Friday, October 05, 2018

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 5 October 2018 - 11 October 2018

There actually seems to be more potentially fun or interesting things coming out than you might expect this week, although some are clearly getting smothered by what I guess is the first thing really looking at both awards and box-office of the fall.

  • That would be A Star Is Born, the fourth official version of the story about a self-destructive star discovering and mentoring a young woman (and probably the hundredth with that basic plot), this time directed by star Bradley Cooper and featuring Lady Gaga as the ingenue. It's all over the place, playing The Coolidge Corner Theatre, the Somerville, Fresh Pond, West Newton, The Lexington Venue, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport (including Icon-X), South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), Revere, and the SuperLux.

    The Old Man and the Gun is probably aiming more for awards than box-office (and I'm kind of disappointed that the release strategy doesn't involve 35mm prints, but it looks pretty darn appealing, with David Lowery directing what is likely Robert Redford's finale film as an actor, playing a septuagenarian bank robber who romances Sissy Spacek while on the run. That one's at the Coolidge, the Kendall, and Boston Common.

    The Coolidge is also the only place in the area to catch Free Solo, the latest from directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin, who tackle something similar to Meru, their last film together; this time, the climber they follow is Alex Honnold, whose quest is climbing the face of Yosemite's El Capitan without a rope, which is obviously incredibly dangerous. They'll actually be in town on Friday night, doing a Q&A after the 8pm show and introducing the 9:45pm.

    They also "open" one of my absolute favorites from this year's Fantasia Festival, Heavy Trip, in which a lie about a group of metal-loving friends who have never played a gig being booked in a big Norwegian festival takes on a life of its own, ending with a side-splitting road trip; unfortunately, it is only playing midnights Friday & Saturday and only in the screening room at that. They need the bigger screens for a 35mm print Terror Train on Friday - the first entry in a month-long tribute to Jamie Lee Curtis - and the first of four shows over three weekends of The Exorcist on Saturday. Sunday morning features a Goethe-Institut screening of A Dysfunctional Cat, the title character of which is just one of several obstacles in the arranged marriage of two Persian immigrants to Germany. The Alloy Orchestra visits on Monday to perform their latest score, accompanying Jean Epstein's silent The Faithful Heart. There's Open Screen on Tuesday, and then they play host to the GlobeDocs film festival with The Feeling of Being Watched on Tuesday and Personal Statement and Into the Okavango on Thursday (the festival actually opens on Tuesday, with Above and Beyond: NASA's Journey to Tomorrow at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum).
  • The other big opening this week is Venom, and, man, is this latest attempt for Sony to capitalize on having the rights to Marvel's Spider-Man characters beyond making movies with Spider-Man kind of fun, even if it's likely not the film anybody involved was looking to make. I enjoyed it, at least, if only for Tom Hardy being game for a lot of weird physical comedy. It's at the Somerville (2D only), Fresh Pond (2D only), Jordan's Furniture (Imax 2D/3D), the Embassy, Boston Common (including Imax 2D), Fenway (including RPX 2D/3D), the Seaport (including Icon-X), South Bay (including Imax 2D and Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax 3D), Revere (including MX4D, XPlus, and some Spanish-language screenings), and the SuperLux (2D only).

    Shine - a film about estranged salsa-dancing brothers who clash over development in Spanish Harlem years later - opens at Revere, while Science Fair hangs on for another week of matinees at Fenway.

    Moana is AMC's Disney Princess of the week at at Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row. Fenway has the last (dubbed) screening of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes on Saturday afternoon, and then anniversary screenings of Bullitt on Sunday and Tuesday. Mountain-climbing documentary The Dawn Wall plays Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere on Monday, while the season premiere of Doctor Who plays Boston Common, Fenway, and Revere on Wednesday, with Boston Common and Fenway repeating it on Thursday. John Carpenter's original Halloween screens at the Kendall and in Revere on Wednesday. Franco-Japanese animated sci-fi action movie MFKZ plays Fenway and Revere on Thursday.
  • Kendall Square and Boston Common open The Sisters Brothers, a not-just-funny western about gunslinger siblings played by Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly, the latter of whom dreams of going straight, especially when the current job seems ethically difficult. They also open Monsters and Men, which shows a community fracturing after a man is killed by police using excessive force. The Kendall and West Newton also open Tea with the Dames, a documentary featuring Dames Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright having a forthright conversation about their lives and careers.

