- After all, The Fate of the Furious is the only really big opening this week, with the eighth entry in a series that started out as a pretty low-key thing and has grown into a star-studded, over-the-top super-franchise full of impossible automotive action and ludicrous ensemble casts; everyone from Vin Diesel to Helen Mirren is in it. It’s at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Jordan’s Furniture (Imax), the Embassy, Boston Common (including Imax), Assembly Row (including Imax), Fenway (including RPX), Revere (including MX4D/XPlus), and the SuperLux.
Some places have more screens to fill, though, and have some unheralded but possibly interesting releases. Tommy’s Honour, for instance, stars Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden as the father and son who codified the modern rules of golf in the 19th Century, with Sam Neill and Ophelia Lovibond in the supporting cast, and Jason Connery in the director’s chair; didn’t realize Sean’s kid had moved behind the camera. It’s at West Newton and Boston Common. There’s also Spark: A Space Tail, an animated Canadian-Korean co-production about teenagers in space that looks kind of Monkey King-inspired from the stills I’ve seen (in that the main character is a monkey-boy with a golden staff). It’s at Boston Common and Revere.
The Somerville Theatre picks up Personal Shopper, but because they need an auditorium for live events, it starts there on Sunday, and won’t play Wednesday. The multiplexes have some special-event programming, with the season premiere of Doctor Who (along with the first episode of spin-off Class) playing Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere on Monday and Wednesday, while the same spots offer Boston: An American Running Story on Wednesday, two days after the marathon it documents.
- Another sort of “big release” would be Colossal, which comes from director Nacho Vigalondo of Timecrimes fame and stars Anne Hathaway as a woman who, post-breakup, appears to be manifesting a giant monster on the other side of the road. It’s at the Somerville, Kendall Square, the Embassy, and Boston Common.
Kendall Square also opens A Quiet Passion, the new film from Terence Davies which features Emma Bell and Cynthia Nickinson as Emily Dickinson at various stages of her life.
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre is the main spot for Their Finest, the new film from Lone Scherfig, which stars Gemma Arteton as a screenwriter in 1940 looking to make a movie (with an actor played by Bill Nighy) that will lift the UK’s spirits and perhaps inspire America to join the war. It’s also at West Newton.
The Void comes back for a second weekend of midnight shows on Friday and Saturday after selling out last weekend. The midnight shows on the other screen are David Lynch flicksto celebrate the imminent return of Twin Peaks, with a 35mm of prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me on Friday and Lost Highway on Saturday. In between, there’s a kids’ show of Despicable Me Saturday morning. On Wednesday, they have a work-in-progress screening of Soul Witness: The Brookline Holocaust Witness Project, including a Q&A with producer R. Harvey Bravman and a tribute to the founders of the project. Then, on Thursday, they have a Cinema Jukebox presentation of Pink Floyd: The Wall on 35mm with a pre-show performance by local high-schoolers.
- The Museum of Science adds ”Amazon Adventure” to their rotation, relatively unusual in that this biography of explorer Henry Bates is a dramatic film rather than a documentary, presented in full-scale OMNIMAX. It’s also slated to open in IMAX 3D at the New England Aquarium on the 24th. Note the capital letter there; that means we’re talking about genuine 70mm-threaded-horizontally-projected-with-a-lamp-that-doubles-as-a-death-ray-onto-a-screen-the-size-of-a-medium-office-building IMAX.
- The Brattle Theatre has a weekend of films in conjunction with The Cambridge Science Festival: “Contact!” mostly focuses on films about peaceful first contact, with Arrival on Friday and screenings of The Iron Giant, Arrival, Gattaca (followed by a special panel discussion), and Paul on Saturday, plus a double feature of Contact (on 35mm) and the classic The Day the Earth Stood Still on Sunday.
It cuts into their traditional Muppet Madness! program, which isn’t even really an alternate marathon on Marathon Monday this year, with matinee and evening double features of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth surrounding a late-afternoon sing-along screening of The Muppet Movie. On Tuesday, IFFBoston presents a free screening of the fantastic Free Fire with writer/director Ben Wheatley doing a Q&A afterward. There’s nothing on the schedule for Wednesday, and then they host the Women in Comedy Festival starting Thursday (after opening night at the Somerville on Wednesday).
- The Harvard Film Archive continues their Jem Cohen retrospective, with a program of shorts at 7pm Friday night and feature Counting at 9pm on Saturday. They share the screen with the last three Contemporary French Alternatives - A German Youth (Friday 9:15pm), La Sapienza (Saturday 7pm), and A Young Poet (Sunday 7pm). On Monday, Paul Bush will present a program of his experimental and animated short films on 16mm and 35mm.
- The Museum of Fine Arts hasmore Frederick Wiseman on tap, with Missile (16mm Friday/Thursday), Fire at Sea (Saturday, High School 2 (Saturday/Thursday)), Public Housing (16mm Sunday), Ballet (16mm Wednesday), and Central Park (16mm Wednesday). Hollywood Scriptures:Migrations also continues this week, with When I Saw You (Friday) and Dheepan (Sunday).
- Telugu film Mister and Tamil drama Pa Paandi join Tamil film Kaatru Veliyidal at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond this week, with Malayalam drama Take Off screening Saturday, and Bengali film Asamapta on Sunday. They also have their monthly screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with the Teseracte Players on Friday (as always, Full Body Cast does their think with RHPS at Boston Common on Saturday).
- Though the Wicked Queer festival is over, they present the two Bright Lights shows at the Bright Screening Room at the Paramount this week, and they’re both good ones: Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden on Tuesday and Barry Jenkins’s Oscar-winner Moonlight on Thursday. As always, free and followed by discussion, so check them out.
- The Bright room will be the home base for The Boston International Film Festival, which runs through Monday at the Paramount, Broadway Entertainment Studios, and a few shows at AMC Boston Common.
- Belmont World Film is back to Monday nights at the Studio Cinema for the rest of the schedule, with this week’s Where I Grow Old following two Portuguese friends who move to Brazil but pine for home.
I’m catching Colossal, The Fate of the Furious, Their Finest, Your Name, Get Out, Trainspotting 2, Personal Shopper, and maybe Tommy’s Honour. Plus a ballgame or two. I know, some of those names have shown up before, but I mean it!