Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend (3/23/12 Edition)

on March 24, 2012 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo


4:44: Last Day on Earth
Talk about a trailer that makes you feel needy. This is indie vet Abel Ferrara's newest feral portrait of urgency and abandon in New York. Here, the end of the world is a real thing and everyone's waiting for it to hit at 4:44 on Wednesdaymundane as sunrise, yet totally earth-shaking.
Director: Abel Ferrara
Writer: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Natasha Lyonne


If you saw Lifeboat or enjoyed Buried, this chamber play takes those premises and adds Speed. A secret agent played by Stephen Dorff knows where the president will go in the event of terrorist attackand he's locked in a box inside a bomb-wired car trunk, until a group of terrorists can sweat it out of him.
Director: Gabe Torres
Writer: Timothy Mannion
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Chyler Leigh, JR Bourne

Losing Control
A young scientist has life planned out until her beau proposessince her science experiments tend to go bust, she's never expected great things from romance. So she puts the boy on hold and endeavors a series of one night stands to see if any of those other men test higher. She's seeking a control subjectand she'll find it embarrassing.
Director: Valerie Weiss
Writer: Valerie Weiss
Stars: Miranda Kent, Reid Scott, Kathleen Robertson

Musical Chairs
If I say, Desperately Seeking Susan, most think "Madonna," but the unsung hero is director Susan Seidelman. In her latest musical comedy, a dancer is tragically wheelchair-bound and the studio's janitor trains with her to compete in a national wheelchair dancing competition. And you thought chair dancing only happened when you heard "Lucky Star" in traffic.
Director: Susan Seidelman
Writer: Marty Madden
Stars: Leah Pipes, E.J. Bonilla, Priscilla Lopez

October Baby
When Hannah learns she's adopted, her 19-year-old histrionics inspire her to abandon her "fake" parents. A sympathetic John Schnieder (he'll always be Bo Duke to me) plays the dad who let's his kid travel in search of her birth motherbut doesn't let her get so far out of eyeshot she's not his girl anymore.
Directors: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Writers: Theresa Preston, Jon Erwin
Stars: Rachel Hendrix, Jason Burkey, John Schneider

Take Me Home
Thom's been driving a yellow car camouflaged as a NY cab. At night, who can tell the difference? Claire just found out her dad's had a heart attack. In NY, who's paying attention? He's wayward, she's upsetwhy not drive west and see the world outside the big apple's corporatized fishbowl in this punch drunk angry romance
Director: Sam Jaeger
Writer: Sam Jaeger
Stars: Victor Garber, Sam Jaeger, Bree Turner

The Trouble with Bliss
Aren't Michael C. Hall's problems adorable even when he plays a serial killer/policeman/family man. Here, he's finally operating against type as a total loser. Stuck in a rut, the ironically named Morris Bliss (Hall) falls apart when he falls for the daughter of a former high school classmate.
Director: Michael Knowles
Writers: Michael Knowles
Stars: Michael C. Hall, Peter Fonda, Lucy Liu


All In: The Poker Movie
Celebrities rallied to appear in this doc about high stakes poker, aka "The Sport of Kings." All In is as interested in the poker-related phenomena of bluffs, losses, televised events, personal reinvention and sex appeal. Winners are hot and betters risk it all. This drama doesn't need a story, it just needs a willing and fleeting hero.
Director: Douglas Tirola

An Encounter with Simon Weil
1930's French philosopher Simone Weil died young, but before her death witnessed warning signs of WWII's coming inhumanity and asked "Why are we so willing to watch the suffering of others and remain in our comfort?" This is filmmaker Julia Haslett's journey into the paradox of seeing suffering and choosing action.
Director: Julia Haslett


Agent Vinod
The sort of agent who kicks the door down first and finds out what's on the other side second, Agent Vinod doesn't need to see cause, effect or cohesive logic to barrel into the den of criminal masterminds. This high-gloss Bollywood caper can't promise a clear storyline but it can promise roundhouse kicks and muscles.
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Writers: Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas
Stars: Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Malika Haydon

Come on Eileen
When the future was bright and Dexy's Midnight Runners played MTV on infinite loop, this Eileen was a girl who wanted to have fun. She settled down and had a son who suffered her alcoholism and while she escaped poverty, misery followedwhich makes her backslide into loser boyfriends and pub crawls.
Director: Finola Geraghty
Writer: Finola Geraghty
Stars: Jackie Howe, Felix Malcolm Still, Mercedes Grower

Starry, Starry Night aka Xing kong
As pretty as Detective Dee (because it's directed by the same guy) this evocative romance begins when the lovers are hardly lovers-13-years-old and running through green hillsides. A decade later they'd lose family and friends to rediscover each other. No promise they'll find love again.
Director: Tom Lin
Writer: Tom Lin
Stars: Rene Liu, Harlem Yu, Kenneth Tsang

The Deep Blue Sea
English auteur Terrence Davies takes on a popular British play about the wife of a Judge who leaves him for an ex-war pilot. A smashing hero for a solid fuddy-duddy makes a smart trade, but the romance threatens to consume her and makes love everlasting seem a thing invented for fables.
Director: Terence Davies
Writers: Terence Davies
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Ann Mitchell

The Raid: Redemption aka Serbuan maut World
A highly acclaimed actioner, this Indonesian film pits a SWAT team against the mob inside a tenement run by organized crime. There's more than one kind of street smarts at play when the super-strategic criminal element duels with the limber weapons men. Watch the original before the inevitable U.S. remake.
Director: Gareth Evans
Writer: Gareth Evans
Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy


Tags: Brake, Losing Control, Musical Chairs, October Baby, Take Me Home, The Trouble with Bliss, All In: The Poker Movie, An Encounter with Simon Weil, Agent Vinod, Come on Eileen, Starry Starry Night, The Deep Blue See, The Raid: Redemption, 4:44: Last Day on Earth

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