Friday, December 08, 2023

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 8 December 2023 - 14 December 2023

Releases are weird this weekend, to the extent that the box office report on Monday could potentially have two Japanese imports at the top. Probably won't, but Godzilla Minus One is getting a second week and actually hit #1 for a day or two during the week, so who knows?
  • The other import from Japan is the latest (last?) by anime grandmaster Hayao Miyazaki; The Boy and the Heron (aka "How Do You Live?"). The Wind Rises had been intended to be his final film, but something about this tale of a young boy who discovers a thin line between the worlds of the living and the dead near his new home compelled him. It plays, subtitled and dubbed, at the Coolidge, the Somerville, Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including Imax Xenon), Causeway Street, the Seaport, and South Bay; dubbed-only at The Embassy and CinemaSalem.

    After that, it's mostly Christmas tie-ins: Family comedy The Perfect Christmas plays South Bay, albeit in very limited showtimes. There are full re-releases for Die Hard at Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), the Causeway, South Bay (Dolby Cinema), and Assembly Row (Dolby Cinema); Love Actually at Boston Common and Arsenal Yards; and Elf at Assembly Row (Imax Laser through Sunday plus Wednesday) and Jordan's Furniture (Imax), which also plays Boston Common (Saturday/Sunday/Tuesday) and Arsenal Yards (Monday to Thursday); the 2018 The Grinch at Jordan's (Imax), plus a show at Boston Common (Friday); and The Polar Express at Jordans (Imax 3D), plus Boston Common (Saturday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday). Less full runs include National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation at Boston Common (Friday/Monday/Tuesday); A Christmas Story at South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards on Sunday & Wednesday; and Tokyo Godfathers at Boston Common (subtitled Monday & Wednesday/dubbed Tuesday).

    The filmed stage production of Waitress: The Musical plays through Monday at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards (which also shows a Tuesday showtime), Chestnut Hill. Oppenheimer returns at Boston Common (70mm), Causeway Street, and the Seaport; it never went away at Fresh Pond, playing the weekdays when the concert films are off, and is also on the dome at the Museum of Science Friday & Saturday. The Oath, an action/adventure about a Hebrew warrior in North America ca. 400AD based upon Mormon mythology, plays Boston Common.

    There's an Early Access show of American Fiction at the Kendall and Boston Common on Saturday, another at the Seaport with livestreamed Q&A Monday, and an IFFBoston preview at the Brattle on Wednesday; an AMC Sight Unseen mystery preview at Boston Common and Assembly Row on Monday, and an early screening of The Iron Claw on the Dolby CInema screens at Boston Common and Assembly Row Wednesday.
  • Also opening is Eileen, with Thomasin McKenzie as a woman working in a state prison whose life gets a little more interesting with the arrival of an intriguing psychiatrist (Anne Hathaway), playing at Landmark Kendall Square, the Lexington Venue, CinemaSalem, Boston Common, and Assembly Row.

    There's a Christmas Retro Replay of Rare Exports at the Kendall on Tuesday, and Yórgos Lánthimos's The Favorite on Wednesday before his new film opens next weekend.
  • The Brattle Theatre has Orlando, My Political Biography for most of the week; it's a documentary where director Paul B. Preciado uses Virginia Wolff's Orlando as a jumping-off point to look at the lives of present-day trans, non-binary, and gender-fluid people.

    The weekend has matinees from their quick Roald Dahl series, with a 35mm double feature of James and the Giant Peach & Fantastic Mr. Fox on Saturday and The Witches paired with Matilda on Sunday. They've also added a presentation of Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan to mark the musician's passing on Tuesday, and have the latest package of Grrl Haus Cinema shorts on Thursday.
  • Netflix's Maestro, starring director Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein, opened at the Kendall last week and expands to The Coolidge Corner Theatre, the Seaport, this weekend as they prepare a major awards push.

