Friday, April 27, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 27 April 2012 - 3 May 2012

If you're in the Boston area and like quality films, especially indie and documentary, you probably already know what you're doing all week. Heck, so does practically everybody but the big multiplexes, as they bend over backwards to stay out of the festival's way. I love this festival so much that I don't mind pushing stuff off, falling even further behind in Japanese class, and eating Monday's Red Sox ticket. I'll get crushed by all that later.

  • "This festival" is Independent Film Festival Boston 2012, which kicked off Wednesday night at the Somerville Theatre and uses all five screens there until Monday the 30th before moving to the Coolidge for the 1st and 2nd, with the Brattle joining the fun Friday the 27th through Sunday the 29th. I can vouch for Beyond the Black Rainbow and I Wish; I'm looking forward to BURN, Knuckleball!, 2 Days in New York, Headhunters, Keyhole, and Paul Williams: Still Alive, even though it's likely not actually possible to see them all.

  • I don't know if IFFBoston has caused a dip in the business of Kendall Square's new releases in the last few years, but they're standing pretty pat this week. The main new opener is Turn Me On, Dammit!, a Norwegian comedy-drama about a 15-year-old girl with a voracious sexual appetite. Likely a one-week booking, as is a re-release of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which promises both a digital restoration and twelve minutes of "lost" Terry Gilliam animation.

  • The theaters involved in IFFBoston go the previously-viewed route when they're not hosting as well, with The Coolidge giving a new print of The Graduate a four-day run from Friday to Monday and picking The Fairy up from Kendall Square (it plays in the wee GoldScreen room). The midnight screening on Friday and Saturday is A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, oddly enough presented by the Boston LBGT Film Festival (or maybe not so oddly; my knowledge of 1980s slashers is close to zero).

    That festival will take the Brattle over come next Friday, but the gap between the two fests will be bridged by John Carter in 2D on 35mm film, which was tough to come by in its release a couple months ago. A shame, because the 3D wasn't all that and film just looks better and this film deserved a better chance than it got.

  • The studios and chain multiplexes care not for our local film festival and open four movies this week. The surest bet is likely The Pirates! in An Adventure with Scientists... uh, that is, Band of Misfits in North America, because the presence of Charles Darwin will make parents think twice about bringing their kids to a movie about thieving, murderous outlaws. Name aside, it's from the brilliant folks at Aardman, so the stop-motion animation is built for 3D, and a great voice cast will have plenty of good material. In 3D at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Fenway, and Boston Common; the Capitol and Fresh Pond also have 2D shows.

    Vibes are also good for The Five Year Engagement, which re-unites Jason Segel with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall director and The Muppets co-writer Nicholas Stoller for a comedy about how his character's plans to marry Emily Blunt keep going awry. It plays the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, and Harvard Square.

    The other two don't inspire quite so much optimism. Safe has Jason Statham sporting an American accent as a former New York cop who has to protect a little girl with an eiditic memory from every low-life in the World It's Statham doing Statham-y things, and plays Fresh Pond, Fenway, and Boston Common. Those theaters also have The Raven, featuring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe in a story that posits a serial killer re-enacting his stories. Cusack seems to really be into it, but the reviews have been poisonous.

    In better news, Boston Common is keeping A Simple Life around another week for a full slate of screenings (see it, it's good). And most AMC theaters are building up to the release of The Avengers next week with a Marvel Movie Marathon on Thursday, with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America, finishing up with the new one at midnight.

  • ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theater also has a quiet weekend, settling for two screenings of Vincente Minnelli's The Band Wagon on Saturday the 28th (2pm, 7pm). This entry in the "Gotta Dance" series features Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse as an old-school hoofer and ballerina trying to succeed despite changing tastes.

  • The Harvard Film Archive also runs a reduced schedule; it's not open to the public on Friday or Saturday. The Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Cinema Novo and Beyond retrospective picks back up after that, with El Justicero and A Very Crazy Asylum on Sunday and the three-hour Memories of Prison on Monday. The series has one more weekend booked after this (with dos Santos appearing in person starting on May 4th).

  • Fresh Pond splits the Indian screen between two movies. You'll need to speak Telegu to know what's up in Dhamma, so good luck with that, most people reading this post. Tezz is in Hindi but has English subtitles, and co-stars Anil Kapoor (whom American audiences will recognize from Slumdog Millionaire, 24, and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) and Ajay Devgn and Kanguru Ranaut in what's described as a cat-and-mouse action thriller.

  • In part to accommodate IFFBoston, The Cabin in the Woods moves from the Somerville to the Arlington Capitol.

My plans? Living at IFFBoston, and most likely taking Thursday "off" to rest before a weekend of Bond, baseball, and The Avengers.

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