- The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is opening at practically every screen in the area - The Coolidge, the Somerville, Kendall Square, West Newton, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. In that one, he once again plays the manager of a retirement hotel in India, with eyes toward opening a second. Once again, the residents are a whole bunch of great British actors who have passed a certain age, this time joined by a couple of Americans in Richard Gere and David Strathairn (who, apparently, is actually about the same age as Bill Nighy, which means Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are cradle-robbing).
The midnight shows for March are actually going to be fairly new-release heavy, with the first entry on Friday & Saturday night- Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's "Island of Dr. Moreau" - a documentary of how Stanley was fired from the Val Kilmer/Marlon Brando movie on the first day of shooting, which gives one an idea of what sort of troubled production it was. In other special presentations, hopefully the entries for Tuesday's Open Screen are not that sort of disaster. The Francophone film series also continues on Thursday with another documentary, Un rêve américain, in which French Candian musician Bruno Boulianne travels across the U.S. meeting others of similar heritage.
- Getting back to Dev Patel, he's one of the stars of Neill Blomkap's latest, Chappie, playing an engineer who upgrades a police "scout" robot to have genuine emergent intelligence, raising the paranoia of folks who have seen how well intelligent robots with guns have gone in every other movie. Not sure what to make of it; the trailers, synopsis, and early descriptions of the story are all really different tones. It's at the Capitol, Jordan's Furniture,Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.
No Dev Patel in Unfinished Business, which features Vince Vaughn as a small businessman competing with his previous employers for a contract on a business trip to Germany. Nice cast, including Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, and Sienna Miller, and I liked director Ken Scott's Starbuck (though I didn't see the remake he did with Vaughn). It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.
Fenway also has this week's Chinese opening, 12 Golden Ducks, which I guess is in the vein of the Golden Chickens series that also stars Sandra Ng, only featuring male escort played by Louis Koo. Tons of Hong Kong stars in this one - Nicholas Tse,Simon Yam, Michelle Chen, Dada Chan, Eason Chan, Anthony Wong, Zhao Wei, Isabella Yeong. Over at Boston Common, Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal drops down to two 3D shows per day.
- In addition to Marigold Hotel 2, Kendall Square and West Newton will be opening another one of the Oscar nominees in the Foreign Language Film category. Wild Tales is from Argentina, and features six overlapping stories of life spinning far out of control. The Kendall also has a one-week booking of Queen and Country, John Boorman's sequel to his 1987 film Hope and Glory, in which the nine-year-old boy living in England during World War II is now 19 and has just been drafted. Why the earlier movie is not streaming somewhere, I cannot guess.
- The Brattle has the very entertaining The Search for General Tso from Friday to Sunday, with director Ian Cheney on hand for the 7pm show opening night. In it, Cheney sets out to learn about the namesake of General Tso's chicken and winds up creating a movie about how Chinese immigrants became Chinese-Americans, assimilating and also dealing with prejudice. No 9:30 shows, though; that slot is given toBuzzard, in which a smll-time con artist winds up on the streets of Detroit, growing every more paranoid. There are also 12:30pm screenings of The Last: Naruto the Movie, but those are already sold out (good job, anime/manga fans)!
There's also a documentary director in town on Monday, as Mary Lampson introduces and answers questions after a DocYard screening of Underground, a 1975 film following key members of The Weathermen - close enough access that the FBI would attempt to confiscate the footage as evidence. Tuesday is a local premier of Destiny's Detour, the latest collaboration between Tom Snyder, Jonathan Katz, and Tom Leopold. Then Wednesday and Thursday are a two-day run of Hard to Be a God, the last project of Russian filmmaker Aleksey German (finished by his family after his death), based upon a novel by the authors of Stalker and featuring an Earth scientist trying not to interfere in the cultural development of a planet still in the middle ages.
- It's a good weekend for those of us who like silents at the Somerville Theatre: The Alloy Orchestra makes their annual visit on Saturday evening with their new score and restoration of Rudolph Valentino's Son of the Sheik. Then, for those of us who aren't sated, Jeff Rapsis will be accompanying Sunday's 35mm double feature of two W.C. Fields silents: Sally of the Sawdust and Running Wild. Should be interesting to see how a guy known primarily for his delivery handled this sort of movie.
- The Harvard Film Archive will welcome documentary filmmaker J.P. Sniadecki on Friday and Saturday to show and discuss two of his recent films about the changing People's Republic of China: The Iron Ministry (Friday) is shot on the trains which connect the vast country, while Yumen (Saturday) visits a quickly-built oil town that was abandoned just as quickly when the oil ran out.
Sunday and Monday are movies that were cancelled because of last month's snow: silent WWI film The Big Parade (with music by Robert Humphreville) on Sunday and the restored "A Night of Storytelling" (35mm) and Man of Aran (16mm) on Monday. The Wednesday night "Furious Cinema" presentation is a 35mm print of John Cassavetes's Minne and Moskowitz.
- The Museum of Fine Artscontinues their New Latin American Cinema program with Chile's Voice Over (Friday), Argentina's Natural Sciences (Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Wednesday), Brazil's Casa Grande, or The Ballad of Poor Jean (Saturday & Sunday) and Obra (Wednesday), also from Brazil. There' also a Tuesday afternoon series of some sort starting (?) with Rebel Without a Cause.
- No subtitled Indian movies at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond/iMovieCafe this week, but there's Enakkul Oruvan if you speak Tamil and Surya Vs Surya if you know Telugu.
My plans: Chappie, 12 Golden Ducks, Son of the Sheik, the Fields silents, Wild Tales, Focus, and maybe Hard to Be a God and Buzzard. The Search for General Tso is recommended.