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Film Club: The Simpsons Movie, Rescue Dawn, The Interview, Sunshine

The longest running sitcom in television history heads to the big screen this weekend. On this Film Club of the Air, we'll talk about “The Simpsons Movie”, Werner Herzog's new film “Rescue Dawn”,

Film Club: The Simpsons Movie, Rescue Dawn, The Interview, Sunshine

Tom Fudge: We're going to start today's film club in a fairly unusual way, by talking about a movie that none of us has so far seen. I'm talking about The Simpsons Movie , which opens this weekend. For anyone who's watched the animated TV show, the title of this one pretty well tells you what it is. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie take to the big screen. In this story, Homer has a pet pig whose droppings, combined with Homer's bone-headedness, create a disaster for the town of Springfield.

  The Simpsons Movie opens in area theaters on Friday .

Our next movie is set in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It's directed by the German master Werner Herzog. And it's based on a true story that Herzog once made a documentary about. The main character, played by Christian Bale, is Dieter Dengler, an American Navy pilot and German immigrant who is shot down during a secret mission over Laos. Dengler is captured on the ground, held in primitive conditions, tortured and eventually housed with some other American prisoners of war.

The whole time, Dengler maintains his spirit and is focused on escaping. Eventually, through courage and ingenuity, he does it. But he and a buddy are left to flee through the jungle, which proves to be cruel prison of another kind. The movie also stars Steve Zahn. Herzog is known for other movies like Aguirre , The Wrath of God , and Fitzcarraldo .

Rescue Dawn is currently playing at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas .

Our next movie is called The Interview , starring and directed by Steve Buscemi. This is a movie whose original writer is a story in himself. He was the now-late Theo Van Gogh, who was famously murdered in the Netherlands by Islamic extremists.

The story in The Interview , naturally, has nothing to do with that. It's about a crusty political reporter, played by Buscemi, who is required to do a celebrity interview. It's a job he considers beneath him, and when he meets with the starlet, played by Sienna Miller, he's rude to her and she walks out.

But immediate events, involving a minor traffic accident that leaves the reporter hurt, cause the starlet to sympathize with him. She tries to give him some comfort and invites him over to her New York loft apartment. What follows is, basically a conversation between the two. During the discussion, we learn a lot more about the journalist and his troubled life. In this movie, honesty and betrayal are deeply examined as the relationship between the main characters develops.

The Interview opens next weekend at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas.

Our next movie is called Sunshine . And it's a somewhat unlikely project by the man who made the movie Trainspotting, a harrowing portrayal of drug addiction. Sunshine , by contrast, is a science fiction thriller. Here's the basic story. The Sun is dying. And a group of heroes are given the assignment of saving the sun by exploding a bomb on the surface of the sun. Sounds like a tough assignment.

Sunshine is currently playing at Landmark's La Jolla Village Cinemas.

We're going to spend a little time talking about the movie Talk to Me . Now, about a week ago, Beth and I discussed this movie, since Beth had interviewed the director. It's a true story about a black disc jockey in Washington D.C. in the sixties, who was an ex-con and an outrageous personality. But he is credited with advising calm in Washington, following the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  Talk to Me opens in area theaters this weekend.

DVD PICKS

This week's releases:

The Host
Perfume, The Story of a Murderer

Zodiac

Next week's releases:

Hot Fuzz
300

Guests

  • Beth Accomando , KPBS film critic. Check out her movie blog .
  • Scott Marks ,film critic for the Gay and Lesbian Times. Check out his blog .