Thursday, July 11, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 12 July - 18 July 2013

Big movie-going week upcoming, the sort where I complain about having to make tough choices and everyone else justifiably tells me to stop whining.

  • First tough decision: Where to see Pacific Rim? A big, giant mechs versus giant monsters movie from Guillermo del Toro demands the big screen (3D optional; del Toro is saying he love the post-production conversion, but he was singing a different tune a year ago). That normally means hitting the furniture store, but it also seems like a good opportunity to check out the crazy new place at Chestnut Hill. It's one of the summer's most exciting-looking movies, at any rate, and it's playing in both at the Somverville, Apple Cinemas, Jordan's Furniture, Boston Common (including Imax-branded screen), Fenway (including RPX), and the SuperLux.

    The multiplexes - Apple, the Capitol, Fenway, Boston Common - also have the newest movie where Adam Sandler somehow gets a studio to pay him to hang out with his friends (Grown Ups 2), which may be handy if Pacific Rim is sold out and you've seen everything else (I swear, the Capitol's website kind of has its opening as an afterthought, like "yeah, we booked it because we know people will buy tickets, but we're not proud"). Boston Common also has some one-offs, as well: They'll run My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, in which one of the Friendship Is Magic! characters winds up transported to our world where she turns into a human teenager and meets human equivalents of her friends, on Saturday Morning; there's also 10pm shows of The Hunger Games on Monday through Wednesday.
  • The Brattle Theatre has a weekend booking of A Band Called Death, which they ran during the Boston Underground Film Festival. It's a pretty great movie about a set of teenaged African-American brothers from Detroit who were punk before there was punk. Co-director Mark Covino will be on-hand for the 7:30pm and 9:30pm screenings on Friday. It's not the only documentary with directors on hand; Monday night is a DocYard screening, with Lynne Sachs and co-producer Sean Hanley coming to town to show Your Day is My Night, which tells the story of relative strangers who share a bed, each using it while the other is at work.

    Monday also has a matinee of Elmer Gantry, which also plays Tuesday night, part of the summer's Burt Lancaster Centennial Tribute. That also signals the start of the old-school "vertical schedule", with Burt getting Monday & Tuesday. Wednesdays will be "Recent Raves", which this week means a double feature of young actresses in grown-up roles for eccentric filmmakers - Elle Fanning in Sally Hawkins's pretty-darn-good Ginger & Rosa, and a number of Disney Channel stars in Harmony Korine's audacious (but fairly empty) Spring Breakers. Thursdays, pretty precisely corresponding with by trip to Montreal for Fantasia (I know, stop whining), will be for Guns, Girls, and Ghosts: The Warped World of Shintoho Films, a celebration of the Japanese studio specializing in exploitation/genre films. This week's double feature is Yellow Line & Flesh Pier.
  • The Harvard Film Archive will be tag-teaming with the Brattle on the Burt Lancaster Series, but this year they're focusing on their other big summer series, The Complete Alfred Hitchcock. It actually kicks off today (Thursday the 11th) with Vertigo, with this weekend screenings including The Lodger & Frenzy (Friday), the silent version of Blackmail & To Catch a Thief (Saturday), Foreign Correspondent & The Wrong Man (Sunday), and The Ring (Monday). All are screening in 35mm and The Lodger, Blackmail, and The Ring have live accompaniment (the silents are part of a set of new BFI-restored prints).

    As you might note from the schedule, the HFA is running films Thursday nights in addition to the usual Friday-Monday schedule during the summer, and on the 18th they'll be welcoming alumnus Nina Davenport for the premiere of her new documentary First Comes Love, an autobiographical work about raising a child in the modern age.
  • I'm not sure exactly why movies sometimes open at The Coolidge a week after Kendall Square, but it happens again this week with The Way, Way Back, a coming-of-age movie set in and around a beach town and its water park, starring Liam James and a gaggle of keen character actors. They also open another IFFBoston selection, much-better-than-the-first horror anthology V/H/S/2, which starts out playing midnight on screen #2 on Friday, moves to the screening room for its Saturday midnight, and then the GoldScreen for 9:50-ish shows from Sunday to Thursday (and moving to the Brattle for late shows next weekend).

