Things to Do

The Weekender: ‘Men in Black,’ ‘City on a Hill,’ and dad jokes galore

Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and Agent M (Tessa Thompson) in Columbia Pictures' MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL.
Sony Pictures
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in “Men in Black: International.”

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Hey there Weekenders!

I hope you’re ready, because this is about to be the Daddy of all weekends! 

Oops, wait. My bad. I had my pad upside-down. It’s actually the weekend of all Daddies (a.k.a. Father’s Day Weekend). Hey, wait, was that a dad joke? I think it was! (I love to tell dad jokes. Sometimes they even make him laugh.)


No need to papa blood vessel, I won’t be spending this entire newsletter cracking bad dad jokes. Instead, I’ll be focused on cracking terrible ones — as well as providing you with the usual heap of things to do. (First of which is to shake out the couch and hit the Coinstar, because those Billie Eilish resales your kid won’t shut up about start around $300. Good luck!)

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All right, let’s get this grill lit, shall we? 

DOWN TO EARTH: Like a son who just keeps buying you neckties you stopped wearing years ago, Hollywood keeps coming back with sloppily wrapped iterations of “Men in Black,” and this weekend, the fourth is with us in the form of “Men in Black: International.” And while the seven-year delay between sequels may suggest that this one was what some parents might gently refer to as “a mistake,” Globe critic Mark Feeney calls this latest “MiB,” which stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in an “Avengers: Endgame” reunion of sorts, a “perfectly OK outing” that balances its “Bondian” thrills with “Potterish” quirks, and makes off with 2½ stars. Now screening.

HERRRRRE’S EMMA: A few steps down the multiplex is “Late Night,” which Globe film critic Ty Burr gives three stars and welcomes as an all-too-rare opportunity to catch Emma Thompson in a starring role. Here, Thompson is “a prickly delight” as Katherine Newbury, “a talk-show legend increasingly out of touch in a YouTube world” and the overbearing boss of young writer Molly Patel, played by the film’s writer, Mindy Kaling — who gives the film a “television feel,” says Burr, “with its acrid ‘30 Rock’ edge blunted by an awareness of what it means to be a woman in the bro’s club of late-night comedy.” Now screening.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING: And lastly from movieland this week is “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” the “daring” and “dreamlike” directorial debut from Joe Talbot, defined by a “low-key, melancholy lyricism” that sways between “ridiculous” and “transfixing” according to Feeney’s three-star review. “Sometimes it can be a bit confusing,” he writes. “The logic the movie follows isn’t necessarily the logic the audience does. Emotional dislocation comes to matter even more than economic, social, and racial dislocation do, and they matter a lot.” Co-writer Jimmie Falls stars alongside Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, and Rob Morgan. Now screening.


HOT STUFF: Funk-loving dads, take note of the Sinkane show on Saturday. London-born, Ohio-bred, New York City-based Sudanese-American soul slinger Ahmed Gallab specializes in long, hot stretches of scorchingly psychedelic Afro-funk (with discernible hints of his skate-punk past). Check out the band’s latest album, “Dépaysé,” or get an immersion course at Berklee’s Red Room at Cafe 939 (and get there early for the “Syrian heart” meets “Chicago Soul” of Bassel & the Supernaturals. Grab tickets here.

Emily Bautista as ÔKimÕ and Anthony Festa as ÔChrisÕ in the North American Tour of MISS SAIGON singing ÒSun and MoonÓ. (Matthew Murphy)
Matthew Murphy
Emily Bautista and Anthony Festa in “Miss Saigon.”

LOVE AND WAR: Some dads may be iffy on musicals, but most dads can agree on helicopters; which makes the Broadway in Boston production of “Miss Saigon” the perfect parental pleaser of the summer season. I mean, it’s also an enduring and heart-rending tale of love, loss, longing, identity, and war from the creators of “Les Miserables,” but yeah, you’ll get to see a chopper onstage. (You’ll also get to see the auspicious rise of 21-year old Acton native Emily Bautista in the lead role!) It’s at Citizens Bank Opera House through June 30. Find tickets here.

DYING UP HERE: “Here’s what happened. My friend died, and a few months later, my brother died.” This might not sound like a setup for comedy gold, but in the hands of Will Martin, who will perform his show “Total Loss” one last time at the Rockwell on Saturday before taking it on tour and moving to Los Angeles, this morbidly funny material makes for “an hour of joyous, transgressive, and beautiful comedy dedicated to the memory of Martin’s comedian friend Nick, who committed suicide, and Martin’s brother Caleb, who was killed in a car accident during a spring break road trip,” according to Globe contributor Nick A. Zaino III. Find tickets here.

ORLANDO MAGIC: Opera dads: This weekend offers your last chance to take in the fully staged Boston Early Music Festival production of Agostino Steffani’s flamboyantly baroque “Orlando generoso,” which Globe reviewer Zoe Madonna warns may leave viewers with “the operatic version of a food coma.” “The show boasts a cast of dynamic singing actors, a versatile battalion of dancers, fantastical scenery, and enough bawdy sight gags to shake a shepherdess’s crook at,” she writes. Find tickets to the remaining Friday and Sunday performances here.

HEY EINSTEIN: A trip out to Amherst might seem too far a trek to make for an art show, but as “Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein reveals,” that’s relative. Globe art critic Murray Whyte praises this “sharp and absorbing survey exhibition” of this unsung “science-minded” art movement of the 1930s, which concerned itself with “seismic upheavals of a world in rapid technological transformation,” and which seems uncannily tapped into a whole system of contemporary anxieties. Fun stuff! The show at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum features a dazzling spread of works from artists including Alexander Calder, Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Naum Gabo, Helen Lundeberg, Isamu Noguchi, Joan Miro, Charles Sirato, Yves Tanguy, and Barbara Hepworth. On view through July 28; find more info here.

Aldis Hodge and Kevin Bacon star in “City on a Hill.”

OR STAY IN: Why bawtha going into Bawstun when you can get the same thing at home, khed? Oops, was that an overdone Boston accent? Well get used to it, because there’s a new Boston-based crime drama coming to cable, and not an R in the house is safe. “City on a Hill,” airing Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime, was co-created by a hometown boy done good, Quincy native Chuck MacLean, and executive produced by MacLean, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Barry Levinson, and Tom Fontana, and my buddy Jimmy and his buddy Tommy, oh and Sully was there too. Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert assures us the accents “really aren’t too bad” (which is a very Boston nice way to say “brace yourselves”) and the show itself, “good, if you like gritty crime drama and crooked cops,” which we do!

And if you’re a dad who prefers to celebrate Father’s Day with some alone time, just a heads up that there’s a brand new Bruce Springsteen solo album called “Western Stars” that finds the storytelling songwriter in top form and, according to reviewer Ken Capobianco, “returning to the West and its open roads for inspiration” — just like you! 

For those dads whose alone time sounds a little different, and whose man-cave leans slightly fabulous, there’s also the new Madonna album! And Globe reviewer Maura Johnston calls “Madame X” Madge’s “most compelling album in years.” Great, now I have “Papa Don’t Preach” stuck in my head. 

And that’s all I’ve got in the cooler for you this time, Weekenders. Say hi to your Dad for me (that really wasn’t supposed to sound so creepy, honest), and however you go about spending your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday. 

See you next time!

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur