Friday, April 26, 2024

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 26 April 2024 - 2 May2024

On the one hand, the fact that there are crazy amounts of things playing very limited showtimes this weekend is kind of a real pain in the neck. On the other, it's good practice for picking and choosing which things you want to see at IFFBoston this week!
  • Let's get ahead of ourselves, then, and note that Independant Film Festival Boston starts at the Somerville Wednesday night with Ghostlight; three short packages, My Last Nerve, The In-Between, and Dandelion play there Thursday. It expands to the Brattle on Thursday with I Saw the TV Glow and "Ren Faire", and continues through the 8th of May.
  • Challengers gets an impressively splashy release for a melodrama from art-house/cult guy Luca Guadagnino, starring Zendaya as a former tennis prodigy turned coach after her career was cut short by injury, who encourages her top-level husband to enter a low-level tournament that his one-time best friend and romantic rival is playing in. Co-stars Mike Faist & Josh O'Connor look like Hollywood trying to reinvent Damon & Affleck for a new generation, which isn't a bad thing, actually. It's at the Coolidge, the Capitol, Fresh Pond, the Embassy, CinemaSalem, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay (including Imax Xenon & Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax Laser & Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    BUFF closer Boy Kills World doesn't make the most of its fun cast but does have a fun cast and non-stop over-the-top action; it plays Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street, and South Bay.

    Unsung Hero, a biopic about an Aussie family that makes it big in Nashville (produced by said family) plays Boston Common, Causeway Street, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Chestnut Hill.

    Alien gets a 45th-Anniversary re-release at the Capitol, Boston Common, the Seaport, South Bay, and CinemaSalem because 4/26 is "Alien day the way "May the 4th" is Star Wars day (teaser for next week). The Mummy gets a re-release for its 25th at Boston Common.

    Someone seems to have sprung for the smallest possible four-walling of Breathe, a sci-fi thriller with Jennifer Hundson & Quvenzhané Wallis as a mother and daughter in a post-apocalyptic world who suspect the couple who arrives at their bunker (Milla Jovovich & Sam Worthington) are not who they seem. Add Common, and that's a pretty decent B-movie cast, but it's playing Fresh Pond at noon Saturday & Sunday and 4pm Monday to Thursday.

    Spider-Mondays continue with the better-than-you-may-remember (or at least more interesting/ambitious) Spider-Man 3 at the Coolidge (35mm), Boston Common (through Thursday), the Seaport (also Wednesday), and Assembly Row (through Thursday). The Fall Guy has early access shows on Wednesday at Boston Common (Imax Xenon & Dolby Cinema), South Bay (Imax Xenon & Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (Imax Laser & Dolby Cinema), and Arsenal Yards (CWX).
  • Landmark Kendall Square and Boston Common open We Grown Now, a coming of age film set in and around a Chicago public housing project in 1992. Tke Kendall also gets Stress Positions for matinees only, with John Early as a man attempting to observe Covid quarantine in his ex-husband's house while also tending to his very popular model nephew, also laid-up (with a broken leg).

    For some reason, the Kendall shows as closed on Monday for the second week in a row (is this going to be a thing?), but has Blow Out for the New Hollywood Tuesday
  • In addition to Challengers, The Coolidge Corner Theatre gets a new digital restoration of Le Samourai, which is cool because it looks like the HFA is going to be closed for renovations this summer despite having a Jean-Pierre Melville program planned. Limited showtimes.

    I don't know if the added screens are going to make this more common or if it's just because they're away-from-Salem presentations of the Salem Horror Fest, but you can catch both of the weekend's After Midnite shows before midnight as well, with Night of the Living Dead (Friday) and Dawn of the Dead (Saturday) showing at both 9:45pm and 11:59pm. As a person who doesn't like tripling the cost of the movie with a cab ride home, I'd be in favor!

    Monday's Big Screen Classic is Desperately Seeking Susan on 35mm film with Maria San Filippo doing a pre-film seminar. They also begin the May "Ghiblitheque" series on Wednesday with Miyazaki's latest final film, The Boy and the Heron, including a seminar by Susan Napier
  • Big turnover for the imports at Apple Fresh Pond this weekend. Ruslaan is a hind-language spy movie where the title character moonlights as a musician; Malayalam comedy Pavi Caretaker has the title character seeing his lie change when he form a bond (with the dog on the poster?) through Sunday, and Tamil-language actioner Rathnam has a low-level gangster rescuing a girl in town for an interview.

    Nepali caper Mahajatra has a full-week booking after last weekend's one-off; Malayalam comedy Aavesham plays Saturday, Varshangalkku Shesham on Sunday, and Bollywood caper Crew is still hanging around.

    Indonesian horror movie Dancing Village: The Curse Begins plays Boston Common; it's one of the biggest movies from the archipelago with Mo Brother Kimo Stamboei helming the stand-alone sequel/prequel, which looks wild.

    Hong Kong action comedy We 12, which features the members of Canto-pop Mirror as a former crime-fighting group teaming up for One Last Job plays at Causeway Street. It's the third movie built around this band in four months, which seems kind of crazy to me.

    If it's spring, it must be time for GKids to do Ghibli Fest again, starting with Spirited Away from Saturday to Wednesday at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards (different days at different locations). Anime hit Spy X Family - Code: White continues at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Kendall Square, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards; check showtimes for subs vs dubs.

    South Korean concert film Asepa: World Tour in Cinemas has an encore show at Boston Common on Saturday.
  • The Alamo Seaport straddles run and repo for a few movies this week. Do Not Expect Too Much From The End of the World hails from Romania and is a big media satire where a production assistant on a workplace safety video has to spin a scandal and plays once a day on Friday/Saturday/Monday/Tuesday. Humane, the first film from David Cronenberg's daughter Caitlin, has the wealthy patriarch of a family in a bunker after an ecological disaster announcing he plans to volunteer for the government's euthanasia program; it plays Friday/Saturday/Monday/Wednesday. Documentary Enter the Clones of Bruce is absolutely buried Monday and Wednesday mornings. They also pick up Femme and The Beast.

    Their rep calendar features Red Rock West (Friday/Sunday), The Shawshank Redemption (Friday/Saturday/Tuesday), Spider-Man 3 (Monday/Wednesday), and a quote-a-thon movie part for Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Wednesday). Any of these could also have shows Thursday but, obviously, don't plan on it.
  • The Embassy gets Nowhere Special, with James Norton as a single father with terminal cancer trying to vet families for his four-year-old son.through Sunday and on Thursday (part of a mix with Challengers, Wicked LIttle Letters, and Farewell Mr. Haffmann.
  • The Brattle Theatre continues their 35mm run of Riddle of Fire through Sunday, with a new 4K restoration of Days of Heaven also playing those days. Saturday night has the monthly screening of Stop Making Sense.

