The Rasmussens got their start making films as members of the long-standing Harvard Square Scriptwriters group and inspiration from their eerie Victorian building in Porter Square. Their second directorial effort, coming out Oct. 13, was filmed nearby as well.
Typically in survival films we are shown the worst of humanity, but “The Martian” is an unabashed crowdpleaser based on great source material and gifted with one of the most dynamic casts of the year.
Add another film festival to the list of those calling for attention in Cambridge and Somerville’s crowded calendar: The GlobeDocs Film Festival, celebrating nonfiction works, takes place Oct. 7-11 and includes screenings in Boston, Brookline and Cambridge.
For those looking for more than a Wikipedia regurgitation of the facts, even-keeled director Ed Zwick’s film takes off with a Cold War chess champ who looks played out, transitioning from a per-usual, plodding biopic into something more reflective and refreshing.
Directed, starring, edited and written by women, the heartfelt and moving “The Second Mother” is a dedicated and affectionate look at motherhood and the lessons we learn from the women in our lives.
“Black Mass,” the long-awaited cinematic tale of Boston’s own public enemy No. 1 – mobster Whitey Bulger – is a mixed bag, full of diamonds in the rough. In crime terms, it’s a routine hit on a midlevel bagman, but carried out with gusto and flourish.
After “The Last Airbender” (2010) and “After Earth” (2013), films that did not see the north side of a 5 user rating on IMDB (out of 10), one might have thought M. Night Shyamalan done. “The Visit,” Shyamalan’s latest, is a minor rebound.
“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” a documentary about the black activist group, lacks the major players, while in “7 Chinese Brothers,” Jason Schwartzman makes the protagonist himself a less than major player.
Two of the films opening at Kendall Square this week, while very different, record ordeals of perseverance, braving the unknown and strength of bonds: the mumblecore semi-mystery “Digging for Fire” and a documentary about climbing the Himalayan Mount Meru.
Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” as demonstrated in Roger Allers’ new film adaptation, has beautiful portions but simply isn’t suited for a linear narrative.