Thursday, August 09, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 10 August 2012 - 16 August 2012

Back home; what do Boston theaters have for me? (And everyone else, sure.)

  • Five of the six movies in the Brattle's Classic Tough Guys line up this weekend have been remade, and Warner Brothers should not even be thinking of messing with the other one. Most of these double features are cold classics with the remakes justifiably forgotten: Friday night is Get Carter (with Michael Caine) & Point Blank (with Lee Marvin); Saturday is Dirty Harry (the original) & Shaft (the Richard Roundtree original); and Sunday is The Getaway (with Steve McQueen/Ali MacGraw) & The Mechanic (with Charles Bronson/Jan-Michael Vincent). The Brattle's calling it the line-up that The Expendables would have if made in the 1970s, and that really would kick ass. All but The Getaway are in 35mm.

    Vertically, the Story of Film is up to episodes 11 & 12 on Monday and Tuesday, with The Exorcist as the illustrative double feature. Note that it replaces Distant Voices, Still Lives, and that Monday evening is a DocYard presentation of Dear Mandela, a documentary on Durban shanty-dwellers who fight their evictions by invoking Nelson Mandela's example. Directors Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza will be present. Wednesday features the interesting but slight Elena, while the International Asskicking on Thursday are the defining performances for two Hong Kong superstars: Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China and Donnie Yen in Iron Monkey.

  • It looks like the major studios are starting to compete with Batman a little. The big opener is The Bourne Legacy, which both messes up the Bourne films being in the same order alphabetically and chronologically and lacks Julia Stiles. It's also got Jeremy Renner as another special agent cut from the same cloth as Matt Damon's Jason Bourne (oh, yeah, he's not there either). It plays Somerville, Fresh Pond, Fenway (on the RPX screen), and Boston Common. Those theaters also pick up The Campaign, which has Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two rival candidates for Congress, one used to running unopposed and one not used to running at all.

    Boston Common and Fenway both pick up Nitro Circus: The Movie in 3D; it's ninety-ish minutes of daredevils doing crazy things in 3D, although with more planning than the likes of Jackass. Boston Common and Kendall Square also pick up Killer Joe, which has Matthew McConaughey in great form as a contract killer hired by a greedy-but-dumb family who takes the daughter as a retainer when the family wants to defer payment. Great black comedy from director William Friedkin.

    For some reason, Wednesday openings become a thing later in the summer; Hope Springs had one last week and The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a Disney feature about a childless couple who discovers a baby who is part plant, opens on the 15th. Fenway has a special "Rifftrax" screening of Manos, The Hands of Fate on Thursday the 16th.

  • In addition to Killer Joe, Kendall Square opens Searching for Sugar Man, in which two fans of obscure Detroit musician "Rodriguez", who only made one album, a commercial dud, and is rumored to have committed suicide on-stage, try to seek out this musician who had become a favorite halfway around the world. It's been getting excellent, award-shortlist-type reviews. The one-week booking is Todd Solondz's Dark Horse which features Jordan Gelber and Selma Blair as two misfits who marry in haste, and, well, you know how that goes. The folks I know who saw it at IFFBoston this year seemed to like it.

  • The Coolidge more or less keeps its same line-up in both the film and digital rooms, but kicks off an August of midnight Part Twos with Gremlins 2: The New Batch on Friday and Saturday night, in which Joe Dante sets his little monsters loose in a big-city skyscraper that has everything from science labs to TV studios and movie theaters. Friday night also features the monthly screening of The Room. There's a Big Screen Classics screening of The Big Lebowski on Monday, which is always a big bowling part, but it's already sold out.

  • Whoa - the Harvard Film Archive has something like a regular booking this week, with Jean Renoir's restored Grand Illusion playing all four days that the Archive is showing films - 7pm Friday, 9pm Saturday, 4:30pm Sunday, and 7pm Monday. It's the long-thought-lost story of a group of French POWs trying to escape their camp during World War I. It will also run next weekend.

    In between screenings of that, there are two more Paramount anniversary screenings: 1932's Island of Lost Souls plays Friday at 9:30pm, it's a pretty-good pre-code adaptation of Dr. Moreau with Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi. Sunday night features Chinatown, which is Chinatown and essential. Saturday night has a "Buñuel's Mexico" entry, 1951's Susana, in which a psychopathic young woman seeks to destroy the family she crosses paths with.

  • The MFA continues the UCLA Festival of Preservation, with Sleep, My Love, Wanda, a collection of WB "Vitaphone" shorts, and a package of three early films with gay & lesbian themes that are part of the Outfest Legacy Project playing at various times over the weekend and a double feature of a 1961 TV version of Waiting for Godot and Samuel Beckett's "Film", a 22-minute chase featuring an aged Buster Keaton (though his face is never shown).

  • Remember that thing about Wednesday openings? The Indian screen at Fresh Pond is showing an unsubtitled Telegu film from Friday to Tuesday, but Ek Tha Tiger opens on Wednesday the 15th with Salman Khan as a secret agent investigating a professor suspected of selling secrets to Pakistan; he winds up romancing the professor's caretaker (Katrina Kaif) and chasing secrets around the world.
  • .

  • A little bit of screen-shuffling goes on, with Magic Mike moving from Somerville to the Arlington Capitol, which also picks up Farewell, My Queen from Kendall Square.

My plans? Some Tough Guys stuff, as Point Blank is a must-see whenever it comes to town and I haven't seen Get Carter, The Bourne Legacy, and one of the 11am screenings that GF*BF is hanging around for. And, oh yeah, to the furniture store for BATMAN!!!

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