    The weekend's first midnight show on Friday is Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro, the first film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, which would often hide that it was part of a franchise in the USA because MIyazaki (directing his first feature) was so much better known here than Monkey Punch's manga. On Saturday, the midnight is The Babadook, Jennifer Kent's thrilling story of a monster from a pop-up book. Sunday morning's Geothe-Institut film is Sisi & I, starring Sandra Hüller as Austria's famed, controversial Empress, here putting a new companion through the wringer before they return home to Vienna. Monday's Science on Screen show is a 35mm print of Phantom Thread with science historian Brad Bolman on-hand for an introduction. There's Open Screen on Tuesday, Big Screen Debut presentations of Shiva Baby (Tuesday) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Tuesday), and a Sound of Silents show with Jeff Rapsis accompanying Buster Keaton in "The Goat" & "Why Worry?" with Harold Lloyd on Wednesday.
  • Apple Fresh Pond picks up Telugu action movie Extra Ordinary Man; Hindi man-on-the-run story Joram; and Tamil thriller Parking, in which two the two residents of an apartment building feud over the building's sole parking spot. Marathi comedy Jhimma 2 once again plays Saturday & Sunday.

    Held over are Animal in Hindi at Fresh Pond & Boston Common; Sam Bahadur at Fresh Pond, expanding to Boston Common; Hi Nanna at Fresh Pond.

    Hong Kong drama In Broad Daylight, starring Jennifer Yu as a reporter who discovers systematic abuse at an elder-care facility, plays Causeway Street.

    Vietnamese drama The Last Wife plays South Bay.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse Seaport has documentary The Disappearance of Shere Hite Friday through Sunday plus Wednesday, at somewhat more accessible times than Boston Common had it last week, and Elf on Friday to Sunday & Tuesday/Wednesday. Their calendar shows sold-out brunches for White Christmas (Saturday) & Little Women (Sunday), but also Gremlins Monday & Tuesday and Batman Begins Monday.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has two more encores from the most recent French Film Festival, with Louis Garrel's comedy The Innocent on Friday and caper Masquerade on Saturday. They also show The Nightmare Before Christmas on Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening.
  • The ICA has a package of Sundance Film Festival Shorts on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Regent Theatre has Immediate Family, Denny Tedesco's documentary about the next wave of studio musicians after the ones he chronicled in The Wrecking Crew, from Tuesday to Thursday; it also plays Tuesday night at Kendall Square.
  • Locally produced film Merry Good Enough plays The Somerville Theatre on Tuesday.
  • Bright Lights wraps their fall slate at the Paramount's Bright Screening Room on Thursday with Shortcomings, Randall Park's adaptation of Adrien Toomie's graphic novel Shortcomings on Thursday, with Emerson professor Ed Lee and comedian Nate Shu (an alumnus) leading discussion afterward. Free and open to the public.
  • The Museum of Science continues to show Oppenheimer on the dome on Friday and Saturday evenings.
  • The Lexington Venue is open Friday to Sunday with Eileen and The Holdovers. On Friday and Saturday, they have free matinees of Don Siegel's Oscar-winning short film "Star in the Night", with popcorn for everybody who brings an unwrapped toy or canned food for charity. Locally produced comedy Magic Spot plays Tuesday, with a post-film Q&A featuring producer/co-writer/actor Matt Farley.

    The West Newton Cinema has Wish, Napoleon, Saltburn, The Holdovers, Trolls: Band Together, Eras, and Barbie (no show Saturday/Sunday/Thursday).

    The Luna Theater has Priscilla on Friday & Thrusday, Black Christmas '74 on Saturday, Die Hard on Sunday, and a Weirdo Wednesday show.

    Cinema Salem is open Friday to Monday with Eileen, The Holdovers, The Boy and the Heron, and Godzilla Minus One. They mix Christmas shows up a bit with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang on Friday night.
  • Joe's Free Films shows two student film programs this week, each with two screenings: Harvard has theirs twice Friday afternoon at the Archive, and RPM Festival's New England Student Showcase is at Goethe-Institut twice on Thursday evening (RSVP required).
Down for Elaine, The Boy and the Heron, and In Broad Daylight, maybe seeing Godzilla again because that schedule is kind of barren. Might go for Die Hard on a fancy theater, even if I kind of want to wait until it shows at the Brattle, which has been doing holiday-adjacent programming for years and must be looking at the 'plexes encroaching on their turf with annoyance.

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