Thursday, August 20, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 21 August 2015 - 27 August 2015

You know how little people seem to be into the movies around back-to-school time? It's not just that the studios use them as dumping grounds for disappointments, but theaters are figuring they might as well shut down screens to remodel them. This week, the Jordan's Furniture in Reading shuts down their Imax screen in order to install laser-projection and a twelve-channel sound system, while Regal Fenway starts going down to reduced capacity in order to put in bigger, reclining seats (and probably also go to reserved seating and reduce capacity)

  • Three movies open wide anyway, though, with Sinister 2 playing at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway (including a couple of shows per day on the RPX screen), Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. It looks like another family is moving into that cursed house, this one headed up by Shannyn Sossamon. The first was a pretty darn good horror movie, and the second keeps the same writers and Ciaran Foy in the director's chair; he made the pretty tense Citadel.

    The other big opening is American Ultra, which features Jesse Eisenberg as an amiable stoner who was apparently a highly-trained assassin before his brain was fried. Fun cast between Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Walter Goggins. It plays the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. Speaking of highly-trained assassins, Hitman: Agent 47 opens at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere; it's another go at a popular video game franchise, and, man, if they couldn't make it work with Timothy Olyphant, what chance does Rupert Friend have? On the other hand, it's a chance for people who don't regularly watch Chinese movies to put eyes on Angelababy and her silly stage name.

    With a fair number of screens to fill, Boston Common also picks up some independent films: Twinsters is a documentary about twins who were given up for adoption, ended up in France and California, and discovered each other online. That gets a full schedule (as does the held-over Go Away Mr. Tumor), while Some Kind of Beautiful (also known as "How to Make Love Like an Englishman") just has 1pm and 8pm shows, with Pierce Brosnan as a poetry professor who fathered a child with a younger woman (Jessica Alba) who leaves him and sends her sister (Salma Hayek) to check up on her son. That's a pretty nice cast and the director made Starter for 10, so it might be worth checking out.
  • The Somerville Theatre brings back Call Me Lucky, which had a great screening there as part of IFFBoston. It's Bobcat Goldthwait's documentary on Barry Crimmins, a comedian who was sharply political before it was fashionable and whose revelation in the middle of a set in the 1990s is devastating. It's hilarious and tragic, and I don't know if anyone but Bobcat could have made it. It pushes Ricki and the Flash to The Capitol , and is only scheduled for a week.

    On the big screen, they wrap up the last two of their summer series: The Saturday midnight is Repo: The Genetic Opera, which is at least genuinely weird; the last of the Sam Peckinpah series is the rarely-screened Cross of Iron, as this is apparently the only print in America and Dave says that it can be tough to come by.
  • The The Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of the places opening Mistress America (along with Kendall Square and Boston Common), Noah Baumbach's latest which features Lola Kirke as a college freshman abuot to have Greta Gerwig as a stepsister. They also get one about a slightly younger protagonist, Diary of a Teenage Girl, with Bel Powley as the title character with a crush on her stepfather. It's also at Kendall Square and the Embassy.

    The midnight show on Friday and Saturday is 1978's Superman: The Movie, on 35mm as Richard Donner intended. They also double up on fun Steven Spielberg movies, with Indiana Jones and the Temmple of Doom as the Big Screen Classic on Monday and Jurassic Park their first "Rewind!" presentation on Thursday.
  • The third film opening at Kendall Square this weekend was one of the niftier ones I saw at Fantasia, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, an animated adaptation of the famed book which has a decent framing sequence around eight pretty spectacular adaptations of individual poems from animators like Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Tomm Moore, and Joann Sfar.
  • The Brattle Theatre continues their H.P. Lovecraft 125th Birthday Celebration this weekend with a bunch of good stuff that may only be tangentially related but is pretty good and almost all on 35mm. Friday has two fairly direct adaptations, with John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness and a late show of Stuart Gordon's From Beyond with Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton. Saturday's double feature draws clear inspiration with Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy and Carpenter's The Thing, while Sunday's has a Hammer-esque adaptation in The Crimson Cult and a contemporaneous descendent in The Dunwich Horror. Monday night, Corman's X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes plays back-to-back with Takashi Shimizu's Marebito (on digital rather than film, but it was that way during its original run, too).

    The rest of the repatory program is starting to wind down, with Saturday night's Zardoz being the last "Reel Weird Brattle: Camp Sci-Fi Camp" show of the summer; the website says DCP although the Brattle's social media accounts have mentioned 35mm. Film is the plan for "Screwball Summer" double feature Christmas in July & The Great McGinty (Monday matinees and all day Tuesday), and at least the back half of the "Recent Raves" double feature of Timbuktu & About Elly on Wednesday. They even appear to be getting film for Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia as part of the retrospective program running on Thursday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive continues their Sam Fuller retrospective with two war films - The Steel Helmet (Friday 7pm), his first, and 1980's The Big Red One (Saturday 7pm), both on 35mm, and a repeat screening of daughter Samantha Fuller's documentary A Fuller Life (DCP). The Friday night Titanus Studios presentation is "pink neorealist" film La Spiaggia. The week's Robert Altman films are feature debut The Delinquents (Sunday 5pm, DCP, with short "The Perfect Crime"), The Gingerbread Man (Monday 7pm), and Basements (Thursday 7pm).
  • The Museum of Fine Arts wraps The Films of Ingrid Bergman this week with Murder on the Orient Express (Friday), Autumn Sonata (Friday & Sunday on 35mm), Saratoga Trunk and (Saturday & Thursday). As that comes to a close, they begin a run of We Come as Friends, a documentary by Hubert Sauper about the Sudan, a country being divided in two.
  • The West Newton Cinema picks up Phoenix and Listen to Me Marlon.
  • It looks like the only new Indian movie opening at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond is Kick 2, and that's in Telugu. I seem to remember an earlier "Kick" being subtitled, but that might have been a Hindi version.
  • Free outdoor screenings listed on Joe's Calendar include multiple screenings of Guardians of the Galaxy, Stop Making Sense at the Aeronaut Brewery, and one of the most enjoyable events of the year, the Asian Community Development Center's Films at the Gate, which kicks off on Thursday with a block party at the vacant lot where the event got its start, followed by 9-Man, a nifty documentary about a game of volleyball played exclusively in Chinese-American neighborhoods, including Boston's Chinatown, so you could conceivably see some of the subjects there.

I've actually been invited to the pre-fest reception, which is nuts to me, as a white guy with little connection to Chinatown aside from visiting for this event. In the meantime, I figure to see Sinister 2, Some Kind of Beautiful, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Cross of Iron, and Mr. Holmes. Hellboy and The Big Red One are also tempting.

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