Friday, November 01, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 November - 7 November 2013

Wait... No baseball tonight? Well, more time for movies. Bummer about MoviePass changing their terms to try and slow frequent moviegoers down.

  • Busy week at the multiplexes, although most of them seem a bit iffy. There's Free Birds, for instance, an ainmated comedy about turkeys who travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to prevent their species from being the traditional dinner. Owen Wilson & Woody Harrelson voice the smart and dumb turkeys, respectively. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway, with all venues having 2D and 3D showtimes.

    For a somewhat more grown-up fantasy, there's About Time, the new one from Richard Curtis with Domhnall Gleeson as a young man who discovers the men in his family (including father Bill Nighy) can travel in time, although only to change their personal lives; Rachel McAdams plays the woman he gives himself second, third, and more chances with. It's at Kendall Square, Fenway, Boston Common, and the SuperLux.

    What else? Well, there's Last Vegas, with Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman as old friends of Michael Douglas's who reunite for a trip to Vegas when he remarries. Nice cast, although I never really thought of Kline as being as old as the others. It's at Capitol, the Belmont Studio, Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway. There's also Ender's Game, the long-gestating adaptation of a much-loved sci-fi book with a similarly great cast (Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin) that has been poisoned for many by Orson Scott Card's bigotry. It's at the Somerville, Jordan's Furniture, Apple, Boston Common (including the Imax screen), and Fenway.

    Boston Common also opens Diana, director Oliver Hirschbiegel's biography of Princess Diana with Naomi Watts in the title role. It also opens at Kendall Square.
  • Fenway, meanwhile, opens English-subtitled Hindi film Krrish 3, the third movie in the series of Bolllywood sci-fi/action/superhero adventures that started with Koi.. Mil Gaya and continued with Krrish. Rakesh Rohan directs again, with Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra starring again. This one also plays iMovieCafe's Apple Cinemas, which also opens Tamil-language films All in All Azhagu Raja and Arrambam. It's Diwali, when the big Indian films come out.
  • ArtsEmerson celebrates Diwali at the Paramount with the November installment of their Samosas & Chai series, Sholay, a popular masala film from 1975 that stars Amitabh Bachchan. It plays Sunday afternoon.

    Tuesday's Bright Lights film is HOMESICK: Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity; Thursday's is I AM: Trans People Speak. Both documentaries provide what the titles suggest; I AM will feature a Q&A from director (and Emerson alumnus) Jesse Begeny.
  • In addition to About Time and Diana, Kendall Square has a number of noteworthy openings. Biggest (in more ways than one) is probably Blue Is the Warmest Color, an award-winning three-hour epic love story that starts when its protagonist is 15. It stars Adèle Exarchopoulos & Léa Seydoux, is directed by The Secret of the Grain's Abdellatif Kechiche, won the Palme d'Or, and is playing on two screens.

    There's also Kill Your Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsburg in a story of friendship and murder from his college days that also involves William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston). And while that's based on actual people, Let the Fire Burn is a found-footage documentary about a 1985 battle between the Philadelphia PD and the black power group MOVE which left eleven dead and 61 homes destroyed. It's got a one-week booking, so see it quickly if you're going to.
  • After opening two new movies and doing a bunch of Halloween programming last week, The Coolidge scales things down by just opening Birth of the Living Dead in the video rooms; it's a short-ish documentary that describes how George Romero shot iconic horror movie Night of the Living Dead guerrilla-style with a Pittsburg-based crew.

    The November midnight shows, meanwhile, shift a bit, with this weekend's cult classic, Escape from New York, a classic sci-fi action movie rather than a horror that plays Friday and Saturday at midnight. Highly recommended, as is Sunday's Talk Cinema presentation, The Broken Circle Breakdown, a masterful romance and tragedy of love, loss, faith, and bluegrass in Belgium. Another preview series - The New York Film Critics Series - kicks off on Tuesday, with an early screening of Alexander Payne's Nebraska; after the film screens, there will be a live broadcast of Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers interviewing stars Bruce Dern and Will Forte.
  • The Regent Theatre, also has a preview screening on Tuesday, the latest entry in Gathr Preview Series. This week's is JFK: A President Betrayed, a documentary that seems to imply that Kennedy wasn't quite the ardent cold-warrior he is often portrayed as, but an attempted peacemaker whose efforts were subverted by his advisors. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with JFK's former Special Counsel, Dan Fenn. Two days later, on Thursday, they'll have another documentary with a rather different slant and guest, as The Beer Hunter covers brew advocate Michael Jackson, who is credited with changing the world of craft beer. The theater will have Tom Acitelli, the author of a book on this subject, on-hand, as well as local craft beers available for purchase.

    Before that, though, they've got some late Halloween shows from silent film accompanists the Andrew Alden Ensemble: A double feature of Carl Dreyer's Vampyr & the Lon Chaney The Phantom of the Opera on Saturday night, with Vampyr paired with Nosferatu Sunday afternoon. Both days will coincide with a temporary exhibit from the International Life Cast Museum.
  • The Brattle Theatre also has a John Kennedy documentary on Tuesdays; theirs is JFK Remembered and has director Robert Kline in person. It's followed with two other special screenings: Made of Stone, a documentary on the reunion of legendary band The Stone Roses directed by Shane Meadows, plays Tuesday, while IFFBoston hosts a screening of the Coen Brothers' latest, Inside Llewyn Davis on Thursday. Star Oscar Isaac will be there, and in addition to serving as a preview of the film itself, it also promotes the Brattle's upcoming "Complete Coens" series in mid-December.

    Before getting to those, though, they'll pay tribute to another filmmaker from Friday the 1st to Monday the 4th with Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities, featuring Cronos and a late show of Mimic on Friday, a double feature of The Devil's Backbone & Pan's Labyrinth on Saturday (plus a late show of Blade 2), a Hellboy two-shot on Sunday, and Pacific Rim on Sunday. Most are 35mm, with Cronos, Hellboy 2, and Pacific Rim the apparent exceptions.
  • The MFA has continued screenings of Diego Star and Design Is One on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Thursday also has the museum's first night of the Boston Jewish Film Festival, with documentary The Ceremony. The festival actually starts a nighter earlier with ZigZag at the Coolidge, which also has screenings on Thursday night, as does the Somerville Theatre.
  • The Harvard Film Archive picks their Chris Marker series back up on Friday, with packages of mostly shorter works playing there from then until Sunday (his most famous work, "La Jetée", plays on Friday as part of a package with "Description of a Struggle"). Monday has them switching back to Shinsuke Ogawa films with A Song of the Bottom; that series will pick back up on Friday the 8th.
  • The UMass Boston Film Series has its latest installment on Thursday the 7th, with Laura Checkoway on hand after the free screening at the student center to discuss her documentary on Lucky Torres, a tattooed young lady who lives in the fringe areas of New York City.
  • The ICA has an "Art Over Politics: The Presistence of Dreams" screening for the second week in a row, with Unfinished Spaces running Sunday afternoon. It tells the tale of Cuba's National Art Schools, whose original architects were given the chance to finish the ambitious projects they started soon after the revolution forty years later.
  • The The Somerville Theatre picks up Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine as it leaves the Kendall.

My plans? Krrish 3 (disappointed in no 3D screenings, though!); Last Vegas; some del Toro (including Pacific Room, whose first few minutes I missed in IMAX); Inside Llewyn Davis; maybe something else. No more baseball, after all!

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