Iconic director Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “Ready Player One,” will open in wide release this week. (Photo: Contributed)

The Week in Film is a column dedicated to bringing awareness to award-winning films, special movie screenings, rereleases, limited-distribution runs and avant cinema that should be seen in theaters to be properly appreciated.

Ready Player One
Based on the popular novel by Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” is Steven Spielberg’s latest bit of nostalgia pilfering. But unlike other films that simply coast by on entrenched memories and goodwill, this film actually has the chance to rise above the weight of its extensive influences and become something unique and refreshing in Spielberg’s filmography. Following the adventures of Wade Watts as he searches for hidden keys inside of gigantic virtual reality worlds, the film combines decades of pop culture touchstones into a bright and vivid landscape of over-the-top action set pieces while also exploring ideas of individualism and the struggle for acceptance. Here’s hoping that Spielberg can bring us the reverence and rousing experience of a film like “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and not the tepid narrative and visuals of “The BFG.”

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When: Wednesday-Thursday, March 28-April 5
Where: Regal Hamilton Place 8, AMC Classic Chattanooga 10, AMC Chattanooga 18, AMC Classic Battlefield 10, AMC Majestic 12, AMC Northgate 14
Rating: PG-13

Amarillo” and “Dreamers
“Amarillo” and “Dreamers” are two short films written and directed by Chattanooga locals Ian-Alijah Bey and Leonard Jackson, and they’ll be screening their films for the first time at The Palace Theater this week. “Amarillo” follows a recent high school graduate named Amare as he realizes that life doesn’t always follow rules while trying to find his place in the world. “Dreamers” is a topical documentary that tackles the issues of police brutality and the tenuous relationship that officers have with the youth in their given areas. The show is free and will feature a post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers. There will also be live music to round out the evening.

When: Friday, March 30
Where: The Palace Theater
Rating: Not rated

*trailer not available

Best F(r)iends, Vol. 1
After their time together making “The Room,” one of cinema’s most vilified movies, you’d think that writer-director Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero wouldn’t be in a rush to make another movie together, but you’d be wrong. They’ve just finished a 2-part film called “Best F(r)iends,” which follows a drifter and a mortician as they embark on a shady business venture and find that jealousy and greed can sneak into the best of intentions. The 2 parts will be screened separately, with the first one finding screen-time this week and early in April and the second one showing twice in June. If you’re in the mood for painful self-absorption and leagues of fascinatingly weird narrative choices, then “Best F(r)iends” is the movie for you.

When: Friday, March 30
Where: Regal Hamilton Place 8
Rating: R

Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on FacebookTwitter or by emailThe opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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