Thursday, December 04, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 5 December - 11 December 2014

I think the studios expected the stuff released before Thanksgiving to be bigger hits, because the release schedule is sparse enough that I'm kind of surprised certain indie movies aren't picking up screens at larger theaters. It's not often when arguably the biggest movie of the week is at the Brattle.

  • That movie is The Babadook, a supernatural thriller from Australia directed by Jennifer Kent and starring Essie Davis as an overextended single mom who really doesn't need a monster out of her son's pop-up book added to the mix. I liked it a lot at Fantastic Fest, and that was one of the more subdued reactions. More recently, William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist) and Stephen King have been showering it with superlatives, and they are folks who know what they're talking about. It's scary and also smart enough that you really don't have to be a horror fan to go for it. It plays all week except Tuesday at The Brattle.

    Tuesday? The final entry in the IFFBoston Fall Focus, one which they had at the Festival in April, Starred Up. It stars Jack O'Connell as a young offender moved to the same prison as his father. It is, apparently, not opening here otherwise, so don't miss it if you want to see it.
  • The Babdook also opens at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, albeit in the 14-seat GoldScreen for every show but the Friday & Saturday midnights. Also at midnight those days: A 35mm print of Batman Returns, part of their run of Christmas-themed midnights in December. It also likely makes a fun double feature with Birdman.

    No other new openings, but there are special screenings throughout the whole week. On Sunday morning, there's a Talk Cinema screening of Red Army, a documentary about the Soviet army's hockey team, which was a huge success for generations. Monday night's Science on Screen is Airplane! on 35mm with MIT aeronautics professor R. John Hansman on hand for an introduction. Tuesday features an NT Live presentation of John and the monthly Open Screen. Wednesday and Thursday both have Alzheimer's-related screenings, with AlzTogether presenting documentary Alive Inside along with discussion from music therapists. There's also a 10am screening especially designed for Alzheimer's patients the next morning.
  • Kendall Square picks up three movies. Miss Julie is the one full of big names, with with Liv Ullmann directing Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton in the famous love-triangle story. There's also two documentaries: Keep On Keepin' On is the story of a friendship between a young, blind piano prodigy and a 90-year-old jazz musician also losing his sight. The other doc is Antarctica: A Year on the Ice, a look at the people who work at the bottom of the world (though probably not as peculiar as Werner Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World).
  • At the big theaters, you're basically looking at The Pyramid, an Alexandre Aja-produced horror movie that involves a newly-discovered pyramid that may have monsters inside. It's at Fenway, Boston Common, and Revere.

    With few other wide releases, Boston Common re-opens John Wick, Fenway re-opens Nightcrawler, Apple gets St. Vincent, and the Arlington Capitol picks up Gone Girl.
  • Fenway and Apple Cinemas also have Action Jackson, which stars Ajay Devgan and Sonakshi Sinha, not Carl Weathers, and has a great deal more singing and dancing. Apple's iMovieCafe also has Telugu-language basketball comedy Chakkiligintha without subtitles. And, coming Thursday, they'll be opening Lingaa, the new Rajnikanth starrer, in Tamil & Telugu with English subtitles.
  • ArtsEmerson has two films at the Bright Screening Room at the Paramount Theater: OxyMorons on Saturday is an up-close look at oxycontin addiction; Monday is 25 to Life, a documentary about a man who kept his HIV-positive status, trying to change his life and redeem himself.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has student programming using their space on Friday and Saturday, with a couple more screenings of Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour, on Sunday and Monday. There's also one Jacques Demy screening on Sunday evening, Three Seats for the 26th.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues showing Bad Hair on Friday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There's also a double feature of French documentary series Apocalypse: World War I on Saturday. There's also a couple entries in a series of The Films of Catherine Breillat, both on 35mm: Romance on Sunday & Wednesday, and Sex Is Comedy on Thursday.
  • The Regent Theatre has an Alive Mind presentation of A Gesar Bard's Tale, a tale of an illiterate Tibetan villager who becomes known as a holy man after a series of visions, only later to have his village devastated by an earthquake. That's booked through Gathr, and it's worth noting that they have a number of interesting screenings looking for pre-sales, including The Tale of the Princess Kaguya at Fenway on January 8th. Tugg has a couple as well.
  • I missed the screening in the UMass Boston Film Series last week, but they do have another - Vessel - on Thursday. As usual, there will be director Q&A after this free screening of Diana Whitten's film about abortions on the high seas, but note that it will be playing at 4pm rather than the usual 7pm.
  • Joe's Calendar is always worth a look; Frozen is showing three times on the Tufts campus this weekend, and AMC Assembly Row will be starting a free holiday film series on Saturday mornings (early - 9:30am) with The Polar Express.
  • Don't forget, All Things Horror has the Etheria Film Night on the 13th & 14th; get your tickets early because it's in a very small room.

My plans? Pyramid, Miss Julie, maybe a second look at The Babadook and paying attention to all the nice things people are saying about Beyond the Lights, Whiplash, and Citizenfour. It is, as mentioned, a thin week.

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