Thursday, September 11, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 12 September - 18 September 2014

Hey, Boston, I'm grateful for everything you're trying to sneak in before I leave town for a week, but I really can't do it all this weekend. There are some harsh decisions to be made, even if you ignore the bigger releases.

  • For instance, one of my favorite events on the Boston moviegoing calendar is Films at the Gate, when the Asian Community Development Corporation takes over Chinatown Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and shows Chinese movies outside, weather permitting. So grab some take-out from local merchants, make a donation to the youth programs, and arrive at 6:30pm for lion dancing and martial arts demonstrations before the 7:30pm movies, Friday to Sunday. This year, the movies are Jackie Chan's Fearless Hyena on Friday, Herman Yau's The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (a biography of poet Qiu Jin starring Crystal Huang and Anthony Wong) on Saturday, and King Hu's Come Drink with Me on Sunday, the latter featuring Cheng Pei Pei and action directed by Sammo Hung.
  • Roughly at the same time, The Somerville Theatre is showing this year's Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation, with the Classic show at 8pm Friday & Saturday and the Sick & Twisted program at 10pm on the same days. Both are on the big screen, as is Sunday's "Silents, Please!" presentation, this one featuring Harold Lloyd in The Kid Brother, along with short "The Eastern Westerner", in 35mm with Jeff Rapsis on the organ. The Kid Brother isn't quite as well known as some of Lloyd's other features, but it's one of his best. Saturday night also has the monthly All Things Horror presentation, Karen Lam's Evangeline, in the screening room along with two short films.
  • Also opening at the Somerville (and other places) is The Drop, featuring Tom Hardy and the late James Gandolfini as operators of a Brooklyn "drop bar" (a spot where mob money is held) who gets robbed of its take. It's from a Dennis Lehane short story - he also wrote the screenplay - and has Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts as part of a nice cast. It's at Somerville, Kendall Square, Embassy, Fenway (including RPX), Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Also opening in wide release are two others: Dolphin Tale 2, apparently the rare case of a true story with an actual sequel, with a group that includes Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., and Kris Kristofferson rescuing another dolphin. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. There's also No Good Deed, with Idris Elba as an escaped prisoner holding a mother (Taraji P. Henson) and her kids hostage. It's at Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    As has become a strangely regular occurrence, there's a Korean film opening in Revere, in this case The Pirates, which features Kim Nam-gil and Son Ye-jin as rival outlaws of the high seas seeking a lost treasure. In a bit of a swerve, Chinese romance But Always opens at Fenway, a bit further from Chinatown than China Lion films used to play, but maybe more will be picked up now. Boston Common, on the other hand, opens up Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt?, and good lord, they've recast the entire thing again.

    Boston Common also has Good Will Hunting on Sunday and Wednesday for $6. The places with Imax-branded screens (Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Jordan's) will be putting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on those screens for a week, with Boston Common having Transformers 4 for the 9:45pm shows instead. The Capitol and West Newton Cinema pick up The One I Love
  • Kendall Square has two films on top of The Drop, both adapted from plays. The Man on Her mind stars Amy McAllister and Samuel James as two people who, after a blind date several months back, started fantasizing relationships with idealized versions of each other. The one-week booking, meanwhile, is for A Master Builder, which stars Wallace Shawn as the title character in his own new translation of Ibsen's play about a domineering architect, with Jonathan Demme directing.

    There's also a one-night "Globe on Screen" presentation of Twelfth Night on Tuesday, and since it's the "original practices" version with Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry that I saw on-stage in London in December 2012, I can heartily recommend it. They also start the Midnight Madness program up again, with Dazed and Confused playing Friday and Saturday nights, with State Park restaurant hosting a pre-screening party before Friday's show.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre opts for Spice World as their Friday/Saturday midnight this week. Sunday features the return of the monthly Goethe-Institut German film, with this month's selection the black comedy Age of Cannibals. They also pick up The Trip to Italy, including an "Off The Couch" screening on Tuesday, where special guest psychiatrists will likely discuss Coogan & Brydon's co-ependent relationship.
  • Both Apple Cinemas/iMovieCafe and Fenway keep Mary Kom around and also open Finding Fanny, a Hindi comedy about five neighbors who go looking for the postman's lost love, but get lost and likely find some romance themselves. It's oddly short for Bollywood - 102 minutes - but does feature Deepika Padukone. Apple also picks up Telugu-language action/adventure film, Power.
  • The Brattle plays host to the Boston Comedy Arts Festival Friday and Saturday, with the only movie screening being Road to Ninja - Naruto the Movie. Sunday and Monday, they have a restoration of Los Angeles Plays Itself (not sure how it's restored, being ten years old and made of film clips, but it's probably more a case of being out of rights hell and cleaned up a bit), with companion films that reflect the city - a double feature of Sunset Boulevard & Chinatown (and a 35mm late show of Repo Man) on Sunday, and Rebel Without a Cause on Monday.

    There are more one-off events through the week - a preview screening of Pride on Tuesday, the Andrew Alden Ensemble performing live accompaniment to The General on Wednesday, and a 35mm double-feature of giallo classics The Bird with the Crystal Plumage & What Have You Done to Solange on Thursday, likely to whet the audience's appetite for The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears the next weekend.
  • More Marco Bellocchio at the Harvard Film Archive: The Nanny (Friday 7pm), Sorelle Mai (Friday 9:15pm), The Void (Saturday 7pm), Slap the Monster on Page One (Saturday 9:30pm), The Prince of Homburg (Sunday 5pm), The Wedding Director (Sunday 7pm), and vincere (Monday 7pm). All are 35mm.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues their Documentary Spotlight, with both The Kill Team and Expedition to the End of the World playing Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, with Expedition also playing Thursday. Wednesday also brings a return of French Favorites, with Philippe Garrel's Jealousy playing Wednesday and Thursday and Chris Marker's Level Five on Thursday.
  • ArtsEmerson has a premiere on Friday night, What a World, a documentary on local world musician collective DÜNYA.; there will be discussion befoe and after The free Bright Lights presentations are The Act of Killing (with post-screening discussion) on Tuesday and Balagan presentation Outré Montreal on Thursday.
  • the Regent Theatre has two film presentations - Jumanji on Sunday night as an Alzheimer's fundraiser and Faith Connections as part of the Gathr Alive Mind series.

My plans? At least Come Drink with Me in Chinatown, The Pirates, But Always, The Kid Brother, and The Drop, hopefully managing A Master Builder, because that preview looked fantastic. On Thursday, I'll be leaving for Austin for my first trip to Fantastic Fest.

Of course, the jury duty I've got Monday could really screw that up.

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