Film Streams’ family and children’s series continues with screenings of “The Great Muppet Caper” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan.”
In “The Great Muppet Caper,” Kermit and the Muppets head to London, where they uncover a plot to steal the fabulous Baseball Diamond.
In “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” the Muppets attempt to put on a Broadway show, and nothing seems to go their way.
Limited screenings will take place at the Dundee Theater. “The Great Muppet Caper” starts on Saturday and continues through July 18. “The Muppets Take Manhattan” begins July 20 and runs through Aug. 1. Find showtimes at filmstreams.org.
“The Muppet Movie,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary, will also have special screenings this month. It will be screened at Bluffs 17, Twin Creek and Oakview on July 25 and 30.
Film Streams will also present a special screening of the 2017 documentary “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Ruth Sokolof Theater. A panel discussion will follow the film.
‘Hostel’ screening is part of Tarantino series at Alamo Drafthouse
Quentin Tarantino’s work is getting a two-month retrospective that includes his directing, writing and producing credits.
Horror film “Hostel,” which Tarantino was a producer on, will get a 35mm screening at 10 p.m. Saturday at Alamo Drafthouse La Vista. The Eli Roth-directed film follows friends traveling through Europe who get caught by a mysterious and murderous group of kidnappers.
Alamo La Vista will also screen classic rom-com “When Harry Met Sally” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Steve McQueen film “Bullitt” at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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Critically acclaimed ‘Hamlet’ is back in theaters
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Hamlet” in a production that will be broadcast to theaters to celebrate the 10th anniversary of National Theatre Live.
Cumberbatch played Hamlet in a lauded 2015 production directed by Lyndsey Turner.
The “Hamlet” broadcast will come to Twin Creek, Oakview and Majestic at 7 p.m. Monday.
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There are no strings on him, which makes him a very powerful puppet. In fact, he is the only puppet, that we know of, to become a real boy.
Hey, kids! What time is it? Once the king of all puppets, the kickin’ cowboy marionette created the template for children’s TV that was followed decades hence. Though Howdy Doody stopped making new episodes in 1960 (plus a brief revival in the ‘70s), his impact on culture has lasted ever since, which keeps him on the list despite being absent from television for more than 50 years.
The sweet-voiced little lamb puppet (first voiced by Shari Lewis, then, after her death, by her daughter, Mallory Lewis) has been kicking around pop culture for more than 60 years. Her power ranking has slipped quite a few spots over the years, but she still has enough clout to make this list.
He may be lonely, but poor little Kim Jong Il was hilarious in “Team America: World Police.” Kim is portrayed as an f-bomb-happy megalomaniacal supervillain who attempts to take over the world from his massive North Korean palace, which is complete with trap doors, sharks and a piano. He even gets a musical number.
What started as a one-off “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” gag about a hilariously mean Yugoslavian Mountain Hound has evolved into a long-running comedy institution that no one has been able to put down. The cigar-chomping, celebrity-roasting dog had (arguably) his finest moment in 2016, when he set his deceptively incisive sights on the absurdities of the presidential race. It was the perfect thing for him to poop on.
The horrifying dog-thing puppet was created more than 35 years ago by Stan Winston and 22-year-old Rob Bottin, and it’s still disgusting and horrifying whenever you see the dog/spider/tentacle monster. It definitely holds up.
The pigtailed Fraggle is a Type-A athlete and the alpha of “Fraggle Rock.” She also has the most hair of any Fraggle.
You have to watch those little critters. Spill a glass of water on them or feed them after midnight, and the mogwai will reproduce and turn into hateful, chaotic little gremlins. Despite being the little, adorable, fuzzy antithesis to the reptilian gremlins, Gizmo stole our hearts in 1984 and again in 1990. That he’s even on the list nearly 30 years since his last film appearance tells you how much we love him. He’ll rise higher if they ever make a “Gremlins 3.”
Chucky, as Go Editor Cory Gilinsky noted, is not really a puppet. But as we are NOT puppets of Go Editor Cory Gilinsky, we have chosen to defy him and list Chucky as a puppet. (That’s true power.) And anyways, Chucky is a puppet, Cory. He’s a doll controlled by the reanimated soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray through the power of voodoo. And voodoo is the true power.
(Editor’s note: You’re both fired.)
Elmo and the mainstream Muppets are in a class all their own, but the rest of the crew — including Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Count Von Count, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Snuffleupagus and so many others — are a force to be reckoned with all on their own. Once the star of the “Sesame Street” crew, Big Bird had his own movie (“Follow That Bird”) and a documentary on the man who ran him (“I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story”). A longtime cornerstone of PBS, “Sesame Street” now airs on HBO.
