Friday, May 08, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 8 May 2015 - 14 May 2015

Is film distribution fundamentally broken or is it just Boston, because right now it looks like less than five hundred people in the Boston area are going to get to see the extremely well-reviewed new Arnold Schwarzeneggar zombie movie in a theater. Sure, it's also on VOD, but that seems crazy to me.

  • I get that number by multiplying the 14 people that can be seated in the GoldScreen at The Coolidge Corner Theatre by five screenings a day by seven days. Arnold plays a father whose daughter has contracted the virus, and he disagrees with the government's policy on quarantine. Looks like both a great thriller and a neat way to tell a story about a man dealing with a family member's terminal illness poorly.

    On the larger screen is Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, which also plays the Kendall and Boston Common. It features Carey Mulligan as a young woman pursued by three bachelors, played by Matthias Choenaerts, Tom Sturridge, and Michael Sheen. They also have a new one at midnight Friday & Saturday - Reality, which is the new one from Quentin Dupieux of Rubber and Wrong fame, following a would-be director running around a surreal alternate Hollywood to find the perfect sound effect.

    Also at midnight those days is Mommie Dearest, celebrating Mother's Day with a Faye Dunaway cult hit. Other special presentations include a Big Screen Classic on Monday, with Charade playing on 35mm; it's a pretty great caper movie directed by Stanley Donen that stars Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, along with an early appearance by Walter Matthau. There's also Open Screen on Tuesday.
  • The big studios mostly try and stay out of the way of Avengers 2, so the main release at the multiplexes is Hot Pursuit, which is not Midnight Run with ladies, nope, not at all, despite Reese Witherspoon playing a straight-laced cop and Sofia Vergara as the drug dealer's wife she has to transport. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    There's a smaller release for Noble, which plays West Newton, Fenway, and Revere. This one's a drama about a poor Irish woman who traveled to Vietnam and now leads a foundation to help children there; star Deirdre O'Kane has actually worked for that foundation. Somewhere in between those releases is The D Train, which stars Jack Black as a loser who heads across the country to bring the most popular guy in their high school back for a reunion, although that doesn't go as planned. It's at the Kendall, Fenway, Boston Common, and Revere.
  • In addition to D and Madding, Kendall Square has a one-week booking of About Elly, a film by Iranian expatriate director Asghar Farhadi that was actually made in 2009 but is just now getting an American release after the success of his later movies. It's a mystery about the mysterious disappearance of a schoolteacher in the desert.
  • The Brattle Theatre has another weekend booking with the much-lauded Girlhood. The title literally translates as "Gang of Girls", and it follows an immigrant girl in France (Karidja TourĂ©) who starts skipping school and stealing when such a gang looks like a better prospect. It plays Friday to Monday, although it will be bumped on Sunday night for a Mother's Day double feature of Psycho & The Brood on 35mm film (cinema programmers have issues, don't they)?

    Tuesday's screening is not yet announced, but there's a special screening of The Grief of Others on Wednesday. It's the first Boston Globe Book Club "Page to Screen" presentation followed by a panel discussion with both the director and the author of the adapted book. It's free, but requires and RSVP. They close out the week with the very impressive Icelandic coming of age film Metalhead; I saw it at Fantasia last year and was really impressed despite not expecting a lot.
  • I saw the trailer for Piku, the Hindi film playing at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond/iMovieCafe, in front of another movie a few weeks back and while it looks kind of goofy, it's got a pretty great cast that even those that don't follow Bollywood might recognize: Deepika Padukone as a young woman pulled in multiple directions, Amitabh Bachchan as her demanding 70-year-old father, and Irrfan Khan as the driver taking them from Delhi to Calcutta. There's also the Telugu-language Lion playing without subtitles.
  • The West Newton Cinema will be cramming 16 films onto its six screens without counting special events this weekend. One of the few getting a screen to itself is the area's only booking of 5 Flights Up (aka Ruth & Alex), starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as a long-married couple who has seen their Brooklyn neighborhood transform over the years and are now considering moving out. They and the Somerville Theatre also pick up Welcome to Me, which stars Kristen Wiig as a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who wins the lottery and decides to go off her meds and start a radio show. Nice cast, with Joan Cusack, Loretta Devine, Alan Tudyk, and Jennifer Jason Lee also on-hand.

    Of course, that's not enough; they're also one of the venues hosting Jewishfilm.2015, with screenings on Sunday (The Museum of Fine Arts has screenings Friday,Saturday, Wednesday, and Thursday; the Kendall on Monday). The Belmont World Film Series has its official closing night on Monday (although there is actually another week) with Tokyo Fiancee, which tells the story of a Belgian woman who lived in Japan as a child returning at the age of twenty and meeting an unusual man. It includes a complimentary snack from a new French bakery, and there is also a reception with French and Japanese cuisine beforehand.
  • The Harvard Film Archive was scheduled to have a filmmaker visit on Friday, but it appears to have fallen through, though the film - Guimba the Tyrant by Cheick Oumar Sissoko - will still screen on 35mm. Much of the rest of the weekend will be given over to their Wojciech Jerzy Has retrospective, with Memoirs of a Sinner (35mm Saturday), Partings (Sunday), and Codes (35mm Monday). In between, they continue Ben Rivers's late night shows with Lucio Fulci's The Beyond in 35mm at 10pm Saturday. There's also a free screening of Whiplash on Tuesday, an adjunct to a Wednesday-afternoon panel with director (and alumnus) Damien Chazelle.
  • The Capitol begins their first summer movie series - "Mel Brooks in May"- with 11pm screenings of the Producers on Friday & Saturday. They will also have two screenings of The Last Unicorn on Sunday with author Peter S. Beagle on-hand, and I don't believe those have sold out well ahead of time like last week's shows at the Brattle did. They also pick up a couple of films second-run - The Salt of the Earth and Danny Collins, while their sister theater The Somerville Theatre does the same with Clouds of Sils Maria andWhile We're Young. They're also planning a live pre-show concert for Pitch Perfect 2 when that opens on Thursday. The Lexington Venue (which appears to have no website) is picking up a second run of The Water Diviner.

My plans can't really be called plans - I'll likely try to make Maggie and Reality at the Coolidge, but plans to see 5 Flights Up at West Newton could be scuttled by house-hunting on Saturday (man, moving sucks). I'll probably try to fit Charade, Piku, Girlhood, and About Elly in there as well, but things are up in the air over the next month or two (and with Fantasia, the whole summer, really).

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