Thursday, April 14, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 15 April 2016 - 21 April 2016

We are now closer to Captain America: Civil War than Batman v Superman. I'm sure that makes cinema owners happy; for those of us who don't run theaters, it means everybody has gotten much less timid.

  • The big-time release pushing the superhero movie off all of the deluxe screens is Disney's third version of The Jungle Book (remember the Stephen Sommers film?), this one directed by Jon Favreau and featuring a pretty stunning menagerie of computer-generated animals with a great set of voices, made for the giant 3D screens. It's at the Capitol (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax 3D), West Newton (2D only), the Studio Cinema (2D only), Boston Common (including Imax 3D), Assembly Row (including Imax 3D), Fenway (including RPX 2D/3D), Revere (including MX4D and XPlus), and the SuperLux.

    The other big action release is Criminal, in which the contents of a spy's brain are downloaded into a death-row inmate played by Kevin Costner. I kind of like grumpy old take-no-crap Costner, and he's got a really spiffy supporting cast around him. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. There's also another pretty great cast put together for Barbershop: The Next Cut, with Malcolm D. Lee reuniting the casts of the previous Barbershop movies and bolstering them with new additions, and Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Eve, Anthony Anderson,Common, Nicki Minaj, Sean Patrick Thomas et al are a pretty nice group. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.

    Revere also has Blaze and the Monster Machines on Saturday and Sunday morning, which is apparently part of some popular Nickelodeon show.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of the places with Miles Ahead, in which Don Cheadle not only plays Miles Davis, but directs from a script that he co-wrote, which I gather is a fairly liberal take on the life of the jazz great. Ewan McGregor co-stars as a Rolling Stone writer, and the film also plays at the Kendall, Embassy, and Boston Common.

    The genuinely weird Death Becomes Her plays the Coolidge at midnight Friday & Saturday on 35mm, joined by the monthly appearance of The Room on Saturday (I wonder if that print circulates among four theaters in an endless loop). Talking early mornings instead of late nights, Saturday's Kid Show is Shaun the Sheep, whiles Sunday's Geothe-Institut German film is Iraqi Odyssey, a documentary by an expatriate who tracks how his family has moved about over fifty years. On Thursday, there's a very special "Sound of Silents" presentation, a master class in which the director of the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra demonstrates how they compose a new score for an old film.
  • It's a busy week at the Kendall Square, which is not just part of the Miles Ahead group, but also opens a pair of documentaries. The First Monday in May comes from Andrew Rossi and takes a look behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit; Dark Horse by Louise Osmond follows a small-town woman in Wales who makes invests in a racehorse despite it generally being the activity of the gentry.

    The one-week booking is a classic, Jean-luc Godard's A Married Woman. They also have another that lasts two days, with Empire of Corpses playing Tuesday and Wednesday. English-dubbed only, because apparently a lot of anime fans like that.
  • The Somerville Theatre picks up Midnight Special, and also opens one of some local interest: We the People: The Market Basket Effect, which looks at the recent confrontation between the supermarket chain's employyes, rival ownership groups, and customers. They also have a special double feature on Thursday - 60th Anniversary 35mm prints of Forbidden Planet and The Searchers, which is one heck of a good night of movies.
  • Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond keeps Kapoor & Sons, Sardaar Gabbar Singh (no subs), and Theri around, while also opening Fan, with Shah Rukh Khan playing a dual role as India's biggest star and his biggest fan, which, naturally, becomes a problem. They'll also be showing an indie called Hostile Border on Thursday (not sure whether that's the only show or it's opening for a regular run the next day), as well as the weekly cult show, which in this case is Re-Animator.

    For fans of Chinese film, Boston Common keeps Chongqing Hot Pot around and also opens New York New York, which stars Ethan Juan as a concierge at a Chinese hotel offered a chance to move to the New York location, and Du Juan as the girl he may be leaving behind.
  • The Brattle Theatre, as is usual on Marathon weekend, goes with The Muppets: A sing-along version of The Muppet Movie Friday night and Saturday afternoon, a double-feature of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth on Saturday and Monday evening, and the new addition of Babe and The Witches (the latter on 35mm) Sunday. Then, on Monday afternoon, the traditional triple feature of The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan.

    Tuesday, they have a special screening of Salaam Bombay on 35mm coinciding with director Mira Nair's visit to Tufts, while Wednesday has a different sort of visitor: Susan Marie Frontdzak plays Marie Curie both in a short film and live on stage. It's part of the Cambridge Science Festival, as is Thursday's presentation of "You're the Expert Live!" The Festival and theater also team for late shows on 35mm: Weird Science on Tuesday, Back to the Future Wednesday, and Repo Man on Thursday, and more shows continuing through Sunday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive begins a Xie Jin retrospective on Friday with film scholar Chris Berry introducing The Red Detachment of Women at 7pm, with a second one of his films (Big Li, Little Li, and Old Li) at 9:30, both in 35mm. They also welcome Paolo Gioli, who will screen some of his 16mm films on Saturday and Sunday evenings while talking with film scholar David Bordwell, with a special live experiment Sunday afternoon. Then, on Monday, they have the second of their "Three Hamlets", this one a 1964 version from the USSR on 35mm.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues Cemetary of Splendour by Apichatpong Weerasethakul on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There are two more "Hollywood Scriptures" shows as well - Meet the Patels on Satruday and The Wolfpack on Sunday - both with panel discussions afterward.
  • The Belmont World Film Series has two shows this week - The White Nights from France andBelgium at the Belmont Studio Cinema on Sunday, and Portugal's Blood of My Blood at The West Newton Cinema on Monday.
  • The Boston International Film Festival runs through Monday at Boston Common, the Paramount, the BPE Studio, and even Theater 1 in the Revere Hotel (which I don't think I've seen anything playing for the public in years).
My plans? New York New York, Criminal, The Jungle Book (maybe going to the furniture store), the Somerville double feature, some baseball, Empire of Corpses (I don't want dubs, but I like Project Itoh) and maybe one or two other things.

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