- It's buddy movie week! And in the most potentially nutty take on that I can imagine, Jamie Foxx plays the President in White House Down while Channing Tatum plays cop on a White House tour with his daughter when stuff goes down, apparently winding up better protection than the entire secret service. I've heard that this is even more insane than Olympus Has Falllen, and that was out there. Plus, it's got Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, and Richard Jenkins, with Roland Emmerich directing. It plays the Capitol, Apple, Fenway (including RPX), Boston Common, and the SuperLux.
That means The Heat, with its all-female buddy-cop formula, is only the second-oddest take on the genre. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy star, and Paul Feig (who I'm told handled a female-led comedy well in Bridesmaids) directs. It's at Somerville, Apple, Fenway, and Boston Common.
- The Coolidge opens up 20 Feet from Stardom, a very fun documentary that isn't quite Standing in the Shadow of Motown for back-up singers, but comes pretty close. Check the times, though - sometimes it's playing on the main screen, other times it's in the screening room. Also moving between screens is one of the two midnight movies: Maniac, a remake of a well-known serial-killer movie from the 1980s with Elijah Wood in the title role, is on screen two at midnight on Friday and Saturday, but moves to the wee Goldscreen for 10pm shows from Sunday to Wednesday.
The other midnight movie is certainly a different kind of fun - a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pizza party! The first live-action movie based on the heroes in a half-shell is on the main screen in 35mm Friday and Saturday, and Otto Pizza from across the street will be supplying slices. Jim Henson's Creature Shop made good turtles, and Otto is good pizza. The main screen hosts the week's Big Screen Classic on Monday, with Raiders of the Lost Ark in 35mm, and guys, it's a rule - when Raiders plays in 35mm, you make plans to be there. Like, just now, I bought a ticket online (apparently this series isn't free for members anymore), because I suspect this will sell out.
- 20 Feet from Stardom also opens at Kendall Square, which has another movie about singing playing as well: Unfinished Song (renamed from Song for Marion, its original title in the UK) has Terence Stamp as Arthur, a grumpy retiree pressured to join a local seniors' choir by his wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave). It's led by Gemma Arterton, and Christopher Eccleston plays Arthur's & Marion's son. Fun cast!
They also pick up A Hijacking for a week (and it does look to be at least a week, with nothing opening here on Wednesday); it's a Danish movie that follows both the cook of a hijacked freighter and the executive negotiating for its release. It's got some good acting and does a lot of things well, although after I saw it at IFFBoston I thought it could show the passage of time better. Still, not bad at all.
- The Brattle Theatrecontinues its DCP Debut series, showing off the new projector that a whole bunch of Kickstarter contributors helped them buy with great movies that it may be hard to find prints of. Things kick off on Friday & Saturday with a new restoration of one of Harold Lloyd's most well-remembered silent features, Safety Last!; there are separate-admission 9:30pm shows of Alien (Friday) and Phantom of the Paradise (Saturday). Sunday features The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, with West Side Story playing Tuesday, a new restoration of Badlands at 7pm Wednesday, and, because it's Massachusetts and July 4th, Jaws on Thursday (as well as a 9:15pm show on Wednesday). Monday is missing from that list; that's when the DocYard has their biweekly screening, in this case The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, It which a European filmmaker trying to cast a teenage lead scours the countryside and follows her subjects after the auditions. Director Tinatin Gurchiani will be doing a remote Q&A after the screening.
- The Somerville Theatre, not having enough going on this summer, adds an "Affordable Family Flicks" program this weekend, showing a different DisneyNature documentary each Saturday morning at 11am for $2 whether you are adult, child, or senior; this week's is Earth. Cinema Slumber Party keeps chugging along, this week showing The Blair Witch Project at midnight on Saturday with an introduction by Toronto movie writer Alexandra West. She'll also be doing a lecture at 8pm, although with in being in the Micro-cinema, seating will be very limited. Also continuing is The Capitol in Arlington's "Summer Rewind" series; this week offering up Sixteen Candles on Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30pm and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure at 11am Saturday and sunday mornings.
- The non-existent attendance at last week's Gathr Preview Presents... series doesn't mean it's over; this week's entry, La Playa DC, is a Colombian film about a black teenager searching for his younger brother in a dangerous, racist city. The program has moved back to Tuesdays, and it still plays at the Regent Theatre in Arlington (though it's not yet listed on their site).
- The MFA's film program has one last screening of Sign Painters on Friday afternoon. Most of the weekend is given over to the 15th Annual Roxbury International Film Festival; that local festival dedicated to films by, with, and about people of color also has screenings at the Haley House Bakery Cafe in Roxbury (In Search of the Black Night, Friday 6:30pm), the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (two shorts programs and four features on Saturday) in downtown Boston.
- Ghanchakkar is the iMovieCafe opening at Apple Cinemas; it stars Emraan Hasmi and Vidya Balanas a bickering married couple who rob a bank in a Bollywood little-bit-of-everything movie. It's in Hindi with English subtitles; Raanjhana is sticking around through Tuesday for late shows and you'd better speak Telugu for Balupu, also hanging around through Monday.
- Belmont's Studio Cinema is a second-run theater through Tuesday, playing Star Trek Into Darkness.
- The Boston Harbor Hotel has a weekly Music & Movie Fridays, with live music before a movie plays at sundown (probably just a projected DVD, but the atmosphere can be fun). This Friday's feature is Now Voyager. There are similar series at the Hatch Shell and City Hall Plaza, but they haven't started yet.
My plans? Much Ado, White House Down, Raiders, maybe The Heat, Unfinished Song, IMAX Trek, or some of the good stuff at the Brattle. I'd like to see La Playa DC, but I've got baseball tickets.