• Of my cowboy father-in-law’s many colloquial expressions, one of my favorites comes out whenever I innocently brag about myself. He says, “It’s not the whistle that pulls the train.” I want to believe him, but he’s lied before, most notably during what I call “the electric fence deception.” So when Film Streams (filmstreams.org) partners with Union Pacific to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary by showing Cecil B. DeMille’s Union Pacific from July 13-19, I will be watching to verify. My train knowledge is limited to Thomas the Tank Engine, so I hope the classic film describes how baby locomotives are born.
  • Aksarben Cinema is a crazy class act. They have earned my vote as megaplex of choice thanks to top-notch facilities, well-trained staff and concessions that do not require a second mortgage. To top it all off, they’re chock full of good people, too! Recently, a number of employees volunteered at The Open Door Mission (opendoormission.org) and they are currently offering “Free Family Flicks” from now through the first week of August. For the cost of one canned/nonperishable food item (or $1 donation per person), you can see a film suitable for the whole family. See their site at aksarbencinema.com for showtimes and movies. While one may argue that no one should have ever charged money to see The Smurfs, this is yet more proof that The Ak is A1 in my book.
  • Robert Rodriguez loves a challenge. How else do you explain his casting of Lindsay Lohan in 2010’s Machete and the news this week that the sequel, Machete Kills, will feature not only Mel Gibson but now Charlie Sheen? Gibson is slated to play the villain, which seems about right, but Sheen has been tasked with playing the President of the United States. In a world where Herman Cain was at one-point the front-runner for a major political party, Sheen as POTUS is more scary than laughable.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast (movieha.libsyn.com/rss), catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 (cd1059.com) on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 (KVNO.org) at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).

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