Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 25 December 2013 - 2 January 2014

Yep, it's late. I make no apologies for spending my time the last couple of days doing Christmas shopping and traveling up to Maine, because my nieces are the cutest nieces.

  • Of the many movies that opened on Christmas, the biggest is probably The Wolf of Wall Street, the new Martin Scorcese/Leonardo DiCaprio collaboration showing the risk-taking and excesses during the 1990s economic boom. Also featuring Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey, it's got the main room at The Coolidge, and also plays Somerville, Apple, Boston Common, Fenway, and the SuperLux.
  • Kendall Square, meanwhile, opens two other movies looking for awards consideration. Her is the new one by Spike Jonze, featuring Joaquin Phoenix as a man in the near future who, following a bad break-up, falls in love with the artificially intelligent operating system of his networked devices Word has it as being both very sweet and very funny. It also opens at Boston Common.

    Kendall, Boston Common, and Fenway also get Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, with Idris Elba playing recently deceased South Africa leader Nelson Mandela in an adaptation of his autobiography (though the timing is just a sad coincidence. Naomie Harris plays his wife Winnie in this authorized version of his life story.
  • Some more mainstream material opens up in the multiplexes, perhaps most notably Grudge Match, which if nothing else has managed to produce a trailer that played in front of nearly every movie I saw over the past three months without getting aggravating. It features Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro as one-time great boxers who hated each other and have their rivalry rekindled thirty years later after coming to blows do video game motion capture. It's at the Arlington Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    Another one that's been promoted fairly incessantly is Ben Stiller's remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, with Stiller playing the nondescript, daydreaming title character who must go on a globe-spanning adventure due to a series of unusual circumstances. It plays the same group of theaters - the Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    The sixth of this week's new releases is 47 Ronin, which I feel like we should be more up in arms about for adding American Keanu Reeves and a bunch of effects-driven supernatural stuff to a classic Japanese legend. And yet, here it is, co-starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanabo Asano, and Rinko Kikuchi in 3D. It's at Somerville (2D only), Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway. It's not the most ridiculous thing on tap, though, as Justin Bieber's Believe plays at Apple and Boston Common; it comes from the same team that did 2011's Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, so it's likely more of the same.
  • The Brattle Theatre, on the other hand, is offering up some classics - Jaques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, with its beautiful colors and sung dialogue playing afternoons and evenings from Christmas to the 30th in a new digital restoration. It doesn't get the 9:30pm show, though, because that is given to a 25th Anniversary run of that Christmas tradition, Die Hard. Both are DCP, but, hey, it's Die Hard in a theater.

    On New Year's Eve, what is apparently a new holiday tradition continues with a double feature of The Thin Man and After the Thin Man, and there's no bad time to watch these two movies. Both run in 35mm. New Year's Day, meanwhile, is a Brattle tradition of slightly longer standing, the Marx Brothers Marathon. This year, the movies on tap are A Night at the Opera (35mm), Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup. Thursday the 2nd is a special preview of their tribute series to Peter O'Toole, with Lawrence of Arabia running via DCP at 7pm.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts finishes up its December calendar, which means The Films of Fran├žois Truffaut wraps up with Small Change (Thursday), Love on the Run (Thursday & Friday), The Woman Next Door (Thursday & Friday), Confidentially Yours (Friday & Saturday), and The Last Metro (Saturday). Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley has one last Sunday afternoon on the 29th.

    On Thursday the 2nd, the January schedule begins. It features a number of films by Alexandr Sokurov, the first being Moloch, a 1999 tale of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun shot in the actual location. Thursday is also when Camille Claudel 1915 begins a limited run, with Juliette Binoche in the title role, a gifted sculptor whose affair with Auguste Rodin put her in an asylum.
  • The ICA will be running daily screenings of "The British Arrows", a compilation of the best British advertising films of the year, from Thursday the 26th through Sunday the 29th.
  • It's Christmas vacation, so The Regent Theatre has their annual Sing-Along The Sound of Music event, playing this much beloved musical eight times between the 26th and 29th with subtitled lyrics for those who count it as a Favorite Thing. Also related to vacation, the Gathr Preview Series screening will run on Monday rather than Tuesday this week; it features Jump, a feature from Northern Ireland about four strangers whose lives intersect in Belfast on New Year's Eve


My plans? Most of the new releses look worth a watch, I haven't been to the Gathr series in a while, and there's no excuse needed for any of the films playing the Brattle. Not sure what gets seen when, but it'll be a busy week-plus.

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