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January 28 & 29, 2017

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The 39th Annual Science Fiction Marathon

January 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm in 26-100

Admission is FREE, sponsored by the LEF!

The 2017 Marathon features four full-length films, one surprise feature, many short subjects, and a special selection of refreshments! Pizza pre-orders will be taken between Edge of Tomorrow and Arrival for pickup before It Came from Outer Space, and breakfast foods will be available before E.T..

7:00 pm- Edge of Tomorrow
9:15 pm- Arrival
11:15 pm- pizza break
11:45 pm- It Came from Outer Space
1:00 am- a special surprise!
2:15 am- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial


Rated PG
113 minutes

view trailer

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

January 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm in 26-100

Tom Cruise stars as a futuristic soldier who is killed during a battle with alien invaders, and lives out the last day of his life over and over again in director Doug Liman's adaptation of the popular Manga "All You Need is Kill." In the not-too-distant future, a ferocious race of aliens dubbed "Mimics" have descended from the stars to stake their claim on Earth. Five years after arriving, they're poised to claim Europe. Because the extraterrestrial invaders prove unusually proficient in responding to mankind's typical combat strategies, the military begins outfitting its soldiers with weaponized bionic suits that increase strength, speed, and agility. Meanwhile, the military is certain that, by conducting a surprise assault on the west coast of France, they can catch the enemy off guard and defeat them. With victory in sight, General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) tasks Major William Cage (Cruise) with heading to the front lines and selling the war to the general public. Cage, however, is wary of the assignment due to his noted lack of combat experience, and unsuccessfully attempts to blackmail Brigham. Subsequently awakening at Heathrow Airport, Cage is greeted by Master Sergeant Farrell Bartolome (Bill Paxton), who introduces the sniveling major to his new unit, J-Squad, as a deserter and a con artist. The next day, as J-Squad prepare to make the drop and attack the enemy, they are ambushed. Somehow, the aliens knew they were coming, and almost as soon as Cage lands on the beach, he is killed during a fight with a Mimic. Much to his shock, he awakens right back at Heathrow Airport, where the entire scenario begins to play out all over again. Desperate to break the cycle when it continues ad nauseam, Cage seeks the help of Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), whose victories on the battlefield have turned her into a high-profile symbol of human strength and endurance. Eventually, thanks to repeated efforts, he manages to convince Vrataski that he is reliving the same day time and again, and after conferring with brilliant but disgraced scientist Dr. Carter (Noah Taylor), the trio devise a plan to use his unique situation to gain the upper hand over an enemy seemingly able to predict mankind's every move. [allmovie.com]

Cruise is a delight, exactly what he needs to be, fluid enough for comedy, physical enough for action, always going with the flow and yet finding ways to make moments memorable.
      -- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle. Read this review.



Rated PG
116 minutes

view trailer

Arrival (2016)

January 28, 2017 at 9:15 pm in 26-100

2016 Academy Award Nominations: Motion Picture, Directing (Denis Velleneuve), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, Production Design, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing

Denis Villeneuve directed this science-fiction suspense film about Earth's response to a possible alien invasion. After extraterrestrial spacecraft plant themselves at various locations around the globe, a linguist (Amy Adams) and a theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner) must find a way to communicate with the mysterious visitors in order to learn what they want and whether they pose a threat to humanity. Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg co-star. [allmovie.com]

The best film of the year to date, ambitious in conception and extraordinary in execution, has arrived.
      -- Christopher Orr, The Atlantic. Read this review.



unrated
81 minutes

view trailer

It Came from Outer Space (1953)

January 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm in 26-100

It Came From Outer Space is one of a handful of science fiction films from the 1950s that plays as well today as it did on its original release, this despite the fact that its original 3-D elements seem to be lost. It was also the first science fiction effort of director Jack Arnold, and one of three excellent 3-D features that he made (the others were Creature From the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature) during that format's short-lived history. It was also, along with The Incredible Shrinking Man, one of the two most sophisticated films he ever made in that genre. Additionally, it was Arnold's first opportunity to use the desert setting that seemed to inspire him in some of his best subsequent movies. Based on a story by Ray Bradbury, the movie starts off in a gentle, lyrical mode, almost reminiscent of Our Town, as the narrator introduces the tiny Arizona town where the action will take place. Writer John Putnam (Richard Carlson), a new arrival to the town and an amateur astronomer, is looking at the skies with his fiancee, schoolteacher Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush), when they see what looks like a huge meteor crash into the desert. Putnam and Ellen go to the site of the crash and find a huge crater. When he goes down inside, Putnam sees what is very obviously some kind of vehicle or device embedded in the ground, but before he can show it to anyone, a rock slide buries what he saw. He reports that a spacecraft of some kind is buried there and is duly ridiculed by the local press and some of his own colleagues in the astronomical community, and even Ellen has her doubts. The local sheriff, Matt Warren (Charles Drake), is downright hostile because he believes that Putnam is not only an interloper, but has also taken Ellen away from him. Putnam is at a loss as to what to do, and doing something -- or, perhaps, not doing anything -- becomes a critical matter when various townspeople start to disappear, including Ellen, to be replaced by alien "duplicates." A small but significant part of this action is told from the standpoint of the aliens, who are only glimpsed in brief flashes as they move through the desert and the underground caves where they are hiding. Putnam ultimately comes to understand that the aliens are actually benign and only need time to repair their ship and leave; but by then, the sheriff and the rest of the town have started taking his original warning seriously and their intervention threatens the lives of everyone. Reason and a peaceful approach prevail, but only just barely, and the space travelers are allowed to go on their way -- in return, they restore the real townspeople. The movie ends on a hopeful note as Putnam predicts that someday, when we're ready here on Earth, the visitors will be back to make formal, peaceful introductions. [allmovie.com]

One of the better science-fiction films to come out of the Cold War 50s, this one must be counted among the anti-McCarthy statements.
      -- TV Guide. Read this review.


A Special Surprise!

January 29, 2016 at 1:00 am in 26-100



Rated G
115 minutes

view trailer

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

January 29, 2017 at 2:15 am in 26-100

Both a classic movie for kids and a remarkable portrait of childhood, E.T. is a sci-fi adventure that captures that strange moment in youth when the world is a place of mysterious possibilities (some wonderful, some awful), and the universe seems somehow separate from the one inhabited by grown-ups. Henry Thomas plays Elliott, a young boy living with his single mother (Dee Wallace), his older brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton), and his younger sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore). Elliott often seems lonely and out of sorts, lost in his own world. One day, while looking for something in the back yard, he senses something mysterious in the woods watching him. And he's right: an alien spacecraft on a scientific mission mistakenly left behind an aging botanist who isn't sure how to get home. Eventually Elliott puts his fears aside and makes contact with the "little squashy guy," perhaps the least threatening alien invader ever to hit a movie screen. As Elliott tries to keep the alien under wraps and help him figure out a way to get home, he discovers that the creature can communicate with him telepathically. Soon they begin to learn from each other, and Elliott becomes braver and less threatened by life. E.T. rigs up a communication device from junk he finds around the house, but no one knows if he'll be rescued before a group of government scientists gets hold of him. [allmovie.com]

Spielberg left it open for all of us. That's the sign of a great filmmaker: He only explains what he has to explain.
      -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times. Read this review.