Friday, June 14, 2024

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 14 June 2024 - 20 June 2024

You know, if I were some non-Disney distributor, I might not open my animated feature the same day as a big Pixar release. Maybe Netflix and Neon figure they'll get some overflow when that movie is sold out, but it seems just as likely they'd lose showtimes.
  • As mentioned, Inside Out 2 is the big opener this weekend, with new emotions joining Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, and Fear as she goes through adolescence. It's at the Capitol (including RealD 3D), Fresh Pond (including 3D), the Museum of Science, the Embassy, the Lexington Venue, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), West Newton, CinemaSalem, Boston Common (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema/RealD 3D/Spanish subs), Causeway Street (including RealD 3D), Kendall Square, the Seaport (including RealD 3D), South Bay (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema/Real D 3D), Assembly Row (including Imax Laser/Dolby Cinema/RealD 3D), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Boston Common has three smaller films to fill its 19 screens in the absence of other large releases: Firebrand stars Alicia Vikander as the sixth wife of Hervy VIII (Jude Law) determined to escape the fate of her predecessors; Treasure stars Lena Dunahm as an American visiting Poland with her Holocaust survivor father (Stephen Fry), who is less than eager to show his daughter the places that shaped and then rejected him; and documentary Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme.

    The Lord of the Rings extended editions are back at Boston Common for another weekend, with Fellowship of the Ring on Saturday, The Two Towers on Sunday, and Return of the King on Monday (that one an evening show rather than playing in the afternoon). There's a Screen Unseen preview at Boston Common, Causeway Street, and Assembly Row on Monday. Audiences get the chance to play catchup before Maxxxine with special presentations of X Tuesday at the Somerville, Boston Common, Kendall Square, and Assembly Row. Ava Duvarney's Origin has a matinee show Wednesday and Thursday at Boston Common and South Bay. There's also screenings of the Midsommar Director's Cut at Boston Common (Imax Xenon), South Bay (Imax Xenon), Assembly Row (Imax Laser), and Jordan's (Imax) on Thursday. Boston Common and the Seaport also have the first of two screenings of Ghost: Rite Here Rite Now, which combines concert footage with the band's narrative web series, the first on Thursday.
  • The second-biggest animated film to open this week is Robot Dreams, which was a delight when I saw it at IFFBoston's Fall Focus and whose release seemed to have gotten a wrench thrown at it when it received an Oscar nomination. It finally opens this week at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square, and Boston Common.

    It's a busy week at the Coolidge, as they also open IFFBoston alum Tuesday, in which Julia Louis-Dreyfuss plays a mother with an ailing daughter whose lives are further upended when Death, in the form of a talking, shapeshifting bird, pays them a visit; it's also at the Somerville, Kendall Square, the Lexington Venue, CinemaSalem, Boston Common, and Assembly Row. There's also I Used to Be Funny, at the Coolidge and the Seaport, starring Rachel Sennott as a struggling comedian/au pair unsure whether she should help search for a missing teenager she used to care for.

    The Coolidge's Midnights this weekend are 35mm prints of the adaptations of a couple Alan Moore comics (which I'm sure he disapproves of): V For Vendetta on Friday and Watchmen on Saturday. The other repertory presentations are a 35mm print of Field of Dreams as Monday's Big Screen Classic, Edward II for New Queer Cinema on Tuesday.
  • Landmark Kendall Square also opens a third animated film, Ultraman: Rising, an American animated take on the venerable sentai series where, on top of defending Tokyo from monster attacks, this generation's Ultraman has to look after a baby kaiju.

    The Retro Replay show this Tuesday is Moonlight.
  • The big Indian film this week is Chandu Champion, a Hindi-language biopic starring Katrik Aaryan as Murikant Petkar, the first Indian to win an Olympic medal, just part an an eventful life. It's at Fresh Pond, Causeway Street.

    Also opening at Apple Fresh Pond are Telugu drama Music Shop Murthy, Tamil action film Maharaja, and Bengali wrestling romance Kudi Haryane Val Di (opening Saturday).

    Chinese comedy G For Gap, starring Hu Ge as a man who returns to the (crowded) family home after striking out in the city, opens at Causeway Street.

    South Bay has the latest from Vietnamese director Ly Hai, Face Off 7: One Wish, with this entry having a 73-year-old widow and her relationships with her 5 adult children. Near as I can tell, these movies aren't sequels, so folks should be able to jump in just fine.

