Friday, January 10, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 10 January 2014 - 16 January 2014

Holidays over, things start getting somewhat back to normal at the theaters, with the busiest week since Christmas. Some of it's actually fairly interesting.

  • A couple of the movies opening in the multiplexes are technically expansions that just hadn't played Boston yet. August: Osage County is star-studded adaptation of a Tracy Letts play about one of those Southern families with a bunch of strong women. John Wells directs; the cast includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, and even more. It's at Somerville, Kendall Square, Fenway, and Boston Common.

    You might say that's for the ladies while Lone Survivor is for the guys, which has Peter Berg directing Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch (hey, Battleship reunion!) in a re-enactment of a Navy SEAL mission gone wrong. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, Fenway, and the SuperLux.
    Less sophisticated-looking is The Legend of Hercules, a 3D-shot version of the tale that seems to focus more on gladiators than monsters with Kellan Lutz in the title role and DTV action superstar Scott Adkins popping up in a supporting part. Renny Harlin directs, trying to climb back onto the action auteur A-list. It's at Fenway and Boston Common in both 2D and 3D, and 2D-only at Apple.

    Boston Common continues its series of 1980s/1990s movies with The Princess Bride on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon and evening.
  • In addition to gaining August: Osage County, Kendall Square picks up The Past, the new film from writer/director Asghar Farhadi (who won Best Foreign Language Film for A Separation). This one also plays on the idea of separation, with a man returning to Paris from Tehran to finalize his divorce.
  • Not every noteworthy filmmaker gets such a relatively high-profile follow-up. Tze Chun, who made the pretty darn good Children of Invention about five years ago, has a new one out by the name of Cold Comes the Night, which is only at Apple Cinemas on the T (Hollywood Hits in Danvers). It's a thriller with Alice Eve as a motel owner forced to help a crook played by Bryan Cranston. They also open a few Tamil/Telugu language films without English subtitles.
  • The Coolidge finally gets Her as it expands to more theaters (including Fenway); they also open up a collection of short films from last year's Sundance Film Festival. They've also got some pretty noteworthy new releases at midnight, though: Wrong Cops surrounds Mark Burnham's cop from Wrong with a number of equally incompetent and uncooperative colleagues, and plays Friday and Saturday; Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1 only plays Saturday but has director & impressario Lloyd Kaufmann on-hand for that screening (I don't know if he's bringing the full van and cast & crew that accompanied him to Montreal this summer). The Room makes its monthly midnight appearance on Friday.

    Saturday morning, they've got a 35mm print of The Iron Giant as part of their Kids' Shows series; hopefully the childless among us are welcome too. Sunday morning features a Talk Cinema screening, documentary Tim's Vermeer; it shows Texan inventor Tim Jenison trying to figure out how Johannes Vermeer could do such photorealistic work four hundred years ago, and is directed by Teller of Penn & Teller fame. They've also got "Open Screen" on Tuesday.
  • The Brattle Theatre has had all of Hideaki Anno's "Rebuild of Evangelion" movies as they came out, which means Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo is there Friday to Monday. Just two shows a day, although Saturday and Sunday also have the first two (You Are (Not) Alone and You Can (Not) Advance) for those who want to make a triple-feature of it. It's a crazy-uneven series that's even uneven within each movie, but pretty gorgeous, and the third is more streamlined before it (like its predecessors) gets insane in a way that non-fans may find incomprehensible.

    The late show on all three nights is Here Comes the Devil, a Spanish horror-film that has been winning praise at genre film festivals and supposedly runs the gamut from gothic to gory. After the weekend, there's a series of one-night events: A DocYard screening of Bending Steel plays Monday, with filmmakers Dave Caroll & Ryan Scafuro answering questions along with the film's subject, would-be Oldetime Strongman Chris Schoeck. On Tuesday, Trash Night comes to the Brattle after having apparently run in the Somerville Micro-Cinema for a year or two with Driving Force, a 1989 crapfest featuring Sam Jones and Don Swayze as rival post-apocalyptic tow truck drivers competing for the hand of Catherine Bach. It's not Lawrence of Arabia, which caps the Peter O'Toole tribute Wednesday night.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has one last screening of Camille Claudel 1915 on Friday afternoon, and then it's Alexander Sokurov for the rest of the week: Faust on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday; The Sun on Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday; and Molock and Taurus on Thursday.
  • The Regent Theatre just appears to have the Gathr Preview Series this week, but the selection looks pretty worthy: Kids for Cash, a documentary on how a judge conspired with the corrections industry to make sure they reached their quota of new prisoners at a youth facility.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has its members' weekend from Friday to Monday. All 35mm prints, but members have been asked not to say what. That does mean they'll be starting their regular calendar back up in another week, though.

My plans? I might go for a double-late show with Here Comes the Devil and Wrong Cops, catch Cold Comes the Night, Kids for Cash and Tim's Vermeer, and maybe Lone Survivor, Wolf of Wall Street, The Past, and/or Hercules. Boy, that looks ambitious.

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