- Still, having to work around something this weekend means that it's time for one of my favorite Boston movie events of the year, Films at the Gate, where the Asian Community Development Center shows Chinese movies outside on the Greenway, following martial arts demonstrations and shorts. They're going for deeper cuts this year - documentary Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer on Friday, recent Herman Yau production Woman Knight of Mirror Lake on Saturday, and Shaw Brothers action-comedy The Kid with a Tattoo. Head on out, get some snacks in Chinatown, and have a ball.
While in the Chinatown area, you can catch Time Raiders in either 2D or 3D at Boston Common, and while it's got some serious problems, it might look pretty cool in 3D. If your tastes run toward Korean, Boston Common also opens The Tunnel, in which a man is trapped in a collapsed stretch of road. It's got an all-star cast (Ha Jung-woo, Bae Doo-na, and Oh Dal-su), and filmmaker Kim Seong-hoon made the pretty fun A Hard Day.
- End-of-summer is generally a place where people don't get excited about what's coming out, although there seems to be some excitement about Don't Breathe, which was the closing-night film at Fantasia and comes from Evil Dead remake director Fede Alvarez, who sends some kids to rob a blind man's home, which proves a spectacularly bad idea. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway (including RPX), Revere (including XPlus/MX4D), and the SuperLux.
More typical: The thing people thought might be an Oscar contender but might be a cut below that line. That's what Hands of Stone looks like, starring Edgar Ramirez as Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran and Robert De Niro as his trainer. That's at Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. Then there's the not-very-good action movie, Mechanic: Resurrection, with Jason Statham returning as a generic hitman character and Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Alba, and Michelle Yeoh cashing checks. It plays Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.
There are a bunch of little one-and-two-off shows in theaters this week too. Revere has animated toy tie-in Welcome to Monster High on Saturday morning, a TCM presentation of The King and I on Sunday and Thursday, and the "premiere party" for Kevin Smith's Yoga Hosers on Tuesday. Rob Zombie's latest, 31, also skips a regular theatrical release and shows Thursday at 7pm in Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. The Imax-branded screens, also shake things up, with Assembly Row keeping Suicide Squad in 2D and 3D, Boston Common playing The Jungle Book (3D) in the afternoon and Jason Bourne in the evening, Jordan's Natick going with Bourne all day and Jordan's Reading showing The Secret Lives of Pets (3D).
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre picks up Hell or High Water, which also expands to the Embassy and Revere and sticks around the Kendall and Boston Common. There's also a surprisingly wide release for Southside with You, a romance that chronicles the day-long first date between Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson back in 1989; they seem to have done all right for themselves since. It's at the Coolidge, The West Newton Cinema, Kendall Square, Boston Common, and Fenway.
The August Animals Attack series presented by the Boston Yeti waps up this weekend with midnight shows of Piranha II: The Spawning on 35mm Friday & Saturday night; it is technically James Cameron's first directing credit although to ask him they mostly needed a Canadian listed as director to get tax benefits. Cameron would later direct a seuel to Monday night's big screen classic, Alien, though I would argue that Ridley Scott's original is still the series's best by far.
- On top of Southside with You, Kendall Square brings in A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman's first feature as writer & director as well as playing the mother of Amos Oz (Amir Tessler) in an adaptation of his stories of his youth in Palestine after his Jewish family fled there to escape the war in Europe. Also opening there is Miss Sharon Jones!, a documentary on an R&B musician who broke through relatively late and battle illness alongside the release of her anticipated new album.
- Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond is the venue for IFFBoston Closing Night film The Intervention, a very funny ensemble company from Clea DuVal in which she and several other friends hosts a weekend getaway to tell her sister (Cobie Smulders) that she really should divorce her husband. They also have Natural Selection, which looks to be an indie drama about a high-school kid being pushed toward the point of explosion.
Several Indian films open as well, including A Flying Jatt, starring Tiger Shroff as a bumbling Bengali superhero. Hey, he may have action-star potential. No listings for subtitles on Telegu-language romantic comedy 100 Days of Love or Maalik, an Urdu-language film from Pakistan with writer/director Ashir Azeem starring as a special forces soldier who becomes entangled in politics; I don't recall seeing films from Pakistan there before. Ditto for Bichagadu, which plays Sunday morning and Monday evening, or Janatha Garage, also Telegu and opening Wednesday.
- The Brattle Theatre spends much of the weekend playing host to The Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, which runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon and has guests at almost every screening. Lots of interesting, off-beat stuff there.
Along with that, The summer repatory series all wrap up this week, though in pretty fine form: Saturday offers a late-night double feature of Police Story 2 on 35mm and a new DCP restoration of Snake in Eagles Shadow. The final Femmes Fatales of Film Noir double feature on Monday & Tuesday jumps into color with Leave Her to Heaven & Gone Girl; while Wednesday's "Under the Influence" pairing is The Hateful Eight and Cut-Throats Nine, both on 35mm. Kiki's Delivery Service & My Neighbor Totoro finish up "Kids International: A GKids Retrospective", though both will have weekend matinees as well.
- The Regent Theatre will be the home for The Witness, a film about the infamous murder of Kitty Genovese in broad daylight and her brother Bill's attempts to find justice after new information surfaces fifty years later, all week long. Saturday night's screening will be followed by a Q&A including Bill and cinematographer Trish Govoni
- The Harvard Film Archive heads into the Rouben Mamoulian retrospective's homestretch as the summer calendar nears the end with a bunch of classics: Golden Boy (Friday 7pm), City Streets (Friday 9pm), Queen Christina (Saturday 7pm), We Live Again (Saturday 9pm), swan song Silk Stockings (Sunday 4:30pm), The Mark of Zorro (Sunday 7pm), and High, Wide, and Handsome (Monday 7pm). All films are on 35mm.
- The Museum of Fine Arts has five films rotating this week: Bulgarian parable Viktoria (Friday/Saturday), Korean documentary My Love, Don't Cross That River (Friday/Saturday), new addition The Other Side, which combines documentary footage and a fictional story for a look at paranoid backwoods Louisiana (Friday/Sunday/Thursday), 1982 German sci-fi noir Kamikaze '89 (Saturday/Sunday/Thursday), and Eva Hesse, a documentary on the short-lived 1960s sculptor.
- The ICA will have a special outdoor screening of A One Man Show, a Grace Jones concert video with a live performance by Neon Music and a DJ set by Light Asylum's Shannon Funchess on Friday.
- Outdoor movies are winding down (aside from Films at the Gate), but Joe's Boston Free Films shows a couple chances to see Ant-Man, along with Some Like it Hot and others.