- Most of that time will be in the lower floor of The Somerville Theatre, seeing films selected as part of the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. It is a long warm-up to next weekend's main event, and I've had some issues with it before, but let's try to be optimistic before being cynical. Warner Archive night on Wednesday looks particularly fun.
- That location is also one of the theaters opening Hail, Caesar!, the star-studded new screwball comedy from Joel & Ethan Coen. It gets the big room at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, and also plays at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.
The Coolidge will also have two programs worth of Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts in the Screening Room. Separate admissions. They also start a "highways to hell" program for the midnights with a 35mm print of The Hitcher on Friday and Saturday night. The original, with C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer. There's also Open Screen on Tuesday and Mortified's Doomed Valentine's Day.
- It's Chinese New Year come Monday, which means this is one of the biggest film release weekends in the Chinas, which means we get a couple new ones at Boston Common. Amusingly, they're both sequels to movies which haven't had any sort of official release in the United States, although we should be able to jump in pretty clean. The Monkey King 2 recasts the main character with the actor who played the villain in the first one (Aaron Kwok), and features him meeting the monk with whom he would make the Journey to the West, as well as Gong Li and Feng Shaofeng. From Vegas to Macau 3 brings back Chow Yun-fat and Nicholas Tse as master gamblers in a slapstick comedy (at least, if the first is anything to go on). Amusingly, Monkey King 2 is in 3D and Vegas to Macau 3 in 2D. Ip Man 3 also sticks around Boston Common and Revere.
- Aside from Hail,Casesar!, the multiplexes also get a couple other things. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is pretty much what it sounds like, with Lily James as Elizabeth in a version of the Jane Austen story with the undead added. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. Those locations also get The Choice, the most recent adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, this one apparently involving euthanasia.
Boston Common also re-opens Creed, upconverted to 3D for some reason, and has a GlobeDocs preview screening of Where to Invade Next on Wednesday evening. Speaking of the Globe, Assembly Row brings back Spotlight (which has been hanging around other theatersas well).
- Originally slated to play at the sci-fi festival, Dreams Rewired plays The Brattle Theatre from Friday to Sunday. Narrated by Tilda Swinton and pieced together from footage from silent films and early talkies, it describes the history of communication and media. That also lets them segue into a brief all-35mm Surveillance Cinema series, with a double feature of 1984 & Brazil on Tuesday, Caché & Red Road together on Wednesday, and single features of The Lives of Others and Enemy of the State on Thursday. In between, there's a DocYard showing of Kingdom of Shadows, an up-close look at the US/Mexico drug war, on Monday, with director Bernardo Ruiz on-hand for a Q&A.
- Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond has a few Indian movies opening this weekend and mostly sharing one screen: Bangalore Naatkal is a subtitled Tamil comedy, Speedunnodu a Telugu romantic comedy, Visaranai a Tamil thriller, and Irudhi Suttru is a subtitled boxing drama. They will also be opening the American coming-out comedy 4th Man Out, although just for a couple shows a day.
- The Harvard Film Archive moves the weekend's "Innocence Abroad" screening up to Friday night this week, with the film in question being David Lean's Summertime, an intimate picture featuring Katharine Hepburn as an American spinster taking a Venice vacation in the 1950s. They continue their Jean Epstein retrospective later that evening with a collection of shorter works, and then re-show Jean Rivette's Out 1 Saturday and Sunday (warning: it's a lot of movie). Then on Monday, VES professor Giuliana Bruno introduces No Home Movie, the final film by Chantal Akerman, which focuses on the relationship between the filmmaker and her mother.
- The Museum of Fine Arts offers a few more chances to see Matthew Barney's three-act beast River of Fundament, with the complete trilogy showing this Friday and Sunday while there are separate shows of Act 1 on Wednesday, Act 2 on Thursday, and Act 3 next Friday. In between, they are also doing Stanley Kubrick: A Retrospective with Fear and Desire (Sunday/Wednesday), Killer's Kiss (Wednesday/Thursday), and The Killing (Thursday).
- The Institute of Contemporary Art will be screening the Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts Sunday afternoon. Screenings will continue through the month and both this and the Animated program continues at Kendall Square (which otherwise leaves its schedule as-is).
- This week's Bright Lights teams up with the UMass Boston Film Series for Tuesday's free screening of The Wolfpack; several members of the Angulo family will be on-hand to chat afterward. Producer Anne Carey will visit on Thursday for a screening of Diary of a Teenage Girl
So, yeah, I'll be living at the Somerville Theatre for the sci-fi fest with weekend-morning jaunts downtown for Chinese. I kind of wish the Blu-rays of the earlier installments of those had arrived by now, but when was I doing to watch them?