Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend (4/13/12 Edition)

on April 13, 2012 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo


Danny Trejo cashes in his "Machete don't text" mojo for this true story/urban legend about a loner they called "Badass." Like any guy with vigilante cred, cops don't know if he's friend or foe. That he's an ex-con isn't helping, but between the guys he beats up and the fuzz hunting him down, you're gonna see that Viejo run.
Director: Craig Moss
Writers: Craig Moss, Elliot Tishman
Stars: Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton, Ron Perlman
Genre: Action

Blue Like Jazz
A coming of age comedy about a boy from the Bible Belt who escapes the embarrassing youth ministers of home to attend Reed College, supposedly the most godless campus in America. But leaving his past behind isn't the same as finding himselffor now, he's he's really just acting like an ass.
Director: Steve Taylor
Writers: Steve Taylor, Ben Pearson, Donald Miller
Stars: Claire Holt, Tania Raymonde, Jason Marsden
Genre: Romance

Budz House
For four unemployed friends, the only answer to their malaise is weed. They smoke until a clogged pipe sends them under the house where they find a magical patch of grass that promises to save them from their troubles. They're living the dealer's dream, but a villain wants his cut.
Director: Cameron Casey
Writer: Marvin Watkins
Stars: Wesley Jonathan, Faizon Love, Aaron Scotti
Genre: Comedy

A young reporter (Steve Talley, aka "Dwight Stifler" of American Pie: Beta House) wants to investigate a racially motivated killing from 19 years ago. Good ol' boy Eric Roberts plays a veteran journalist trying to make sure the new kid doesn't get himself killed. This southern saga of discrimination and violence features Christian uplift, or as the trailer says: "Hope...Faith...Justice...Steve Talley."
Director: Curt Hahn
Writer: Mark Ethridge
Stars: Eric Roberts, Steve Talley, Anna Felix
Genre: Mystery

If Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club and Scream had a baby it might look like this high school horror where a masked serial killer ruins everyone's promeven after a power-hungry principal puts everyone in a day-long suspension. With The Hunger Games Josh Hutcherson.
Director: Joseph Kahn
Writers: Joseph Kahn, Mark Palermo
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Spencer Locke
Genre: Horror/Comedy

Falling Away
A school bus accident divides an inner city community into mourners and confused citizens. But now they all have to coexist, as does the surviving bus driver (played, ironically, by a tortured Tony Todd of Candyman) who is indicted and begs for reconciliation.
Director: Michael David Trozzo
Writer: Michael David Trozzo
Stars: Kenny Anderson, Hector Luis Bustamante, Luke Daniels
Genre: Drama

Maps and photos let us imagine a place, but experiences are hard to reduce into pictures. So when an American cartographer and an Armenian photographer fall for each other, they hold on tightly until they chose their jobs because because they don't want roots. A critical darling starring 3:10 to Yuma's Ben Foster.
Director: Braden King
Writers: Braden King, Dani Valent
Stars: Ben Foster, Peter Coyote, Lubna Azabal
Genre: Romance

L!fe Happens
Written by and starring Krysten Ritter (of Breaking Bad and the new series Don't Trust the B----) this comedy about a one night stand that produces a baby-momma seems be based on the mistakes that the Sex and the City girls might had made if they weren't making such a fuss over contraception. With Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson.
Director: Kat Coiro
Writers: Krysten Ritter, Kat Coiro
Stars: Krysten Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson
Genre: Comedy

Love, Life, Soul
Roosevelt's got a lot going for him, when his mother suddenly dies suddenly. Sent back to his estranged father, conflicts and resentment make life unbearable. But with the help of his stepmother and some fast friends, mending is on the horizon. His mother would have wanted it that way.
Director: Noel Calloway
Writer: Noel Calloway
Stars: Chad Coleman, Jamie Hector, Robbie Tate-Brickle
Genre: Drama

Scott Murphy's life was defined by a high school football injury. He's lived in a rut of failure and helplessness even since. But magic sends him back to high school to relive the trauma that "ruined" him and he figures out the problem was never his legand his future was always his choice.
Director: Don Handfield
Writer: Don Handfield
Stars: Brian Presley, Kurt Russell, Melanie Lynskey
Genre: Sports Drama

Woman Thou Art Loosed--The 7th Day
An affluent couple is victimized by a serial kidnapper. Their pain is meant to teach a lesson on finding fulfillment through faith. It's only reaching 100 markets nationwide, but it knows its market is the audience who made solid hits out of Jumping the Broom and Not Easily Broken, and it aims to hit that target swiftly and with precision.
Director: Neema Barnette
Screenwriter: Cory Tynan
Cast: Blair Underwood, Sharon Leal, Nicole Beharie
Genre: Drama



Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel
The drummer of the band Hole watched singer Courtney Love ascend into fame and bad taste while Love's husband, Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, dissolved into addiction. But though Patty Schemel watched it from her drum set on the back of the stage, her own demons were as big as theirs.
Director: P. David Ebersole

