Thursday, August 31, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 September 2017 - 7 September 2017

Labor Day weekend is always a weird one for movie releases to begin with, made a little stranger in Boston as the construction at Kendall Square keeping the local theater closed has a ripple effect north of the river. Still, there's a lot of unlikely stuff being shoveled into theaters this weekend while other stuff gets shuffled around and somehow nobody has a screen for The Villainess.

  • For instance, the Imax-branded screens are getting the first two episodes of The Inhumans, which will show up on ABC toward the end of the month, and it can't possibly hold up to the Wachowski-directed version in my head. It's at Jordan's, Boston Common (evenings only), and Assembly Row. Not limited to premium screens in general (but only playing them at some places, so check if you're on a budget or using MoviePass) is a 40th Anniversary re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which plays Boston Common, Fenway (RPX), Assembly Row, and Revere (XPlus).

    The biggest regular release is Tulip Fever, which is an odd one, with Dane DeHaan as an artist who schemes with his subject (Alicia Vikander) to raise money to run away by making a killing during the Amsterdam tulip mania - a real, crazy thing during the 1700s. It's at The West Newton Cinema, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. There's also Hazlo Como Hombre, this year's Spanish-language film getting a Labor Day release in the U.S., this one a Mexican/Chilean comedy about two best friends, one engaged to the other's sister, except the latter has just decided to come out of the closet. It's at Boston Common and Revere.

    Boston Common, in particular, has a bunch of screens to fill, with the most promising of the other additions being Crown Heights, starring Lakeith Stanfield as a wrongfully convicted man trying to survive in prison while his best friend (Nnamdi Asomugha) strives to get the conviction overturned. There's also I Do… Until I Don't, with writer/director Lake Bell as a documentarian trying to show that marriage is an outdated institution (also at West Newton), and Valley of Bones, which stars Autumn Reeser as a paleontologist whose new find is in the middle of cartel territory.

    Studios trying to squeeze a little extra money out before the end of the season are re-expanding Cars 3, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Wonder Woman this week.
  • Summer's over, so The Brattle Theatre is back to something a little more like conventional engagements, although this week is kind of split three ways. IFFBoston alumnusIn Transit plays every day from Friday to Thursday, and is the final film of Albert Maysles, a look at the people traveling on the Amtrak Empire Builder, America's busiest long-distance train route. It's initially joined by The Ornithologist, a film from this year's Wicked Queer festival by João Pedro Rodrigues in which the title character is carried away by rapids and winds up rescued by Chinese pilgrims; it plays the late show Friday, Saturday, and Monday and a Matinee on Sunday. The evening shows for the rest of the week are new restorations of two Louise Brooks silents, with Beggars of Life on Tuesday, Diary of a Lost Girl on Wednesday, and the pair as a double feature Thursday.
  • The end of summer is marked in the usual way at The Harvard Film Archive: First, they finish up the two repertory series playing in style, with Friday featuring filmmaker/author Nicholas Macdonald introducing Grand Illusion, the last of the Jean Renoir films, and then the Ernst Lubitsch series finishing with an encore of Cluny Brown at 9:30pm. Saturday night, they make the projectionist work overtime with Night of the Vampire, starting at 7pm and running straight through to Sunday morning with Dracula's Daughter, Horror of Dracula, The Hunger, Near Dark, Nadja, Trouble Every Day, and Thirst. All of it is on 35mm.
  • With little coming from Hollywood, Apple Fresh Pond loads up on Indian cinema, leaving Vivekham to Fenway but keeping A Gentleman, ArjunReddy,Bareilly ki Barfi, and Toilet Ek Prem Katha while also getting Bollywood gold-heist adventure Baadshaho, Tamil-language thriller Puriyatha Puthir,Telugu-language action/comedy Paisa Vasool, and One Heart: The A.R. Rahman Concert Film.

    They also give half-screens to a couple of indies: Hare Krishna! is a documentary about Prabhupada, the swami who first introduced the mantra of the title to the west in the 1960s, and Goon: Last of the Enforcers has Seann William Scott returning as the title character in a hockey comedy sequel that has funny guy (and writer/co-star) Jay Baruchel making his feature directorial debut.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre picks up The Trip to Spain and brings back Step, and likely would have done the first even if Kendall Square was open and the film wasn't briefly homeless. They also kick off a September full of exploitation classics at midnight, going for gore the first weekend with 35mm prints of Two Thousand Maniacs (Friday) and Maniac on Saturday. Then, as has become traditional, they finish up the summer's near-weekly run of Big Screen Classics on Monday with Jaws in 35mm.
  • I am generally remiss about mentioning BUFF's "Dispatches from the Underground" series, which sets up shop in The Somerville Theatre's Micro-Cinema on the first Wednesday of every month and features either past hits or things they couldn't fit in the schedule. This month's is Imitation Girl, in which an alien arrives in the Southwestern USA and takes the form of a woman on a girlie-magazine cover, while the original back in New York is frustrated with the life she leads. Only about 30 seats there, so buy in advance (and if you had a pass for this year's festival, you can reserve tickets for free).

    The Somerville picked up Patti Cake$ on Wednesday, since it never wound up opening at the Kendall, while The Capitol picks up Menashe and The Trip to Spain from the Kendall with Baby Driver moving over from the Somerville. It's also looking like Wednesday will be the last day for Dunkirk in 70mm at the Somerville, as It moves into the main screen on Thursday.
  • The start of the month means an "On the Fringe" show at The Museum of Fine Arts, with this month's selection a 35mm print of John Carpenter's They Live. August's film programming bleeds into the weekend with the end of Feed Your Head: Films from 1967, encore screenings of The Trip (Friday) and Le Samourai (Saturday on 35mm). After that, they start having screenings of Hermia & Helena, about an Argentine theater director who relocates to New York and starts receiving mysterious postcards (Saturday/Sunday); Michelangelo: Love and Death, a documentary on the master artist (Sunday/Thursday); and Bertrand Tavernier's My Journey through French Cinema (Wednesday). They also start a repertory series on Thursday, "Una Lengua Muy Poderosa: Contemporary Queer Films of Mexico", with I Dream in Another Language.
  • The Joe's Free Films list is pretty barren as far as outdoor films are concerned with the start of September, although Friday features Fever Pitch at the Harbor Hotel and The Princess Bride at Fanuiel Hall, with Jaws at the Lawn on D Sunday night.

Got my ticket for Imitation Girl, and will make a valiant attempt at the vampire thing and Louise Brooks flicks around going for Tulip Fever and The Inhumans and catching up on Logan Lucky, Apes, and The Big Sick, though I've said that before.

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