Friday, December 17, 2010

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 17 December - 21 December

With Christmas just a week away, I not only need to get serious about my shopping, but the studios are starting to put their vacation movies out, both the fluffy stuff and the awards contenders. It's a lot of fun, but just like vacations, it turns out that dates, locations, and prices need a little research - some movies are being shown in a bunch of different formats, others may have started in just one place but are moving around.

And while making holiday plans, don't forget the actual holiday-themed activities at many theaters - many not saccharine at all, but in fact a lot of fun.

(Also: "Next Week in Tickets" will show up on Wednesday next week, so consider these bookings only good through Tuesday)

Opening wider and moving around
  • Black Swan remains at the Coolidge, Boston Common, and Kendall Square theaters, but also gets a screen at Regal's Fenway theater.

  • The Fighter, exclusively at Boston Common last week, also opens up at Fenway and AMC's Harvard Square theater.

  • I Love You Phillip Morris sticks around Kendall Square and Boston Common (though it's now sharing a screen with another movie there), and also opens at the Coolidge.

  • The Coolidge also puts the pretty terrific Marwencol in its main digital room; it is no longer playing at Kendall Square.

  • Stuart Street lets you do a "good recent movies set in Boston" double feature with The Social Network and The Town; Belmont's Studio Cinema pairs The Town with Unstoppable (note that neither are actual double features; those are just the movies splitting a single screen

Let's go to the grid
  • Apparently, that can serve as a bit of a pun for Tron Legacy; I can't say how good/bad a pun it is, because I was in elementary school the last time I saw Tron and Disney actually appears to be hiding the movie which spawned its enormous sequel - no Blu-ray, the DVD is out of production, theaters apparently can't even book prints. Hopefully it's a case of "the new one is going to be so incredible we don't want the old one's cutting-edge-for-1982 effects to give people the wrong idea" rather than "if people knew what we'd bet Christmas on, they'd think we're nuts". Whatever it is, the previews make it look like it will look and sound incredible, and since "look and sound incredible" can cost extra these days, it's worth taking a hard look at where it's playing, in what formats, and what the premiums are:

    ScreenPrice (before noon)Price (afternoon)Price (evening)
    Somerville Theatre, 35mm (one screen)N/A(Mon-Fri) $5.00$8.00
    (Sat-Sun) $7.00
    Arlington Capitol, Digital 3-D (two screens)N/A(Mon-Fri) $9.00$11.50
    (Sat-Sun) $10.00
    AMC Harvard Square, digital 3-D (two screens)$9.00$11.00$13.00
    AMC Boston Common, digital 3-D (one screen)$10.00$13.50$15.50
    AMC Boston Common, IMAX Digital 3-D (one screen)$12.00$15.50$17.50
    Regal Fenway, digital 3-D (one screen)N/A$13.00$15.50
    Regal Fenway, RPX 3-D (one screen)N/A$16.00$16.00
    Jordan's Furniture Reading, IMAX 3-D (one screen)$11.50$11.50$11.50

    All prices for adult; knock a buck or two off for kids. It looks like Somerville is the only place to go if you can't take 3-D; the upside is, it's also the least expensive. In relative terms, the RPX screen doesn't look like a terrible deal here; at night, it's actually only a fifty-cent upsell on the standard screen, and it is definitely worth that.

  • There aren't quite so many options for Yogi Bear, whose kind-of-amusing trailer makes me wonder why it's been the subject of so much on-line hate. The marketing has either been clever or inept, depending on whether you think Warner was involved with the "Alternate Ending" or whether "good things come in bears" was deliberate innuendo or not. I may check it out, and kids may like it (assuming they've already seen Tangled; if not, bring them to that!). As it's in 3-D in some places but not others, it gets a chart, too:

    ScreenPrice (before noon)Price (afternoon)Price (evening)
    Entertainment Cinemas Fresh Pond, 35mm (one screen)N/A$6.75$9.25
    Entertainment Cinemas Fresh Pond, Digital 3-D (one screen)N/A$9.00$12.00
    AMC Boston Common, digital 3-D (one screen)$10.00$13.50$15.50
    Regal Fenway, digital 3-D (one screen)N/A$13.00$15.50

    Again, just one choice for seeing the movie in 35mm if 3-D gives you problems. A shame it's at Fresh Pond; though Entertainment Cinemas runs it fairly well, with pretty good prices, the actual configuration of the screens is often not good - there are a few long, skinny rooms with center aisles and the screens too high on the wall. I suspect that the 3-D rooms are the best-configured ones, though.

