Friday, June 03, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 3 June 2016 - 9 June 2016

There was an article in The Boston Globe the other week about it being a real kung-fu summer at the movies, and while you can argue the definition a bit (a lot), there is a lot of quality punching and kicking to be had all over town this weekend, and plenty of other stuff worth note.

  • Now, even if Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows were a realistic sort of martial-arts film rather than a 3D live-action sequel that brings in a lot of the stuff from the cartoon, ninjitsu is Japanese while gong fu is Chinese. It actually looks kind of fun, and it's kind of amazing that this thing that started as a goof in the 1980s just keeps going. It's at the Capitol (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond, Jordan's (Imax 3D), Boston Common (including Imax 3D), Assembly Row (including Imax 3D), Fenway (including RPX), and Revere (including MX4D).

    In less action-oriented outings, there's Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which has been through a few names and stars Andy Samberg as a former boy-band star whose solo album flopping creates a crisis of confidence, both for himself and his entourage. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. Me Before You, on the other hand, is a romance between a paralyzed upper-class man (Sam Claflin) and the working-class girl (Emilia Clarke) who is hired as his caregiver despite having no experience. It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    Boston Common and Assembly Row will be showing the original Ghostbusters on Wednesday night, which is a bit of a change from the usual tack of making something scarce when a remake comes out.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre opens Maggie's Plan, as does the Kendall and Embassy. It stars Greta Gerwig as a woman who wants to have a child despite never having a long-lasting relationship, but may have met the (married) love of her life just as she goes for artificial insemination.

    The big thing, though, is the long-awaited return of the Weekly Midnight Ass-Kickings, which returns for a month at midnight on Friday and Saturday with the first entry being Shaw Brothers classic Bastard Swordsman. If you're willing to commit to being in Brookline at midnight every weekend, there's a "Kung Fu Master" package where all four movies cost just $27, a pretty darn good deal. If it's a more conventional classic you want (and Bastard Swordsman is out there even for kung fu flicks), there's a 35mm "Big Screen Classics" screening of The Philadelphia Story on Monday, and you cannot really go wrong with Jimmy Steward, Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant on film.
  • Kendall Square's martial-arts feature this week is a new digital restoration of Dragon Inn, a flat-out classic wuxia film, the first King Hu made in Taiwan and still influential today. They also pick up Presenting Princess Shaw, one of the programmers' favorites at IFFBoston, which chronicles the long-distance collaboration between a New Orleans singer and an Israeli new-media artist. They also get climate-change documentary Time to Choose, which will have special guests doing introductions and Q&As at the 7pm shows from Friday to Sunday, and a special one-night-only screening of As I AM: The Life and Time$ of DJ AM.
  • Boston Common gets a recent highly-acclaimed martial arts drama in The Final Master, which features Liao Fan as the title character, who must defeat eight other teachers to set up his own school, though the politics are eventually as important as fighting ability. They also open a recent hit from South Korea - The Wailing is the new dark thriller from Na Hong-jin (who directed the grim but exciting The Chaser), where a detective turns to a shaman for help when the arrival of a stranger seems to incite random murder among the population.

    Over at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond, Bollywood romantic comedy Housefull 3 features Akshay Kumar as one of three young men trying to convince the father of three beautiful women to allow them to date/marry. They're also advertising subtitles for Tamil-language Iravi, the latest from up-and-coming Kollywood director Karthik Subbaraj; it also seems to be built around trios of men an women, but in a more dramatic story. No subs listed for Telugu romance A Aa or Sunday's Malayalam crime drama Kammati Paadam.
  • The West Newton Cinema has what may be the week's most interesting hidden gem, The Idol, which tells the story of a young musician in Gaza who yearns to be on Arab Idol, which shoots in Cairo and is the most popular program in the Arab world, despite the closed border. Just a couple of shows per day, but director Hany Abu-Assad made Omar, which was pretty terrific.
  • The Brattle Theatre has Tale of Tales from Friday to Tuesday (although the times are different pretty much every day); it's a pretty nifty "dark fairy tale" fantasy which doesn't always seem to be going somewhere as a whole but has some really terrific bits in it. Very nice cast, though, and Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone puts some great imagery on-screen.

    Speaking of visionary directors putting memorable stuff on-screen, the Saturday night "Reel Weird Brattle" is Wes Craven's original Nightmare on Elm Street on 35mm film. They also have a quick two-day series on Monday and Tuesday as José Mateo Ballet Theatre Presents Dance on Fim, with They Are We (Monday 6pm), Horizontes (Monday 8pm), A Time to Dance: The Life and work of Norma Canner (Tuesday 6pm), and After the Curtain (Tuesday 8pm) show ballet around the world, with Tuesday night's films having directors in person. After that, they continue the 75th Anniversary of Film Noir celebration with Prime Noir of the 1950s, showing 35mm prints of classics Sunset Boulevard (Wednesday) and Sweet Smell of Success (Thursday), with another week of good stuff after that.
  • The kids have graduated and gone off, so it's time for The Harvard Film Archive to do one of their great summer-long retrospectives of a popular and entertaining filmmaker, and this year we get ... All the Marbles: The Complete Robert Aldrich, whose tough-guy films are a fine complement to the Brattle's noir series. This week's selections: Kiss Me Deadly (Friday 7pm), World for Ransom (Friday 9:30pm), Ten Seconds to Hell (Sunday 5pm), The Legend of Lylah Clare (Sunday 7pm), and Attack! (Monday 7pm). All in 35mm besides World for Ransom, which is 16mm.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has Arab Film Weekend through Sunday, featuring A Syrian Love Story (Friday/Saturday), As I Open My Eyes (Friday/Saturday), The the Last Days of the City (Saturday/Sunday), and Theeb (Sunday). On Wednesday & Thursday, they open runs of two acclaimed films, both Westerns of a sort: Neon Bull is about a Brazilian cowboy who dreams of becoming a fashion designer, while Aferim! is an Eastern European take on The Searchers, as a Romanian policeman and his son try to recapture a Romany slave and encounter all kinds of cultural tension in 1835.
  • The Somerville Theatre has their monthly "Silents, Please!" screening with Flesh and the Devil, which has Greta Garbo seducing John Gilbert and Lars Hanson. 35mm with Jeff Rapsis on the organ, of course. They also pick up The Lobster as it expands, just as their friends at The Capitol (and less-close friends at Belmont Studio Cinema) get Love & Friendship. The Capitol has also started their summer "Throwback Thursdays", with this week's double feature being Mars Attacks! & The Fifth Element.
  • GlobeDocs has a special screening of Sold, which is not a documentary but which is based upon a true story - at MIT on Thursday (5:30pm), followed by a Skype Q&A with director Jeffrey D. Brown.

I am not entirely bailing on my college 20th reunion to watch movies (there's baseball as well), but I'll be catching The Last Master, The Wailing, The Lobster, Flesh and the Devil, and Dragon Inn, with earnest attempts being made at Bastard Swordsman and Nightmare on Elm Street (which is kind of a major gap in "things I've seen").

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