Friday, February 01, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 February - 8 February 2013

There are angles aplenty for this weekend's releases: Oscar-nominees, those who had hoped for that status, and other best-ofs; an early and unconventional Valentine's Day movie; another 1980s star trying to reclaim his former juice.

  • The weird love story is Warm Bodies, in which Nicholas Hoult plays a zombie whose heart starts beating again once he meets but does not eat a girl (Teresa Palmer). It's also got John Malkovich, Rob Corddry, and Lizzy Caplan, with Jonathan Levine (who has done a few odd youth-oriented movies) behind the camera. It's going for something obvious, sure, but still looks like a better use of its premise than Zombieland. It plays the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Fenway (including the RPX screen), and Boston Common.

    Meanwhile, Sylvester Stallone hopes his 80s-throwback action flick does better than Arnold's sadly-underseen The Last Stand. Sly's Bullet to the Head has also got a guy who is really good at this sort of action directing in Walter Hill; the story involves a hitman teaming up with a detective (Sung Kang) to rescue his daughter and get revenge. Bloody violence ensues at Boston Common, Fenway, and Fresh Pond.
  • Speaking of old criminals, Stand Up Guys opens at Kendall Square, Boston Common, and Fenway, with Al Pacino as a con released from prison after 28 years and Christopher Walken as the old friend come to pick him up (and represent organized crime in less amiable ways), with Alan Arkin as an old partner in crime because he makes this sort of movie better. It apparentlly had an awards-qualifying run in December but not the kind that gets the ensemble recognition.

    Kendall Square also lets you check out the 2013 Oscar-Nominated Short Films, with programs for both live-action and animated shorts. Each program has five films , though they're splitting a theater, so check when they're playing (they will also play at Coolidge Corner and the ICA later). There's also a one-night screening of Please Subscribe, a documentary about YouTube artists, on Tuesday the 5th at 7:30pm.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre doesn't have those programs this week, but they have the 2013 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts programs - two of them, since those tend to bump much closer to the 40-minute maximum than the fictional films. Program "A" is two hours long and features three shorts; program "B" is an hourt wenty and features two. They'll be moving between the Screening Room and GoldScreen depending on the day, splitting the screen between them. The other video screen will feature Rust and Bone.

    In perhaps less highbrow fashion, February's midnight movie schedule honors Black History Month with Blaxploitation. This Friday & Saturday nights' selection is Coffy, with Pam Grier as a nurse looking for revenge on the dealers who put her sister in the hospital.
  • The Brattle runs their (Some of) The Best of 2012 series this week, with many films featuring introductions by members of the Boston Society for Film Critics. Most are double features, and all (as of right now) are playing in 35mm: Friday is kids on their own with Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom; Saturday is superheros with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises; Sunday is rediscoveries with Wake in Fright and Daisies; Monday is imprisoned-artist docs with This Is Not a Film and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry; Tuesday is just Seven Psychopaths; Wednesday is people wandering in what initially appears to be an aimless fashion with The Day He Arrives and Oslo, August 31st; and Thursday is Joseph Gordon-Levitt night with Looper and Premium Rush. There's also a special Sunday show of Franklin Wunder at noon; director Chris Lang will be there to introduce the locally-produced film.
  • The Harvard Film Archive begins a month-long retrospective of one of Hollywood's most reliable (and underrated) workhorses: Action! Action! Action! A Raoul Walsh Retrospective. This weekend's selections include They Drive by Night & Manpower on Friday and The Thief of Bagdad & Objective, Burma! on Sunday. Drive and Burma! are 35mm, Manpower is 16mm, Thief is a new digital restoration.

    On Saturday, they have two screenings of Bruno Dumont's Hors Satan, in which a mysterious stranger with apparently supernatural powers arrives in a desert town; it will also have a mini-run there next weekend. And on Monday, Romuald Karmakar and Professor Eric Rentschler will be on-hand for screening of Karmakar's The Deathmaker, which depicts the interrogation of the serial killer who was the inspiration for Peter Lorre in M. There's also a Tuesday-night VES screening of Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love (a regular part of the curriculum, though it's open to the public).
  • That film also plays ArtsEmerson's Bright Screening Room this weekend (Saturday evening in 35mm). There doesn't seem to be an overarching theme to this weekend's programming aside from noteworthy directors. There's Luis Buñuel (Los Olvidados, Friday evening, DVD); Satyajit Ray (The Music Room, Friday night, Blu-ray); Ingmar Bergman (Fanny and Alexander, Saturday afternoon, 35mm); David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Saturday night, Blu-ray), and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Syndromes and a Century, Sunday afternoon, 35mm)
  • The MFA will be spending much of February screening The Films of Stanley Kubrick, starting with the disowned but newly-restored Fear and Desire (Friday,Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday). This week's screenings also include Killer's Kiss and The Killing (both Saturday and Sunday). Saturday and Sunday both also feature screenings from The 2nd Annual ReelAbilities Boston Disabilities Film Festival - The Straight Line, Body and Soul, and Me, Too. All are open-captioned, with The Straight Line also audio-described for the visually impaired. Lena Dunham will be in town Thursday afternoon for a screening of Tiny Furniture, although since that is listed as sold out, this just serves as a heads-up for those who already have tickets.
  • The Regent Theatre has one film screening this weekend, a bicycle-oriented exploration film called Reveal the Path on Thursday evening.
  • The Arlington Capitol picks up Rust and Bone and Hyde Park on Hudson this weekend, although Rust and Bone and Parental Guidance are only playing Friday through Sunday; they will be screening Capitol Classics Double Features in their (pretty darn nice) main auditorium once the work week begins. Those double features include Pulp Fiction & Reservoir Dogs (Monday), Kill Bill I & II (Tuesday), Robocop & The Terminator (Wednesday), and A Fistful of Dollars & For a Few Dollars More (Thursday). Screenings are probably digital, with more planned for next week.
  • iMovieCafe has five different movies splitting what looks like two screens at Fresh Pond - David, Kadal, Ongole Githa, Race 2, and Viswaroopam - but off all those, I think only Race 2 has subtitles.

My plans? Geez, I'm going to have to play it by ear; I'm basically starting with the new releases, maybe the rare Kubricks, Coffy, Oslo, and whatever is easiest to get to on any given night.

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