Tag Archives: indieweekend

Indie Weekend: ‘Pariah,’ ‘House of Pleasures,’ ‘The Devil Inside’

Adepero Oduye in 'Pariah' (Focus Features)
Adepero Oduye in 'Pariah' (Focus Features)

My pick of the week:

  • ‘Pariah.’ A coming-of-age story that manages to feel fresh and authentic. The extraordinary Adepero Oduye inhabits the lead role of a high school girl named Alike. She lives with her family in a comfortable home in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, but she could be anyone struggling with identity issues. Alike sneaks out to a gay club at night before changing her outfit to sneak back home; at school she is yet another personality. Her parents are having marital difficulties, and each exerts different pressure upon her. Slowly she comes to an understanding of what she needs to do to become her own person. Dee Rees wrote and directed, with precision and compassion. (Landmark Magnolia.) My interview with Rees at Twitch. Recommended.

Also opening in Dallas today, Friday, January 6, 2012 (listed in order of preference):

  • ‘House of Pleasures.’ A French-language film about women trapped by circumstances at a brothel in early 20th Century Paris. (Texas Theatre.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Beneath the Darkness.’ Dennis Quaid stars as a respected mortician in Smithville, Texas who murders a teenager. When the kid’s friends report it to the police, no one believes them, and it’s up to them to prove that it wasn’t an accident. (Cinemark 17.) Not previewed.
  • ‘The Devil Inside.’ A faux-documentary about possible demon possession and multiple exorcisms. Clumsily made — intentionally so — and dreadfully boring. (Wide.) My review at TwitchNot recommended.

Indie Weekend: ‘Into the Abyss,’ ‘Bellflower’ and ‘Titans’ Return

Werner Herzog in 'Into the Abyss'
Werner Herzog in 'Into the Abyss'

My pick of the week:

  • ‘Into the Abyss.’ Werner Herzog contemplates the death penalty in conversations with an inmate on death row in Texas, and those affected by his crime. (Landmark Magnolia, Angelika Plano.) Not previewed.

Also opening in Dallas today, Friday, November 11, 2011 (listed alphabetically):

  • ‘Bellflower.’ Powerful drama that goes off the rails yet remains a provocative, independent vision. (Texas Theatre.) My review. Recommended.
  • ‘Clash of the Titans.’ With sword-and-sandals epic ‘Immortals’ hitting theaters this weekend, the Texas Theatre wisely showcases a 35mm print of the charming 1981 fantasy flick. (Texas Theatre.) Recommended.

Holdovers — Selected Indies Still playing:

  • Angelika Dallas: ‘Drive,’ ‘Like Crazy,’ ‘Margin Call,’ ‘The Skin I Live In’
  • Angelika Plano: ‘Like Crazy,’ ‘Margin Call,’ ‘Nuremberg,’ ‘The Skin I Live In,’ ‘Sarah’s Key,’ ‘Take Shelter’
  • Cinemark West Plano: ‘The Double,’ ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’
  • Landmark Inwood: ‘The Rum Diary’
  • Landmark Magnolia: ‘Anonymous,’ ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene,’ ‘Mozart’s Sister,’ ‘Take Shelter’

Opening wide across the Metroplex (listed in alphabetical order):

  • ‘Immortals.’ The gods take an interest in the battles of mortal men; Henry Cavill is the hero and Mickey Rourke is the villain; with Frieda Pinto. Directed with style and energy by Tarsem. My review at Twitch. Recommended.
  • ‘Jack and Jill.’ In this alleged comedy, Adam Sandler plays both himself and his twin sister. With Al Pacino (?!) and Katie Holmes. My review at TwitchNot recommended.
  • ‘J. Edgar.’ Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the secretive longtime  director of the FBI. With Armie Hammer and Naomi Watts; directed by Clint Eastwood. My review at Twitch. Recommended with reservations.

Indie Weekend: ‘The Skin I Live In,’ ‘Like Crazy,’ ‘The Woman’

Antonio Banderas in 'The Skin I Live In' (Sony Pictures Classics)
Antonio Banderas in 'The Skin I Live In' (Sony Pictures Classics)

My pick of the week:

  • ‘The Skin I Live In.’ Antonio Banderas teams with Pedro Almodovar, the director who discovered him, for the first time in 20 years. Banderas plays a plastic surgeon who has developed a new type of artificial skin, and is conducting experiments with it on a woman who appears to be held against her will. It’s Almodovar and Banderas, in a movie that’s received generally positive reviews, which makes it this weekend’s top choice. (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano.) Not previewed.

