Scorsese-made New York City crime drama never made.
Except, of course, that it has been made, just as a documentary, and that’s no downgrade. Roaring with the energy, tension, and dynamite characters you’d see in movies like Goodfellas and The Departed, The Seven Five takes a no-holds-barred look at police corruption in 1980s New York. Focusing on the city’s 75th Precinct, director Tiller Russell interviews a handful of the cops who took bribes and watched the backs of notorious NYC drug lords and gangsters, and Russell doesn’t skew the perspective in any one direction. The bad guys are also good guys; the code of ethics is blurred.
The Seven Five's impact is visceral and, in a current society where cops are being put under a rather heavy microscope, relevant.
Where to see it: Nitehawk Cinema, tonight at 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.; Saturday at 12:20 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m. (followed by a post-screening Q&A with the film's subjects), 9:45 p.m.; Sunday at 12:20 p.m., 2:25 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
IFC Center, today and Saturday at 10:40 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 10:05 p.m., 11:45 p.m.; Sunday at 10:40 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 10:05 p.m.
Because nothing says "Happy Mother's Day!" quite like murder in a shower…
Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam
Hats off the Museum of the Moving Image programmer who’s responsible for coming up with this brilliant idea: show the mother of “messed-up mother” movies on, that’s right, Mother’s Day.
Instead of taking your mom out for an overpriced brunch this Sunday, why not make both you and her feel infinitely better about your relationship by watching the all-kinds-of-wrong mommy/son dynamic shared between Norman and Norma Bates? In Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal horror classic Psycho, Norman (Anthony Perkins) does whatever he can to keep his long-dead mom’s spirit alive—in its own perverse way, it’s sort of heartwarming. That is, if bloody showers, cross-dressing, murder, and peep-holes brighten up your day.
Regardless, trust us—they’ll make Mother’s Day so much more eventful.
Where to see it: Museum of the Moving Image, Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The best way to prep yourself for one of this summer's biggest movies…
Mad Max (1979)
Director: George Miller
Stars: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley
Unless, for some reason, you hate things that are awesome and badass, you’re planning on seeing Mad Max: Fury Road next weekend. Its insanely operatic trailers initially caught your attention, and those haywire commercials have solidified your ticket money. So the only logical step to take before watching Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron get wild is to see where it all started.
Thanks to the IFC Center, you’ll be able to do so on the big screen, rather than merely consulting Netflix. Revisit writer-director George Miller’s original Mad Max in all of its grungy and chaotic glory, with Mel Gibson kicking a ridiculous amount of ass while tearing through a dystopian Australian Outback. It’ll make you wish that Hollywood’s modern-day blockbusters could look even half as authentically grimy—something like, you know, Mad Max: Fury Road (also directed by Miller).
Where to see it: IFC Center, tonight at 9:25 p.m., 12:15 a.m.; Saturday at 9:25 p.m., 12:15 a.m.; Sunday at 9:25 p.m.
A horror masterpiece like you've never experienced it before...
Night of the Living Dead (1968), with a live score by Morricone Youth
Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon
If you’re even a casual horror fan, you’ve most likely seen George Romero’s game-changing Night of the Living Dead. Timelessly scary and socially intelligent, as well as currently relevant, it’s the reason why The Walking Dead exists and why zombies transcended beyond Haitian voodoo limitations. All that said, though, get ready to see it for the first time—again.
One of NYC’s coolest midnight-movie repertory houses, Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema regularly programs must-attend weekend events for genre lovers, and they’ve outdone themselves yet again this weekend. Instead of just screening Night of the Living Dead, Nitehawk has invited the NYC-based and film-obsessed band Morricone Youth to play their tunes alongside the movie. Think of it as the horror version of Z-Trip’s Tribeca-backed Speedy experiment. And don’t miss it.
Where to see it: Nitehawk Cinema, tonight and Saturday night at 12:05 a.m.
Because, come on, who doesn't want an excuse to sing "When Doves Cry"…
Purple Rain (1984)
Director: Albert Magnoli
Stars: Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day, Clarence Williams II
A little bit of ’80s cheese goes a long way. Purple Rain, the original 8 Mile, hasn’t exactly aged gracefully as a motion picture—it’s laughably melodramatic, for starters, with pop music superstar Prince playing an on-the-rise musician trying to break free from an oppressive home life and navigate love with a new lady squeeze. But, man, is that soundtrack still amazing.
More of an audio event than a serious drama, Purple Rain might as well be sold as the most elaborate concert movie ever made. “When Doves Cry,” “Darling Nikki,” and “I Would Die 4 U” can still raise the dead, and, this weekend, those jams will turn downtown’s Anthology Film Archives into the city’s best throwback ’80s party venue.
Where to see it: Anthology Film Archives, tonight at 9:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
If you think Snoop Lion is cool, wait until you meet Jimmy Cliff…
The Harder They Come (1972)
Director: Perry Henzell
Stars: Jimmy Cliff, Carl Bradshaw, Janet Bartley, Ras Daniel Hartman
No, it’s not “Classic Movies With Soundtracks That Are Better Than the Movie” weekend at Anthology Film Archives, but you wouldn’t be out-of-line to assume so. Although, to be fair, The Harder They Come is a much better movie than Purple Rain; starring Jamaican music legend Jimmy Cliff, it’s your standard regular-guy-turns-to-crime saga told with a bit more flair than most others. Much of that flair, of course, comes from its soundtrack.
Widely regarded as the film that turned reggae music into a worldwide phenomenon, The Harder They Come leaves you ready to book the next flight to Jamaica just for the native music—and, yes, minus the guns and homicides.
Where to see it: Anthology Film Archives, Saturday at 9:00 p.m.; Sunday at 9:00 p.m.