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Weekend Express: Utah’s events planning guide

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(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Nihom Matsuri Japan Festival is Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Salt Lake City. In this photo from the 2012 festival, Li Vincent makes photos of the Kimono contest while "NoFace" a character from the Hayao Miyazaki animated Japanese movie "Spirited Away" watches at left.

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Apr 26 2013 02:39PM
Updated Jun 28, 2013 07:30AM

We’re here to help you plan your weekend, with best picks from our entertainment reporters, critics and bloggers. For more event listings, visit www.sltrib.com/entertainment. Sports listings can be found here.

Utah Bike Summit

The fifth annual Utah Bike Summit will gather citizens, riders, cycling advocates and representatives from some of the world’s biggest bike brands to discuss, plan and promote the progress being made for two-wheeled transportation on the roads and trails of the Beehive State. Register at http://www.utahbikes.org/BikeSummit. Visit utahbikes.org/Resources/Pictures/2013%20 program%20v2.jpg for a schedule.

When • Friday, April 26 from 8:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Where • University of Utah Guest House, 110 Fort Douglas Blvd., University Of Utah

Tickets • http://www.utahbikes.org/BikeSummit

Nihon Matsuri Japan Festival

The Nihon Matsuri Japan Festival will share Japanese culture and traditions with Utah communities through unique activities and entertainment for all ages. The festival will welcome Kauakilihune Hawaiian Dancing Troupe as the guest artist. The festival features tea ceremonies, Anime, Japanese dance, martial arts demonstrations, Taiko drumming, kimono fashion show, food and Japanese-American history exhibits. For additional information visit nihonmatsuri.com.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Where • Japanese Church of Christ, 268 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Dirty Girl Mud Run

The Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run welcomes women of all ages and athletic abilities, and challenges women to break from their routine for a day, get out of their comfort zones, get dirty, and accomplish something brand new. A portion of the proceeds goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Cancer survivors run for free. Visit www.godirtygirl.com for information.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Where • Miller Motorsports Park, 2901 N. Sheep Lane, Tooele

Tickets • $75.00; Must be 14 and older;bit.ly/1647WDk

MS Walk

Join thousands of Utahns at The Gateway Mall as they make strides to raise awareness and funds to create a world free of multiple sclerosis at the National MS Society Utah-Southern Idaho Chapter’s 24th Annual Walk MS 2013 presented by Questar. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. For more information and to register, visit www.walkMSutah.org.

When • Saturday, April 27 at 8 a.m.

Where • Gateway Mall Grand Hall, 90 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Moab Car Show

The annual event draws classic automobiles from all over the West. The events happen Friday through Sunday at locations across and around Moab. Go to http://moab21.com/moab_car_show/ for a full schedule.

When • Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28

Where • Locations all around vicinity of Moab. See the website for more.

Tickets • Free

Little Bloombury Art Festival

The annual Little Bloombury Art Festival that includes works of more than 30 artists, music and storytelling. Visit www.littlebloomsbury.org for information.

When • Friday, April 26 from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m., Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Where • Little Bloomsbury, 181 N. 200 East, Logan

Tickets • Free

Jennifer Worsley Pastels

Using hand-made pastel chalks, Jennifer Worsley captures the fleeting effects of light and weather in her landscape portraits. She makes her own chalks to allow herself full control of the colors she chooses. Worsley also translates her landscapes into woodblock prints, using a Japanese method called Moku Hanga. Visit www.redbuttegarden.org for information.

When • Friday, April 26 from 9 a.m.- 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m.- 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 28 from 9 a.m.- 7:30 p.m.

Where • Red Butte Garden and Arboretum, 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10.00; *

University of Utah Senior Show

The Phillips Gallery will present the University of Utah Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Show. See the work of students graduating. It will also host a 4x5 show, a collection of small works 4 inches by 5 inches; and an Alternative Show, works from University of Utah Fine Arts students. Opening reception is April 19, 2013.

