Friday, December 01, 2023

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 December 2023 - 7 December 2023

Genuinely weird couple weeks coming up at the movies in terms of mainstream releases - it's like we've hit some "natural lull" plus "studios not making so many awards contenders" plus "pandemic production delays" plus "stuff pushed out because of the strikes" situation.making for a weird December. This week, at least, it manifests as odd/interesting releases at the 'plexes.
  • Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is still kicking around well after its run was expected to end, and it's joined this weekend by Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé, which I gather has more behind-the-scenes documentary footage than the Swift movie has, but should still be a lot of fun for her fans, and there are a lot of them. It's also only playing Thursday to Sunday, opening this week at the Coolidge,Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), the Causeway, South Bay (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (Imax Laser/Dolby Cinema), and Chestnut Hill.

    The latest Godilla movie from Toho, Godzilla Minus One, hits American theaters just a month after opening in Japan, and it's easily top-5 in the series, a banger in which writer/director Takashi Yamazaki moves the time frame up to the end of World War II and the aftermath and builds the human half of the story around a fighter pilot trying to atone for abandoning his kamikaze mission in the last days of the war. It's at Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), CinemaSalem, Boston Common, the Causeway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards (including CWX). It picks up some Dolby Cinema showtimes at Boston Common and Assembly Row and Imax shows at South Bay from Monday to Wednesday with Renaissance resting.

    John Woo's first American-produced film in twenty years, Silent Night, opens at Boston Common, the Causeway, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards. It features Joel Kinnaman as a man whose vocal chords were destroyed in the same gang attack that took his son going on a dialogue-free rampage - the trailer is basically "John Woo knows action; here's some violence".

    Also opening is The Shift, with Kristoffer Polaha as a man brought to a parallel world by a mysterious figure (Neal McDonough) looking to return to his wife; given that McDonough's character was literally Satan in the original short and it's being distributed by Angel Studios, I am guessing it's a bit heavy-handed. That plays Fresh Pond, Boston Common, the Causeway, South Bay, and Assembly Row.

    Horror comedy Don't Suck, which stars Jamie Kennedy as a stand-up whose new opening act may be a vampire, plays one show a night at Fresh Pond. Documentary The Disappearance of Shere Hite plays limited shows at Boston Common. Simón is back at Arsenal Yards for one show a day.

    Norwegian family comedy Teddy's Chrstmas plays matinees at Boston Common, apparently dubbed in English with Zachary Levi as the voice of a teddy bear that a little girls spots at a Christmas fair that is apparently alive and looking to land with a rich family. Other Christmas bookings include The Polar Express at Boston Common (Friday/Saturday/Monday/Tuesday); Elf at Boston Common (Friday/Saturday/Monday/Tuesday); Arthur Christmas at Arsenal Yards (Friday); A Bad Moms Christmas at Arsenal Yards (Friday/Saturday/Sunday); National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday) at Boston Common; the Jim Carrey Grinch at South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards on Sunday & Wednesday; and the CGI Grinch at Boston Common (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday).

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail has "quote-along" shows at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Kendall Square, Assembly Row on Sunday and Wednesday. The Abyss: Special Edition plays Wednesday at Boston Common (Dolby Cinema), South Bay (Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (Dolby Cinema), and Arsenal Yards (CWX). Waitress: The Musical starts a five-night run at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill on Thursday. The Boy and the Heron has previews at Boston Common on Monday (Imax Xenon) and Wednesday.
  • Remember that bit about studios not really doing prestige pictures any more? Landmark Kendall Square has historically specialized in that but are leaning heavily on Netflix previews for those movies right now, with Maestro, Bradley Cooper's film about Leonard Bernstein (and Carey Mulligan as his wife/beard), joining May December and Leave the World Behind this weekend.

    They also have the first of a couple Christmas Retro Replays on Tuesday in Scrooged, and a $5 Yórgos Lánthimos catch-up screening of The Killing of a Sacred Deer on Wednesday.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse Seaport has one of my favorite's from this summer's Fantasia Festival, Raging Grace, playing once a day through Wednesday, with that final screening featuring director Paris Zarcilla for a live Q&A (which was pretty good in Montreal). It's a nifty thriller about an undocumented Filipina maid in the UK and her daughter who suspects her new job is too good to be true, as the woman who hired her may be poisoning her elderly uncle.