    During the week, they celebrate being "Halfway to Halloween" with the first three films of the franchise - Halloween '78 (Sunday/Monday/Wednesday), Halloween II (35mm Monday/Wednesday), and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (35mm Tuesday/Wednesday), with Wednesday a triple feature. In the same vein is Tuesday's free Elements of Cinema screening of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, on an anaglyph 3D print. Then, come Thursday, IFFBoston settles in for the weekend.
  • The Somerville Theatre welcomes the creators of Mission Hill for a special retrospective on Friday, with restored episodes, Q&A, and a VIP package. On Friday and Saturday, they have Francis Ford Coppola's latest 4K restoration and reconfiguration, One from the Heart: Reprise, playing on the main screen. Sunday afternoon offers an "Attack of the B-Movies" matinee double feature of Gamera vs. Viras & Gamera vs Guiron, while Monday has the last film noir double for a bit with Dark Passage & White Heat.

    The Capitol (newly solar-powered!) wraps "Capitol Crimes" with Seven on Friday & Monday and "Good for Her" with the English-language remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on Saturday & Tuesday. There should be a Disasterpiece Theater even on Monday as well.
  • Joe's Free Films shows a free screening of Apocalypse Now Friday & Saturday in room 26-100, from The MIT Lecture Series Committee.
  • Wicked Queer 40 still has a number of things (mostly shorts programs)available on "pay what you can" streams through the 30th.
  • Belmont World Film is at the Embassy in Waltham with Green Tide on Monday, with pastries from Brittany beforehand as well as a talk by John Rumpler of Environment America.
  • The Lexington Venue appears to have Challengers, Remembering Gene Wilder, and Farewell, Mr. Haffman from Friday to Sunday, with Challengers Wednesday & Thursday, Wilder on Wednesday, and Haffmann on Thursday..

    The West Newton Cinema has documentary Growing Through Covid-19, a tracking a family-owned garden center with 140 years of history as it considers shutting down and then persevering in 2020; Saturday evening's show is a special event with filmmakers and subjects in attendance. There's apparently a free screening of Inundation District at 3:30pm on Sunday afternoon, though it's not listed on the schedule. Held over are Remembering Gene Wilder (Saturday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday), Civil War, Wicked Little Letters, One Life (Friday/Saturday/Monday/Wednesday), Kung Fu Panda 4, and Dune: Part Two, with American Fiction and The Boy and the Hero (no show Sunday) returning.

    The Luna Theater has Problemista Friday & Saturday), Poltergeist on Sunday, a Weirdo Wednesday show, and Immaculate on Thursday.

    Weird: Cinema Salem turns their schedule over completely, with Challengers, Alien, Abigail, Immaculate, and Sasquatch Sunset, a pretty horror-centric lineup despite not being host to the Salem Horror Fest. They also have a Night Light show of Cemetery Man on Friday.

    Salem Horror Fest, meanwhile, will be having shows and events around Salem (and at the Coolidge) from Friday to Saturday, including a rare chance to see three Stephen King "Dollar Babies".
Between a Red Sox game and IFFBoston, and the weird scheduling, it's going to be tough to put together a slate of We 12, One From the Heart, Humane, Breathe, Days of Heaven, Riddle of Fire and the Monday noirs. I'd like to see Do Not Expect Too Much and Clones, but Alamo ain't helping.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 19 April 2024 - 25 April 2024

Fair warning if Boston Common is your home base, they've got a lot of screens dark over the next week, with the whole upper floor closed through Sunday and maybe half opened up Monday, which seems like enough time to install new projectors but not reconfigure theaters for recliners, but then, who knows? Maybe there's just mold!

(Unrelatedly, Kendall Square isn't showing anything playing Monday)

  • Is there anybody else who just cranks movies out like Guy Ritchie and still has such a distinct style? His latest, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare just sounds like him, and has a nifty cast (Henry Cavill, Eiza Gonzalez, Henry Golding, et al) set loose behind Nazi lines in WWII. It's at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Also arriving this weekend is Abigail, in which a crew of small-time criminals are hired to watch the kidnapped daughter of a rich man, only to discover that she's a vampire and they are trapped in the house with her. It's at Fresh Pond, Boston Common (Dolby Cinema starting Monday), Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), and Arsenal Yards (including CWX).

    Multiplex Imax theaters at South Bay and Assembly Row pick up "Deep Sky", a short documentary about the Webb Space Telescope and its amazing images; it's been part of the rotation at The Museum of Science for a while. There's also Imax screenings of Hereditary on Wednesday at Jordan's Furniture, Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row.

    Chicago & Friends In Concert plays Sunday at Assembly Row. There's an AMC Screen Unseen at Boston Common, Causeway Street, and Assembly Row on Monday, plus announced early access screenings of Champions Monday at Boston Common (Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (Imax Laser), South Bay (Dolby Cinema), and Arsenal Yards (CWX). Spider-Monday is up to Spider-Man 2 at the Coolidge (35mm), Boston Common (also Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday), the Seaport (also Tuesday/Wednesday), and Assembly Row (also Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday). Unsung Hero plays Boston Common, Causeway Street, and Assembly Row on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Sasquatch Sunset, the latest from the Zellner Brothers, opens at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square, Boston Common, the Seaport, and South Bay. It is, like it sounds, about what may be the last family of sasquatches in the wild, with Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Keough among the players in full prosthetic makeup and, if they trailers are anything to go by, mostly communicating in grunts and other nonverbal utterances.

    Midnight undead flicks this weekend are a 35mm print of Zombieland on Friday and Train to Busan on Saturday. Sunday's Geothe-Institut matinee is When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before, about a teenager growing up on the grounds of the psychiatric hospital where his father is the director; Sunday also has a special screening of the newly-restored Little Darlings. Monday's Shakespeare Reimagined show is She's the Man; with the 35mm screening of Spider-Man 2 later. "What's the Score?" on Tuesday is The Empire Strikes Back (not on film, so likely the Special Edition), with Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence on 35mm film Wednesday . Thursday's Cinema Jukebox is Reality Bites on 35mm.<
  • Perhaps the biggest thing to open this weekend, though, is Spy X Family - Code: White, a feature-length anime film that's been a hit in Japan and has its unusual trio - a spy who marries an assassin and adopts a daughter, who knows their secret identities because she's telepathic - on a seaside vacation. Mayhem, naturally, ensues. It's at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Kendall Square, South Bay, Assembly Row (including Imax Laser), and Arsenal Yards; check showtimes for subs vs dubs.

