Hitchcock’s ‘Notorious’ tonight at at Magnolia

notoriousIf you didn’t see it in the paper yet, the new lineup of the Magnolia Theatre’s Tuesday New Classic Series, sponsored by Dallas Voice, was announced last week, and the new season kicks off tonight with one of the best romantic thrillers of all time: Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious. Made when World War II was just recently ended, it stars Cary Grant as Devlin, an American spy who recruits Ingrid Bergman, the wife of a Nazi played by Claude Rains, to serve as a double agent, sleeping with her husband and unearthing plans for a Fascist comeback at the same time. It’s filled with some of Hitch’s most breathless feats of directorial derring-do: A long tracking shot from a staircase that eventually settled on a small key hidden in a hand; a tense escape that makes you sympathize with Rains and questions Grant’s ethics; and a smart, romantic performance by the incomparable Bergman. It shows twice tonight, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Don’t miss it if you’ve never seen it!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DVD and Blu-ray gift ideas: Queer appeal in a box

Tons of new and classic movies, TV shows and compilations are out there, if you’re still looking for a good gift idea for someone on your list. Here’s our rundown.

— Chris Azzopardi

Magic Mike. It’s the season of giving, and director Steven Soderbergh is very generous with the amount of men he unwraps in his male stripper movie. As if that wasn’t enough, he includes an actual story. It’s not as beefy as Channing Tatum’s butt, but it’s there: Based on the actor’s real-life go as a peeler, Magic Mike merges art-house indie with MTV video stripteases to tell the story of a veteran dancer — and other “cock-block kings of Tampa” — who learns there’s more to life than stuffing dollar bills in a G-string.

It’s part cautionary tale, part reason for getting hot actors to take their clothes off in a legit film (hello, it’s Soderbergh). Matthew McConaughey steals his scenes as the club’s resident dirtbag, and Matt Bomer does a Ken doll routine that gives new life to those Mattel toys. More of him — the perfect little butt not seen in theaters — shows up in the special features, which are truly, truly special.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

It’s a little of the calm before the storm.

Few big movies are opening this weekend. That’s because starting next week through Christmas, there will be roughly 2 billion new films vying for your attention (give or take) — many with gay content or appeal: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hyde Park on Hudson, Any Day Now, The Guilt Trip, This Is 40, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Jack Reacher and Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Apart. Try catching up on gooduns like SkyfallHitchock and The Sessions before the onslaught. (In the Dec. 21 edition of Dallas Voice, we’ll have a complete rundown of holiday movies as part of our Hollywood Issue.)

‘Til then, catch up on theater: Jekyll & Hyde has been rejiggered to appeal to a demographic that is more about The Voice and The X Factor that Patti and Babs, but Deborah Cox and Constantine Maroulis, pictured, sure know how to sing. So does Janis Ian, who takes over the smaller Hamon Hall venue at the Winspear on Saturday.

For Christmas themed shows, you have a choice between two local Nutty Award nominees — Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker and MBS’s Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker — as well as DTC’s annual Christmas Carol — which, once again, delivers. And the Turtle Creek Chorale offers six more opportunities to see them perform — their Comfort & Joy show at the Meyerson (and again in McKinney) this week, then the campy Naughty & Nice show the following week, leading right up to Christmas Eve.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones