- In case you missed the whole thing, The Hateful Eight is the new film by Quentin Tarantino, it's a western, it's got a great cast, and he shot it in 65mm with the intention of releasing it in 70mm Ultra-Panavision, with the theaters that can play it thus getting a special "Roadshow" presentation a week early. In Boston, that means the Somerville Theatre, The Coolidge Corner Theatre, and Boston Common. In roughly that order - though presentation is likely to be close in Somerville and the Coolidge, the former has played 70mm a few times this year and has a permanent installation, although the latter has looked good when it has had the big film in the past. AMC should be commended for being one of about 100 screens in the country to run it on film this week, but screen #18 there, at 252 seats, isn't a huge room like the others are using.
Christmas is a big opening weekend for a lot of other movies, too, including big Oscar contenders. The most obvious of those is likely Concussion, featuring Will Smith as the pathologist who raised the alarm that repetitive head trauma in pro football was seriously harming its athletes. It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. A more satirical take on the serious true-life story is The Big Short, featuring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling as a group that saw the unstable underpinnings of the American economy and tried to both raise the alarm and turn a profit. It's at Somerville, Kendall Square, West Newton, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere. The top-flight actor/director reunion is Joy, featuring Jennifer Lawrence as a working-class woman who invents a better mop and struggles with her family on one side and businesses looking to exploit her on the other. It's at Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, West Newton, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere.
There are a couple of less prestigious releases, naturally. Daddy's Home reunites Will Farrel and Mark Wahlberg as stepfather and biological father to a couple of kids, turning competitive when the latter moves in. It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux. There's also the less-than anticipated remake of Point Break, because MGM is determined to eat itself whole, but which might have some nifty 3D footage of impressive stuntwork. It's at Apple Fresh Pond (2D only), Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.
- Boston Common will also be opening Mr. Six, a decent-enough Chinese movie featuring Feng Xiaogang as the title character, a former hood with very specific ideas about propriety and an estranged son. They also keep around Mojin - The Lost Legend and Surprise, although the latter is only playing matinees.
Revere will also being showing rebroadcasts of the Doctor Who Christmas special on Monday and Tuesday.
- Kendall Square, in addition to picking up The Big Short, also has another awards contender, Carol, on a couple of screens (it also plays at West Newton and Boston Common). It's the latest from Todd Haynes, based upon a novel by Patricia Highsmith, with Cate Blanchett playing the title character, a woman trapped in a loveless marriage who is jolted awake upon meeting a younger woman.
- The Brattle Theatre begins a two-week run of Rocco & His Brothers, Visconti's favorite of his Italian neo-realist films, in a new digital restoration. Note that it only has one matinee on the 31st, as they are playing Casablanca on 35mm for New Year's Eve just before Warner Brothers takes it out of circulation until its 75th anniversary in 2017. So, catch it while you can!
- The Museum of Fine Arts wraps up The Art of Alfred Hitchcock with final screenings of Vertigo (Saturday/Sunday), Psycho (Saturday), and The Birds (Sunday), all on 35mm.
- The Regent Theatre, what with it beign school vacation week, breaks out the Sing-along The Sound of Music. Costumes, contests, etc.
- The Institute of Contemporary Art's annual presentation of the British Arrow Awards Honorees, given to the UK's best advertisements, will screen at 3pm on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Big week; I'm planning to hit The Hateful Eight, The Big Short, Concussion, and Carol. Oh, and I still haven't caught that Bollywood film I was planning to see.