Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 24 November 2021 - 2 December 2021

Short week last week, long week because of the holiday, and then back to normal-ish after that. Remember to watch for odd hours on Thanksgiving!
  • The big family movie for the weekend is Disney's Encanto, which has seemingly flown below the radar more than most of their animated features, following a family whose magical house gives them superpowers, with the one seemingly powerless daughter charged with solving the mystery of why the magic is fading. It's at The Capitol Theatre, Fresh Pond, West Newton, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema/RealD 3D), Fenway (including RealD 3D), South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill.

    Ridley Scott's second movie with Adam Driver in as many months (because the pandemic did nutty things to schedules) is House of Gucci, with Driver as the heir apparent, Lady Gaga as his scheming wife, and an impressive cast including Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Jared Leto rounding the family out. It plays the Somerville, Fresh Pond, West Newton, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Fenway, Kendall Square, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards, the Embassy, and Chestnut Hill.

    Sony just doesn't waste time rebooting potentially valuable properties if it can help it, with new Ghostbusters last week, all sorts of Spider-movies since booting Sam Raimi, and now Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which will apparently be more faithful to the games than the series Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich made, but will the new crew be as good at cranking out enjoyable junk? It screens at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, and Assembly Row. Thriller For the Love of Money, about a single mother returning to crime, plays Boston Common.

    There are early-access screenings of Sing 2 at Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, and Assembly Row on Saturday (funny story: I honestly thought I'd wandered into one the other week because the latest trailer looks to start with an extended look at the climactic scene). Boston Common also has a screening of Julia with a Q&A on Saturday evening (it does not otherwise appear to be on their schedule, though it opens at the Capitol on Thanksgiving). Lindsey Sterling: Home for the Holidays, which seems like a TV special that wandered into theaters because network TV doesn't do this sort of thing any more, plays Boston Common and Assembly Row on Sunday and Monday. Fenway, South Bay, and Arsenal Yards have 60th Anniversary screenings of the original West Side Story on Sunday and Wednesday.
  • Also opening is C'mon C'mon, which features Joaquin Phoenix as a man suddenly left in charge of his nephew and maybe not entirely ready for it (but may not entirely unready, either). The previews have it in gorgeous-looking black-and-white, and there's apparently a great supporting role for Gaby Hoffman in there as well. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre (including a Sunday Masked Matinee), Kendall Square, and Boston Common.

    The Coolidge finishes the November midnight program with two by Kathryn Bigelow: 35mm prints of Near Dark on Friday and Blue Steel on Saturday, the latter neo-noir for Noirvember. The more traditional Noirvember programming wraps up with a digital restoration of The Killers on Tuesday. December starts next Wednesday, and the Coolidge kicks off a series of Paul Thomas Anderson on film with a 35mm screenings of Punch Drunk-Love, leading up to Licorice Pizza on 70mm at the end of the year. There's also a special screening of documentary Artificial Gamer, following developers attempting to create an AI that can play MMRPG Dota 2, with director Chad Herschberger, producer Jennifer 8. Lee, and some of the film's subjects.
  • Chinese action/adventure Railway Heroes, relating a daring mission during World War II, opens at Boston Common on Thanksgiving. Another bit of Chinese propaganda, The Battle at Lake Changjin, hangs on for limited shows.

    Apple Fresh Pond opens Tamil-language film Maanadu on Wednesday, which looks like some sort of Christopher Nolan-ish mindbender from the posters. Antim: The Final Truth, has a name like a sequel but is apparently a Hindi-language remake of a Mirathi action movie starring Salman Khan as a crusading Sikh cop; it's at Fresh Pond and Boston Common from Thanksgiving. Satyameva Jayate 2 (also Hindi-language), is a sequel, with John Abraham returning as another crusading cop; it's also at Fresh Pond Boston Common beginning Thanksgiving. Anubhavinchu Raja is a Telugu comedy about an heir trying to prove himself that also opens at Fresh Pond on Thanksgiving; Telugu-language action Akhanda (which is apparently some sort of meta-story from the description) opens at Fresh Pond next Wednesday, 1 December, and Malayalam adventure Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea either opens or has a one-day booking on Thursday 2 November. Bunty Aur Babli 2 continues.
  • If it seems like The Brattle Theatre wraps their 75th Anniversary Noirvember with some all-time classics: The Postman Always Rings Twice on Wednesday and The Big Sleep and The Blue Dahlia on Thursday, all three on 35mm film. They also run film for the 50th anniversary screenings of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, with matinees Friday to Sunday and an evening show on Tuesday.

