Short Takes

"Thor: Ragnarok"

Coming soon

Scheduled to open in area theaters next weekend (Nov. 3) are:

A Bad Moms Christmas: They're back, over-burdened and ready-to-rebel as ever. The encore to last year's bawdy hit brings back Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, all the better for them to stick it to the most sacred holiday of all. Jay Hernandez, Cheryl Hines, Peter Gallagher, Justin Hartley, David Walton, Christine Baranski and Susan Sarandon co-star.

Last Flag Flying: Richard ("Boyhood," "Dazed and Confused") Linklater directs this road movie, set in 2003, when three Vietnam War vets (Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne) reunite for a bittersweet journey: accompanying the casket of Carell's son, a Marine killed in the Iraq war, up the East Coast to his home in suburban New York. 

LBJ: What ... no Oliver Stone in the credits? Nope: it's journeyman Rob Reiner who's ended up directing this look at the events (1960-64) that put Lyndon Baines Johnson (Woody Harrelson) in the White House. Jennifer Jason Leigh (!) is Lady Bird Johnson, while Jeffrey Donovan is John F. Kennedy and Michael Stahl-David is brother Bobby. And, yes, that's IWU alum Richard Jenkins as Georgia Sen. Richard Russell.

Thor: Ragnarok: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) arrives in Asgard after hearing about trouble in his home world. When he arrives, he finds it, and more. For starters, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his style of ruling have led to lapses in the rules and results in the freeing of prisoner Hela (Cate Blanchett). Naturally, Thor and Hela come to blows when they meet. And that's just for starters. Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Sam Neill and Benedict Cumberbatch co-star.

Film clips 

The horror, the horror: For the third Halloween running, the Normal Theater is allowing ISU's Theatre of Ted to take over the bijou with its annual interactive close encounter with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. There are four opportunities to do the Time Warp a la Ted: at 7 and 10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $10, with a limited supply of sanctioned prop bags also available for purchase.

Dress for success: There's also some seasonal dress-up fun for the little ones at the Normal, via the Halloween weekend edition of the regular Dress-Up Movies series. Screening will be The LEGO Batman Movie at 1 p.m. Saturday, ensuring there'll be no shortage of capes and cowls on hand.

Meeting its maker: Last but not least at the Normal, the ISU Department of Sociology & Anthropology will host an in-person appearance by Nigerian filmmaker Femi Odugbemi at a free showing of his latest feature, Gidi Blues: A Lagos Love Story, at 7 p.m. Monday. It's about a crossing of paths between a rich playboy and a community volunteer in Lagos' worst slum. The director will be part of a post-screening conversation. 

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