Thursday, April 10, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 11 April 2014 - 17 April 2014

After last week's one-movie slate of new releases, there's a whole lot of new options this weekend, spread around a bit more than one might expect.

  • Draft Day isn't getting the most screens, but it might have the broadest appeal, with Kevin Costner playing the general manager of the Cleveland Browns on the eve of the NFL draft. Ivan Reitman directs, and there's a nice supporting cast (Denis Leary, Jennifer Gardner, Sam Elliott, Terry Crews) looking at a high-pressure situation. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, and the Superlux.

    It's niches the rest of the way around, with Rio 2, which has the last two blue macaws from the first film going from the city to the Amazon with their three hatchlings in tow, targeting the kids. It's produced by animation studio Blue Sky, and as such looks to be bright, colorful, and pretty in 3D at the very least. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Studio Cinema Belmont (2D only), West Newton (2D only), Boston Common, and Fenway.

    Oculus is there for the horror fans, presumably getting a little extra notice from Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who) and Katee Sackhoff (from Battlestar Galactica) in the cast. It's written and directed by Mike Flanagan, who actually did a short with this subject and also did a pretty nifty supernatural thriller by the name of Absentia a few years back, so I'm hoping for good things at Somerville, Apple, Fenway, and Boston Common. The other big genre movie is The Raid 2: Berendal, a follow-up to the Indonesian film of a few years ago that is being called one of the biggest and most intense action movies ever made. It's at Kendall Square, the Embassy, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    And, huh, Boston Common seems to be the only place in the area getting Joe this week. That one has director David Gordon Green firmly back in small, gritty southern movie territory, with Nicolas Cage supposedly doing his best work in years as the title character, an ex-con impressed by a 15-year-old kid who turns to him in a time of trouble.
  • The Coolidge is one of several theaters picking up Under the Skin, the first feature from Jonathan Glazer in almost ten years, and promising to be just as weird as Birth was then, what with Scarlett Johansson playing an alien hitchhiking around Scotland and apparently draining the humanity of her victims (it's also at Kendall Square, the Embassy, and 2 Boston Common screens; the Tuesday screening at the Coolidge will be an "Off the Couch" screening.) They'll also be giving half a screen to A Birder's Guide to Everything, a coming-of-age movie about an avid birdwatcher. It will mostly be in the very small Goldscreen room, although the screening on Wednesday the 16th will be a "Science on Screen" presentation in the main auditorium with both director Rob Meyer and wild-bird expert Kenn Kaufman on hand.

    Other special presentations are limited to the weekend, starting with the midnight shows of The Warriors on Friday & Saturday, now dedicated to the memory of the recently-passed Ultimate Warrior; The Room also has its monthly midnight screening on Friday. Another monthly feature, the Goethe-Institut's German film selection, pops up Sunday with Banklady, featuring Nadeshda Brennicke as a woman who turns bank robber in 1960s Hamburg.
  • In addition to Under the Skin and The Raid 2, Kendall Square is also sharing Dom Hemingway with Boston Common. It's got Jude Law as a brash safecracker who has just spent over a decade in prison and is looking to both reconnect with his daughter and do One Last Job. Not being shared is Watermark, a documentary by director Jennifer Baichwal and photographer Edward Burtynsky about how humanity and the planet's water systems have shaped each other. The trailers have looked stunning, and both Baichwal & Burtynsky will be on-hand for the Friday night screenings (Q&A at 7, introduction at 9:45) that start this one-week booking
  • The Somerville Theatre has one of their more eye-popping anniversary screening weeks coming up, with double features of Taxi Driver & Klute on Friday, John Travolta singing and dancing in Grease & Saturday Night Fever on Saturday, and the inspired pairing of The Muppet Movie and The Sting on Sunday. Then it's a bit quiet until Thursday when they have Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is cool, because I haven't seen it on that particular Boston screen yet. All anniversary screenings are in 35mm, of course.

    Downstairs, Somerville Subterranean Cinema and All Things Horror are teaming up with IFC Midnight again for Alien Abduction in the micro, a found-footage take on the big-headed grey guys. Oh, and get used to me going on about how SSC will have The Machine in mid-May; tickets already on sale for my favorite movie from last year's Fantasia Festival.
  • The Boston LGBT Film Festival wraps up with screenings at the Brattle Theatre, ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theater, and the MFA on Friday and Saturday.

    The Brattle fills in their post-fest schedule for the week with a number of one-offs, starting with a double feature of The Great Beauty and La Dolce Vita on Sunday night. Monday is DocYard night, with directors Sierra Pettengill & Jamila Wignot presenting their documentary Town Hall, a look at two "Tea Party" Republican activists. Tuesday night they've got Terry Gilliam's Brazil, while Wednesday brings Jay Craven, who has been making movies in Northern Vermont for twenty-five years, to introduce his latest, Northern Borders. Pretty impressive cast for something made there, with Bruce Dern and Geneviève Bujold playing grandparents of a kid sent to live on their farm in 1956. And then on Thursday, the Balagan folks have another program of 16mm films, "Waldeinsamkeit", which is German for "woodland solitude".
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, on the other hand, takes a bit of a break after the festival, but starts showing films again on Wednesday with two films about kids in war zones: When I Saw You and In Bloom. The former tells the tale of a boy in a Jordanian refugee camp in 1967 while the latter focuses on two girls in present-day Georgia (the European one). Both play daily through the weekend, with a few other screenings planned for after that.
  • The Harvard Film Archive starts a new series on Friday, with The Capra Touch covering both Frank Capra's well-known and less famous works. It will be popping up intermittently until June, so there are only two screenings this weekend: Meet John Doe Friday evening and The Miracle Woman on Sunday afternoon. Corneliu Porumboiu will not be on-hand for the screening of 12:08 East of Bucharest at 9:30pm on Friday, but will be there to screen his latest, When Evening Falls on Bucharest (aka Metabolism), on Saturday night, as well as Police, Adjective on Sunday. Another guest, Robert Gardner Fellow Eloy Encisco Cacheferio, will visit on Monday to screen his documentary Arrianos, which immerses the viewer in the titular village located in Galicia (the northwestern portion of Spain).
  • Emerson's Bright Lights has no actual film screenings this week, but will be hosting novelist and screenwriter Rafael Yglesias on Thursday the 17th
  • Running from April 11th to the 21st, It looks like The Boston International Film Festival will not be overlapping Independent Film Festival Boston at all this year! As always, it will be taking place at AMC Boston Common. There looks to be some interesting things in there, but, man, is their website still not helping anyone find it.
My plans? Man, I don't know, there's a lot! Oculus, Under the Skin, Draft Day, The Raid 2, Joe, and maybe Watermark from the new releases, Raiders, Alien Abduction, Banklady, and maybe The Muppet Movie from the special engagements, and there are holdovers I want to hit as well.

Not cool on a weekend where the Sox are playing the Yankees, distributors and exhibitors. Not cool at all!

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