    Three new films from India and two from Nepal open at Apple Fresh Pond this weekend! The big one seems to be Do Aur Do Pyaar, a Hindi-language film about a couple whose relationship is on the verge of collapse (Vidya Balan & Pratik Gandhi) having affairs with foreign-born partners (Sendhil Ramamurthy & Ileana D'Cruz) only to have things go in unexpected directions. Jai Ganesh is a Malayalam-language drama about a paraplegic designer trying to live a normal life, and Paarijathaparvam is a Telugu crime-comedy about two inept gangs trying to kidnap the same person. From Nepal, Degree Maila M.A 3rd Class is about a well-educated man unable to find a job or a place in life; it plays all Friday to Sunday while Mahajatra, a caper about friends having to hide stolen money, plays one show Sunday.

    Aavesham, Varshangalkku Shesham, and Crew are held over at Fresh Pond.

    South Korean concert film Asepa: World Tour in Cinemas plays Boston Common on Wednesday; thriller Exhuma continues at Causeway Street.

    Chinese romance Viva La Vida continues at Causeway Street.
  • The Alamo Seaport has opens The People's Joker, a project which reimagines the Joker as trans, with different segments in different styles, and also holds over Dawn of the Dead's anniversary run. Their rep calendar is pretty quiet, with The Mask and The Big Lebowski Monday, and Spider-Man 2 Monday to Wednesday (and maybe Thursday, since they never commit that far out).
  • The Embassy is open Friday to Sunday with Hard Miles, starring Matthew Modine as a coach at a juvenile correction facility who leads his students on a bike trip from Denver to the Grand Canyon. Wicked Little Letters and Farewell Mr. Haffmann also play those days.
  • The Brattle Theatre wraps Massachusetts Space Week and the Space Film Festival with Deep Impact (Friday/Saturday), 2001: A Space Odyssey (35mm Saturday), Men in Black (Saturday), and a double feature of WALL-E & Elysium (Sunday/Monday), which makes complete sense thematically if not necessarily in terms of target audience.

    There are also daily shows of With Love and a Major Organ from Friday to Saturday, a very funny BUFF selection that handles its goofy "people have symbolic objects for hearts" premise way better than you'd expect. A 35mm print of Red Rock West plays Sunday, with an introduction from Cinématographe’s Justin LaLiberty who you'd think would be up the 66 for Little Darlings earlier that afternoon, but that's not on the Coolidge's site). There's a The Great Gatsby double feature on Tuesday & Thursday, with the Robert Redford-starring version celebrating its 50th paired with Baz Lhurman's flashier feature. And on Wednesday, they have the "Best Cinemapocalypse Finals" double feature (is this a thing from the theater's podcast), pairing Children of Men & 12 Monkeys. Thursday also begins a run of Riddle of Fire in 35mm, which you might have missed in the Seaport as it overlapped BUFF (it's between Gatsbys, so I guess that isn't exactly a double feature).
  • The Capitol has one last matinee of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on Friday. The Capitol Crimes show on Friday & Monday is They Live By Night, and the "Good For Her" show on Saturday & Tuesday is Serial Mom.

    The Somerville Theatre picks up BUFF alum Femme, a thriller about a drag queen seducing the closeted man who attacked him months earlier. They also have a "Silents, Please!" show on Sunday, with Jeff Rapsis accompanying Metropolis (perhaps the first time I can recall this series not featuring a 35mm print); Monday's "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" noirs are Johnny Eager & Keeper of the Flame, both on 35mm film; and the "Tale of Two Studios" twin bill on Wednesday is Love Finds Andy Hardy & Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, also both on 35mm, and wrapping up the first leg of the series. There's also a free screening of "why are they building in the Seapot with the sea levels rising" documentary Inundation District on Tuesday evening with post-film Q&A.
  • The Harvard Film Archive is mostly Edward Yang this weekend, featuring Mahjong (Friday), Taipei Story (Saturday & Sunday), The Terrorizers (Saturday), and In Our Time (Monday). In between, they wrap the Jean-Pierre Bekolo series with Midimbe's Order of Things - Part II on Sunday evening.

    Elsewhere on the Harvard campus, there are free shows of No. 16 Barkhour South Street at the Tsai Auditorium Friday, King Coal with director Elaine McMillion Sheldon at the Barker Center on Friday, and The Gate of Heavenly Peace at the Tsai on Monday.

    Joe's Free Films shows a free screening of The Big Lebowski Friday & Saturday in room 26-100, from The MIT Lecture Series Committee and the DeFlorez Fund for Humor.
  • The Tuesday New Hollywood show at Landmark Kendall Square is The Deer Hunter.
  • Wicked Queer 40 continues its virtual encores, some available through Sunday and others through the end of the month.
  • Belmont World Film continues to stream Traces through Sunday, but takes this Monday off.
  • The Lexington Venue appears to have Remembering Gene Wilder, La Chimera and Wicked LIttle Letters from Friday to Sunday, although maybe call, since nothing is listed on their website right now.

    The West Newton Cinema also picks up Remembering Gene Wilder and holds over Civil War, Wicked Little Letters, One Life, Kung Fu Panda 4, and Dune: Part Two.

    The Luna Theater has Problemista Friday & Saturday), Late Night with the Devil on Saturday, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Common Ground on Sunday, and a Weirdo Wednesday show.

    Cinema Salem continues Late Night With the Devil, Civil War, Monkey Man, and Hundreds of Beavers from Friday to Monday. The Seagrass 420 Film Festival has Super High Me, The Big Lebowski and Half Baked on Friday, plus Dazed and Confused, Pineapple Express, and Reefer Madness '36 on Saturday. There's also a Night Light show of Dawn of the Dead on Friday, with it playing also playing Saturday afternoon and then Sunday & Monday after the weed stuff is done. There's also a free GlobeDocs screening of Canary on Thursday (register here). If you can make it out to the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, they have Villains Incorporated, in which a group of henchmen try to make it on their own when the supervillain who employs them is killed, and will also be playing Selena from Friday to Sunday.
Sure, I'll do Ungentlemanly Warfare, Abigail, Sasquatch Sunset, the Monday noirs, Love Finds Andy Hardy, Inundation District, and maybe Spy x Family. I really should catch up with Civil War and Ghostbusters 4 before the end of the month, too.

