Thursday, August 16, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 17 August 2012 - 23 August 2012

Hey, looks like a fun week at the movies coming up, including some quality festival catch-up and an event that makes me smile every time.

  • I have no regrets about not seeing ParaNorman at Fantasia; I knew it would be getting a wide release within a couple of weeks and Sunflower Hour. So I'm looking forward to seeing this stop-motion animated comedy-adventure about a kid who can see ghosts being the only defense the world has when all hell threatens to break loose. It plays at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway in both 2D and 3D, and I'm kind of surprised that so many prime slots are going to 2D - these guys did Coraline, so good 3D is a legit selling point.

    I guess that's to leave more screens for The Expendables 2, which brings back pretty much the whole cast of the first and then some (not a lot got expended, I guess). I'm guessing lots of big dumb action and stuff blowing up, and I'm cool with that. It plays Somerville, Fresh Pond, Fenway, and Boston Common. Fresh Pond, Fenway, and Boston Common also open Sparkle, with a young woman trying to become a star in Motown-era Detroit. It's noteworthy for featuring the late Whitney Houston as the mother.

    The Odd Life of Timothy Green opened at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway on Wednesday; it has a couple unable to conceive discover a magical child. Boston Common opens Celeste and Jesse Forever, a well-intentioned but frustrating drama featuring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg as a divorcing couple that is having some trouble letting go; it also plays Kendall Square. Fenway has a TMC digital presentation of Singin' in the Rain on Wednesday the 22nd.

  • The other two films opening at Kendall Square are pretty good, though, and both played IFFBoston earlier this year. 2 Days in New York is Julie Delpy's follow-up to 2 Days in Paris, and features her and Chris Rock as a Manhattan couple raising children from previous relationships, with Rock playing the straight man as Marion's family visits from France. Also arriving from France is The Imposter, a fascinating documentary that tells the story of a Frenchman in his twenties who pretends to be a missing American teenager returning to his family. It pulls off the nifty trick of becoming a mystery once it's put all the facts on the table, and is only scheduled for a week, so go see it!

  • Oh, film schedulers, why do you torture me with things scheduled opposite each other that force hard choices? Films at the Gate starts on Thursday with Jimmy Wang Yu writing, directing, and starring in Master of the Flying Guillotine, aka One-Armed Boxer vs The Flying Guillotine, a signature role that makes his appearance in Dragon (release this, Weinsteins!) all the more cool. It's a favorite of Quentin Tarantino and many others, and begins four nights of films shown in a vacant Chinatown lot and the nearby greenway with live martial arts and lion-dancing demonstrations beforehand. So, of course, it's the same day as the Brattle having a great kung fu double feature at the Brattle as part of their International Asskicking series: Gordon Liu in 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Jackie Chan in Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, a 1978 picture directed by Yuen Woo-ping.

  • Before that, the Brattle has Restless City playing Friday to Sunday, a story of African immigrants in New York City falling in with criminals and falling in love. It's apparently noteworthy for not having an outsider character for audiences to latch onto and being shot beautifully. After the sun goes down, it's an H.P. Lovecraft Birthday Tribute for the horror icon: A double feature of cool locally-made pastiches The Whisperer in Darkness (done in the style of an early talkie) and The Call of Cthulhu (done as a silent) on Friday (with FX guy Dan Novy doing Q&A in between), The Dunwhich Horror on Saturday, and John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness on Sunday. Unfortunately, being unable to get a print of Stuart Gordon's From Beyond, means the Friday and Saturday late-night shows are cancelled. And if you can't catch the Lovecraft double feature on Friday night, it also plays the Regent Theater at 7:30pm on Monday the 20th (the actual date of Lovecraft's birth).

    After that, the vertical schedule continues. The Monday/Tuesday double features with The Story of Film are My Own Private Idaho and Starship Troopers (an odd twin bill, to be sure!), with no DocYard or Balagan screenings to bump them. Wednesday's Recent Raves screening is Whit Stillman's long-awaited return, the witty Damsels In Distress. And, as mentioned, Thursday has some quality International Asskicking from 1970s Hong Kong.

  • The Coolidge gets Searching for Sugar Man a week after the Kendall; it plays in the video rooms. The midnight show on Friday and Saturday is Critters 2, continuing a series of perhaps under-appreciated sequels from the 1980s. And Monday's "Big Screen Classic" is The Wild Bunch, in its uncut 35mm glory.

  • The Harvard Film Archive keeps on as it was: Single showings of Jean Renoir'sGrand Illusion from Friday to Sunday. 100 Years of Paramount Pictures the same days, with Preston Sturges's Hail the Conquering Hero Friday at 7pm, Jonatahn Demme's Citizen's Band Saturday at 9:30pm, and a Veronica Lake double feature of This Gun for Hire and The Blue Dahlia Sunday at 7pm. A Buñuel's Mexico screening of A Woman Without Love on Monday.

  • Over at the MFA, the UCLA Festival of Preservation wraps up on Friday with Cecil B. DeMille's 1935 version of The Crusades, with the rest of the schedule not beholden to any particular theme: Come Back, Africa, a 1960 documentary on Apartheid, on Friday and Sunday; On the Bowery (followed by "The Perfect Team", a documentary on making the realist 1956 drama), on Saturday and Thursday the 23rd; and Side by Side, a documentary by Christopher Kenneally (with Keanu Reeves, of all people, conducting interviews) on the move of the movie business from film to digital, which will continue occasional screenings over the next few weeks.

My plans? A fair amount of baseball, ParaNorman, Expendables 2, maybe getting to some of those things I've been meaning to catch at Kendall Square, and Thursday night kung fu, though I'm not sure whether I'll go for Chinatown's atmosphere or the Brattle's 35mm prints.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree on THE IMPOSTER. A fine doc that deserves a wider audience. It's very cinematic as well as compelling.
The less said about 2 DAYS IN NY the better. Love Delpy, but this is simultaneously lame and irritating. When Chris Rock is the LEAST annoying character in a movie, that's pretty damning.