- Potentially very awesome. The Last Stand isn't just Kim's first English-language feature (and if the name doesn't mean anything to you, it means you really need to watch The Good The Bad The Weird, A Bittersweet Life, I Saw the Devil and/or the original A Tale of Two Sisters), but Arnold Schwarzeneggar's first lead role since Terminator 3 ten years ago, with Eduardo Noriega as the villain heading for Arnold's border town at high speed and a supporting cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare, Johnny Knoxville, and Luis Guzman. It's got some good early notices and plays at the Somerville Theatre, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway.
Also looking to have some potential is Mama, a thriller from producer Guillermo del Toro and director Andres Muschietti featuring Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a couple who adopt a pair of children who have been living alone in the woods from a very young age. It pays Boston Common, Fenway, and Fresh Pond. The tea leaves don't quite look quite so favorable for Broken City, which has a good director in Allen Hughes and a nice cast in Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as an ex-cop, the mayor, and his wife in a tangle of sex, lies, and power. It plays the Arlington Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway.
- If you like to see everything nominated for the Oscars, the Coolidge Corner Theatre can hook you up with Amour in 35mm. It's from Michael Haneke, so it's almost certain to be emotionally brutal even before you find out it's the story of an elderly couple (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) whose lives become much harder when the wife suffers a stroke. Isabelle Huppert plays their daughter. They've also got a selection of 2012 Sundance Short Films playing in the screening room in anticipation of their upcoming Sundance USA screening.
The Friday & Saturday night midnight movie, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, isn't just famed Italian filmmaker Dario Argento's first movie as writer & director, but also considered the first of the blood "giallo" genre. The latest entry in the Talk Cinema preview series may be as significant (probably not), although the film in question still has not been announced.
- Kendall Square also picks up Amour on two screens, though they're all-digital now. They also give those of us who missed Beasts of the Southern Wild when it played this summer a chance to see it again after it racked up four nominations, including one for its very young star.
- The Brattle has a few changes to its schedule this week. It's still all Dead of Winter: Satan on Screen, but there have been some substitutions. Legend still plays Friday, but Bell Book and Candle replaces Heaven Can Wait as part of a double feature with Damn Yankees (playing digitally) on Saturday, with Prince of Darkness as the late show. Sunday is still The Devil's Eye and The Canterbury Tales, while The Witches of Eastwick replaces Bedazzled as part of a double feature with Deconstructing Harry on Monday. There are double features Tuesday and Wednesday - a digital presentation of Toby Dammit & The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and the silent pair of Faust (digital) & Witchcraft Through the Ages, respectively - and Rosemary's Baby on Thursday.
- The Harvard Film Archive continues its screenings from last week: Michael Roemer's Nothing But a Man plays Friday night, and Sunday afternoon. Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives runs Friday and Monday evenings. They also begin a retrospective, As if Our Eyes Were in Our Hands – The Films of Susumu Hani, with A Full Life Saturday evening,Bad Boys Saturday night, and a pair of featurettes ("Children in the Classroom" and "Children Who Draw") Sunday evening.
- ArtsEmerson re-starts film screenings this weekend with a series of films apparently tying in to Martin Luther King Jr. Day with primarily African-American casts. Friday's pictures are Freedom Riders at 6pm and Talk to Me at 9pm. Saturday has Akeelah and the Bee at 1pm, Can We Talk at 6pm (followed by a discussion with the people involved in the Boston Busing/Desegregation Project it covers), and Do the Right Thing at 9pm. Medicine for Melancholy plays Sunday at 1pm. The first few are presented on 35mm, while Can We Talk is DVD, Do the Right Thing is Blu-ray, and Medicine for Melancholy on digibeta.
- The MFA finishes up the Films of Pierre Étaix Friday night before starting in with the Boston Festival of Films from Iran on Saturday, including Rhino Season on Saturday and Sunday and One. Two. One. on Sunday; the series continues next weekend.
- The Regent Theatre has three different film screenings this week: Exit Elena plays Friday night; it's from local filmmaker Nathan Silver (who will be present for a Q&A afterward) and follows a live-in-assistant coping with a messed-up family. Saturday night's movie, Cowboy Spirit, will also have the director (William F. Miller) on-hand; his movie features rich Manley as a modern cowboy who must make a cross-country ride to save a young girl's life. And on Tuesday the 22nd, they show The Mulberry Tree, a story about a prison worker and a convict dying of AIDS that features Joe Morton.
My plans? The Last Stand, Mama, the Talk Cinema Screening and maybe Beasts of the Southern Wild, plus a couple of Chlotrudis-nomination things.