    Volleyball anime Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle continues at Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row.
  • The Museum of Science not only has Inside Out 2 for the next month or so, but they add "Cities of the Future" to the Omnimax mix!.
  • It's Noir City Boston at The Brattle Theatre this weekend, with the event once again having an international focus, mostly double features pairing American and foreign classics! It starts with Street of Chance (35mm) & Argentina's Never Open That Door on Friday, Across the Bridge & Japan's Zero Focus on Saturday afternoon with two directed by Hugo Fregonese, Black Tuesday (35mm) & Argentina's Hardly a Criminal in the evening, Union Station & Egypt's Cairo Station Sunday afternoon with Italy's Smog & City of Fear (35mm) in the evening. It wraps on Monday with France's Elevator to the Gallows.

    The week's Jordan Peele film is Nope. On Tuesday and Wednesday it's paired with Buck and the Preacher (if you come early) or Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (if you arrive later). On Thursday it plays as a double feature with Carpenter's The Thing (the original plan was Signs, but that fell through).
  • The Somerville Theatre continues its 70mm/Widescreen Festival with It's Always Fair Weather (35mm) and Picnic (DCP) on Friday, Lord Jim (70mm) on Saturday, Funny Girl (35mm) Sunday, . The Band Wagon (35mm) and Gilda on Monday aren't technically part of the festival, but there's a lot of overlap between that and the Tale of Two Studios. There's also a midnight presentation of Penelope Spheeris's Suburbia on Saturday and a "Queer Futures" shorts program on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The Capitol teams with The 4th Wall for a live show with the Umbrellas and Mallcops with visuals by Digital Awareness on Saturday.
  • The Alamo rep calendar has a fair amount of 1989 Time Capsules: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Friday to Monday), Do the Right Thing (Friday/Sunday/Tuesday/Wednesday), Field of Dreams (Saturday/Sunday/Monday/Wednesday), and Pet Semetary (Monday). There are also screenings of Hollywood 90028 (Friday), The Birdcage (Saturday/Sunday/Wednesday), documentary Federer: Twelve Final Days (Tuesday), and a preview of The Bikeriders with live-streamed Q&A on Wednesday
  • The Museum of Fine Arts wraps the Korean film series with Parasite on Friday, has a 2D screening of Anselm on Saturday, and has opening night of RoxFIlm on Thursday evening with Luther: Never Too Much, including a live musical performance, presumably covering the late Luther Vandross's songs.
  • Monday's widescreen special at The Embassy is Doctor Zhivago.
  • Joe's Free Films shows an outdoor screening of The Greatest Showman on Thursday..
  • The Wednesday movie at The Regent Theatre is featurette Forever Is Now, which follows 10 caretakers at Zion National Park; it will be preceded by a short film and followed by Q&A with the filmmakers.
  • The Boston Asian-American Film Festival will be hosting an open house and screening Twilight's Kiss at the Pao Arts Center Thursday evening.
  • The Lexington Venue turns over completely with Inside Out 2 and Tuesday. They also have two local documentaries by David Abel & Ted Blanco: Inundation District on Tuesday and In the Whale: The Greatest Fist Story Ever Told on Wednesday. The theater is closed Monday but otherwise open all week

    The West Newton Cinema is the only place opening documentary Beethoven's Nine: Ode to Humanity, which converses with nine musicians and artists about their relationship to Beethoven's 9th; director Larry Weinstein will be present for a Q&A Friday night. They also open Inside Out 2 and Tuesday, holding over The Long Game (no show Friday), Ezra, Challengers (no show Monday), If, and Wicked Little Letters.

    The Luna Theater has I Saw the TV Glow Friday, Saturday, and Thursday; Hundreds of Beavers Saturday; Jaws on Sunday; and a Weirdo Wednesday show.

    Cinema Salem opens Break The Game, a documentary about gamer Narcissa Wright trying to rebuild her fandom after coming out as a trans woman, from Friday to Monday. That's in addition to Inside Out 2, Tuesday, The Watchers, and I Saw the TV Glow for regular shows. Friday's Night Light screeding is But I'm a Cheerleader, with the original '88 Hairspray playing Saturday and a program of locally-made shorts on Thursday.

    If you can make it out to the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, the AMC there opens both sci-fi thriller Latency and Jennifer Esposito's mob family drama Fresh Kills in addition to everything else.
Busy weekend - ticket to the Red Sox & Yankees tonight, graduation party for my niece Saturday, so just one day of Noir City, choosing between Elevator and the Somerville double feature on Monday, and catching up with Inside Out 2 and G for Gap after that.

