FFWD REW

Eight dimensions of awesome

Buckaroo Banzai among this week’s must-see films

The greatest cinematic hero of all time? Sure Indiana Jones can crack a mean whip and John McClane has his barefooted charms but it’s hard to compete with Buckaroo Banzai. A physicist rock star sex symbol samurai brain surgeon and Lord only knows what else Banzai (played by Peter Weller a.k.a. Robocop) is probably the most well-rounded individual ever to walk the Earth — which makes him just the man to stop Dr. Lizardo (John Lithgow) a once-brilliant scientist now possessed by a trans-dimensional alien bent on galactic conquest.

If that plot doesn’t at least intrigue you well cult cinema isn’t for everyone. But if it sounds tempting (or if the presence of Jeff Goldblum pushes it over the line) check out The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension at the Plaza on April 19 21 25 and 26. You won’t regret it.

Even ignoring the Calgary Underground Film Festival (which you shouldn’t) Banzai isn’t the only cult flick at the Plaza this week. The Kensington theatre is also screening the early ’70s Canuck horror spoof Cannibal Girls directed by Ivan Reitman ( Ghostbusters ) and starring Eugene Levy. Whether the Plaza will embrace the movie’s “warning bell” gimmick (which alerts audiences to upcoming gore) remains to be seen but either way it’s a piece of Canadian schlock well worth seeking out when it shows on April 20 22 and 26.

For those who prefer their cinema at least a little on the serious side the invaluable Calgary Cinematheque will be screening acclaimed director Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven an Alberta-shot drama set in the early 20th century. Malick isn’t exactly prolific — he’s only completed four films since his 1973 debut with a fifth due out later this year — but the results are always beautiful hypnotic and (fair warning) quite slow-paced. Heaven screens on Thursday April 22 at (you guessed it) the Plaza.

Keeping with that classier note the Globe is offering up a high-definition screening of The Royal Ballet’s Tales of Beatrix Potter on Saturday April 17 at 10 a.m. If your heart belongs to snooty animals and classical dance well consider those needs catered to.

Rounding things off on a super-indie note this Tuesday April 20 the Plaza will host a screening of the ultra-indie Happy to Be Here . The trailer is twee to a fault featuring a melancholy self-loathing hero with a hospitalized pro-wrestler for a father and an eclectic bunch of oddballs for friends but it might be worth a look.

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