Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend

on June 01, 2012


Battlefield America CINEDIGM
A businessman pulls together a rowdy clutch of kids to train for the Battlefield America dance competition. Like the junior edition of You Got Served (and made by the same guys) this one features precocious bad boys and crazy moves. Poor Warren Buffetthe billionaire didn't realize the future is in underage breakdancers.
Director: Chris Stokes
Writers: Marques Houston, Chris Stokes
Stars: Marques Houston, Mekia Cox, Christopher Jones
Genre: Dance/Drama
Theater: Limited

Joe made it big with casinos, but his success didn't make his tribe proud. So when he returns home and promises everyone a job, they're reasonably leery. To earn their trust, he has to bring the lacrosse team up to snuff in an indie that promises to do for lacrosse what Bad News Bears did for Little Leaguebut with way less swearing or booze.
Director: Steve Rash
Writers: Brad Riddell, Todd Baird
Stars: Brandon Routh, Gil Birmingham, Crystal Allen
Genre: Sports/Drama

Like an excised subplot from Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Cellmates takes a page out of the depression, when a KKK grand dragon lands in jail with a Mexican cellmate and finds love with a Latina maid. This prison comedy is cartoonish, but who can resist a love story with a knight armored in white robes?
Director: Jesse Baget
Writers: Jesse Baget, Stefania Moscato
Stars: Tom Sizemore, Stacy Keach, Kevin P. Farley
Genre: Comedy
Release: NY/LA

Mexico's Cristeros War began with the government's efforts to secularize the country and (in this case) ends with Andy Garcia toting a gun and Eva Longoria looking dusty. The 1920s was a golden age of art and culture, and this celebratory melodrama promises to put some pride into the Mexican-American community.
Cast: Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, Bruce Greenwood, Ruben Blades, Peter O'Toole, Oscar Isaac, Santiago Cabrera
Director: Dean Wright
Screenwriter: Michael Love
Genre: Drama
Opening: Limited

This film tracks the troubles of a skater who sees no future besides skating, and the wealthy yet divided family that tries to drag him onto the straight and narrow sidewalks-sans wheels. John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard is the skater's underhanded businessman dad, and he didn't leave his law-skirting antics behind when he left the General Lee.
Director: Johnny Remo
Writers: Johnny Remo, Daniel Backman
Stars: Randy Wayne, John Schneider, Rosanna Arquette
Genre: Religious drama
Theaters: Limited

Hide Away (A Year in Mourning)
Perennial spirit guide James Cromwell plays the Ancient Mariner in this critical darling about a businessman looking for meaning on the high seas. Critics have touted Josh Lucas' performance as the rich boat-buyer, even if the general tone is a bit misty and sentimental.
Director: Chris Eyre
Writer: Peter Vanderwall
Stars: Josh Lucas, Ayelet Zurer, James Cromwell
Genre: Drama
Theaters: LA, NY, SF, Salem, OR

High School ANCHOR BAY
Proof that Adrien Brody will stop at nothing to show he will stop at nothing. Here, Brody sports a Rasta beanie to play a pothead in this comedy about a high-performance teen who outsmarts a school drug test by getting the entire school (unknowingly) high. If you've had the munchies for a pot comedy, it looks like the nacho train just came in.
Director: John Stalberg
Writers: Erik Linthorst, John Stalberg
Stars: Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks
Genre: Comedy
Theaters: Limited Arizona, California, Colorado

Richard's Wedding RERUN
Comic marital awkwardness in Central Park, written and directed by the creep in Septien. The groomsman is mid-divorce, the officiate invokes God at a secular ceremony and the couple's plans are fuzzy at best. Technically there's no reason for this stuff to harsh the proceedingsbut it's scaring the heck out of the soon-to-be-marrieds.
Director: Onur Tukel
Writer: Onur Tukel
Stars: Randy Gambill, Jennifer Prediger, Josephine Decker
Genre: Comedy
Theater: Excl NY: Rerun Gastropub

Six Month Rule
In the middle of Tyler's tutorial on how to be a player, his pupil (played by Party Down's Martin Starr) disputes his claim that "There's no woman it'll take more than six months to get over." And of course, Tyler himself quickly meets "the girl." But the smarm he emanates undermines his gamewhy should she bother trusting a guy who can't be trusted?
Director: Blayne Weaver
Writer: Blayne Weaver
Stars: Blayne Weaver, Martin Starr, Natalie Morales
Genre: RomCom
Theater: Excl NY/Cinema East Village

Ultrasonic Landmark/Laemmle
Like Pi for the musically inclined, this thriller about a musician with superior hearing leads us down a wormhole. Is it God or the government behind the mysterious sounds in his head? And if no one else hears them, does that make him crazy? A pared-down, black and white indie of the old guard that beguiles with its tiny cast and grainy stock.
Director: Rohit Colin Rao
Writers: Rohit Colin Rao, Mike Maguire
Stars: Silas Gordon Brigham, Sam Repshas, Cate Buscher
Genre: Mystery
Theaters: DC


5 Broken Cameras KINO LORBER
As Palestinian families defend the right to work their land-and argue with the armed guards that keep them from ita journalist steps in to film the simmering events. At first he's feckless: friends with the families and accustomed to the guards, he doesn't believe violence is possible. But more than his cameras will break under these tensions.
Directors: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi
Languages: Hebrew-, Arabic-languages, subtitled
Theaters: NY, expanding to Bay Area, Ann Arbor, Santa Fe and Boston

Country music has always been aligned with down-home comforts and right wing politics, so when country western starlet Chely Wright came out as a lesbian, she risked alienating her fans and putting herself in the crosshairs of a gun totting public. Critically lauded and deeply personal, this doc about her struggle is made of never-before-seen footage.
Directors: Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf
Theaters: NY, Berkeley, Key West, St. Johnsbury, Hartford

