Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 31 August 2011 - 8 September 2011

One movie opens on Wednesday this week, but it opens all over the place, so we might as well get a jump on planning the movie-seeing weekend:

  • That one movie is The Debt, a thriller about a group of young Israelis sent into East Germany in 1966 to capture a fugitive war criminal who still have reason to be haunted by it forty years later. The elder versions of the characters are played by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, and Ciarin Hinds; the younger ones by Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, and Marton Csokas, with John Madden directing from a script by Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman (adapting a previous Israeli picture). It looks pretty good and is playing in both boutique houses like Kendall Square and Coolidge Corner and the downtown theaters in Boston Common and Fenway.

  • Horror is the order of the day for the other mainstream openings (Labor Day is apparently not a big-deal holiday weekend): Shark Night is taking a lot of hits for not going for an R rating (leading to comments that it should be advertised as "Shark Night PG-13" rather than "Shark Night 3D"), but I'm holding out a little hope; it features Sara Paxton (whom I loved in The Innkeepers, and it almost has to make better use of underwater 3D than Piranha 3D did, right? There's also Apollo 18, which takes found-footage horror to a new place - the moon. It's the movie that I always hoped that the Transformers 3 previews were for; hopefully it's good.

    With a few other screens to fill, Boston Common picks up another couple of smaller pictures: Senna has already been running for a week at Kendall Square, but this documentary on the beloved F1 racer may pick up a different audience downtown. They also have A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy, an R-rated comedy about a group of friends who get together and quite likely find that free love isn't quite as easy as it sounds. Still, it's got some people I like (Leslie Bib, Angela Sarafyan, Tyler Labine)

  • A few new movies open at Kendall Square, as well. I saw The Whistleblower at IFFBoston; it's a decent enough "inspired by true events" story with Rachel Weisz as a woman who exposes UN defense contractors' complicity in the sex trade in Eastern Europe. From France comes The Hedgehog, in which an eleven-year-old girl is already so jaded that she makes plans to kill herself on her twelfth birthday, but a few oddball neighbors will likely clear that right up. And the one-week booking is Magic Trip ("Ken Kesey's Search For a Kool Place"), a documentary put together from footage Kesey took during his apparently-famous cross-country road trip in 1964. Apparently hippies are interesting!

  • After finishing its summer vertical schedule up (Cave of Forgotten Dreams tonight; 8 1/2 Thursday), the Brattle returns to consecutive day blocks. First up, from Friday (the 2nd) to Monday (the 5th), is the area premiere of The Myth of the American Sleepover, and ensemble picture about kids crossing paths on a late August night - some starting high school, others starting college, etc. It's apparently better than most, and a high-profile festival favorite. Note that its last show of the day is at 7:30pm; the 9:30 show is Brian De Palma's Scarface.

    The next couple of midweeks, meanwhile, will be given over to The Neurotic Genius of Woody Allen; this week it's three thematic double features. Tuesday (the 6th) brings New York-oriented romances with Diane Keaton Manhattan & Annie Hall; Wednesday (the 7th) is oddball genre spoofs Love and Death and The Sleeper; Thursday (the 8th) is when Woody started getting a little more serious, with Crimes and Misdemeanors and Hannah and Her Sisters.

  • As of right now, the Coolidge Corner Theatre's site isn't updated with weekend shows, but Google shows them keeping Midnight in Paris, Sarah's Key, and Sholem Aleichem alongside The Debt. The special screenings are midnights of Fast Times at Ridgemont High Friday/Saturday and Office Space Monday at 8pm.

  • Over at Fresh Pond, the big Bollywood premiere is Bodyguard, an action/comedy/romance/probably-musical starring Salman Khan as the title character who cramps the style of college student Kareena Kapoor. We all know where this will lead, but supposedly the action is very impressive. The iMovie Cafe website shows another English-subtitled film opening on Friday (The Girl in Yellow Boots), but no times, so it may not actually arrive for another week, if at all.

  • There's an odd hodgepodge of films playing the MFA this coming week-plus. Thursday wraps up the run of El Buli: Cooking in Progress, in between two showings of Rebirth (which finishes its run on Friday the 2nd, as does the restored print of Black Narcissus). Friday and Saturday each have single screenings of The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan, a documentary centering on an American soldier who allegedly went AWOL and was killed by the Khmer Rouge on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia in 1966 - but who may have turned up alive 40 years later.

    Also on Saturday, the museum starts another film series, selections from Montreal's International Festival of Films on Art. It runs through the 15th (with no screenings on Mondays and Tuesdays); this week's selections are Comic Books Go to War, T.S. Eliot, Antwerp Central Station, Patrice Chereau: Body of Work, and The Reach of Resonance.

  • The Harvard Film Archive is spotlighting American Punk over the next couple weekends. Friday night is Times Square and D.O.A.: A Right of Passage; Saturday is The Decline of Western Civilization and The Return of the Living Dead; Sunday is Suburbia (after a second screening of Decline); and Monday is Bruce LaBruce's No Skin Off My Ass. Before those (on Thursday, 1 September) is a rescheduled screening of Cristi Puiu's Aurora, after Irene wiped out the scheduled one.

  • The Regent Theatre in Arlington has Yogawoman, a documentary on female yoga teachers, booked on Thrusday the 8th at 7pm. $20 seems a bit pricy, but if it's a subject you're interested in, it's not like it's showing elsewhere.

  • And, finally, if you missed some movie this summer, there's a little second-run action happening: The Arlington Capitol will have Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3D starting on Friday, when Boston Common also brings back Cars 2 (digital 3D) and Kung Fu Panda 2 (pseudo-IMAX 3D) for matinees and Bad Teacher for 10:20pm shows.

My plans? Well, there's baseball on Thursday and Sunday, but around those games I'll probably try and fit Shark Night, A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy, and maybe some Woody Allen in. I'm also tempted to give Cave of Forgotten Dreams a second look, as "following Werner Herzog into placed normal people don't get to go" is one of the great justifications for 3D, and I suspect it won't be quite the same seen flat.

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