Sure, 2013 had a boatload of good movies. But 2014 looks like it's off to a promising cinematic start. Here are five flicks to see this January.
Her Joaquin Phoenix stars in Spike Jonze's Her, which is about Theodore Twombly, a lonely soon-to-be divorced man who falls in love with his artificially intelligent operating system, Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
See also: 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014
Of course, she cannot offer him the depth of a human relationship. And his messy life needs tending in analog. Yet Twombly and others embark on digital relationships, platonic and otherwise, with different versions of the OS, which can tailor itself to the personalitiy of its user. The film gets a wide release Friday, January 10. Admission prices vary.
Enter The Dragon Give 2014 a kick in the face when FilmBar screens Bruce Lee's Enter The Dragon as part of its Super Fly '70s film series. It's Lee's final film and it features John Saxon and Jim Kelly fighting alongside Lee in a martial arts competition on an island owned by the super-shady Mr. Han. The critically lauded action thriller punches through the big screen at 8:30 p.m. Friday, January 10. Admission to the 21-and-over screening is $9. Visit www.thefilmbarphx.com.
Llyn Foulkes One Man Band The tag line of this feature documentary notes that Llyn Foulkes is the most famous artist you've never heard of. That'll change, provided you attend Phoenix Art Museum's screening of the film. Co-directors Tamar Halpern and Christopher Quilty follow the artist-musician as he works to create complex paintings. Commentary, clips, and appearances from Dennis Hopper, Johnny Carson, Paul Schimmel and George Herms fill out the story.
Contemporary Forum presents the 7 p.m. screening on Wednesday, January 15. Admission is free to both the viewing and the museum. Visit www.phxart.org for more.
Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film Before quickly snapping a pic and filtering it through Instagram and after the days when your only choice was to turn film over to a developer (or DIY), Polaroid's instant film made photos quick, easy, and more accessible than ever. When the company halted production of its instant film in 2008, photographers both professional and amateur fought for Polaroid to reverse its decision and keep the photo magic alive. The life of Polaroid's instant film is encapsulated in Grant Hamilton's Time Zero.
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No Festival Required presents the film, which Steve Weiss will introduce, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 16, at SMoCA Lounge. Admission is $7. Call 480-874-4666.
Giselle Fathom Events brings the Royal Ballet and its Opera House to the Valley for a one-night-only viewing of the classical ballet company's production of Giselle, which is about the tragic romance of a young peasant girl who falls in love with a count masquerading as a village person.
The Sir Peter Wright production screens at AMC Esplanade at 7 p.m. Monday, January 27. Tickets are $