Friday, May 14, 2021

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 14 May 2021 - 20 May 2021

Whoa - the Coolidge is putting in-person shows on their front page of their website and the virtual room off to the side. Makes sense, but, wow, I've gotten so used to the other lineup over the past year that this is going to take some re-acclimatization.
  • Under normal circumstances, they would have hosted the last couple days of Independent Film Festival Boston a couple weeks ago, but IFFBoston is going to be virtual until the end on Sunday. They've backloaded the heck out of the schedule, to the point where I was grateful they added a couple extra days to Strawberry Mansion to give people some extra time to watch it. My plans for the weekend are First Date, Luzzu, and Sabaya for Friday; Last Night in Rozzie and Weed & Wine on Saturday; plus The Gig Is Up and closing night film How It Ends on Sunday, though I may use as much of the 48 hours each movie gives you as I can, even into Monday if necessary.
  • As mentioned, The Coolidge Corner Theatre is back open for customers this weekend, although most of the shows have sold out. Friday has Enter the Dragon for the matinee (tickets still available!), and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the evening; Top Hat and The Grand Budapest Hotel on Saturday; Frances Ha and "The Human Voice" & Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown on Sunday; Do The Right Thing on Monday, and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Singin' in the Rain on Thursday. Next thing with tickets available is 2001: A Space Odyssey on 35mm come Memorial Day. That's all on Moviehouse I; the other three are still available for rental, although the Private Movie Party link is now a little harder to find, how in the "Visit" menu.

    Over at The Virtual Coolidge, documentary Us Kids opens, telling the story of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who basically refused to be mealy-mouthed after a school shooting. It joins Duty Free, About Endlessness, In Silico, and the three Oscar Nominated Shorts programs (Animated, Live-Action, and Documentary, also available virtually from Landmark). And it looks like City Hall has its last day on Friday - a remarkable nearly seven-month run for a four hour documentary on city government.
  • The Brattle Theatre is still pretty much virtual through the end of the month, and has a pretty strong influx this week. I can vouch for The Paper Tigers, a fun action-comedy about three former martial arts prodigies who reunite after their teacher's funeral. Another fun-looking and self-referential movie, RK/RKAY, features Rajat Kapoor as something close to himself, an independent actor/director whose latest part has escaped from the editing room. Both the Brattle and the distributor will be donating part of the ticket price to Covid relief programs in India.

    They also pick up Punk the Capital, a documentary about the DC punk scene in the 1970s, and jumps back even further for a new restoration of The Story of a Three Day Pass, Melvin Van Peebles's first feature, made in France from his own French-language novel. They join The County, Work Songs, Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts, Hope, and This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection in the Brattlite virtual room. Snacks and merch are also available for order and pick-up over the weekend.
  • ArtsEmerson and The Boston Asian-American Film Festival (among others) team for another "Shared Stories" program starting on Wednesday, with Adele Pham's Nailed It looking at Vietnamese nail salons, which had an outsize effect on the beauty business in America. For the first 24 hours, there's also Spanish-language short "Abuela's Luck"
  • The Regent Theatre still has Long Live Rock: Celebrate the Chaos available to stream.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square is still closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but opens The Killing of Two Lovers, centered around a man who wants to keep his family together but is having a very hard time keeping himself together as his wife starts a new relationship. They're also still picking up the occasional Netflix original before they premiere, with Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead featuring Dave Bautista putting together a crew to steal $200M from a casino in zombie-infested Las Vegas before the government levels the whole city. There's also a one-night-only show of Lindemann: Live in Moscow, a concert film shot in March 2020, maybe the last big event before everything closed down.
  • The big in-person opening of the week is Spiral: From the Book of Saw, a spinoff of the gruesome horror series with a story from star Chris Rock that I gather is not so tightly connected to the series's convoluted continuity, plus Samuel L. Jackson as his father and mentor. It's at Boston Common (including Imax), Fenway, South Bay (including Imax), Assembly Row (including Imax), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Those Who Wish Me Dead stars Angelina Jolie as a firefighter who comes across a kid on the run from people who will apparently start a forest fire to cover their tracks (a lot of that going around). Taylor Sheridan directs, and the film plays Kendall Square, Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill. Universal also takes Timur Bekmambetov's Profile off the shelf; it's a "screen-life" film about a reporter infiltrating a Da'esh-affiliated group online told through what's on her laptop. It gets screens at Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, and Assembly Row.

    There's also cute-looking "American girl in Ireland" movie Finding You, where a student studying abroad surprisingly befriended by a movie star shooting nearby. That's at Boston Common, South Bay, and Chestnut Hill.

    Top Gun gets a re-release on the Dolby Cinema screens at Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row. Scott Pilgrim Versus The World sticks around Boston Common, Assembly Row and Arsenal (Saturday only). The F9 count-up has reached Tokyo Drift on Friday night at Boston Common, Fenway (for reward program members), and Arsenal Yards. Arsenal Yards also has 25th Anniversary screenings of the De Palma Mission: Impossible on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday.
  • Arsenal Yards is apparently the current home for Indian film in the Boston area, with Hindu-language action flick Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai featuring Salman Khan as an ACP cop hunting down a crimelord.

    Chinese films My Love and Cliff Walkers are still at Boston Common; Demon Slayer continues subtitled at the Kendall (including dubbed shows), Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards (including dubbed shows), and Chestnut Hill; it's now apparently Japan's highest-grossing film ever.
  • The West Newton Cinema is on a relatively short schedule this weekend, only open Saturday and Sunday with Together Together, Raya and the Last Dragon, Tom & Jerry, and Nomadland; they're also available for private rentals.
  • The Somerville Theatre isn't yet ready to open (but has construction going on!), but sister cinema The Capitol has their ice cream shop and concession stand open.
  • Theater rentals are available at the Coolidge, the Brattle, Kendall Square, West Newton, the Capitol, The Lexington Venue, and the AMC/Majestic/Showcase multiplexes. The Coolidge has extended the slots available to reserve online through the end of May with early and late evening chances to rent Moviehouse II, the screening room, and the GoldScreen, and "Premium Programming" including Wolfwalkers, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Father, Mank, Judas and the Black Messiah, Nomadland, Minari, In the Mood for Love, and Sound of Metal; the AMC app lists some "sold out" showtimes that are probably just meant to show the movies are available as part of rentals. The independent theaters also have other fund-raising offers worth checking out, and Apple Fresh Pond has plans to re-open in May.
I'm catching Enter the Dragon at the Coolidge after my second shot on Friday, taking up the last few days of IFFBoston, then may go for Army of the Dead, Wrath of Man, and some of the big box of discs that recently arrived from Hong Kong afterward.

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