Friday, October 26, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 26 October 2012 - 2 November 2012

I keep checking, but the Jordan's IMAX in Reading is apparently going to keep Paranormal Activity 4 instead of picking up Cloud Atlas. I don't get this, but that's this upcoming weekend for you: Cloud Atlas, Halloween stuff, and the occasional other thing.

  • Cloud Atlas is the big release this weekend, a sprawling movie by Andy & Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer that features much of the same cast playing echoes of the same characters across six separate eras from the past to the far future. It's incredibly ambitious, based on a book many considered un-adaptable. Could be great, could be a disaster, and I can't wait to see which it turns out to be. It's playing Somerville, Fenway, and Boston Common (including the Imax-branded screen).

    There's two very different movies planning to capitalize on Halloween open this weekend: Fun Size actually uses the holiday as a backdrop, with a couple teen girls searching for one's younger brother after he goes missing while trick or treating. It looks like something trying to split the difference between family-friendly and raunchy and satisfying neither. It plays the Arlington Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway. The horror movie opening is Silent Hill: Revelation, a sequel to 2006's video game adaptation from the director of Solomon Kane, this time in 3-D. I'm oddly curious, despite not being terribly fond of the first. It plays Fresh Pond (in 2D), Boston Common (in 3D), and Fenway (2D and 3D, the latter on the premium screen).

    There's also Chasing Mavericks, a curious project with two noteworthy directors (Michael Apted took over for an ailing Curtis Hanson) telling the true story of a surfing prodigy who befriends a local legend. It plays the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway.
  • Time to start with the spooky stuff! The Brattle has a pretty great line-up for Halloween. On Monday the 29th, the CineCach√© presentation for the week is the local premiere of The Loved Ones, a fantastic and twisted thriller from Australia that hit festivals a few years ago (I loved it at Fantasia in 2010) and whose release Paramount botched horrifically earlier this year. See it. Tuesday the 30th has a presentation from the International Pancake Film Festival ("Haunted House of Pancakes") - several pancake-themed short films for five bucks, with a complimentary stack of the things. Halloween itself has the greatest vampire film of all - Murnau's Nosferatu - with live music by the Andrew Alden Ensemble. Tuesday and Wednesday have late shows of Cabin in the Woods, with the film also playing a full schedule on Thursday.

    And the weekend before? A new 35mm print of Raiders of the Lost Ark! Sure, it looked nice in digital a month and a half ago, but film is better. It plays Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as Monday afternoon. Saturday afternoon, they have a special presentation of Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer as part of the Boston Asian-American Film Festival, with the director, subject, and Wah Lum Kung Fu making appearances.
  • The bulk of the Boston Asian-American Film Festival will screen at ArtsEmerson's Bright Screening Room at the Paramount theater. Highlights include documentary Mr.Cao Goes to Washington with director S. Leo Chiang in attendance, Wedding Palace with Margaret Cho, Model Minority, and closing film Shanghai Calling.
  • There is one other BAAFF program playing at the Somerville Theatre, I Am a Ghost, which plays as part of All Things Horror's Shudder Fest 2012 on Friday night. The initial 7pm show sold out, but a second one is scheduled for 9pm. The centerpiece is the 10pm program, American Mary, a big hit at Fantastic Fest scheduled for the big theater. There's also locally produced Murder University at midnight. On Saturday, they've got a shorts program and Video Diary of a Lost Girl.

    Also on tap at the Somerville for Halloween weekend: Sam Raimi's Darkman on the big screen at 8pm on Friday the 26th on the 31st (print got delayed). No, it's not the Halloween tradition of Evil Dead 2, but how often do you get to see this on the big screen?
  • More scary stuff! The Coolidge wraps up its Oc-Tobe-r series of midnight movies on Friday with Poltergeist, in which Tobe Hooper teams up with Stephen Spielberg for one of the most popular horror movies ever. That's just a warm up for their 12th Annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, which kicks off with the original theatrical cut of The Exorcist and John Carpenter's The Thing. $15 gets you in to see those two; another $5 lets you stick around until noon for a mystery line-up (although hints dropped on their Facebook page suggest Shivers, Phantasm, Candyman, and Day of the Dead), live music, and burlesque. But that's not all; they've also got Edward Scissorhands on Monday as part of the "Science on Screen" series (Professor Jeremy DeSilva will discus "mosaic hominids"), a special "Devils Night" screening of The Crow at 10pm on Tuesday, and a 35mm print of What Eve Happened to Baby Jane? on Wednesday the 31st, the 50th anniversary of its original release date.

