Thursday, March 13, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 14 March 2014 - 20 March 2014

As much as I enjoy the annual Chlotrudis awards, it's not cool that the after party for this one will probably bleed into one of the Gathr Previews events I've gotten the most excited for--

HEY! Where the heck is that preview of The Raid: Berendal? Just because I mentioned last week that I might not be able to make it is no reason to cancel the whole thing!

  • Well, at least priority two for the week is still coming out - the Veronica Mars movie. I contributed to the Kickstarter for this, but it's not like that means I own a piece of it or even get a code to enter in Fandango for a free ticket (although there is other stuff coming on the level I donated). Still, I loved the series and am genuinely excited about seeing how things pick up seven years later. That's at Boston Common (most of the screenings in the US are at AMC theaters); it should also be available On Demand right away as well. Boston Common also has The Grapes of Wrath as their weekly classic on Sunday and Wednesday.

    The big, mainstream opening is Need for Speed, which takes a game with no plot other than racing cars and grafts a tale of revenge and honor onto it. Hopefully the vehicular mayhem is quality (very little CGI is apparently used), and the cast full of people that folks seem to like - Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, and Michael Keaton - are doing more than picking up paychecks. It was post-converted to 3D, which the director is at least saying is great. It plays at the Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, Fenway (including 3D RPX), and the SuperLux.

    Tyler Perry's new movie, The Single Moms Club, also hits theaters, with Nia Long, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown, Xulay Henao, and Wendi McLendon-Covey in the title roles. They meet when something happens at their kids' school and apparently become fast friends that wacky stuff happens to. It's at Apple, Fenway, and Boston Common.
  • Another opening is strangely narrow in terms of the number of sites but big in each location. That would be The Grand Budapest Hotel, which the Coolidge is taking the relatively unusual step of opening on both their main screens (Kendall Square has it on three, and Boston Common on at least three). It makes sense for it to have that sort of opening - it's a very funny movie featuring Ralph Fiennes as a suave concierge and Tony Revolori as his lobby boy in a Wes Anderson period piece - as it's kind of eccentric but still has a bunch of movie stars and wide appeal.

    The Coolidge will be programming some other things around it. The main midnight film this weekend is Bubba Ho-Tep with Bruce Campbell as Elvis and Ossie Davis as JFK in a retirement home long after both were believed dead, fighting a mummy in Don Coscarelli's adaptation of a Joe Lansdale story. It's on screen one on Friday and Saturday. Saturday night only, they've got a special double feature - James Franco's new experiment Interior: Leather Bar, in which he and some friends attempt to re-create 40 minutes cut from Cruising, and also discuss what you can and cannot do in the movies. It's followed by the movie itself.

    For something completely different in tone, Saturday morning's Kids' Show is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Doesn't look like they're going to be showing the whole series, though, which might have been kind of fun and given me an excuse to finally see those last two. Sunday morning has a Goethe-Institut film, Shores of Hope, about East German dock workers with dreams beyond their closed nation. Monday evening has Scott Freiman back for another multimedia presentation on The Beatles, this one focusing on The White Album. The week finishes with another Francophone Film Series entry in the screening room, this one Quebec's Sarah Prefers to Run.
  • Kendall Square shuffles a fair amount of things around to fit in those three screens worth of Grand Budapest Hotel, but they've also got space for a one-week engagement of Visitors, a wordless black-and-white film from the team that did Koyaanisqatsi and the like, this one apparently focused on technology and its impact upon the Earth.
  • I should probably cover (and visit) the West Newton Cinema more often, as they actually play a fair number of films that don't otherwise play the Boston area, even if the relatively scant transit routes in the area mean Saturday afternoons are the only time I can get out there. I may try that for Omar, Palestine's Oscar submission which nominee which features Adam Bakri as a freedom fighter/militant forced to act as an informant. They also pick up Stalingrad, for those who missed it in Imax 3D a couple weeks ago.
  • Apple Cinemas/iMovieCafe looks to be keeping Queen around, alternating it with Bewakoofiyaan for your Bollywood-viewing pleasure. It features Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor as an upwardly mobile couple very much in love, although her father thinks he isn't good enough for her.
  • The bulk of the Brattle Theatre lineup this week goes to Martin Scorcese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, with an average of two newly-restored films from Poland's often avant-garde - and sometimes very pointed despite being made in a Communist ountry - film history. There are new features every day, from blockbusters to very strange art-house films.

    There are a couple other events during the weekend, including a screening of Tiger & Bunny: The Rising, a feature-length adventure in a popular anime series. The other is Sunday afternoon's Chlotrudis awards, in which a group of film fans (including yours truly) recognize some of the best films from 2013 which did not have wide releases.
  • The Somerville Theatre keeps showing good stuff in 35mm to celebrate their centennial. This weekend includes double features of The Bridge on the River Kwai & Some Like it Hot on Friday, A Face in the Crowd & On the Waterfront Saturday, and Viva Las Vegas & Elvis: That's the Way it Is on Sunday. Clearly, some of these pairings are more about theme and others are more about release date.

    Downstairs, the
  • Somerville Subterranean Cinema has three screenings of The Devil's Rook on Saturday. I had tried to fit that into my Fantasia schedule last year, but a combination of exhaustion and conflicts kept me from taking in James Sizemore's gory, practical-effect filled throwback about a portal to a demon-filled world. The theater will also be hosting Irish Film Festival Boston starting on Thursday, with opening-night "Best Breakthrough Feature" Run & Jump playing on the big screen. (This may explain why they've add matinee screenings of Philomena to the schedule as well).

  • The Harvard Film Archive welcomes Eyal Sivan, and Israeli documentarian who will host two of his films as part of a "Clockwork of Power" series: The Specialist on Friday and Jaffa, the Orange's Clockwork on Saturday; Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel, will run without him on Sunday (note: 4.5-hour film starting at 4pm). That leaves scant time for the "Fortunes of the Western" series, which has its penultimate presentation on Monday with Day of the Outlaw.

  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues its look at New Latin American Cinema with Workers (Friday), Summer of Flying Fish (Friday, Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday), Heli (Saturday, Wednesday), Wolf at the Door (Saturday, Thursday), and All About Feathers (Wednesday). It overlaps with the Boston Turkish Film Festival, which starts Thursday with Jin.

  • This week's entry in the Belmont World Film Series at Studio Cinema is Ilo Ilo, which hails from Singapore and tells the story of a Filipino maid who changes the dynamics of a well-off family, but whose position is threatened by the financial crisis of 1997.

  • The Regent Theatre and Gathr, as mentioned, appear to be skipping the preview this week, but there will be a free screening of Project Wild Thing, which tells the story of David Bond, who appoints himself the "Marketing Director for Nature".

  • the ICA has its last screenings of the Oscar-nominated short films on Sunday, with the animated shorts at noon and the live-action shorts at 3pm.

  • Emerson's Bright Lights has one presentation in the Paramount Theater's Bright Screening room this week. Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, is a documentary on Anita Hill, whose accusations of sexual harrassment did not derail Clarence Thomas's appointment to the Supreme Court in in 1991.
My plans? Veronica Mars, Chlotrudis, probably Need for Speed, maybe try to get to Omar and Ilo Ilo. There's also peer pressure at work to see the 300 movies, which may be a nice excuse to visit the Superlux.

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