  • The other big openings don't have so many arcane options as to need a grid, thankfully. James L. Brooks's latest, How Do You Know is getting tepid reviews, which is a real bummer, as Brooks with Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson should be a pretty good time. It opens at Boston Common, Fenway, Harvard Square, Somerville, and Arlington. On the other hand, The King's Speech is expected to be a big awards contender, especially for Colin Firth, as King George VI, who must battle a stammer and self-confidence issues on his unexpected ascension to the throne. It opens on two screens each at Boston Common and Kendall Square, and is expected to expand to at least the Coolidge on Christmas Day.

  • In addition to The King's Speech, Kendall Square also opens Julie Taymor's The Tempest. I saw a preview on Tuesday (review forthcoming), and I like it a lot. There's a fair amount of heart under Taymor's visual insanity. They also open Bhutto, a documentary about Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to lead a predominately-Muslim nation. As you might expect, she lived an eventful, controversial life. Director Duane Baughman will be at tonight's screenings (17 December 2010) in person to introduce the film and perhaps answer questions after.

Specials, holiday and otherwise
  • In addiction to opening I Love You Phillip Morris and Marwencol, the Coolidge Corner Theater gets into the holiday spirit with midnight showings of Gremlins tonight and tomorrow.

  • Not wanting the Coolidge to have all the off-beat Christmas fun, the Brattle is having non-quite-so-late Alt-Xmas shows at 9:30pm all weekend. Tonight, Jeunet & Cano's City of Lost Children plays; Saturday night is a Die Hard Double Feature (original at 9:30, Die Hard 2 at midnight); and on Sunday, The Hebrew Hammer closes things out. Those looking for a more traditional Christmas celebration can come to the Cambridge Chorus's "Open Sing" of Handel's Messiah, Sunday at 1:30pm.

    The main feature this week is Guy & Madeline on a Park Bench, which I saw a few weeks ago as part of the CineCaché series and... did not like. An ambitious project for a first-time filmmaker, to be sure - a musical shot on film in and around Boston - but it's kind of a mopey-postgrad movie. On the other hand, it does give the Brattle and excuse to run a matinee musical double-feature on Saturday, both featuring Louis Armstrong: Cabin in the Sky and High Society.

    Speaking of CineCaché, Monday night is the penultimate entry in this fall's series, and it features Paprika Steen in Applause. Critics and distributors are hoping to push Ms. Steen for Oscar consideration as Best Actress, and that alone makes it worth a look.

  • ArtsEmerson is also into the Christmas spirit this weekend, with Preston Sturges's Christmas in July playing Friday and Saturday night. It alternates screenings with Douglas Sirk's All that Heaven Allows, which also plays Sunday night. Saturday afternoon's kid-friendly program is "Totally Tall Tales", an international collection of short films curated by the Children's Film Festival Seattle

  • The Harvard Film Archive has one more week of films from Weimar Germany, with silents at 7pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and controversial (for the early 1930s) talkies at 9pm on Friday and Saturday. Note that there's a schedule change from the printed program, with The Street showing Saturday at 7pm instead of New Year's Eve

  • The bulk of the program at the MFA is Isabelle Huppert and Great Directors; many films in this will be wroth a look, because she has worked with some fantastic directors - there's Godard, Chabrol, and Haneke on tap, and Huppert is frequently mesmerizing. They kind of crowd the other program, The Films of Lou Ye, out - there's Spring Fever showing this afternoon and Suzhou River showing Saturday morning - which is a shame, because I remember loving Purple Butterfly and wish I had time to see more of these.

My plans for the weekend? Well, Christmas shopping, mainly - I've done close to nothing except for the perennials (family members know what those are), so I figure to be hitting Games People Play, Stellabella, and other local shops pretty hard. Around that, I want to see the Brattle's Christmas movies (I'm not sure, but I may have never seen Die Hard on film) and some of the HFA's silents. If I can get the shopping done, I'll probably head north a bit for cheap flicks at Arlington and Fresh Pond, checking out The Social Network, How Do You Know, and (perhaps!) Yogi Bear.

Monday, I'll be at Applause or I will never, ever, hear the end of it from Chlotrudis's Michael Colford. I'm using a floating holiday Tuesday because I need to by the end of the year, so Crossword Puzzle Day will be celebrated by heading to the Furniture store to see Tron.

1 comment:

Charaze said...

I will definitely watch Unstoppable when it comes to our theaters in our country. :D I love the trailer, but I'm not gonna set my expectations high.