    Their calendar shows Saturday's "Movie Party" screening of The Polar Express, Sunday's movie brunch for The Holiday, and Tuesday's movie party of Elf as sold out, but there are tickets for Monday's 3D screening of I, The Jury, Tuesdays sensory-friendly show of The Bride of Frankenstein, and both The Holiday and The City of Lost Children on Wednesday.
  • Three new Indian movies at Apple Fresh Pond this week: Animal is a jumbo-sized action film starring Ranbir Kapoor as a man who lets his feral nature run free to avenge his father, with showtimes in Hindi and Tamil (Hindi and Telugu at Boston Common); Sam Bahadur is a Hindi-language film starring Vicky Kaushal as a General leading India's army during the war with Pakistan; and Annapoorani: The Goddess of Food is a Tamil-language film starring Nayanathara as a woman aiming to become a master chef despite coming from a very traditional family. Marathi-language comedy Jhimma 2 plays Saturday & Sunday, and Telugu-language family romance Hi Nanna opens on Wednesday
  • The Brattle Theatre has two new restorations this weekend: Victims of Sin, playing Friday to Monday, is a Mexican film noir/melodrama/musical from 1951 with Ninón Sevilla as a cabaret dancer who adopts an abandoned baby but must outwit the father when he is released from prison. A 35mm print of Messiah of Evil, a gonzo horror film celebrating its 50th anniversary, plays Friday to Sunday.

    There's also a special screening of Douglas Sirk's There's Always Tomorrow on 35mm Friday; it's based on a book by Ursula Parrott, and biographer Marsha Gordon will be there to introduce the film. On Sunday, they and RPM Festival welcome Douglas Urbank for "The Space Between", a program of his short films. There is also a quick Roald Dahl series, with a 35mm double feature of James and the Giant Peach & Fantastic Mr. Fox on Tuesday and The Witches alone on Thursday.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre continues playing Napoleon on 70mm for the shows on the main screen, which isn't all of them this week, so check your showtime. Midnights are 35mm print of Night of the Living Dead on Friday and the original The Evil Dead on Saturday. Monday's Big Screen Classic is Being There, after which it's Big Screen Debuts: Christopher Nolan's Following on 35mm Tuesday, This Is Spinal Tap on Wednesday, and Eraserhead on 35mm Thursday, including a seminar led by BU professor Jonathan Foltz
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has Rise (En Corps), featuring ballerina Marion Barbeau in her acting debut as a dancer whose life in Paris crumbles, leading her to rediscover herself in Brittany, on Friday evening; the first of three encores from the most recent French Film Festival.
  • The Harvard Film Archive finishes "Under the Underground - The Visionary Cinema of Kanai Katsu" with presentations of The Kingdom and The Stormy Times on Friday night, both on 16mm film. Also wrapping is "Out of the Ashes - The US-ROK Alliance", with encore screenings of The Marines Who Never Returned (Friday) and Aimless Bullet (Sunday), plus a 35mm print of Female Boss on Sunday evening. On Monday, they have a special presentation of "The Oath of the Sword", a Japanese-American three-reeler from 1914 long thought lost but now restored on 35mm film, with Robert Humphreville providing a live soundtrack and post-film discussion with Denise Khor & Alexander Zahlten
  • The Regent Theatre has two encore screenings this week: Musical documentary Elis & Tom plays on Wednesday and adventure film package "Mountains on Stage" plays Thursday.
  • The Bright Lights selection on Thursday is Playland, a free-form film set at Boston's Playland Café that merges narrative, documentary, and fantasy. Writer/director Georden West will be on-hand for discussion. Free and open to the public.
  • The ICA will be presenting a package of Sundance Film Festival Shorts starting on Thursday.
  • The Museum of Science still has Oppenheimer on the dome on Friday and Saturday evenings
  • The Lexington Venue is open Friday to Sunday with Napoleon and The Holdovers.

    The West Newton Cinema also holds steady with Napoleon, Saltburn, The Holdovers, Trolls: Band Together, Eras (Friday to Sunday), and Barbie (no show Sunday/Thursday).

    Though not listed on their site, The Irish Film Festival is presenting documentary Between Worlds, a documentary on composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, on Sunday night. The screening is free but RSVPs are requested.

    The Luna Theater has Priscilla on Friday, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on Saturday, White Christmas on Sunday, Weirdo Wednesday, and a free UMass Lowell Philosophy & Film show of Night of the Living Dead on Thursday.

    Cinema Salem is open Friday to Monday with Trolls Band Together, The Holdovers and Napoleon, and Godzilla Minus One. The Salem Horror Festival has a special double feature of The Sacrifice Game & Satranic Panic on Sunday evening (note that The Sacrifice Game also pairs with The Holdovers, so maybe see that in the afternoon). There's also a special advance screening of Merry Good Enough, which was shot locally last year and will have filmmakers on hand for a Q&A.
I am tempted to hit the furniture store to see Godzilla on a genuine Imax screen, can't miss Silent Night, already have a ticket for I, The Jury, and will probably fit Victims of Sin, May December, and Following in as well.

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