    With all that going on and Argo and The Master continuing to hang around, they only have room to open The Big Picture in the screening room; it's a new film from France with Romain Duris and Catherine Deneuve in a story about a man who flees to the Adriatic Sea after an accidental murder.
  • Kendall Square turns over a good number of its screens, but most of that appears to be to make way for The Sessions, which features John Hawkes as a poet stuck in an iron lung determined to lose his virginity with the help of a professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) and the friendship of his priest (William H. Macy). It plays on three screens, but as of yet nowhere else in the Boston area.

    Having seen a preview earlier this week, I can vouch for The Other Son, a pretty good story about two boys - one Israeli, one Palestinian - who were switched at birth during the Gulf War and are just now discovering their true parentage. I'm curious about Smashed, in which Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul play a young married couple who bonded over their fondness for alcohol, and what happens when one decides to get sober. Could be a breakthrough role for Winstead, who has been good in a lot of thankless parts. And the scheduled one-week booking is War of the Buttons which moves a celebrated 1912 novel to World War II and has a pre-teen troublemaker fall for a Jewish girl whom he must protect from the occupying Nazi forces.
  • The MFA continues their Jazz on Film series, with more screenings of The Connection playing sporadically over the weekend and another film by Shirley Clarke, music documentary Ornette: Made in America, playing Friday night. The series also includes Theolonius Monk: Amerian Composer and the Monk-scored 'Round Midnight on Saturday. Another music doc, Big Easy Express continues its run on Friday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There's a last screening of All Together (a French comedy featuring Jane Fonda) on Wednesday, and the November calendar kicks off on Thursday with the first screening of High Ground (playing irregularly through the 9th), a documentary that follows a group of disabled veterans as they ascend a 20,000-foot mountain.
  • This weekend, the Harvard Film Archive welcomes Tariq Teguia, the latest Genevi√®ve McMillan - Reba Stewart Fellow (the McMillan-Stewart Fellowship in Distinguished Filmmaking celebrates and supports Francophone filmmakers of African nationality or descent). The Algerian filmmaker will be around Friday and Saturday to present his first two films, Rome Rather than You and Inland. The HFA will also welcome Sooni Taraporevala, who will present a free screening of her film Little Zizou on Saturday afternoon to tie in with her photography exhibit, which will be elsewhere in the Carpenter Center through 20 December. The rest of the weekend is more of their Michelangelo Antonioni Retrospective - The Lady without Camelias Sunday afternoon, massive documentaryChung Kuo - China Sunday evening, and The Vanquished on Monday evening.
  • The English-subtitled Hindi movie at Fresh Pond this weekend actually opened on Wednesday; Chakravyuh is a thriller set among India's Naxalite movement, which apparently makes it controversial (many reviews seem to feel a frequently violent conflict with Marxists doesn't mix well with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Bollywood movie). Student of the Year is also hanging around, and there are a screenings of Denikaina Ready and Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu for those who speak Telegu.
  • The UMass Boston Film Series presentation on Thursday the 1st is a short one - "Poster Girl" is only 38 minutes long - but it's a pretty fantastic, Oscar-nominated documentary short that I liked a lot when I saw it last year. Both director Sara Nesson and subject Robynn Murray will be on hand to talk afterward and the screening itself is free1 so it's worth dropping in.
  • The Regent Theatre in Arlington has a couple of interesting events that also play elsewhere - Big Easy Express has a screening there on Sunday the 28th in addition to its MFA schedule, and they'll have three HD screenings of John Carpenter's Halloween between Tuesday and Wednesday (Kendall Square also has one on Tuesday night).

My plans? Cloud Atlas, American Mary, Raiders, Nosferatu, Darkman, maybe Smashed.

And the Haunted House of Pancakes, because I friggin' love pancakes.

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