There is nothing truly surprising in The Black Balloon, only affecting riffs on a familiar story.Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) is a typical teenager, handsome, shy around girls, and innocent enough that a peck on the cheek packs the power of a defining moment. His father (Erik Thomson) is a military man, cheerfully gruff but no rigid taskmaster. His very pregnant mother (Toni Collette), though immobilized by her globe-shaped belly, remains the doting queen of the household. And his brother Charlie (Luke Ford) is autistic.
If your idea of recreational bliss includes bowling, driving around and the occasional acid flashback, make your way to the Red Vic this weekend for a cinematic experience of the most transcendent order. And if that’s not your thing, no worries – there are plenty of worthwhile films currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.
1. The Big Lebowski
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: April 17-20
Why: So you can die with a smile on your face, without feelin' like the good Lord gypped you. Any questions?