Thursday, August 17, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 18 August 2017 - 24 August 2017

It's mid-August and the things being released during the usually dreadful dog days of summer look… Kind of good?

  • Likely the best film of the week opens at The Brattle Theatre on Friday, with Boston Underground Film Festival favorite Dave Made a Maze having the place to itself through Sunday and then playing 9:30pm from Monday to Thursday. It's a joyously creative, hilarious delight as the arts-and-crafts project in the kitchen swallows its creator and his friends, who have to somehow find their way out.

    The weekdays continue the summer's vertical repertory programming. The Robert Mitchum tribute shows this week are River of No Return (Monday) and Two for the Seesaw (35mm Tuesday), while Wednesday's Recent Rave is the utterly delightful kitty documentary Kedi. Thursday's Agnes Varda picture is a 35mm print of Vagabond
  • Hey, remember how Steven Soderbergh was only going to work in TV because there was no place for him in the film world any more? Lasted four years, but from the looks of Logan Lucky, that's a good thing, as it features Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, and Adam Driver as dimwit siblings trying to pull off a heist with a likely-annoyed explosives expert played by Daniel Craig, and a ton of good folks like Katie Holmes, Set MacFarlane, Katherine Waterston, and more around the edges. It's at the Somerville, the Kendall, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    Less well-heralded is The Assassin's Bodyguard, with Samuel L. Jackson as a hitman who has elected to testify before a war crimes tribunal and Ryan Reynolds as the guy tasked with getting him there safe despite a difficult history with the man; I'm guessing Gary Oldman is the villain and Salma Hayek the love interest. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway (including RPX), Assembly Row, Revere (including XPlus and MX4D), and the SuperLux.

    There's a final showing of Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry at Fenway and Revere on Saturday, while Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars, a likely less-satirical animated sequel (that has Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer doing voice work), plays Monday at Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere.
  • Unless I'm miscounting - and I think I can count to nine - Kendall Square is back up to full capacity, and on top of Logan Lucky, they've got a couple of things from this year's IFFBoston opening this week. The Trip to Spain is the third time Michael Winterbottom has cut a 6-episode comedy series starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalized versions of themselves on a culinary road trip into a feature for the American market, and it's reliably good, as funny as the first two. Menache is the story about a recent widower in an Orthodox Jewish community who is given a last week to spend with his son, about to be adopted by in-laws because tradition says he must be raised in a home with a mother. It's also at West Newton.
  • Plenty arriving from Asia this week, including the relatively-rare full booking of an animated feature from Japan, although In This Corner of the World looks like something of a prestige piece, telling the story of an 18-year-old girl in Hiroshima who marries a soldier during the war and must try to care for her family as the tide turns against Japan (and, presumably, as the worst happens), and probably does well by it, as director Sunao Katabuchi's Mai Mai Miracle managed to mix optimism and darkness a few years back. It's at Boston Common, and between that and the fact that A Taxi Driver, Once Upon a Time (now with 2D and 3D screenings), and Wolf Warrior II have all been held over, they've only got room for a couple screenings per day of The Adventurers, in which director Stephen Fung (who has been working on Into the Badlands since Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero) has Andy Lau, Shu Qi, and Tony Yang playing a group of master thieves chased around Europe by Jean Reno, but don't worry, they're giving it a full slate at Fenway.

    They have plenty of new Indian films at Apple Fresh Pond as well, with two subtitled Hindi-language romantic comedies from Bolllywood: Bareilly ki Barfi stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, and Kriti Sanon in a love triangle that looks to be set in the world of independent publishing, while Toilet Ek Prem Katha stars Akshay Kumar as a man whose new wife threatens to leave unless he installs a toilet in their home and good lord I don't know how you get 155 minutes out of what should be a really easy decision.. No subtitles are indicated for Telugu horror-comedy Anando Brahma or Tamil drama Taramani, but it can't hurt to ask. Spy thriller Vivekham (Prudence) opens Wednesday in both Tamil and Telugu.
  • The West Newton Cinema picks up The Only Living Boy in New York, Marc Webb's second (and apparently lesser) film of the year, featuring Callum Turner as a grad student beguiled by his father's mistress (Kate Beckinsale). Plenty of other interesting folks in there, including Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Wallace Shawn, and Kiersey Clemons (it also plays Boston Common).
  • The Regent Theatre has 4 screenings of Marjorie Prime, with Jon Hamm as the hologram of the title character's dead husband used to help ease her dementia. I'm a bit surprised at the tiny release; you'd think something which also featured Lois Smith, Geena Davis, and Tim Robbins from the director of Experimenter might at least show up at the Kendall, but nope, just Friday night, Saturday afternoon & evening, and Sunday night out in Arlington.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre picks up Wind River, as do the Embassy, Fenway, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux; IFFBoston alum Step arrives in the GoldScreen (both are already at Boston Common and the Kendall). They also have a nice group of specials, with Speed and The Room at midnight Friday andBroken Arrow at that time Saturday. Monday's big screen classic is the annual The Big Lebowski party, while the "Cinema Jukebox" presentation on Thursday is The Blues Brothers. In between, there's a GlobeDocs screening of Beyond the Wall followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and a local "navigator" who helps recently released prisoners readjust. All of this week's special screenings except Beyond the Wall are on 35mm.
  • Lots of Ernst Lubitsch atThe Harvard Film Archive this weekend, with the retrospective to his works taking up almost the entire schedule: The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Friday 7pm with accompaniment by Martin Marks), Ninotchka (Friday 9:30pm), Cluny Brown (Saturday 7pm), To Be or Not to Be (Sunday 4:30pm), "The Merry Jail" & "Romeo and Juliet in the Snow" (Sunday 7pm with accompaniment by Robert Humphreville), and Angel (Monday 7pm). That leaves precious little time for much else, although there is a $5 family screening of WALL-E at 3pm on Saturday and one selection from the Jean Renoir series - 1951's The River at 9:30pm that day. All are 35mm prints.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has more Feed Your Head: Films from 1967 with In the Heat of the Night (Friday), You Only Live Twice (Friday), The Dirty Dozen (Saturday), Valley of the Dolls (Saturday), In Cold Blood (Sunday), and The Graduate (Sunday). Thursday is a couple of the recurring presentations, with The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement in the afternoon and Slack Bay in the evening.
  • Hey, check it out - a special early entry in Emerson's Bright Lights program at the Paramount, with screenwriter Graham Moore coming to town on Tuesday to intro/Q&A The Imitation Game.
  • The 18-seat room at CinemaSalem has The Ghoul, in which a british cop goes undercover as a patient to investigate a psychotherapist, and things get weird.
  • The Joe's Free Films calendar has multiple screenings of Doctor Strange, and live magic and balloons in University Park on Tuesday and Thursday.

I have other stuff claiming the weekend (baseball and a niece turning seven), but I'll still go for The Adventurers, Marjorie Prime, In This Corner of the World, and Logan Lucky at the least. Certainly planning on hitting Dave Made a Maze again, because that one demands an audience.

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