Friday, February 07, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 7 February 2014 - 13 February 2014

(Glances at schedule)

This next week and a half is going to leave me an exhausted shell in the manner that usually only Fantasia can.

  • The principal reason for that is the 39th Annual Boston Sci-Fi FIlm Festival, which grabs a room for the "fest" portion at the Somerville Theatre on Friday (it runs through the 15th, with the 24-hour marathon kicking off on the 16th). The schedule is kind of hidden on the website, but at least gives audiences titles so they can do their own research.

    If your taste in genre films runs more toward horror than science fiction, this weekend also features the return of All Things Horror's series to the Somerville's Micro-cinema, with a Saturday "Horroritica" show that includes two (and maybe three) short films and a feature. I wish the sci-fi fest weren't eating the weekend, because I missed Pinup Girls On Ice at Fantasia and the director of one of the shorts, local filmmaker Izzy Lee, is going to be on hand to present "Legitimate".

    Those will occupy smaller rooms; the Somerville Theatre will use the big house for it's 100-day 100th-anniversary party. The local high school will be presenting "Annie" on-stage on Friday and Saturday, and a multi-media presentation on The Beatles ("All You Need Is Myth") has it Sunday, but there's movies on Tuesday (The Public Enemy) and Wednesday (the original Scarface), before a live performance by Marc Cohn on Thursday.
  • In addition to all that, they're opening George Clooney's star-studden World War II picture The Monuments Men, in which Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Jean Dujardain, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, and Bob Balaban make their way behind enemy lines to prevent the Nazis from hiding and destroying precious works of art. In addition to the Somerville, it's at the Coolidge, Apple, Fenway (including evening shows on the RPX screen), Boston Common, and the SuperLux.

    The Coolidge has a fair bit of special programming, too, starting by getting a jump on Valentine's Day with Friday & Saturday midnight screenings of the original My Bloody Valentine on 35mm. There's also a Talk Cinema preview screening of The Lunchbox at 10am Sunday morning; it's a Mumbai-set story of an unappreciated wife (Nimrat Kaur) and a lonely near-retiree (Irrfan Khan) who exchange notes via the city's lunchbox delivery service. Monday has Billy Wilder's much-beloved cross-dressing comedy, Some Like It Hot (many call it the funniest movie ever made), on 35mm as part of the Big Screen Classics series. Finally, Wednesday has the monthly "Open Screen" event in the screening room.
  • Along with The Monuments Men, the multiplexes are giving plenty of screens to The Lego Movie (in both 3D and 2D). Sure, on one level this animated picture is a big ad, but it's getting fantastic reviews and has filmmakers in Phil Lord & Christopher Miller who are known for doing much better than expected. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Fenway (with the afternoon 3D shows on the RPX screen), and Boston Common; the latter two are also advertising (different) exclusive mini-figs to the first however many people see the movie in 3D.

    The tweens and teens who might consider themselves a bit too old for Legos may be interested in Vampire Academy, another one of those supernatural young-adult novel adaptations, this one about girls students at a boarding school for peaceful vampires and their half-human guardians. Not sure what to read into it being pushed up a week, but it looks like it may be fun. It's at Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    Surprisingly not showing up anywhere: Nurse 3D, which looked like kind of entertaining trash. What does show up somewhat unexpectedly is The Attorney, a Korean hit featuring Song Kang-ho as a tax attorney who winds up in the midst of a high-profile trial. You've got to get all the way out to Showcase Cinemas Revere to see it, but who knows, maybe if enough of us do that, we'll actually get Special ID a little closer.

    Boston Common also has a smattering of one-off shows: There's an early Saturday matinee of Barbie: The Pearl Princess, as well as the regular Saturday midnight of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This week's contemporary classic (which plays Sunday afternoon and twice on Wednesday) is Sleepless in Seattle. The remake of another contemporary classic, RoboCop, also opens on Wednesday in multiple venues, including Jordan's Furniture. Until then, though, they've got a quick five-day return of Gravity on the huge screen.
  • The Brattle Theatre continues to highlight (Some of) The Best of 2013 for much of the week, with members of the Boston Society of Film Critics & Boston Online Film Critics Society (note to self: apply for one of these some time) on-hand to introduce most of the films. Friday night features a double feature of Short Term 12 & Francis Ha, while Saturday has two single featuers: The Act of Killing for most of the day and The Fast and the Furious 6 (in 35mm) at 9:30pm. Sunday's beer-infused twin bill is Drinking Buddies & The World's End, while Monday encourages you to stay away from harder drugs with Johnnie To's Drug War.

