Friday, March 11, 2011

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 11 March 2011 - 17 March 2011

Last week was fun at the movies! This week can be fun, too, if only because so many of the same movies from last week are still playing!

  • I kid, a little. It's a good week at the multiplex if you like fantasies of various stripes. Battle: Los Angeles looks like it could be a sci-fi action movie with all the obligatory set-up and predictable story arc bits that such things usually stumble over cut out, just skipping straight to the action. Granted, if its alien-invasion scenario were a little more well thought-out, this might be a very short movie as any alien force capable of crossing the stars to attack the Earth would obliterate us from orbit instead of jumping straight to a ground war, but, hey, that wouldn't be quite so much fun.

    There's also no intelligent life on Mars, but I suspect that's not very important for Mars Needs Moms. It looks like it could be a fair amount of fun, though, and as a fan of Bloom County, anything that gets Berke Breathed paid is okay by me. It's one of those motion-captured animated films build for 3D, and is also moving into the IMAX screens at Jordan's.

    And, finally, there's Red Riding Hood. Honestly, I don't have much trouble with the basic idea behind this, but the execution just looks... not very good. And, geez, what is it going to take for Amanda Seyfried to show up in something I want to see again?

  • One thing that I am looking forward to seeing is Elektra Luxx, which opens at Landmark Kendall Square. I enjoyed the heck out of Women In Trouble, the previous film with the title character - a porn star who has to rearrange her life after becoming pregnant - when I saw it at SXSW two years ago, so I'm happy to see the follow-up. The first is streaming on Amazon and Netflix right now if you want to check it out before seeing Elektra Luxx, but by all appearances it should stand alone pretty well. It's got a great cast, and anything that gives us Carla Gugino in a lead role is OK with me.

    Also opening at the Kendall is Heartbeats, the second film from French-Canadian writer/director/actor Xavier Dolan. I didn't love his first, I Killed My Mother, quite so much as some friends did, but he's got some talent and he's ridiculously young (he turns 22 in a week or so), so even if this is only decent, it will make me feel like I've done very little with my life. It's the movie officially tagged "One Week Only!" at Kendall Square this week, although I wouldn't assume Elektra Luxx or last week's held-over one-week booking, Poetry, are in for a longer haul.

  • The same goes for The Last Lions, which opens on the big screen at the Coolidge theater after having been at the Kendall for a week already. It's majestic and beautiful jungle cats, narrated by Jeremy Irons, and maybe a bit more pointed than the upcoming Disney doc on the same subject. Jane Eyre is on the schedule for next week, and there are some special engagements using the big screen on Monday and Thursday, so see it while you can. Also opening this week (in the video rooms) is Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune, a documentary on the passionate but troubled musician.

    The Monday special is Breakfast at Tiffany's, which absolutely earns its designation as a "Big Screen Classic". There will be a Holly Golightly costume contest before the screening. Thursday's special is a live broadcast of Frankenstein as directed by Danny Boyle. It's sadly sold out, although it's worth following @coolidgecorner to see if any more tickets will become available. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the Creature and Jonny Lee Miller plays the monster, although the roles will be switched when they do this again on April 4th.

    The midnight movie this weekend is Gone with the Pope, in which a gangster plots to kidnap the pope and ransom him for "a dollar from every Catholic in the world". Goofy premise, and the execution should be interesting, as it was shot in 1975 but apparently didn't finish post-production until last year (15 years after Bob Murawski started trying to put the pieces together). The monthly screening of The Room is at midnight on Friday (isn't it usually Saturday). There's also a Talk Cinema screening of Win Win on Sunday morning at 10am, and early birds can also bring their kids to 10:30am screenings of Looney Tunes on both Saturday and Sunday.

  • There are a number of live events at the Brattle this weekend - a conversation about "Death and the Powers" Friday evening, the Women in Comedy Festival on Saturday, and a premiere screening of FIddles, Fiddlers, and a Fiddlemaker: Childsplay Live, a concert documentary about a group that plays violins by the same instrument builder (Bob Childs, hence the name). There will be a reception afterward. Tuesday night, three may or may not be guests for the DocYard presentation of David Wants to Fly, in which a German director comes to America to meet David Lynch and learn about Transcendental Meditation.

    Around those, the Mental Machines series finishes up over the weekend, with a screening of the 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries on Friday night and Steven Spielberg's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence on Sunday (note: Minority Report has been canceled due to a distribution issue). I'm particularly excited to see A.I. on-screen again, as I tend to feel it got a bum rap because the real and excellent Spielberg movie couldn't possibly compete with the imaginary Kubrick movie it was constantly compared to.

    On Wednesday, the Brattle starts their next repatory series - Belle Toujours: The Films of Caterine Denueve with a double feature of The Last Metro and Mississippi Mermaid. It continues Thursday with Le Sauvage, and then through the next week.

  • Over at Fresh Pond, the Hindi movie of the week is Tanu Weds Manu, which looks like a straight-up romantic comedy. Well, with songs, of course. This is India.

  • The Harvard Film Archive gives us The Murderous Art of Claude Chabrol. The late French filmmaker made entertaining "nouvelle vague" films in part because he never forgot that a murder mystery can be about anything. This tribute runs for the next three weekends; the first set features Les Bonnes Femmes and La Cérémonie (Friday the 11th), La Femme Infidèle and À Double Tour (Saturday the 12th), Les Cousins (Sunday the 13th), and Le Beau Serge (Monday the 14th).

  • ArtsEmerson pays tribute to another famed European filmmaker, Roberto Rossellini, this weekend at the Paramount Theater. Friday and Sunday night, they play Rome, Open City; Saturday night is Europe'51 (aka The Greatest Love), featuring Ingrid Bergman. The latter, according to ArtsEmerson's site, is not on video and seldom-seen; they will be running a rare 16mm print.

    The family program is 1979's The Black Stallion, playing Saturday afternoon.

  • Over at the MFA, the Jewishfilm.2011 series wraps up tonight (11 March) with Mahler on the Couch, a comedy inspired by the idea of the famed composer being driven to visit Sigmund Freud because of his wife's infidelity. Immediately after, they begin a series of New Films From Quebec.

  • The Somerville Theatre busts out an archival print of The Friends of Eddie Coyle for the weekend; this small-time crime picture by Peter Yates is widely considered one of the best movies ever made in Boston. It's only running through the weekend (127 Hours takes the screen back on Monday), and word is that the print is beautiful.

  • Somerville also picks up Blue Valentine, which had been playing at Stuart Street. Stuart Street, in turn, fills that vacated space with Inside Job

Plans? Most likely Battle: Los Angeles and Elektra Luxx, maybe saving Mars Needs Moms for some time on the way home from work. A.I. at least, and most likely Minority Report, even if I do have the Blu-ray on order (benefit of being an usher-level Brattle member: You've already spent the money, so why not check something out on the big screen even if you can watch it any time?). And, depending what fits, hopefully some Chabrol, or getting lucky with Frankenstein.

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