Thursday, July 07, 2011

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 8 July 2011 - 14 July 2011

Recent readers may forget this, but this regular feature (calling something that only appears on one's own blog a "column" would be the height of pretension, no?) was originally spun off from one called "This Week in Tickets", which I got sort-of caught up earlier this week. Read it, as I think I actually had a few good things to say within that beast.

But enough about the past, extending back to late April! What opens in Boston this weekend?

  • Basically, all comedy counter-programming at the multiplexes as nobody wants to put a big tentpole in between Transformers and Harry Potter. The R-rated option is Horrible Bosses, which looks like a comedy version of Strangers on the Train (an even broader one than Throw Momma from the Train), with some amusing sitcom guys plotting to kill their movie-star crazy bosses. Hey, the world's funniest man is in it, although since the IMDB credits are probably in order of appearance, he probably doesn't show up until almost the end.

    For the kids, there's Zookeeper, in which animals reveal they can talk to a schlubby zookeeper to try and help him connect with his girlfriend. I'm not saying it can't be good - I look at a cast list that includes Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, and Donnie Wahlberg and can't help but hope for the best - but when the trailer has to dig for the lame product-placement gags, that's not what you'd call a positive indicator. Considering how ubiquitous that sort of thing is, I strongly suspected that the Franklin Park Zoo logos we see in the trailer was just an attempt at localization, but it appears Boston's stuck with this one.

  • Those two get the mainstream multiplexes; two others open at the Kendall. Viva Riva! comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and from the trailer looks to be an energetic crime flick, Guy Ritchie by way of Africa. The one-week booking is Ahmed Ahmed's Just Like Us, a documentary that the Egyptian-American comedian made while touring the Middle East with other comedians from the region, attempting to break down barriers with their comedy.

  • One of the movies being displaced to make room for them is Trollhunter, which moves over to the screening room at the Coolidge to play late-night shows: 9:45pm all week, and 11:59 on Friday and Saturday. Indeed, midnights will be packed this weekend, with Jaws 3-D playing in the big house downstairs and Rolling Thunder in the slightly less big house upstairs. Jaws 3-D will be shown in three dimensions (probably anaglyph), and Rolling Thunder co-writer Heywood Gould will be on hand Friday night to introduce the film. Also opening up in the screening room (but not playing the late shows) is Page One: Inside The New York Times, which also continues in Kendall Square.

  • The Brattle starts the summer vertical calendar this week, although they're sort of easing into it. Friday through Sunday, they have a pair of special engagements: Afternoons and evenings, they will be playing a restored 35mm print of Luchino Visconti's The Leopard, much beloved in part for its sumptuous design and photography, with the restoration overseen by original director of photography Giuseppe Rotunno. The same days at 11pm, We Are the Night plays, following a cop as he tracks a group of female vampires though Berlin underworld. It's projected digitally, so sit a couple rows further back.

    The "Music for Movies: Bernard Herrmann Centennial" series starts Monday and Tuesday afternoons with screenings of the 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. Future weeks will have evening shows, but there's a number of other special shows this week: Monday night, the DocYard presents High Rise, in which the filmmakers interview nine residents of the high-rises in Brazil; director Gabriel Mascaro and producer Rachel Ellis will be answering questions via Skype. Tuesday's special screening is another documentary, Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion, which looks at the Tuaregs of the Sahara Desert and one of their most celebrated musicians, Omara Moctar. On Thursday, Bastille Day is celebrated with French classic The Rules of the Game.

    And, on Wednesday, they have their annual Trailer Treats party and fundraiser. Pay $12 ($10 for students, seniors, and Brattle members) and come at 8pm for the live music, cold beer, and trailers both great and terrible from the Brattle's extensive collection; and extra $8 gets you in at 6:30pm and barbecue from SoulFire BBQ (which is delicious).

  • The Somerville Theatre has all three of their programs running on the main screen this weekend. The midnight show on Friday and Saturday is The Goonies, with live comedy, music, and dance numbers on Saturday night. The Classic Film Series entry on Sunday (10 July) morning at 11am and Monday (11 July) evening at 5pm & 8pm is Singin' in the Rain, with two Technicolor short subjects. And, Sunday night, Jeff Rapsis returns to accompany Buster Keaton in Seven Chances, in which he plays a man who must marry or lose a large inheritance (it was remade as The Bachelor with Chris O'Donnell a few years back, but let's overlook that). Also playing are two Keaton shorts, "Neighbors" and "The Goat", and if last month's presentation of Our Hospitality is any guide, the print will be amazing and the music will be quite good as well.

  • Yellowbrickroad has its last show as part of the Night Terrors series at AMC Boston Common this Friday (8 July) at midnight, but its incoming replacement, Phase 7, is also worth a look - it's a nifty thriller set inside an Argentine apartment building as its inhabitants seal themselves away from a presumed outbreak. It opens on Wednesday (13 July) at 10pm, and will have the same Wednesday/Friday schedule for the next month.

  • If you're into Bollywood, the schedule at Fresh Pond stays more or less the same - Delhi Belly plays nights (8pm & 10pm) Friday through Monday and evenings (5:30pm & 7:45pm) Tuesday through Thursday; Buddha Hoga Tera Baap plays matinees (12:30pm, 3:00pm, and 5:30pm) through Monday and the extremes (3pm & 10pm) for the rest of the week.

  • The MFA is all about the Boston French Film Festival this week, to the point of showing films much later than usual on Friday and Saturday to fit them all in. No screenings Monday through Wednesday, but things pick back up on Thursday with three more films. Click the link to check out what's playing; I find myself most wishing I could catch A Cat in Paris, a gorgeous-looking animated film about a cat who lives a double life as a house pet and the companion to a rakish cat burglar.

Why am I missing them? Because this weekend I'll be going north to see my grandparents and nieces for real - hey, when you don't have a car, you rely on when it works for other people, and not making it last weekend had the great side effect of being able to head to New York for a weekend at the New York Asian Film Festival (first batch of reviews coming soon). Hitting 9 films at NYAFF means I'll be a little more ahead of the game when going to Montreal for Fantasia starting on Thursday; between what I've seen at NYAFF, BUFF, and elsewhere, this could be a fairly relaxed festival.

So while I may catch something Friday night - possible We Are the Night, I'll be elsewhere for the rest of the weekend, hopefully arriving back here in time to catch Seven Chances. Who knows what I'll have time for between then and Thursday, when (with any luck) I'll be catching Red State and Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.

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