Friday, November 17, 2023

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 17 November 2023 - 21 November 2023

Man, it looks like the fire inspectors in Boston got their act together or something, because not only is Friday (re) opening day for the Alamo Drafthouse in the Seaport, but AMC apparently got the doors back open on Causeway Street on Thursday. By my count they're not quite playing to capacity yet, and we're still down Fenway since the start of the pandemic (to say nothing of the Showcase in Revere or the Belmont Studio), but this is 20+ screens more in the city than we had last week, which will hopefully translate to more fun things to see on top of more places three T stops apart to see the same movies.
  • We could use more screens, because it's a big weekend for openings, with the big releases all sequels or remakes of sorts. The biggest is probably The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel set in the early years of Panem and the titular deathmatch, with Rachel Zegler a cockier tribute, Tom Blyth as the seemingly-decent guy who will age into being Donald Sutherland, and Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, and Jason Schwartzmann running the show. It's at The Capitol, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), Boston Common (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay (including Imax/Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (in Imax Laser/Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Trolls: Band Together is the third in that series, whose musical pair must reunite their families (with part of the fun being that the family of the guy voiced by Justin Timberlake is voiced by the other members of N*Sync, with new music on the soundtrack for the first time in years). It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, West Newton, CinemaSalem, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema 2D/RealD 3D), Causeway Street (including RealD 3D), the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row (including RealD 3D), Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill. There's also "Concert Experience" shows at Assembly Row on Saturday and Sunday.

    Taika Waititi adapts a documentary I quite enjoyed to the fiction feature Next Goal Wins, with Michael Fassbender as a soccer coach hired to steer the American Samoa National Team, which famously has never scored a goal in international play and once got creamed 31-0 by Australia. It's at the Somerville, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street,Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards. And Eli Roth takes the fake trailer he made for Grindhouse and expands it into Thanksgiving, where a pilgrim-masked maniac stalks Plymouth as revenge for a Black Friday trampling. That plays Fresh Pond, CinemaSalem, Boston Common, Causeway Street, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards.

    The Holdovers expands to The Embassy, the Lexington Venue, West Newton, Causeway Street, and South Bay; it is already playing at the Coolidge (some shows 35mm), the Somerville, Boston Common, Kendall Square, Assembly Row, and Chestnut Hill.

    Disney's latest animated feature, Wish, has early-access shows at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards on Saturday. There are 25th Anniversary screenings of Saving Private Ryan at Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row on Sunday and Monday, plus Arsenal Yards on Monday only. Billy Idol: State Line at Hoover Dam has an encore show at Boston Common on Sunday.
  • The Netflix preview at Landmark Kendall Square this week is May December, the new film from Todd Haynes, which features Julianne Moore as a woman whose scandalous affair with a younger man was a tabloid sensation twenty years earlier and Natalie Portman as the actress who has come to research her for her part in the movie about the affair.

    Dream Scenario opens at Kendall Square, Boston Common, and the Seaport in limited release before going wide later; it stars Nicholas Cage as a nebbishy professor who inexplicably starts appearing in people's dreams, although these merely odd cameos become more sinister as he becomes aware of them and embraces the notoriety. Interestingly, director Kristoffer Borgli's previous film about poisonous fame, Sick of Myself, played BUFF earlier this year, which makes for a fast turnaround for his first American picture.

    Tuesday's "Give Hanks!" show at Kendall Square is A League of Their Own.
  • Apple Fresh Pond has two new ones from India this post-Diwali week: Mangalavaaram is a Telugu-language slasher, while Kannada-language Sapta Sagaradaache Ello - Side B is a ten-years-later follow-up to Side A (which played two months ago), with the first film's couple crossing paths again after one served a prison sentence. Jigarthanda DoubleX continues at Fresh Pond, with Tiger 3 held over at Fresh Pond and Boston Common.

    Chinese drama Be My Family, in which two brothers must care for the daughter of the man who holds the mortgage on their family business, opens at Causeway Street, although it looks to just be around until Monday. Chinese legal thriller Last Suspect continues to play Boston Common.

