Friday, January 17, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 17 January 2014 - 23 January 2014

You know, I kind of wonder why the Oscars don't announce their nominees on Tuesday so that theaters have time to adjust their Friday bookings. On the other hand, it means you've got another week before some things return/appear and push Inside Llewyn Davis out of theaters to see it.

  • In the meantime, the multiplexes get a fairly full lineup. One of the bigger entries is Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Paramount's latest attempt to restart the spy franchise, this time with Chris Pine in the part of Ryan but not adapting any particular book by Tom Clancy (probably for the best, considering). Kenneth Branagh directs and plays the villain, with Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley also part of the cast. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common (including IMAX), Jordan's Furniture, and the SuperLux.

    The other big opening is Ride Along, in which Kevin Hart plays a security guard looking to get on the good side of his girlfriend's big-time cop brother (Ice Cube). A night shadowing him on the job where all hell unexpectedly breaks loose ensues. It's at Boston Common, Fenway (including RPX), and Apple. Those same theaters also have Devil's Due, a found-footage-style horror movie about a young couple whose unborn child may be the Antichrist.

    If you want something a little more kid-friendly, there's The Nut Job, an animated movie about woodland creatures looking to steal nuts from a shop. Fun voice cast, including Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, and Brendan Fraser. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Boson Common, and Fenway, in both 2D and 3D at all locations. Boston Common also has Fast Times at Ridgemont High during the afternoon on Sunday & Wednesday and an evening show on Wednesday.
  • The Brattle Theatre gets to open an Oscar nominee, The Square. It's a documentary about what was originally a peaceful revolution in Egypt, only to find the various parts of the coalition turning on each other. It plays all week from Friday to Thursday, with director Jehane Noujaim visiting for a Q&A after the 7pm show on Monday in association with the DocYard.

    There's also a special presentation at 12:30pm on Saturday, the local premiere of Anohana the Movie: The Flower We Saw That Day, which appears to be an anime version of The Big Chill, except that the dead childhood friend appears as a ghost.
  • Kendall Square's new Oscar nominee is The Invisible Woman, although in this packed year it could only get one for costume design. Ralph Fiennes directs and plays Charles Dickens in a story of his 13-year affair with a young actress (Felicity Jones). Kristin Scott Thomas plays the girl's mother, and it's hard to believe this is only the third time she and Fiennes have worked together (and who remembers Chromophobia?). Their sister theater in Waltham (the Embassy) also re-opens Dallas Buyers Club and Gravity to capitalize on their nominations.
  • Apple Cinemas opens Dedh Ishqiya in Hindi with English subtitles; it's apparently a sequel to Ishqiya in which a pair of thieves hide out in Uttar Pradesh and find romance and trouble. If you don't need subtitles, they also have a number of films in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.
  • The Coolidge keeps their main schedule more or less the same, but they have Abel Ferrara's Ms. 45 for Friday & Saturday midnight screenings, and while many places (including the Brattle next week) are showing a new digital restoration, they have it in old-school 35mm. There's also a Sunday morning screening of Gold, about a group of German immigrants come to Canada as part of the 1898 Gold Rush. It features Nina Hoss, and how many times can you say you've seen a German Western? There's also a preview of At Middleton, a comedy in which Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia play parents who meet during their kids' college tours; there will be a post-film interview with the stars and director Adam Rogers broadcast from NYC afterward (as this is a New York Film Critics Series presentation).
  • The Regent Theatre has a few film events this week, mostly documentaries. First up is Our Mockingbird on Friday; it takes a look at black and white high schools in Birmingham, Alabama, who collaborate to stage Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. It's the opening night presentation of the Belmont World Family Film Festival, and director Sandy Jaffe will be there for a Q&A. Sunday night they have Racing to Breathe, which follows two brothers who are competitive cyclists despite having cystic fibrosis; the premiere screening also serves as a fundraiser for their racing team. Monday night's doc is The Carbon Rush, which looks at the carbon offset market with a cynical eye. It was booked via Gathr, and the Gathr Preview Series provides the theater's non-documentary booking on Tuesday, Black Out, a fast-paced Dutch Thriller that I enjoyed at Fantasia last summer (although I couldn't write a review because I was exhausted by the end of the day).
  • The rest of the Belmont World Family Film Festival actually takes place in Belmont's Studio Cinema from Saturday to Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), with three matinees per day including both shorts and features from all around the world.
  • The Harvard Film Archive resumes regular programming with retrospectives on two important filmmakers. They begin Time Within Time - The Complete Andrei Tarkovsky with Stalker on Friday (7pm), with Ivan's Childhood Saturday (9:30pm), Solaris Sunday (7pm), and Nostalghia on Monday (7pm). Other slots are filled in with Late John Huston: The Dead at 7pm on Saturday, and The Mackintosh Man at 5pm on Sunday. Both series will continue into February.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts also has new things going this week, with the annual Boston Festival of Films From Iran beginning on Friday. The first week's worth includes Closed Curtain (another example of Jafar Panahi skirting his ban on working in film which plays Friday & Saturday), The Patience Stone (Saturday), Parviz (Sunday), Mory Wants a Wife (Sunday), and Fat Shaker (Thursday). There are also a couple final screenings of Alexander Sokurov's Faust (Saturday & Sunday); the start of a short run for personal Alzheimer's documentary The Genius of Marian (Wednesday & Thursday, with a director appearing in person on Wednesday); andRebel, the story of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, a Latina woman who fought for the South (and served as a spy) during the Civil War, with director Maria Agui Carter on hand to answer questions after it's Thursday night screening.
  • The ICA has two presentations of "the Best of the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, an hour or so of award-winning and otherwise much-liked shorts from what may be North America's premiere animation festival; they're at 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Emerson's Bright Lights series returns on Thursday the 23rd with Soundtrack for a Revolution at the Paramount Theater's Bright Screening Room; the film combines archival footage and new performances of the protest songs sung during the civil rights movement.

My plans? Some Oscar (and other) catch-up with Nebraska and Wolf of Wall Street, Jack Ryan, Black Out, The Square, and who knows what else might get fit in. Maybe see if I can stay awake during Stalker or Solaris this time.

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