“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.
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.
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.
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…