When • Friday, April 26 from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Where • Felt Building, 341 S. Main, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Temple Square Garden Tours 2013

Temple Square Garden Tours will be held Monday-Friday, Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. For the daily tours starting at 11 a.m., meet the guide inside the south lobby of the Church Office Building Tower. For Wednesday at 7 p.m., visitors meet the guide outside the south doors of the Church Office Building Tower, and for Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m., meet the guide at the east gates of Temple Square. Call 801-240-5916 for information.

When • Friday, April 26 at 11 a.m., Sunday, April 28 at 10:30 a.m.

Where • LDS Church Office Building, 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Earth Week Dinner

Oasis Cafe will celebrate Earth Week with a three-course dinner menu served April 22-28 that focuses on organic, locally grown produce. In the evening, candlelight will greet diners to help remind them to conserve energy. Outdoor dining under the stars will be available, weather permitting, on Oasis Cafe’s serene patio. Visit www.oasiscafeslc.com for information.

When • Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m., Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m.

Where • Oasis Cafe, 151 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $25.00;

Fools for Jazz

The Bountiful High School Jazz Band will hold its fundraiser Fools For Jazz in the old gym. Jazz music, dancing, food and fun.

When • Friday, April 26 from 6:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.

Where • Bountiful High School, 695 S. Orchard Drive, Bountiful

Tickets • $5.00; *Family ticket available for $20;

Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly

The University of Utah Youth Theatre will present a musical adaptation of the bestselling books by Doreen Cronin, that takes a look at the world from a bug’s perspective. Visit bit.ly/ZAwzRs for information and tickets.

When • Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 27 at 3 p.m.

Where • Kingsbury Hall - University of Utah, 1395 E. President’s Circle, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10.00; *

Dawn Lonsinger - Poet

Dawn Lonsinger, local poet and visiting professor at the University of Utah, will read from her new collection, "Whelm," which won the Idaho Prize in Poetry.

When • Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m.

Where • The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Robert T Kiyosaki - Author

Author, Robert T Kiyosaki will be at Barnes & Noble, Sugarhouse to sign his book "Why "A" Students Work for "C" Students and Why "B" Students Work for the Governement: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Education for Parents."

When • Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m.

Where • Barnes and Noble - Sugar House, 1102 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

David Meece

Contemporary Christian musician David Meece will perform.

When • Friday, April 26 from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m.

Where • Mountain View Christian Assembly, 300 E. 8000 South, Sandy

The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein

The Empress will present "The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein," with a live orchestra. Visit www.empresstheatre.com for information.

When • Friday, April 26 from 7 p.m.- 10 p.m.

Where • Empress Theatre, 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna

Tickets • $10.00; bit.ly/Xyqv0X

Death by Chocolate

Heritage Theatre will present "Death By Chocolate," a sarcastic comical murder mystery spoof. For reservations, call 435-723-8392 or visit www.heritagetheatreutah.com.

When • Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Where • Heritage Community Theatre - Perry, 2505 S. Highway 89, Perry

Tickets • $10.00; *

Jordan River Tree Planting Clean Up

In conjunction with Global Youth Volunteer Day, The Living Planet Aquarium will hold numerous aquarium cleanup and beautification days in celebration of Earth Day. This event is held at the Jordan River Migratory Bird Reserve, 600 W. Brook N Lance Lane (11400 South) in South Jordan. Call 801-355-FISH (3474) x 212 or email volunteer@theli‚Äãvingplanet.com to find out how to participate. Visit www.eart‚Äãhday.org.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Where • Living Planet Aquarium, 725 E. 10600 South, Sandy

Tickets • Free

Groovefest Rummage and Bake Sale

St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Cedar City will hold the second Groovefest Rummage and Bake Sale. Call Tim Cretsinger at 435-867-9800 for more information.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m.- 3p.m., Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m.- 3p.m.

