Written and directed by Hell or High Water author Taylor Sheridan, Wind River is another regionally specific crime saga – this one set in a Native American reservation in Wyoming – and it stars Jeremy Renner as a federal wildlife officer and Elizabeth Olsen as an FBI agent. The casting alone makes Sheridan's latest, like, one-tenth of an Avengers movie. But this fantastically smart, supremely entertaining thriller proves that Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch can perform super-heroics even without the benefit of colorful monikers, otherworldly abilities, and CGI. Sheridan clearly can, too.

I hope I'll be forgiven for not wanting to review the movie so much as hug it, because this thing absolutely made my month. Ceaselessly engaging, subtly hilarious, unexpectedly exciting, and, in the end, almost embarrassingly moving, Soderbergh's latest is just what I needed – and maybe what we all need – in the wake of so much recent, national horribleness.

In the summer of 2013, Davenport’s QC Theatre Workshop and local playwright Aaron Randolph III presented the world premiere of his one-act drama A Green River, the story of a young solider suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder whose tale is largely told through memories and flashbacks, not all of them shown in chronological sequence.

This summer, beginning on August 25, the Workshop will debut another world-premiere production in author Randolph’s and director Tyson Danner’s one-act Broken, a human-trafficking drama whose protagonist’s journey is traced largely through memories and flashbacks, not all of them shown in chronological sequence.

“What I’ve thought of doing next,” says Randolph during my recent interview with Broken’s creators, “is writing a third play like this. Because then it’s a series, and it doesn’t seem like I’m just copying the same idea. It becomes a purposeful trilogy.”

He’s kidding. (Maybe.) But Randolph and Danner are absolutely serious about the challenge of their theatrical endeavor that opens the Workshop’s sixth season – a play designed to addresses important, heart-rending subject matter, but one that, for the sake of audiences, must also avoid the traps of seeming didactic, preachy, exploitative, and/or depressing as hell.

David F. Sandberg's horror prequel isn't terrible. In truth, it's considerably better than the creepy-porcelain-doll antics of 2014's dreadful Annabelle. It's even an improvement over last summer's The Conjuring 2, whose 2013 precursor gave us our first look at the franchise's titular “character”: a house-dressed Chucky with dead eyes and blond braids. But while it would be easy to over-praise this genre outing merely for not sucking, Annabelle: Creation still emerges as only moderately effective at best – a late-summer chiller that finds a demonically possessed plaything the only truly believable thing about it.

While I’m generally averse to movies whose only apparent goal is to make audiences feel like crap, I’d almost make an exception for Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, a relentless bummer so well-executed that I found myself riveted even when I was aching to flee.

Frequently, these What’s Happenin’ articles end with quizzes. But in a cheeky change of pace, we’re gonna start with one: Who, or what, are Supersuckers? (A) Characters on an animated Nick Jr. series; (B) Multi-colored, discontinued Willy Wonka candies; (C) Popular rock and cowpunk musicians; or (D) My bosses for letting me run quizzes in lieu of actual editorial content?

The answer, as the band’s many fans know, is “C.” Unless this is the last week you see quizzes in these pages, in which case it’s “D,” and my bosses have clearly had enough.

At the start of Billy Wilder’s film noir classic Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood screenwriter Joe Gillis – the movie’s male lead and narrator – makes his first appearance floating face-down, dead, in an outdoor swimming pool.

Yet Kevin Pieper, the director and set designer for Quad City Music Guild’s new production of the Sunset Boulevard stage musical (running August 4 through 13), has some bad news. “I’ll let the cat out of the bag with you,” he says during our July 20 interview. “We don’t have a swimming pool. We thought about filling the orchestra pit, but that would kind of defeat the purpose.”

Domestic box office may be comparatively down and aging franchises (and franchise stars) may be showing their whiskers, but if 2017’s movie summer is remembered for anything else, it may be for its habit of turning showcase action sequences into retro music videos.

Last week, some friends and I got on the topic of uncomfortable theatre experiences in shows we were in, and I shared one from an opening-night performance in which our lead walked on-stage and uttered the play’s very first line, and an elderly voice in the audience demanded, “Speak up!!!” Regardless of that individual’s age and/or hearing, I considered it a rather rude bit of heckling. But on Sunday, I saw Genesius Guild’s production of Henry V, and ... . Well, let’s just say that I now have more sympathy for that clearly frustrated patron.

At an hour and 46 minutes, Christopher Nolan’s World War II thriller Dunkirk is the director’s shortest feature film since his 69-minute 1998 debut Following. It may also be his most wholly satisfying. I’d suggest that maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here, but who gives a damn about lessons when confronted with a work this masterful, powerful, and emotionally overwhelming?

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