Friday, June 16, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 16 June 2017 - 22 June 2017

For as much as the summer usually presents us with waves of too many blockbusters, but this weekend is a lot of "eh, okay, maybe, if I can fit it in". Probably because the thing that is expected to be a huge hit if it lives up to its history is a follow-up to not-particularly-well-liked things.

  • That is, not many people really liked Cars or Cars 2, but they sell a ton of toys, so of course Disney and Pixar made Cars 3, this time with Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson), the brash young car of the first movie, starting to feel his age as a veteran. 2D-only at the Capitol and West Newton; 2D and 3D shows at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere (including XPlus), and the SuperLux.

    The next-biggest opener is Rough Night, with Scarlett Johansson as a bride-to-be whose bachelorette party gets a little nuts when they accidentally kill the stripper and wacky hijinks ensue as they try to hide the body. It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux. There's also a pretty good opening for All Eyez on Me, with newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. playing rapper Tupac Shakur - it plays the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere (including XPlus).

    Rounding out the expected multiplex stuff is 47 Meters Down, a novel shark movie set-up (the ravenous fish are above two sisters trapped on the ocean floor) that never really lives up to its potential. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. The weirdest-looking thing hitting the multiplexes is The Book of Henry, with Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Treverow doing something small but nuts in between Jurassic World and Star Wars IX, as a gifted kid and his mother apparently plot to murder the child-abusing next-door neighbor. That's at West Newton, Boston Common, and Revere.

    On Monday, Resident Evil: Vendetta can defy January's movie being called "The Final Chapter" because it's an animated movie that fits in the games' continuity rather than the Anderson films; it's at Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life comes back for another round of screenings at Boston Common and Revere. That's also when Transformers: The Last Knight opens on a lot of large screens.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of several places opening Beatriz at Dinner, starring a dressed-down Salma Hayek as a spiritual healer at the same dinner party as John Lithgow's loutish billionaire who certainly seems awful Trump-ish. It's also at West Newton and the Kendall. That's on their largest screen; the smallest goes to Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, an entertaining documentary about the one bank brought into court after the mortgage crisis, although there will be a special screening in the main theater on Sunday afternoon with members of the Sung family who own the bank in attendance.

    The summer of '87 is this weekend's midnight theme, with 35mm prints of RoboCop (Friday) and Predator (Saturday). They go back to '67 for Monday's Cinema Jukebox presentation, Monterey Pop.
  • Another IFFBoston alum, The Hero, opens at Kendall Square, which is still down to four screens. That one features Sam Elliott reuniting with I'll See You in My Dreams director Brett Haley to play a movie star who had one great role decades ago but has gotten by on his voice since.
  • The far-east opening this weekend comes from South Korea, with Warriors of the Dawn playing Boston Common. Set in 1592, it follows two threads of a war with Japan: The Crown Prince (Lee Jung-jae) who must take command when the King flees to China, and the leader of a group of soldiers who have been paid to substitute for the military service of the wealthy. It's a very light week for Indian movies at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond, with Marathi arranged-marriage comedy Chi Va Chi Sau Ka playing Sunday afternoon and Telugu action-comedy Duvvada Jagannadham opening Thursday evening.
  • The Brattle Theatre is All About the Chase this weekend, with a number of great car-chase movies hitting the screen as double features: Freebie and the Bean & The French Connection, both on 35mm, Friday; Vanishing Point & the original Gone in 60 Seconds (35mm) Saturday, Never Give a Sucker and Even Break and The Blues Brothers Sunday. Sunday also has a late-ish show of The Driver on 35mm at 9:15; that Walter Hill rarity will also play at 6pm Sunday as the pre-show to a sneak preview of Edgar Wright's Baby Driver.

    That's not the whole week, though - in addition to two programs of shorts from The New York Dog Film Festival on Saturday, it's Trash Night on Tuesday, and IFFBoston will present a special preview screening of The Big Sick on Wednesday. The theater is closed for a private event on Thursday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive starts up their second big retrospective of the summer this weekend, with That Certain Feeling… The Touch of Ernst Lubitsch. It starts with some of his most popular films, Trouble in Paradise at 7pm Friday and Ninotchka at the same time Saturday, before jumping back to have Jeff Rapsis accompany some of the early silent films he did in Germany: Shoe Palace Pinkus & Meyer From Berlin, both about an hour long and also featuring Lubitsch as an actor, on Sunday evening and Madame DuBarry on Monday. That pushes The Complete Jean Renoir into some later or earlier hours, with Swamp Water at 9pm Friday, The Diary of a Chambermaid at 9:30pm Saturday, and French Cancan at 4:30pm Sunday. All butMadame DuBarry are on 35mm.
  • Jeff is actually doing even more Lubitsch this weekend, as So This Is Paris plays The Somerville Theatre on Sunday as part of their 35mm "Silents Please" series. They let him rest on Wednesday as the 35mm "Summer of Love" series continues with Riot on Sunset Strip, and they also have a special screening of Olancho, a documentary about a musician in Honduras whose lyrics get him in trouble with the cartels. That same night, Jeff will be at their sister theater in Arlington, The Capitol, accompanying Charlie Chaplin's The Kid.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues to run two documentaries in association with the Boston Jewish Film Festival, with Line 41 and The Freedom to Marry each playing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They also offer a bit of a preview of the Roxbury International Film Festival on Wednesday with free Juneteenth screenings of documentaries Paris Noir (featuring a post-film discussion with the producer) and When Voices Rise on Wednesday; the festival proper starts Thursday with Body and Soul: An American Bridge (musical performance and director Q&A included), On the Line: Where Sacrifice Begins (with director Q&A) and Tear the Roof Off: The Untold Story of Paramount Funkadelic (featuring Q&A with the director and original Funkadelic members).
  • The 18-seater at CinemaSalem is where you go to see Radio Dreams, a comedy in which an Iranian writer and DJ tries to bring together Metallica and Afghan rockers Kabul Dreams.
  • The Regent Theatre hosts a book release party for Photographing Jimi Hendrix on Sunday, which will be followed with a screening of Jimi Plays Monterey & Shake! Otis at Monterey, which itself will be followed by a Q&A.

Already done 47 Meters Down, and I will hit some 35mm car chases, Cars 3, Warriors of the Dawn, and So This Is Paris. And Huey Lewis & the News on Tuesday, because they put on a good show.

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