    Their sister cinema in Waltham, the Embassy, opens Private Life; and since the movie featuring Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn as a couple struggling with adoption and infertility is produced by Netflix, it's probably doing well to open there; same deal for Paul Greengrass's 22 July, which opens there on Wednesday. The Kendall also has a one-off show of documentary Living in the Future's Past on Tuesday.
  • Two movies that opened in China on Sunday make it to Boston Common starting on Friday: Hello, Mrs. Money looks to be the latest from the makers of Goodbye Mr. Loser and Never Say Die, this one a cross-dressing screwball farce about a poor man who tries to gain access to his rich aunt to impress a materialistic girlfriend. It gets a full slate while Project Gutenberg does not, which looks like a bummer, as it features Chow Yun-fat and Aaron Kwok as counterfeiters, and what's better than Chow Yun-fat doing crime?

    Apple Fresh Pond continues Sui Dhaaga: Made in India and Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, also opening Tamil romance 96 and Nota, which has showtimes in both Tamil and Telugu. Telugu action/adventure Aravindha Sametha Veera Raghava opens Wednesday.
  • The Somerville Theatre is still under construction, but has the last entry in their Slaughterhouse Movie Club for the year on Friday, with "Slaughterhouse Family Values" starting with burlesque and finishing with Addams Family Values.
  • Harvard Square is Bergman 100 headquarters this week, with The Brattle Theatre playing The Seventh Seal on Friday (double feature with Bill & Ted's .Bogus Journey on 35mm) and Saturday (double Feature with The Virgin Spring), a double feature of Sawdust and Tinsel & Summer with Monika on Sunday, Smiles of a Summer Night on Monday, Prison & Thirst paired on Tuesday, and a twin bill of Secrets of Women & Dreams on Wednesday. At the other end of the square, the Harvard Film Archive plays Autumn Sonata (Friday 9:15pm), Through a Glass Darkly (Saturday 7pm), Winter Light (Saturday 9pm), The Silence (Sunday 5pm), and Cries and Whispers (Sunday 7pm). All of the HFA's shows are on 35mm, while the Brattle's are listed as DCP (except the screening of The Seventh Seal paired with Bill & Ted)

    On either side, The Harvard Film Archive has a pair of special events, with an international selection of Documentary Educational Resource films on Friday evening and Alice Rohrwacher visiting to present her new film Happy As Lazzaro on Monday.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has their monthly "On the Fringe: Indie Film in the 90s" show on Friday, presenting Vincent Gallo's Buffalo 66. They continue their runs of 306 Hollywood (Friday/Sunday/Wednesday), I Am Not a Witch (Saturday/Wednesday), and the 2019 Manhattan Short Film Festival (Saturday). Let the Devil In: 50 Years of British Horror continues with Symptoms and Peeping Tom on Sunday andA Field in England on Wednesday.
  • Bright Lights once again returns two IFFBoston alums this week: Black Memorabilia with director Chico Colvard plays on Tuesday, with Emerson graduate Heather Cassano presenting her film The Limits of My World on Thursday. Both are in the Bright Screening room at the Paramount, put on by Emerson but open to the public.
  • The Regent Theatre plays host to the Lonely Seal Film & Screenplay Festival on Friday and Saturday, with blocks both upstairs in the main theater and down in the Regent Underground on both days. They also play Best F[r]iends on Wednesday with co-star Greg Sestaro on-hand. I believe it is just Volume 1.
  • Cinema Salem does not mess around where Halloween is concerned, as you might expect. They've produced a new short 3-D documentary, "The History of Halloween", which will be running all month, they've still got Mandy kicking around, and they are one of the hosts of Salem Horror Fest, showing double features all month long. This week's theme is "Earthdoom", but they also have premieres and guests as well as other special events.

I've already done Venom, I'll check out both Chinese movies, Free Solo, The Old Man and the Gun, and maybe one or two more, but there's also important baseball going on.

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