Friday, June 30, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 30 June 2017 - 6 July 2017

I'm not saying I wouldn't go to New York to see a movie that isn't opening in the Boston area if the Asian Film Festival wasn't also there this weekend (in the same building/complex, actually), but it provides pretty good cover for the silliness and expense of nine hours on a bus round-trip to see Okja rather than just dropping $10 on Netflix. But, hey, there's other stuff that actually does open in Boston, and some of it's looking pretty good

  • For instance, Baby Driver opened Wednesday; it's a car-chase movie by Edgar Wright which is also a musical, with all the action choreographed to the main character's playlist. It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    For the kids and everybody who floods my Facebook feed with Minions memes, there's Despicable Me 3, with Steve Carrell's former supervillain Gru apparently crossing reuniting with his less-reformed brother, although I'm guessing they eventually have to team up against Trey Parker's 80s-themed thief. As an aside, the preview for this 3D animated film had Michael Jackson's "Bad" as the background for a hest, and, huh, I guess the world in general is more okay with using Michael Jackson in children's entertainment than I am. It's all over the place, at the Capitol (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond, Studio Cinema Belmont (2D only), West Newton (2D only), Boston Common, Fenway (including 2D/3D RPX), Assembly Row, Revere (including XPlus/MX4D), and the SuperLux.

    And then there's The House, which is not Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler remaking either a cult 1980s horror movie or a trippy Japanese horror movie, but a comedy about running a casino out of your basement to pay the kids' college tuition. Seems like kind of a let-down, honestly. That's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere.
  • A couple bigger tweeners will be opening in both multiplexes and boutique places, with The Big Sick being the upbeat selection, even if it is a romantic comedy in large part based around the boyfriend (Kumail Nanjiani) trying to connect with the parents of his girlfriend (Zoe Kazan) while she is in a medically-induced coma. Supposedly very funny, though! It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, West Newton, Kendall Square, and Boston Common. There's an even bigger opening for The Beguiled, Sophia Coppola's version of a novel once adapted by Sergio Leone, featuring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning as the mistresses and students at a girls' school in the South during the Civil War, whose equilibrium is upset by the discovery of an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell). That one plays the Coolidge, the Somerville, Kendall Square, the Embassy, the Lexington Venue, and Boston Common.

    The Coolidge's midnights this week probably share a year (as has been the trend lately), but otherwise seem kind of random: Masters of the Universe with Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella in 35mm on Friday and Willow on Saturday, hopefully calming some nerves about Ron Howard and Lucasfilm. There's also a special screening of Jurassic Park on Wednesday, because Ben Mezrich does his book-launch party right (he will be discussing his Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures with geneticist George Church before the show). Then they cap off a week of screenings with a 35mm print of Rock 'N' Roll High School for "Cinema Jukebox" on Thursday.
  • Kendall Square and The West Newton Cinema also pick up Maudie, starring Sally Hawkins as the title character, who goes to work as a maid for a renowned artist (Ethan Hawke) but has dreams of living independently and creating art herself, which may be difficult because of her damaged hands. Sally Hawkins means you see this movie, right? Right.
  • The Brattle Theatre has the new restoration of Andrei Tartakovsky's Stalker, the last film he made in the Soviet Union and widely considered a masterpiece, though it's the sort of sprawling boutique science fiction that is more concerned with looking inward at the human soul than extrapolating forward.

    It starts relatively early through most of the weekend, so that the Brattle can lead up to their traditional Fourth of July screenings of Jaws (9:30pm on Monday the 3rd, noon on Tuesday the 4th) with a 10pm series called "Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Water!". For that, they're digging out 35mm prints of a number of aquatic-themed horror movies, with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (Friday), Blood Beach (Saturday), and the original Joe Dante/John Sayles Piranha (Sunday).
  • Most of the posters for Reset are focusing on Jackie Chan as a producer, although I don't think he actually appears in the movie, but on the flip side, it's got Yang Mi as a scientist who invents a time machine and uses it to work with her future self to find her kidnapped son, and multiple Yang Mis sounds pretty good. It's at Boston Common.

    For fans of Indian films, Tubelight continues with limited screenings at Apple Fresh Pond and Fenway. Apple also opens Telugu police drama Jaydev (Friday-Sunday) and keeps Telugu action-comedy Duvvada Jagannadham (Saturday-Sunday matinees).
  • The Harvard Film Archive brings back the first film they ever screened, Lady Windermere's Fan, at 7pm Friday with live music by Martin Marks as part of That Certain Feeling… The Touch of Ernst Lubitsch. The series also features If I Had a Million, an anthology film he oversaw with other segments directed by Norman Taurog and Stephen Roberts, at 9:30pm Saturday, and drama Broken Lullaby (5pm Sunday). Those alternate with The Complete Jean Renoir, this weekend featuring The Woman on the Beach (Friday 9pm), Catherine, or A Life without Joy (Saturday 7pm with music Bertrand Laurence), and The Rivery (Sunday 7pm). They also have their monthly "Cinema of Resistance" screening on Monday night, with July's selection Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee. All are 35mm aside from Catherine, and it is preceded by 35mm short "Charlston Parade".
  • The Museum of Fine Arts wraps up their hosting of Roxbury International Film Festival with screenings Friday and Saturday, and then takes the holiday off from showing movies until Thursday, when the monthly "On the Fringe" show is River's Edge, with Dennis Hopper, Keanu Reeves, and Crispin Glover.
  • The Capitol welcomes Jeff Rapsis on Thursday to accompany a screening of The Lost World, the original 1925 adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's dinosaur adventure. Their website lists it as 106 minutes, implying that it's the new, as-close-to-fully-restored-as-you-can-get version that was released in France last year, which is exciting if true, as there's a lot of long-unseen footage in that.
  • It's a bit odd that they're doing this after the Fourth, but The Regent Theatre begins a weekend of screening 1776 on Thursday evening. I'm looking at it suspiciously, wondering if this is a pilot for another sing-along holiday weekend thing.
  • The Joe's Free Films calendar shows that Jaws is screening close enough to the Waterfront to smell some salt water on Friday (The Lawn on D). A number of other outdoor screening series are starting up in July, with the 1982 Annie at the Prudential Center Saturday night, something TBA for Cambridge Screen on the Green Wednesday, and two in Somerville on Thursday: Dressed to Kill (the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movie, not the DePalma flick) at the Growing Center for Cinema Somerville and Sing in Davis Square's Seven Hills Park for the animal-themed SomerMovie series.

I will probably try something really stupid like seeing Lady Windermere's Fan and Reset tonight before getting up at 5am Saturday to head to New York for the Asian Film Festival, then trying for Baby Driver, The Beguiled, The Big Sick, Maudie, and The Lost World after getting some sleep. I should probably try to fit Stalker in there somewhere, despite my aversion to films described as "meditations".

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