- Maybe I'm wrong, and Prometheus isn't the big dog I see it as this week. Ridley Scott, prequel to Alien, spiffy cast, shot in native 3D... Even the folks who are disappointed seem to be saying it's pretty good. It plays at Jordan's in Reading, the Arlington Capitol, Harvard Square, Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including the Imax-branded screen), and Fenway (including the RPX screen), with all of them also having some 2D shows.
Subtract the furniture stores (and moving down to the "normal" screens rather than the premium ones), and that's where you'll find Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. I tend to think the series is one Sacha Baron Cohen-ectomy away from being pretty darn good, and this one could wind up pretty off-beat with Noah Baumbach co-writing (I don't much like a lot of his output, but he did work on Fantastic Mr. Fox).
Speaking of one of FMF, Boston Common also picks up a couple screens of director Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, which also continues at Kendall Square and the Coolidge. They also open up Double Trouble, an action-comedy starring Jaycee Chan and Xia Yu as a cop and a tourist running down a stolen painting. Yes, Jackie Chan's son. The poster actually has him second billed after one "Jessica C" (who is, admittedly, gorgeous) and Xia Yu nowhere in sight. Still, looks like a lot of fun.
- There's plenty of fun going on at the Brattle, although "fun" is probably not the first word that comes to mind when thinking of the weekend's main event, Children of Paradise. It's a classic French film of intertwined romances, restored and apparently playing at its original 190 minute length (albeit via digital projection).
It splits the screen from Friday to Sunday with Beyond the Black Rainbow, a trippy sci-fi pastiche of seventies/eighties sci-fi that is kind of chilly and odd, but which looks and sounds fantastic. I saw it at Fantasia last year and it's grown in my head since then, so I'm interested to see how it is on a second viewing. It plays 9:45pm shows and midnights on Friday & Saturday (also digitally).
Starting Monday, things get fun on film, with Nicolas Cage: Greatest American Actor repertory series, which happily focuses not on his lauded performances but the nutty stuff, starting with a double feature of Valley Girl & Raising Arizona on Monday/Tuesday and Vampire's Kiss on Wednesday. It takes a brief break for a live music & comedy show (The Union Square Round Table) on Thursday, but has another week afterward.
- Half the screens at Kendall Square turn over this week, with many of films having nice ensemble casts. Hysteria, for instance, features Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ruper Everett, Felicity Jones, and Jonathan Pryce in a comedy about the inventor of the vibrator in Victorian England. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding has Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Elizabeth Olsen, Catherine Keener, Jane Fonda, Kyle MacLachlan, and Katharine McPhee about a family that runs the gamut from lawyer to hippie getting together on the grandmother's farm. Bel Ami has Robert Pattinson as a man rising in Paris society by seducing women including Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Holly Grainger.
For those looking for something a little bit different, there's Nobody Else But You (Poupoupidou in its native French) with Jean-Paul Rouve as a mystery writer drawn to the apparent suicide of a woman who believed she was a reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. It's a one-week booking, and apparently a comedy/thriller hybrid.
- The Coolidge keeps the same movies on the marquee, but changes up the special presentations. The midnights over the weekend are a rare 35mm print of the original uncut Friday the 13th; it plays Friday and Saturday in the main theater. Sunday features two special presentations: The Goethe-Institut presentation of The Sandman (about a man who apparently generates sand as he lies in bed) at 11am and "Womanimation!" at 2:15pm, a locally curated collection of short films made by women around the world. On Monday, Boogie Nights plays the main screen as part of the Big Screen Classics series, while Thursday features a special preview of documentary Stranglehold: In the Shadow of the Boston Strangler.
- The MFA continues their Global Lens Film Series all week, with screenings of Craft (Brazil), The Prize (Argentina), Mourning (Iran), Fat, Bald, Short Man (Colombia), and Toll Booth (Turkey). They also have four more screenings of We Still Live Here, and Thursday marks the Opening Night of the Roxbury International Film Festival with The Last Fall, with director Matthew Cherry on hand to present his film about a one-time football player settling into regular life when he gets one extra chance at his dream.
- The Harvard Film Archive has the second half of The Anarchic Imagination of Alex Cox, with Cox on-hand for the Friday and Saturday shows - Straight to Hell Returns (a modern pastiche of spaghetti westerns featuring Elvis Costello, Courtney Love, Dennis Hopper, Joe Strummer and more) and Searchers 2.0 (in which two actors seek revenge on a writer). His Three Businessmen plays Sunday night, alongside his student film "Edge City", while there's a second screening of Highway Patrolman on Monday.
- The Regent Theatre in Arlington has a pretty good line-up of music-related films ("Sound Cinema") this week. The Wrecking Crew (a documentary on a legendary group of studio musicians in the 1960s and 1970s) pops back up again on Saturday for two shows, while Wednesday features a special screening of D.A. Pennebaker's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Thursday is two featurettes by Pennebaker, "SHAKE: Otis Redding at Monterey" & "Jimi at Monterey" celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival (Monterey Pop will play Friday the 15th)
- The Somerville Theatre doesn't open anything new this weekend, but they do shuffle the line-up a bit, picking up Headhunters and Where Do We Go Now? from Kendall Square. They also have the monthly All Things Horror show in the downstairs screening room on Friday, featuring "The Grotesque World of Robert Morgan" as well as two other short films.
My plans? Double Trouble, Prometheus at the furniture store, some baseball, a couple of Nic Cage films, and if I can fit them in, Madagascar 3 and some stuff at Kendall Square. Yikes, but it's going to be a busy week.