- The Cabin in the Woods finally emerges from distributor purgatory - it's been in the can for over two years, but first MGM was going to give it a 3-D conversion, then MGM didn't have the money to properly release it, and finally wound up selling it to Lions Gate, who didn't see the need to mess with it at all. It's the directorial debut of Drew Goddard, who wrote Cloverfield after a lot of TV (much done with co-writer Joss Whedon), and the teasers indicate that it's much more than the Evil Dead knock-off the title suggests. It's playing Somerville, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway.
The Three Stooges by the Farrelly brothers seems to have been in development forever, and I'm kind of shocked that it's actually been finished. The way I figure it, it's not a disgrace because the Stooges can't be reproduced, but because they were never that funny to begin with. It's at Somerville, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, and Harvard Square. There's also Lockout, a new Luc Besson-produced sci-fi/action/adventure that looks like the Escape from Earth movie John Carpenter wanted to make fifteen or so years ago. It has Guy Pearce trying to rescue the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) from a riot on a space prison. It plays Boston Common, Fenway, and Fresh Pond.
- Strangely, not a lot of multiple-screen action for those three movies, so the multiplexes need to fill out a few more screens. Fenway picks up The Raid, while Boston Common keeps it and Love in the Buff around. Boston Common also picks up the much-in-the-news Bully, the documentary on school bullying that got a lot of publicity for challenging the MPAA until they caved and bleeped a few naughty words to get a PG-13. It also plays at Kendall Square.
Two films open to capitalize on their co-stars' other projects. Detention features Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games, although it's really Shanley Caswell's movie, which I found to be a very fun teen comedy/horror/sci-fi mashup - even if it does use the year I graduated from high school as the time that seems unfathomably far in the past for its teen characters. Life Happens features Krysten Ritter (who just had a sitcom start this week) as a single mother trying to maintain her regular life after getting pregnant.
They've also got Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day, which appears to have nothing to do with Women Thou Art Loosed aside from being produced by the author of the book it was based on. This one has Blair Underwood and Sharon Leal as the parents of a kidnapped girl, and Pam Grier as the detective looking for her. There's also The Boston International Film Festival, not to be confused with the Boston Film Festival or Independent Film Festial Boston (that one's in two weeks), which has some interesting movies if you can sift through their terrible website.
- Getting back to Kendall Square, they're opening a couple I've already seen as well as one that really seems like it should be getting more attention. We Have a Pope (Habemus Papam) is an interesting idea - the selection process for a new pope and what happens if he has a crisis of confidence - that strings it out for too long. Hipsters, which played IFFBoston in 2010, is a bouncy, fun musical about kids in 1955 Moscow who have a taste for American rock & roll.
They also open The Lady, with Luc Besson directing Michelle Yeoh as Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her husband Michael Aris. That's a heck of a team, and something a little more substantial than the disposable action scripts and animated movies he's been doing for years. Hipsters is the only one specifically marked as a one-week booking, but I wouldn't expect the others to last either.
- The Coolidge gets Jiro Dreams of Sushi a week after the Kendall, mostly playing it in the large cinemas but with some screenings in the video rooms. The 11am screening on Friday the 13th is a "box office babies" screening, while the 7pm screening on Tuesday the 17th is an "Off the Couch" screening with post-film discussion led by members of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society.
They also open Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, a documentary on the San Diego Comic Convention, which has expanded beyond comics to become one of the largest pop-culture events in the world. It mostly plays in the video rooms but will be in the main theater for the 3pm show on Sunday so that director Morgan Spurlock can come in and do a Q&A afterward. And, also splitting time between screens is Goon, which plays at 10pm in the video rooms (and in one of the main cinemas on Friday at midnight, though the Saturday midnight show is in the screening room). It's about a brawler (Seann William Scott) who is signed as a hockey team's "enforcer" despite not being able to skate.
The other midnight screenings this week include Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood on both Friday (the 13th!) and Saturday, and a special screening of The Wizard of Oz in 35mm co-presented by the Boston LGBT Film Festival on Saturday night (there's a "Kids' Show" presentation on Saturday morning). The Goethe-Institut German film screening on Sunday is Hotel Lux, about a comedian who flees Germany when Hitler comes to power, only to wind up running into the arms of Josef Stalin. The Science on Screen show on Monday is 8 Mile, with Dr. Charles Limb discussing how the brains of rappers and jazz musicians work as they improvise.
- Those looking for more Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th can hit the Brattle earlier in the evening, as they kick off their Schlock Around the Clock weekend with a double feature of Jason Vorhees - part IV ("The Final Chapter") at 8pm and part VI ("Jason Lives") at 10pm. Team America: World Police plays at midnight. Saturday kicks off with a Godzilla double feature, before moving on to Trog, Schlock, Amazon Women on the Moon, and The Hidden; Sunday is all about Roger Corman with A Bucket of Blood, Death Race 2000, Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, and The Big Bird Cage. According the Brattle's website, only Trog is presented digitally; the rest are presumably 35mm.
They'll be closed to recover for a couple days later in the week, but there's still two more special screenings: Marathon Boy is the Monday DocYard screening, a Gemma Atwal film about a boy trained to be a distance runner from the age of four, and Thursday's Indie Game: The Movie is an IFFBoston presentation about videogame creators who work outside what has become a studio system as massive as Hollywood. Filmmakers will be on hand for Q&A and Adobe will be giving away prizes.
- ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theater is mostly given over to one movie this weekend, with The Dish and the Spoon playing Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. It features Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander as an American woman and a British teenager who meet in a nearly-abandoned seaside town. Director Alison Bagnall will be there in person on Friday evening to answer questions. On Saturday afternoon, they will be running an encore of Babes in Arms with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland for those who missed it last week.
- The MFA's film program spends much of the weekend wrapping up things that started earlier in the week - a few more screenings of Gerhard Richter Painting and the rest of the Hollywood Scriptures series - Viva Cuba, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Circumstance. They also preview the Roxbury International Film Festival (and tie in to the Boston Marathon) with The Athlete, which switches between archive footage and recreated scenes to tell the story of marathoner Abebe Bikila, the first black African to win Olympic Gold - who was later left unable to walk.
On Wednesday, they kick off Jewishfilm.2012 with Never Forget to Lie, with Joanna screening twice on Thursday. Thursday also has free screenings of SMFA Student Films and Animations.
- The Harvard Film Archive and the DocYard has Michael Glawogger in person to present his Globalization Trilogy, which will be running backwards - new entry Whore's Glory on Friday, Workingman's Death on Saturday, and Megacities on Sunday. There will be a different guest on Monday, with South African artist and animator William Kentridge presenting a selection of his animated films.
- There's a little second-run shuffling going on, as Friends with Kids and Mirror Mirror move from the Somerville Theatre to the Arlington Capitol, which also picks up A Separation as that leaves Kendall Square. Also note that The Artist will not run in Somerville on Saturday and Sunday to accomodate live shows (though it will still play in Arlington)
- As they do on school vacation week, the Regent Theatre in Arlington is running a sing-along movie from Monday through next Sunday; for April vacation, it's Grease
My plans? Good lord, I don't know. Probably Cabin in the Woods before spoilers get out of control, then try and see Life Happens (because I really like Krysten Ritter a lot) and The Lady while I can. Maybe catch Lockout while waiting for the streets to become passable post-baseball on Monday (tickets to two Red Sox games this week!). And, man, I'd like to see Detention or Hipsters again, but I don't know where I'll find the time.