Friday, April 12, 2019

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 12 April 2019 - 18 April 2019

Tons of stuff coming out this weekend, enough that it will be easy to overlook some that are well worth looking for.

  • For instance: Laika's stop-motion animation always gets fewer butts in seats than they deserve despite being kind-hearted, technically astonishing, some of the best uses of 3D, and otherwise terrific. So don't sleep on Missing Link, in which the last North American sasquatch goes on a quest to find his Yeti cousins in Shangri-La. It's at the Capitol (2D only), Fresh Pond (2D only), West Newton (2D only), Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Also on offer is Little, in which a magic spell regresses executive Regina Hall's character to middle-school age, forcing her assistant (Issa Rae) to take her in. That plays Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere. Skewing older is After, a nice-girl-falls-for-dangerous-boy story most notable for starting as erotic celebrity fanfic before having its names changed to get into print and thus adapted for film. It can be found at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    And then there's the new adaptation of Hellboy, which subs in David Harbor for Ron Perlman and Neil Marshall for Guillermo del Toro, and even though both of them are pretty good, those are big shoes to fill and early word isn't great on that count. It's at the Somerville, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture Natick (Imax), Boston Common (including Imax), Fenway (including PRX), the Seaport, South Bay (including Imax), Assembly Row (mostly Dolby Cinema), Revere (including MX4D and XPlus), and the SuperLux.

    Fenway will be showing The Goonies Saturday afternoon and Monday evening. There are pre-Easter 60th Anniversary screenings of Ben-Hur at Fenway and Assembly Row on Sunday and Wednesday (with Revere also showing it on the second day), with animated Christian film The Pilgrim's Progress at Fenway and Revere on Thursday and power-of-prayer drama Breakthrough opening at Boston Common and Assembly Row Wednesday. That also lines up with Earth Day, which means Disney's Penguins documentary will be opening at Jordan's Furniture (Imax), Fenway, Assembly Row (including Imax), South Bay (Imax), and Revere on Wednesday. Note that some places may just not have put Wednesday openings on sale yet, so they may be playing wider.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of several places opening Amazing Grace this weekend - it also plays Kendall Square and Boston Common - but they're the only one bringing in gospel choirs to perform before two shows (Friday 7pm and Sunday 4pm) of this long-unfinished documentary of Aretha Franklin recording and performing one of the most popular gospel albums of all time. Those three theaters will also be opening Peterloo, Mike Leigh's expansive new dramatization of the 1819 Peterloo riot, a pro-democracy demonstration crushed in Manchester, England.

    The Wind plays a couple more midnight shows on Friday and Saturday, while there's early cyberpunk on the screen both other nights - a 35mm print of David Cronenberg's Scanners on Friday, and a new restoration of Akira (shown dubbed into English) on Saturday. Weekend mornings include a kids' show of Fantastic Mr. Fox on Saturday and a Goethe-Institut presentation of Wackersdorf (in which the Bavarian town pushes back against plans to build a nuclear reprocessing plant there) on Sunday, with director Oliver Haffner doing a Q&A afterwards. They also begin their program of tributes to Coolidge Award recipient Julianne Moore, with a 35mm print of Magnolia on Wednesday.
  • Kendall Square also gets The Chaperone, which stars Elizabeth McGovern as a rather non-free-spirited woman who volunteers to accompany an impulsive local teenager - future film star Louise Brooks (Haley Lu Richardson) to New York City. They (and Boston Common) also open High Life, Claire Denis's interesting tale of a death-row inmate one a spaceship. They also have a screening of Monty Python's Life of Brian on Thursday.
  • It's already out on disc in Hong Kong, but that just means that there's already been a lot of talk that Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy is pretty darn good. Master Z, if you remember, was the fellow played by Max Zhang who made the big throwdown at the end of Ip Man 3 memorable, who is here joined by Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista, Chrissie Chau, and Tony Jaa with legendary fight choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping directing. It's at Boston Common and South Bay. Chau, by coincidence, also plays the whistleblower whose information sends Louis Koo undercover in P Storm, hanging around Boston Common.

    Apple Fresh Pond opens Chitralahari in the Telugu language, with Majili sticking around in that language as well. Malayalam action-comedy Madhura Raja plays Saturday and Sunday, while a Malayalam comedy about confusion coming when three people with the same name enter each other's lives on Sunday. Yet another biography of an Indian politician, the Hindi-language PM Narendra Modi, plays Tuesday. A lot of these coming out with the general election, I guess.
  • The Brattle Theatre shows the new restorations of Jackie Chan's Police Story & Police Story 2 as a double feature Friday to Sunday, a boon for those of us who just couldn't stay up until 2am when they were at the Coolidge a couple months ago. Saturday afternoon also has the Hub Student Film Festival, a program of shorts made by undergrads at Boston-area colleges.

