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One Week Only: “Thin Ice” & “Undefeated”; Rocky Horror Picture Show Saturday Midnite!

April 13, 2012

“Thin Ice,” starring Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup and Alan Arkin, is a gritty little comedy of the blackest sort about a whacked-out scam that goes down during a frigid Wisconsin winter. Working the long con and damn near getting away with it, this kissing cousin to Fargo, Cedar Rapids, and Win Win makes for a surprisingly entertaining and nonderivative film. Greg Kinnear steps out of incredulous do-gooding sad-sack mode to play Mickey Prohaska, an independent insurance agent, low-level sociopath, and burgeoning grand larcenist. Thanks to a helpful but gormless colleague (David Harbour), Mickey foists a policy on seemingly naïve farm widower Gorvy (Alan Arkin, doing his funny-accent thing), who happens to own a million-dollar violin he knows nothing about. Things go sour when Mickey’s attempt to steal the fiddle is fatally complicated by loudmouth psycho locksmith Randy (Billy Crudup) and continue to devolve despite—or because of—a sweet claim payoff from the agency home office. Mark Holcomb, The Village Voice trailer

One of best sports docs of the last 25 years, enjoyably upbeat and intelligently inspiring, “Undefeated” is the sort of verite docu that can engage even folks who usually regard nonfiction features with the same enthusiasm that Superman displays when confronted with Kryptonite. In recent decades Manassas had gone so far as to sell their home games to the highest bidder, but that all changed in the spring of 2004 when Bill Courtney, a former high school football coach turned lumber salesman, volunteered to lend a hand. When he arrived, the team consisted of 17 players, some timeworn equipment and a patch of grass masquerading as a practice field. Focusing more on winning young men than football games, the football program nevertheless began resurrecting itself and, in 2009, features the most talented team Manassas has ever fielded; a team that seems poised to end the playoff jinx that has plagued the school since time immemorial.   trailer

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