Where • St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, 70 N. 200 West, Cedar City

Tickets • Free

Business Workshop for Artists

Utah Lawyers for the Arts and Dance Theatre Coalition in partnership with Utah Museum of Contemporary Art will present a one-day intensive seminar to help artists improve their business practices. For registration and more details, please visit www.dancetheatrecoalition.org/Career_Development.html.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 9:30 a.m.- 5 P.m.

Where • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10-$40;

Earth Day Celebration - Party for the Planet

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is throwing a party - over one hundred parties throughout the country to be exact - to Party for the Planet. Celebrate the earth with animal enrichment, presentations, and informative booths. Visit www.hoglezoo.org/events_experiences/events_calendar/04-27-2013/party-for-the-planet for information.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Where • Hogle Zoo, 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $9.75; *bit.ly/171q8Nn

Spring into Holladay Photography Class and Contest

The Holladay Arts Council will host a free photography class and contest on a "Spring into Holladay" theme. The photography class will be held with photographer, Jacob Bruner. Participant may begin taking photos April 20-26 around Holladay, Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, or Little Cottonwood Canyons. Submit framed work to Holladay City Hall on April 27 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For official rules and application, visit our www.facebook.com/holladayarts.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Where • Holladay City Hall, 4580 S. 2300 East, Holladay

Tickets • Free

Spring Cleaning Volunteer Event

Volunteers can come anytime between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to clean the library’s shelves, DVDs, and CD Books. Rags, disinfectant wipes and other cleaning supplies will be provided by library staff. Call our Service Desk at 801-264-2580 for more information.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Where • Murray Library, 166 E. 5300 South, Murray

Tickets • Free

Draper City Earth Day

Bring all your reusable and recyclable items to Draper City’s Earth Day. he event will include music, food, Day Barn Open House, tree planting by the Draper Tree Commission, participation by the Alta High School Earth Club, art show, drive-through recycling drop-off booths, fun and informational booths, and recycling items for sell. Visit www.draper.ut.us/Calendar.aspx?EID=225 for information.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Where • Draper City Park, 12500 S. 1300 East, Draper

Tickets • Free

Yogis Give Back 2013

SB Dance will will sponsor a fundraiser for children that do not have access to yoga. The event includes a yoga and meditation practice followed by yoga dance and socializing. Bring a mat and water. The event will be held in the Payne Gym at Westminster College. All proceeds go to GreenTREE Yoga’s Five-Minute Yoga Break Program in Title I and ESL schools.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 10:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Where • Westminster College, 1840 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free but a $20-$50 donation is suggested;

Cinematic Exhibition

Central Utah Art Center will hold a group exhibition featuring the art of Jeff Larsen, John Bell, Justin Nelson-Carruth, Matt Glass, Mary Toscano, and Rosi Heyes; artists who explore connections between film and 2D media in visual art. Visit cuartcenter.org for information. Artist reception March 15, 2013 at 6 p.m.

When • Friday, April 26 from 12 p.m.- 7p.m., Saturday, April 27 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Where • Central Utah Art Center, 175 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Earth Day Celebration

Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter will hold scavenger hunts on the Swaner trails, information tables from organizations such as Recycle Utah and Utah State University Extension Sustainability, and indoor activities. For more information, contact swanerecocenter@usu.edu or call 435-649-1767.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 12 p.m.- 2 p.m.

Where • Swaner Eco Center, 1258 Center Drive, Park City

Tickets • Free

Arts Lab: Make, Move, Play

Southern Utah University’s Department of Theatre Arts & Dance invite pre-school and elementary age children to participate in "Arts Lab: Make, Move, Play." The sessions are free. The workshops have been created for children ages 3-11. Visit suu.edu/pva/ta for complete class information, details and registration.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Where • Southern Utah University Multi-purpose Center, 351 W. University Blvd., Cedar City

Tickets • Freesuu.edu/pva/ta

Spring Luncheon and Boutique

The ladies of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection will host a luncheon and a boutique of hand-made items. Tickets for lunch are $10.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 12 p.m.- 2 p.m.