    The rest of the week is special programs: There's a DocYard presentation of Caucus on Tuesday, with director A.J. Schnack available to talk about his exploration of the campaign for Iowa in the 2012 Presidential Election. Wednesday is an IFFBoston preview of Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises; Fruitvale Station has been canceled. And on Thursday, Casablanca returns on 35mm just in time for Valentine's Day Weekend.
  • Apple Cinemas and the folks at iMovieCafe have what looks like a fairly conventional Bollywood romantic comedy opening this weekend; Hasee Toh Phasee features Sidharth Malhotra as a young man meeting a childhood friend (Parineeti Chopra) for the first time in ten years, with the apparent goal of proving he is worthy to marry her sister, although I'm going to guess that more sparks wind up flying between the two of them.
  • Hey, it's time for another season of the UMass Boston Film Series, six bi-weekly screenings of documentaries with the directors there for post-film Q&As. This session opens with Uranium Drive-In by Suzan Beraza, whih takes a look at an attempt to build America's first new uranium mill in 30 years, as well as it's opposition by the residents of a nearby resort town. That's Thursday night at the Umass Boston Campus Center Ballroom.
  • Though the Harvard Film Archive screened the feature films of Alain Guiraudie while he was in town last weekend, they still have some of his shorter works to play. Featurette Sunshine for the Scoundrels plays at 7pm on Friday, followed by short "Heroes Never Die" (which, be warned, has no English subtitles). A similar program plays at the same time Saturday, with That Old Dream that Moves preceded by shorts "Straight on Til Morning" and "The Inevitable Strength of Things".

    The rest of the weekend continues the Late John Huston program with Under the Volcano (Friday 9pm), The Man Who Would Be King (Saturday 9pm), A Walk With Love and Death (Sunday 5pm), Prizzi's Honor (Sunday 7pm), and Reflections in a Golden Eye (Monday 7pm). All are in 35mm.
  • The Regent Theatre has three more screenings of Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend; one at 7:30pm on Friday and two at 3pm and 7pm on Saturday. This week's Gathr Preview Series entry, Adult World, is listed as playing in the "Regent Underground Theatre", and features Emma Roberts as an English major who winds up working in a porn shop, although she does get a mentor played by John Cusack as well. The listing says "exclusively at the Regent", which I'm guessing means it will only be on VOD otherwise. There's also a screening of the current Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet with Orlando Bloom & Condola Rashad on Thursday evening (which also plays at Kendall Square).
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has more of The Films of Lars von Trier, if you go for such things: Breaking the Waves plays Friday and Saturday, while Europa only plays Friday. Both The Idiots and Dancer in the Dark play Sunday and Wednesday. There's also a free screening of Last Train Home, an excellent documentary about Chinese migrant workers, playing Saturday as part of the Lunar New Year Celebration.
  • ArtsEmerson has film programming at the Paramount Theater for a second week in a row, with documentary featurette Haiti: Where Did the Money Go? playing Friday and Saturday at 7pm, while Fire in the Blood is held over for matinee screenings on Saturday and Sunday. The Bright Lights schedule has thinned out a bit, presenting "FREEFORMS: TravelDances Through Dust and Light" on Thursday evening; it's a set of 16mm films made by Emerson Film Professor Robert Todd last summer.
  • The ICA has several programs of short films. They join Kendall & the Coolidge in presenting the Oscar nominees over the next month, with the animated shorts playing Saturday afternoon and Thursday evening for the more mainstream audiences, and they also have a Psychedelic Cinema program Sunday night featuring Ken Brown's Super8 films from the 1960s. He'll be on hand for a questions afterward, and the films themselves will be accompanied by some great silent film accompanists: Ken Winokur of Alloy Orchestra, Beth Custer of Clubfoot Orchestra, and Jonathan LaMaster of Cul de Sac.

My plans? Living at the Somerville for the Sci-Fi Fest, with weekend detours to Revere for The Attorney and the Brattle for Drinking Buddies (hey, the 7pm show at the Fest was sold out before the schedule was announced, which tells me that they're apparently comping a lot of friends and family). As much as the idea of fitting The Monuments Men or The Lego Movie in appeals to me, I really would like to sleep/work/write at some point.

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