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Just a bit of a break from the norm”

By Kevin J Johnson

Studios don’t just want your money, they want Everyone’s money. If they don’t have a four-quadrant hit on their hands, the next best thing is counter-programming. If you’re releasing THE AVENGERS, we’re releasing THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, etc. So expect to see a lot of independent films and adult fare pop up on the silver screen.

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Jon Favreau, a key player in shaping the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is returning to indie filmmaking with CHEF (5/9, Open Road). Favreau cut his teeth on indie films with his writing debut SWINGERS (1996) and directorial debut MADE (2001). So, I’m expecting good things out of CHEF; at the very least, there’ll be some cooking tips. PALO ALTO (5/9, Tribeca) and THE IMMIGRANT (5/16, TWC) also hit theaters this summer, but there’s one other film in particular that caught my eye.

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SNOWPIERCER (6/27, TWC) is a South Korean sci-fi film directed by Bong Joon-ho (THE HOST) and features an international cast including Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Octavia Spencer. This movie hit international shores last August, and we’re finally seeing a stateside release. However, The Weinstein Company has had a controversial relationship with foreign films, sometimes drastically changing the cuts far from the director’s intent. I’ve been waiting for months to see this, though I have a feeling the original cut will be more satisfying. Still, something’s better than nothin’.

 

BOYHOOD (7/11, IFC) is Richard Linklater’s experimental coming-of-age drama about the lives of a South Texas family that was twelve years in the making. The characters will literally grow before our eyes, and I’m betting that the visual and emotional impact will be tremendous.

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Other films to look for include I ORIGINS (7/18, Fox Searchlight), the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s A MOST WANTED MAN (7/25, Roadside) and MILLION DOLLAR ARM (5/16, Disney), a feel-good sports movie based on a true story starring Jon Hamm, Lake Bell and Suraj Sharma.

 

These titles should provide a reprieve from the blockbuster bluster we get from tentpoles sometimes. So, this summer, mix it up a little and check out some alternatives.

Tomorrow KJ talks about romantic comedies for all the ladies out there, along with some films out of the norm…

 

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