Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 3 July 2012 - 12 July 2012

Wow, but does the holiday do weird things to the release schedule, to the point where it makes more sense to organize by day rather than location.

  • Tuesday, 3 July: Or, by the time you're reading this, yesterday. That's when Columbia opted to open The Amazing Spider-Man. Not Spider-Man 4, but a rollback to the beginning with a new cast and director (although, oddly, it seems like the script with the Lizard and the Stacys is what Sam Raimi was heading for anyway). It's shot in native 3D and plays in IMAX 3D at Reading and Natick Jordan's Furniture Stores, and also plays the Arlington Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common (Imax-branded), and Fenway (RPX) in both 3D and 2D.

  • Wedesday, 4 July: Remember back in February, when the Brattle didn't play Casablanca for Valentine's day because Warner was doing anniversery screenings of a digital "upgrade"? Uncool. Apparently, WB is now letting the 35mm prints out of the vault, and the Brattle's got one. It plays 2pm, 4:30pm, and 7pm through Sunday.

  • Thursday, 5 July: On Thursday, they add late shows of The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard's pretty spiffy love letter to the horror genre. If you missed it, was it perhaps because it looked like just any other slasher and you didn't see that Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, and Amy Acker were going to be a big part of it? Because they are a huge part of what makes it pretty great.

    The multiplexes open Katy Perry: Part of Me, one of those documentary/concert movie hybrids. I'll leave the snark or praise for people who know anything about music. It plays Somerville in 2D, Boston Common in 3D, and Fenway in both formats, depending on the time of day

    The Coolidge pays tribute to the late Nora Ephron by playing one of her most beloved films, When Harry Met Sally, on the big screen in 35mm at 7pm.

    The MFA has their last screening of The Turin Horse on Thursday, and also their first of Never Stand Still, a documentary on innovative dancers and choreographers shot at a Berkshires dance festival, with interview, archive, and performance footage. It also plays Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and the next Thursday at various times.

  • Friday, 6 July:Two big-name directors have films opening on the usual day. For Oliver Stone, it's Savages, a return to pulp for the first time in fifteen years. I'm rooting for Taylor Kitsch, who has done a couple of movies this year that deserved better than they got. Wouldn't mind seeing Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, and Salma Hayek be in a good movie, either. It plays Somerville, Fenway, and Boston Common.

    Woody Allen's offering this year is To Rome with Love, an overlapping group of romances set in Roma featuring Allen, Judy Davis, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig, Jesse Eisenberg, and more. It plays the Coolidge and Kendall Square.

    The Coolidge also picks up Kirby Dick's documentary The Invisible War, which aims to shine a light on the problem of sexual assault within the military, and how it is often swept under the rug. It plays in the screening room, and the 7pm show on Friday will have Congresswoman Niki Tsongas on-hand, who is included in the film and working to draft legislation to curb the issue. The screening rooms will also be showing matinees of A Cat in Paris, and the midnight show on Friday and Saturday is From Dusk Til Dawn, the pretty damn great Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino Mexican vampire movie that features Salma Hayek, George Clooney, and three Cheech Marins (count 'em!).

    The Kendall picks up three other movies. Take This Waltz is the latest from Sarah Polley, who has gotten past wunderkind status to simply be a darn good filmmaker. Here, she gives us Michelle Williams an Luke Kirby as potential lovers, despite Williams's Margot being married to a genial Seth Rogen. They also get Beasts of the Southern Wild, which follows a six-year-old girl in the Louisianna bayou whose world literally threatens to fall apart after a massive storm. The one-week booking sort of gets a raw deal, as Natural Selection is stuck splitting a screen with another movie. It features Rachel Harris as a pious woman trying to unite her dying husband with one of the many children he fathered via sperm donation.

    The Harvard Film Archive starts Cruel and Unusual: The Exquisite Remains of Erich von Stroheim, featuring one of the titans of the silent era. The first weekend features Greed (Friday), Hello, Sister! (Friday & Sunday), Blind Husbands (Saturday), Foolish Husbands (Sunday), and The Merry Widow (Monday). All will include live piano accompaniment (aside from Hello, Sister!, his only sound film)

  • Saturday, 7 July: It's the last call for The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Harvard Square, with the Full Body Cast doing an extra show this week (9:30pm as well as 12:30am) before moving the whole shebang across the river to Boston Common on 4 August. One thing I just started wondering - with those AMC theaters going pretty much all-digital about a year ago, has this still been running on film or has Fox been providing an HD file? I think it would be wonderfully perverse if the theaters are keeping 35mm projectors on one screen and employing projectionists just to show RHPS once a week.

    Sunset Boulevard is part of the Erich von Stroheim series at the HFA, although its one that he does not direct, but appears in. It's a classic and worthy of being singled out.

  • Monday, 9 July: In a sure sign of summer, the Brattle begins its old-school "vertical" schedule, with what's playing determined by the day of the week. Mondays and Tuesdays will feature The Story of Film: An Odyssey, a massive 15-hour documentary being run in two-hour chunks that follows the history of cinema from its start to the present. It recently played the MFA, but the Brattle will be pairing it with films from the period covered. This week, the film is Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr., a nifty fantasy that includes some pretty great in-camera special effects.

    While those will be shown digitally, the Coolidge's "Big Screen Classics" screening this week is in beautiful 35mm - Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Believe it or not, new Tim Burton films used to be exciting and unpredictable, and this is a great example of that. Pre-show activities and contests are promised and should be fun.

  • Tuesday, 10 July: The Regent Theater in Arlington is doing "Andrew Lloyd Webber classics in July", with this week's entry a 25th-anniversary performance of The Phantom of the Opera beamed in from London.

  • Wednesday, 11 July: The Brattle's "Wordless Wednesday" feature also ties into "The Story of Film" with a presentation of The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Dreyer's famed silent dramatization of Jeanne d'Arc's story.

  • Thursday, 12 July: One of the Brattle's most fun events, "Trailer Treats", pops up with a night of great and terrible previews from the Brattle's extensive collection, with live music, Blue Ribbon Barbecue, Narragansett beer, and the 2012 Trailer Smackdown, with the finalists of the Brattle's annual contest to create a trailer for a fictitious feature, this year named "Ten" to honor the event's tenth anniversary.

    Regal Fenway has a Turner Classic Movies screening of Singin' in the Rain. It's a digital broadcast, but includes a new interview with Debbie Reynolds.

    The Regent has a "New England Promotional Screening" of The Rise and Fall of the Clash that includes a Q&A by director Danny Garcia. It's a documentary on the success and self-destruction of a group once called "the only band that matters".

Well, let's not do that again. But, anyway, my plans are in flux depending on how much time I'm spending in Maine to celebrate my twin nieces' first birthday. I'm thinking Amazing Spider-Man (though getting to the furniture store will be tough), Take This Waltz, and To Rome with Love, as well as Trailer Treats, but who knows how things will actually shake out.

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