How To Grow A Band
Indie band living looks pretty high riskif it weren't, would it be worth doing. The members of the Punch Brothers get that, and see this music thing as a long term investment, like a marriage. A great-looking meditation on creativity and commitment, now or anytime.
Director: Mark Meatto

Last Will and Embezzlement
As our elders grow less physically capable, they trust in the younger generations to care for them. Not all who care are trustworthy and this doc about the horrors of age exploitation is timed to play before the largest generational transfer of wealth we've ever seen. This urgent and sensitive doc features an interview with actor Mickey Rooney.
Director: Deborah Louise Robinson

My Mars Bar Movie
Near the Anthology Archives in Manhattan was The Mars Bar, the favorite watering hole for avant garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas. It was an institution...but it wouldn't last forever. When it went, Mekas' refuge was lost, too. This film is his valentine.
Director: Jonas Mekas

The Woman Who Wasn't There
Tania Head was president of the World Trade Survivors Network. She made it out of the Twin Towers alive and helped hundreds of people after the attacks...and six years later it was proven she'd never even been in the towers. Is her lie so damning she betrayed the cause? No good deeds go unanalyzed.
Director: Angelo Guglielmo

Made chiefly from footage taken of Bernie Madoff as he awaited trial, this may be the Madoff doc to see. Facing 145-yearsthe white-collar criminal version of the death sentenceMadoff is introspective about his crimes, but also decries the system that made it possible. Beware: this doc could be as slick as Bernie.
Director: Marc H. Simon


Late Bloomers
Something's Gotta Give
put studios in a tizzy over the untapped potential of the 55+ audience. Late Bloomers is a particularly high pedigree addition to the genre. With their peers withering around them, recent retirees William Hurt and Isabella Rossellini revive each other in their winter romance.
Director: Julie Gavras
Writers: Olivier Dazat, Julie Gavras
Stars: William Hurt, Isabella Rossellini, Doreen Mantle
Genre: Romance

A Simple Life/Tao Jie World
Real life relatives Deannie Yip and Andy Lau play a mother and her loving son. After a stroke, she chooses not to burden him and moves into assisted living. Lau's devoted to his iconic and self-sacrificial matriarchit's a heartbreaking love in any language.
Director: Ann Hui
Writers: Susan Chan, Yan-lam Lee
Stars: Andy Lau, Deannie Yip, Lawrence Ah Mon
Genre: Drama; Cantonese-language, subtitled

Kids of Today/ Des jeunes gens mödernes World
A valentine to music and music criticism in the age of the internet, this toothy French roadtrip watches a legendary '70s rock critic take a team of "counter culturist" youths on an international bus tour to invoke the spirit of William Burroughs and denounce the ethos of Abercrombie and Fitch.
Director: Jérôme de Missolz
Writers: Jérôme de Missolz, Jean-François Sanz
Stars: Yves Adrien, Lio, Edwige
Genre: Musical; French-language, subtitled

The feature debut of Vikram Prabhu (son of Prabhu Ganesan) is based on the story of a mahout, or elephant trainer, given a domesticated elephant to train. The picture is less interested in the plot that it is in the drama of giant mammals.
Director: Prabu Solomon
Screenwriter: Prabu Solomon
Cast: Vikram Prabhu, Lakshmi Menon
Genre: Drama; Tamil-language, subtitled

Monsieur Lazhar
Monsiur Lazhar is an Algerian immigrant hired to replace a popular elementary school teacher after his death, only to be cornered by racial anxieties and cultural differences. There's little as touching as the trials of education, and these French subtitles promise to take us back to a time when we had to have things spelled out for us.
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Writer: Philippe Falardeau
Cast: Monhamed Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron
Genre: Drama; French-language, subtitled

Post Mortem
Shortly after their leader is ousted, a Chilean morgue reporter falls for a stripper. In a nation so Catholic, there are bound to be complications. But when she "disappears" as occurred often during the Dirty War, what can a man so used to welcoming the dead do to find the living?
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Pablo Larraín
Stars: Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers, Amparo Noguera
Genre: Drama; Spanish-language, subtitled

The Lady
The director behind La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element is responsible for this biographical drama about Burmese democratic activist Aung San Suu Kyi. The graceful Michelle Yeoh stars, but with her reputation for martial arts films, her Lady looks like it might be a high-end cross between Evita and Nikita.
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Rebecca Frayn
Stars: Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett
Genre: Biography; English- and Burmese-langauges, subtitled


Tags: Badass, Blue Like Jazz, Budz House, Deadline, Detention, Falling Away, Here, L!fe Happens, Love Life Soul, Touchback, Woman Thou Art Loosed - The 7th Day, Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel, How To Grow A Band, Last Will and Embezzlement, My Mars Bar Movie, The Woman Who Wasn't There, Unraveled, Late Bloomers, A Simple Life, Kids of Today, Kumki, Monsieur Lazhar, Post Mortem, The Lady

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