Friday, February 24, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 24 February 2012 - 1 March 2012

Whoa... SF/37 over, no Japanese class this weekend... It feels like a strangely vast expanse of free time!

It ends with the Oscar telecast, and I wish I had thought of buying Statler and Waldorf puppets and setting up shop in one of the corners of the Brattle's balcony and heckling Billy Crystal all evening. However, they apparently don't make those things and I totally forgot about RSVPing. And, if you follow me on Twitter Sunday night, you will se that I probably am not nearly quick-witted enough to make it work.

  • If you want to do some last-minute catch-up for the smaller awards, the Coolidge is the place to go - not only do they still have the Animated and Live Action shorts programs playing in the GoldScreen, but they are also opening Bullhead in the screening room. It's nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, and while A Separation seems to be the prohibitive favorite, it's pretty darn good.

    Arietty and The Artist continue in the 35mm rooms, along with a few special engagements. The Toxic Avenger plays at midnight on Friday and Saturday; somehow, this gory Troma flick spawned a kids' cartoon back in the day. On the other side of the class-o-meter, they will be presenting a repatory series featuring Viggo Mortensen starting on Tuesday the 28th: It kicks off with A History of Violence that night, A Walk on the Moon on Wednesday the 29th, and The Road on Thursday, March 1st, continuing during next weekend with a Lord of the Rings marathon on the 4th and the award presentation on the 5th.

    If you'd like to see something cool and support Independent Film Festival Boston, they're presenting a live performance of The Tobolowsky Files, the popular spoken-word podcast of ubiquitous actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Well, I assume it's cool, considering that Tobolowsky is a scene-stealer who makes every movie or TV show he's in better.

  • Kendall Square also has the Oscar Shorts, but otherwise remain mostly the same, swapping Declaration of War out for Addiction Incorporated, a documentary on how tobacco companies knowingly made cigarettes more addictive.

  • The mainstream theaters are much busier. The most screens go to Act of Valor, a military thriller with the distinction of being cast with actual Navy SEALs. Likely not the strongest of plots, but might be interesting in a documentary fashion. It plays at Somerville, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, and Harvard Square. Other thrills come from Gone, in which Amanda Seyfried plays a woman who escapes from a serial killer, who comes back to finish the job but kidnaps her sister. It plays the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    On the lighter side, there's Wanderlust, in which down-on-their-luck married couple Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston get sidetracked into a hippie community on their way to move in with Rudd's brother. Director David Wain and his co-writer Dan Marino have done some great stuff, especially with Rudd. It plays Somerville, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway. There's also Tyler Perry's Good Deeds,, in which writer/director/star Perry plays a successful businessman discovering what he really wants in life. No Madea, apparently; it plays Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway.

  • The Brattle is all special events this week. They finish up the Bugs Bunny Film Festival with Friday and Saturday matinees of the "Looney Tunes Revue", with Battle Royale playing evenings. Sunday is the Oscar party, with a special fundraising gala at 5:30pm and the awards at 8pm - but if you're going, you've probably already RSVPed. Monday is a screening of Dirty Old Town presented by Karmaloop; it's about a New York storekeeper trying to keep his shop open. On Tuesday, Balagan presents "Highlights of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival" with Q&A from curator Calmin Borel. Wednesday is a special "Leap Day" double feature of two movies chosen by popular vote, Network and Empire Records. And Thursday is the local premiere of "unromantic comedy" Party Like It's a Verb, with cast and crew in attendance for Q&A afterward.

  • If you're not into the whole Oscars thing, the Harvard Film Archive is actually scheduling a screening opposite it, with a special guest no less. Whit Stillman will be there all weekend to introduce his films, including his new one, Damsels In Distress on Saturday. He'll also be presenting Metropolitan on Friday and The Last Days of Disco on Sunday, all at 7pm, with a Whit-less screening of Barcelona on Sunday at 5pm. After Mr. Stillman leaves, there will be a Monday evening screening of To the Starry Island to finish off the Park Kwang-su retrospective, and a free VES screening of Rear Window on Wednesday.

  • ArtsEmerson combines their Gotta Dance series with the anniversary of the original opening of their Paramount Theater on 25 February 1932 with Torch Singer (a Paramount musical from 1933; they did 1932 a year or two ago and intend to keep moving forward each year) and Moonlight and Pretzels, which is from Universal but not available on DVD. They're a double feature on Friday and Saturday, with Moonlight and Pretzels also having a matinee screening on Sunday. Saturday's matinee is, once again, a new print of Stand by Me.

  • The MFA continues a pair of series, with The Films of Dervis Zaim running through Sunday with scattered showings of Shadows and Faces, Dot, Waiting for Heaven, Mud, Elephants and Grass, and Somersault in a Coffin. The week's "Exiled in Hollywood" entry is Destination Tokyo, with Cary Grant and company on a secret WWII mission in Japanese waters.

    The February schedule ends on Wednesday the 29th with a preview screening of Free Men, a French film set in WWII about a black-marketer blackmailed into spying on a Paris mosque. Director Ismaƫl Ferroukhi will be present afterward for a Q&A. The March schedule starts the next day, with the first days of brief runs of both a new 35mm print of Michelangelo Antonioni's Red Desert and Paddy Considine's much-lauded Tyrannosaur.

  • The Bollywood opening at Fresh Pond is Jodi Breakers, a romantic comedy featuring Bipasha Basu and R. Madhavan as a pair who break engaged couples up for money. Looks like Heartbreaker, whose producers threatened legal action. Make sure to check times on iMovieCafe site if you go, as it's sharing its screen with unsubtitled Tamil and Telegu films.

  • In addition to the new films opening there, the Arlington Capitol gets a couple of second-run shows - Hugo re-opens in 3D and Chronicle moves over from Somerville.

My plans? Well, I'll try and hit the Whit Stillman shows, and maybe (finally) get to The Phantom Menaces, Arietty, and the Oscar-nominated shorts. And, of course, weak live-tweeting of the Oscars.

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