Saturday, April 13, 2024


Fewer Nicolas Cage movies than I thought have actually done the thing where local theaters play the trailer an awful lot but don't actually book the film of late, because the movies that got the most of that sort of exposure last year - The Kill Room and The Baker - don't actually have Cage (The Baker stars Ron Perlman as a retired assassin, and Perlman figures prominently in at least the trailer for Cage's retired-assassin movie The Retirement Plan, so maybe they blended together). That it did show up is kind of amusing because the trailer is actually not very good at all, offering the audience very little: It doesn't particularly promise that this could be one of those times when Cage gives you much more acting than you're paying for, and doesn't even show a glimpse of the monsters. The trailer, honestly, feels like it was made to fill in those 20 minute blocks AMC has before the show as opposed to an actual movie.

But it seemed to win a release date lottery, choosing a release date with relatively little big-name competition, nothing from China or Korea, last weeks indies (Dogman and Femme) failing to stick, and some things that had been playing a while starting to thin out. I do, occasionally, wonder if it's like when I worked at a movie theater in college, where the booking decisions are made in the home office and the local theater manager is deciding which trailers go on what, kind of trying to guess which of the non-blockbusters they'll get. I suspect it's more top-down these days, but actual booking decisions are operating on different schedules (getting stuff locked in early for presales but also being able to make changes quickly because you're not shipping film) and that's even without considering that sometimes we'd just get two trailers (or one!) for a four-plex, and were mixing and matching.

So - this showed up! It's okay! Unfortunately, I arrived late, so I didn't see if there was a trailer for A Quiet Place: Day One (which is another conversation - similar but enough to sabotage the feature or the exact right target audience?).


* * ½ (out of four)
Seen 12 April 2024 in AMC Causeway #3 (first-run, DCP)

I wouldn't necessarily say Arcadian is good, per se, but it's the sort of movie you can imagine filling out the back half of a double feature at a drive-in or grindhouse and not upsetting the folks who stuck around: Inessential, but basically competent, and with just enough done well that one can see some promise. Maybe it earns an extra half-star or the like for having the one genuinely impressive bit that could spur more conversation the next day than the A-picture.

It's 15 years after the end of the world, and Paul (Nicolas Cage) has holed up in the countryside with the twins he found as abandoned babies when fleeing the city: Joseph (Jaeden Marell), a bookish kid who likes to see how things work and put them back together, and Thomas (Maxwell Jenkins), bigger and more physically-inclined, spending a lot of time at the nearby Rose farm because of Charlotte (Sadie Soverall), certainly the prettiest if not the only girl their age in the valley. Paul is a stickler about getting inside and having the house locked down by darkness, when the monsters come out, but even with that, there's inevitably going to be one night when one of the boys doesn't make it home in time, and he's got to try and rescue his son while the other tries to defend the home.

It's probably fair warning that Nicolas Cage, despite being first-billed and front-and-center in the preview, is not exactly the star of the movie. It's not quite him figuring that his having a small part would boost the film produced by his company (and written/produced by his business associate) enough for him to spend a couple weeks on-set in Ireland, but it's also not exactly a part that gives him a chance to do the thing where his scenes are gloriously big and weird, either. He doesn't even get to turn in a surprisingly good conventional performance here, despite it not taking much effort to see that this could be about the father who is frightened enough of the world that he's holding his kids back writ large. That may seem like the natural theme of the movie, but there's just not enough Cage to do so.

The kids are all right, at least - Jaeden Martell and Maxwell Jenkins are quietly quite good at playing the twins who are opposites in a lot of way but also so casually connected that it can fall away, and you never look at how they play their parts and feel like they didn't grow up in a post-apocalyptic world. Sadie Soverall pairs nicely with Jenkins. It's kind of a relief that the film doesn't feel the need to make this a triangle situation or worry about also pairing Joseph off, although, as with Cage's character, it might be nice if there were more for them to sink their teeth into. The filmmakers have got a chance to use this environment to make the teenagers' big feelings even bigger or have their having to move on to something new be even more than it is, but just do the regular business.

Folks are there for the monster stuff, after all, even if this is clearly the sort of movie where it's clear that there isn't that much in the way of resources for action or effects. The first extended bit of monster emergence is the sort of slowly-drawn out shot that both builds some suspense about the kind of danger a character is in and just what the thing stalking him is like in its entirety, and good enough to stand up with some of the best scenes of its type. It's not exactly a disappointment that most of what comes after that isn't quite as good since it's so excellent, but it almost feels like the filmmakers don't trust their creature design, like if they shot them straight on without a lot of motion, audiences might laugh at the matted fur, unnervingly elongated necks and limbs, and other bits that might demand explanation, and laugh. They might; even though they are likely more digital than practical, these guys give off a vibe that is man-in-suit and/or puppet, and a lot of folks are trained to reject that out of hand, but there's also something about the whacked proportions and ill-fitting pieces that could make them kind of unnervingly monstrous given a clear shot.

Maybe that just wasn't something that could be done here. Or, more likely, it's a thing that would make the filmmakers more nervous: This film is, at its best, a throwback to tight 90-minute 1950s creature features made with a similar combination of commercial limitations and delight in the weird, but those movie could say a rubbery-looking alien was good enough because they didn't have to compete with big-studio productions doing the same thing the way this does. It's okay, but a movie with both Nicolas Cage and weird-looking monsters should perhaps embrace its weirdness more.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 12 April 2024 - 18 April 2024

Kind of wish I had a work holiday on Monday to fit an extra movie or two in, to be honest.
  • The week's big new release is Civil War, the new one from Alex Garland starring Kirsten Dunst as an American photojournalist who has covered war zones all over the world now covering the disintegration of her own country. It appears to be more about war than the actual things dividing America at the moment, but neither Garland nor Dunst often misses. It's at the Coolidge, the Somerville, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), West Newton, CinemaSalem, Boston Common (including Imax Xenon & Dolby Cinema), Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay (including Imax Xenon & Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax Laser & Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    The Long Game, with Jay Hernandez as the mentor to a bunch of Mexican-American caddies who create their own golf course, opens at Fresh Pond and Boston Common,

    A different "impossibly-fast-growing spider" movie than the one which played BUFF - Sting rather than Infested - plays Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row. Arcadian, which stars Nicolas Cage in a Quiet Place-looking thing as a recluse sheltering from monsters who come out at night, plays Causeway Street and South Bay.

    A new version of Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, starring Simone Joy Jones and Nicole Richie, opens at South Bay.

    Shrek 2 gets an anniversary re-release at Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row.

