Friday, October 19, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 19 October 2012 - 25 October 2012

Seventeen days since a note on MoviePass's site said to expect my membership card in two business days. I am going to abuse the heck out of that thing when I get it.

  • First thing on the list: Tai Chi 0, a crazy action/adventure movie from director Stephen Fung with action choreographed by Sammon Hung that apparently feels the usual tack of making folk heroes even larger than life, this time with wushu champion Yuan Xiaochao playing early Tai Chi master Yang Lu-chan and facing steampunk machines as well as crazy combatants.. It's getting a lot of hype, features Tony Leung Ka-fai, Qi Shu, and Angelababy, and plays Boston Common, hopefully for more than a week.

    Of course, the biggest opening in the mainstream theaters is Paranormal Activity 4, which is alleged to bring the series full-circle. I haven't seen any since the first, so I don't know how much of a good thing that is. It plays Somerville, Fresh Pond, Fenway (including the RPX screen), and Boston Common (on the Imax-branded screen), and the Jordan's Furniture stores in Reading & Natick. There's also Alex Cross, which reboots the series based on James North Patterson's novels wtih Tyler Perry as the detective played by Morgan Freeman in previous movies. It plays the Arlington Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway.
  • Kendall Square has apparently finished their digital conversion, apparently mostly 2K with screen number one capable of 4K. They kick it off with four new movies, the most prominent of which is IFFBoston alumnus Wuthering Heights. This version of Charlotte Bronte's novel is directed by Andrea Arnold and features a cast of relative unknowns and has received a fair amount of praise. The other big picture is Switzerland's Oscar submission, Sister (L'enfant d'en haut), which follows a 12-year-old boy who lives in a resort with his older sister (Lea Seydoux); those looking for a familiar face will spot Gillian Anderson in a supporting role.

    The official one-week booking is Somewhere Between, a documentary about four girls who were adopted from China because of that country's one-child-per-family policy. Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton and several of the film's subjects will be present for several shows this weekend - Knowlton at 4:25 on Friday, joined by the subjects at 7pm, and for all four shows on Saturday. Hello I Must Be Going is not officially a one-week booking, but it's alternating showtimes with another film, so if you want to see this movie with Melanie Lynskey as a divorcee who falls in with a much younger neighbor, now is probably the time.
  • The Coolidge is still running film in their main rooms (though trying to raise money for digital projection for next year), but does shuffle things in their smaller digital rooms some: Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel moves in after a few weeks at the Kendall and IFFBoston documentary Beauty is Embarrassing also pops up, with its subject Wayne White (a satiric artist and designer) in attendance for the Friday night shows (Q&A at 7, intro only at 9:30). Those screens are small, so they'll almost certainly sell out.

    They're also gearing up for Halloween, with V/H/S back for 9:45 shows in the GoldScreen room all week and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 playing midnights on the main screen on Friday at Saturday. They've also got midnights of The American Scream - a documentary on homemade haunted houses and the people who build them from the maker of maker of the charming Best Worst Movie upstairs in the video room both nights, and Halloween burlesque by Betsi Feathers at midnight Saturday. Oh, and the Big Screen Classic on Monday night is a 35mm print of Ghostbusters.

    There are two shows Sunday morning: Talk Cinema selection The Other Son, about an Israeli and a Palestinian who discover they were switched at birth, and Combat Girls, a Goethe-Institut presentation about a young neo-nazi woman whose convictions are challenged when she meets an Afghan refugee.
  • The Somerville Theatre has some cool pre-Halloween programming as well, with Jeff Rapsis on hand Sunday afternoon at 2pm to accompany the Lon Chaney version of The Phantom of the Opera, complete with hand-tinting in certain scenes. The movie may be old, but it's a genuine classic, and if the print is from the Box 5 restoration, it's going to look great. Next Friday, the 26th, they'll have All Things Horror's annual ShudderFest, which has a pretty nice line-up. There's also matinee screenings (I believe in the micro-cinema) of locally-produced thriller Conned on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Much of the Brattle's schedule this week is given over to Punch-Drunk Cinema: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson: A double feature of Boogie Nights and Hard Eight on Saturday, Magnolia on Sunday, Punch-Drunk Love on Tuesday, and There Will Be Blood on Wednesday. That's a pretty good body of work there.

    There are special events around it: Friday night is Superheroes of Stoke, the latest and greatest ski movie from Matchstick Productions. Monday night the Harvard Book Store will have a panel discussion on the Presidential Election that finishes up with the night's debate projected on the big screen. Thursday night is the opening night of the Boston Asian American Film Festival, with writer/producer Ellie Wen on hand to introduce and discuss Quentin Lee's film about a teenager with Asperger's syndrome who recently lost his older brother. There will be lion dancing, too!
  • ArtsEmerson continues its series of literary adaptations co-presented with the Boston Book Festival, with this weekend's selections focusing on graphic novels. Selections include the director's cut of Watchmen (Friday at 6pm and Sunday at 1pm on Blu-ray), Persepolis (Friday at 9pm on DVD), Howl's Moving Castle (Saturday at 1pm on English-dubbed 35mm), V For Vendetta (Saturday at 6pm on DVD), and Ghost World (Saturday at 9pm on DVD).
  • The Harvard Film Archive has more Michelangelo Antonioni, including The Passenger (Friday and Monday at 7pm), The Mystery of Oberwald (Friday at 9:15pm), The Girlfriends (Sunday at 4:30pm) and a selection of his short films on Sunday at 7pm. They have two other programs on Saturday - a free screening of the international cut of Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale in conjunction with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office at 2pm, and An Evening With Ben Rivers at 7pm, including his feature Two Years at Sea and his new short "Phantoms of a Libertine".
  • The MFA continues to show Yorgos Lanthimos's Alps over the weekend, with St├ęphane Robelin's new French comedy All Together, where five retirees opt to share a house rather than move into a retirement home. It stars Jane Fonda, Geraldine Chaplain, and Claude Rich, and also plays Wednesday the 24th. Also running that day are two different music-oriented films: 1962's The Connection is part of their Jazz on Film series and features junkies playing jazz while waiting for their drugs to arrive; SXSW Audience Award Winner Big Easy Express, has bands The Magnetic Zeroes, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Mumford & Sons riding the rails from California to New Orleans.
  • The Regent Theatre has the second half of the Arlington International Film Festival, including the likes of My So-Called Enemy, Consent with filmmaker Q&A, and more.
  • Student of the Year is the subtitled Hindi film opening at Fresh Pond, which appears to be a romantic comedy about two rival high-school basketball players falling for the same girl (Alia Bhatt); director Karan Johar had a big hit earlier in the year with My Name is Khan. Note that it's splitting the screen with Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu, which is in Telegu and apparently unsubtitled.

My plans? Tai Chi 0, Phantom of the Opera, Hard Eight, The Other Son, and probably all that stuff I said I was going to see last week.

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