Friday, March 26, 2010

This Week In Tickets: 15 March 2010 to 21 March 2010

The preview portion, which is more of a right-now-view, since it's Friday already:

* The Boston Underground Film Festival kicked off yesterday with Love Exposure, which was decently attended for a four-hour movie on a weeknight, although not as packed as it should have been. The "regular" festival kicks off this afternoon (26 March 2010), with most films having their first run today, tomorrow, and Sunday, and then having a second screening Monday-Thursday. Of what's remaining, I've only seen Slimed! when it was screened as a potential entry for the Sci-Fi festival. It's a better fit for Underground (but I wouldn't call it good).

If you like the cheap movies, BUFF's $35 "recession special" is a tough deal to beat for the next week, as it gets you into all BUFF second-run screenings starting Monday. Start at 5pm each day and take in all three, and that's something like $2.33/movie.

* Kurosawa at the Brattle, with Stray Dog tonight, Seven Samurai on Saturday and Sunday, Ikiru on Monday, The Bad Sleep Well on Tuesday, and a double feature of High and Low and Drunken Angel on Wednesday. If you haven't seen some of these, you should. If you have, why not see them again?

* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo drops down to one screen at the Kendall to accommodate BUFF, but opens at the Coolidge by way of compensation (albeit only in the video room) and gets another week at Boston Common. It's good stuff, and I selfishly want to encourage a good turnout because Music Box plans to distribute the other two this summer, and I want it booked in theaters.

* How to Train Your Dragon opens at the Jordan's IMAX theaters in Natick and Reading. I'll be honest, this kind of surprises me, as it seems like a much riskier proposition than keeping Alice around. That appears to be the issue in some of the multiplexes, where Paramount reportedly told theaters that if it didn't get at least one 3-D screen, they couldn't have 2-D prints. This also - I think - is the first digital 3-D film to be booked at Entertainment Cinemas Fresh Pond - coincidence?

(I apologize for the website that last link will bring you to)

* The Harvard Film Archive has Abdellatif Kechiche being given an award and introducing a couple of his films. I won't lie - I hated The Secret of the Grain. A friend of a friend swears by it, though, seeing it at a festival and then at Kendall Square and then making a trip out to West Newton when it moved there. If you're in that category, this may be for you.

* The Boston Turkish Film Festival continues at the MFA; late next week, they also open a couple interesting-looking films on Wednesday: The Sun and Off and Running.

* Kendall Square and Boston Common both open Greenberg, signaling the end of my seeing that trailer in front of every movie I see, and Chloe, which is the Chlotrudis movie of the week on Monday. Kendall also has Mid-August Lunch as the one-week wonder.

* It's a little ways off, but IFFB has announced their 2010 lineup!

This Week In Tickets!

The Chlotrudis awards were a good time, and you can read the results here. It especially improved near the end, as after the first few awards, my reaction was along the lines of "wait, I paid money to see A Single Man beat Moon twice? What. The. Hell?" Beth Grant was the character actor honored this year, and though you'd never know it from watching her movies and TV appearances, she is not a shriveled, pinched, and bitter woman.

Full list and press release at the Chlotrudis website

The Red Shoes

* * * (out of four)
Seen 17 March 2010 at the Brattle Theatre (Special Engagement)

Powell & Pressburger's The Red Shoes contains moments of striking beauty even if you aren't at all interested in the ballet - the technicolor photography is gorgeous, and not just because nothing leaps off a screen more than Technicolor red. I'm sure digital projection will get there someday, but in the meantime, Moira Shearer's hair in this film is something astonishing.

I like that this is a fairly relaxed movie, with time to show some of the process and politics behind the scenes in the ballet, and spend twenty minutes on the actual Red Shoes ballet right in the middle of the movie, enhanced with special effects and other bits to give us a little insight into prima ballerina Victoria Page's frame of mind. It's a pretty amazing sequence.

I have a hard time loving the movie without reservation, though. The main story of the film, which is meant to parallel the Hans Christian Anderson tale to an extent, gets very choppy in the end: The romance between Shearer's Page and Marius Goring's Julian Craster seems to take place almost entirely off-screen, and then, almost as soon as the film has made a big deal of that, it does an almost complete about face to show Page suddenly returning to Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) and his ballet, and a climax that seems to come less from torment than carelessness.

Repo Men

* * (out of four)
Seen 20 March 2010 at AMC Boston Common #9 (first-run)

Repo Men is frustrating. You can tell just by looking at it that Universal threw multiple times the budget of the similarly-themed Repo! The Genetic Opera at it for a rather more bland result. On a certain level, that's fine; its ambitions are more modest, and Repo! was a trainwreck. But this winds up being rather dull, despite the action which occasionally erupts in a spray of blood and guts.

And then, halfway through, when I've more or less given up, it starts to show some sort of pulse. Writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner seem to suddenly remember that what they're writing is both science fiction and satire, and they can thus do some goofy and large-than life things (in the book, for instance, the "artiforgs" appear to be a much better investment; rather than just being replacements, they prolong life, making the prices more reasonable and the debt more insidious). It's much too little, too late, but it does punch things up a little before the film gets to the ending that has been awkwardly foreshadowed for the whole film.

Speaking of which - Spoilers Follow, Obviously - I think it falls victim to the "getting the audience to see mistakes they wouldn't have if you weren't working so hard to let them know you are clever" pitfall (that needs a short and pithy name): Remy's narration is meant to be coming from the book he writes, The Repossession Mambo (also the title of the source novel, and probably the movie at some point in development) - and a running bit is about how he's been knocked unconscious four times, but if he never comes out of the fourth one, how can he write about it?
Prodigal SonsThe Red ShoesNightmare Alley & FreaksRepo MenHubble 3-DMy Son, My Son, What Have Ye DoneThe UnknownThe Girl with the Dragon TattooChlotrudis Awards 2010

1 comment:

Zee Mathews said...

How to train your dragon is really a good animation movie. I enjoyed it very much.


Zee Mathews – The Salon Managers Academy