Friday, August 12, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 12 August 2016 - 18 August 2016

As the end of the summer approaches, things get kind of weird as the studios are still trying for big hits but also looking at folks going back to school and away from vacation at staggered times.

  • Peak weird is probably Sausage Party, a Seth Rogen-and-friends animated film about food in a supermarket that learns the awful truth about how they are destined to be eaten and attempt to make their escape. Before you bring your kids, remember it's rated R for a reason or three At the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    The kids would probably be better off seeing the remake of Pete's Dragon, which makes the title character 3D CGI rather than traditional animation and has been getting a lot of really great reviews, and features Karl Urban and Bryce Dallas Howard as the adults involved in the story of a boy living on his own in the woods and his big green friend. It's at the Capitol (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.

    Revere will also have Fathom Events screenings of National Lampoon's Animal House on Sunday and Wednesday.
  • Florence Foster Jenkins also opens fairly wide, playing at the Coolidge, the Capitol, The West Newton Cinema, the Lexington Venue, Kendall Square, Boston Common, and Revere. It's about a New York heiress and patron of the arts fancies herself a fine singer - and the fact that her husband has been protection her from the awful truth won't stop her from playing Carnegie Hall. Sounds silly, but Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and Stephen Frears is the sort of team that often makes this sort of thing work better than it has any right to.

    In addition to that, The Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Embassy will pick up Don't Think Twice, already playing at the Kendall,a quite entertaining comedy about an improv troupe's backstage drama. The Coolidge also breaks out the 35mm projector for a few special presentations: Friday and Saturday at midnight, they continue their August creature features with Alligator, co-presented by the Boston Yeti. Speaking of things in the sewers, there's also a 25th anniversary pizza party (catered by Otto Pizza) for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze at midnight, though on Saturday only. Another big party is on Monday, with the annual screening of The Big Lebowski as part of Big Screen Classics, with bowling, costume contests, and more.
  • A couple other movies also bridge boutique houses and multiplexes. Hell or High Water plays Kendall Square and Boston Common, with Chris Pine and Ben Foster as brothers who rob branches of the bank foreclosing on the family farm, only to wind up in the crosshairs of an obsessed Texas Ranger played by Jeff Bridges. Anthropoid, playing at Kendall, West Newton, and Boston Common, chronicles the mission of the Czech army in exile's attempt to assassinate the Nazis' third-in-command, who is overseeing occupied Czechoslovakia and laid the groundwork for the Final Solution.

    Sticking closer to the specialty houses (Kendall and West Newton) is Equity, a thriller about an ambitious investment banker looking to raise her profile with a big deal while her firm is coming under investigation by the SEC.
  • I'm kind of curious to see how Operation Chromite shakes out; this Korean War thriller is produced by a South Korean studio that has been very clear about wanting a bigger presence in the English-speaking world, and has a Korean-American director and big stars from both sides of the Pacific - Lee Jung-jae as a soldier infiltrating North Korean headquarters and Liam Neeson as General MacArthur. That's at Boston Common and Revere; meanwhile, the My Best Friend's Wedding remake finally lands at Boston Common, featuring Shu Qi, Feng Shaofeng, and Victoria Song.

    Of the three big Indian films open at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond, two are listed as being in Hindi with subtitles: Mohenjo Daro is a historic adventure featuring Hrithik Roshan as a new arrival to the now-lost city of the title in 2016 BC; Rustom is contemporary, featuring Akshay Kumar as a naval officer on trial for killing his wife's lover. Babu Bangaram is listed as Telugu, an action-comedy about a soft-spoken cop becoming more forceful; another Telugu film, Thikka, has scattered showings, as does Tamil Pelli Choopulu, Anuraga Karikkin Vellam (Marathi with English subtitles). They also have their monthly visit by the Teseracte players with The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday, while the Full Body Cast does their weekly show at Boston Common on Saturday
  • The Brattle Theatre's main film this weekend is a 50th-anniversary restoration of Ousmane Sembene's Black Girl, a seminal piece of African cinema about a Senegalese woman who goes to France to work as a maid and finds attitudes have not evolved nearly as much as people like to believe.

    It's got some other things to work around, though - for instance, there will be 9pm screenings of video-game oriented 1980s "classics" all weekend, including Wargames (Friday on 35mm), Joysticks (Saturday on 35mm), and The Last Starfighter (Sunday on DCP) to celebrate the release of the Joysticks soundtrack; they will somehow be cramming classic arcade cabinets into the lobby or the back of the theater all weekend. On top of that, there's a Saturday matinee of Boy and the World and the "Reel Weird Brattle" 35mm screening of Jackie Chan in Police Story 2 at 11:30pm Friday and 12:30pm Sunday.

    Then comes the regular vertical-calendar stuff: The Femmes Fatales double feature on Monday and Tuesday is Double Indemnity and Detour (the latter on 35mm), although they only play matinees on Tuesday so that Trash Night can present Battle Beyond the Stars in the evening. Is it just me, or has Trash Night drifted from its original mission to show true unknown abominations to fairly well-known dated stuff? Moving on, Wednesday's "Under the Influence" pairing is John Cassavetes's Husbands and recent Greek comedy Chevalier, while the GKids retrospective screenings on Thursday are Tales of the Night and The Painting (haven't seen the first, but the latter is terrific).
  • The Somerville Theatre has its annual Jaws weekend from Friday to Sunday, with Spielberg's classic playinig on 35mm in the big room. It's interrupted Sunday afternoon for the monthly "Silents, Please!" show, which features Jeff Rapsis on the organ accompanying Stella Maris, a Mary Pickford melodrama. On Thursday, they wrap up the "Play it Cool" series with two capers that have had high-profile remakes: The original Rat Pack Ocean's Eleven and The Thomas Crown Affair featuring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has room for one more retrospective before school starts again, starting a brief "reconsideration" of Rouben Mamoulian with Applause (Friday 7pm). The Theo Angelopoulos series continues with The Beekeper (Friday 9pm) and Vooyage to Cythera (Monday 7pm). The Robert Aldrich series, meanwhile, wraps up with What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Saturday 7pm), The Big Knife (Saturday 9:30pm), The Big Night (Sunday 5pm), and Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Sunday 7pm on DCP), and Kiss Me Deadly (Thursday 7pm on DCP). All on 35mm except where noted.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts wraps up their "Rescued/Restored" series with Akira Kurosawa's Ran (Friday/Sunday), Whit Stillman's Metropolitan (Friday/Saturday/Sunday), and Jules Dassin's Rififi (Saturday). They begin short runs of two new films on Thursday: My Love, Don't Cross That River comes from South Korea and documents fifteen months in the lives of a couple that has been married for 75 years; Viktoria comes from Bulgaria and is a fantastical tale of a girl born without an umbilical cord during the communist era.
  • Outdoor movies on Joe's Boston Free Films include Jurassic World on Friday and Saturday, The Iron Giant on Tuesday, and The Last Time I Saw Paris on Thursday.

Not a lot of time for movies this week, as I'm looking for a new apartment, going to a ballgame, and exchanging toys for cake at a niece's birthday party. I still figure to find room for Jaws, Operation Chromite, Sausage Party, Pete's Dragon, Hell and High Water, and Arthropoid, though I'm not sure how.

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