    The main midnight show is part of their "New York City Psychos" series; this week the movie (and psycho) in question is Taxi Driver on 35mm. Also playing the theater on 35mm: Monday night's "Big Screen Classics" selection, The Sound of Music. In not-exactly-movies selections, there's an NT Live broadcast of Helen Mirren in "The Audience" on Wednesday, and a live performance by The Boston Babydolls ("The Fine Art of Burlesque") at midnight on Saturday.
  • Kendall Square was going to open Byzantium this weekend, but it appears to be off the schedule. What the heck, guys? On the plus side, they are opening Pedro Almodovar's new one, I'm So Excited, an airplane-set dark comedy that includes Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, and Paz Vega in its ensemble cast. The one-week booking is documentary Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story; Ungerer is a children's book writer who was blacklisted when people found out he also made anti-war posters and erotica. The one-night "Spectacular Classics" screening (apparently in conjunction with The Spectacular Now) is Dazed and Confused, which I think is popping up in two or three separate rep programs this year.
  • I may be mistaken on that; it's not listed as part of Cinema Slumber Party at the Somerville Theatre, for instance. This week, those guys have a 35mm screening of George Romero's Day of the Dead at midnight on Saturday, and if you get there early, you can catch Nightmare Factory for free (note: while Day is on the big screen, Factory is in the micro-cinema, so registering ahead of time is encouraged). The other summer series are also represented, with "Silents Please!" on Sunday featuring the 1925 version of Ben-Hur on 35mm with Jeff Rapsis accompanying - and, as a bonus, the very short 1907 version on (I believe) 16mm! The $2 DisneyNature documentary on Saturday morning is African Cats, which Apple Cinemas appears to be running for free at the same time all week.

    The Capitol has both day and night shifts of "Summer Rewind" this weekend, with Pretty in Pink at 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial at 11am on Saturday and Sunday.
  • I worry a bit about how the Gathr Preview Presents... series will do while I'm out of town; this week was the second where I was alone. I won't make it to this Tuesday's entry at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, The Informant. That one (which played Boston earlier this year as part of the DocYard series), and focuses on Brandon Darby, a one-time liberal hero who later became an FBI informant. The Regal will also be showing an hour of short films from the Arlington International Film Festival at (roughly) 8:45pm on Saturday as part of the free Arlington Alive! summer block party.
  • The MFA's film program this week is their 18th Annual Boston French Film Festival, which has screenings of Like Brothers, Haute Cuisine (sold out), The Nun, Crawl, Journal de France, Almayer's Folly, The Stroller Strategy, Just a Sigh, and Aliyah at various times on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday, and will continue through the 28th.
  • iMovieCafe once again has two movies opening at Apple Cinemas, with Singam 2 and Lootera sticking around for a few one-off shows as well. Bhaag Milkha Bhaaag is an inspirational sports story with Farhan Akhtar playing Olympic runner Milkha Singh, who grew up orphaned and homeless after his family was killed during the Partition; it's in Hindi with subtitles); Sahasam is a Telugu-language action movie; not sure what that's about. The IMDB describes Neram (which plays in Malayalam for one show on Sunday) as a thriller about escaping a loan shark
  • What's free and outside this week? The Music & Movie Fridays show at the Boston Harbor Hotel is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, playing at sundown on the 5th with live music for a couple hours before (weather permitting, of course). A few stops on the Red Line away, the Free Friday Flicks screening at the Hatch Shell is Despicable Me. There's a series starting at Christopher Columbus Park on Sunday, supposedly, although the schedule has yet to be posted. A few more stops up the Red Line, in Somerville, they're running a "Class of 1993" series at the various parks on Thursday nights; the selection for the 18th (in Davis Square's Seven Hills Park) is The Fugitive; if you're seeing this minutes after I post on the 11th, you can catch Jurassic Park there.

My plans? Pacific Rim, I'm So Excited, Hitchock, Ben-Hur, the Barenaked Ladies/Ben Folds concert on Tuesday, and then getting on the Greyhound on Thursday so that I can start binging at Fantasia with Shield of Straw and The Conjuring!

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