Survive the presidential debate, Revisit Black Swan, get acquainted with Transparent, and more AV treats

Thursday 9.22
Netflix continues fostering underground talent and bringing new ideas to serialized TV. Joe Swanberg, best known for quiet improvisational movies about modern relationships (Drinking Buddies), is the force behind Easy, an eight-episode series available today for streaming. The show promises to examine modern romance and features performances by Orlando Bloom, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Johnson, Malin Akerman, Marc Maron, Dave Franco and Hannibal Buress. See? I got through the whole explanation without mentioning mumblecore!

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Friday 9.23
Season 3 of Transparent, the award-winning series starring Jeffrey Tambor as a retired college professor who identifies as a woman, drops today on Amazon Prime. Don’t be scared off by the heavy subject matter; it’s a pretty funny show. Also, don’t be scared off by the amount of time it may take to catch up; episodes are shorter than 30 minutes and there are only 10 each season. Convinced yet? No? What if I mention that this season features a guest appearance by Caitlyn Jenner?

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Saturday 9.24
Enjoy the pre-CGI movie magic of Terry Gilliam’s twisted mind when a brand-new Janus Films remaster of 1981’s Time Bandits comes to Screenland at Tapcade (1701 McGee) for a one-day showing. This film seems exists outside the boundaries of time, and not just because it’s set in 15th century England, Ancient Greece, and the Napoleonic Wars, but because Gilliam’s sense of humor and use of SFX still seems fresh. See Time Bandits on the big screen at 1 and 7:30 p.m.

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Sunday 9.25
Jason Sudeikis supplies the voice of a hand-drawn animated warrior who comes to live-action California (think He-Man crossed with Roger Rabbit) to salvage his relationship with his ex-wife (Cheryl Hines) and son (Johnny Pemberton) on the new Fox series Son of Zorn. Sound weird? It is, and I’m totally sticking with it because a premise this “out there” will take time to develop. The pilot debuted after opening day of the NFL, and the show starts in earnest tonight.

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Monday 9.26
We’ve all already made up our minds who we’re going to vote for, right? So tonight’s presidential debate between Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Instead of being a cogent discussion of ideas and policy, it’s likely that all sense of decorum will crumble away and these two former allies will end up tallying up put-downs and distractions all night, culminating in the ultimate mud-wrestling pit finale. Are you not entertained? Watch it unfold tonight at 7:55 at the Alamo Drafthouse (1400 Main).

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Tuesday 9.27
Speaking of wrestling pits, I’m pretty sure there’s some of that happening in at least one of the drug-fueled, quick-cut party montages from Russ Meyer’s 1970 mondo exploitation masterpiece, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which is available on Blu-ray today from the Criterion Collection. Maybe its appearance in the most hallowed film collection will finally give this joyously nutty movie, written by Roger Ebert, the long-overdue respect it deserves. It’s also a fascinating snapshot in time, capturing the late-’60s peace-and-love hangover like no other.

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Wednesday 9.28
Natalie Portman internalized the pressure and fear of failure faced by a ballerina and Darren Aronofsky made it visually compelling in the unlikely 2012 hit Black Swan. Depending on how you view it, it’s either the story of an artistic triumph or a complete unraveling. Or both. There’s a good chance that if you’ve seen this one-of-a-kind movie at all, you watched it at home. Tonight is your opportunity to see it on a big screen with surround sound at 7 at the Alamo Drafthouse (1400 Main).

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Eric Melin is the editor of Scene-Stealers.com and president of the KC Film Critics Circle.

Categories: A&E