Where • Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 1131 S. Main St., Centerville

Tickets • $10

Liesl Shurtliff - Author

Debut author Liesl Shurtliff will present and sign her new book Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin.

When • Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m.

Where • The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Little Wing Music Classes

School of Rock will sponsor Little Wing, music classes for pre-schoolers, age 4-5. These little artists explore rhythm patterns, tonal processing, basic music syntax, and make emotional connections to music. Visit http://sandy.littlewing.com for information.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 3 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Where • School of Rock, 9083 S. 255 West, Sandy

Tickets • $160.00; http://sandy.littlewing.com

Annual Boy Scout BBQ

Boy Scout Troop 410 and Crew 9410 will hold their 52nd annual barbecue fundraiser. The meal will include buffalo brought in from South Dakota, Northern Tier Green Salad, Antelope Springs Ranch Dressing, White Rocks Baked Potato, Johnson Pass Green Beans and Goblin Valley Roll, Camp Tracy Apple Pie and homemade Uinta Mountain Root Beer or Klondike Coffee. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to donate items for the gift baskets, visit www.troop410.com or call 801-486-5473 Ext. 21.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 3:30 p.m.- 8 p.m.

Where • Christ United Methodist Church, 2375 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $12; *$13 at the door for adults; $7 at the door for children;

Belly Dance For The Birds

The Wasatch Avian Education Society and Shahravar present "Belly Dance For The Birds" a Middle Eastern dance showcase and fundraiser for avian education along the Wasatch Front. For tickets visit slcbellydance.com or wasatchavian.com/specialevent.html.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 6 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.

Where • Post Theatre, 245 S. Fort Douglas Blvd., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10; Tickets also available at the door;

Gifted Music School Annual Benefit Concert

The Gifted Music School will present its Third Annual Benefit Concert. The featured guest artist will be Bill McGlaughlin. Visit www.giftedmusicschool.org or 801-930-0310 for information.

When • Saturday, April 27 from 6:30 p.m.- 8 p.m.

Where • Vieve Gore Concert Hall, 1250 E. 1700 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $25

Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening is a musical that celebrates youth and rebellion in a daring fusion of morality, sexuality and rock & roll. Visit bit.ly/17dFWxL for information.

When • Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Where • Babcock Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $11-$18; U of U students: free with a U card;bit.ly/WtetWE

Back on Stage in a Borrowed Space

The University of Utah Theatre Alumni present a fundraiser, "Back on Stage in a Borrowed Space," a soiree of songs, scenes and memories. Visit kingtix.com for tickets.

When • Sunday, April 28 at 5 p.m., Sunday, April 28 at 5 p.m.

Where • University of Utah - Marriott Center for Dance, 330 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $25.00; bit.ly/15USzdv

MUSIC • Listings by David Burger

Manufactured Superstars

The Denver-based DJ duo brings its brand of EDM to Salt Lake City. Timone opens

When • Tonight at 9:30 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $15 advance, $20 day of; at http://http://http://SmithsTix.com

Flesh-N-Bone

Fans of the melodic rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony can catch one of the founding members on a solo tour.

When • Tonight at 9 p.m.

Where • The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $15 advance, $20 day of; at http://http://http://SmithsTix.com

Roy Kay Trio

The rockabilly trio will perform with Matt Codina & The Glyders and DJed Record Hop for Dancers.

When • Tonight at 8 p.m.

Where • The Garage, 1199 N. Beck Street, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $5 at http://24Tix.com

James Blake

This UK-based electronic music producer is touring the U.S. in support of his latest album "Overgrown," which was released earlier this month.

When • Saturday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20 at http://http://http://SmithsTix.com

He is We

The indie-pop duo will be in Salt Lake City as part of their "Getting Back Up Tour."