Also opening in Dallas today, Friday, November 4, 2011 (listed alphabetically):

  • ‘America the Beautiful: The Thin Commandments.’ Documentarian Darryl Roberts once again tackles the issue of body imagery. (Angelika Dallas.) Not previewed.
  • ‘The Double.’ Richard Gere as a retired CIA operative investigating a murder. With Odette Yustman, Stana Katic, Topher Grace, and Martin Sheen. (Cinemark West Plano, Grapevine Mills 30.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Elevate.’ Documentary by Anne Buford following basketball players from rural Senegal who attend a prestigious sports academy in their home country before moving to the U.S. to play basketball and excel in scholastics. (Grapevine Mills 30.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Like Crazy.’ Romantic drama starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as a young couple who must deal with the strains of a long-distance relationship. (Angelika Dallas.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Mozart’s Sister.’ What happened to the musical genius of Wolfgang’s sibling? (Landmark Magnolia.) Review by John P. Meyer. Recommended.
  • ‘The Son of No One.’ Director Dito Montiel returns to Queens, New York, with the story of a detective (Channing Tatum) who must open a double-homicide cold case in his old neighborhood. (Grapevine Mills 30.) Not previewed.
  • ‘The Woman.’ Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum colloborate on the story of a husband and father who finds a wild woman (Polly McIntosh) in the woods and brings her home to his wife and son in order to “domesticate” her. First, he locks her up in the basement. (Texas Theatre.) Not previewed.

Wide across the Metroplex (listed in alphabetical order):

  • ‘Tower Heist.’ Ben Stiller masterminds a heist in the penthouse of a luxury high-rise residential complex. With Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, and Eddie Murphy. My review at TwitchNot recommended.
  • ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.‘ John Cho and Kal Penn return in a holiday-themed comedy sequel. With Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon, and Neil Patrick Harris,  Not previewed.

Indie Weekend: ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene,’ Horror at the Texas Theatre

Elizabeth Olsen in 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' (Fox Searchlight)
Elizabeth Olsen in 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' (Fox Searchlight)

My pick of the week:

  • ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene.’ Elizabeth Olsen stars as a young woman who flees from a cult into the home of her sister and brother-in-law. What should be a loving welcome proves to be something else entirely. With John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, and Hugh Dancy; written and directed by Sean Durkin. Even though I haven’t seen it yet, the film has received such glowing notices, especially for Olsen, since its debut at Sundance early this year that it stands out as the “must see” of the weekend. (Landmark Magnolia.) Not previewed.

Also opening in Dallas today, Friday, October 28, 2011 (listed alphabetically):

  • ‘Anonymous.’ Roland Emmerich’s historical drama. (Various area theaters.) My reviewNot recommended.
  • ‘Hell and Back Again.’ Acclaimed documentary on the war in Afghanistan. (Angelika Dallas.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Oranges and Sunshine.’ Hugo Weaving and Emily Watson in a drama set in the 1980s, about reuniting British children with their parents; the children were forcibly migrated to other countries, chiefly Australia. (Angelika Dallas.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Nuremberg.’ Produced in 1948 but then suppressed in the U.S. for political reasons, the documentary on the 1945 Nuremberg trials has been restored, with new narration by Liev Schreiber and a new musical score, (Angelika Plano; producer and restorer Sandra Schulberg will be present for Q&A sessions today and tomorrow following the 1:10, 3:20, 5:30, and 7:40 p.m. shows.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Puncture.’ Chris Evans plays a drug-addicted lawyer who gets involved in a legal battle with a health supply company. (Angelika Dallas.) Not previewed.
  • ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ The camp classic returns, with Los Bastardos live; audience participation is strongly encouraged. With Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick. (Landmark Inwood; Friday and Saturday, midnight only.) Not previewed.
  • Horror Movies at the Texas Theatre. The October madness continues, with 1988’s ‘Night of the Demons’ in 35mm and George Romero’s classic ‘Night of the Living Dead’ in 16mm on Saturday; ‘Night of the Living Dead’ repeats on Sunday as part of a double-feature with 1973’s ‘And Now the Screaming Starts,’ also in 16mm; and ‘Pumpkinhead’ in 35mm is the centerpiece of the Monster Mash Pumpkin Bash. (Texas Theatre, various showtimes.) Recommended.

Wide across the Metroplex (listed in alphabetical order):

  • ‘In Time.’ Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried in a clumsy science fiction thriller, set in a world where time has replaced money as the new currency. My reviewNot recommended.
  • ‘Puss in Boots.’ A ‘Shrek’ franchise spin-off, featuring the vocal talents of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek. Advance word has been surprisingly positive. Not previewed.
  • ‘The Rum Diary.‘ Johnny Depp stars as a burned-out journalist who takes a job at a newspaper in Puerto Rico and encounters rum, lust, and corruption (not necessarily in that order). With Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, and Richard Jenkins. Advance word has been mixed. Not previewed.