    The main feature for the week is Luzzu, a Maltese film that played the virtual IFFBoston this spring and follows an independent fisherman trying to continue to use his heirloom boat but being squeezed by large corporations on one side and EU bureaucracy on the other (on top of never getting out of his own way). It's pretty good.

    There's more repertory screenings around that, too, with Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song having late shows Friday to Sunday both for its 50th anniversary and as a tribute to the late Melvin Van Peebles. There's also a The DocYard presentation of Prism, a three-segment documentary on how camera film and lenses have often been optimized for white skin tones and thus problematic when used to shoot Black people, on Monday (it will play virtually starting the 3rd). The December calendar begins next Wednesday with the first "Weird Wednesdays" shows celebrating the work of the American Genre Film Archive, in this case Dario Argento's The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and a 35mm print of Burial Ground. Thursday then begins "A Few of Our Favorite Films", mostly things the Brattle Film Foundation has programmed over the past 20 years, starting with Russian Ark and the original (superior) release of Donnie Darko. Meanwhile, Detention keeps on going in The Brattlite, their virtual screening room.
  • The Embassy, Waltham's location of Landmark Theatres, is your local spot for pre-Netflix releases, this week offering The Unforgivable, with Sandra Bullock as an ex-con looking for her younger sister. Note that while The Embassy is open Wednesday this week because of the holiday, they are still closed Monday through Wednesday next week.
  • The West Newton Cinema is closed on Thanksgiving but opens Asia on Friday; it's an Israeli film whose title character and her daughter Vika barely speak, until the latter has sudden health issues. It joins Encanto, House of Gucci, King Richard, Belfast, and The French Dispatch. The Lexington Venue is open Wednesday, Friday to Sunday, and next Thursday (but not Thanksgiving) with Belfast and House of Gucci sharing a screen. They also have a coupon code on their website for anyone taking in the virtual offerings of DOC NYC through the 28th.
  • The Somerville Theatre has a late (ish) show of Rad at 9:30pm Saturday to, uh, "celebrate" the 35th anniversary of Hal Needham's cult BMX-racing favorite. Note that starting next weekend, there will be frequent pre-emptions and screen-shuffles as "The Slutcracker" makes its inevitable return to the main theater's stage.
  • Bright Lights at Home takes Thanksgiving week off but returns with No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics, with a limited number of streams available for twenty-four hours starting at 7pm Wednesday, with a Zoom webinar featuring director Vivian Kleiman and comic artists Rupert Kinnard and Jennifer Camper at 7pm Friday.
  • Last call for Dune at The Museum of Science, assuming you've already got tickets. I'm mildly surprised they either aren't also playing The Matrix Resurrections or just haven't put a listing on the site yet (I mean, it seems like a good idea, if they're going to do this, right?).
  • Cinema Salem has Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Spencer, Encanto, and The French Dispatch (with all but the latter having open-caption shows Monday afternoon). The Friday Night Light screening is Chopping Mall, with Noirvember officially ending with Double Indemnity Sunday morning (but extending into December with an encore on Thursday the 2nd).

    The Luna Theater seems to be having a "Weirdo Wednesday" the day before Thanksgiving but not the week after, apparently going to a monthly rather than weekly schedule. They have Elf for matinees on Friday and all day Sunday. "A24 Month" concludes with The Souvenir and The Lighthouse on Friday, followed by Minari, Zola, and Lamb on Saturday.
  • For those still not ready to join random people in a room for two hours, theater rentals are available at Kendall Square, The Embassy, West Newton, the Capitol, The Venue, and many of the multiplexes.
Checking out Encanto in 3D, heading up to Maine for some turkey and pie, and then opting not to lose some use-it-or-lose-it vacation time starting on Wednesday, with stuff I've been neglecting in between.

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