Friday, December 21, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 21 December 2012 - 27 December 2012

Another week with two Dates When Movies Open: The Friday before Christmas and Christmas itself. Combined with things having opened this past Wednesday, and theaters' increasing willingness and ability to put popular films on more screens at the last minute, check listings before heading out.

  • On Friday the 21st, the multiplexes are opening a pair of fairly big-name movies. Jack Reacher has Tom Cruise playing the hero of Lee Child's novels (it's based upon One Shot), with Rosamund Pike as the damsel in distress and Werner Herzog as a villain. Herzog doesn't direct - Christopher MacQuarrie does - but he always makes things better. Robert Duvall's in there somewhere, too. It plays Somerville, Fresh Pond, Fenway, and Boston Common. The same theaters also pick up This Is 40, Judd Apatow's spin-off of Knocked Up which focuses on the couple played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, who apparently are having a hard time getting along as they approach the big four-oh. Between that and the massive number of screens playing The Hobbit (and Monsters Inc. & The Guilt Trip having opened Wednesday, there's barely any room for Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, which is playing two 3D shows a day at Boston Common and Fenway. The troupe did an IMAX film a few years back that looked nice, and the preview for this offers more prettiness.

    Interestingly, Worlds Away seems to pick up more showtimes on Christmas, despite several other movies opening. The less impressive is almost certainly Parental Guidance, which posits that Marisa Tomei is the result of Billy Crystal's and Bette Midler's genes mixing, which I find suspicious. They play grandparents coming to help watch the kids and befuddled by new-age parenting. Crystal gets hit in the crotch a lot, it seems. It plays the Arlington Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway. Also on those screens is Les Miserables, featuring a pretty terrific cast of Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and more, doing their own singing for Tom Hooper's adaptation of the musical play based on Victor Hugo's novel.
  • The other really big Christmas opening is the new one by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained. It's got Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz as nineteenth-century bounty hunters whose search for Django's wife leads them to a plantation owned by Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm hearing Samuel L. Jackson is especially great in this. It opens at The Coolidge (where to go if you want to see it in 35mm as QT intended), Kendall Square, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    The Coolidge has a busy week all around, finally getting Hitchcock on its big screen on Friday and German Oscar submission Barbara, about a doctor hoping to cross from East to West Germany in 1980 who is instead reassigned to a rural town, opens that day in the screening room. They also welcome the Mayan Apocalypse with midnight screenings of Armageddon (you only show Michael Bay there if the world is going to end!). They also do a little shuffling on Christmas Day, replacing Chasing Ice on the GoldScreen with A Royal Affair.
  • While Kendall Square's big opener is Django, they also pick up something noteworthy on Friday: Rust and Bone, which features Marion Cotillard as a whale trainer and Matthias Schoenaerts (who was fantastic in Bullhead) as a bouncer. An unlikely match, but a horrific injury brings them closer together.
  • The Brattle switches things up for the holiday, as well. They spend the weekend finishing up the Focus Features Tenth Birthday party, with Milk and Shaun of the Dead on Friday (separate features), a double feature of Jane Eyre and Atonement on Saturday, with Brick as a separate late show, and separate features of Monsoon Wedding and Coraline on Sunday (Coraline is 2D, but should still look fantastic).

    They're closed to do their holiday shopping on Christmas Eve, but Christmas brings their Gene Kelly Centennial Tribute, with Singin' in the Rain on the 25th, a double feature of On the Town and Anchors Aweigh on Wednesday, and another twin bill (Brigadoon and It's Always Fair Weather) on Thursday. The series will run through Sunday the 30th.
  • The Harvard Film Archive is more or less dark, with the exception of the 4th Annual Vintage Christmas Show, a two-hour grab bag that includes a feature, some shorts, and a George Kuchar video diary. It's a free all-ages show at 2pm on Sunday (the 23rd).
  • The MFA wraps up its December calendar with an extension of what it has been showing: Cheerful Weather for the Wedding has shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as do The Films of Juliette Binoche, which include Certified Copy, Code Unknown,Damage, and the 1992 Wuthering Heights over the weekend and Chocolat and The English Patient after the holidays.
  • It's a holiday, so the Regent Theatre in Arlington is breaking out a sing-along print. For Christmas vacation, it's The Sound of Music, with on-screen lyrics, costume contests, and goody bags. One matinee and one evening show each on Wednesday the 26th and Thursday the 27th, with shows continuing through the 29th
  • Almost certainly the most fun title to say this weekend is Dabangg 2, a Bollywood action movie which has Salman Khan returning as a top cop and Sonakshi Sinha as his wife, and villains new and old to deal with (and being Bollywood, there are songs and comedy mixed in). It plays Fresh Pond via iMovieCafe starting on the 21st, although it does share the screen with a couple of unsubtitled Telegu-language films between Saturday and Tuesday.
  • The Somerville Theatre has a bit of second-run action starting Christmas Day, when they pick upSilver Linings Playbook. They also have a few things coming up that folks should consider buying tickets for early - the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival & Marathon from February 8th through 18th, something called "Faith Soloway's Lesbian Cinema Schlock Treatment" on February 14th, and the Alloy Orchestra accompanying a series of Buster Keaton shorts on February 23rd. The Coolidge also has a show that may sell out very early, the annual Sundance USA screening. This year it's on January 31st and has Liz W. Garcia in town to present her movie The Lifeguard

My plans include Django Unchained in 35mm, Jack Reacher, Rust & Bone, Brick, and all the stuff I've been meaning to catch up on for the better part of a month. Of course, it all depends on how much time is spent trying to Christmas shop before the holiday and how long I spend in Maine afterward.

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