Young Woman and the Sea

Apparently, this was originally slated to go straight to Disney+, but someone at Disney either figured "we spent some money on this and maybe it would be a good idea to build Daisy Ridley up before New Jedi Order" or, as I've read, they figured it would be a good tie-in for the Olympics, but in either case, it's not like they did much to promote it or release it wide. Which is a shame, because it's pretty darn good, although I suppose it's also the sort of thing people have been trained to wait for streaming on.

Apparently, it was set up at Paramount for a while before moving to Disney, and I'm kind of surprised that Universal didn't pick it up. It fits Disney's brand better, I suppose, but Universal and NBC are sister companies, and not only has NBC/Peacock had a stranglehold on the Olympics for decades, but all the radio news in the movie is from the National Broadcasting System. The cross-promotion seems natural!

(Aside - how excited do people get about the Olympics these days? It was a big deal when I was a kid, but now I regularly ignore it and hear little but how NBC smothers any actual sports under human-interest stories and ignores everyone but Americans.)

I'm guessing it won't hang around much longer than this coming coming week (and that seems like of lucky), but it's worth recommending. I bet my sporty tween nieces would like it.

Young Woman and the Sea

* * * ¼ (out of four)
Seen 9 June 2024 in AMC Boston Common #6 (first-run, DCP)

Movies like this used to be Disney's bread and butter: Earnest tales of adventure and overcoming obstacles with young heroes and little material that might give parents pause. Young Woman and the Sea may be longer and more elaborate than many of its forebears, but it's got the same quality of nobody seeming embarrassed to be making family fare,and winds up surprisingly rousing and entertaining without having to give the audience a wink to show how clever they are.

It introduces young Trudy (Olive Abercrombie) and Meg Ederle (Lilly Aspell) in 1914 New York, a freighter burning in the distance as their immigrant parents (Kim Bodnia & Jeanette Hain) fear Trudy will die of the measles. She proves too stubborn for that, and she doesn't stop being stubborn when mother Gertrud insists on Meg and their younger brother Henry receiving swimming lessons but attempts to exclude her because measles survivors risk losing their hearing from the activity. The sisters take to it with a passion, and by the time they are older, Gertrud signs them up for a team coached by Lotte Epstein (Sian Clifford). Meg (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) is initially seen as the team's strongest member, but soon Trudy (Daisy Ridley) is setting records, eventually recruited for the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Neither the sponsor (Glenn Fleshler) nor the coach (Christopher Eccleston) actually believes in women's athletics, but Trudy nevertheless sets her sights on swimming the English Channel, an oft-deadly pursuit that only a handful of men have managed in 1926.

It's odd to say, perhaps, but the way that the film handles the sexism at the heart of its story is kind of impressive; it could often be presented as so overwhelming that Trudy and Meg would have to do something that seems truly impossible to chip away at it, or seem like they're undoing sexism all by themselves. Instead, though, they show the 1920s as a sort of inflection point, where there are a lot of silly assumptions and attitudes persisting but not only can one see a space for someone like Trudy, but where her love for swimming can exist as its own thing rather than as a response to the nonsense: She swims because she loves it and is naturally competitive, as opposed to as an escape from what she deals with on land.

That's all important because it gives writer Jeff Nathanson (adapting Glenn Stout's book) and director Joachim Rønning more room to make a good sports movie. Swimming isn't necessarily the easiest activity to make exciting, since there's limits on where you can put the camera without the shot feeling contrived when someone is doing laps - I imagine that it's a bit of a filmmaking challenge to get across the emotional intensity of a bunch of people face down in the water - and so rely on live commentary and montage a lot until it becomes a distance event, when they can open the image up, center the seemingly tiny Trudy against the vast ocean, and face her with a variety of challenges, from boats coming too close to how one can get completely turned around in the dark to jellyfish. They also give the audience a fair amount of credit for connecting necessary dots, from how Trudy's works stoking the boiler where the women practice is probably building a fair amount of strength to how the line between being very good and great can be a heck of a thing for two people to find between them.

