Thursday, December 19, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 20 December - 24 December 2013

Going to do a short 5-day version, as I suspect that there are many more movies opening on Christmas than 27 December

  • Some of what's opening has already started showing elsewhere in the country but is just hitting Boston now. Chief among that set is American Hustle, the new one from David O. Russell that reunites him with the stars of his last movie (Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence) but sticks them in an ensemble with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner in a story about con men, feds, mafiosi, and a politician in 1970s New Jersey. It's at Somerville, Kendall Square, Boston Common, Fenway, and the SuperLux.

    The other major opening is Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie, which appears to take the great visual effects of the documentary-style series and basically remake The Land Before Time. As much as I'm in favor of big-screen 3D dinosaurs, this looks pretty bad. It's at Apple, Boston Common, and probably Fenway as well (they've been showing the preview and a bumper incessantly for the past couple of months).

    Fenway and the SuperLux also get the expanding Saving Mr. Banks; it's already been at Boston Common and Kendall Square for a week. And while the Belmont Studio has had it on their website, the instead pick up Philomena.
  • The other big expansion is Inside Llewyn Davis, the new and excellent film from the Coen Brothers with Oscar Isaac as a folk musician in early-1960s New York for whom everything goes wrong, although that is in large part due to his own actions. It (mostly) gets the big screen at The Coolidge, as well as playing Kendall Square and Boston Common.

    The Coolidge also picks up The Punk Singer for nightly 9:50pm shows in the Goldscreen after a very successful run at the Brattle. The midnight movie this weekend is the seasonally-appropriate The Nightmare Before Christmas, with the seasonally-appropriate Tim Burton/Harry Selick collaboration playing on 35mm. If you're looking for a somewhat gentler bit of Christmas fare, The Muppet Christmas Carol will play Saturday at 10:30am.
  • It's also Christmas at The Brattle Theatre, which will have the annual screenings of It's a Wonderful Life during the day and early evening from Friday to Monday. The later showtime (9:45pm Friday/Monday, 9:30pm Saturday/Sunday) are for White Reindeer, an offbeat selection from this year's Boston Underground Film Festival about a woman who loves Christmas, only to lose her husband and befriend his mistress during this yule season. Both are pretty good. No movies will be playing Tuesday, but the box office will be open for gift card sales.
  • iMovieCafe opens the latest entry in one of India's biggest action franchises, Dhoom 3. This one apparently involves taking a corrupt circus down from the inside, and stars Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, and Jackie Shroff. That's in Hindi with English subtitles; they've also go Biriyani if you speak Tamil
  • The Harvard Film Archive finishes the October-to-December Calendar with the rest ofThe Bodies and Souls of Robert Rossen: The Brave Bulls (Friday 7pm, 16mm); The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (Friday 9:15pm, 35mm); Alexander the Great (Sunday 7pm, 35mm); and They Came to Cordura (Monday 7pm, 35mm). They also pull out their 35mm print of The Wicker Man, which served as the template for the current restoration and Final Cut, at 9pm on Saturday. And they also celebrate Christmas in their own way, with "A Kuchar Christmas", featuring four short films by George Kuchar, at 7pm Saturday (all digital), and a free screening at 3pm Sunday of ninety minutes of surprise holiday material from the Archive.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has yet more Films of Fran├žois Truffaut: Bed and Board (Friday), Day for Night (Friday), The Story of Adele H. (Friday), Small Change (Saturday), The Man Who Loved Women (Saturday), and The Green Room (Saturday & Sunday). Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley will still devour an entire Sunday afternoon.
  • The ICA has a special early screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris as Nelson & Winnie Mandela on Friday night. It's pricey ($65+), but that ticket includes a pre-screening reception (and post-filmQ&A) with producer Anant Singh, anti-Apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, and actor Riaad Moosa (who plays Kathrada in the film).

My plans... There's a couple of things I'm still tempted to see here (Zulu and The Immigrant, although that would involve not having a repeat of tonight, where by the time I've gone through the million or so movie listings in Paris (seriously, there are theaters everywhere and they show some impressively random things!), I've missed the showtime. Once I'm back in Boston, I'm thinking The Hobbit and maybe American Hustle. Then again, I have done one item's worth of Christmas shopping for one niece, so I may have to spend my time on that!

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