Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

Posts in "Movies"

August 25, 2015

Mission Impossible’s Adorable View of Congress

“The time has come to dissolve the IMF,” thick-necked spymaster Alan Hunley tells the Senate Intelligence Committee. And just like that, the gavel comes down in “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” on Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force, and the big, bad CIA gets to absorb the best elements of Hunt’s daring-do team of operatives.

(And, of course, after being disbanded at the beginning of the fifth installment of the franchise, they are reinstated by that same committee at the end of the movie after proving their mettle — also at the behest Alec Baldwin’s Hunley.)

For the time being, leave aside questions about why the House Intelligence Committee was left out of the decision, whether the president or National Security Council would have anything to say about it, and why a CIA man (Baldwin), as opposed to the director of national intelligence, would make such a recommendation. Focus instead on the moment the movie depicts a truly impossible mission. That’s not when Tom Cruise’s Hunt hitches a ride outside an airplane in the film’s opening sequence. No, it’s the even more fantastic spectacle of Congress moving with alacrity.

But members of the Senate Intelligence Committee can dream, no?

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July 17, 2015

Another Schumer for Washington to View

Sen. Schumer makes a cameo in some of the publicity material for "Trainwreck." (Screenshot)

Sen. Schumer makes a cameo in some of the publicity material for “Trainwreck.” (Screenshot)

This could be a first for Washington: When someone refers to “Schumer,” it may now require clarification. The senator or the comedian?

With the Friday opening of the Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck,” the aspiring Senate Democratic leader, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, might find himself eclipsed by his cousin, who stars, wrote and produced the Judd Apatow flick. Why? Well, to start with, it’s hilarious. The movie, that is. Full story

July 16, 2015

A ‘Pixels’ Party at Atlas Arcade

Atlas Arcade, the H Street establishment that serves up healthy dollops of vintage arcade games, libations and nostalgia, is hosting a “Throwback Thursday Pixels Party,” a nod to the upcoming flick “Pixels” and featuring a Ms. Pacman and Donkey Kong tournament.

A $5 fee (college students get in for $3) gains entry to the shootout, with bar tabs and movie merchandise at stake. “Pixels,” wherein Adam Sandler and friends save the world from extra-terrestrial video games from the 1980s, opens in theaters on July 24.

Party starts at 6:30 p.m., and the games begin at 7 p.m. at 1236 H Street NE. Sign up at dcatlasarcade@gmail.com.

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By Jason Dick Posted at 3:39 p.m.
Drink, Movies

July 10, 2015

The Cross-Border Chaos of ‘Cartel Land’

“Cartel Land” is not for the faint of heart, nor mind.

Journalists, documentary filmmakers and other storytellers fight and scratch for access. For his border-hopping film about Mexican drug cartels and the vigilantes on both sides of the Southern border who fight them, director Matthew Heineman might have gotten more than he bargained for.

Along the way he films a midnight meth-cooking session; gunfights in the streets of Michoacan, Mexico; and records, surreptitiously, men being tortured. “It was a frightening film to make,” he said in a recent interview with Roll Call. Full story

July 7, 2015

An Appointment With ‘The Exorcist’ in Georgetown

As the Georgetown Sunset Cinema series gets underway Tuesday night with “St. Elmo’s Fire,” the organizers have announced the TBA part of the program on Aug. 4, which they had initially left open.

Keeping with the spirit of the movies chosen (inspired by or filmed in Georgetown), “The Exorcist,” will be screened on the last day of the summer program’s repertoire. Afterward, everyone will go running up the Exorcist Steps off M Street. (Just kidding. We made that last part up. Exercise will have no part in the series.)

Free. Here’s the full schedule:

July 7 — “St. Elmo’s Fire” (Rated R)
July 14 — “State of Play” (Rated PG-13)
July 21 — “No Way Out” (Rated R)
July 28 — “Burn After Reading” (Rated R)
Aug. 4 — “The Exorcist” (Rated R)

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By Jason Dick Posted at 5:07 p.m.
Movies

Landmark Signs Off on West End Cinema Sequel

The West End Cinema has been closed since March. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The West End Cinema has been closed since March. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The West End Cinema, shuttered suddenly in March, will be reanimated by Landmark Theaters on July 17, the latest incarnation for the Foggy Bottom venue’s movie spot.

The independent cinema operated by local cinephile Josh Levin faced mounting overhead and increased competition in the District  including projects slated from Landmark and the Angelika chain in the U Street Corridor and NoMa. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:07 p.m.
Movies

July 1, 2015

Jody Arlington Heads to SXSW

Jody Arlington, a veteran D.C. communications pro with years experience heading up publicity for the former SilverDocs Film Festival, is heading south by southwest to head up SXSW Film Press & Publicity, spreading the good word on the SXSW Film Conference & Festival. Next year’s festival runs in Austin, Tex., from March 11-19.

“The creative combustion of SXSW and its intersection of music, film and tech cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and explains the ever-growing Washington, D.C., contingent there. It’s always been my favorite festival. I love its edgy, DIY spirit and beautiful (and warm) Austin location. Plus I get to work alongside incredible colleagues that I’ve long admired and respected,” Arlington told Roll Call After Dark.

Arlington’s most recent gig was working for the Independent Filmmaker Project . Before that, she spent years working with SilverDocs, the local documentary film festival that has morphed into AFI Docs. She’ll be Austin-bound come August.