    Vietnamese film LIVE (Phat Truc Tiep), set among the country's live-streaming "mukbangers", has a very limited release at South Bay, with matinee shows on Friday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • The New England Aquarium adds "Arctic: Our Frozen Planet" to their rotation of 3D Imax films, including "Blue Whales: Return of the Giants", "Great White Shark", "Incredible Predators", and "Secrets of the Sea".
  • The Brattle Theatre hosts Wicked Queer Docs from Friday through Monday, a full weekend and then some of enough queer-themed documentaries to make up an auxiliary film festival. The festival also has screenings at the MFA on Saturday and streaming encores beginning on Tuesday.

    The Brattle also has a quick "Give Thanks to Tupac" series before the holiday, with Gridlock'd & Juice on Tuesday and Poetic Justice on Wednesday.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre is pretty quiet this week, prepping for the big Thanksgiving weekend, which is probably why The Killer can hang around for the last two 35mm Fincher midnights, with Panic Room on Friday and Zodiac a bit early (11:30pm) on Saturday. Sunday morning has a Goethe-Institut presentation of Alaska, while a 35mm print of Kurosawa's High and Low plays that afternoon as part of Noirvember. A Woman Under the Influence is Monday's Big Screen Classic.
  • The Somerville Theatre has a busy Saturday, with a $5 Attack of the B-Movies double feature of Catwomen of the Moon & Missile to the Moon in the afternoon (and an encore Tuesday evening), Sleepaway Camp with post-film discussion in the evening, and Divinity on 35mm film at midnight (the last midnight of the year). On Sunday, they've got Farewell My Concubine playing on the big screen in 4K
  • The Harvard Film Archive continues "Out of the Ashes: The US-ROK Alliance & South Korean Cinema" with Madame Freedom (Friday with introduction/Sunday), The Hand of Destiny (35mm Sunday), and Aimless Bullet (Monday). They also begin a new series, "Under the Underground - The Visionary Cinema of Kanai Katsu", with a 35mm print of The Deserted Archipelago on Saturday, preceded by "Holy Theater".
  • The Museum of Fine Arts plays About Dry Grass, a Turkish feature about teachers in Anatolia, on Friday evening, although the show is listed as sold out. It's presented in conjunction with the Boston Turkish Festival, whose Short Film & Documentary Competition has 26 finalists available to stream online starting Saturday.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse Seaport appears to have completely sold out its opening weekend - which, I won't lie, is a sentence I couldn't imagine saying about this theater under previous management; I never saw a crowd there when it was a Showplace Icon location - so this is kind of a reminder to those who already have tickets and to regularly check their calendar for stuff you might dig, because some of the screens where they're showing the off-the-beaten-path stuff apparently only seat 30. This week, that rep/limited material includes Cat Person, a thriller about a college student dating an older man she met online, once a day from Friday to Tuesday; The Iron Giant on Friday & Saturday; Gregg Akari's Nowhere (never available on DVD/streaming in the USA) on Friday, Neil Breen's Cade: The Tortured Crossing on Saturday & Monday; Elf and The Bling Ring on Sunday; and The Servant on Monday.
  • The West Newton Cinema is apparently only open through Sunday this week, with The Holdovers and Trolls: Band Together joining The Marvels, Killers of the Flower Moon, Eras, Paw Patrol (no show Friday), and Barbie.

    The Lexington Venue has The Eras Tour (Friday/Saturday) and The Holdovers (Friday to Sunday).

    The Luna Theater has Anatomy of a Fall on Friday and Saturday, Stop Making Sense and Dicks The Musical on Saturday, Zardoz on Sunday, and the weekly Weirdo Wednesday show.

    Cinema Salem keeps The Marvels and Priscilla while opening Trolls Band Together and Thanksgiving for regular shows through Monday.
So, I did manage to snag tickets for Nowhere and The Servant at the Seaport, and Be My Family as a reason to check out the Causeway (including whether it's even got a working concession stand, as you can't order snacks ahead on the app). I'll likely try to catch May December, Dream Scenario, and maybe Next Goal Wins, although there's even more turnover coming with the Wednesday openings before Thanksgiving.

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