    There's an early-access show of The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare at Boston Common, the Seaport, Assembly Row, and Chestnut Hill on Saturday; a surprise AMC "Screen Unseen" preview plays Boston Common, Causeway Street, Assembly Row on Monday. Various theaters will be doing "Spider-Monday" for the next couple of months, with Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man kicking it off at the Coolidge (35mm), Boston Common (also Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday), the Seaport (also Tuesday/Wednesday), and Assembly Row (also Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday). Holocaust drama Irena's Vow plays Boston Common Monday and South Bay on Monday and Tuesday.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre is starting to look a little more like expected as they expanded, opening three new movies along with Civil War: La Chimera comes from Italy, with Josh O'Connor as a man with a near-supernatural talent for finding hidden artifacts, drawn to a mysterious new dig; it's also at Kendall Square, the Lexington Venue, Boston Common, and the Seaport. The Beast, from France, features Léa Seydoux as a woman in 2044 who has been drawn to the same man in multiple lives, via reincarnation, virtual reality, or perhaps erased memories. That also plays Kendall Square and Boston Common.

    Screen 6 looks like it's being used in large part for specialty bookings that hang around one week, with this week's selection being Remembering Gene Wilder, which is, well, that. Director Ron Frank will be on-hand for a special show on Sunday afternoon.

    The midnight zombies this weekend are a new digital restoration of Cemetery Man on Friday and a 35mm print of [REC] on Saturday; for the polar opposite, there's a Kids' Show of Mary Poppins on Sunday morning. If Civil War is not enough Kirsten Dunst, Monday offers to 35mm presentations, with a Big Screen Classic show of Marie Antoinette at 7pm and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man at 9:45pm. What's the Score presentations include Shaft on 35mm film Tuesday and Joker on film Wednesday. Thursday's Big Screen Classic is a 35mm print of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights.
  • Landmark Kendall Square opens Housekeeping for Beginners, about a woman who never aspired to motherhood finding herself forging bonds with her girlfriend's daughters.

    There's a "listening event" for Pearl Jam: Dark Matter on Tuesday, with the new album playing twice, once in the dark and once with visuals (also at Boston Common). The Tuesday New Hollywood show is William Friedkin's Sorceror.
  • The Capitol in Arlington gets Blackout, the new werewolf story from Larry Fessenden with Alex Hurt as a painter in a small town who worries the holes in his memory correspond to a number of vicious killings. They also have GoodFellas for Capitol Crimes on Friday & Monday, plus Fried Green Tomatoes for "Good For Her" on Saturday & Tuesday. They also have matinees for school vacation, with The Lego Movie from Monday to Wednesday and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Wednesday to Friday.

    In addition to Civil War and The First Omen on 35mmThe Somerville Theatre wraps their "Smooth Cinema" series on Friday with Arthur on 35mm, as well as a "Super-Smooth High Seas Party" in the Crystal Ballroom afterward, with tickets for the party including the movie. They have a 4K double feature of restored The Third Man & Coup de Torchon on Saturday & Sunday; a 35mm noir double feature of The Postman Always Rings Twice & The Bribe on Monday, a special presentation of Growing Pains featuring a Q&A with the cast and crew on Tuesday, a tale-of-two-studios pairing of The Wizard of Oz & It Happened One Night (the former on 35mm) Wednesday, and a special presentation of Indigo Girls: It's Only Life After All on Thursday.

  • More South Asian movies for Eid this weekend at Apple Fresh Pond (and elsewhere). Friday brings Telugu-language horror-comedy Geethanjali Malli Vachindi; Tamil-language drama DeAr, in which a wife's snoring is a sort of proxy for the challenges newlywed couples face; Romeo, a Tamil-language romance about a husband hoping to win the love of his wife in an arranged marriage; Aavesham, a Malayalam-language action flick with a gangster offering engineering students the chance for revenge against the upperclassmen who hazed them; Varshangalkku Shesham, a Malayalam-language comedy about two friends viewed at different points in their lives; and from Pakistan, Daghabaaz Dil, an Urdu-language romantic comedy about a couple who may ironically find love while attempting to sabotage their upcoming arranged marriage. Marathi comedy Alibaba Aani Chalishitale Chor, in which the attendees of a dinner party hear a kiss and then a slap during a brief power outage, plays Saturday and Sunday.

    Held over at Fresh Pond are Hindi-language movies Crew, Maidaan (also at Boston Common), and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (also at Boston Common). Telugu-language Family Star also stays at Boston Common.

    Korean concert film Suga - Agust D Tour 'D-Day': The Movie plays Boston Common, Causeway Street, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards. Also from South Korea, thriller Exhuma continues at Boston Common and Causeway Street. Vietnamese drama Mai continues at South Bay.

    Chinese romance Viva La Vida continues at Causeway Street; YOLO continues at Boston Common and returns to Causeway Street.

