Thursday, June 02, 2011

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 3 June 2011 - 9 June 2011

You know, I expect options to contract at the multiplexes during the summer as programmers with screens to burn try to schedule things so that their films with broad appeal are playing within a half hour or so no matter what time you get to the theater, and in many cases these days have them playing in multiple formats (not so much the case with this weekend's single big opener). When it happens at the indie theaters, though, that's pretty stifling.

  • If you've seen everything playing at the mainstream multiplex already, your new option there is X-Men: First Class. And, given a little thought, it doesn't seem like a bad option; Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created these characters in the 1960s with the Cold War, Atomic Age, and Civil Rights Movement as obvious inspirations, so the idea of doing a period piece that places them back in that period has a certain appeal. Matthew Vaughn directs, which is interesting because he was attached to X-Men 3 at one point but has done two other comic-book movies (I liked Stardust, didn't see Kick-Ass).

    X-Men is not actuallly the only new option at the megaplexes; the second entry in the Selects series, Yellowbrickroad, opened up Wednesday night, replacing Rammbock on the schedule. From the previews, it looks like it might be pretty good, and an easier sell: A small town in New Hampshire has vanished, and now some grad-student types are foolishly investigating why. Unlike Rammbock, it's in English and it's feature-length, and hopefully the projection won't be screwed up this time. Remember, while these movies run a month on the calendar, their showtimes are extremely limited: In Boston, Yellowbrickroad is only running at AMC Boston Common, and only on Wednesdays (10pm) and Fridays (11:59pm).

  • Now, as I said, you expect this sort of thing from the multiplexes, but I kind of have to scratch my head at the way Tree of Life is opening at Kendall Square, which is to say that it's occupying four screens. While they will be the only place to see Terrence Malick's new movie in the Boston area for a week or so, Malick can be sort of an acquired taste; are they really expecting to sell enough tickets and popcorn for this to be a good idea, especially when three screens are already dedicated to Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (minus a 1pm show for The Princess of Montepensier).

    That leaves barely enough screens to continue Incendies and open the picture tagged with the one-week warning, City of Life and Death. It's original name - Nanjing! Nanjing! - spells the subject out pretty clearly; it's a dramatization of 1937's Nanking Massacre (aka the Rape of Nanking), one of the most horrific incidents during the Sino-Japanese War.

  • Over at the Coolidge, Louder than a Bomb opens in the video rooms. Co-directed by the son of the late Gene Siskel, it's a documentary that follows four high-school poetry teams as they prepare and compete in the world's largest youth slam. It should be an interesting combination of youth interest, competition, and performance. The other co-director, Greg Jacobs, will be present for the Friday and Saturday shows - Q&A for the 7:10pm screenings, introduction only at 9:30pm.

    The one-offs this week start with The Burning, kicking off a month of midnight slasher movies with one of the genre's most notorious and well-regarded. It runs Friday (3 June) and Saturday (4 June) at 11:59pm. There are two other midnights this weekend; Friday night Impossibly Funky editor Mike White will introduce Black Shampoo, a truly bizarre-looking blaxploitation flick, while Saturday is the monthly screening of The Room. Tuesday night has a "Deaf and Hard of Hearing" screening of What's Bugging Seth, a comedy from a few years back about a deaf man who starts a pest-control business; presumably it will be captioned.

  • The Brattle continues with Amblin Adventures this week: A double feature of Jaws & Poltergeist on Friday, matinees of Young Sherlock Holmes on Saturday and Sunday, late-is-night showings of Gremlins on Monday (10pm) and Tuesday (9:30pm), and a double feature of The Goonies and E.T. on Wednesday. Oh, and during the weekend, there are triple features - all three Jurassic Park movies on Saturday (5pm), and all three Back to the Future movies on Sunday (4:45pm). $20 gets you into all three ($18 for students/seniors/kids/members).

    There are only late-night shows on Monday and Tuesday because of a couple special features; Monday is a special DocYard presentation of To Be Heard, a documentary about three South Bronx teenagers who try to change their life with poetry (and yes, it absolutely is weird that this plays Boston the same week as Louder than a Bomb). Directors Amy Sultan, Edwin Martinez, and Deborah Shaffer will be there in person, along with two of the subjects, Karina Sanchez and Pearl Quick. Tuesday night is another doc, Ingredients, this one about the local food movement. It will be followed by a panel discussion and proceeds benefit Farm Aid.

  • Hey, it's been a while since the last English-subtitled Bollywood film showed up at Fresh Pond, hasn't it? That changes this week, as Ready opens. In India, it's apparently the biggest opening every with huge advance bookings, and that seems to apply to its US release as well - it's the only film playing on the Indian screen at the theater all week. It looks like a pretty classic-style family-friendly Bollywood romantic comedy musical, with a boy (Salman Khan), a girl (Asin), romance, scheming uncles, big production numbers, you name it.

  • The subject of the retrospective won't be in town until next week, but the Harvard Film Archive kicks off The Radical Visions of Jerzy Skolimowski on Friday, with six films from the Polish New Wave director - three from the 1960s start of his career in Poland, two made elsewhere in Europe in the late 1960s and 1970s, and one from his recent return to filmmaking

  • Art on Film continues at the MFA this week, with more screenings of Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Secret Museums through Sunday the 5th; the weekend also includes Guest of Cindy Sherman. The series continues on Wednesday (the 8th) with Art Safari and The Woodmans starting scattered screenings, and First Face: The Buck Starts Here joining them on the 9th.

  • ArtsEmerson's screening program appears to be mostly dark this weekend (and through most of the summer), but heads up: Noir Nights, a very cool film noir program, starts Thursday (9 June) with two Robert Siodmak movies not available on DVD - Olivia de Haviland as twins in The Dark Mirror and Victor Mature & Robert Conte in Cry of the City. The series will continue through Sunday the 12th.

  • The Somerville Theater starts their summer midnights on Friday, with National Lampoon's Animal House playing at midnight the 3rd and 4th. It plays on their big screen in 35mm, and while general admission is $10, you can get in free with your ticket to The Hangover Part II from that day. On Sunday night, they start their silent film series with Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality (all three features on the schedule are Keaton, actually). $12 ($8 for seniors) gets you a seat and includes two short films featuring Keaton, 1920's "One Week" and "The Scarecrow", all in 35mm with Jeff Rapsis performing live accompaniment. Friday night is the last one booked for Inventory, a locally-produced but very uneven slacker comedy that has its moments,

My plans? I'm guessing X-Men on one end and film noir on the other, with Yellowbrickroad and City of Life and Death in between. I'd love to do the Back to the Future trilogy on Sunday, but I have baseball tickets in the afternoon and will likely hit up Our Hospitality in the evening (Keaton I haven't seen!). Jurassic Park? We'll see.

And, of course, all the usual "I'm going to see Bridesmaids and Incedines and Midnight in Paris this week! Honest!"

1 comment:

info said...

My favorite part of XMen First Class was the period piece aspect to it. It was definitely cool to see the characters on screen in the time frame in which they were imagined. Now for an early '60s spiderman and we'll be all set. for new book and video game release information