Friday, December 04, 2020

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 4 December 2020 - 10 December 2020

Big-ish weekend in person last week, less so online, and that flips this week.

  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of two virtual rooms with Another Round this weekend; the new one from Thomas Vinterberg which stars Mads Mikkelsen as a teacher who puts to test the theory that one is better off at least a little buzzed all the time. They also get 76 Days, a documentary about the lockdown in Wuhan province early in the global pandemic. They also continue Born to Be, Collective, Smooth Talk, Coded Bias, City Hall, and Martin Eden.

    In addition to having films on demand, their sold-out Film Trivia Night fundraiser will take place on Saturday night. They will also host a virtual Q&A for Born to Be on Tuesday, with filmmaker Tania Cypriano and three of the film's subjects. The Coolidge Education seminar on Thursday has Slate editor Sam Adams discussing Citizen Kane (and probably some talk of Mank as well).
  • The Brattle Theatre also picks up Another Round, as well as two others. They're documentaries, with Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan looking at the lead singer of The Pogues and featuring pre- and post-film extras. The other, Mayor follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of the city of Ramallah in occupied Palestine. They've also got Zappa, Three Summers, Flowers of Shanghai, Fire Will Come, The Twentieth Century, City Hall, and Ham on Rye in their streaming selection.

    Brattle members have received an invitation to the new DocYard presentation, The Inheritance, a partly-fictionalized take on filmmaker Ephraim Asili's time making his grandmother's house into a home for Black artists. Ephraim Asili will do a Q&A with moderation in the Amherst Cinema, who co-presents the film as part of their Bellwether Series. For those out in the Western part of the state, they've got their own virtual screening room which is showing Born to Be, Three Summers, Zappa, Coded Bias, Another Round, 76 Days, Pier Kids, Markie in Milwaukee, and Ikarie XB-1, the latter three not having a Boston-area platform.
  • Whew, looks like I'm not going to see that trailer for The Prom again, as Landmark Theatres Kendall Square opens it this weekend, with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, and James Corden playing Broadway actors who come to a Midwestern town to throw a party for a teenager girl, as the official dance won't let her bring her girlfriend. It's a musical from Ryan Murphy and looks a whole lot like theater people going on about how theater people are awesome.

    They also get a couple of new documentaries, with Billie not only telling the story of Billie Holiday but presenting concert footage in color for the first time. There's also Dear Santa, telling the story of the Post Office's group that reads the letters to Santa Claus and does their level best to answer them. And, hey, The New York Cat Film Festival, screening once on Wednesday after the theater is closed Monday and Tuesday, includes some documentary shorts as well (the dogs will have their day a week later).
  • It's a slow enough week at the multiplexes that The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone gets some screens at Boston Common and Revere despite being on video on the 8th. It's Francis Ford Coppolla's latest go at reworking one of his earlier movies, this time taking the much-maligned Godfather III and tightening it up.

    The other openings are also kind of built around death. All My Life features Jessica Rothe and Harry Shum as a young couple determined to marry and make the most of their time despite one having a terminal diagnosis; it's at Boston Common, South Bay, Chestnut Hill, and Revere. Half-Brothers has a proud Mexican man meeting his estranged and dying father only to find out that he's got an American brother, and Dad wants them to get to know each other. It plays Boston Common, South Bay, Watertown, and Revere.

    The other wide-ish release is a Christmas reissue of Die Hard, which plays Boston Common, South Bay, and Watertown, and with that, jokes about ironically watching Die Hard for Christmas are no longer funny. We're all moving on to Anna and the Apocalypse now. Elf also hangs around at Boston Common, while Frozen continues in Watertown.

    There are also some concert one-offs, with Stop Making Sense at Revere on Saturday evening, DJ Snake's big live Paris concert at Watertown on the same night, and Elvis: That's the Way it Is playing Boston Common and Chestnut Hill on Sunday afternoon.
  • The Regent Theatre has a single Friday-night in-theater screening of Insert Coin followed by a Q&A with director Joshua Tsui & game developer William Brierly, in addition to having it available on demand; they also continue to stream Jefferson Mays's one-man version of A Christmas Carol.
  • Bright Lights at Home wraps their fall series on Thursday with Queering the Script, which looks at how LGBTQ2S+ characters are more present on television, but are often the first to be killed off. Reservations open at noon on the day, the stream starts at 7pm, and it will be followed by a discussion with director Gabrielle Zilkha and subjects Dana Piccoli & Florence Klink. ArtsEmersonalso continues to stream musician Somi's featurette in the absence of things.
  • The West Newton Cinema is open for the weekend, adding Singin' in the Rain and the 2018 A Star Is Born to their rotation, along with The Climb, A Rainy Day in New York, Honest Thief, The Keeper (Saturday/Sunday), 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Casablanca (Sunday).
  • The Somerville Theatre remains closed but will point folks who want their December hit of The Slutcracker, to a version cut together from last year's performances, while their friends at The Capitol in Arlington have the concession stand and ice cream shop open.
  • Theater rentals are available at the Brattle, the Coolidge, the Capitol, The Lexington Venue, West Newton, Kendall Square, the open AMCs, and the Majestic in Watertown for sure, and maybe Apple Fresh Pond (their site is confusing!) and the Belmont Studio (the rental page on their site is pre-lockdown). The Coolidge is showing slots available to reserve online through December 30th, while the Brattle shows one on the afternoon of the 11th, but they may have added more since this was posted. The independent theaters also have other fund-raising offers worth checking out, while the multiplexes mostly offer the chance at private screenings of their line-ups, though South Bay has listings but no available showtimes for a number of movies which are presumably also available.
I'm kind of sad that it look like the Showcase in Revere might be done for; its closing has been announced, there are no showtimes listed after Thursday (not even presales for Wonder Woman), and it's only got about 8 screens programmed out of plenty more. It will be missed; I took a few buses out there many times when something wasn't playing in town, and it was a pretty nice place even without being the only theater within miles of the locals.

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