Friday, January 17, 2020

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 17 January 2020 - 23 January 2020

So, for all of that talk about how ArcLight would bring more art-house films to Boston, it seems to be by taking a screen or two's worth of pressure off the AMC at Boston Common so that they can program some interesting stuff.

  • For instance, who's got Makoto Shinkai's new film, Weathering with You? The Common. The most popular film in Japan last year, it takes place in a Tokyo where it has been raining for six months straight, but there's a girl who brings sunshine with her. Said to be brilliant, a metaphor for both climate change and depression as well as a love story and an adventure. Shinkai has not let us down yet, and if it's as good as Your Name, well, let's just say it's really strange that it apparently didn't get an Academy-qualifying run during the fall.
  • Also looking pretty good is France's Oscar submission, Les Misérables, which is not particularly related to the famous musical, but instead follows a straight-arrow police officer who finds himself in the middle of a corrupt squad. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre (on the GoldScreen), the Kendall, and Boston Common.

    Another opening, The Wave, plays in the screening room at midnight on Friday and Saturday, featuring Justin Long as a lawyer who has quite a few misadventures after getting dosed with hallucinogens. Screen one's midnights are more alien invasions, with Slither on Friday and Carpenter's The Thing on Friday, both on 35mm. There's also a kid's show of the 1982 adaptation of Annie on Saturday morning.
  • Clemency expands after having opened in New York and L.A. (and playing IFFBoston's Fall Focus), with Alfre Woodard as a prison warden overseeing death row, facing another stressful day as a prisoner (Aldis Hodge) faces execution. It plays Kendall Square and Boston Common.
  • The two new releases are mostly sharing the premium screens. Doolittle tends to have them during the day, with Robert Downey Jr. as the man who can talk to animals on an epic adventure. It is, by all accounts, an ill-fated disaster, and not necessarily the fun kind. It's at Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture Natick (Imax), Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Causeway Street, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax), and Revere (including MX4D). Bad Boys for Life, on the other hand, gets the night shift, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence - and Joe Pantoliano! - reuniting sans Michael Bay for another over-the-top case which is getting surprisingly good reviews for an eighteen-years-later sequel being released in mid-January. It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture Reading (Imax), Boston Common (including Imax/Dolby Cinema), Causeway Street (including Wide Screen), Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay (including Imax), Assembly Row (including Imax/Dolby Cinema), Revere (including XPlus), and the SuperLux.

    If your daughters have only seen Frozen 2 a couple times but memorized the soundtrack, Disney is offering sing-along matinees at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere. Also getting a screen-boost after Oscar nominations are Parasite (returning to Fenway and the Embassy) and Jojo Rabbit (returning to the Somerville, Kendall Square, Fenway, and the Embassy).

    The TCM big-screen classic for the month is An American in Paris, playing Fenway & Assembly Row on Sunday and Wednesday, with Revere also showing it for the second day. Documentary Force of Nature Natalia, following renowned dancer Natalia Makarova, plays Fenway on Tuesday. There's a preview/one-time show of Color Out of Space, Richard Stanley's adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's novel starring Nicolas Cage (which should, with those names lined up, be absolutely insane) at Kendall Square, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Fenway, and Assembly Row on Wednesday.
  • The Brattle Theatre continues (Some of) the Best of 2019 with separate-admission shows of Burning Cane and Takashi Miike's First Love on Saturday, Us on Saturday and Sunday, a Robert Pattinson double feature of High Life & The Lighthouse Sunday, The Last Black Man in San Francisco on Monday, Queen & Slim on Wednesday, and a twin-bill of Pain and Glory & Varda by Agnès on Thursday. If you spot a hole in that schedule, it's because Tuesday night is Trash Night.
  • After initially advertising it for last week, The West Newton Cinema has Three Christs twice a day this week, with Richard Gere as a doctor treating three patients (Walton Goggins, Peter Dinklage, and Bradley Whitford) who all believe they are Jesus. For something with that cast and a director (Jon Avnet) whose done some noteworthy things, it's taken two years for it to actually get into theaters.
  • The Harvard Film Archive starts regular programming again, beginning with the first entries in "Find Without Seeking: The Films of Angela Schanelec" - Marseille (Friday 7pm/Saturday 9pm), My Sister's Good Fortune (Friday 9pm), and Passing Summer (Sunday 7pm). They also start showing the new Silent Hitchcock restorations, with The Manxman (Saturday 7pm) and Champagne (Sunday 4:30pm) both being shown with live accompaniment. They also have a special presentation of Kasi Lemmons's Eve's Bayou at 7pm Monday. All programs this weekend are on 35mm film.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has more of their Festival of Films from Iran, including When the Moon Was Full (Friday/Saturday), Filmfarsi (Friday/Saturday), Cold Sweat (Sunday), The Warden (Sunday), Old Men Never Die (Thursday), and Just 6.5 (Thursday).
  • Belmont World Film has their annual Family Film Festival this weekend, with Danish adventure Hacker opening things up at the Regent on Friday evening. There's a slate of movies featuring animals at the Belmont Studio on Saturday - including a screening of Abominable with a post-film talk with the film's storyboard artist, who will also call in when her short is one of the ones screened back at the Regent on Sunday. The festival concludes at the Brattle for Martin Luther King Day on Monday with a program of "Making Peace and Friends". Though many films are subtitled, there will be headsets with simultaneous English translation for kids who aren't yet strong enough reades.
  • I'm not sure exactly what relationship The Regent Theatre has with Ed Asner - he's done a couple of plays there - but it continues as they play The Gliksmans, in which he and Cloris Leachman play a married couple whose routine is thrown off by a tailgater on their drive to the bank, once a day from Friday to Thursday. It's late on Friday and matinees during the weekend, with Sunday's show being in the Underground space.
  • The Lexington Venue has one last screening of Willie on Saturday morning, with producer Bryant McBride on-hand for a Q&A about the documentary about the NHL's first black player, with proceeds going to S.C.O.R.E. Boston, which sponsors hockey leagues for inner city youth.
  • The ICA is offering free admission on Martin Luther King Day, including the 92-minute short film program "A Wall Is a Wall" playing on a loop from 11am to 4pm.
  • The Luna Theater show Uncut Gems on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday evenings, The Lighthouse for probably its last Saturday afternoon show, In Fabric later Saturday afternoon, and 2001: A Space Odyssey on Sunday, as I guess they're doing Kubrick this month. There are also free surprises at the Magical Mystery Movie Club Sunday morning and Weirdo Wednesday.

Nothing listed for Fenway's RPX screen, so maybe that's getting an upgrade as well. Not sure to what if so - 4DX or laser projection?

Obviously, I'm there for Weathering With You, but also the silent Hitchcocks, Les Misérables, and using the day off (first time I can remember the company has given us MLK Day!) to catch up on some of what I've missed. Kind of torn between Color out of Space and Queen & Slim on Tuesday, so will probably check to see if the former is going to actually get a regular run.

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