By Jack Rico
It’s mid-March and Spring is in the air. With news of $50 dollar movie releases coming to a living room near you, watching movies in theaters will be less and less. Nevertheless, there are several films this week that possess and interesting premise, most of them on the indie side.
The most interesting to me is The Brainwashing of My Dad, a doc about American intellectual, philosopher and political activist, Noam Chomsky. He is famous for his debates vs. William F. Buckley Jr. and his statements on the decline of America along with almost every other sociological topic (there’s also a tedious, but ingenious animated doc titled “Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?” about him too). On the features side, The Program, a film about how Lance Armstrong cheated the sport of cycling, seems to carry a strong performance by Ben Foster, an underrated actor (the doc The Armstrong Lie is excellent if you haven’t seen it). The Confirmation has a nice cast, but not sure the film has enough weight. Clive Owen as a dad? Not on film. Too Late also has a terrrific cast too, except this one seems like it might be the surprise gem of the week. You can check out the rest of the films below. What movie will you watch?
INDIE & LIMITED RELEASES
Krisha (R, 1hr 23m, Drama)
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Cast: Olivia Grace Applegate, Bryan Casserly, Alex Dobrenko, Chris Doubek
Synopsis: Krisha returns for Thanksgiving dinner after ten years away from her family, but past demons threaten to ruin the festivities.
Thank You For Playing (80m, Documentray)
Director: David Osit, Malika Zouhali-Worrall
Synopsis: When Ryan Green, a video game programmer, learns that his young son Joel has cancer, he and his wife begin documenting their emotional journey in the form of an unusually beautiful and poetic video game. THANK YOU FOR PLAYING follows Ryan and his family over two years through the creation of “That Dragon, Cancer” as it evolves from a cathartic exercise into a critically acclaimed work of art that sets the gaming industry abuzz.
My Golden Days (R, 2hr 3m, Drama)
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Cast: Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Mathieu Amalric, Dinara Drukarova
Synopsis: Paul is preparing to leave Tajikistan, while thinking back on his adolescent years. His childhood, his mother’s madness, the parties, the trip to the USSR where he lost his virginity, the friend who betrayed him and the love of his life.
The Bronze (R, 1hr 48m, Comedy, Drama)
Directors: Bryan Buckley
Cast: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Haley Lu Richardson, Thomas Middleditch
Synopsis: A foul-mouthed former gymnastics bronze medalist must fight for her local celebrity status when a new young athlete’s star rises in town.
The Brainwashing of My Dad (Documentary, 1h 35m)
Directors: Jen Senko
Cast: Matthew Modine
Synopsis: Filmmaker Jen Senko examines how the media influenced her father to switch from democrat to conservative.
The Confirmation (PG-13, 1hr 30m, Comedy)
Directors: Bob Nelson
Cast: Clive Owen, Jaeden Lieberher, Maria Bello, Patton Oswalt, Matthew Modine, Robert Forster
Synopsis: The film centers around Walt (Owen), a down-on-his luck carpenter tasked with entertaining his eight-year-old son Anthony (Lieberher) while his mom (Maria Bello) and her new husband are away. Walt’s prized toolbox is stolen and suddenly a quiet father-and-son weekend turns into an adventure of a lifetime. Aided by an oddball drywall repairman (Patton Oswalt), Walt and Anthony go on a wildly funny search for the thieves—and find something they never imagined: a true family connection.
Too Late (1hr 47m, Drama)
Directors: Dennis Hauck
Cast: Crystal Reed, Dash Mihok, Rider Strong, John Hawkes, Jeff Fahey, Robert Forster
Synopsis: Explores the tangled relationship between a troubled private investigator and the missing woman he’s hired to help find. *TOO LATE unofficially has the longest Stedicam shots in film history. The film was shot as five uncut and unedited segments on 35mm but in the old 2-perf Techniscope format, which is unique in that it can yield 22 minutes of footage from a single roll of film, as opposed to the standard 11 minutes of most other 35mm formats.
The Program (R, 1hr 43m, Drama)
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Guillaume Canet, Jesse Plemons
Synopsis: An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong’s performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.
The Preppie Connection (1hr 35m, Drama, Suspense/Thriller)
Directors: Joseph Costelo
Cast: Thomas Mann, Lucy Fry, Logan Huffman, Sam Page, Bill Sage, Amy Hargreaves
Synopsis: When a new student intends to make friends by using his street cred, he starts a drug ring.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (PG-13, 2hr 1m, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy)
Director: Robert Schwentke
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Jeff Daniels
Synopsis: The third installment of the blockbuster Divergent series franchise, ALLEGIANT takes Tris [Shailene Woodley] and Four [Theo James] into a new world, far more dangerous than ever before.
Midnight Special (PG-13, 1hr 42m, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy)
Director: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Jaeden Lieberher
Synopsis: A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers.
Miracles from Heaven (PG, 1hr 49m, Drama, Family)
Director: Patricia Riggen
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah, John Carroll Lynch, Brighton Sharbino, Martin Henderson
Synopsis: A young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident.