- The biggest release, by the measure of pushing Deadpool off the Imax screens, is Disney's Zootopia, which has Ginnifer Godwin giving voice to an enthusiastic rookie police-rabbit in a city of anthropomorphic animals, with Jason Bateman as her fox partner. The trailer is super-cute, although it's weird that the movies made by Disney's main feature animation group are now sort of afterthoughts after Pixar and DreamWorks movies these days. Anyway, it's at the Capitol (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond, Belmont Studio (2D only), West Newton (2D only), Jordan's (3D Imax), Fenway (including 2D RPX matinees), Boston Common (including 3D Imax), Assembly Row (including 3D Imax), Revere (including MX4D), and the SuperLux (2D in the afternoon, 3D in the evening).
There's also an exciting animated import - The Boy and the Beast, the newest from Japan's Mamoru Hosada, in which a human orphan finds himself transported to a strange alternate world populated by humanoid beasts and becomes the apprentice to one of them. Hosada is one of the best - The Girl Who Leapt through Time, Summer Wars, and Wolf Children were all varying degrees of excellent - and Boston Common is playing this film subtitled (although, since the trailer was dubbed, it might be wise to check the marquee before buying tickets to a specific show). They also keep The Mermaid around for a third week, with it also playing Revere (3D only there). Both Boston Common and Revere also get The Other Side of the Door, a horror movie featuring Sarah Wayne Callies as a grieving mother who goes to an ancient temple to say a final goodbye to her son and, obviously, does the one thing you're not supposed to do.
There are also a couple movies more targeted to adults opening, most notably Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, featuring Tina Fey as a reporter whose decision to shake her life up takes her to Afghanistan. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. Those more in the mood for a big (likely) dumb action movie can check out London Has Fallen, with Aaron Eckhart as the President and Gerard Butler as his Secret Service bodyguard smack in the middle of a plot to assassinate basically all of the world's leaders. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway (including evening RPX shows), Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere (including XPlus), and the SuperLux.
The Oscars also mean a few thins come back - Room arrives at Boston Common and Assembly Row (and back to a full schedule at Kendal Square), while Spotlight returns to Fenway and the SuperLux (and returns to a full-day schedule at Kendall Square and the Embassy). Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival selection The Phoenix Incident plays Thursday evening at Fenway and Revere; it's a found-footage thing that picks up a bit in the end when it stops hiding stuff.
- Filling out the schedule for award-winners means Kendall Square just opens one new movie this week, and its a bit atypical - The Wave is a big disaster movie from Norway. It takes place in a small coastal town where seismic activity means that a tsunami is coming - and also threatens to crush the town from the other side as the mountain collapses.
- I'm mildly surprised that Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond isn't giving more showtimes to Jai Gangaajal - it only plays odd days through Monday. The film stars Priyanka Chopra as a recently-promoted police officer dealing with both "very powerful goons" and corruption within the force (a lot of the descriptions for Indian movies this week reference "goons"), and you'd think this would be a bigger deal the week that Quantico returns and after she presented at the Oscars, but I almost wonder if Chopra having some American fame means she's less of a big deal for Indian audiences, while any new fans she has in America just won't seek out her Bollywood work (this was actually made just before she started Quantico). Also playing at various times: Telugu romance Kalyana Vaibhogame, Tamil action-comedy Pokkiri Raja, Malayam revenge comedy Maheshinte Prathikaa, Kannada comedy 1st Rank Raju, and the third week of subtitled Hindi hijack drama Neerja.
They also have a couple of special features, including a presentation of WEMF Radio on Wednesday night. The main feature is The Mayor of Rock n' Roll, directed by local Mark Phinney (who got a fair amount of praise for his previous film Fat) and written by star/musician Brendan Boogie. The program also includes the station director Spo's "Thriller"-length music video "Marky Mark", as well as a number of other videos by local musicians. Then, on Thursday, they have their second Not Really "Rotten to the Core" movie, Tank Girl, which I like more than reason dictates.
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre brings in the Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Son of Saul, and your reward for waiting for this Holocaust drama is that they have wrangled a 35mm print of it - almost unheard of for a smaller/foreign film these days!
They also have plenty of special events. The midnight feature on Friday & Saturday is Madman, a cult-favorite slasher from 1982. Sunday morning's Talk Cinema presentation is drone-warfare drama Eye in the Sky, which stars Helen Mirren and appears to feature Alan Rickman's final non-voiceover work, something worth acting director Gavin Hood about as he does a post-film Q&A via skype. There's Open Screen on Tuesday, and then a free GlobeDocs presentation of Jim, a documentary on war photographer James Foley, on Wednesday (RSVP required).
