Shrek is the fourth entry in this summer's Little Italy Open-Air Film Festival. Here are four reasons why it's especially pertinent to see it tonight:
1. Mike Myers as the title ogre conjures more comic dimensions with his voice and computer animation than he does as his new Austin Powers villain, Goldmember, with makeup and prosthetics.
2. The parody of Disneyland -- with the evil Farquaad (John Lithgow) creating a sanitized court free of warts, smells and wrinkles -- plays even sweeter now that DreamWorks won the first Academy Award for best animated feature. (Some of us still prefer Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc.)
3. You can catch Eddie Murphy at his peak, as a sassily loquacious donkey -- before the Aug. 16 debut of his next star vehicle, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, which is rumored to give us Murphy at his nadir.
4. Shrek has more fun with a dragon than Reign of Fire.
Shrek screens tonight at 9 at High and Stiles streets. Folding chairs are provided; lawn chairs are allowed.
Tomorrow, the Charles Theatre's Saturday noon revival series offers Gregory La Cava's My Man Godfrey, a 1936 movie whose relevance accelerates with every news cycle. Starring William Powell as a hobo living in a dump-site shanty and Carole Lombard as the socialite who picks him to be her "forgotten man" in a scavenger hunt (and hires him as her family's butler), the movie remains a peerless blend of romantic screwball comedy and suave yet bitter social satire.
The sting has only increased for the political speeches in the Eric Hatch-Morrie Ryskind script. For example, when Powell's Godfrey, a Harvard man fallen on hard times, takes a school pal on a tour of the dump, he praises a bank chief who "gave up everything so that his depositors wouldn't suffer" -- something never said of corporate presidents today.
Admission is $5.