Short takes

"Winchester"

Coming soon

Scheduled to open in area theaters next weekend (Feb. 2) is just one new arrival:

Winchester: Inspired by true events, we're assured. And not in the Old West. This chiller is set on an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco, home of the "the most haunted house in the world." Built by one Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end: seven stories tall, with hundreds of rooms. It isn't being erected for Sarah herself, or her niece (Sarah Snook), or the brilliant doctor (Jason Clarke) who she has summoned to the house. Nope. Sarah's building a prison, for the hundreds of vengeful ghosts who have a score to settle with the Winchesters.

Film clips

When it rains it doesn't always pour: So, why, you are asking, the epic wait for Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, which opened clear back in early December and has been trickling out, drop by drop, across the country ever since ... with Central Illinois seemingly at the end of the drain?

Your guess is good as ours. During our interview with multi-award-nominated co-star Richard Jenkins back in mid-December, he said it was his understanding that the film would "go wide" on Dec. 22, after being opened gradually over the prior two weekends in larger markets. Alas, even he was led astray: come 12/22, no "Water."

Which is why we held off running the GO! section interview with him until what we were told was going to be the opening here: a week ago, on Jan. 19 ... nearly a month after the "wide opening" Jenkins had mentioned.

Then just two days prior to that, on Jan. 17, we received a note from Marcus Theatres, who operate Bloomington's Galaxy 14, that the film had been delayed at the last minute ... again ... until Jan. 26. No exact reason was offered.

The best educated guess: The studio decided to hold out for Tuesday's Oscar nomination windfall before letting "Water" run its course into the hinterlands. Good thing, since the film's home video release has been announced for early March.

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