    Japanese films hanging around are Perfect Days at the Coolidge, and Kendall Square; The Boy and the Heron is still at West Newton.
  • The Alamo Seaport has Dawn of the Dead through Wednesday for its 45th anniversary. Their rep calendar has Clerks for the Time Capsule show on Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; Labyrinth on Saturday and Sunday, the latter a "movie Party"; and Blue Giant for "World of Animation" on Monday and Tuesday.
  • The Embassy continues Wicked Little Letters and Farewell Mr. Haffmann, with The Taste of Things playing Saturday.
  • The New England Aquarium adds "Ocean Paradise" to its rotation of Imax 3D films starting this weekend.
  • Wicked Queer 40 continues through Sunday at The Brattle Theatre, the Bright Screening Room at the Paramount, and The Museum of Fine Arts, plus free best-in-show presentation at BU's GSU Auditorium on Wednesday, On Monday, they shift to streaming, with many programs available to stream in Massachusetts through the 22nd or 30th.
  • After Wicked Queer, The Brattle Theatre has the annual Muppet Madness Marathon on Monday, this year featuring The Dark Crystal, Muppet Treasure Island, and The Muppet Movie, the last on 35mm. Monday is also the start of Massachusetts Space Week, with the Brattle hosting a Space Film Festival, featuring 2001: A Space Odyssey on 35mm Monday, Sunshine on 35mm Tuesday, and Gravity on Wednesday. There's also an RPM Fest Presentation of "Vitreous Chamber: Films by Malic Amalya & Nathan Hill" on Wednesday and a Grrl Haus Cinema show on Thursday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has two programs of the short films of Margaret Tait this weekend, with Ute Aurand hosting "Films by and about Margaret Tait" on Friday while Luke Fowler presents Being in a Place: A Portrait of Margaret Tait on 35mm, plus three of her shorts, on Saturday. Sunday has the last film of their Martin Rejtman series, Silvia Pietro, on 35mm, as well as Jean-Pierre Bekolo's Midimbe's Order of Things - Part I. The Edward Yang series continues on Monday with That Day, on the Beach, including a video introduction by actor David Mao.
  • Joe's Free Films shows a free screening of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind on 35mm on Friday in room 26-100, with The MIT Lecture Series Committee also showing a presentation of Sudanese film Goodbye Julia in that room on Monday.
  • ArtsEmerson has two documentaries in the Bright Screening Room of the Paramount this Saturday, with Boston Asian-American Film Festival presenting Big Trouble in Little Chinatown, which chronicles the fight for Chinese districts to survive amid gentrification and the spike in anti-Asian racism around the Covid epidemic, while Unseen (preceded by short "Doc West Moves") follows a blind, undocumented immigrant attempting to become a social worker.
  • The Bright LIghts at the Paramount has two events this week: Fairlyland plays on Wednesday with the original book's author Alysia Abbott on-hand to discuss the adaptation of her memoir of San Francisco in the 1970s & 1980s; American Fiction plays on Thursday with Emerson professor Jerald Walker leading discussion.
  • Boston Turkish Film & Music Festival has streaming selections through Monday.
  • Belmont World Film moves to the Embassy in Waltham on Monday for Hesitation Wound, a Turkish film about a lawyer who must split her time between her criminal practice and her hospitalized mother. They also have the previous week's selection, Traces, available to stream from Tuesday to the following Sunday.
  • The final weekend of Dune: Part Two at The Museum of Science appears to be sold out, but they will be adding "Superhuman Body: World of Medical Miracles" to the Omnimax rotation starting Saturday.
  • The Lexington Venue has La Chimera and Wicked LIttle Letters (Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Wednesday/Thursday) from Friday to Sunday, and also has another weekend of indie matinees: documentary Patrick and the Whale (playing with the 30-minute local short film program "Voices of Our Youth") on Saturday and indie drama Two Lives in Pittsburgh (playing with animated short "Pete") on Sunday.

    The West Newton Cinema adds Civil War and continues Wicked Little Letters, One Life, Kung Fu Panda 4, Dune: Part Two, American Fiction, and The Boy and the Heron.

    The Luna Theater has Late Night with the Devil on Friday, The Craft on Saturday, American Psycho on Sunday, a Weirdo Wednesday show, and a free UMass Lowell Department of World Languages & Cultures presentation of Big Fight in Little Chinatown on Thursday.

    Cinema Salem has Late Night With the Devil, Civil War, Monkey Man, and, yes, Hundreds of Beavers from Friday to Monday. There's a Night Light show of Switchblade Sisters on Friday, a surprise "Whodunnit… With a Fake Boston Accent" show on Sunday afternoon (free, but registration at Race to Solve the Case encouraged), and the first night of the Seagrass 420 Film Festival, featuring Up in Smoke and The Cabin in the Woods, on Thursday.

    If you can make it out to Woburn, Sweet Dreams is playing at the Showcase there and stars Johnny Knoxville as the reluctant softball coach at a sober-living facility, with Kate Upton and Jay Mohr also in the cast. The Showcase in Dedham has an English dub of Capitán Avispa, a Dominican animated film about heroic honeybees.
Yeah, I'll do Civil War, Arcadium, The Beast, and maybe La Chimera. I'll probably choose the noir over the Kirsten Dunst double on Monday, and also hit Sunshine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Viva La Vida

I rather liked the previous two films by writer/director Han Yan which made it to Boston without quite realizing that they were kind of unrepresentative of his work. Consider:

  • First Time (2012) - A girl with neuromuscular disease dreams of being a ballet dancer, meets a boy who wants to sing rock & roll
  • Go Away Mr. Tumor (2015) - A woman gets a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, has flights of fantasy that sometimes involve her handsome doctor
  • Animal World (2018) - Gambler gets drawn into the world of high-stakes rock-paper-scissors; producers spring for Michael Douglas as the mysterious American loan shark
  • A LIttle Red Flower (2020) - Two families each losing a member to cancer
  • Love Never Ends (2023) - Two elderly lovers at the end of their lives (played Danvers, but I couldn't make it out there)
  • Viva La Vida (2024) - Woman with kidney disease considers marrying a man with brain cancer (but healthy kidneys)
The two with review links are ones I've seen, and it's worth noting that Go Away has a bunch of big, effects-driven fantasies, and in fact the trailer/posters lead with the main character's zombie-movie fantasies but with big letters saying "THIS IS NOT A ZOMBIE MOVIE", which is kind of clever advertising and certainly leaves the impression that he's a big spectacle guy doing a mainstream comedy around cancer treatment, but apparently, he's a guy who makes movies about cancer and death who made a couple of crowd-pleasers. Animal World, obviously, is something else entirely, but there is a comatose mother and hospital bills for motivation.

That's kind of a weird specialty, although maybe not that much more than Han Han's Pegasus movies that are clearly informed by his interest in racing. What's kind of interesting is that Han Yan seems to have done enough of these or immersed himself in it that I get a feeling of confidence and authenticity that I don't necessarily see from a lot of other movie that are built around medical crises; in this case, particularly, Lin Min can rattle off a lot of symptoms and effects almost casually and it hits a good spot between "the filmmakers have done their research and kind of find all this stuff fascinating" and "people living with this sort of illness master what they need to know". It's maybe not quite George Miller making Lorenzo's Oil more engrossing than it has any right to be because he's a doctor who understands it, but it's not far off.

So, yeah, a lot of cancer and other illness in his movies. And, apparently, a lot of medical procedures costing a lot of money, and, geez, China, I thought you were communist! I mean, what's socialism even for if you're still going to have the same sort of medical bankruptcies we have in America?

Wo men yi qi yao tai yang (Viva la Vida)

* * * (out of four)
Seen 6 April 2024 in AMC Causeway #10 (first-run, DCP)

Viva la Vida makes its way to the USA at right about the same time as a film called Someone Like You is released, and they likely don't have much in common other than young people brought together through medicine in ways one might find questionable, but I find it kind of interesting that the one from the other side of the world grabbed my interest and the one closer to home seemed to icky to touch. Maybe if iI'd seen a trailer for this rather than simply buying a ticket based on some familiarity with the director, it would have pushed me away. Or maybe not - writer/director Han Yan is, if nothing else, keenly aware of how off-puttingly selfish the premise may seem and redirects it almost immediately.

