- Stuff from interesting filmmakers opens at the 'plexes, though, including the latest from director Alex Proyas, Gods of Egypt. It's meant to be the start of a franchise of adventures set in a world inspired by Egyptian mythology, but who knows if that will come to pass. In 2D and 3D, though I don't know how early that decision was made. It's at the Capitol (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond (2D only), Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. Another noteworthy director, John Hillcoat, is behind star-studded crime picture Triple 9, where a group of dirty cops stage a heist only to find the central part of the plan backfire. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row,and Revere.
A more family-oriented thing is Eddie the Eagle, featuring Taron Egerton as a less-than-elite athlete who becomes an Olympic ski-jumper, and Hugh Jackman as his eccentric trainer. Surprisingly small booking, as it plays Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, and Revere.
Boston Common also gets Jack of the Red Hearts, which features Annasophia Robb as a teenage con artist who talks her way into being the live-in companion to an autistic child. Famke Janssen plays the mother, so you've got my attention. They also add a second screen for Chinese mega-hit The Mermaid, which is a ton of fun.
- With the Oscars on Saturday, you can do your last bit of catch-up at Kendall Square which has Denmark's Foreign-Language Film nominee A War, starring Pilou Asbaek as a soldier who, apparently, does something ethically questionable in Afghanistan. It's from director Tobias Lindholm, who made A Hijacking and wrote The Hunt.
They also pick up Only Yesterday, a re-release of one of the less well-known Studio Ghibli films, a real charmer directed by Isao Takahata. Most of the screenings are dubbed into English (a new recording with Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel), but the 8:10pm shows are in the original Japanese.
- Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond gives a couple of screens to Indian imports. Neerja, in Hindi with English subtitles, stars Sonam Kapoor as flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, a true-life hero who saved the passengers of a highjacked plane in Karachi. The second subtitled-Hindi film is Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive, a sequel to a 2010 comedy involving an Osama Bin Laden doppelganger, although you apparently don't need to know anything about the first. They also have Telugu flick KSHANAM, Marathi drama Bandh Nylon Che, Kannada horror film Shivalinga, and subtitled Tamil boxing drama Irudhi Suttru with scattered showtimes during the weekend.
And while it's not listed on their website yet, the theater starts weekly "Rotten to the Core" screenings on Thursday, with $4.75 getting you to see a different cult movie each week, and few other than the stinker at the end of the month are actually rotten. The Crow, which starts the month, is actually pretty great, and ties in nicely with Gods of Egypt, as it's Alex Proyas's first big Hollywood feature.
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre picks up 45 Years after it leaves the Kendall, letting it take up residence in the GoldScreen. Pieces is also kind of a new release - apparently this slasher was never officially distributed theatrically in America - playing at midnight Friday & Saturday on 35mm. There's also B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin, a documentary about the 1980s music scene in the divided city, as part of the Goethe-Institut's German film series on Sunday morning. They've also got a Science On Screen presentation Monday, with addiction specialist Dr. Kathryn McHugh introducing a 35mm presentation of Trainspotting. They also start a Thursday-night series, the "Francophone Film Festival" with Swiss documentary Le Grand Voyage, which follows a group of disabled people on adventures around the world.
- The Brattle Theatre starts a jigsaw puzzle of a week by breaking out the beefcake with a 35mm double feature of Magic Mike & Magic Mike XXL on Friday and Saturday. That's a fine warm-up to their Oscar Party on Sunday night.
Most folks don't consider Oscar day a holiday, or the day which happens to come after it this year, February 29th. The Brattle celebrates that with time travel, presenting Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure at 7pm and Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special The Day of the Doctor at 9pm, the latter for free. They'll be closed on Tuesday, but on Wednesday they've scheduled two tributes, with To Kill a Mockingbird at 7pm and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at 10pm. On Thursday, they've got the "opening" of the Women Take the Reel, a free-to-the-public series of screenings throughout the Boston area in March with discussion after every film.
- The Regent Theatre also has a tribute to a late artist, screening Lemmy at 7:30pm on Thursday.
- The Harvard Film Archive spends a lot of time on the Jean Epstein retrospective this weekend, including five silent films with different folks accompanying: The Fall of the House of Usher (preceded by "The Three-Sided Mirror") with Martin Marks at 7pm Friday, The Lion of the Moguls with Susan Laurence at 9pm Friday, Mauprat with Robert Humphreville at 7pm Saturday, talkie Beggar's Heart at 9pm Saturday, Double Love with Jeff Rapsis at 7pm Sunday, and End of the World with Bertrand Laurence at 7pm Monday. They also have an "Innocence Abroad" screening on Sunday afternoon - Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair at 4pm Sunday. All are on 35mm.
- The Museum of Fine Arts wraps up its February calendar and Stanley Kubrick: A Retrospective this weekend with Full Metal Jacket (Friday/Saturday), A Clockwork Orange (Friday/Sunday), and Eyes Wide Shut (Saturday/Sunday). They kick off the March calendar with Wednesday & Thursday screenings of IFFBoston selection Theory of Obscurity: A Film about the Residents, the subject of which is a band that performs in elaborate anonymizing costumes. It will continue on, along with a series of HD presentations of Bolshoi Ballet performances, starting on Thursday with The Flames of Paris, followed by Q&A with Bolshoi's Katerina Navikova and Ballet Russes' Anna Weinstein.
- Bright Lights just has the one free show at the Paramount Theater this week before spring break, with director Jeff Lieberman on-hand to present his film The Amazing Nina Simone.
- The UMass Boston Film Series also has a free screening of a documentary on Thursday - Tomorrow We Disappear, which tells the tale of a slum in New Delhi that has been the home of artists for generations, but has the entire population facing eviction for a skyscraper. Afterword, directors Jimmy Goldbum & Adam Weber will take questions via skype.
- The Oscar-Nominated Shorts keep playing in the lead-up to the Awards, with Kendall Square continuing live-action and animation all week, the Coolidge showing animation once daily, and the ICA having severa over the weekend: Animation on Friday & Sunday, Live-Action on Saturday, and the second half of the Documentary shorts on Sunday afternoon.
- There are actually a couple of Tugg screenings in the area this week: The Champions (a documentary on rescued pit bulls) on Wednesday and Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2on Thursday, both at Boston Common. There are a few other upcoming events in the next few months, too.
I'll be hitting most of the new releases, as well as Trainspotting and the nominated short docs.