Thursday, May 27, 2010

This Week In Tickets: 17 May 2010 to 23 May 2010

This Memorial Day Weekend preview is for you, as I won't be around - I leave tomorrow evening (Friday, 28 May 2010) to take an overnight train to Baltimore, from whence I shall take a Greyhound bus to Annapolis, where my cousin David is getting married on Sunday. Congratulations to the happy couple.

I'll be sticking around Baltimore and Washington for a week after, going to the three Red Sox/Orioles games the next weekend. I probably won't be seeing many movies during that time - although I will try to get to at least one screening in Baltimore's legendary Senator Theater. So, expect an extremely thin TWIT next week.

But if you're in Boston, here's some things you should look forward to for the movie week starting 28 May 2010:

  • Reunion Weekend at the Brattle - coinciding with Harvard's class reunions, 35mm prints of film celebrating big anniversaries: 25th Anniversary screenings of The Goonies on Friday and Saturday, 75th Anniversary double feature of The 39 Steps and Top Hat on Sunday, 50th Anniversary double feature of La Dolce Vita and the original Ocean's Eleven on Monday.

  • The Brattle finishes off the week with some great stop-motion animation. A Town Called Panic plays Tuesday - Thursday, technically as the second part of a double feature wtih Fantastic Mr. Fox, but the Brattle's website still lists the Wes Anderson picture as tentative. Even if it doesn't show, though, Panic is awesome, one of the most whimsical and hilarious animated features of 2009, a great year for the medium.

  • The Aquarium opens Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World on their genuine IMAX screen, which it shares with Hubble 3D, Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D, Under the Sea 3D, and Avatar: The IMAX 3D Experience. All except Avatar are short, $9.95 movies ($15.95 for double features, cheaper for kids and members), but most likely worth the money, with amazing, clear cinematography and excellently utilized 3-D. I, admittedly, have only seen Avatar and Hubble, but I mean to rectify that when I get back, because even though they are short, you generally get to see awesome things.

  • The Coolidge keeps running with Please Give and Babies, but shakes things up at midnight, with the local premiere of Journey of the Childmen: The Mighty Boosh on Tour, and in the digital screening rooms, with Vincere and Soundtrack for a Revolution. The Secret in Their Eyes moves to the larger screens. And, for the kids (and adults who love funny things), Looney Tunes on the big screen, Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am.

  • The one-week warning at the Kendall is for Survival of the Dead, George Romero's latest zombie picture. They're also opening The City of Your Final Destination, and keeping OSS 117: Lost in Rio around for a couple shows a day (you've still got a chance to go for free Monday-Thursday; see this post for details).

  • The multiplexes offer Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The latter asks the question of why American actors playing ancient Persians choose to affect British accents; the former "why, just why?"

    I kid; I haven't been closer to the source material of either than watching my brother play the video game (though what possessed him to buy a Sex & the City game is beyond me), so for all I know, both are awesome. Prince of Persia looks like it could be kind of fun, but, geez, look what's at the Brattle!

  • Holy crap, they're changing movies at Stuart Street! You've got another chance to see No One Knows About Persian Cats! And Babies. A weird double feature, but to be honest, a Babies chaser after the end of Persian Cats might not be a bad idea.

  • The Harvard Film Archive is back to showing John Ford movies - "Late Ford" on Friday, "Ford at War" Saturday to Monday; co-star Donna Reed's daughter introduces They Were Expendable on Sunday. The MFA counters with Sidney Lumet.

This Week In Tickets!

Another quiet week, where I actually got a chance to write up everything I saw. Granted, the Shrek Forever After post is much more about the new screen that AMC has installed in the #2 auditorium of their Boston Common location, and that I use the "LieMax" term in there probably gives some indication where I come down on that.

I thought of a couple of things while writing that piece that didn't make it in, because they're kind of stretching the point. One, I really should actually follow through on the "Boston Theater Guide" article for EFC that I was planning to do a few years ago. The price comparison at the end helped to hammer home just how screwy movie theater pricing is becoming. Boston Common now has three different pricing tiers based on medium (35mm/DLP, RealD, LieMax), three based on age (kid, adult, senior), and three based on time of day ("AM Cinema", noon-four, evening), for a potential total of twenty-seven different price points for a movie like Shrek Forever After. That's crazy, especially for films that attract families. I'm imagining groups including kids, parents, and grandparents half-paralyzed trying to figure out how much seeing Toy Story 3 will cost, and should they see the show now or wait fifteen minutes for the cheaper/cooler one. I also strongly suspect that few people know just what kind of great bargains you can find at the Somerville and Arlington Capitol.

Soon after writing it, my SXSW roomie Jason Whyte sent me a link to another moviegoing blog - 100 Movies 100 Theaters whose mission statement is right there in the title - attempting to see 100 movies at 100 different theaters during 2010. Naturally, my first impulse was to say "hey, this guy's documenting his moviegoing with images of tickets, that's MY schtick!", even though I stole the device shamelessly. But my second was to marvel that it might be possible for him to do so - apparently he counted 113 venues in the SF Bay Area. Boston may have that, if you count all the libraries and college classrooms that show up on the @BostonFreeFilms twitter feed. Throwing my address into Google Movies only shows 18 for today; the Flixter app on my droid shows 44 within 20 miles. The two cities are roughly the same size, but Boston seems to be sadly underscreened, or more of our screens are concentrated into the downtown AMC and Regal theaters. Even last year, where I saw movies in four metro areas that I remember (Boston, Montreal, Austin, and New York City), I probably didn't get close to 100 different theaters, maybe not even 100 different screens.

I'll have to run some math on last year's TWIT posts and do a "making lists is stupid post" sometime. Although if I'm bored enough to do it in the next week, I'm doing vacation wrong.

BluebeardNo One Knows About Persian CatsOSS 117: Lost in RioShrek Forever After

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