In the middle, there's Daisy Ridley, the only person in the film you'd potentially call a star, and it's been kind of interesting to see her carve out this niche of women who are wired differently since Star Wars. Trudy doesn't seem quite so peculiar as her characters from Sometimes I Think About Dying and The Marsh King's Daughter, but she probably was relative to her time, and neither she nor Rønning seems worried about making Trudy's focus something that other people will have to work around if they want to be close to her. Indeed, it often seems that the only person she is consistently playing off comfortably is Tilda Cobham-Hervey as the teen/adult Meg, who clearly understands Trudy's passions and can serve as a sort of bridge to those who don't. One can see some of where Trudy comes from in the parents played by Kim Bodnia and Jeanette Hain, but there's always a bit of distance between them - they love Trudy but can't fully enter her world. The coaches played by Sian Clifford, Christopher Eccleston, and Stephen Graham can, perhaps, but they're different sorts of extreme personalities.

It's a terrific looking picture for something with just the one major star and originally destined for a streamer (and likely not one of Disney+'s tentpole releases); you can never really know these days how much was shot in a big green room and how much is finding spots in Bulgaria that can pass of the New York City of a century ago with some clever redressing, but it's a convincing-enough world, and the aquatic scenes are equally great. It's perhaps longer than this sort of film traditionally would be, but seldom feels flabby or drawn out or flabby.

Young Woman and the Sea is kind of a modest movie, but it does what it's supposed to do and does it well. We could probably use this sort of kid-friendly adventure which doesn't rely on visual effects and fantasy being in theaters from major studios a little more often.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 7 June 2024 - 13 June 2024

Happy "no more trailers for The Watchers or Bad Boys 4" day! That second one, especially, is a rough couple minutes even if Will Smith saying "it's on her mixtape" is as good an example of a skilled performer doing what he can with a bad line.
  • Good news for those of us who have seen both green and red trailers for Bad Boys: Ride or Die a zillion times, as it opens this weekend, with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as Miami cops trying to clear the name of their murdered captain (so long, Joey Pants). It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), Boston Common (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema/Spanish subtitles), Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport (including Dolby Atmos), South Bay (including Imax Xenon & Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax Laser & Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Ishana Shyamalan (yep, Night's daughter) makes her feature debut with an adaptation of A.M. Shine's novel The Watchers, featuring Dakota Fanning as one of a small group of people who have somehow been placed in a mysterious room with something watching them through the one-way mirror that makes up a wall. It's at Fresh Pond, CinemaSalem, Boston Common, Causeway Street, Kendall Square, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards.

    The extended editions of The Lord of the Rings plays at Boston Common, Causeway Street, South Bay, and Assembly Row this weekend: The Fellowship of the Ring on Saturday, with The Two Towers on Sunday and Return of the King on Monday. There's also an AMC Screen Unseen preview at Boston Common, Causeway Street, and Assembly Row on Monday
  • Apple Fresh Pond has a new website that feels like it could take some getting used to - it's all sorted by film rather than date, and I kind of liked being able to see at a glance the size of the rooms each showtime was in - and open a few new movies this weekend. Munjya is a Hindi-language horror-comedy ("for the whole family"), Satyabhama is a Telugu-language crime film with Kajal Aggarwal as a detective on a missing-persons case, Manamey is a Telugu-language comedy about a playboy taking in a young boy (plays through Sunday), and Love Mouli is a Telugu-language romance (no show Sunday). They also have a re-release of Tamil action movie Indian on Saturday afternoon and the India-Pakistan game in the T20 World Cup on Sunday morning. Held over are Tamil-language film Garudan and Hindi-language Mr. & Mrs. Mahi, the latter also at Boston Common.

    Chinese action film Hovering Blade plays Boston Common.

    The week's two Ghibli Fest films are the ones Hiromasa Yonebayashi directed at the studio before moving to Studio Ponoc: The Secret World of Arrietty is at Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row on Sunday (dubbed) and Tuesday (subtitled); When Marnie Was There plays on Monday (dubbed) and Wednesday (subtitled); Arsenal Yards as Marnie subtitled Monday and Arrietty subtitled on tuesday. Volleyball anime Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle continues at Boston Common, Causeway Street, South Bay, and Assembly Row.

    If you can make it out to the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, they have matinees for Cottontail, a UK/Japan co-production with Lily Franky as a widower traveling from Japan to England to fulfil his wife's dying wish.
  • Run Lola Run gets a 25th anniversary re-release/restoration, with The Somerville Theatre giving it the most showtimes on the main 4K laser screen (it's also at the Coolidge, Kendall Square, the Embassy, and Boston Common). It gets bumped on Monday for the Tale of Two Studios double feature of On the Town & The Caine Mutiny, the former on 35mm film, and then the 70mm & widescreen fest (which will also feature a lot of Columbia & MGM films) begins on Wednesday with a 70mm show of Lawrence of Arabia, and then a 35mm print of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on Thursday.