- The Brattle Theatre has a couple of repertory programs this week, starting with a tribute to cinematographers Haskell Wexler & Vilmos Zsigmond. It kicks off on Friday with a 35mm print of the Zsigmond-shot Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which also plays on Saturday as part of a double-feature with Wexler's Medium Cool (note that the previously scheduled movies for Saturday, McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Matewan, will not show). Sunday's double feature is The Rose, which they both worked on, and a 35mm print of Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?, which won Wexler his final Oscar.
The weekend also includes a couple of one-off shows: A sold-out Saturday matinee of anime hit Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu, and a free Sunday screening of Rock in Reykjavik, a documentary on the Icelandic music screen that's part of the "Taste of Iceland" event, and hosted by Sigtryggur Baldursson, managing director of Iceland Music Export. The DocYard presents Democrats on Monday, with director Camilla Nielsson skyping in afterward to discuss her documentary on Zimbabwe's recent attempt to create a more democratic constitution, spearheaded by two political rivals. Then, on Tuesday, they're planning to show Cloverfield in advance of its "cousin" arriving in theaters next weekend, although it's still marked as tentative.
Then, on Wednesday, they start the fourth leg of their series of series celebrating film noir's 75th anniversary by jumping back in time to feature Prime Noir of the 1940s. It starts with an all-time classic, Laura, playing as a double feature with a 35mm print of Max Ophuls's The Reckless Moment. Both halves of the double feature on Thursday - The Blue Dahlia and This Gun for Hire - are not only on film, but feature the due of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. There's another full week of good stuff after that.
- Hey, did you see that The Somerville Theatre has quietly brought The Hateful Eight back on 70mm when they don't have some live show or special event using the main screen? It looks like the last screenings are on Sunday, so if you haven't seen it the way it's meant to be seen yet, you've got one last chance!
They have no official Silents, Please program this month, but they'll have a nice substitute Saturday night with Moon of Israel, a German religious epic from 1924 that is being screened on a recently-restored 35mm print with accompaniment by Austrian pianist Gerhard Gruber. It's presented by the Jewish Arts Collaborative and Boston Jewish Film Festival. They will also play host to the Irish Film Festival Boston starting Thursday, which starts with its Best Feature winner You're Ugly Too and best short "More than God", both of which will have their directors on-hand.
- This week's David Bowie tribute presentation is at The Regent Theatre, which screens Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on Friday and Sunday.
- The Harvard Film Archive continues its Jean Epstein retrospective with a selection of short films at 7pm Friday, The Man with the Hispano Car at 9pm that night, The Red Inn on 16mm (and with accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis) at 7pm Saturday, and, to cap things off, The Woman at the End of the World and short documentary "Brittany" at 9pm Saturday, with that double feature having no subtitles. They also conclude "Innocence Abroad" on Sunday with Three Coins in the Fountain, before welcoming Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid two present two of his films in person. Policeman plays Sunday night and The Kindergarten teacher on Monday. The Lapid films are DCP, but everything else is 35mm except where noted.
- The Museum of Fine Arts continues to show Theory of Obscurity: A Film about the Residents, with screenings on Friday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There are also more HD presentations of Bolshoi Ballet performances: Wozzeck (Friday with Q&A from Professor Joseph Auner and Ballets Russes Arts Initiative director Anna Weinstein; also Sunday), The Bolt (Saturday with Northeastern Professor Harlow Robinson & Weinstein), Eugene Onegin (Saturday with Weinstein), The Flames of Paris (Sunday). They will also begin a run of In the Shadow of Women on Wednesday, a French movie about romantically entangled documentary filmmakers that is a sort of throwback to the New Wave.
- Bright Lights is on spring break, but ArtsEmerson will use the Paramount's Bright Screening Room a bit. Friday night, they will present Becoming Bulletproof, a documentary about a group of actors, many disabled, who meet up to make short films every year, and follow it up with the one documented, "Bulletproof". They will also present the Black Maria Film Festival on Saturday night, a short film presentation that includes independent films from across the country.
Man, I feel behind, but I'm going to try for The Boy and the Beast, Zootopia, Son of Saul, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The Wave, Jai Gangaajal, Moon of Israel, and some noir.