Friday, August 16, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 16 August - 22 August 2013

Back home. Still doing this late at night when I really should be sleeping

  • Is The Butler the biggest opener this week? I think it is! I guess it covers a lot of ground, featuring Forest Whitaker as a white house butler who served eight different presidents (from Eisenhower to Bush I), and comes from Precious director Lee Daniels, whose name has been placed in the title to prevent "confusion" with a 1916 silent short. Normally, I'd call Warner Brothers's complaint about that petty, but it's against The Weinstein Company, and screw them. It's also got a truly strange supporting cast, with Alan Rickman & Jane Fonda as the Reagans, John Cusack as Nixon, and Mariah Carey. It's on 35mm at the Coolidge, DCP everywhere else (the Capitol, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, and the SuperLux).

    The Coolidge also has the usual brace of special screenings: The Karate Kid is the 1980s classic at midnight on Friday and Saturday, and The Big Lebowski is the big screen classic on Monday. Both are on the big screen in 35mm; Lebowski is one of the summer's signature events, with costume contests, trivia, and bowling. I'm kind of shocked it's not sold out already. There's also yet another encore of Helen Mirren in The Audience at 11am on Saturday.
  • What else opens? Jobs, the hastily-produced Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher. A lot of folks apparently admire this guy for some reason, although he strikes me as pretty miserable (Jobs, that is; Kutcher doesn't necessarily do movies I like, but seems good-natured enough). It's at Somerville, Apple, Boston Common, Fenway,a nd the SuperLux. There's also Paranoia, a corporate thriller which demonstrates what a strange new world we live in where Harrison Ford gets fourth billing. It's at Fenway, Boston Common, and Apple.

    Oh, right, there's also Kick-Ass 2, with the folks that survived the first movie going back out to fight crime, this time with Jim Carrey around (though in a smaller role than you'd guess from the advertising). It's at Somerville, Apple, Fenway, and Boston Common.

    Both Fenway and Boston Common will be doing a special screening of the "Cornetto Trilogy" - Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End on Thursday the 22nd ahead of the latter film's official premiere next weekend. Fenway also has stand-up performance "Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla" on Thursday
  • After promoting it all summer with a coming-of-age film series (to the extent that i thought it had already come and gone), Kendall Square finally opens IFFBoston opening night film The Spectacular Now, a surprisingly good coming of age/bottoming out movie starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. That also plays Boston Common, but Kendall Square also has the closing-night film - the uneven-but-with-good moments In a World... - and yet another selection, Prince Avalanche, which features David Gordon Green getting back to a small, character-focused movie, with Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch paving roads together.

    In somewhat lower-profile releases, they also have The Attack, about a Palestinian, fully assimilated into Israeli society, who is shocked to discover that his Christian wife seems to have been the one to carry out a recent suicide bombing. I liked it a lot, but the idea at the center is bleak. The one-week booking, on the other hand, looks considerably more upbeat, with documentary Rising From the Ashes featuring legendary American cyclist Jock Boyer going to Rwanda to help build their national bicycling team.
  • It's a very busy week at the Brattle Theatre. The Massachusetts Independent Film Festival is there on Friday and Saturday. My friend Izzy Lee's short, "Legitimate", plays in the "Woman of Horror" block at 4:10pm on Friday, and again at midnight, as the lead-in to a special screening of Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem. There's more horror, too, with a new restoration of Rosemary's Baby playing at 9:30pm Friday, 7:30 & 10pm Saturday, and all day Sunday. There's also a Saturday-morning screening of Elijah Starr's SupaDupa at 10:30am.

    With that chaotic sort of weekend, the vertical schedule for the rest of the week looks almost sedate - a 35mm Burt Lancaster double feature of Castle Keep and The Scalphunters on Monday & Tuesday, a Recent Rave of Stories We Tell on Wednesday, and a special presentation of Rewind This! with director Josh Johnson in town on Thursday, followed by "VHS Vengeance!", which combines straight-to-VHS Canuxploitation movie Science Crazed and whatever Ned has dug up from the theater staff's own VHS collections.
  • Cinema Slumber Party does double duty at The Somerville Theatre on Saturday. Apparently they weren't able to screen Larry Fessenden's new one, Beneath, a month ago, so they've teamed up with All Things Horror to have it play at 8pm in the screening room (it's small, so get your $5 tickets early!). Later on, at midnight, they'll be showing The Road Warrior on 35mm in the big room.
  • The Harvard Film Archive keeps up the good work: Two final screenings of Le Pont du Nord by Jacques Rivette Friday at 9pm and Sunday at 4pm. More of The Complete Alfred Hitchcock, with Norotious at 7pm on Friday, Rear Window at 9pm on Saturday, a double feature of The Lady Vanishes and Waltzes from Vienna at 7pm on Sunday, and Marnie on Thursday. Burt Lancaster is represented by Criss Cross at 7pm on Saturday and Kiss the Blood Off My Hands on Monday.
  • The MFA's film program re-screens Ulrich Seidl's Paradise Trilogy, with Love playing Friday afternoon and the whole trio (Hope, Love, and Faith) playing Saturday. There's also more Wong Kar-Wai, with In the Mood for Love Friday & Saturday, 2046 on Wednesday, and the sold-out preview screening of The Grandmaster on Thursday. The Boston International Children's Film Festival also starts a return engagement this week, with Wolf Children Sunday afternoon and Belgium's The Zigzag Kid late Wednesday afternoon.
  • Chennai Express, seems to be doing pretty well, sticking around at both Fenway and Apple's iMovieCafe screen. Thalaiva plays matinees if you speak Tamil.
  • I missed mentioning it last week, but Gathr Preview Presents... has started back up at The Regent Theatre, with Papadopoulos & Sons running at 7:30pm on Tuesday. It was apparently a sleeper hit in the UK, about a self-made millionaire who loses everything and has to move his family in with his estranged brother at the old fish & chips shop. It's co-presented with Belmont World Film, so hopefully it won't just be me there this time.
  • Free and outside: Mary Poppins at the Boston Harbor Hotel's Music & Movie Fridays and Jack the Giant Slayer at the Hatch Shell's Free Friday Flicks (and the Melnea A. Cass complex in Roxbury on Tuesday). Saturday has Honey, I Shrunk the Kids in Roslindale and Madagascar 3 at the Prudential Center's South Garden. The 1974 version of The Great Gatsby plays Christopher Columbus Park on Sunday. We Are Marshall is at Billings Field in West Roxbury on Monday. Wednesday has three movies: Ghostbusters by the Clover food truck in Dewey Square, The Croods at the Condon Shell in Medford, and Casablanca at the North Point Park in Cambridge. There's an as-yet-unannounced back-to-school movie night at Cambridge's Green Rose Heritage Park on Thursday, when Dorchester's Pope John Paul II Park has Oz: The Great and Powerful and the Somerville's Seven Hills Park will have a mystery movie from 1993. (All listings from Joe's Boston Free Films)
  • The Capitol does a little second-run shuffling, with 2 Guns moving over from Somerville and Blackfish coming from Kendall Square, while Red 2's single screening will be pre-empted on Saturday and Sunday.
My plans? Well, I've got things carving out time - niece's birthday party on Saturday, baseball on Sunday - but I'm hoping to catch The Lady Vanishes, Paranoia, Chennai Express, Papadopoulos & Sons, and (hopefully) Beneath & The Road Warrior (we're going to Redneck's or something in between, right, guys?)

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