Friday, July 23, 2021

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 23 July 2021 - 29 July 2021

The two big new releases this week are both solidly in the "wow, this could go any which way" category, which can be kind of fun (especially if you're on a monthly plan anyway). Which is fine; might as well have a weird summer!
  • The new one from M. Night Shyamalan is Old, where the folks at a secluded beach discover that not only can they not escape, but they seem to be aging by a year every half hour. You never know with Shyamalan, but he often does pretty well in this sort of Twilight Zone territory. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre (including a Sunday afternoon Masked Matinee), The Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Fenway, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Also opening at the Coolidge and Kendall Square is Val, where directors Leo Scott and Ting Poo take forty years of home movies and behind-the-scenes footage shot by actor Val Kilmer, a guy who burst onto the scene in the 1980s, was a huge movie star, and then sort of hung around for a while afterward.

    The weekend's alien invasion picture at the Coolidge is John Carpenter's They Live, playing Friday and Saturday at midnight on 35mm film. They have CatVideoFest 2021 and an encore of Bo Burnham's comedy special Inside on Sunday, plus Big Screen Classics presentations of Bong Joon-Ho's Memories of Murder on Monday and Paris Is Burning on Thursday.
  • On the one hand, G.I. Joe Origins: Snake Eyes looks like it fundamentally misunderstands the appeal of its (previously) silent and mysterious main character and overestimates how much anyone cares about G.I. Joe; on the other, Henry Golidng is a very appealing guy and if you've got a ninja movie with a lot of swordfights, it doesn't hurt to have Kenji Tanigaki in charge of the action. We'll see how it goes, at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including Imax), Fenway, South Bay (including Imax and Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax and Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    GKids brings back Makoto Shinkai's Weathering With You as part of its summer series with shows Sunday (dubbed) and Tuesday (subtitled) at Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row (and let's take a moment to pour one out for Demon Slayer, which lasted a heck of a lot longer than one could reasonably expect).
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay open Joe Bell, featuring Mark Wahlberg as the father of a gay son walking across the country to talk about bullying. Nice supporting cast (Connie Britton & Gary Sinese) and writing team (Diana Ossana & Larry McMurtry).

    The Kendall also gets Casanova, Last Love, in which the aging libertine is exiled to London and finds himself entranced by a young prostitute. They also have encores of Inside on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Brattle Theatre continues to catch up with "Some of the Best of 2020", this week featuring First Cow (Friday/Saturday), Shadow in the Cloud (Friday/Saturday), Dick Johnson Is Dead (Sunday), Black Bear (Monday), and the restoration of In the Mood for Love (Wednesday/Thursday). The Tuesday "Movie Movies" show is Cinema Paradiso.

    The future of online virtual screens like the Brattlite may be second-run movies like Summertime, which lasted about a week in local theaters but may get some more eyes here. It joins Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters, Witches of the Orient, Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over, Sweet Thing, and The American Sector=.
  • Boston Jewish Film has begun their "Summer Cinematheque" series, with most of it online this year. French comedy If You See My Mother is available through Tuesday, with Holocaust drama Love It Was Not taking its place on Wednesday. Both include pre-recorded Q&As.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts closes its "Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation" exhibit this weekend, capping it with a free outdoor screening of Wild Style introduced by director Charlie Ahearn and co-star/musical director Fab 5 Freddy.
  • The Boston Asian-American Film Festival is co-presenting a screening of The Paper Tigers with AREAA Boston at Assembly Row on Tuesday; it's not only a tremendously fun movie, but director Bao Tran and stars Alain Uy, Roger Yuan, and Mykel Shannon Jenkins will be there for a live Q&A afterward.
  • The West Newton Cinema expands to being open all week with a schedule including Roadrunner, Space Jam 2, Black Widow, Summer of Soul, and In the Heights; Raya and the Last Dragon and Tom & Jerry have Sunday-morning matinees.
  • Cinema Salem's Friday to Monday schedule adds Riders of Justice to Black Widow, Space Jam 2, and Werewolves Within (apparently its first big-screen appearance in the area after playing IFFBoston). The Friday late show is animated oddity Fantastic Planet.
  • The Lexington Venue is open Friday to Sunday with Roadrunner and Summer of Soul, and the folks there tell me the Belmont Studio is now gone for good. The Somerville Theatre, The Harvard Film Archive, and Embassy Cinema are still waiting for new opening dates, and presumably the landlords are looking for new tenants for the place on Causeway Street (AMC has taken over a number of other Arclight properties, but it's right between two of their other sites). Theater rentals are available at Kendall Square, West Newton, the Capitol, The Venue, and many of the multiplexes.
  • This week's outdoor SomerMovieFest show has The Sandlot playing in Lincoln Park at the Argenziano School on Thursday, although I think all three of their attempts to do this have been hit with rain. The Joe's Free Films calendar doesn't show any other outdoor screenings, but does show a free screening of Obey Giant, a documentary on street artist Shepard Fairey, at The New England Aquarium as part of their "Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans" event, with Fairly painting a mural before the screening .
A good chunk of next week is already spoken for with Boswords and a Red Sox game (which sadly conflicts with The Paper Tigers), but aside from seeing Old, I'm excited to finally see First Cow, might go for Black Bear and, yeah, Snake Eyes. Of course, I might also start receiving Fantasia and New York Asian Film Festival screeners soon and go with those.

One last thing: While I usually tend to focus on theaters that are (a) open and (b) easily reachable from Boston/Somerville via the MBTA, I saw this week that National Amusements has sold Showcase Cinemas Worcester North (which it had previously announced would not reopen after being shuttered during the pandemic) to a company that will not be using it as a movie theater, meaning that the city will not have any cinemas within its borders. A student going to WPI this fall without a car (someone like me in 1992) will have to hop a bus for a half hour to see even a second run movie in West Boylston, or longer to get to the Regal in Millbury. At one point when I went to school there National Amusements had four locations of various sizes in the city (and one just over the border in Shrewsbury), and being able to walk to those places and working in them is a big part of why I love movies as much as I do today. Sure, maybe if that hadn't sucked up so much of my time, I'd have done better in school and really focused on computer science, but maybe that would have led to me being some sort of cryptocurrency weirdo. Anyway, It's crazy that just seeing a movie on the big screen in New England's second-largest city is going to be impossible until someone moves in. I bag on Worcester a lot when given the opportunity, but this kind of hurts a bit.

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