Lin Min (Li Gengxi) is a couple months from turning 25 and at least a few years into dealing with the kidney condition uremia, which requires obsessive monitoring of her intake of food and water and regular dialysis, also leading her and her family to move into a Changsha neighborhood that has easy access to three hospitals in case a transplant becomes available (the waiting list is generally eight or nine years) or she needs emergency care because her precautions are not enough. One desperate night, she records a video to be sent to a cancer discussion group, saying she is willing to not just marry a terminal patient with the appropriate compatibility factors, but commit to taking care of their family after they die, in return for a donated kidney. Ashamed, she recalls the video almost immediately, but it has already been seen by Luu Tu (Peng Yuchang), an eccentric young man whose glioblastoma occasionally causes him to pass out and whose persistence can sometimes feel like stalking.

There's a certain sort of relief when a romance with a premise that would raise red flags not only acknowledges but straight-up waves them, as happens here: Not only does Lin Min realize just how messed-up what she is doing right away, but Han Yan also makes sure to point out that this whole scheme wouldn't actually work, that there are laws and regulations in place to prevent this sort of manipulation of the transplant process. Han takes the potential for stalking fairly seriously, as well, although he shows a pretty deft hand for when it's time to move past that as the main thing driving the story. He also seems to have a solid handle on the medical issues and how to integrate them into the story (he has done a surprising number of films built around people being sick or dying in his career, so it figures); all in all, it's good work at showing you can tell a story with some drama without exaggerating unduly.

It does turn rather quickly, but, hey, Luu Tu doesn't just help Lin Min move, but does it for her, and, yeah, that would change my outlook in a pretty big hurry! Han is frequently not particularly subtle; and while in some cases it's because frustration is not a subtle emotion, sometimes you can see the hammer, as with a scene where Lin Min is riding a bus and hearing some kid doing English lessons that includes how they live in a perfect city as she's dealing with a gentrification eviction on top of her health issues. And yet, there's a surprisingly good romantic comedy underneath all that, with Luu Tu's casual weirdness a good complement to Lin Min's determination, and the characters around them filling useful niches in the story. It's heightened and higher-stakes than is typical, but the requisite jokes and chemistry are there.

A lot hinges on Li Gengxi being a solid young actress to build the movie around; she spends much of the film frustrated and annoyed but still vital, able to sell the audience on her being an ordinary young woman in a lot of ways even after being introduced with a lot of heavy material. She, perhaps unusually, spends enough of the movie without apparent makeup to make scenes like her friend's wedding a bit jarring, and there's something similarly grounded about the way she shows Lin Min as used to all this without a lot of chatter. Peng Yuchang gives Luu Tu a certain scrappy dumb-guy charm without making him pitiful or naive.

Amusingly, when the film closes with videos of the real Lin Min and Luu Tu (the opening titles refer to a short documentary as the basis, though I can't find a trace of it on the English-language web), they seem a bit more upbeat and uncomplicated than the characters in the movie, though those images are probably catching them at their best. As funny a film as it frequently is, the last poke to remind the audience that this is not just about desperation is appreciated.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 5 April 2024 - 11 April 2024

Marvel and DC basically taking the year off, but somehow two superhero-esque things (or at least titles) this week!
  • Is Universal releasing Monkey Man this weekend to have it in theaters for Eid? It's Mumbai-set but English-language, with writer/director Dev Patel as an anonymous vigilante looking to clean up the underworld. It's at Fresh Pond, CinemaSalem, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards (including CWX), Chestnut Hill. Dogman, on the other hand, is the latest from Luc Besson, has Caleb Landry Jones as a homeless man who has formed a bond with a pack of stray dogs. It's at Boston Common, Kendall Square, and the Seaport.

    Also opening is The First Omen, with Nell Tiger Free as a young nun at an orphanage in Italy and a seemingly immaculate conception with a conspiracy behind it (although, given that this is a prequel to The Omen, it's almost certainly Antichrist-related). It's at the Somerville (35mm), Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards, and Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema).

    The Greatest Hits, starring Lucy Boynton as a woman who discovers that music can literally transport her in time, plays at Causeway Street. BUFF selection Femme, in which a drag queen attempts to seduce the man who gay-bashed him, is at Boston Common.

    Fresh Pond has Epic Tails, an English-dubbed release of a French animated film about a brave mouse in Ancient Greece.

    Someone Like You, previously just a Fathom special, has a full week of shows at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row. Boston Common, South Bay have An Officer and a Gentleman to pay tribute to the late Lou Gossett Jr.

    Gone with the Wind has 85th anniversary shows at Boston Common, South Bay, Arsenal Yards on Sunday/Monday/Wednesday. There's a preview of The Long Game at Boston Common Sunday, an early access presentation of Civil War at Boston Common (Imax Xenon) on Monday, and an AMC Screen Unseen preview on Monday at Boston Common, Assembly Row. Indie musical comedy Intermedium, in which a teenager deals with an irritating ghost, plays Causeway Street on Tuesday. K-Pop concert film Suga: August D Tour "D-Day" The Movie plays Wednesday & Thursday at Boston Common (including Imax Xenon Wednesday), Causeway Street, Assembly Row (Wednesday only including Imax laser), Arsenal Yards (Wednesday only).
  • Sleeper hit possibility for Wicked Little Letters, though, which has Olivia Colman as a woman receiving vulgar notes in the mail, Jessie Buckley as the uncouth Irish gal she thinks is sending them, and Anjana Vasan as the Desi policewoman who takes it on herself to do a proper investigation. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, the Kendall, the Embassy, the Lexington Venue, West Newton, and Boston Common.

    Though Easter has passed, the Coolidge is doing zombies for the April midnights, with a digital restoration of Return of the LIving Dead on Friday and a 35mm print of Night of the Comet on Saturday. For kids, there are matinees of FernGully: The Last Rainforest on Saturday & Sunday. The April "What's the Score" series includes CInema Paradiso on Sunday, Ryuichi Sakamoto: Opus on Monday, Rocky on Wednesday. There's also Open Screen on Tuesday and a "Science on Screen" presentation of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, with science journalist Seth Mnookin discussing trauma. They appear to be closed on Thursday
  • Woody Allen's first movie in three years, Coup de Chance, plays at The Capitol in Arlington; it's also likely his last (the man is almost 90), a French-language crime comedy about a young couple whose lives are thrown for a loop by the return of a former lover. They also have "Capitol Crimes" screenings of Fargo on Friday & Monday and "Good for Her!" shows of A League of Their Own on Saturday & Tuesday. Documentary Indigo Girls: It's Only Life After All, plays Wednesday.

