Thursday, January 06, 2011

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 7 January 2011 - 13 January 2011

Hollywood likes to get into the new year slowly. Expand some awards contenders (or would-be awards contenders) from their small New York/L.A. qualification runs, put out stuff that has been sitting on the shelf for the better part of a year, and maybe give something a quick re-release to re-establish its awards buzz while also pushing the imminent video release a bit. Next week, things start to move a little more, but for the most part, we're in the January/February doldrums.

  • It doesn't just seem like I've been seeing previews for Season of the Witch for a solid year; the first trailer appeared back in November 2009; I believe a March 2010 release was initially planned. This sort of delay can mean a lot of things, from a bad movie looking for a slow weekend to contract clauses related to Universal selling their Rogue label to Relativity Media, and I half-suspect Relativity is looking to get it out before Magnet's similarly-themed Black Death. Still, it's Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman in a Dark Ages action/adventure, and even in bad movies, Cage seldom turns in a boring performance.

    The other large opening is Country Strong, which apparently had a qualifying run last month. I don't know if that will get it much notice for things other than "original song" - the trailer makes it look like a pretty basic "musician with addiction problems" movie (I'm tempted to make that a genre tag) - but that's not nothing. I'm a little curious, because I like Gwynneth Paltrow (this may be an excellent reason to get to that DVD of Duets I bought because I like her and Huey Lewis but never watched), wonder if Garrett Hedlund can do better than Tron: Legacy with a director who specializes in dealing with actors, and have enough country music fans in my family to know that Tim McGraw is a big deal.


  • Some more typical expansion happens at Landmark Square. I half-wonder if Blue Valentine would have gotten the attention it did if not for the MPAA initially handing it an NC-17 rating for what is allegedly pretty mild material, even accounting for "Americans panic over sex but not violence". It wound up rated R on appeal, though, so now it's not only opening on a couple screens at Landmark, but two at Boston Common as well. It's a movie about a marriage in trouble with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, who are usually pretty good.

    The other opening at Landmark is Casino Jack, a biopic starring Kevin Spacey as a Washington lobbyist who was the feature of a similarly-titled documentary (Casino Jack and the United States of Money) just a few months earlier. It's also noteworthy for being the final film by George Hickenlooper, who died at the relatively young age of 47 back in October.


  • Hollywood may be serving leftovers, but the Bollywood film opening at Fresh Pond looks interesting: No One Killed Jessica is a crime story based upon an actual case that is apparently getting good notices pre-release. Director Raj Kumar Gupta's first movie was well-liked, and this certainly has the most interesting title of anything coming out this week.

    Another Hindi movie is scheduled to open on the 14th (with a Telegu release coming on the 12th), so this might be a one-week-and-done release or get consigned to spotty showtimes starting Wednesday. In related "foreign films arriving on U.S. shores quickly" news, If You Are the One 2 continues to do fairly well at Boston common; even with four screens worth of new movies coming in, it's hanging around for a third week, albeit only for early and late shows.


  • The Brattle splits their week down the middle. Friday through Monday they are presenting a new 35mm print of Todd Haynes's Poison for the film's 20th anniversary. It was also the film which closed out the fall CineCach√© series this Monday, and it's certainly an interesting one. It's worth seeing; though fairly draggy in the middle, it's an impressive early piece of work from a director determined to play with the medium as well as tell interesting stories.

    In contrast, the matinee on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is the last show of the 20th Century Fox series, Fantastic Mr. Fox. This bit of family-friendly stop-motion comedy is the best thing Wes Anderson has done in years (you may decide how much of a compliment that is on your own), with a cast that certainly merits the "fantastic" in the title.

    Tuesday through Thursday, in dual commemoration of the director's death and the film's 50th anniversary, the Brattle screens Breakfast At Tiffany's. Not that one needs any sort of excuse to play that movie, but it's as good a reason as any. More Blake Edwards fun can be had on Saturday at 11am, when the free Elements of Cinema show is Edwards's original The Pink Panther.


  • As mentioned last week, the MFA will be rotating Summer Wars, A Walk into the Sea, and Views on Vermeer for the next week. Friday night they add one other art-related documentary to the group, Typeface, about a midwestern print shop and museum dedicated to keeping traditional printing alive.


  • The Coolidge mostly shifts a few things around in their smallest theater (see below), but they start midnight screenings for the new year with Let Me In, the unfairly overlooked Hammer remake of Let the Right One In. I found it an interesting alternate take on the story, and I doubt that all of the people who ignored this fairly intelligent vampire story the first time around did it because they'd seen and loved the Swedish movie. Second chance, folks.


  • The second-run shuffle this week is mostly about The Social Network, which is getting a bit of a theatrical push even though the DVD & Blu-ray come out on Tuesday. In addition to getting a few more showtimes at the Somerville Theatre and Capitol Theater in Arlington (and hanging around at the Stuar Street Playhouse in Boston), it will also get a couple evening shows at the AMC theater in Harvard Square and a screen and the Landmark Embassy in Waltham.

    In addition to shuffling its other films around, Somerville is also picking up Inside Job on a full screen after that ends its run at Kendall Square tonight. The itty-bitty screen at the Coolidge splits White Material and Tiny Furniture.



The plans for the weekend will likely be snow-dependent here in Boston, but I'm going to make a genuine effort to see The Social Network before it hits video (I really mean it this time!), probably on a trip to Arlington that lets me hit No One Killed Jessica on the way back. Similarly, I'd like to get out to Coolidge Corner for The King's Speech, but I've been saying that for the better part of a month, too. Around that, I'm planning on a matinee of Season of the Witch and maybe hitting Breakfast at Tiffany's at some point.

1 comment:

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