Friday, December 21, 2018

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 21 December 2018 - 27 December 2018

Christmas is coming, which means two waves of new movies this week - one on Friday, one on Christmas Day. Three, if you count Mary Poppins Returns having opened on Wednesday.

  • Most of the stuff opening for the weekend is big, mainstream entertainment. The 3D, giant-screen ones are the first entries in new legs of existing franchises, starting with Aquaman, which brings Jason Momoa back from Justice League in the story of how the Atlantean king raised on land returns home to claim his throne. It's at The Somerville Theatre (2D only), Fresh Pond (2D only), Jordan's Furniture (Imax 2D/3D), the Embassy (2D only), Boston Common (including Imax 2D), Fenway (including RPX 2D/3D), the Seaport (including Icon-X 2D/3D), South Bay (including Imax 2D), Assembly Row (including Imax 3D), Revere (including XPlus & MX4D), and the SuperLux (2D only). Slightly smaller screens for Bumblebee, which is either a prequel or reboot of the Transformers series, with Hailee Stanfield finding a robot that disguises as a VW Beetle in the 1980s, with slick designs more reminiscent of the original toys and cartoons and the director of Kubo and the Two Strings in charge. That one's at Fresh Pond (2D only), the Embassy (2D only), Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux (2D only).

    The new film from Robert Zemeckis, Welcome to Marwen, sees him once again doing a feature version of an excellent documentary, with the idea that some visuals will help give the audience a different perspective (in this case, showing what is actually going on inside the head of Steve Carell's Hoagie by animating the photographs he made with dolls), hopefully making something of similar quality to Marwencol in a different way. It's at the Somerville, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere. There's also Second Act, with Jennifer Lopez playing a capable manager of a retail store who uses a falsified c.v. to get an executive position. It's at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    The most mainstream opening Christmas is Holmes & Watson, with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilley in the title roles, which, let's face it, is just going to make me angry. It plays Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere. Ferrell is also the star of Fenway's last holiday special, with Elf at noon Saturday.

    There are encore showings of They Shall Not Grow Old on Thursday at Boston Common (3D), Fenway (2D), South Bay (3D), Revere (2D).
  • Christmas brings the new film from Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk to The Coolidge Corner Theatre, The West Newton Cinema, Kendall Square, and Boston Common. Based upon a novel by James Baldwin, it stars Kiki Layne as a woman whose fiance is jailed by a racist system just as she learns she is pregnant. Stephan James, Regina King, Teyonah Parris, and Brian Tyree Henry also star.

    Before that, the Coolidge wraps up its "bad presents" midnights this weekend with cult TV-movie Trilogy of Terror on Friday and the months last screening of Gremlins on Saturday (and the monthly screening of The Room on Friday as well). There's also a kids' show of The Muppet Christmas Carol on Saturday
  • Kendall Square gets all its new movies on Christmas Day, apparently the first folks to play On the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones as future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the case about sex discrimination that made her name. Another true-life story opening that day is Adam McKay's new semi-comedic look at how our world went to crap, Vice. It stars Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, who as Vice President would be the power behind the throne of President George W. Bush; it plays the Somerville, the Kendall, the Embassy, The Lexington Venue, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, Assembly Row, and Revere.
  • The Brattle Theatre's has a weekend run of Searching for Ingmar Bergman, Margarethe von Trotta's documentary about the legendary director, including interviews with many of his collaborators. It runs Friday to Sunday, with one of the director's best-known films, Fanny and Alexander, on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. They also play the remake of Suspiria from Friday to Sunday evenings.

    After a day off on Christmas Eve, they return on the 25th with Keaton-esque, celebrating Buster Keaton and those he inspired. It kicks off Christmas afternoon with a triple-feature of Steamboat Bill, Jr., Seven Chances, and Sherlock Jr., before featuring another sort of stunt-based action with John Wick: Chapter 2 at 9pm. Wednesday is a double-feature of Nickelodeon & Silent Movie (the latter on 35mm film); Thursday pairs Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle with another whimsical French comedy, The Fairy.
  • Apple Fresh Pond opens Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan as an angry short fellow (presumably accomplished with CGI and forced perspective) who presumably learns about himself as he romances Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. They also open Telugu romance Padi Padi Leche Manasu and Telugu sci-fi thriller Antariksham 9000 kmph (opening Saturday).

    Boston Common, meanwhile, opens Airpocalypse, with writer/director Xiao Yang playing a psychologist who is somehow given the powers of the God of Longevity; Du Juan and Xiao Shenyang co-star in this comedy/fantasy.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts wraps up their monthly "On the Fringe" series with something that isn't exactly "Indie Film in the 90s" with a 35mm print of Batman Returns on Friday night. They also continue Color Tells a Story with Red Desert for white (35mm Friday/Sunday), Edward Scissorhands (Sunday) for blue, The Umbrella of Cherbourg (Saturday) for pink, Vertigo (Sunday) for green, Night of the Hunter (35mm Wednesday/Thursday) for black, and 3 Women (Thursday) for yellow. They also have "Exhibition on Screen" shows of Degas: Passion for Perfection on Saturday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • It's a vacation week, and The Regent Theatre has not one, but two sing-alongs, with Frozen playing afternoons and White Christmas evenings starting on Christmas and extending into the next weekend.
  • Cinema Salem opens Paul Dano's directorial debut, Wildlife, in their small screen.

I'm down for Bumblebee, Aquaman, If Beale Street Could Talk, Mary Queen of Scots, Airpocalypse, Welcome to Marwen, and, damn it, I'll probably do Holmes & Watson too, because I can't help myself.

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