    For Patriot's Day, they've got the now-traditional Muppet Movie Marathon Monday, a mostly-35mm quadruple-feature that can either start or end with The Dark Crystal and has a sing-along version of The Muppet Movie (DCP), The Great Muppet Caper and Labyrinth either before or after. After that, they play host to Cambridge Science Festival After Dark: Global Warning, with a double feature of The Birds & The Last Winter on Tuesday, NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind (subtitles) on Wednesday, and The Host on Thursday, all on 35mm
  • If you didn't get enough of The Boston Underground Film Festival, at the Brattle last month, they've got a special "Best of the Rest" show in The Somerville Theatre on Wednesday, and this month they get out of the Micro-Cinema. Aside from that, they continue their "Reel Films/Fake Bands" series on Thursday with Velvet Goldmine on 35mm film
  • The Harvard Film Archive concludes their New Thai Cinema series this weekend, with Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Tropical Malady on 35mm Friday and Phuttiphong Aroonpehng's Manta Ray Saturday (note that the director's visit has been canceled). The rest of the weekend is Japan's Other New Wave, with Good-for-Nothing on 35mm Sunday afternoon, a pairing of short features The Tragedy of Bushido & Only She Knows that evening, and Blood Is Dry on 35mm Monday. There's also a free artist talk with Amar Kanwar at the Carpenter Center on Thursday, before his film Such a Morning screens the next night.
  • The monthly-ish "On the Fringe: Adventures in Cult Cinema" returns to The Museum of Fine Arts on Friday with a 35mm print of Death Becomes Her. They sort-of-kind-of extend the Turkish Festival with a run of The Wild Pear Tree, playing Friday, Wednesday, and Thursday. "Hollywood Scriptures" continues with IFFBoston alumni Three Identical Strangers (Saturday) and Generation Wealth (Sunday), and "New Cinema from Mexico" returns with Roma (Sunday). The Rembrandt "Exhibition on Screen" shows on Wednesday, and they start a "Gender Bending Fashion on Film" series on Thursday with the, uh, interesting Liquid Sky.
  • It's still "Month of Sundays" at The ICA, with Studio 54 on tap as this week's "Beautiful Trouble" documentary; it plays at 1pm and is free with admission to the museum.
  • The Regent Theatre isn't going big for sing-alongs for April Vacation, but they will have a screening of 1776 on Monday afternoon for Patriot's Day. It's a free screening, but reserving a spot is recommended.
  • Asako I & II is the week's Belmont World Film entry at The Belmont Studio on Monday, with Erika Karata as a young woman who falls in love with two identical-looking men (Masahiro Higashide).
  • Emerson's Bright Lights series of free screenings upstairs in the Paramount's screening room has a pair of documentaries this week. On Her Shoulders plays Tuesday, and follows Nadia Murad, a young refugee feeling someone overwhelmed as advocacy becomes her entire life, and then on Thursday they show The Feeling of Being Watched, in which filmmaker Assia Boundaoui investigates suspicions that her Muslim neighborhood outside Chicago was the target of blanket government surveillance.
  • Cinema Salem has The Heiresses in their screening room for most of the week, but go an entirely different direction than most everyone else in celebrating Easter by playing giant-rabbit horror flick Night of the Lepus on Thursday. The Luna Theater, meanwhile plays The Last Unicorn on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday, Singin' in the Rain on Sunday, and who knows what for Weirdo Wednesday.
  • Not strictly a movie event, but on Saturday the Million Year Picnic in Cambridge is hosting Colin Cantwell, who designed most of the spacecraft for Star Wars and built many of the models used in filming, which is just part of a career that included working with Stanley Kubrick on 2001, feeding Walter Cronkite information during the moon landing, and more. Autographed prints are $25. That's a good place to note that The Boston Pops will be performing live to Star Wars from May 10th to 14th, including a matinee on Saturday that's 50% for the kids. It's probably the Special Edition, but it's not like this shows nearly as often if it should, even if it is priced like a concert rather than a film.

So much this week! Top priorities are Master Z, Missing Link, the Police Story double feature, Asako I & II, and The Chaperone, and good luck finding room for Hellboy, Amazing Grace, and Peterloo in there.

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