    In addition to screening The First Omen in 35mm (I think it's the first time they've used the projector in theater #3 since they redid it), The Somerville Theatre has a new 4K restoration of Peeping Tom on the main screen Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. Sunday evening also features a team-up with Pennsylvania's Mahoning Drive-In for a 35mm double feature of Drive-In Massacre & Bay of Blood. Monday's Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid show is a 35mm double feature of Humoresque & The Big Sleep. The Tale of Two Studios on Wednesday is The Thin Man & Ladies of Leisure, also both on film, as is Thursday's Smooth Cinema show of One Crazy Summer..
  • The Embassy is the first place in the area to open Farewell Mr. Haffmann, about a Jewish man fleeing Paris ahead of the Nazis who leaves his business and home in the hands of an employee, but must ask that employee to hide him when he is unable to leave.
  • With Eid coming up, a lot of movies from India open at Apple Fresh Pond (and elsewhere). Opening Friday, Hindi film Dukaan stars Monika Panwar as a surrogate mother for a difficult couple. Telugu-langage comedy The Family Star (also at Boston Common) follows a family man with big dreams. Telugu thriller Bahumukham looks like an unusually tight production, with HarShiv Karthik starring, writing, directing, editing, producing, and doing a lot of other behind-the-scenes work in a thriller about an up-and-coming actor hiding his past in a detention center. Kalvan is a Tamil-language comedy about a thief trying to get the bribe needed to get an anti-poaching job Manjummel Boys returns in a Telugu dub, plus holdovers Crew, The Goat Life, and Tillu Squared. Hindi-language action movie Mahadev Ka Gorakhpur opens Saturday, while two more in Hindi - Maidaan, starring Ajay Devgn as a legendary soccer coach in the 1950s, and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (which I'm guessing is Hindi for "Good Cop, Bad Cop") stars Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff as two officers transporting a dangerous criminal - open Wednesday, both also playing Boston Common.

    Viva La Vida, the latest from director Han Yan (Go Away Mr. Tumor & Animal World), has a woman who needs a kidney transplant meeting a young man with a fatal brain disease (but healthy kidneys); it's at Causeway Street. Mainland Chinese film YOLO continues at Boston Common.

    Korean thriller Exhuma continues at Boston Common and Causeway Street. Vietnamese drama Mai continues at South Bay.

    Japanese films hanging around are Perfect Days at the Coolidge, Kendall Square, and Luna Lowell (plus one show at the MFA); with The Boy and the Heron still at Fresh Pond and West Newton.
  • Wicked Queer 40 sets up shop at The Brattle Theatre, the bright Screening Room at the Paramount, The ICA, and the Coolidge, plus free shows at BU's GSU Auditorium on Tuesday, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design on Wednesday, and Queendom as part of Bright LIghts at the Paramount on Thursday. There will be a number of filmmakers present, and a number of retrospective screenings as well as new discoveries.
  • The Alamo Seaport rep calendar has time capsule screenings of Dumb and Dumber (Friday/Saturday), Interview with the Vampire (Friday/Saturday/Tuesday), a movie party for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Sunday, a Graveyard Shift show of The House of the Devil Monday, and a benefit screening of The Greasy Strangler to help with star Michael St. Michaels's hospital bills on Tuesday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive welcomes Martín Rejtman for screenings of both his latest film The Practice (Friday) and a presentation of the recently-restored Silvio Prieto They also have two more from Taiwan's Edward Yang - Mahjong on Sunday afternoon and The Terrorizers on Monday evening - and Jean-Pierre Bekolo's Afrofuturist story Naked Reality on Sunday evening.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts plays host to the Boston Turkish Film & Music Festival this weekend: Director Zeki Demirkubuz will be on-hand Friday for Life, his epic about a man seeking the woman who fled rather than be pushed into an arranged marriage with him; Saturday's Suddenly, about a woman seeking her lost sense of smell, also has a post-film Q&A with director Melisa Önel; while Sunday's Neandria, about a village filled with strange events, is preceded by the narrative and documentary winners of the short film competition. A selection of other are also available to stream through the 15th.
  • The Regent Theatre has a remastered version of Fantastic Fungi playing on Friday for its fifth anniversary; most of us probably saw it at home as it was one of the first things playing "virtual theaters" during the pandemic. Wednesday, they have "Mountains on Stage", a selection of four adventure documentary shorts.
  • Belmont World Film is at Fresh Pond Monday with Traces, a Croatian film about an anthropologist whose work with grave markers has a parallel in how she is the last member of her family after her father's death. Translator/author Ellen Elias-Bursać will speak, and there will be Croatian wine and snacks before the film.
  • Landmark Kendall Square has documentary Food, Inc. 2 on Tuesday night, and it's seldom good news when a documentary has a sequel 15 years later. Also playing Tuesday night is Taxi Driver, with the New Hollywood entry $5 for loyalty members.
  • Dune: Part Two at The Museum of Science is sold out this weekend, and next Friday and Saturday are like the last two shows there.
  • The Lexington Venue has One Life (Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Wednesday/Thursday), Wicked LIttle Letters (Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Wednesday/Thursday), and Problemista (Friday/Saturday/Sunday). They also have special documentary matinees on the weekend: Against All Enemies on Saturday looks at the radicalization of military veterans and plays with short "Dreaming of a Free Press"; The Palmnicken Tragedy on Sunday examines a Nazi war crime, as 3,000 prisoners were shot before the advancing Russian army arrived, and plays with short "Am I Not My Brother's Keeper?"

    The West Newton Cinema picks up Wicked Little Letters, continuing One Life, Problemista, Kung Fu Panda 4, Dune: Part Two, American Fiction, Wonka (Saturday/Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday), and The Boy and the Heron (no show Thursday). Closed Monday. Poor one out for The Holdovers, maybe not there continuously since November, but a darn good run nonetheless!

    The Luna Theater has Late Night with the Devil on Friday and Saturday, Nobuhiko Obayashi's House on Saturday, The Exorcist on Sunday, a Weirdo Wednesday show, and a free UMass Lowell Philosophy & Film show of Legally Blonde on Thursday.

    Cinema Salem has Late Night With the Devil, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Godzilla X Kong, and Monkey Man from Friday to Monday.
Looking at the Monkey and Dog Men, Naked Reality, two doubles at the Somerville, Wicked Little Letters, Viva La Vida, and maybe heading out to the Embassy for Haffmann.