Friday, January 03, 2020

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 3 January 2020 - 9 January 2020

This may be the slowest movie release weekend of the year - we're not even seeing platform expansions yet. And yet, the weekend could be quite busy!

  • The only major release is the new version of The Grudge, which is… not bad? The franchise may have been played out three years into the twenty-first century, but putting Nicolas Pesce in charge seems to be delivering a functional horror movie, at the very least. Enjoy those low expectations at Boston Common, Causeway Street, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere!

    AMC Boston Common once again is showing all 15 movies that the Academy has shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature, so if you want to pre-cram for the awards - or just see some quality non-fiction filmmaking - you could do worse for yourself that sitting down there all weekend. The films are For Sama (Friday/Monday), Midnight Family (Friday/Wednesday), Knock Down the House (Friday/Monday), Maiden (Friday/Tuesday), American Factory (Friday/Tuesday), Honeyland (Saturday/Tuesday), Aquarela (Saturday/Thursday), The Great Hack (Saturday/Wednesday), Apollo 11 (Saturday/Monday), One Child Nation (Saturday/Monday), Advocate (Sunday/Wednesday), The Apollo (Sunday/Tuesday), The Biggest Little Farm (Sunday/Thursday), The Cave (Sunday/Wednesday), The Edge of Democracy (Sunday/Thursday)

    Theaters also start having one-offs again, with the first two episodes of the new series of Doctor Who playing Fenway Sunday afternoon. Music doc Mystify: Michael Hutchence is at Fenway Tuesday night, and the Russian movies must be doing well at Fenway, because they have animated comedy Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf 4 on Wednesday evening. Like A Boss gets "Girls' Night Out" preview screenings at Causeway Street, South Bay, and Revere on Wednesday.
  • Kendall Square locates their 3D lenses for the second time in a year to show Cunningham in the format for half of its shows, demonstrating 30 years of increasingly revolutionary dance choreography. Director Alla Kovgan will be on had for Q&As after Friday evening and Saturday afternoon screenings (the latter already marked as sold out), with both of those shows in 3D.

    The also open Invisible Life (not to be confused with A Hidden Life at the same theater), Brazil's Oscar submission. Directed by Karim Aïnouz, it tells the tale of two adult sisters forced to live apart.
  • Two first-run features share the screen atThe Brattle Theatre this week: Errol Morris's documentary American Dharma, a feature-length interview with Steve Bannon, has most shows, while Peter Strickland's peculiar, darkly funny fashion-horror film In Fabric plays the 9pm hour. Morris is on-hand for a Q&A session on Friday evening (already showing as sold out), and the theater is closed for a private event on Monday.
  • The Chinese film opening at Boston Common this week is Adoring, which looks like a series of interconnected romances featuring pet owners, and likely cute as all heck. Ip Man 4: The Finale also continues.

    Apple Fresh Pond gets a whole slate of Indian movies in, with Good Newwz the big Bollywood opening, featuring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, and Kiara Advani as two couples doing in vitro fertilization who have their sperm samples mixed up because they all have the same last name. Prati Roju Pandaage is a Telugu film about a grandson fulfilling the wishes of his dying grandfather (playing through Tuesday), with Mathu Vadalara looking like a caper movie in the same language, built around a character with hypersomnia (playing through Sunday). Malayalam action-comedy Driving Licence, featuring chaos when a famous actor tries to renew his licence, plays Saturday, while Gujarati film Hellaro also plays Saturday and Sunday. The big release comes Wednesday night and Thursday, as the new action film from Superstar Rajinikanth, Darbar, opens for Deepavavli.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre mostly keeps the same schedule other than bringing the surprisingly resilient Parasite back for a couple daily shows in the smaller rooms, but they also get back into repertory programming. A month of The Thing at midnight kicks off with the original Howard Hawks The Thing from Another World on 35mm Friday, while Saturday's midnight is Tarsem Singh's The Cell with a Haus of Oni horror-drag pre-show. There's a Science On Screen Jr. showing of The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists (as the film was called in the UK), with pre-show discussion that will likely counter some of how the otherwise charming movie is less than impressed with Charles Darwin. There's also a Panorama screening of work-in-progress short "Facing Civil Rights", with post-film discussion and all ticket sales going to the Brookline Food Pantry.
  • The monthly "On the Fringe" screening at The Museum of Fine Arts is Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. They start a run of Celebration, which premiered in Berlin in 2007 but was by and large blocked by the partner of subject Yves Saint Laurent for the better part of a decade, on Wednesday. They show The Lighthouse later that evening, with the first of a couple screenings of Matthew Barney's Redoubt on Thursday.
  • The documentary Willie plays Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon at The Lexington Venue, telling the story of Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL. Producer Bryant McBride will be on hand for Q&As.
  • The ICA will be showing a program of short films from the Ottawa International Animation Festival on Thursday evening, with more shows the weekend after.
  • The Luna Theater shows In Fabric Friday & Saturday evenings, Waves Saturday afternoon, The Lighthouse later Saturday afternoon and Tuesday evening, and a full day of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb on Sunday. There are free surprises at the Magical Mystery Movie Club Sunday morning and Weirdo Wednesday.

    Cinema Salem has Knives and Skin in their smaller screening room.

In news about the screens themselves, the New England Aquarium's site has their Imax theater closed until mid-February for "renovation", which sounds like it means a digital downgrade. Going the other direction, Boston Common has added a Dolby Cinema screen, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sitting there for its first couple of weeks.

Having already seen The Grudge, I'll try and see how many documentaries I can fit in (including Cunningham) as well as finally catching up with Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, and Uncut Gems, though I've been saying that for a while.

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