Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 25 November 2015 - 3 December 2015

Holiday weekend with what looks like good stuff coming out. It also means there's time to bone up on everything that leads to one of them.

  • That would be Creed, in which Michael B. Jordan plays the son of Apollo Creed, the great rival in Rocky and the first two sequels, with Sylvester Stallone reprising his role, this time serving as a mentor to "Adonis". Believe it or not, I've never seen any of the Rocky movies, although I suspect you can start fresh here. It's at Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the Superlux.

    Another reboot, of sorts, is Victor Frankenstein, with James McAvoy as the title character and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant "Igor" in a steampunked-up take on the story, which is actually smarter and more ambitious than the previews make it look, despite the action being a mess. It's opening at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Embassy, Boston Common, and Revere.

    There's also the second Pixar film of the year, The Good Dinosaur, one which posits the idea that the Age of Reptiles never ended, allowing them to evolve into intelligent creatures while humans lag somewhat behind, including one who apparently becomes a sort of pet of a lost dino. 2D-only at the Capitol, West Newton, and the Studio in Belmont; 2D and 3D at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. Revere also has screenings of Roman Holiday on Sunday and Tuesday.
  • Legend also opens Wednesday, featuring Tom Hardy as twins who ruled the London underworld in the 1960s, and two Tom Hardys sounds pretty good. It's at Kendall Square and Boston Common. Kendall Square also has a one-week booking of Heart of a Dog, a documentary by musician Laurie Anderson, who recently lost her own dog.
  • Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond has a couple new Indian releases with subtitles. Tamasha features Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor who meet in Corsica, find each other four years later, and, well, don't quite hit it off right away. That's in Hindi and opens Wednesday. Thursday brings Telugu-language (but also subtitled) Size Zero, with Anushka Shetty as an overweight woman trying to drop kilos and find romance.
  • The Brattle Theatre has the second leg of their 75 Years of Film Noir series, this time focusing on "Authors of Noir", with movies adapted from great crime novels (or written by their authors). Wednesday & Thursday (Thanksgiving) kick it off with a double feature of The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, which is kind of great. Friday's pair are Strangers on a Train and Double Indemnity, both with screenplays by Raymond Chandler. Saturday is more Chandler, with adaptations of Murder, My Sweet and The Lady in the Lake. Then they shift to Cornell Woolrich, with double-features of Phantom Lady & Black Angel on Sunday and Street of Chance & The Night Has a Thousand Eyes on Tuesday. James M. Cain is the featured author on Wednesday the 2nd with The Postman Always Rings Twice. Thursday loops back around to Dashiell Hammett, with The Glass Key and Miller's Crossing. All are in 35mm except Miller's Crossing.

    Smack in the middle of that is the DocYard/UMass Boston Film Series presentation of Frame by Frame on Monday, a documentary on the struggles of establishing a free press in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. As is often the case with the UMB series, directors Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli will be on-hand for a Q&A.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre mostly keeps the same line-up, although they have midnight screenings of #Horror on Friday and Saturday, with this particular small release centered on cyber-bullying and featuring Chloe Sevigny, Natasha Lyonne, Timothy Hutton and more. They also close out their Lloyd Kaufman series with Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead on 35mm those nights; Happy Thanksgiving!

    There's also a kids' show on Saturday morning with The Muppets Take Manhattan, and The Conformist as a Big Screen Classic on Monday evening. On Tuesday, director Mark Phinney will be on-hand to screen his movie Fat, a locally-shot film that played IFFBoston last year.
  • The Harvard Film Archive finishes its fall calendar, incuding the Maurice PIalat retrospective, with three final films: Van Gogh on Friday, The House in the Woods (digital video) on Saturday, and The Son of... (with short "Love Exists") on Sunday. They also wrap up "Five O'Clock Shadow" with The Burglar Sunday afternoon, and "Furious and Furiouser" with Girlfriends (on digital video) on Monday, with director Claudia Weill in person. All in 35mm unless noted, as usual.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts finishes its run of Frederick Wiseman's In Jackson Heights over the weekend, with screenings Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They start a new calendar on Wednesday, with The Art of Alfred Hitchcock starting on Wednesday the 2nd with Suspicion (Wednesday), Rebecca (Wednesday & Thursday), and Shadow of a Doubt (Thursday). The Hitchcock films will be shown on 35mm.
  • Lots of film at The Regent Theatre this week, with the annual Sing-Along screenings of Mary Poppins on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Later in the week come two documentaries: Of Men and War plays on Tuesday, telling the story of soldiers with PTSD. On Thursday the 3rd, Wayne R. Peterson (director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Area program) will be on hand for a Q&A after The Messenger, a look at the endangered songbird.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art will be screening Station to Station, a set of 61 one-minute films shot as Doug Aitken traveled from New York to San Francisco on a train that was also a piece of contemporary art, on Friday and Saturday.
  • After taking the holiday week off, Bright Lights returns to the Bright Screening Room at the Paramount Theater on Tuesday with I Am A Knife with Legs, a lo-fi but very entertaining comedy. Writer/director/star/etc. Bennett Jones will be on-hand for a Q&A, and that is always entertaining. Then on Thursday the 3rd, Emerson professor Martie Cook will lead a post-film conversation after a screening of Brand: A Second Coming, following British comedian Russell Brand as he reinvents himself as an activist.

My plans will hopefully include a bunch of noir, The Good Dinosaur, Legend, Room, and Spotlight. Oh, and probably Tamasha, as I love me some Deepika Padukone.

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