Thursday, January 28, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 29 January 2016 - 4 February 2016

Man, all those previews for Lazer Team and it doesn't show up. Not that I wanted it to, but that's something like a half hour of my life a lot of aggregate screen-time given an ad that amounted to nothing.

(Hopefully it won't be a case where the local theater guys don't realize that it's been bypassed and keep putting the trailer on things well after its release; that's happened too).

Anyway, on to what actually is playing!

  • DreamWorks gets a jumpstart on Chinese New Year with Kung Fu Panda 3, the newest installment of the series with Jack Black voicing a roly-poly fanboy who becomes a kung fu master, picking up on the tease from, yikes, four and a half years ago that promises more pandas. In 2D and 3D at the Arlington Capitol (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere (including MX4D & XPlus). Boston Common cleans its Chinese offerings up a bit, but keeps Ip Man 3, which also expands to Revere. Revere is also keeping Brazilian comedy Vai que Cola around, as well.

    The Finest Hours is also playing in 2D/3D, although it seems like more an after-the-fact conversion than something doing 3D natively. That one, about a seemingly doomed rescue of a fishing vessel during a mammoth storm, plays at the Somerville Theatre (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond (2D only), Fenway (RPX screen only), , Boston Common (including Imax 3D), Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    Slightly smaller openings are on tap for a couple more: Fifty Shades of Black stars Marlon Wayans and spoofs... Well, you can guess. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. And believe it or not, Jane Got a Gun - a western starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor that had crazy behind-the-scenes issues and has basically sat on the shelf for nearly two years - finally comes out. It's at Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.

  • Kendall Square gets a bit crowded with most of the award-nominated stuff sticking around while other stuff opens. That includes the Academy Nominated Short Films, at least in the animated and live action categories. They're sharing a theater, so it's a natural double feature. They and West Newton also pick up Lady in the Van, starring Maggies Smith as a homeless woman who parks her van in playwright Alan Bennett's driveway and sticks around for years.

  • The Brattle Theatre gets a new release this weekend with Mojave, the latest from William Monahan, which has a Hollywood type (Garrett Hedlund) meeting a drifter in the Mojave Desert, onlyl to have the guy follow him home. Nice cast which also includes Mark Wahlberg and Walton Goggins. It plays Friday to Monday.

    The theater is closed Tuesday, but has a David Bowie tribute on Wednesday with Labyrinth; the 7pm show has already sold out but there are likely still tickets for the 9:30pm. Then, on Thursday, they have a special screening of Forks Over Knives, with the documentary preceded by a meet & greet and book signing with Rip Esselstyn.

  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre re-opens Youth on Friday so that it's around as they pay tribute to co-star Jane Fonda, who will be there for a screening and Q&A at the 12pm show on Sunday. That will, in fact, be the only movie they show all day, as they make ready for An Evening with Jane Fonda at 8pm that night, where she will receive the annual Coolidge Award. Later in the week, Nine to Five screens on Wednesday.

    In other special presentations, they wrap up their Tarantino midnights with From Dusk Til Dawn on Friday and Saturday, screening it on 35mm. They also celebrate Groundhog Day on Tuesday by screening the movie with screenwriter Daniel Rubin on-hand for Q&A afterward.

  • The Harvard Film Archive has two new programs this week, with professor Sarah Keller introducing some early films by Jean Epstein on Friday - 6½ x 11 & "His Head" at 7pm and The Faithful Heart at 9:30pm. As these are early enough to be silent, Robert Humphreville will be providing musical accompaniment; the first two are presented on 35mm and the last on video. They'll stick to French legends on Saturday and Sunday, with all eight episodes of Jacques Rivette's Out 1 screening over two days. That's nearly 13 hours' worth, and if folks need to tap out, they will be re-run next weekend. It bumps the 35mm "Innocence Abroad" screening of The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone to Monday evening.

  • The Museum of Fine Arts finishes this year's Boston Festival of Films from Iran with 316 (Friday/Sunday), Melbourne (Friday/Saturday), Atomic Heart (Friday), and Avalanche (SaturdaySunday). They also start their February calendar with the king-sized River of Fundament, the latest from Matthew Barney which clocks in at nearly six hours in three acts ($22 for all three, $11 per) and stars Paul Giamatti, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Ellen Brunstyn. All three acts play in order on Wednesday and Thursday.

    • Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond, in addition to opening a few apparently-unsubtitled Indian movies, also has the odd booking of Israeli horror movie Jeruzalem for 11am screenings Friday-Sunday, moving to 1:30pm Monday-Thursday. That is some odd booking strategy on someone's part.
    • The UMass Boston Film Series starts their Spring season on Tuesday with a free screening of Field Niggas, the first documentary feature from photographer Khalik Allah, who will visit to discuss his portrait of the poorest, most beset residents of Harlem. As per usual, it is free for all at the Campus Center Ballroom.
    • The Institute of Contemporary Art has a group of short films for familys on Saturday as part of their Play Date events, which also includes a stop-motion workshop.
    • This week's Bright Lights screenings in the Bright Screening Room at ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theater are American Beatboxer on Tuesday, with producer Rich McKeown and beatboxer gene Shinozaki on-hand afterward, and Truth, with a post-film discussion of ethics in journalism.
    • Two movies at The Regent Theatre this week: A preview of "Homeplace Under Fire", a featurette about the attempt to keep family farms going presented by Farm Aid, with director Charles Thompson and others on-hand for a post-film Q&A. Another director will be on hand with his film on Thursday, as Eric Green presents Life on the V: The Story of V66, a documentary on Boston's over-the-air music video station of the mid-1980s.

    My plans: Kung Fu Panda 3, Mojave, The Finest Hours, Jane Got a Gun and whatever other catch-up I can do before the Sci-Fi Film Festival devours far more of my life than it deserves next week.

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