How could we forget that evil alien plant with the baritone voice of singer Levi Stubbs and an appetite for human flesh? In the film’s original ending (it was edited later), Audrey II kills all the main characters, and he and his Audrey II buds grow to monstrous sizes and take over the world. Power.
There are a lot of puppets to love in the definitely-most-certainly adult-themed musical “Avenue Q.” (It’s as if “Rent” were a comedy, completely absurd and, uh, cast with puppets.) But the best of them all are the Bad Idea Bears, a male and female pair who repeatedly try to convince the main character, the wide-eyed and naive Princeton, to make bad decisions. At every turn. In the end, the bears find the error of their ways and, well, convert to Scientology. (We didn’t say it was gonna make sense.)
(real name Gordon Shumway) He’s a lazy, sloppy, sarcastic jerk who wants to eat the family cat, and yet he still found his way into the hearts of millions of Americans. Yep. True power.
Depending on your point of view, you may find the ever-smiling purple dinosaur incredibly adorable or incredibly annoying. But let’s face it: The super-dee-duper T. rex is a hit with kids. Despite not airing a new episode since 2010, “Barney & Friends” is still hugely popular. Oh, and he’ll likely be back in a new movie or series soon. Count on it.
(Editor’s note: OK, fine, Barney was actually a guy in a suit, not a puppet. But his TV show had a bunch of puppets, and that’s good enough for this list.)
The heartbreakingly cute little extraterrestrial was created by Italian artist Carlo Rambaldi, who died in 2012. Rambaldi, whom Spielberg called “E.T.’s Geppetto,” had previously worked on a marginally more terrifying alien, doing the mechanical head effects for the creature in “Alien.” As “E.T.” was a kids’ movie, Spielberg wanted a creature that was a bit more lovable this time out. To imbue E.T. with empathy, Rambaldi and Spielberg reportedly based the design on photos of elderly people who lived during the Great Depression. And the little guy ended up breaking everyone’s heart. And that’s ... true power.
Not all puppets are cute. When Kane started getting sick in the middle of dinner on the Nostromo, none of us knew exactly what was happening. Even if you went into “Alien” expecting a monster flick, you didn’t think a tiny monster was going to pop out of actor John Hurt’s chest. It ended up becoming one of the best horror scenes ever. The most hideous puppet of all time is the alien Xenomorph, which is still freaking out audiences via puppetry, complicated rubber suits and CGI in movies like last year’s “Alien: Covenant.”
The shark in “Jaws” was actually three mechanical sharks, all made from the same mold, all named Bruce (after Spielberg’s lawyer.) The Bruces were intricate, high-tech animatronics, and none of them worked that well most of the time. Due in part to the stubborn puppets, the film went over schedule and over budget. And yet Spielberg turned the Bruces’ technical malfunctions into a virtue, refusing to show the shark for the majority of the film, which makes the times we actually do get to see the shark all the more compelling. The Bruces did almost no work, and they still comprise one of the most iconic movie puppets of all time. That’s true power.
Small in stature, Yoda is the wisest of all puppets and probably the most quotable, too. “Do or do not. There is no try,” anyone? The long-eared green alien showed up as a curious little puppet in “The Empire Strikes Back” nearly 40 years ago, and we all quickly became his students. And then (spoilers!) the great green Jedi master once again appeared on film last year in “The Last Jedi,” for a powerful scene where he once again shows Luke Skywalker — now a wise, old Jedi master himself — what’s truly important.
More than three decades since his creation, the furry little red monster with an aversion to using pronouns remains the alpha of “Sesame Street.” (Sorry, Big Bird.) Who else among “Sesame Street” residents was a regular guest on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show”? Who else was at the ticklish center of one of the craziest toy fads of the ‘90s? Who else has taught millions of children improper English usage? That’s true power.
Jim Henson’s furry creations may not have a movie in theaters or a show on network TV at the moment, but Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy and Gonzo (and their many friends) are still the kings and queens of the puppet world. The beloved “Muppet Babies” recently returned, with computer-animated versions of the tiny Muppets airing on the Disney Channel. The show features their nanny, as well as Gonzo, Kermit, Animal, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and a new penguin character, Summer. Despite stumbling with a primetime show on ABC in 2016, the Muppets have been successful with recent their films. And we have to imagine another Muppet movie is on the way.