Friday, September 20, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 20 September - 26 September 2013

Attention genre movie lovers: Your twitter feed is going to be a solid mass of people talking about how awesome Fantastic Fest and Austin are for the next few week, with maybe a few tweets in between about the actual movies. I strongly suggest dilluting it with baseball and some of the other interesting stuff that's playing Boston.

  • The main attraction at the multiplex appears to be Prisoners, the new ensemble film featuring Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard as parents of kidnapped girls and Jake Gyllenhaal as the detective hunting thier kidnappers down. It got some pretty good reviews at Toronto, and I hear that the previews don't give away all that they seem to. It's at Somerville, Apple, Boston Common, Fenway (including the RPX screen), and the SuperLux. The other thing opening on a bunch of screens is Battle of the Year, which has Josh Holloway as a basketball coach hired to motive an all-star hip-hop dance crew, with Laz Alonso as the old friend that brings him on and Caity Lotz (awesome in The Machine) as the choreographer. Depending on the time of day, it's in 3D and 2D at Apple, Fenway, and Boston Common.

    Boston Common, meanwhile, is opening a whole bunch of smaller things that may be worth a look. My Lucky Star is the opening day-and-date in America and China, and stars Zhang Ziyi as a comic book artist who, while looking for love, gets embroiled in international espionage hijinks. It's a prequel to Sophie's Revenge, although as such you don't need the other movie. Note that it will almost certainly run for only one week, because the theater is apparently getting another Chinese movie (Young Detective Dee!) in next weekend.

    There's also A Single Shot, a pretty good "bag of money" thriller featuring Sam Rockwell cast against type as a brooding outdoorsman who naturally winds up in over his head. They've also got a documentary, The Short Game, which follows eight of the best seven-year-old golfers in the world at a championship open (it also plays out at the Landmark Embassy in Waltham).

    And, probably fitting nobody's definition of "smaller", The Wizard of Oz has been upconverted to Imax 3D for a one-week run before a deluxe Blu-ray is released. Hopefully it's one of the good jobs where a lot of care has been given to the process; the result also plays at Jordan's Furniture stores.
  • The projectionists at Kendall Square are going to be busy swapping hard drives with DCP files in and out of their system, which admittedly doesn't sound like nearly as big a deal as putting together film platters. They start off with Thanks for Sharing (which also plays Boston Common), an ensemble film from the writer of The Kids Are All Right with Mark Ruffalo, Josh Gad, and Tim Robbins all dealing with addiction issues, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Pink, and Joely Richardson as the ladies in their lives.

    There are also two imports playing: You Will Be My Son comes from France and has Niels Arestrup as a vintner considering leaving his estate to a trusted employee's son rather than his own. Afghanistan, meanwhile, offers up The Patience Stone, whose description makes it sound like a fantasy of sorts with its talk of a woman's husband becoming a stone that legend says can destroy the world as she confides her secrets, but that may be metaphorical, as he is paralyzed to begin with.

    There are also documentaries: When Comedy Went to School examines "Borscht Belt" comedians from the early days of Jerry Lewis and Sid Caesar performing in the Catskills forward. It's short in length (only about 77 minutes) and in the length of its run, as it's booked for just one week. There's also Salinger, a much-advertised look at Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger which (if the trailer is correct) is mostly famous folks who have read his writing.
  • The new release at the Coolidge is also a documentary: Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve , whose name is probably pretty self-explanatory; it opens in the Screening Room (for the most part).

    Plenty of special presentations, though. The weekend midnight shows are both in the "so bad it's amazing" category: Showgirls plays the main screen in 35mm both days, while The Room returns upstairs on Friday. Come Sunday, two series which have been taking the summer off return. The first Talk Cinema screening on the docket is Reaching for the Moon, with Miranda Otto as an American poet in love with a Brazilian architect played by Gloria Pires (and Treat Williams un-slumming in a supporting role). The Goethe-Institut German film is Life Is No Piece of Cake, a "tragi-comedy" about a father and daughter dealing with the loss of their wife and mother (worth noting, these screenings are apparently only $5 this year). Something from a great German director, Josef von Sternberg, plays Monday with the Alloy Orchestra accompanying the "Sounds of Silents" screening of The Last Command.
  • The Brattle Theatre keeps things pretty simple this week, with a new digital restoration of Enter the Dragon having the place to itself from Friday to Monday. Then they're closed Tuesday & Wednesday before co-presenting "It's Time for Adventure Time" to kick off the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo; they'll have Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb, the folks who create the well-regarded tie-in comic, on hand to show their favorite episodes and talk about making their version.
  • the Harvard Film Archive continues Nuvove Visioni: Italian Cinema Now with Reality, We Believed, andLe Quattro Volte playing at 7pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively. That means they've got a couple slots for the Complete Alfred Hitchcock, with Strangers on a Train playing Friday at 9:30pm and Torn Curtain at 4:30pm Sunday. On Monday, surrealist filmmaker Standish Lawder will visit to present a selection of his 16mm films from the late 1960s and early 1970s. There's also a VES screening on Wednesday, featuring silent films "Coney Island at Night" and Metropolis (probably the complete cut).
  • Did anybody go to The Regent Theatre to see Zero Charisma last week? I'm actually kind of curious. At any rate, the Gathr Preview Series moves back to Tuesday this week with Operation E, which portrays the story of a cocaine farmer in Colombia who winds up entangled with guerilla fighters and a hostage infant. They've also got another film screening, AshBash: A Love Story, a documentary about a woman growing comfortable with her single status who throws a part to substitute for a wedding reception. That's on Thursday, with director Heidi Sullivan and subject Ashley Norwood on hand for a Q&A afterward.
  • The MFA continues the Matías Piñeiro retrospective with They All Lie playing Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Wednesday; Rosalinda on Friday & Saturday and Viola on Friday. The Wall also continues with screenings on Friday, Saturday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Two other films enter the rotation on Wednesday & Thursday: Documentary The Legend of Cool "Disco" Dan looks at a DC-area tagger; the directors will be on-hand for a Q&A after Thursday's "Throwback Thursday 'Hippie Chic' College Welcome". There's also Far From Vietnam, an anthology film created in 1967 to protest American involvement. Both filmscontinue through the end of the month.
  • ArtsEmerson has a final screening of Truth in Translation on Saturday. Neither of the week's Bright Lights programs are straight films: Hollow on Tuesday the 24th is billed as an "interactive documentary, while Thursday the 26th is a visit from Julian Smirke, who has worked as (first) assistant editor on films such asStar Trek Into Darkness, Super 8, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Reservation required on that one.
  • The UMass Boston Film Series returns for a new season of free documentary screenings with filmmaker Q&As on Wednesday the 25th with Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, which looks at the infamous case of three women sentenced to seven years in prison for a satirical performance in Moscow that lasted under a minute.
  • iMovieCafe opens Phata Poster Nikhla Hero at Apple Cinemas this week; it appears to be a Bollywood comedy about a woman who wants her son to become an honest policeman. There's also shows of Tamil-language Ya Yaa, and I've got no idea what that's about.
  • This week's Tarantino flick at The Capitol is Reservoir Dogs on Friday & Saturday at 10:30pm. They're also bringing back The Heat for a week.

My plans? My Lucky Star, Prisoners, Drinking Buddies, The Last Command, Operation E, the Sox' last (regular-season) home game and we'll see how much I've got left after all that.

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