    The Capitol teams with The 4th Wall for a live show with Bruiser and Bicycle, Tula Vera, and Ski Club with visuals by Digital Awareness on Friday, and while there was no regular Disasterpiece Theatre show on Memorial Day, they team with High Energy Vintage to show The Apple on Thursday evening.

    Also, both theaters have started doing $7 Tuesday shows ($5 for members).
  • The Brattle Theatre has a new restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia from Friday to Monday, with late shows of The People's Joker Friday to Sunday.

    The week's Jordan Peele film is Us, playing as part of double features Tuesday to Thursday, with a 35mm print of Funny Games on Tuesday and The Shining on Wednesday and Thursday; note that Noir City next weekend means that one doesn't get its usual Father's Day shows.
  • I suspect The Coolidge Corner Theatre is pleasantly surprised at the legs for Hit Man, mostly keeping it on the main screen and pushing Run Lola Run to limited shows in the new rooms. Midnights this weekend are the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Friday and Dick Tracy on Saturday, and the June "New Queer Cinema" program starts with a 35mm print of My Own Private Idaho on Sunday afternoon and Young Soul Rebels with a seminar by Wicked Queer's Shawn Cotter on Tuesday. Monday's big screen classic is Rear Window on 35mm, there's Open Screen on Tuesday, and a 35mm "Cinema Jukebox" show of Selena on Thursday.
  • The Pride Retro Replay show at Landmark Kendall Square on Tuesday is Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
  • The Alamo Seaport holds over Don Hertzfeldt's twin bill of "ME" & It's Such a Beautiful Day with a full slate until at least Wednesday - good job, us, putting enough butts in seats for that! Their rep calendar has time capsule shows of Teen Witch (Friday/Monday/Tuesday), Steel Magnolias (Movie Party Saturday), But I'm A Cheerleader (Saturday/Sunday/Wednesday), plus Back to the Future Part II (Sunday) and Part III (Saturday/Sunday/Monday/Wednesday); there are also "Guest Selects" shows of the Cassevetes/Rowlands Gloria on Friday and Tuesday (doesn't say who the guest selecting is).
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has Spike Lee's School Daze on Friday night with a post-film panel discussion of Historically Black Colleges & Universities and fraternities & sororities. The Korean films series features B>Road to Boston on Saturday afternoon and Kim Ji-young, Born in 1982 on Sunday afternoon, with Thursday's Spa Night a Korean-American film that overlaps with Pride.
  • The Embassy has Kidnapped: The Abduction of Eduardo Mortara on Saturday and Sunday, and a 4K restoration of Lawrence of Arabia on Sunday and Monday, on top of Run Lola Run and Garfield.
  • Joe's Free Films lists a three-film outdoor German film marathon at Goethe-Institut, starting with Solo Sunny at 4pm, followed by Goodbye Lenin and Traces of Stones, all focused on life in pre-unification East German in some way.
  • Belmont World Film has their second of two films for World Refugee Awareness Month at West Newton on Monday, with Striking the Palace following the mostly-immigrant maids who work in Paris's grand hotels..
  • The Museum of Science has the latest local screening of Inundation District on Tuesday, free with and RSVP. Showtimes for Inside Out 2 and "Cities of the Future" are also on sale.
  • The Regent Theatre has a Midweek Music Movie show this week: The Humbler focuses on blues guitarist Danny Gatton, with director Virginia Quesada on-hand for a post-film panel discussion.
  • The Lexington Venue brings in Kidnapped to join Ezra and Nowhere Special. They're open Friday to Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

    The West Newton Cinema brings in Nowhere Special and The Long Game to join Ezra (not scheduled Thursday), Young Woman and the Sea, Challengers (not scheduled Thursday), If, Farewell Mr. Haffmann (Saturday/Sunday), and Wicked Little Letters.

    The Luna Theater has I Saw the TV Glow Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; Hundreds of Beavers Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday; and Civil War Saturday. There's also a program of Queer Short Films on Sunday evening and a Weirdo Wednesday show.

    Cinema Salem adds The Watchers to In a Violent Nature,I Saw the TV Glow, and Furiosa through Monday. On Thursday, they've got the original Hairspray and a "Funny Filmmakers" night featuring Perry Strong doing stand up comedy and presenting short films.
I'll probably head to The Strangers, The Hovering Blade, Run Lola Run, and some things that have been waiting around, especially since Inside Out 2 will likely clear screens out and I've got a bunch of things planned for next weekend.