Thursday, May 31, 2018

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 June 2018 - 7 June 2018

Ah, the week after a new Star Wars-sized movie, when things don't necessarily get strange at the multiplex but you see people trying to slip a sleeper in there rather than another blockbuster.

  • Or, if you're like The Somerville Theatre, you bust out the film projector and make the projectionists really work. The big one - literally and figuratively - is the first of two weeks of the "unrestored" 2001: A Space Odyssey on a brand spanking new 70mm print. That will be playing on their main screen, and they don't give the projector much time to cool down on Friday and Saturday, as they'll be showing Die Hard on 35mm film at midnight on the 1st and John Waters's Hairspray on the 2nd, also on 35mm.
  • At the more conventional 'plexes, the most mainstream thing is likely Adrift, in which Shailene Woodley plays a young woman who is invited to sail across the Pacific with her more experienced boyfriend, only to find herself having to take charge in the aftermath of a devastating storm. It's at Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    The other two big openings are a bit more rambunctious. Action Point stars Johnny Knoxville doing what he does best - taking physical abuse - in the story of an infamously unsafe amusement park. It plays Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere. Upgrade comes from Saw/Insidious co-writer Leigh Whannell and stars Logan Marshall-Green as a paralyzed man who discovers that the spinal implant that allows him to walk has the functionality to make him a superhero, if he gives it full control. That one also plays Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Fenway has the second part of Best F(r)iends - the new project from the folks who did The Room - on Friday and Monday (when it also plays Revere). For those more interested in people who make good movies, TCM will be presenting 50th anniversary screenings of The Producers at Fenway, Asembly Row, and Revere on Sunday and Monday. This week's display of utterly incomprehensible anime naming conventions is Fate/stay night [Heaven's Feel] THE MOVIE I.presage flower, playing Fenway and Assembly Row on Tuesday and Thursday (probably dubbed both days). Revere has the first of a couple screenings of the original The Fast and the Furious on Thursday, and Boston Common has documentary Nossa Chape, following a Brazilian soccer team trying to rebuild after all but three players are killed in a plane crash, on Thursday; I'm not sure whether it's a one-off or a precursor to a run the next week.
  • Kendall Square shares IFFBoston alum The Gospel According to AndrĂ© with Boston Common, but the Kendall will also have director Kate Novack on-hand to do a Q&A at the Saturday evening show of her film about Vogue editor AndrĂ© Leon Talley. The Kendall also opens Mountain, a documentary featuring high peaks and those who scale them narrated by Willem Dafoe.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre appears to be the only place in the area getting Mary Shelley, which has Elle Fanning as the writer who created Frankenstein (and basically the genre of science fiction) at the age of eighteen, and they've got it in the smaller screening rooms. Ms. Fanning also stars in the other new release "opening" this weekend, playing an alien teenager in John Cameron Mitchell's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's How to Talk to Girls at Parties, which also features Alex Sharp and Nicole Kidman. Sadly, it's only playing midnights on Friday and Saturday.

    The "regular" midnights in June are a rare break in horror's tyrannical hold on the slot, although this week's shift to martial-arts action are both American tributes to the genre: The Last Dragon on Friday night and John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China on Saturday, both on 5mm film. There will be a special screening of First Reformed on Friday evening, with cinematographer Alexander Dynan there for a Q&A after the 7pm show. The 35mm "Big Screen Classics" screening of Duck Soup on Monday also has a deluxe presentation, with an extra fee netting you a "seminar" with a pre-screening lecture and post-movie Q&A with Boston Globe critic Ty Burr. There's also a 35mm "Rewind!" show of Ferris Bueller's Day Off on Thursday.
  • Apple Fresh Pond and Fenway both pick up Veere Di Wedding, which features Karrena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, and Shikha Talsania as four longtime friends looking for love while their families try to arrange marriages in a Hindi-language comedy. Fenway also continues Raazi while Apple has more Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, and also opens Officer, a hopefully-subtitled Telugu-language action-adventure starring Nagarjuna Akkineni and directed by the prolific Ram Gopal Varma. There's a screening of Marathi-language Bucket List (in which a woman tries to live out her recently-deceased teenage daughter's dreams) on Sunday, but the big event comes Wednesday: Kaala opens in Tamil and Telugu, with Hindi-language shows starting Thursday. It's a crime film featuring Rajinikanth (a bona fide superstar in India), Nana Patekar, and Huma Qureshi, taking place in Mumbai's Tamil-speaking underworld.

    How Long Will I Love U continues at Boston Common, for those more into Chinese film.
  • The Brattle Theatre and the Harvard Bookstore have a sold-out author event with John Hodgman on Friday, but the author will be sticking around to introduce The Dead Zone at 8:30pm. The rest of the weekend is a double feature of Annihilation and mother!, two messed-up movies that bookended a box-office losing streak for Paramount despite both being pretty darn fascinating. Annihilation plays late shows through Wednesday, with the Dance for World Community Film Fest claiming the early evenings there. Thursday is given to author Stephen Greenblatt, who pairs with the Actors' Shakespeare Project for the interactive program "Tyrant, Show Thy Face".
  • A new month means a new calendar of programs at The Museum of Fine Arts, with two films getting regular runs: Bill Gunn's Harlem documentary Personal Problems, fully restored to its rarely-seen original length, plays Friday and Wednesday; Filmworker, telling the story of Stanley Kubrick's right-hand-man Leon Vitali, plays Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday (it's also still kicking around at Kendall Square).

    The monthly "On the Fringe: Indie Film in the 1990s" show on Friday is a good one: The Hudsucker Proxy, a delightfully goofy collaboration between the Coen Brothers and Sam Raimi featuring Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, and Jennifer Jason Lee, playing on 35mm. The "On the Fringe" label is also being applied to Hoop Dreams, which plays Saturday afternoon. On top of that, there's an "MFA Pride" screening of A Fantastic Woman on Sunday.
  • The students may have left, but that means The Harvard Film Archive is about to dig into their summer-long retrospectives. First up is Luchino Visconti, Architect of Neorealism: They open this program set to run into July with The Leopard (Friday 7pm), White Nights on 35mm (Saturday 7pm/Sunday 4:30pm), and The Stranger on 35mm (Sunday 7pm). They also have their first family matinee of the summer at 3pm on Saturday, when you can catch the original The Incredibles on 35mm film for only five bucks. There's also the summer's first "Cinema of Resistance" screening, with Burmese/Taiwanese director Midi Z on hand to introduce his latest, City of Jade.
  • The Joe's Free Films list is not showing a whole heck of a lot of outdoor films this summer, with just Ferdinand on the Common (Friday) and Jurassic Park at Lawn on D (Thursday). That's kind of a bummer.

I've gotta say, this weekend's midnight roster is brutal - Die Hard, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and Big Trouble in Little China is just not possible. I'll probably try for one or two, and then hopefully hit Upgrade, Adrift, and First Reformed on top of that.

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