Anderson Silva is the current Ultimate Fighting champion, and as the man on top, he's widely snarked at by ankle-biting contenders, who are jealous of the fact that he's never lost a match. Criticized by the UF President and dismissed by his rivals, no one has anything nice to say about him...but no one can beat him either. This doc hits theaters before Anderson hits Chael Sonnen in their upcoming rematch.
Director: Pablo Croce
Theaters: Limited

Music From the Big House CACHE
Blues singer Rita Chiarelli enters Angola Maximum Security Prison in Louisiana, which has an estimated 5,000 prisoners serving life sentences and a reputation as the bloodiest prison in America. Fewer places could be so bleak, but among all the hopelessness, some have found the blues. Their singing is an escape as poignant as their fantasies of freedom.
Director: Bruce McDonald
Release: NY

Paul Williams Still Alive
Stephen Kessler directs this personal doc about his childhood hero: the once-beloved '70s songwriter Paul Williams who wrote "The Rainbow Connection" for Kermit and could make Johnny Carson laugh. He was a small guy with a huge personality, but his biggest fans thought him dead...until this doc comes around.
Director: Stephen Kessler
Theaters: NY

Pink Ribbons, Inc. (DOC.) FIRST RUN
Susan G. Komens is the brand name non-profit for breast cancer research. To spread the word about the fight against breast cancer, dozens of major corporations have created products that purport to donate to Komens' research. But to some breast cancer survivors, they aren't heroesand these brave women want to reclaim the pink ribbon.
Director: Léa Pool
Theaters: NY/LA

The Lost Reunions
This doc that opens just after Memorial Day in Washington D.C. is a record of accounts by WWII PT Boat veterans. Their numbers are dwindling, making it all the more important to salute these gray-haired soldiers while we still can.
Director: Danny Diaz
Theaters: Washington DC and expanding

The United Nations was founded before the ashes of World War II could cool. It was a great idea for a difficult time, but you know what they say about best-laid plans. Directors Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff take a tour of the places in which the U.N. has since intervened to see what good their interventions have accomplished. What they find isn't pretty.
Directors: Matthew Groff, Ami Horowitz
Theaters: LTD.


A Cat in Paris/ Une vie de chat GKIDS
The dark horse (or cat) of the 2012 Best Animation Oscar nominees, this Gallic charmer is set on the rooftops of Paris when a little girl and her cat pad across the skyline in pursuit of the man who killed her father. Though it's French in origin, the film's dubbed for curious kids.
Directors: Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol
Writers: Alain Gagnol, Alain Gagnol
Stars: Dominique Blanc, Bruno Salomone, Jean Benguigui
Genre: Animated
Theaters: NY

Apartment 43/ Emergo MAGNOLIA
This mockumentary is about a family whose ghosts followed them from their old home to a new apartment. With parapsychologists studying the family's phenomenon, this movie has to top Paranormal Activityand keep the scientific method from inducing snores.
Director: Carles Torrens
Writer: Rodrigo Cortés
Stars: Kai Lennox, Gia Mantegna, Michael O'Keefe
Genre: Horror
Theaters: Spokane, Columbus

A sort of Korean Invictus that trades rugby for the majestic sport of ping pong. This drama tracks the true story of two women from North and South Korea forced to represent a United Korea at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships. These women aren't really enthused, but if they can hit the ball, they can spiritually unify a divided nation.
Director: Moon Hyeon Seong
Writer: Moon Hyeon Seong
Stars: Doona Bae, Yoon Yeong Choi, Ji-won Ha
Genre: Sports Drama; Korean-language, subtitled
Opening: Los Angeles, CJ theaters

Found Memories FILM MOVEMENT
A visiting photographer enters a provincial hamlet where each resident has a specific jobthink bread-baker, coffee-grinderand outsiders are a weight on the proceedings. The photographer has to find a way to contribute to this primitive structure she thinks could restore her sense of wonder. But not everyone wants her there.
Director: Júlia Murat
Writers: Júlia Murat, Felipe Sholl
Stars: Lisa Fávero, Sonia Guedes, Ricardo Merkin
Genre: Drama; Portuguese-language, subtitled
Theaters: NY, SF

Rowdy Rathore UTV
This small time conman is torn between the woman he loves who doesn't know he exists, and this obnoxious 6-year-old who insists he's her dad. When his plan to hide out in a village is thwarted by the reigning mafia, he realizes he's the only guy smarmy and cunning enough to save the day.
Director: Prabhu Deva
Writer: Shiraz Ahmed
Stars: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Nasser
Genre: Action/Comedy; Hindi-language, subtitled
Release: Limited

Sexual Chronicles of a French Family IFC MIDNIGHT
While the title suggests of incest, the film is more a comedy about the folly of sexual repressionespecially for the famously open-minded French. When the youngest son of a clan of uptight Galls tapes himself choking the chicken in his science classroom, his punishment forces the whole family to reassess their frigidity.
Director: Pascal Arnold, Jean-Marc Barr
Writer: Pascal Arnold
Stars: Mathias Melloul, Valeri Maes, Stephan Hersoen, Nathan Duval
Genre: Comedy; French-language, subtitled
Theaters: Limited



Tags: Battlefield America, Crooked Arrows, Cellmates, For Greater Glory, Hardflip, Hide Away (A Year in Mourning), High School, Richard's Wedding, Six Month Rule, Ultrasonic Landmark, 5 Broken Cameras, Wish Me Away, Like Water, Music from the Big House, Paul Williams Still Alive, Pink Ribbons, Inc., U.N. Me, A Cat in Paris, Aparament 43, Found Memories, Rowdy Rathore, Sexual Chronicles of a French Family

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