When • Saturday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

Where • The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $16 advance, $18 day of; at http://http://http://SmithsTix.com

Elevated

The Saturday night showcase features DJ Stackhouse, Sista Matic and Murdoc.

When • Saturday, April 27 at 9 p.m.

Where • Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $1 at http://24Tix.com

TELEVISION • By Scott D. Pierce

The Good Wife (Sunday, 8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2) is one of TV’s best shows. And Sunday’s episode — the season finale — is truly must-see TV.

Zack witnesses vote tampering in the gubernatorial race, which doesn’t turn out as you might expect. There are some personal developments — Alica and Peter, Alicia and Will — and a big surprise n the final moments.

The really good news is that "The Good Wife" has been renewed for next season.

Friday on TV ...

College softball: Cal State Bakersfield at BYU (5 p.m., BYUtv); Utah at Stanford (6 p.m., P12N)

Undercover Boss (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): The CEO of Retro Fitness goes under cover.

Happy Endings (7 and 7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Penny has an affair; Max tries to pull his life together.

Vegas (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Mia is taken hostage by a murder suspect.

Grimm (8 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Nick tries to stop a volcano.

Live from Lincoln Center (8 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): Rob Fisher conducts Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ``Carousel.’’

Touch (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Martin tries to clear his name.

Blue Bloods (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Danny comes upon a disoriented man covered in blood.

Da Vinci’s Demons (10 p.m., Starz): Leonardo unveils his latest weapon.

Saturday on TV ...

College softball (1 p.m., BYUtv): Cal State Bakersfield at BYU

Smash (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Jimmy threatens ``Hit List’s’’ future.

MLS (7 p.m., Ch. 30): Los Angeles Galaxy at Real Salt Lake

Orphan Black (7 and 10 p.m., BBC America): Are the Orphans part of a big experiment?

White House Correspondents Dinner (7 p.m. CNN, C-SPAN and MSNBC): Live from Washington, D.C.

The Amazing Spider-Man (10 p.m., Starz): Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone star in this 2012 reboot. (PG-13)

Sunday on TV ...

College softball (2 p.m., P12N): Utah at Stanford

60 Minutes (6 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): A nurse who killed more than 40 patients says he’s sorry in his first TV interview.

Granite Flats (6 and 9 p.m., BYUtv): Beth investigates Frank’s strange behavior.

The Amazing Race (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): The teams race to Scotland and try to avoid a double U-turn.

Once Upon a Time (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): The queen asks Rumpelstiltskin to help her kill Snow White.

Call the Midwife (7 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): The community prepares for the annual summer festival.

The Simpsons (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): The new pastor (Edward Norton) asks Homer to be a church deacon.

Mad Men (7, 9:04 and 10:08 p.m., AMC): Roger schmoozes a new client.

Army Wives (7 and 11 p.m., Lifetime): Hector finds out about Gloria and Patrick.

Revenge (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Emily, Aiden and Nolan try to stop the Initiative.

Masterpiece Classic (8 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): Mr. Grove takes over for Harry in "Mr. Selfridge."

The Client List (8 p.m., Lifetime): Riley and Lacey decide to attend church.

The Mentalist (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): J.J. LaRoche’s mysterious container is stolen from his home.

Red Widow (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Marta uncovers information about Natalie’s kidnapper.

The Bletchley Circle (9 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): Susan and the group use Lucy to lure in a suspect.

Game of Thrones (10 p.m., HBO): Jaime is judged; Jon proves himself; Robb is betrayed.

Nurse Jackie (10 and 10:30 p.m., Showtime): A car accident lands Jackie in her own ER.

Veep (11 p.m., HBO): Selina gets into it with the secretary of defense.

The Borgias (11 p.m., Showtime): The purged Cardinals are stripped of their titles and wealth.

MOVIES • By Sean P. Means

It’s only a week until the start of the summer blockbuster season (which is detailed in The Cricket’s big Summer Movie Preview, out today).

