Thursday, April 30, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 May 2015 - 7 May 2015

Hey, Hollywood, thanks for the light release weekend - I've got a couple of tickets the the Red Sox and a bunch of stuff to catch up on after IFFBoston ate my last week. I'm sure that's why you've just given us one wide release, and it's not about everyone else being terrified of the Marvel juggernaut (although, because the film rights to the mutant characters rest with Fox, they would probably prefer I use another word there).

  • Still, there's no doubt that Avengers: Age of Ultron will be enormous. Once again, Marvel is gathering up the superheroes from almost all of their other movies, adding a couple more, and having Joss Whedon throw them against each other and a supervillain with an army, in this case a super-intelligent robot voiced by James Spader. It plays everywhere in both 3D and 2D, including the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Jordan's Furniture (in Imax 3D), Fenway (including RPX 2D/3D), Boston Common (including Imax 3D), Assembly Row (including Imax 3D), Revere (including XPlus), and the SuperLux.
  • In contrast, Kendall Square picks up two documentaries, both dealing with pop culture. Dior and I follows Raf Simons, a fashion designer chosen to be the Artistic Director of Dior despite his contrasting style, as he creates his first Haute Couture collection. If rock & roll is more your thing, consider Lambert & Stamp, which shows how two young filmmakers intended to make a film about the rise and fall of a band they managed, only to have that band (The Who) hit it big.
  • The Brattle Theatre gets animated this weekend with Cheatin', the latest from from Bill Plympton. It's a nifty little movie that I liked a lot at Fantasia last year (full disclosure - I contributed to the Kickstarter). Plympton will be there for the 7:15pm show on Friday, and the film plays through Monday. There are also two screenings of The Last Unicorn with author Peter S. Beagle present on Saturday, although both are sold out (he'll be back in the area next week for a screening at the Capitol). Monday night also features the monthly "Elements of Cinema" screening, this time featuring Fritz Lang directing Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, and Marilyn Monroe in Clash by Night; the screening is free and there will be discussion afterward. What they're showing Tuesday isn't on the schedule yet, but they will be celebrating Orson Welles's centennial with a 35mm print of Citizen Kane on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond/iMovieCafe has two with English subtitles this week. Gabbar Is Back (Hindi) has the title of a sequel but is apparently more remake, with Akshay Kumar as a vigilante taking out corrupt officials, requiring a special police task force to hunt him down. Kareena Kapoor also stars. Uttama Villain is showing in both Tamil (with English subtitles) and Telugu, and from what I can tell stars Kamal Haasan as both a legendary 8th century actor and a present-day superstar.
  • The Somerville Theatre refills its screens after playing host to IFFBoston for a week, mostly with what they had before, sadly missing a great opportunity for someone to open Donnie Yen's latest in his American hometown (--sigh--). They also have the latest in their "Silents, Please!" series, this month presenting Buster Keaton in The Cameraman at 2pm on Sunday. As always, it's in 35mm with Jeff Rapsis on the organ.
  • The Coolidge also both sticks with holdovers after IFFBoston and has its regular "Sounds of Silents" screening, presenting F.W. Murnau's The Last Laugh on Monday evening, with a new score from the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. It stars Emil Jannings as a hotel doorman demoted to washroom attendant, and is told almost entirely without intertitles.

    The midnight programs this weekend are Return of the Living Dead, an unofficial sequel to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead directed by Dan O'Bannon, presented in 35mm, and Roar, held over from last week.
  • I've been remiss in mentioning the recent openings on the area's two IMAX screens which are (so far as I know) still presenting genuine film: Both the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science recently opened "Humpback Whales" (the former in 3D), and both are adding more: The Aquarium opens "Jean Michel Cousteau's Secret Ocean" on Friday, while the MOS recently started "Airplanes: A World in Flight" and will be opening "Dinosaurs Alive!" on their OMNIMAX screen on Monday.
  • The West Newton Cinema continues hosting the Belmont World Film Series with Court on Sunday; it's from India and uses the trial of a folk singer whose song may have spurred a man to suicide as a window into everybody involved in the trial. Jewishfilm.2015 also continues, with screenings on Sunday and Tuesday. That series also plays at The Museum of Fine Arts, with screenings on Friday, Saturday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The MFA will also be screening a showcase program for seniors at MassArts on Thursday afternoon.
  • The Harvard Film Archive will also be used for student presentations for much of the weekend, but will pick their Lav Diaz retrospective back up on Sunday with Heremias (Book One: The Legend of the Lizard Princess), which may sound like a flashy fantasy, but is described s "meditative", and will also take up your entire day at nine hours. Wojciech Jerzy Has's One Room Tenants (Monday 7pm) should be much less taxing at 92 minutes. Coincidentally, both are in black and white.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art has a program of offbeat film on Saturday night, pairing "The Crumbling" - a stop-motion fantasy by Alexis Gideon who also provides live musical accompaniment; the back half is "Psychedelic Cinema", a montage of 8mm shorts director Ken Brown created in the 1960s which played rock clubs and toured with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, with "The Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra", including members of Morphine, The Alloy Orchestra, and Cul de Sac. There's also an encore presentation of Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter on Sunday afternoon.

My plans include Age of Ultron, a couple ballgames, Ex Machina, The Cameraman, and likely a trip to West Newton for 24 Days and The Forger on Saturday. Not sure how much time that leaves for anything else.

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