Duke City Shootout
Albuquerque's week-long race to shoot, edit and premiere 12-minute screenplays by seven screenwriters from around the country kicks off Friday, July 25. Join screenwriters and volunteers that night at the launch party from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Downtown (in the Atrium). Then, on Wednesday, July 30, buy weary crew members a drink at the wrap party at the same hotel, in the Sendero Room, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, visit dukecityshootout.com. Check back here next week for information on screening times and gala events.
The Dark Knight
Holy sequels! The bat is back.
This second installment of Christopher Nolan's dark, vengeful and complicated Batman had some heavy expectations looming over it. First shoe to fill: Batman Begins. The return of Batman in 2005 was welcomed and well-received by both die-hard fans and casual moviegoers, setting a new standard for all superhero flicks—not just Gotham's caped crusader. Second shoe: The second-to-last performance in the short but bright career of Heath Ledger. Since his passing early this year, all eyes have been on The Dark Knight, in which Ledger portrays superfiend Joker—a role last filled impeccably by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman. There's been buzz on the Web for months of a posthumous Oscar nod for Ledger—a rare honor since there's only been one such win in Academy history to date (Peter Finch for his leading role in Network, 1977). It’s high praise for Ledger, especially since The Dark Knight was just released last week. Expectations skyrocket.
Middle-aged ABBA musical not quite as cringetastic as those words imply
This isn’t the first time the music of ABBA has served as the musical crux in a film about a wedding. 1994’s Muriel’s Wedding used the title character’s obsession with the '70s Swedish quartet’s glittery lady-music to underscore Muriel’s disconnected idealization of romance, glamour and marriage-centered happiness, an obsession that leaves her struggling to construct a true sense of self. Mamma Mia!, on the other hand, features ABBA as a way to ... sing along to ABBA songs. And dance.
One Day You're In ...
“Project Runway” on Bravo
Here's a weird criticism: "Project Runway" is too much like ... itself.
I had high hopes. The fashion reality series is probably one of the only shows I take in religiously, waiting each week for the next episode. But the premiere of season five offered no surprises.
As the contestants introduced themselves and did their first interviews, it was hard not to compare them with past designers. Clearly, these people have all watched the show and thought about how they would behave on it; they've prepped catchphrases and personality quirks to be rehashed at the reunion show. They're all perfectly coifed in clothing that probably represents the types of outfits they will make. One says "wackadoodle." One says "girl-licious." Another tells us she's going to win. And at this point, I find myself wondering if any bookstores are open.
The Week in Sloth
"Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (KASA-2 7 p.m.) As season No. 2 comes to a close, adults are wising up to the fact that we're not so smart after all. But we're certainly more dangerous than a fifth grader. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, genius kids.