Friday, February 23, 2018

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 23 February 2018 - 1 March 2018

In which, as the Oscars approach, we see one of the major studios continue to basically give up on theaters.

  • Not that Paramount has put it that way, but after they sent The Cloverfield Paradox straight to Netflix a couple weeks ago and are allowing Annihilation to hit the streaming service internationally in a couple of weeks, what else are we supposed to think? Word is that Annihilation deserves a big-screen viewing, too, being a terrific sci-fi/horror flick from director Alex Garland with a killer cast that includes Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, and Gina Rodriguez. It's at the Somerville, Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Also out this week is Game Night, featuring Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, and a bunch of other funny folks doing a "mystery party" night only to wind up in the middle of an actual crime without realizing that this isn't just committed roleplay. It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. Slightly smaller opening for Every Day, about two teenagers in love, made more complicated by the fact that one is apparently a disembodied spirit who occupies a new host daily. It's at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Boston Common also opens Nostalgia, which seems to be one of those overlapping-narrative things with a general focus on looking back; nice cast including John Hamm, Nick Offerman, Ellen Burstyn, and Catherine Keener. Fenway has all of Best Picture nominees playing throughout the week, while Boston Common has the first half of a two-week event on Saturday. Mary and the Witch's Flower also gets a couple more shows at Boston Common and Fenway, with an English dub on Saturday afternoon and subtitles on Monday evening. If you prefer puppetry to animation, there are screenings of The Dark Crystal at Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere on Sunday and Wednesday.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre gets Chile's Oscar nominee, A Fantastic Woman, as do the Kendall and West Newton. It stars Daniela Vega as a waitress and performer who, when her lover suddenly dies, is pushed away by a family instinctively hostile toward a trans woman.

    The monthly After Midnite Women in Horror series concludes this weekend with two recent sensations, The Babadook at midnight on Friday and Raw on Saturday. The Werner Herzog series also has a midnight entry on Saturday, when his version of Nosferatu the Vampyre (with Klaus Kinski in the title role) plays upstairs. Herzog also supplies the monthly Science On Screen show, a 35mm print Grizzly Man, on Tuesday with Harvard Medical School professor Steven Schlozman discussing why people do dangerous things. There's also Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, where Herzog narrates and is credited as co-director, having helped Dmitry Yasyukov put it together after Yasyukov filmed the people of a Siberian village.
  • Along with A Fantastic Woman, Kendall Square and West Newton both open The Party, a dark black-and-white comedy in which a group of politically-and-personally-connected people come together and start to have their resentments boil up to the point where murder is possible. Nifty cast, including Patricia Clarkson, Kristin Scott Thomas (who barely seems to work in English any more), Timothy Spall, Cillian Murphy, Emily Mortimer, and Cherry Jones.
  • The Chinese New Year wave of sequels isn't quite over; not only do Monkey King 3, Monster Hunt 2, and Detective Chinatown 2 all continue to hang around Boston Common (and Revere in the latter case), but Dante Lam's latest, Operation Red Sea opens at the Common. It's not really a sequel to Operation Mekong - it involves the army rather than the police, and no characters seem to cross over - and I suspect it may not have that movie's quality Hong Kong-style violence; the trailer looks like it is chasing Wolf Warrior 2 money.

    On the Indian side, Apple Fresh Pond continues Padmaavat, Pad Man, and Aiyaary. They also open Bollywood comedies Welcome to New York, with a repo man and a fashion designer meeting cute and chaotically in Manhattan, and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, in which the marriage between two people would be much smoother if it was not also a sort of marriage between their circles of friends. There's also screenings of Malayalam chase thriller Aadhi and Marathi drama Aapla Manus on Saturday and Bengali drama Roktokarobi on Sunday.

    The week's "hey, we'll put something otherwise going to VOD but with a recognizable name or two in an 18-seat room" release is Half Magic, with Heather Graham making her directorial debut and co-starring with Stephanie Beatriz and Angela Kinsey as three friends frustrated with men keeping them down, but with some magic candles to help wishes come true.
  • The Brattle Theatre wraps up Bugs Bunny Film Festival with a 35mm "Looney Tunes Revue" playing matinees from Friday to Sunday. On Friday and Saturday evenings, they screen a new restoration of Powell & Pressburger's A Mattter of Life and Death, while Sunday night is the Boston Society of Film Critics' award ceremony, which includes a screening of Get Out. On Monday, The DocYard welcomes director Tala Hadid with House in the Fields, her documentary about traditional life in rural Morocco. There's also a free "Elements of Cinema" screening of Rashomon on Tuesday.

    Tuesday also starts "Painting the Frame: The Cinematography of Roger Deakins", with the first three days all featuring one or more screenings of his Oscar-nominated Blade Runner 2049, with Thursday also having a couple screenings of Fargo.
  • She may have sent a cardboard cutout to the Oscar luncheon, but Agnes Varda will be at The Harvard Film Archive this week, introducing Faces Places on Friday and Vagabond on Sunday and serving as the Norton Lecturer in the Sanders theater on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Her omnibus film, Cinévardaphoto, plays Sunday evening. Note that the Friday and Saturday shows have sold out to the point where they will be opening an auxiliary screening room next door, with Varda's comments being simulcast.

    They also welcome Robert Schaller on Sunday afternoon for a program of his short films (some on 16mm) with live musical accompaniment. Then they wrap up the Kevin Jerome Everson retrospective on Monday with "BSV" and The Island of St. Matthews.
  • The Somerville Theatre begins the monthly repertory series Something of Value: Sidney Poitier on Screen this weekend, programming around other events in the main theater and apparently scrambling a bit with different prints: No Way Out was just going to play Friday evening, but now it also plays Saturday afternoon as a double feature with The Blackboard Jungle in the afternoon - and that movie plays with The Long Ships in the evening (Cry, the Beloved Country seems to have dropped from the schedule). Sunday's double feature is Edge of the City & To Sir, With Love; the namesake of the series, Something of Value, plays Thursday evening. The Somerville also has the Oscar-Nominated Shorts during the week, with Animation on Tuesday, Live-Action on Wednesday, and a double feature on Thursday. The animated and live-action shorts also continue at the Kendall and West Newton while the Coolidge has the documentaries.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues their run of three films - Tehran Taboo (Friday/Wednesday), Il Boom (Friday/Saturday/Sunday), and The Crime of Monsieur Lange (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) - through the end of the February Calendar. They also wrap up the Boston Festival of Films From Japan with Jellyfish Eyes on Sunday and Over the Fence on Wednesday.
  • Emerson's Bright Lights has a film by one of their own on Tuesday, with professor Mike S. Ryan answering questions as the producer of Free in Deed, while faculty with no involvement in the production of Lady Bird will lead a discussion after that one on Thursday.
  • The Regent Theatre has more Frozen sing-along shows this weekend - twice on Friday and Saturday, once on Sunday.
  • The Institute for Contemporary Art wraps up the "Month of Sundays" this weekend with Bill Cunningham New York, also showing a selection of Sundance Film Festival Shorts later that afternoon.
  • CinemaSalem plays Palestinian drama In Between in their screening room.

I may or may not catch more movies while I'm away on vacation, but Annihilation and the long-delayed Oscar catch-up stuff are priorities when I get back. Maybe Game Night as well.

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