Thursday, January 22, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 23 January 2015 - 29 January 2015

Happy "well, at least that trailer isn't playing in front of every movie I see" weekend! It's like Friday the 13th - it happens irregularly once or twice a year, but is fun to note when it comes.

  • You can celebrate it best by not seeing the movies whose previews you are sick of. I recommend going to the Somerville Theatreon Saturday, where All Things Horror will be celebrating their fifth anniversary with their first Boston Horror Show. It's four independent horror movies running from 2pm to 10pm: Spring, the new movie from the makers of Resolution which is also what I most regret not seeing at Fantastic Fest; The Sins of Dracula, the latest film from Richard Marr-Griffin and his Providence-based crew; The Battery, a decent story of two independent-league ballpayers trying to make their way home after a zombie pandemic; and Dys-, one of the films I missed at Fantasia last summer. Tickes are ten bucks a pop at the Horror Show site, twenty for the whole day.
  • The most annoyingly omnipresent trailer these past few months has been Mortdecai, featuring Johnny Depp as the title character, a English aristocrat who is an art dealer and a moron. It looks terrible, but has a fine supporting cast (Gwynneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, and more) with David Koepp directing based on a series of forgotten pulp spoofs from the 1970s. It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. Second most-obnoxious has been the preview for The Boy Next Door, featuring Jennifer Lopez as a teacher who finds herself entangled with the eighteen-year-old neighbor. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Hopes also aren't high for the other two multiplex openings. Strange Magic is an animated film with a story by George Lucas based upon A Midsummer Night's Dream and directed by Gary Rydstrom, sound guy extraordinaire who has also made a pair of short films for Pixar. Disney picked it up in the LucasFilm acquisition, and it would be nice to see the last project Lucas supervised personally be a win. It's at The Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. Cake was expected to get Jennifer Aniston an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a chronic pain sufferer despite nobody seeming to think much of it otherwise; it didn't. It's at Fenway and Boston Common.
  • You know who did get an Oscar nomination? Julianne Moore as a professor dealing with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease in Still Alice. That one opens at Kendall Square , West Newton, and Boston Common. Also Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night, in which she plays a woman who must convince her co-workers to accept her continued employment rather than a bonus. It's also at the Kendall.

    The Kendall also starts up another calendar of one-week bookings with Beloved Sisters, a love triangle with a poet and two well-born sisters who initially intend to share him, but, well, that never works out. It's worth noting that it is only playing twice a day and is fairly long at nearly three hours.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre shuffles things around, moving Inherent Vice to the video-based screening room and opening A Most Violent Year on one of the larger screens. They also open two programs of short films from last year's Sundance Film Festival - one live-action & documentary and the other animated.

    Both midnight screenings on Friday & Saturday are on 35mm film, with Tim Burton's Ed Wood in the main screen (remember they had Plan 9 last week?), and a return engagement for Trailer Apocalypse! upstairs. Sunday morning's Talk Cinema presentation is Timbuktu, the Oscar-nominated film from Mauritania about the city's occupation by militant rebels. If Ed Wood wasn't enough Tim Burton for you, his Big Fish plays on 35mm as part of the Science on Screen series, with science journalist Paul Raeburn introducing the film.
  • Theory about Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond: They don't pay tremendously close attention to the full details of a film's release, so they will often open things that have a noteworthy name but which other theaters won't touch because they are playing on VOD or other platforms. Thus, Song One, starring Anne Hathaway as a woman who visits her comatose brother and winds up falling for his musical hero, only plays there.

    Their iMovieCafe program cuts i down to Tamil-language screenings, and also opens Dolly Ki Doli, featuring Soman Kapoor as a grifter who fakes marriages and robs the victims, with Pulkit Samrat as the cop chasing her down.
  • The Brattle has a hodgepodge of a schedule this week, kicking of with 35mm screenings of Blade Runner (the Final Cut) on Friday & Saturday, with an 11:30pm late show of Freaks, also in 35mm, as part of their "Reel Weird Brattle: Mad Romance" series.

    It's special screenings for the rest of the week. Sunday brings a day of the Glovebox Short Film & Animation Festival, with 7 short film programs over the course of the day. Monday's DocYard screening is Happy Valley, with director Amir Bar-Lev and producer Ken Dornstein there to talk about their film about the Penn State scandal. Tuesday is Trash Night, with Brandon Lee and Ernest Borgnine in Laser Mission. Wednesday is Grrl Haus Cinema, a night of music videos directed by Anastasia Cazabon and Jenny Plante, who will be there in person with Gracie Jackson playing a short set before the show. Finally, Thursday night is Wild Style, with director Charlie Ahearn presenting his 1983 documentary, one of the first to show hip-hop on screen.
  • The Harvard Film Archive starts its winter program on Friday night with part one of an Orson Welles retrospective, including some big guns: Citizen Kane (Friday 7pm), Chimes at Midnight (Friday 9pm), The Magnificent Ambersons (Saturday 7pm), The Third Man (Saturday 9pm), Othello (Sunday 5pm), The Lady from Shanghai (Sunday 7pm), and The Trial (Monday 7pm). Friday & Saturday's are on 35mm, Sunday's and Monday's are DCPs.

    They will also be having a "Furious Cinema '70 - '77" series on Wednesday nights - I'm not sure it they are free VES screenings or not - but the first one on Wednesday is Elaine May's Mikey and Nickey.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts wraps the Boston Festival of Films from Iran over the weekend, with four shows between Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then, on Wednesday, they begin In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund, including Play (Wednesday), The Involuntary (Wednesday), The Guitar Mongoloid (Thursday), and Force Majeure. All of the Östlund films aside from Force Majeure are in 35mm.
  • The Bright Lights series returns to Emerson's Paramount Theater Bright Screening Room on Thursday the 29th, kicking off its season with Out of Print, a documentary on repertory and 35mm cinema by Julia Marchese; she will be on-hand for a post-film discussion with Peter Flynn & Garen Daly, both of whom will also be showing clips from their own films on the subject.

My plans? Well, I'll be at the Boston Horror Show, and will try to fit Strange Magic, Paddington, A Most Violent Year, Still Alice, Song One, and hopefully Timbuktu in around it. And, who am I kidding, I will probably also see Mortdecai, because I am weak. I'll probably let American Sniper wait another week.

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