Thursday, August 21, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 22 August - 28 August 2014

Yep, summer's almost over, and things are getting quiet before serious award-consideration releases.

  • Believe it or not, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For comes nine years after the original, which encompasses Zack Snyder's entire career which has been heavily influenced by it. This one has a mix of new and old characters, and new stories as well as the rest of Frank Miller's original graphic novels, and also shot in 3D. It plays at the Somerville (2D only), Kendall Square, Embassy Square, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway (including RPX), and the SuperLux.

    There's also two more inspirational dramas: If I Stay features Chloe Grace Moretz as a young woman caught between life and death. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and the SuperLux. When the Game Stands Tall is a high-school football drama about a team that, in rapid succession, loses a 12-year winning streak, sees the coach (Jim Caviezel) have a heart attack, and has a player die. I suspect (from the trailer) that the last is via a race-related shooting which made theaters skittish, because the release is really small considering the push it got (including ads before every movie in theaters not playing it) - just Apple, Boston Common, and Assembly Row.

    There's also Another Me, starring Sophie Turner as a teenage girl being staled by a mysterious doppelganger. It's interesting in part for being written for the screen and directed by Isabel Coixet, not exactly known for this sort of mainstream material. It's at Boston Common and Revere (the latter of which not only has the other wide releases, but is keeping The Admiral: Roaring Currents around, at least through Tuesday). Boston Common, Fenway, and Assembly Row will all be showing this weekend's Doctor Who series premiere, "Deep Breath", on the big screen on Monday. That might seem like a strange thing to spend $12.50 on, what with it running on TV two days earlier, but it's double-length and directed by Ben Wheatley, who makes great indie genre movies.

    Several places will be opening The November Man on Wednesday (at least Boston Common), trying to squeak one extra long weekend out of summer.
  • In addition to Sin City 2 (I think the first time that they've used their 3D projector since The Great Gatsby), Kendall Square has two movies on one-week bookings. I missed Frank at Fantasia, but am quite curious about a young musician (Domhnall Gleeson) who joins a band with "Frank", who despite being played by Michael Fassbender, wears a paper-maiche cartoon head at all times. Maggie Gyllenhaal co-stars, not wearing a giant cartoon head.

    There's also Siddharth, which features Rajesh Tailang as a New Delhi father searching for the twelve-year-old son who went missing when sent to work in a factory. There's also a single screening on Tuesday of Two: The Story Of Roman & Nyro, a documentary about two men, the surrogate mother they met, and the twin sons who narrate the movie.
  • Another missing-child mystery set in India opens up at Apple Cinemas/iMovieCafe and Fenway, with Mardaani starring Rani Mukerji as a cop who has a personal interest in the missing girl; it's apparently a much more grounded thriller than is typical from Bollywood. Fenway also keeps Singham Returns around for another week.
  • The West Newton Cinema opens Violette, a French film featuring Emmanuelle Devos as Violette Leduc, who had a life-long relationship with fellow writer Simone de Beauvoir (Sandrine Kiberlain). Devos is said to be terrific in this.
  • The Brattle has provocative filmmaker Catherine Breillat's latest, Abuse of Weakness, a roman a clef which features Isabelle Huppert as a film director who, recovering from a stroke, becomes fixated on a dangerous con man. It plays all day Friday through Sunday and at 9:15pm on Monday.

    The vertical summer schedule wraps up this week with a pretty good slate of (mostly) 35mm prints, starting with David Lynch's Eraserhead is the "Reel Weird Brattle" show at 11:30pm Saturday. The monthly free "Elements of Cinema" screening at 6pm on Monday is Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us, about a Tehran television crew intent on documenting Kurdish mourning rituals despite the expected death taking its sweet time (may not be 35mm). Tuesday's Robert Wise double feature is The Andromeda Strain and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which also plays a matinee on Monday), while Wednesday's "Girls Rule!" twin bill is Desperately Seeking Susan & Daisies. Recent Raves wraps on Thursday with Manakamana (DCP), an experimental film from Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab which is eleven ten-minute shots of people in the back of a cab in the Nepal Valley.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre has two limited releases that may make for one whole booking. Alive Inside, a film about seniors responding well to music therapy to combat memory loss, has a couple of screenings per day in the 14-seat GoldScreen, while 14 Blades, a wuxia action film starring Donnie Yen that the Weinsteins have been sitting on for four years, has two midnight screenings - in the screening room on Friday and Cinema #2 on Saturday.

    The other midnight screenings include a rare 35mm screening of Romero's original Night of the Living Dead in the main room on Friday and Saturday as part of the "Postmortem" series, and the monthly screening of the room (screw you, Tommy Wiseau fans, for pushing Donnie Yen to the screening room). There's also a Cinema Jukebox screening of Nashville on Monday
  • The Somerville Theatre has a 35mm print of Die Hard playing at midnight on Friday and Saturday, so that's one more late night. Their sister theater, the Capitol, finishes the summer matinee program with Muppets from Space.
  • The Harvard Film Archive, has yet more 35mm Fritz Lang - Cloak and Dagger (Friday 7pm), Western Union (Friday 9pm), a silent double feature of both The Spiders films on digital video with live accommpaniment at 7pm Saturday, You and Me (Sunday 5pm), Secret Beyond the Door... (Sunday 7pm), and The Blue Gardenia (16mm) (Sunday 7pm)
  • The Museum of Fine Arts focuses on Iranian films this week, with screenings of Mohammad Rasoulof's Manuscripts Don't Burn and Jafar Pahani's Closed Curtain, both screening on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday. They also start a run of Joanna Hogg's Exhibition on Thursday, with an artist couple having anxieties surface as they prepare to sell the home where they've lived for twenty years.
  • The Regent Theatre and the Belmont Film Festival have the local premiere of Sweet Dreams on Monday, a documentary about Rwandan women from both sides of the 1994 conflict who, having previously formed a drum troupe, opt to open the country's first ice cream shop. Show your receipt at the Chilly Cow on the next block after, and they'll give you 20% off an ice cream as folks hang around to discuss the movie.

    The Gathr screening of Who Is Dayani Crystal? (co-directed by Gael Garcia Bernal) there on 24 September still needs 50 purchases in the next 28 days; an Thursday screening of Next Goal Wins at Fenway still has plenty of seats available. Tugg still needs 107 more pre-orders for a 16 September screening of Last Call at the Oasis at Kendall Square by the 5th, and 99 for an 18 September screening of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret by the 7th.
  • Two more weeks of Jim Hodges's Untitled film at the ICA at 1pm on Sundays as part of their summer exhibition of Hodges's work.
  • The outdoor screenings from Joe's Calendar of free films include a bunch of Frozen screenings, Treasure of the Sierra Madre at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Friday, and Jurassic Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway on Wednesday, amusing because this very carnivorous movie is sponsored by vegetarian restaurant chain Clover.

My plans apparently don't include sleep, because I want to hit midnights of Die Hard and 14 Blades, check out Sin City 2, Another Me, and Frank, and I still have Calvary and Boyhood lurking.

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