Friday, January 11, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 11 January 2012 - 17 January 2013

This week must be a pain in the neck if your job is to program a movie theater. Oscar nominations announced on Thursday, shows turning over on Friday, audiences are going to want to see some of those that aren't playing, but interest in others will drop, and then there's material that's being dumped...

  • The week's biggest release, perhaps, is actually the expansion of Zero Dark Thirty, which picks up screens at the Somerville Theatre and Fresh Pond as well as the Fenway and Boston Common multiplexes. It's pretty great.

    The buzz isn't nearly so good on the other wide releases. Gangster Squad was delayed from last year not so much for that, but a shooting in a movie theater that would have been considered especially bad timing after what happened on The Dark Knight Rises's opening night. Interestingly, clips of that scene were still in trailers I saw in the UK last month, but I presume the scene has been excised. Sean Penn plays gangster Mickey Cohen; Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Robert Patrick, Anthony Mackie, and Michael Pena play cops; Emma Stone is The Girl. It plays Somerville, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway. Also opening is A Haunted House, Marlon Wayans's return to horror movie parody (he did the first couple Scary Movies), with Essence Atkins and Cedric the Entertainer along for Paranormal Activity-derived spoofs. I swear this thing had a less-generic title when I saw trailers for it before, but I can't find any record of that. It plays Fenway, Boston Common, and Fresh Pond.
  • The Somerville Theatre opens Fairhaven, which played there as part of IFFBoston last year and is getting what is almost certainly a one-week run this week. It's a nice little movie shot a little way up the coast; I liked it. To make room, some movies get pushed over to The Arlington Capitol - This Is 40, Not Fade Away, and Life of Pi (which, amusingly, just moved from the Capitol to the Somerville a few weeks ago).
  • The Brattle re-opens Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master on Friday, it runs through Thursday on 35mm. They may have expected it to get more than the acting nominations it managed (the 65mm photography really was gorgeous, for instance), but it certainly deserves recognition for those. Note that the screening times bounce around a bit from day to day (and it doesn't play Monday), so check them before you go.

    It shares the screen with a few other movies. There's a digitally-projected late show of Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, the fourth entry in the series which brings back Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren but stars Scott Adkins (a pretty good screen fighter, actually) and is said to be both insane and surprisingly good for a series that spent time in direct-to-video purgatory. Saturday afternoon has an encore double feature of Madoka Magica: The Movie (which is actually a double feature of two that were themselves edited from a TV series), which sold out Thursday night.

    Monday night, meanwhile, is a DocYard screening of Betting the Farm, a documentary on a group of Maine dairy farmers who attempt to start their own company when they lose their contract with a larger corporation. It's co-presented by Unity College and one of the film's two directors, Jason Mann, will be there for a post-screening Q&A.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has a couple of multi-date bookings, which is unusual. The older one is Michael Roemer's Nothing But a Man, an independently-produced 1964 feature unusual at the time for having a primarily black cast; it's a romance between a working-class man and a minister's daughter. It plays Friday evening, Saturday night, and Monday evening. It shares the screen with Two by Hong Sang-soo - Hong's much-lauded The Day He Arrives (about a filmmaker returning to his old neighborhood to visit friends) plays Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and his previous film, In Another Country (featuring French actress Isabelle Huppert) plays Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon/evening. Both will return next weekend, as well.
  • The Coolidge, like Kendall Square, mostly keeps things the same; the only daily addition to their schedule is Searching for Sugar Man in the Goldscreen. The special screenings include Friday and Saturday midnights of Dune on 35mm, and seeing the trailer last week reminded me that, good lord, David Lynch did direct Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, and an eight-year-old Alicia Witt in a version of Frank Herbert's classic novel that apparently felt the source material wasn't strange enough.

    On Sunday morning, the Goethe-Institut German film series returns with Das Wochende (The Weekend), with Sebastian Koch as a former terrorist who, upon his unexpectedly early release from prison, gathers old friends, family, and comrades for a weekend at an old country house, creating instant tension.
  • The MFA spends the bulk of its week presenting The Films of Pierre Étaix, Étaix being a French filmmaker who made a series of film that, much like contemporary Jacques Tati, were greatly inspired by absurd silent comedy. The program includes The Great Love, The Suitor, Yoyo, As Long as You're Healthy, and his documentary Land of Milk and Honey. There are also screenings of Indelible Lalita, following the life of an Indian woman who loses her skin color.
  • The Regent Theatre has an encore screening of fame documentary $ellebrity on Thursday the 17th.
  • iMovieCafe opens Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu at Fresh Pond, although I can't find much information on what it's actually about (I swear, Indian movie marketing seems entirely star-based; they have the most generic poster art imaginable). Anyway, it's in unsubtitled Telugu, so unless you speak that language, you may not gt much out of it.

My plans? Well, I didn't get to Promised Land last week, and haven't seen Barbara yet, and, uh... Universal Soldier? Yeah, why not walk into the foruth entry of a series cold?

It may be time to actually work my way through all those DVDs & Blu-rays I've been acquiring and not watching, I think.


Anonymous said...

You should DEFINATELY check out BARBARA before it leaves town. If only I had the same optimism you indicated for how audiences would flock to see Oscar nominated films! With all those Top 10 level movies in the field last weekend, what was the #1 box office flick? The TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE retread .......sad.....

Jason said...

I don't know as I think audiences will flock to nominees as much as I think certain movies will get a little more buzz/awareness, but the folks booking the theaters can't really predict/react properly.