Thursday, October 28, 2010

Next Week in Tickets, Halloween Edition: Films playing Boston 29 October - 5 November

Halloween on Sunday! That means lots of spooky stuff at the smaller theaters, yet another Saw at the multiplexes, and me buying a whole bunch of Reese's Peanut Butter cups that I may or may not be around to give out when local kids come trick or treating that evening (along with comics and kid-friendly DVDs).

The point is, when I go to movies during the early part of November, I'll be bringing my own peanut butter cups to snack on. And if you know me and want some movies held back, let me know now.

  • We start, of course, with Evil Dead 2 at the Brattle, as it is what I like to call a Holiday Tradition. It plays Saturday and Sunday night as part of the Brattle's Sam Raimi: King of Cult weekend series, which also includes Drag Me to Hell and Darkman on Friday, the first two Spider-Man movies on Saturday, and, in a little Halloween change-up, matinees of his Western, The Quick and the Dead, on Sunday.

    A little earlier on Sunday, they'll be running "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" as part of the Harvard Square Trick or Treat festivities, free, with candy for the kids. Tuesday night, the rescheduled CineCaché program is Four Lions, the British terrorism comedy that also happens to be the first film picked up for distribution by the Alamo Drafthouse folks. Wednesday and Thursday will feature local premieres of local movies - Left on Pearl: Women Take Over 888 Memorial Drive and Keeping the Time: The LIfe, Music, and Photographs of Milt Hinton, respectively.

  • The Coolidge finishes off their Wes Craven midnight series with The Serpent and the Rainbow on Friday night, and then goes for an overnighter with a Halloween Horror Movie Marathon from midnight Saturday to noon on Sunday. Of the six movies, four are being kept secret, but two of them are House (freaky and strange even for Japan) and Re-Animator. Live music, burlesque, and psychic readings will fill out the rest of the time.

    In other, non-horror-related screenings, Monday night has Dirty Harry as part of "Science on Screen", with forensic scientist Amy Brodeur as a guest. Sunday to Thursday, they will be screening the complete, 5+ hour Carlos in the smaller digital rooms (a shorter version will play at the Museum of Fine Arts), and they are one of several places opening The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (see below).

  • Emerson has a great weekend lined up: Psycho plays Friday and Saturday, as does Make-Out with Violence, a film I loved at SXSW last year (even if I don't think I've ever quite made it through the soundtrack album I bought to support the filmmakers - it sounds much better in context!). The family-friendly film Saturday afternoon and Sunday night is Jim Henson's Labyrinth, which reminds you that Jennifer Connelly was always beautiful but the acting skill took a while to develop, but Jim Henson was always fantastic.

  • The Regent Theatre's Halloween matinee is Atomic Brain Invasion, a sci-fi horror film that was shot locally and looks to be pretty family-friendly. Perhaps more interesting is Thursday night's premiere, Beneath the Blue, with a Navy officer investigating a missing dolphin and falling for a young scientist.

  • The one-week warning at Kendall Square is on Kuroneko (Black Cat), a beloved Japanese horror story from 1968, presented here in a new 35mm print. Welcome to the Rileys, a movie I liked well enough at the Boston Film Festival, also opens, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest gets two screens.

  • The Somerville Theatre gets right to the point: John Carpenter's original Halloween, at 9pm, on Halloween.

  • There's a surprising amount of crossover between boutique houses and mainstream theaters this week. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest opens at the Coolidge, both Landmark theaters, and AMC Boston Common. Boston Common, in fact, is offering a triple feature of all three Millennium films on Friday and Saturday. At the very least, that's a chance to revisit the excellent The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on the big screen; the series loses steam as it goes, with The Girl Who Played with Fire being pretty good and the finale being a bit of a disappointment, but it starts well enough that it can fall a bit and still do okay.

    Boston Common will also be opening Feng Xiaogang's disaster drama, Aftershock, which portrays the aftermath of a major 1976 earthquake just three months after its premiere in China. Feng has a pretty good track record - Big Shot's Funeral, The Banquet (aka Legend of the Black Scorpion), and Assembly - and it was a pretty huge hit there, so I'm excited to see it. Though it played in IMAX in its native land, it's not large-format here (no, they're using that screen for Paranormal Activity 2), but I gather it's more a drama than action film anyway.

    Otherwise, the only mainstream film opening is Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. If you've been watching the Saw movies for the past six years, you'll probably want to see this year's model; if not, the traps are in 3-D but be warned that this is apparently not a start-from-zero franchise, but one whose story has grown more intricate with each new film.

  • As mentioned earlier, the shorter cut of Olivier Assayas's Carlos will play the MFA Friday evening and Saturday at noon; it's roughly half the length of the version showing at the Coolidge, running two hours and forty minutes. Starting Wednesday (3 November 2010), the MFA offers intermittent shows of Johnny Mad Dog, a French feature about African child soldiers, and Hyman Bloom: The Beauty of All Things, an hour-long look at the famed Boston Abstract Expressionist painter. Then, next Thursday (4 November 2010), the Boston Jewish Film Festival kicks off wtih My So-Called Enemy, Lisa Gossels's documentary about the difficult friendship between six Palestinian and Israeli women who meet as teens at a US program. Ms. Gossels will be there in person.

  • The Harvard Film Archive resumes its Robert Gardner retrospective, with the documentarian appearing in person Friday and Saturday night. The free Tuesday and Wednesday VES screenings are James Stewart in The Naked Spur and Gene Tierney as Laura.

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