Scheduled to open in area theaters next weekend (Feb. 16) are:
Black Panther: The latest Marvel offering follows the saga of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king—and alter-superhero-ego Black Panther — is tested when he's drawn into a smackdown that puts the fate of Wakanda, and, oh yes, the rest of the world at risk. Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis co-star.
Early Man: From the Aardman Animation gang ("Wallace & Gromit," "Chicken Run") comes their latest stop-motion-animation comedy, set at the dawn of time, when dinosaurs and woolly mammoths roam the earth. Alongside them, we get the story of how a plucky caveman named Dug unites his tribe against a mighty enemy, name of Lord Nooth, and saves the day. Vocals by Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Miriam Margolyes and Timothy Spall.
Samson: A retelling of the biblical story of the strongman chosen by God to deliver Israel, but who is betrayed along the way by a wicked prince and a beautiful temptress. Taylor James, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Zane, Rutger Hauer, Caitlin Leahy, and Lindsay Wagner star.
Freebies: Illinois State University's Center for Community Engagement and Service is presenting a February showcase called the Civic Film Series, screening free at 6 p.m. Mondays in ISU's Stevenson Hall 101. This week's offering is We Steal Secrets, the documentary on Julian Assange and his creation of WikiLeaks. It will be followed by a discussion led by Lauren Bratslavsky from the School of Communication.