Johnny Depp is considered one of the best actors of our time. He has acted in over 80 roles according to IMDB. Unlike most actors he takes on difficult and elaborate roles. It wasn’t easy to pick 5 of his best roles because of his impressive consistency but here they are.
If all of Athens’ entertainment venues were at a party, The Athena would be a wallflower; it might not have the party atmosphere that the college town is famous for, but it’s still an interesting — and underappreciated — aspect of Athens culture.
Located on Court Street, the Athena opened in 1915, making it one of the oldest movie theaters in the country. Ohio University purchased the theater in 2001, restoring it with an Art Deco-style interior.
The Athena’s distinction from many other theaters in the area is its unique movie selection. The theatre hosts many independent films, and has hosted the premises for many major movies such as Aaron Sorkin’s Jobs and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. Many film classes here at Ohio University take place in the Athena, and its three theaters can even be rented out for private events.
During weekdays, movie goers can access many deals. On Tuesdays, all tickets cost only 4 dollars. On Wednesdays, one small popcorn is free with the purchase of a ticket. Additionally, any show before 6 P.M. is only 5 dollars.
The Athena is a great resource for Athenians to experience great film. It provides students a great way to spend their weekend, and is a suitable alternative to the college party atmosphere.
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min. | Rated PG-13 | $6.50 at Athena Cinema
How and why can good people be influenced to do bad things? How does the average German citizen allow something like the Holocaust to happen? In the 1960s, American social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, conducted experiments that proved how easy it is for authority figures to force ordinary people to harm others.
Experimenter (starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder) is a biopic of Stanley Milgram’s later life and focuses on his controversial “Milgram experiments.” In over 1,000 separate trials, he found that people would usually administer fatal shocks to a stranger if an authority figure told them to. The person thought to have been in pain was a confederate, an actor in on the experiment. They would scream, demand to leave and would bang on the walls. Eventually Milgram did a variation of the experiment where test subjects would forcibly hold down the confederate’s hand on a shock panel. Still the subjects overwhelmingly obeyed the authority figure – just an actor pretending to be a psychologist.
The movie depicts these experiments masterfully with convincing performances and great pacing. During each trial, Milgram narrates to the audience the most important thing that he notices and each is philosophical and interesting. Every different outcome is presented and each variation to the experiment is showed which furthers our understanding of it.
While the focus of the film is on these experiments and what came of them in the succeeding decades, there is time dedicated his family life and other similar experiments that he did and did not conduct.
These similar experiments were interesting in themselves but their purpose in the movie is uncertain, other than Milgram further philosophizing directly to the audience that people are conformists and obey authority. Perhaps they are only there to drive home what the Milgram experiment already told us.
Another curious thing about the film is its sporadic use of green screen to make it look like a play. Still images, black and white footage and paintings made to look like a set will sometimes command the background. Then the next scene will be on location at an airport or a nice looking set. Also, an Elephant will sometimes follow Milgram as he monologizes down a hallway (referencing the idiom “Elephant in the room” maybe?).
These quirky parts of the film are stylistic choices, but ultimately they’re unnecessary. Everything else is played so natural and convincing that intentionally bad looking backgrounds and other abstract visuals are jarring.
Experimenter is full of great performances and has interesting subject matter. But, once the Milgram experiments end the remaining movie is jumbled and unfocused. A better screenplay and more realistic look could have really made the theme and Milgram’s life much more entertaining to watch.
Experimenter is currently at the Athena Cinema and plays daily at 5:10, 7:40 and 9:40 with Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3:10. It is also available on demand.
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min. | Rated R | $6.50 at Athena Cinema
As the summer draws to a close, two twin boys finally get to live with their mother again. She’s been away for awhile, recovering from extensive surgery to her face. She arrives bandaged up — she acts differently. She doesn’t seem like the old mom. Is it someone else? Is it even human? Or are the boys’ imaginations running wild.
Goodnight Mommy is a foreign horror film out of Austria that received critical acclaim when it released last year. It has been in the states since Sept. 11 and is currently being shown at the Athena Cinema.
It’s hard to argue with the critics on this one.
This film is mysterious — tasking the viewer to put the creepy puzzle pieces together. It’s suspenseful and dread-inducing. As the boys get more suspicious of their mother(?), they do more sneaking around. The heightened suspense comes from the fact that you don’t know for sure what that thing that came home is. She could reveal her true form at anytime and things could get ugly in a split second.
It is a horror film by definition, one that pairs disgusting images with a feeling of unease. It is also, at times, hard to watch but not in a way you’d expect. It’s understated. It’s believable. It feels real.
Thirty minutes before the film ends, you may be confused. You’ll be forced to watch some disturbing things and you’ll want it to be over as badly as you want to know what happens next. Then, the twist ending arrives and it all makes sense. The movie’s ending pays off in a big way and instantly made me want to see it through again.
The film felt like an extended, modern episode of the ’60s television series “The Twilight Zone” — lauded for its pacing, minimalism and its proficiency at inducing dread. One of Rod Serling’s iconic monologues would fit perfectly following the twist ending of Goodnight Mommy. I suppose it would have to be in German though.
Some people may not like to read subtitles but that’s not something that has ever bothered me. Its European setting — with its beauty and inherent creepiness — elevates the movie. It wouldn’t be the same without it and having subtitles is so much better than any alternative.
Goodnight Mommy is a unique horror film that has superb pacing, performances and cinematography. The worst parts of horror films are jump scares — they’re cheap and unsatisfying. This film has largely avoided this practice. There are loud noises at times but the film is scary and suspenseful because of its disturbing images and a turn you won’t see coming.
See it at the Athena (plays daily at 9:50 p.m. with 7:30 p.m. shows on Tuesday & Thursday) while its still there or find a way to watch it on a streaming service — if it ever gets there. Maybe play it safe and see it at the Athena.