Thursday, October 21, 2010

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 22 October - 28 October

This upcoming weekend may be the dullest of the year - incredibly little turnover at the boutique houses and just a couple of major openings, both of which have caveats attached.

  • The big openers are Hereafter and Paranormal Activity 2. Hereafteris the least excited I've been for a Clint Eastwood film in a long time; the trailers make it look like the sort of squishy spirituality that angers up my blood. I'm hoping for better - great cast, Eastwood, written by Peter Morgan - but it's hard to get enthusiastic. I do feel a little more confident about Paranormal Activity 2, although let's be clear: Anyone shelling out extra money to see a film shot to look like consumer-quality digital video in the IMAX-branded theater deserves a slap.

    Occasionally, on a quiet week like this, the theaters sneak something unusual in, but there's not much of that going on. Showcase in Revere is opening a family drama, Like Dandelion Dust, that stars Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, and Kate Levering, has won awards at some festivals, but it's tough to tell whether its high score on IMDB is the result of genuine quality or friendly audiences. Festival crowds can be nice, especially for a film that seems as targeted to a Christian audience as this one is.

  • At the boutique theaters, there's even less turnover: Kendall Square swaps out last week's one-week film for a new one, Cell 211. That one, about a new guard who is mistaken for an inmate during a prison riot, looked darn good at IFFBoston this spring, and won a ton of Goyas besides. Otherwise, Kendall just simplifies screens, cutting multi-screen pics down to one and giving Never Let Me Go matinees again. The Coolidge sticks with last week's line-up, shifting some times around in the digital rooms and presenting the original Nightmare on Elm Street Friday and Saturday at midnight as part of their Wes Craven series.

  • Fresh Pond offers a couple screens worth of Indian cinema, with Endhiran splitting one screen with Ram Gopal Varma's new crime story, Rakht Charitra (which appears to be the first half of a two-parter); a romantic comedy about a suicidal girl, Jhootha Hi Sahi, opens on the other. I kind of liked RGV's last one, Rann, and from the description, I'm thinking I may have to retract my incredulity at its politicians that appeared to be gangsters, as the story of Paritala Ravi and his rival Suri certainly seems equal parts politics and crime.

  • Another piecemeal schedule at the Brattle: Friday and Saturday night, you can go to The Boston Bike Film Festival, a couple nights of short films about bicycling (the list of films is hidden on the site under "Venue". Saturday and Sunday afternoon, they finally get Twin Peaks out of its system, with the finale and Fire Walk With Me on tap at 8pm. At 5pm Sunday, film archivist Serge Bromberg is in town with his program Retour de Flamme, in which he presents early films with accompanying piano accompaniment. It looks nifty. Monday is the as-yet-unannounced latest entry in the CineCaché series (with Stone Heart Pizza Company selling slices). Tuesday through Thursday, they pay tribute to Tony Curtis with a double feature of two of his best, Sweet Smell of Success and Some Like It Hot

  • Emerson's screening room continues to have an interesting group of films. Agrarian Utopia is a mix of documentary and narrative film from Thailand playing Friday and Saturday night, and considering that even Thai horror movies tend to look gorgeous, this should be worth looking at. The same nights, though at flipped time slots, there's a restoration of a 1964 film, Dry Summer, which also focuses on agriculture and greed. The family-friendly film on Saturday afternoon is trippy 1973 animated French film Fantastic Planet, and Sunday night there is a program of Stan Brakhage shorts.

    They have some great stuff coming up for Halloween, too.

  • The Harvard Film Archive finishes up its Wang Bing series Friday, Sunday, and Monday; Saturday has another performance by Bruce McClure.

  • It's a quiet weekend at the MFA, as well - Friday and Saturday each have a screening Pianomania and Saturday also features In Search of Beethoven as part of "Music on Film"; Friday and Saturday feature Unzipped as part of "Fashion on Film" and Tuesday has an afternoon showing of The September Issue in the same series.

  • And, finally, though I mentioned it last week, Billy Joel & friends' concert film Last Play at Shea runs tonight (21 October) and Friday (22 October) at the Regent. They're also screening what looks like a found-footage-sci-fi-horror thing Saturday at 7pm, CO2, but the site says it's sold out. Thursday night is a documentary, The Eventful Life of Al Hawkes, about the Maine-based bluegrass pioneer. Filmmakers will be there to meet & greet.

Oh, and happy birthday to my brother Matt this Friday!

1 comment:

Helen said...

I don't think there should be a part 2 for Paranormal Activity. Everyone knows it's a fake! Then again, everybody loves a good scare, so, why not see it, right?

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