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By Jason Dick Posted at 8:30 a.m.
Movies

June 29, 2015

Georgetown Goes All-D.C. for Sunset Cinema, Starting With ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’

Georgetown is practicing the cinematic equivalent of farm-to-table for its new Sunset Cinema outdoor movie series, and it gets things started with maybe the most Georgetowny movie of all time, “St. Elmo’s Fire,” just in time for the film’s 30th anniversary.

D.C. is replete with outdoor screenings, and some of them go with themes, such as NoMa Summer Screen’s “Dance, Dance, Dance” and the Golden Cinema series “All Worked Up.” Georgetown’s addition to the party, which starts on July 7 at Georgetown Waterfront Park at K and Water streets and Cecil Place NW, has a slate of films set in the nation’s capital and filmed in, or at least inspired by, Georgetown. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 1:49 p.m.
Movies

June 22, 2015

The Two Gentlemen of AFI Docs: Les Blank and Albert Maysles

"A Poem is a Naked Person" was among the strong lineup of films at AFI Docs. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

“A Poem is a Naked Person” was among the strong lineup of films at AFI Docs. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Dead men tell no tales, the proverb goes. This year’s AFI Docs disproved the old-timey, noirish axiom, though, with documentaries by the late Les Blank and Albert Maysles highlighting a diverse and strong slate of films.

It breaks no ground to praise Blank and Maysles, two masters of the medium. But their two movies at the June 17-21 festival in Washington, D.C., and Silver Spring, Md., stood out, measured even against their own renowned past work, as well as offerings from contemporary colossi such as Barbara Kopple, Alex Gibney and Stanley Nelson and up-and-comers such as Matthew Heineman. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:58 p.m.
Movies

Screen on the Green 2015, With a Washington Focus

A menacing crop duster. An upside-down cruise liner. A machine threatening a way of life. A time-traveling DeLorean. Sounds like a good mix for the 2015 edition of Screen on the Green, the template and still reigning champ of Washington’s vibrant outdoor movie scene.

The series starts on July 20 in a new location on the National Mall, our collective front lawn, in between Fourth and Seventh streets.

Here’s the schedule: Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5 a.m.
Movies

June 17, 2015

‘An Evening With’ Christopher Dodd

Dodd, left, and Lyons discussed the television business at the MPAA. (Photo Courtesy of Joy Asico)

Dodd, left, and Lyons discussed the TV business at the MPAA. (Photo courtesy of Joy Asico)

Former Sen. Christopher J. Dodd wanted to be president. He fell short, but now has what is widely regarded as the best job in Washington as head of the Motion Picture Association of America. And he seems to be having a blast.

At a recent reception at the MPAA feting Stewart Lyons, the producer of “Breaking Bad,” the Connecticut Democrat said he first met Lyons years earlier in New Mexico, where the much-lauded show was filmed. “I was talking, of all things, about financial reform,” the partial namesake of the Dodd-Frank Act said. “In a previous life, I used to be involved in such matters.” Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:30 p.m.
Movies

June 16, 2015

AFI Docs Features Multiple Oscar Winners

AFI Docs gets underway Wednesday evening at the Newseum with “Best of Enemies,” a documentary feature by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon. Neville, who won an Academy Award for best documentary feature for “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” in 2014, is just one of the Oscar winners in the film festival’s schedule.

Barbara Kopple, whose “Hot Type: 150 Years of the Nation,” is playing Thursday at the AFI Silver and Friday at the Naval Heritage Center, won an Oscar for best documentary feature in 1977 for “Harlan County, U.S.A.”

More recently, Alex Gibney won best documentary feature for “Taxi to the Dark Side,” in 2008. His “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” screens Saturday at the AFI Silver and Sunday at the Naval Heritage Center.

Also among the directors at AFI Docs is the late Albert Maysles, perhaps the most lauded documentary filmmaker of all time, who never won an Oscar for his work — not even arguably his most famous work, “Grey Gardens.” His last movie, “In Transit,” will screen Friday at the AFI Silver and Sunday at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Maysles died in March.

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By Jason Dick Posted at 5:18 p.m.
Movies

June 8, 2015

Among the People at Canal Park Movie Series

Lewis helped lead events that led to the movie "Selma." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lewis helped lead events that led to the movie “Selma.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Capitol Riverfront’s increasingly busy pace of life is bringing back its summertime complement of outdoor movies at Canal Park on Thursday nights, a cinematic interlude between the baseball game and the Metro, or for nearby residents, another backyard night-time activity option.

So if after the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game Thursday you are walking home and you see people crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge around 200 M St. SE, pull up and find a place under the stars to watch “Selma,” the story of civil rights marchers led by, among others, future Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Martin Luther King Jr. Full story

June 3, 2015

Union Market Drive-In Returns With Blasts From Recent Past

The Union Market Drive-In movie series returns for the summer Friday, and it’s aiming squarely at those nostalgic for big studio fare from the 80s and 90s. Full story

May 29, 2015

Viva la Rivoluzione at Movie Nights in Adams Morgan

No, “Bicycle Thief” is not a documentary about the perils of owning a nice two-wheeler in a gentrifying part of Washington.

Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 classic defined Italian neorealism cinema. It also defines Movie Nights in Adams Morgan apart from its cousin outdoor movie series around the District. Full story

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