Summertime, and the movies are easy. Also outdoors, and free. If you have never been to a movie at the the Screen on the Green Outdoor Movie Festival, catch “The Princess Bride” Saturday, May 21, at 8:15 p.m. It’s really fun to watch a cult comedy like this with a big audience; even scenes you’ve chuckled at a hundred times take on new life in a crowd. Bring a blanket or chairs to Spring Hill College’s Dorn Field, where there’s plenty of parking at the public library and food trucks will be on hand to feed you and the kids.
On Saturday, June 25, at 8:15 p.m., you can watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” again, because this might be your only chance to see it on the big screen (again) for a while. Saturday, July 16, 8:15 p.m., viewers can vote for either “Pitch Perfect” or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Obviously you should vote for “Ferris.” I’m liking the ‘80s vibe running through the lineup, a screening of “The Goonies” last month rounded out the list nicely.
I hate to fast-forward through the entire summer, but on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m., “The Good Dinosaur” is playing, this time at St. Ignatius, because that school boasts an alumnus who actually worked on the movie! Although subject to change, to give you an idea of the food trucks represented, they will include Ben’s Burga Kaboose, Smokin’ Gringos, Bama Brickhouse Dogs, Kona Ice, Pizza Hut and Smith’s Catering.
Visit www.tvosh.com to learn more about these fun free events, sponsored by The Village of Spring Hill.
Speaking of the public library, don’t forget the free streaming service Hoopla, which has some really good new movies right now. Heavy-hitting director Stephen Frears (“The Queen,” “Philomena”) brought the painful truth of Lance Armstrong to “The Program,” starring Ben Foster in a physically impressive rendition of the disgraced cyclist. I always think of him as Claire’s art school boyfriend from “Six Feet Under,” but that was a rather long time ago.
Chris O’Dowd also stars as the sports journalist David Walsh, who suspected Armstrong’s high-profile return to cycling after his grueling cancer battle was just too good to be true. Of course, he was right and “The Program,” based on a book by Walsh, shows just how widespread the doping situation was in cycling. What makes Armstrong all the more noteworthy is how he courted the spotlight, creating his LiveStrong Foundation and boldly flying directly in the proverbial radar.
This is a fairly straightforward story of professional-grade hubris, and Foster delivers a massive bolus of pride before his well-publicized fall. It’s interesting to watch a fictionalized portrayal of fairly recent events which many of us followed as they were actually happening. However, there is little nuance or backstory given to Armstrong, who is portrayed as more or less pure evil. We get an interesting look at how a driven athlete chose to win at any cost to himself or anyone else, but “why” is still a mystery.
“The Program” is currently available to rent and to stream on Hoopla.