Friday, February 22, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 22 February - 28 February 2013

Before getting to what's playing this week, here's something I hope will be playing next month: I've requested a screening of Back to 1942 on Monday, March 25th; it's the latest film directed by Feng, who also made Big Shot's Funeral, The Banquet, Assembly, and Aftershock, and looks to be along the lines of the latter two, a dramatic recreation of a real-life tragedy with a noteworthy cast, this time including Americans Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins. It needs to be "tipped" by March 11th, so let's try and make it happen!

Speaking of things to make happen, there's a week left on The Brattle's Kickstarter; they're about $50k short of the money they need to both upgrade their HVAC system and add DCP projection capabilities. There's roughly two weeks left on that of the Boston Underground Film Festival. They are a great festival and have a nice looking line-up planned, including I Declare War, Big-Ass Spider, and Sion Sono's Guilty of Romance. Best way to reserve tickets or a pass and get some swag, too.

That's a way in the future. Meanwhile, this week is pretty quiet, as no studio appears to want to upstage the Oscars.

  • Hey, it's that time of year, when Crash Arts brings the Alloy Orchestra to the Somerville Theatre on a Saturday night. This weekend at 8pm on the 23rd), it's a set of Buster Keaton shorts, including his first ("The Butcher Boy"), another one with Fatty Arbuckle ("Good Night, Nurse!"), and one of his own ("The Play House"). It's digital projection, but awesomely analog audio - and Buster friggin' Keaton!
  • With the Academy Awards on Sunday night, the studios figure it's not the best time to release the top-tier pictures. So, the most promising-looking wide release is Snitch, featuring Dwayne Johnson as a driver going undercover to secure a plea-bargain for his son. The Rock's usually better than his material, and he's got a nice supporting cast (Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, more), and a writer/director in Ric Roman Waugh who came up doing stunts so likely knows his action. It plays Boston Common, Fenway, and Fresh Pond. Boston Common and Fenway also get Dark Skies, featuring Keri Russell as the mother of a family marked for alien abduction or the like, and J.K. Simmons as the expert on such things. She's great in The Americans and he's a fine character actor, but this is getting vicious reviews.

    But, hey, it's getting out there, at least; Stand Off (aka Whole Lotta Sole) is only playing 5pm shows at Showcase Cinemas in Revere. It's directed by Terry George and features Brendan Fraser and Colm Meaney in the middle of a hostage crisis after a young crook robs a fish market. You wonder why they even bothered.
  • Kendall Square, which relies even more on prestige pictures than the multiplexes, has one movie opening, John Dies at the End, an enjoyably loopy sci-fi comedy adapted by cult auteur Don Coscarelli, starring Chase Williamson & Rob Mayes, featuring fun appearances with Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, and the like. I quite enjoyed it when I saw it at BUFF last year.
  • The Brattle has their annual Oscar Party on Sunday evening, and good stuff on either side. Friday and Saturday night, they highlight one of the awards' biggest oversights, that of not nominating Matthew McConaughey for anything. Friday night, that means Magic Mike, while Saturday is a double feature of the less-seen Bernie and Killer Joe. Those afternoons finish up school vacation with more Bugs Bunny Film Festival screenings, a different group from what was playing the rest of the week called "The Looney Tunes Review".

    After the Oscars, they put their focus on Park Chan-wook, the second great Korean genre director to make his English-language debut this year. The first three nights are his famous "Vengeance Trilogy": Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance on Monday, Lady Vengeance on Tuesday, and Oldboy on Wednesday. Thursday night, they've got a sneak preview of Stoker, which looks fantastic. They play late-ish, with documentaries earlier in the evening: Monday night is a DocYard presentation of Call Me Kuchu, which follows Uganda's first openly-gay man as he attempts to prevent legislation that would make homosexuality illegal; director Malika Zouhali-Worrall does Q&A afterward. Tuesday night, Alex Shear presents his Kokoyaku: High School Baseball, which follows a pair of Japanese teams as they prepare for koshinen, the high-school baseball tournament that is like the NCAA tournament and and then some. And on Wednesday, All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert delves into the life and work of the artist, with Rembert and filmmaker Vivian Ducat.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre makes a bet on the Oscars by bringing The Impossible back for 9:20pm shows on screen #2, which bumps Amour the the screening room for its last show of the day. 56 Up has the screening room for the rest of the day, bumping the animated and live-action shorts to the Mini-Max.

    In special screenings, they finish Blaxploitation History Month with two chances to see Isaac Hayes as a badass bounty hunter in Truck Turner (Friday & Saturday at midnight), with the extra fun of Nichelle Nichols as one of the folks gunning for him. On Sunday morning, there's a Goethe-Institut screening of The Foster Boy, which builds its story around a longtime Swiss policy of placing orphaned children on farms as a form of slavery. Monday night is the rescheduled Science on Screen presentation of Edward Scissorhands with biological anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva from Halloween; it's sold out but there will be a rush line starting at 6pm.
  • The Harvard Film Archive continues its two retrospectives - the Raoul Walsh series wraps around, with White Heat and Me and My Gal on Friday, The Roaring Twenties Sunday afternoon, and Colorado Territory Monday evening. In between, French filmmaker Leos Carax will be introducing two movies in person - Holy Motors on Saturday evening and Bad Blood on Sunday.
  • The MFA finishes up the complete Stanley Kubrick filmography with The Shining (Friday & Saturday), Full Metal Jacket (Saturday), Eyes Wide Shut (Sunday), and the delayed-due-to-snow Barry Lyndon (also Sunday); all, I believe, are 35mm. They also begin a run of documentary How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire on Wednesday; it continues into next week. There's also a single run of Delhi in a Day, a comedy set in an upper-class Hindu household, on Thursday evening.
  • ArtsEmerson finishes up their "The Next Thing" film program with experimental picture Your Brother, Remember? Friday evening, Argentine play El Pasado Es un Animal Grotesco Saturday night, and Spike Lee's Passing Strange on Saturday afternoon; there are also reruns of Transition (Friday night) and The Shipment (Saturday evening).
  • AMC's Best Picture Showcase has its second half on Saturday the 23rd, starting at 10am and running all day with Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi (in 3D), Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty
  • The ICA has another chance for last-minute Oscar catch-up with the nominated short films: Animation (Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 11am), Live Action (Sunday at 2pm), and the second group of documentaries (Sunday at 5pm).
  • iMovieCafe has two new movies opening: Kai Po Che! is in Hindi with English subtitles, in which three friends open a cricket academy. It shares the screen with Jabardasth, a Telugu-language romantic comedy.

My plans? Alloy Orchestra, Magic Mike, Kokoyaku, getting around to Die Hard, maybe Amour pre-Oscars, and I really, really want to get to the preview of Stoker; maybe someone who doesn't work in a horrible suburb can save me a seat.

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