Movie Mondays: Holy Movies, Batman!
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Movie Mondays: Holy Movies, Batman!

As a means of rounding up Toronto’s various cinematic goings-on each week, Movie Mondays compiles the best rep cinema and art house screenings, special presentations, lectures, and limited engagements.
We see a pattern developing. This is the second Movie Monday in as many weeks that has mentioned the filmmaker Terrence Malick, as well as “boobs” as a euphemism for female mammary glands. You may chalk it up to laziness on our part. But we’d like to chalk it up to Toronto’s refined commingling of high art and low culture, which Movie Mondays is pretty much predicated on. Also this week, beyond Malick and breasts, we’ve got National Parks, and ghosts. Not a bad spread.

  mm_royal_small.jpg   The National Parks Project
The Royal
Monday–Thursday 7 p.m. (Part I) and 8:30 p.m. (Part II)
  mm_bloor_sm.jpg   Insidious
The Bloor
Thursday, 9:15 p.m.
  mm_underground_sm.jpg   Holy Boobies Batman!
The Underground
Saturday, 4 p.m.
  mm_lightbox_sm.jpg   Badlands
The Lightbox
Saturday, 5 p.m.

The Royal (608 College Street)

mm_royal.jpgParks, parks, parks. It always seems like we’ve got too many parks! City parks, car parks, provincial parks. And what about those National Parks? We’d have to take our shoes off just to count ‘em!
Thanks heavens, then, for The National Parks Project. The anthologized film, which pairs one Canadian director with one National Park per province (with some musicians added into the fold for good measure), Parks Project celebrates the 100th anniversary of Canada’s National Parks the best way we Canadians know how: with movies and music and photography of the parks themselves. Certainly, some of the shorts are better than others, but on the whole the movies have got more Canadian talent than the Kids in the Hall and the New Pornographers put together. It runs through Thursday, June 2 (Part I at 7 p.m. and Part II at 8:30 p.m. every night).

The Bloor (506 Bloor Street West)

We didn’t love James Wan’s haunted house movie Insidious when it came out in theatres, but it was pretty okay. In fact, the first half had some pretty genuine thrills, if you’re into the white-knuckle terror of not knowing when a thing that’s inherent to haunted house pictures is going to pop out. Which we are. Big time.
The other thing is that a movie like Insidious is way too silly (especially nearer the end) to take seriously in a multiplex. In a charmingly beat-up rep house like the Bloor, we suspect that Wan’s spooker might play a little better. Plus it’s got Patrick Wilson hanging out in a haunted house, and Patrick Wilson seems like a pretty likeable guy. He was great in Lakeview Terrace! See how well Insidious holds up, Thursday, June 2 at 9:15 p.m. at Toronto’s most haunted rep house. (Note: Bloor Cinema may not actually be haunted.)

The Underground (186 Spadina Avenue)

mm_underground.jpg If you like the comic book character Batman, but lament that there just isn’t enough good old fashioned T ‘n’ A in the comics, or the movies, then you’re in luck. Everyone’s favourite underground cinema, the Toronto Underground Cinema, is putting on a night of Batman-themed burlesque. It’s called, in fine Burt Ward form, Holy Boobies Batman!.
There’s been a lot of complaints about how Batman doesn’t dance anymore. Mostly he just growls. And gets gritty. But before Bats was the Dark Knight he just a rich billionaire dressing up in a goofy costume, squaring off against villains from his campy Rogue’s Gallery with names like the Riddler and King Croc. Holy Boobies! puts the fun—and all the BIFFs! ZIPs! and POWs!—back in Batman. Check it out at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. And yes, there will in all likelihood be boobs. And stuffed crotches. So you can be all, “Is that a Bat-arang in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” and then everyone can groan at you.

The Lightbox (350 King Street West)

mm_lightbox.jpg Holy crow! Only four more sleeps until the Lightbox lifts the curtain on New Worlds: The Films of Terrence Malick, their retrospective series on (what else?) the films of Terrence Malick. Just in time for the premiere of recent Palme d’Or winner Tree of Life, Malick’s cine-poem on life, the universe, and everything, the Lightbox has rounded up prints of the American auteur’s previous four features. Perfect for anyone who wants to discover (or rediscover) the immerse, deeply beautiful worlds of one of American cinema’s most idiosyncratic and reclusive artists.
The whole deal starts Saturday, June 4 at 5 p.m. with Malick’s 1973 debut, Badlands. Based on the true story of American serial killer Charles Starkweather, starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen as dreaming, sociopathic, outlaws living on the run, Badlands sets the tone for Malick’s subsequent films. Also likely his most “accessible” film (as well as, you know, his first), Badlands is a fine way to kick off Malick mania. And stay tuned to Torontoist for a more comprehensive look at the Malick retrospective, coming on Thursday. Just for all you Malick-heads out there in Malick-land.

Illustrations by Clayton Hanmer/Torontoist.