Friday, August 29, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 29 August - 4 September 2014

For some reason, Labor Day just isn't a big movie weekend. The biggest release for this year's is thirty years old.

  • That'd be Ghostbusters, getting a one-week theatrical re-release for its thirtieth anniversary, just ahead of a special edition Blu-ray release in late September. It's at the Somerville, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. Some movies are just getting re-releases to try and boost the box office by the end of summer: How to Train Your Dragon 2 at Apple, Boston Common, Revere, and West Newton (although it may have been playing weekends since its original release); X-Men: Days of Future Past, at Boston Common and Revere; and Begin Again at Boston Common and West Newton. If you're on AMC's mailing list, you probably got a coupon for up to four free tickets to the latter, and that is what you call ridiculous value.

    For more recent releases, there are two thrillers hitting theaters. The November Man actually opened Wednesday, and it's a pretty good spy story, with Pierce Brosnan playing Not James Bond called out of retirement for one last, extremely dubious mission. It's at Capitol, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. Those who like their suspense more horror-oriented can hit As Above/So Below, with archaeologists looking for treasure in the Paris catacombs and finding trouble. It's at Somerville, Apple, Boton Common, Assembly Row, Fenway (in RPX), and Revere.

    In smaller opens, Mexico's Cantinflas opens at Boston Common and Revere; it's a biopic about the country's first big comedy film star, with Oscar Jaenada in the title role. This is about the time when Instructions Not Included opened last year, and I wonder if that plays into its release. And in Revere, another Korean historical action movie, Kundo: Age of the Rampant, opens alongside The Admiral, with Ha Jung-woo as the leader of vigilantes who rob from the rich and give to the poor. Boston Common also has Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor playing Sunday & Wednesday for $6.
  • Two good ones open at Kendall Square. The Trip to Italy is a fun sequel with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon that sends the actors playing exaggerated versions of themselves on a culinary tour of Italy; I liked it when it played IFFBoston. The one-week booking is A Letter to Momo, a pretty nifty animated film from Japan that I saw and greatly enjoyed at Fantasia in 2012. Both English-dubbed and subtitled versions play, depending on the time of day (check the website); I certainly liked the subtitled screening I saw in Montreal more than the dubbed trailers I've seen.
  • Apple Cinemas/iMovieCafe and Fenway both open Raja Natwarlal (aka Shaatir), a Hindi-language thriller with Emraan Hashmi as the title character, a con artist looking to avenge his partner by putting a team together and pulling a major swindle. I can get behind "Bollywood Ocean's Eleven", I think. Apple also has Telugu-language Rabhasha and Malayam-language Vikramadithyan, but I'm not sure what either is about.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre opens a movie I was pretty fond of at this year's Fantasia, The One I Love, but mostly on the GoldScreen with one 9:30pm show a day in the screening room, so get your tickets early. It's an off-beat fantasy starring Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss, one I don't want to ruin at all.

    The midnight screenings this week conclude the "Postmortem" zombie series with the movie that does the best job of sending up the genre, Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, incidentally also the movie that introduced much of America to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; that's the late night show in 35mm on Friday and Saturday. For Monday's Big Screen Classic, it's the Coolidge's turn to show a 35mm print of Jaws on their big screen, which also hosts the season's first "NT Theatre Live" on Thursday (Helen McCrory in Medea).
  • Summer's over, so the Brattle is back to the binge, with this weekend a salute to late cinematographer Gordon Willis, a Brattle Advisory Board member also known as "The Prince of Darkness" (the title of the series). Films include The Godfather (Part I Friday, a double feature of I & II Saturday); a Pakkula double feature of The Parallax View & Klute on Sunday; a Woody Allen double feature of Annie Hall & Manhattan on Monday & Wednesday, and Pennies from Heaven on Thursday; all are on 35mm except the Godfather movies (for shame, Paramount, for shame!). Tuesday, meanwhile, is Trash Night, with live mockery of bizarre Whoopi Goldberg fantasy Theodore Rex.
  • Summer is drawing to a close, so The Somerville Theatre has the last of their midnight specials, a 35mm print of Joe Dante's The 'Burbs, on Friday and Saturday..
  • The Harvard Film Archive has started a new summer tradition of having an overnighter on Labor Day weekend in the past few years, and this year's The Late Joan Crawford starts at 7pm Saturday and runs until roughly 1am, and tracks her career from 1949's Flamingo Road to 1970's Trog. The last one is on digital video, but ther rest are scheduled to be 35mm.

    The end of summer also marks the conclusion of their Complete Fritz Lang series, which includes his appearance in Godard's Contempt (Friday 7pm), an encore screening of Metropolis (Sunday 4pm), and his one French film, Liliom (Sunday 7pm). 35mm except for Metropolis.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues their run of Joanna Hogg's two-person drama Exhibition on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday; those same days also feature screenings of Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz's massive four-plus hour relocation of Crime and Punishment to the Philippines.
  • ArtsEmerson has two last screenings of Monty Python Live (Mostly) on Friday and Saturday, for us poor souls who missed it because we were in Canada or something.
  • The ICA has one final screening of Jim Hodges's Untitled film at 1pm on Sunday before wrapping their summer exhibition of Hodges's work.
  • Gathr still needs 50 tickets sold in the next two weeks for a screening of Who Is Dayani Crystal? (co-directed by Gael Garcia Bernal) at the Regent Theatre on 24 September. 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 96 for an 18 September screening of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret by the 7th.
  • Joe's Calendar has most of the outdoor screenings ending with August, with notable screenings including West Side Story at the Boston Harbor Hotel & Wall-E at the milk bottle on Friday night, The Little Mermaid at the Prudential Center on Saturday, and The Royal Tennenbaums in Jamaica Plain on Thursday.

My plans? To Revere for Kundo, someplace closer for As Above/So Below, maybe try to do the Joan Crawford thing or The 'Burbs, and catch up with some stuff that really must be on borrowed time by now.

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