Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This Week In Tickets: 3 May 2010 to 9 May 2010

Just out of curiosity, does anybody else read these previews or is it just me figuratively thinking out loud about what I'd like to see this weekend?

* The scheduled one-weeker at Kendall Square is Nobody Knows About Persian Cats; other new films opening there are Mother and Child and The Good Heart, but who knows which ones will actually last a week and which ones will stick around?

* Wide openings are Robin Hood, Letters to Juliet, and Just Wright. I honestly didn't know about the existence of Just Wright until I passed a standee while walking into Iron Man 2 last week, and while there's a good chance I'll find it insipid, how come I haven't been bombarded with trailers for it like I have for Letters to Juliet? There's something really wrong about how segregated films with primary white and primarily African-American cast can be.

As for Robin Hood... Eh. Somehow I've avoided seeing any previews for it other than what's popped up on TV, and neither Russell Crowe or Ridley Scott is enough to really excite me about a movie these days.

* The Brattle opens Catherine Breillat's new film, Bluebeard, an adaptation of the famous fairy tale that looks genuinely screwy. Much of Breillat's work has been stuff where I've been turned off right by the description, but this looks fairly entertaining.

* Also continuing at the Brattle and MFA, The Boston LGBT Film Festival.

* Harvard Film Archive kicks off a couple weeks of films by João César Monteiro, a Portuguese auteur.

* For those who like inexpensive but interesting films, the Coolidge has Hilde Sunday at 11am as part of a series of recent German cinema with Goethe-Institut for $5. It's a biography of the mid-century German actress Hildegard Knef. They've also got Rebel Without a Cause on the big screen on Monday, and midnights of Human Centipede and Lost Skeleton of Cadavra over the weekend (don't go see Lost Skeleton; you'll only encourage director Larry Blamire and he needs to stop). Please Give and Babies continue on film with The Secret in Their Eyes and The Square in the video room.

This Week In Tickets!

Stubless: Iron Man 2 (4 May 2010, AMC Boston Common #14, 7pm)

I didn't originally plan on going to two Red Sox games this past week; the Monday night game was one of the ones I bought when tickets went on during the offseason; the Wednesday one I picked up practically as a reflex action when I heard that they'd be honoring Nomar Garciaparra before the game, it being 5/5 and all. Seriously, I saw that on Twitter, and then within moments and without really thinking about it, I was on the Sox website and clicking "best available". That turned out to be very good indeed, yet another example of how you can get really good seats when you only want one

To top it all off, they turned out to be great games. I won't lie, I was feeling kind of discouraged filing in; the Sox had just been swept by the lowly Orioles and it looked like things were never going to turn around. The first one was just a brutal butt-kicking of the Angels, one which was even more lopsided than the score made it look because Scott Shoenweiss gave up a bunch of runs pitching garbage time in the ninth. Wednesday was pretty good, too; not only were there all the pregame ceremonies with Nomar and friends (check out some pictures), but it was John Lackey's first game against his old team. It was another solid game on the way to a four-game sweep, making me feel much better about the team.

In between, there was a sneak preview of Iron Man 2, which I liked a great deal, and had fun attending. The pre-show of snarking on people trying to cut in line was worth the time by itself.

Then the weekend came, and it was too dreary and chilly to actually go out much, so I occupied myself with stuff around the house, and watching the Sox-Yankees series. That chased some of the goodwill generated by the Angels sweep away, although it ended on a good note.

Oh, and here's the updated IFFBoston 2010 index:

21 April 2010: The Extra Man
22 April 2010: Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam, Cracks
23 April 2010: Winter's Bone, Down Terrace, Machotaildrop
24 April 2010: Pelada, War Don Don, The Freebie, I Am Love, The Good, The Bad, the Weird
25 April 2010: The Parking Lot Movie, NY Export: Opus Jazz, Hipsters, The Killer Inside Me
26 April 2010: Tiny Furniture, Shorts 3: Animation
27 April 2010: Marwencol, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
28 April 2010: Micmacs

I think next week will be the last time we have to revisit this.

The Square

* * * (out of four)
Seen 6 May 2010 at Coolidge Corner #2 (first-ish run)

The Square is a quality thriller. It does a fine job of continuing to pile pressure onto its main characters, putting them in a box that is smaller and tighter and harder to escape. What really makes it work, though, is the way it continually compromises main character Raymond Yale (David Roberts). He starts out likable enough, even if he is stepping out on his wife, but every step of the plan he and girlfriend Carla (Claire van der Boom) hatch drags him further and further down, until whether he or her sketchy husband Smitty (Anthony Hayes) is the better man becomes a good question. It's good old-fashioned pulp that way, although transplanted to the Australian suburbs. Even as he sinks further and further down, Raymond does things that suggest he may still be salvageable, and van der Boom plays Carla as a sort of fille-voisin fatale, hatching dangerous schemes that she pulls Raymond into, but still sympathetic.

It's clever in spots, too - I love how director Nash Edgerton puts plenty of square shapes in the frame early on, so that the audience wonders if this bit is crucial. The scenes with Raymond's and Carla's dogs are bring smiles without being too cutesy, although the way the last one ends is random, although I guess that randomness winds up a pretty good parallel for how the movie finishes. I really like the twist the movie takes just before that, though, a darkly comic misunderstanding that ties things together.

In the "funny-only-to-me" category, I laughed when the name "David Roberts" flashed on-screen. Like many Red Sox fans (and fans of baseball in general), I'd been receiving tweets all week about how 2004 ALCS hero Dave Roberts (now working for the Padres front office) had been diagnosed with lymphoma, wishing him good luck and a speedy recovery. Each one of them freaked me out a little, as I've got a cousin by the name of David Roberts who is getting married at the end of the month, and because of the need to get travel arrangements and such in order, that was what I first thought every time I saw the name.

Anyway, I'm not complaining about sharing a name with a fictional character again)

(Aside - that R4 cover is way cooler than the poster image we've been seeing in the U.S.)

Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, The Bad, The Weird)

* * * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 9 May 2010 at Landmark Kendall Square #9 (first-run)

Tonight (13 May 2010) is this film's last night in Boston (barring a move to one of the FEI theaters), and anyone who can get to it should. I loved it when I saw it at, and a second viewing didn't disappoint. It, perhaps, wasn't quite so excitingly new and unexpected as it was two weeks earlier, but there were bits that didn't stick in my head during the late-night show that I liked, and stuff that had a new meaning the second time through.

The action still rocked, of course, even on screen #9 at Kendall. I can't wait for this to hit Blu-ray.

Sox destroy AngelsNomar Day!The SquareThe Good, The Bad,The Weird

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