$4.50-$8. 108 E. Butler Ave. 215.345.7855. www.amblertheater.com
The Polar Express
(2004) (Shown on DVD): Through the technically impressive but downright creepy use of digital performance capture technology, Robert Zemeckis turns Chris Van Allsburg's picturesque children's book into mandatory family fun, with a slew of Tom Hankses scampering about on a choo-choo bound for the North Pole. Back circa Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Zemeckis knew technological marvels still required care in other departments. With this and Beowulf, he's merely a slave to wizardry. C+ Sat., Dec. 15, 11am.
Andrew's Video Vault
Free. Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. www.armcinema25.com
Fanny and Alexander
(1982) (Shown on DVD): Ingmar Bergman bade a pseudo-farewell to cinema--After the Rehearsal hit theaters two years later and Saraband came out in 2003--with this heavily reflective work, which seems to look back on every stage of his varied life and career. (Same thing, right?) The semiautobiographical film leisurely charts the trajectory of two children after their father dies and their mother remarries a cruel and abusive bishop. Even in the three-hour cut that played theatrically, culled from the five-hour miniseries cut that will play here, the film snugly laid out its shifting plan, moving from comedy (early Bergman) to stark drama (Seventh Seal era) to touches of the paranormal (Cries and Whispers). It's a magnificent career submission, as well as a rejoinder to anyone who thinks of him chiefly as a miserable pain in the ass. A- Thurs., Dec. 13, 8pm.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute
$3.50-$9.25 (unless otherwise noted). 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr. 610.527.9898. www.brynmawrfilm.org
(2003) (Shown on DVD): Believe it or not, this is only the first film in which the lovely Zooey Deschanel makes out with Will Ferrell. See also: Winter Passing. B- Sat., Dec. 15, 11am.
$4-$7. 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville. 610.917.0223. www.thecolonialtheatre.com
National Lampoon's Animal House
(1978) (Shown on film): Ignore, if you can, all of this ur-sophomoric comedy's many more obvious qualities and concentrate instead on this: It's, by many accounts, an almost Proustian evocation of college life circa 1962. A- Sun., Dec. 16, 2pm.