Friday, February 14, 2020

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 14 February 2020 - 20 February 2020

Happy Valentine's Day! And President's Day! There are movie things associated with both!

  • The Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival, for instance, has been tied to the latter for decades, finishing off the "festival" portion on Friday and Saturday with films including Fantasia selection, Dead Dicks, I Am Ren from Poland, and First Nations zombie movie Blood Quantum. The twenty-four-hour Marathon starts at noon on Sunday and runs through noon on Monday. All screenings are at The Somerville Theatre, and other events at nearby restaurants.

    With the festival over, they're down a screen, so they will be showing the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, a program of outdoor adventure films, while The Boston Underground Film Festival has their monthly Dispatch from the Underground on Wednesday, with The Best of CineKink 2019 in the Micro (and speaking of BUFF, their 2020 Kickstarter preorder is ready to go).
  • For Valentine's Day, the best bet looks like Portrait of a Lady on Fire, in which a young painter is hired to secretly paint the portrait of a woman reluctant to wed and unwilling to pose (in the guise of a paid companion), only for the pair to fall in love. That can be found at The Coolidge Corner Theatre (including an "Off the Couch" screening Tuesday), Kendall Square, and Boston Common.

    There's also Downhill, an American remake of Force Majeure with Will Farrell as the husband who freaks out and runs at what looks like an avalanche during a ski vacation and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as his now much more apprehensive wife. That opens wide, playing the Coolidge, the Capitol, West Newton, the Kendall, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Fenway, the Seaport, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    At midnight, the Coolidge has Color Out of Space on both Friday and Saturday, with the original My Bloody Valentine on Friday night and a 35mm print of The Craft with a Haus of Oni drag show
  • At the multiplexes, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie finally comes out after redoing all the visual effects for its title character, though still with Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, the most Jim Carrey-looking part he's had in a good long while. It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Causeway Street (including Wide Screen), Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), Chestnut Hill, and Revere (including XPlus/MX4D). The other bit of IP exploitation this week is Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, a more horror-oriented take on the franchise with Michael Peña as Mr. Rourke. That plays Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Fenway, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row, and Revere (including XPlus).

    More promising, hopefully, is The Photograph, with Issa Rae as a woman still smarting from her mother's reclusive nature, and LaKeith Stanfield as the man who falls for her. This Valentine's romance is at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    ArcLight is doing an exclusive presentation of Joe Begos's bloody action thriller VFW, with 9:30pm shows at Causeway Street.

    There's a new animated film from Masaaki Yuasa playing Wednesday, with Ride Your Wave playing Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, Assembly Row, and Revere. Revere also will be showing the Harry Potter films for school vacation week, starting with Sorcerer's Stone on Sunday and with a different one at noon every day until the Deathly Hallows double feature or the 22nd.
  • Kendall Square also has The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, a documentary about Allison Reid, who literally wrote the book on giraffes back in the 1950s when solo field work was unheard of for a woman. They also have the anime Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll, a film offshoot of the series which sees the title character arriving at a woman's academy to help a grieving student heal.
  • I'm mildly surprised that it took international distributors this long to fall back to Hong Kong's Lunar New Year movies what with China's not having opened yet, but they finally do, with in Enter the Fat Dragon featuring Donnie Yen in a fat suit as a cop who has eaten his feelings after a breakup but must escort a criminal to Japan anyway. It looks like he gets to fight Philip Ng, though, so that should be fun. That's at Boston Common, which also still has a couple shows of Weathering with You daily.

    For Indian films, Apple Fresh Pond picks up World Famous Lover, an anthology of four love stories in the Telugu language set around the world. For Hindi language romance, there is Love Aaj Kal, which follows two people "on a journey of love, loss and life through the phases of Reincarnation." There's also Tamil romantic comedy Oh My Kadavule, where two best friends marry and it could apparently go better (through Sunday). Malayalam drama Varane Avashyamund plays Monday and Wednesday, with Telugu romantic comedy Bheeshma opening on Thursday.

    Fresh Pond also plays Come As You Are for two shows daily, which remakes a Belgian film about three men (and their driver) taking a road trip to a brothel that specializes in serving people with disabilities. Local indie film fans may remember director Richard Wong's first film, Colma: The Musical, and find him an interesting match for the subject.
  • It's Valentine's Day, so The Brattle Theatre naturally has a 35mm print of Casablanca on Friday and Saturday (7pm shows sold out, though there may be some tickets at the door for members), with a print of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind at 10pm for those looking for a different sort of love story. And since it's also President's Day on Monday, that means it's school vacation week, which means a 35mm Bugs Bunny Film Festival. Just one program this year, but it runs from Saturday to Thursday, with just a short break on Tuesday evening for Trash Night.
  • The Harvard Film Archive celebrates Valentine's weekend with "Amour Fou", a series of twisted French romances: La Chienne (7pm Friday), Betty Blue (9pm Friday), Manon (9pm Saturday), the newly-restored L'Age d'Or (4:30pm Sunday), and Jules et Jim (7pm Sunday), with all but L'Age d'Or on 35mm film. They also squeeze in the last of their Silent Hitchcock films, Easy Virtue, at 7pm on Saturday, also playing on 35mm. And finally, they bring director Matt Wolf in to present and discuss his film Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, on Monday.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has two screenings of The Princess Bride on Valentine's Day, before spending most of the rest of the week on their Boston Festival of Films from Japan: Mr. Jimmy (Saturday/Thursday), Killing (Saturday), Erica 38 (Sunday), Blue Hour (Wednesday), and The Journalist (Thursday). There's also a Sunday-morning matinee of documentary In Search of Beethoven.
  • ArtsEmerson begins a monthly "Shared Stories" film series in the Paramount's Bright Screening Room with Love Boat: Taiwan on Friday & Saturday. It's a documentary on a cruise taken by young Taiwanese-Americans to learn more about their culture and perhaps find romance, and director Valerie Soe will be taking questions afterward. It also plays with two short films. Regular tenants Bright Lights continue their free series by showing some good timing with Oscar-winning documentary American Factory on Tuesday, followed by a panel discussion on labor in America, and also welcome Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer director Mark Landsman on Thursday.
  • the New England Aquarium is scheduled to re-open their IMAX screen on Saturday, with "Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker" joining holdovers "Australia's Great Wild North", "Turtle Odyssey", and "Oceans: Our Blue Planet" in the rotation. Nothing on the site about whether they're still showing genuine Imax film or if they've gone digital.
  • The ICA has a program of Sundance Festival Shorts from the 2019 festival showing Friday night and twice an afternoon on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Regent Theatre appears to have sold out of a screening of the Banff Mountain show on Monday (not bad - that isn't a small room!), and as it's school vacation week, they will be doing a sing-along film, with The Wizard of Oz playin in such a fashion from Monday the 17th to Sunday the 23rd
  • The Luna Theater has Casablanca on Friday night, the Oscar animation & documentary Shorts on Saturday afternoon, Parasite on Saturday evening and Monday afternoon, a free surprise "Magical Mystery Movie" before a day of screening Monty Python and the Holy Grail on Sunday, and screenings of WBCN and the American Revolution on Monday afternoon and Tuesday evening. Plus, of course, the free "Weirdo Wednesday" show.

    Cinema Salem has Color Out of Space playing for a week.

I'll be hitting the sci-fi fest (though skipping the marathon), checking out Enter the Fat Dragon and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, maybe catching VFW, and who knows beyond that?

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