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Film Now Playing

Opening This Week:

Nightmare Before Christmas

AMELIA—Hilary Swank as pilot Amelia Earhart, who was at the peak of international fame when her plane disappeared over the Pacific in 1937. With Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston. Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding). See the interview with Hilary Swank in this issue. Amherst, Eastern Hills

ASTRO BOY—Remake of the cheesy Japanese animated cartoon of the early 1960s. Voices by Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson, Charlize Theron, and Bill Nighy. Directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away). Flix, Maple Ridge, Market Arcade, McKinley, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT—PG-13 horror adapted from a series of books for teen readers. Starring John C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia, and Jessica Carlson. Directed by Paul Weitz (American Dreamz). Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Transit, Flix, Maple Ridge, Market Arcade, Regal Quaker, Regal Walden Galleria

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS—3D re-release of the Tim Burton-produced stop-animation film about Halloweentown’s Jack Skellington and his attempt to annex Christmas. Directed by Henry Selick (Coraline). McKinley.

SAW VI—Sequel. Starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Mark Rolston, and Betsy Russell. Directed by Kevin Greutert. Flix, Maple Ridge, Market Arcade, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria, Transit Drive-In

WALT AND EL GRUPO—Documentary about Walt Disney’s trip to Latin America during World War II as part of FDR’s “Good Neighbor” policy. Directed by Theodore Thomas. Reviewed this issue. North Park


DEAD OF NIGHT (England, 1945)—The guests at a country farmhouse tell each other about distrurbing dreams they have been having, framing five stories in this classic British film that some people consider the most frightening film they have ever seen. Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, and Robert Hamer. Fri 8pm. The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza in Century Mall, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (837-0376)

DIABOLIQUE (France, 1954)—This classic thriller by director-screenwriter Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Wages of Fear) still packs a punch. The wife of the headmaster of a school for boys tires of his violent treatment of her, and teams up with his mistress (Simone Signoret) to drown him and make it appear as a suicide. But after they do, the body disappears, and the supposedly dead man is sighted all over town. Free and open to the public. Mon 7:30pm. Wick Center, Daemen College, 4380 Main Street, Amherst

GERTRUD (1964)—This peculiar and demanding drama was the last film of the Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, best known for The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Based on a play about a woman’s obsessive search for perfect love, its static pace is balanced by sumptuous black-and-white cinematography and careful compositions. Presented as part of the Buffalo Film Seminar. Tues 7 pm, Market Arcade Film and Arts Center, 639 Main St. (855-3022).

THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959)—Eccentric millionaire Vincent Price offers five people $10,000 each if they can spend the night in his haunted mansion. With Carolyn Craig, Richard Long, Elisha Cook Jr., and Carol Ohmart. Directed by William Castle (Mr. Sardonicus). Thurs Oct. 29 8 pm. The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza in Century Mall, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (837-0376)

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)—The original zombie apocalypse, George Romero’s film shocked viewers who stumbled across it in drive-ins 40 years ago. Its no-budget verisimilitude is still effective, as long as you can see it with an audience not intent on making a joke of it. Weds 8pm. The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza in Century Mall, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (837-0376)

TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY—This overlong and underscripted comedy with Will Ferrell as a lunkheaded Nascar racer plays like a series of failed improv skits where the camera is left running in the vain hopes that the performers will find a comic nugget. Even Sacha Baron Cohen as a gay French racer is more weird than actually funny. Docked extra points for a new low in product placement: it’s the first time I’ve ever seen an actual commercial placed right into a film. With John C. Reilly and Michael Clarke Duncan. Directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman). Sat. midnight. Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St. (834-7655)

THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE—Adaptation of the best-selling novel about a couple whose marriage is tested by the fact that the husband is unstuck in time. Starring Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Arliss Howard, Ron Livingston, and Stephen Tobolowsky. Directed by Robert Schwentke (Flightplan). Sat 8pm; Tue 7:30pm. Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. Fredonia (716-679-0891)

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