Thursday, August 13, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 14 August 2015 - 20 August 2015

It's not a great sign when the Imax theaters are saying "don't worry, we'll have Mission: Impossible back soon!" even before they open The Man from U.N.C.L.E., is it? At least, not for one of the movies.

  • Lousy luck to be opening so close to that other adaptation of a 1960s spy series, but The Man from U.N.C.L.E. does have Guy Ritchie directing, guys-who-were-good-in-lousy-movies Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer playing the American and Soviet agents forced to team up, Alicia Vikander & Elizabeth Debicki to play off them. It opens at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (in Natick only), the Embassy, Fenway (including some RPX shows), Boston Common (including some Imax shows), Assembly Row (including some Imax shows), Revere, and the SuperLux.

    The other wide release is Straight Outta Compton, retelling the early days of rap legends N.W.A., made with much of the group's co-operation and even featuring Ice Cube's son as his father. Looks pretty good, and can be seen at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway (including some RPX shows), Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.
  • This week's Chinese film opening day-and-date in Boston and Beijing is Go Away Mr. Tumor!, a comedy adapting Xiong Dun's online comic about fighting cancer. It features bai Baihe, Daniel Wu, and Zhang Zixua, and plays Boston Common. They and Fenway will both also be keeping Korean film Assassination around for at least another week of evening shows at Fenway and early morning shows at Boston Common (plus late shows on Friday and Saturday).

    Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond opens a number of Indian films, though the only one I expect to have Englishsubtitles is Brothers: Blood Against Blood, which has two estranged sons of a former street-fighter eventually facing off in a mixed-martial-arts tournament. There's also VSOP (a Tamil romantic comedy), Vaalu (a Tamil action-comedy), and RangiTaranga, a Kannada drama with a possibly supernatural story.
  • The The Coolidge Corner Theatre is where you've got to go to see Cop Car, which I rather liked at Fantasia, because that's what happens when something has a same-day VOD release. It plays midnights on screen #2 on Friday and Saturday and then moves over to the GoldScreen for 9:45pm shows from Sunday to Thursday. It shares that tiny room with Ten Thousand Saints, a coming-of-age story set in 1987 New York with Asa Butterfield, hailee Steinfeld, Ethan Hawke, and others. IFFBoston selection Best of Enemies, shares screen #2, with the documentary about the televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.

    The other midnight film this weekend is a 35mm print of The Dark Knight, which even getting reappraised a bit after a few years of more upbeat Marvel movies is still one of the best superhero films ever made. They fire up the 35mm projector again on Monday for Big Screen Classic The Big Lebowski, and their annual show has bowling, costumes, trivia, and other fun (across the street, Otto Pizza will be donating a fraction of their proceeds to the Coolidge Corner Foundation). Wednesday offers a free-for-members (I think) preview of Digging for Fire, the latest from indie workhorse Joe Swanberg (featuring co-writer Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Sam Rockwell), and as it's part of the NY Film Critics' series, there will be a simulcast of a live Q&A.
  • Along with Best of Enemies, Kendall Square has a one-week booking of Listen to Me Marlon, a documentary on Marlon Brando built in large part from his own archives that include a lot of rarely-heard audio recordings.
  • The Brattle Theatre gives much of the weekend to a digital restoration of Douglas Sirk's Imitation of LIfe; it's considered one of Douglas Sirk's best and a sharp examination of race in the 1950s. It's got a reasonably full slate (three shows) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and a 7pm show on Monday.

    After the sun sets on Friday, they have the second week of a brief "Sinister Inspirations" series to promote the sequel, with a 35mm print of Night of the Living Dead at 9:30pm and a free screening (with an easily-downloaded pass) of the first movie at 11:30pm. Props must be given to whoever is in charge of doing promotion for te second film. From Saturday to Monday, tribute will be paid to the recently-departed "Rowdy" Roddy Piper with John Carpenter's They Live, while the "Reel Weird Brattle: Camp Sci-Fi Camp" presentation at 11:30pm Saturday is a 35mm print of The Fifth Element.

    A 35mm print of Too Many Husbands is the Monday/Tuesday "Screwball Summer" offering, but it's only playing matinees between the weekend stuff and Tuesday's "Trash Night" presentation. Wednesday's Recent Rave is Alex Garland's Ex Machina, while Thursday kicks off the H.P. Lovecraft 125th Birthday Celebration with a two-and-a-half-tuple feature: The locally-produced throwback versions of The Call of Cthulhu and The Wisperer in the Darkness, the former of which as its slot filled out with the Rod Serling's Night Gallery episode "Pickman's Model".
  • The Somerville Theatre has Jaws this weekend, with screenings Friday, Saturday (including midnight), and Sunday from what they say is an excellent 35mm print. Projectionist Dave Kornfeld mentioned that at least the first half of Wednesday's Sam Peckinpah double feature, The Killer Elite, looks fantastic, though he hadn't had a chance to look at the back end, Convoy, just yet.

    Over at The Capitol , "Throwback Thursdays" finishes up with Dazed and Confused and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
  • The Titanus Studios series at The Harvard Film Archive seems to be a Friday night thing right now, with this week's selection is Girl with a Suitcase, Claudia Cardinale's big breakout role. The Sam Fuller series includes one he didn't direct, Scandal Sheet (Friday 9:30pm), which was adapted from his pulp novel, along with Shark! (Saturday 7pm) and Verboten! (Sunday 5pm). Robert Altman's retrospective continues with McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Saturday 9pm), Gosford Park (Sunday 7pm), The Company (Monday 7pm), and Streamers (Thursday 7pm). All are in 35mm except a DCP for Gosford Park.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues The Films of Ingrid Bergman;this week's selections are Gaslight (Friday), Notorious (Friday & Sunday), Stromboli (Saturday & Thursday), Murder on the Orient Express (Saturday), and Journey to Italy (Sunday & Thursday). Stromboli and Italy are labeled as DCPs,so the others might be film.
  • Somerville's Aeronaut Brewery will be screening the 1925 The Lost World on Sunday with accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis; a $10 donation is suggested. Not sure if there will be food trucks or you're stuck with just beer.
  • Free outdoor screenings listed on Joe's Calendar include Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Friday, multiple screenings of Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, The Avengers at Revere Beach on Thursday, and a program of horror shorts at the Somerville Growing Center the same night.

My plans: Phoenix, Fantastic Four, Go Away Mr. Tumor, Straight Outta Compton, 2x Peckinpah. I'm not yet used to the idea that Saturday's midnight screening of Jaws will be much easier for me to get to/from than The Fifth Element and The Dark Knight.

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