To get ready, Hollywood is purging itself of its remaindered merchandise this weekend.

First movie in the clearance bin is "Pain & Gain," a hideous and reprehensible "comedy" directed by Michael Bay, who is to comedy what a flame thrower is to lawn care. This crime tale, based on a horrific real case, follows three Miami bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie) who carry out a kidnapping and extortion scheme on a fast-food mogul (Tony Shalhoub), with disastrous results. Bay directs with his usual sledgehammer subtlety, killing whatever "humor" could be gleaned from such a nasty scenario and awful characters.

Nearly as bad is "The Big Wedding," an overstuffed ensemble comedy based on a French farce. Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton star as a divorced couple who must fake still being married during the wedding of their adopted son (Ben Barnes), because the son’s devoutly Catholic biological mother (Patricia Rae) is flying up from Colombia for the ceremony. The cast — which includes Amanda Seyfried (as the bride), Susan Sarandon (as De Niro’s current girlfriend), and Katherine Heigl and Topher Grace as De Niro and Keaton’s other kids — are waylaid by hamfisted direction and plot "twists" you can see a mile off.

Meanwhile, there’s a hodgepodge of specialty films opening today in Utah theaters.

Best of the lot is "Mud," writer-director Jeff Nichols’ follow-up to his Sundance hit "Take Shelter." This time, the story is set on a rural Arkansas river, where two teens (Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland) find an island where a boat is stuck up a tree. They also find a man, named Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a fugitive who has returned to get his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). The boys agree to help Mud fix up the boat and get Juniper back, but they soon learn that Mud’s stories — and the course of true love — aren’t as simple as they believe. This riveting drama is helped by the authentic setting, and powerful performances by McConaughey and Sheridan.

Robert Redford is back in the director’s chair, and on the screen, in "The Company You Keep," which has the makings of a chase thriller but is really a thoughtful (and, yes, a tad slow) drama about ideals and regret. Redford plays a small-town lawyer with a big secret: He’s been hiding out for 30 years as a former member of the Weather Underground. When an ambitious young reporter (Shia Labeouf) exposes that secret, Redford’s character has to hit the road, avoiding the Feds while trying to clear his name. A wealth of character actors (including Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Richard Jenkins, Stanley Tucci and, again, Susan Sarandon) back up Redford, allowing some sharply written scenes that explore the big issues of radicalism, tactics and philosophy.

Also worthwhile is "From Up on Poppy Hill," the latest animated tale from Japan’s Studio Ghibli. This one is a sweet memory play, set in Yokohama just before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when the nation is rebuilding and modernizing after World War II. The story centers on Umi (voiced by Sarah Bolger), a teen dealing with the loss of her father, and finding first love in Shun (voiced by Anton Yelchin), a classmate campaigning to save the school’s rundown clubhouse. The movie doesn’t have the surreal fantastical elements one usually sees in a Ghibli film, but it’s tenderly rendered with dollops of humor.

"Filly Brown," a holdover from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, marks the acting debut of Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, who died in a plane crash last December. Rivera plays the imprisoned mother of the lead character, Majo (Gina Rodriguez), who wants to make it big as a rapper. The script is overly melodramatic, but Rodriguez’ fiery performance is worth a look.

"Disconnect" links several stories of technology distancing people — including a teen (Jonah Bobo) affected by cyber pranksters, a reporter (Andrea Riseborough) meeting a sex-website hustler (Max Thieriot), and a couple (Alexander Skarsgard, Paula Patton) hit by an identity thief. The storylines are weakly plotted, the dialogue comes straight out of an afterschool special, and the message lands with a thud.

Lastly, there’s the comedy-drama "Arthur Newman," starring Colin Firth as a man who escapes his family life by faking his death and starting over with a someone else’s identity in the United States. The Cricket didn’t get a chance to review this one.

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