Thursday, July 19, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 20 July 2012 - 26 July 2012

So, who wants some Batman this weekend? Because that's what you're getting.

  • Specifically, The Dark Knight Rises, a name which I figure sounds weird because night usually falls. The capper to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy opens on a whole bunch of screens, including most of the premium ones; in descending order of awesomeness, that means the real IMAX screens at Jordan's Furniture in Reading and Natick, the main room at the Somerville Theatre (which also has it on one other screen, likely #3 or #5), the RPX screen at Fenway (which also has it on up to 6 others), the Imax-branded screen at Boston Common (plus 5 more), and the three screens at Fresh Pond. Nolan really wants you to see this on film, and the chain theaters are pretty much all-digital now, so why not save a little money by heading a few extra stops up the Red Line to Somerville?

  • If you'd like something a little less mainstream, there are a few other options, and Kendall Square has two of them. First up is Trishna, Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles that relocates the story to contemporary India and features Frieda Pinto in the title role alongside Riz Ahmed. It played IFFBoston earlier this year and has been getting reasonably good response. The one-week booking is Unforgiveable, in which a French writer travels to Venice to work on his new novel only to find himself entangled with the realtor who rented him a house on an isolated island.

    The week also features an even shorter booking, with a single show of Bill W. on Thursday the 26th; as you may have guessed, it's a documentary look at the founder of Alcaholics Anonymous.

  • The Brattle's main weekend booking is the new one from Hong Sang-soo, The Day He Arrives, in which a retired filmmaker takes a trip to Seoul to visit an old friend but finds himself wandering the city when the friend doesn't show. It's a sort of artsy, meditative drama type of thing. It splits the screen with the latest installment of "Hooked on Who", which features Matt Smith on Friday, Tom Baker and the Daleks on Friday, John Pertwee Sunday afternoon and two episodes of Torchwood Sunday night.

    On the vertical part of the schedule, The Story of Film continues on Monday and Tuesday, with Citizen Kane as the illustrative half of its double feature. Only matinees on Tuesday, though, as IFFBoston hosts another preview of Ruby Sparks on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, they kick off the weekly "Recent Raves" series with Once Upon a time in Anatolia, a Turkish film which starts with a murder suspect apprehended and works backwards to find the motive and means. And on Thursday, they start the International Asskicking series with a Gareth Evans/Iko Uwais double-feature, with Evans giving Uwais the chance to show off some awesome silat skills in The Raid and Merantau. The Raid has been getting a lot of love as one of the best action movies in decades, but I actually like Merantau more.

  • The Coolidge does a little shuffling in the digital rooms, opening Take This Waltz in the tiny Goldscreen, but otherwise it's the special screenings to look out for. Joe Dante's The 'Burbs plays Friday and Saturday at midnight on the big screen; it's a mystery/horror/comedy from back when star Tom Hanks was mostly thought of as funny. The Room also pops up Friday at midnight, returning from its brief stay at the Kendall to where it... well, where it was before. The other midnight show on Saturday is The Devil's Carnival, the latest musical horror phantasmagoria from the makers of Repo! The Genetic Opera. It features a carnival that has a direct line to Hell!

    One I'm sad not to be able to make is the Monday Big Screen Classics show of Jurassic Park; that's one of the great sci-fi adventures in beautiful 35mm on the Coolidge's big screen. Wednesday has a screening of Danny Boyle's Frankenstein, this time with Benedict Cumberbatch as Victor and Jonny Lee Miller as the Creature (from a performance well before Miller was cast in Elementary, so there's no awkwardness).

  • The Harvard Film Archive begins one new series and continues another. The new series is Buñuel's Mexico, which self-explanatorily features the work that Luis Buñuel did in Mexico before his somewhat better-known European work. It starts with Los Olvidados at 7pm on Friday (with a second screening at 5pm on Sunday), The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz at 9pm Saturday, and The Young One at 7pm on Sunday. Around that, the Paramount series continues, with Artists and Models at 9pm Friday, Ministry of Fear at 7pm Saturday, and One-Eyed Jacks at 7pm Sunday.

  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues their 17th Annual Boston French Film Festival with screenings on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday, with films mostly of recent vintage - A Happy Event, The Well-Digger's Daughter, 17 Girls (based on a news story out of Gloucester, MA, so coming full circle), Black Venus, The Art of Love, Outside Satan, Pater, and Bachelor Days Are Over - but also a Thursday presentation of Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black and a "French Edges" shorts program.

  • The Regent Theatre in Arlington has a pair of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals during the week - a London performance of The Phantom of the Opera on Monday and Wednesday, and its sequel, Love Never Dies on Tuesday and Thursday Yeah, there's a sequel to Phantom, based on a book by Ben Elton, so, that's something.

My plans? Well, I'll be in Montreal for Fantasia, and haven't really looked at the schedule much beyond Friday. Of the stuff listed here, maybe I'll find a slot for The Dark Knight Rises or take in the stop The Devil's Carnival is making there, but mostly I'll be playing it by ear; look for "Fantasia Daily" posts starting Friday.

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