Friday, May 02, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 2 May 2014 - 8 May 2014

Free Comic Book Day this weekend, which means a new movie based upon a Marvel superhero opens, which means that nothing else does. It's kind of amazing that Marvel's gotten that big.

  • That movie? The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which hopefully gets back on track from the mess that the first film in this rebooted series became, although I've heard it actually makes things worse. It's playing in 2D and 3D at the Capitol, Apple, Jordan's (3D Imax only), Fenway (including RPX), Boston Common (including 3D Imax), Assembly Row (including 3D Imax), the Embassy, and the SuperLux.
  • The next-biggest opening is Fading Gigolo, with writer/director John Turturro in the title role, Woody Allen as his "manage", and a client list that includes the likes of Vanessa Paradis, Sofia Vergara, and Sharon Stone. It's playing at Kendall Square, West Newton Cinema, and Boston Common.

    Kendall Square is also going to have a special one-week reissue of Alphaville, Jean-Luc Godard's French new wave sci-fi film noir. Looking forward to that, actually, as it knocked me out the one time I tried to see it before but seems essential.
  • The Somerville Theatre also has a reissue: Godzilla, the original Japanese classic which is a somber thing, almost completely different from the franchise it spawned. And while their centennial celebration features a lot of live performances this week, they do have a pretty killer double feature on Wednesday: Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven and John Sayles's Lone Star, a $10 double feature with both ends in 35mm, and pick up Under the Skin.
  • No new Bollywood at Apple Cinemas this week, but they will be the only folks in the area screening Bad Johnson, in which womanizer Rich Johnson's.. Johnson detaches from his body and takes human form. I've got a theory why some of these odd indies play Apple: Boxed in by the Capitol and Somerville on both sides, they're actually drawing almost entirely from a smallish neighborhood, so everyone who is going to see a movie in their market does so within one or two weeks rather than three or four, necessitating some quick turnover, and you might as well try something odd when the alternative is almost a guaranteed-empty theater if there aren't a lot of major releases.

    But, man, guys, this thing? Why not The Protector 2 or Walk of Shame?
  • The Coolidge opens Finding Vivian Maier in the screening room, but the main new release is also one of the midnights, the excellent Blue Ruin, a brutal and haunting revenge thriller that I loved at BUFF. It plays midnight in one of the main screens on Friday and Saturday before sliding back to 10pm in the screening room from Sunday to Thursday. The other midnight is a 35mm print of 1980s horror comedy Motel Hell, which is downstairs on Friday and Saturday.

    There's an enjoyably full slate of special programming after that, starting with Talk Cinema wrapping up its season Sunday morning with older-guys-on-a-trip-to-Iceland comedy Land Ho!. Monday's Big Screen Classic is a 35mm print of North by Northwest, which I've been known to call my favorite movie ever when someone asks and refuses to let me not answer. Tuesday is the New York Film Critics Series preview of Chef, which is (as usual) followed by a discussion led by Peter Travers, while Thursday night's advance screening is Beneath the Harvest Sky, IFFBoston's pretty-good opening feature, with directors Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet on hand for a Q&A.
  • The Brattle may still have a few tickets left for Friday night's screening of The Handmaid's Tale with original novelist Margaret Atwood on stage. Right after that, they get back to "Abracadabra! Magical Movies" with the original The Wizard of Gore, and follow it up with a double feature of The Mad Magician & Magic on Saturday, single features of Something Wicked This Way Comes and Lord of Illusions on Sunday, The Magician on Monday, Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries & Mentors of Ricky Jay on Wednesday, and The Prestige on Thursday (all in 35mm except Deceptive Practice).

    In between, they've got a few other special events: Their first annual Tag Sale on Sunday morning as part of Harvard Square's Mayfair, student films in "One Hot Night" at 9:30pm on Monday, and Trancers on Tuesday's Trash Night, which seems a little too much a respectable cult film for that treatment, but there is weirdness planned.
  • The Harvard Film Archive seems to be dark on Friday & Saturday, but they have more Frank Capra with The Battle of Russia at 5pm Sunday, It Happened One Night at 7pm the same day, and State of the Union at 7pm Monday
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues Jewishfilm.2014, with Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story (Friday), Cupcakes (Friday, Wednesday), Friends from France (Saturday), Sturgeon Queens with a restoration of DW Griffith's "A Child in The Ghetto" (Saturday), Rock the Casbah (a different one than the one that played Belmost last week, Wednesday), and Closer to the Moon (Thursday). The festival will also have one screening at The ICA this week, For a Woman on Saturday night.
  • The Belmont World Film Serieshas its final entry at the Studio Cinema on Monday with The Gilded Cage, which will not only have Jose Rui Caroco, the Portuguese Consul General, on hand for a discussion, but also an optional $20 Portuguese dinner beforehand.
  • The Regent Theatre actually starts the weekend with late shows of Super Duper Alice Cooper, in part to keep out of the way of the live theater they've got during prime time, and in part because that seems an appropriate time to see a documentary about that particular rock star, no? They will also have a special screening of the documentary Farmland on Sunday evening.

My plans? Considering heading out to Assembly Square to check out Spider-Man, checking out the reissues of Godzilla and Alphaville, and maybe catching up on some of the stuff that's been languishing (I really do want to see Noah, honest!). Tough to pass up the Coolidge's specials, too, although I'd like to see some of the Brattle's Magic Movies as well.

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