Indie Weekend: ‘Blackthorn,’ ‘Margin Call,’ Horror at the Texas Theatre

Sam Shepherd in 'Blackthorn' (Magnolia Pictures)
Sam Shepherd in 'Blackthorn' (Magnolia Pictures)

My pick of the week:

  • ‘Take Shelter.’ Michael Shannon gives a towering performance as a husband who begins to crack under the strains and anxieties of daily life. With the excellent Jessica Chastin. (Landmark Magnolia, Angelika Plano.) My reviewHighly recommended.

Also opening in Dallas today, Friday, October 21, 2011 (listed alphabetically):

  • ‘Blackthorn.’ What if Butch Cassidy had survived the deadly assault by the Bolivian Army? Sam Shepherd stars as an outlaw in exile. (Landmark Magnolia.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Margin Call.’ Zack Quinto leads an all-star cast as a conscience-stricken investment banker dealing with his firm’s duplicity during the 2008 economic meltdown. (Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Texas Killing Fields.’ An innocent Texas man may have been executed in 2004. A documentary investigates. (Landmark Magnolia.) Not previewed.
  • ‘The Tree.’ Charlotte Gainsbourg stars in a drama set in the gorgeous landscape of the Australian Outback. (Angelika Dallas.) Not previewed.
  • ‘Zombie.’ Lucio Fulci’s extremely gory horror classic, possibly the only movie you need to see in which a zombie fights a shark. (Landmark Inwood; Friday and Saturday, midnight only.) Recommended.
  • Horror Movies at the Texas Theatre. The October madness continues, with Calvin Reeder’s extremely challenging ‘The Oregonian’ and John Landis’ uneven horror comedy ‘Burke and Hare.’ (Texas Theatre, various showtimes.)

Wide across the Metroplex (listed in alphabetical order):

  • ‘Johnny English Reborn.’ Sequel to 2003 spy spoof, with Rowan Atkinson returning as a bumbling, yet preternaturally skilled, British secret agent. My reviewNot recommended for adults.
  • ‘The Mighty Macs.’ Based on the true story of a college women’s basketball team in 1971. Read more about it. Not previewed.
  • ‘Paranormal Activity 3.‘  Prequel rewinds to 1988, when the adult sisters featured in the previous two installments were infants. Advance word has been pretty decent. Not previewed.
  • ‘The Three Musketeers.’ Paul W.S. Anderson (‘Resident Evil’) plunders Dumas, comes up with sky pirates and his wife (Milla Jovovich) as a high-flying assassin. In 3D! Advance word suggests this may be one of the worst films of the year. Not previewed.

Indie Weekend: ‘Weekend,’ ‘Incendiary,’ ‘Sholem Aleichem’

'Gun Hill Road'
Esai Morales in 'Gun Hill Road.'

Opening in Dallas today, Friday, October 14, 2011 (listed alphabetically, because I haven’t previewed any of them, unfortunately):

  • ‘Gun Hill Road.’ Esai Morales is paroled from prison and returns to the Bronx a changed man. But he’s not quite prepared for the changes in his family. (Angelika Dallas.)
  • ‘Incendiary.’ An innocent Texas man may have been executed in 2004. A documentary investigates. (Landmark Magnolia.)
  • ‘Labios Rojos.’ Romantic comedy from Mexico, in which a happily married couple experiences trouble when the husband can no longer satisfy the wife sexually. (AmStar 14, AMC Valley View 16, Cinemark 17, AMC Mesquite 30, Cinemark West Plano.)
  • ‘Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness.’ Documentary exploring the life of the writer whose stories served as the source material for ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ (Angelika Dallas.)
  • ‘Toast.’ Freddie Highmore stars as a teen who falls in love with cooking and must do battle with new stepmother Helena Bonham Carter for his father’s affections. (Angelika Dallas.)
  • ‘Trespass.’ Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman in a home invasion thriller. Directed by Joel Schumacher. (AMC Mesquite 30; also on VOD.)
  • ‘Weekend.’ Romantic drama, as two men get to know each other over a single weekend.  (Landmark Magnolia.)
  • Horror Movies at the Texas Theatre. I love the maniacs at the Texas Theatre, who are showing ‘Friday the 13th’ in 35mm, plus ‘Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ and ‘Nosferatu’ in 16mm tonight, with the awesome ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’ showing again tomorrow through next Thursday.  (Texas Theatre, various showtimes.)

Wide across the Metroplex (listed in reverse alphabetical order):

  • The Thing.’ A prequel in name only, this forgettable flick endeavors to pay homage to John Carpenter’s superior 1982 version, but can only manage a series of weak action sequences. Mary Elizabeth Winstead deserves better. So does John Carpenter, for that matter. My review at TwitchNot recommended.
  • ‘Footloose.‘  Craig Brewer remakes the 80s dance craze movie, which I never saw in the first place. Help yourself. Not previewed.
  • ‘The Big Year.’ Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black, in what is alleged to be a bird-watching comedy. Chirp, chirp. Not previewed.