Opening This Week – June 24

June 23, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) Poster

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

Metascore: 49/100 (9 reviews)
Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?

Roland Emmerich

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THE BUZZ: And they’re back! 20 years ago we thwarted an alien invasion with a Mac PowerBook and a computer virus, and this time around I’m betting the aliens have upgraded their firewall and invested in some antivirus software. Except for Will Smith, almost the entire team is back together for Resurgence: Vivica A. Fox, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, among others. I’m excited to see how the next generation (Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, and Joey King) teams up with our classic crew to take down the aliens once again. Phishing? Social engineering? – Vanessa

The Shallows (2016) Poster

The Shallows (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Drama | Horror | Thriller

A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.
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THE BUZZ: Serena van der Woodson as a medical student/surfer vs. a great white shark? You saw how the shark jumped out of the deathly shallows Deep Blue Sea-style and eats that one guy, right? You’d sorta have to hate summer movies not to be into this. Only somewhat related: It’s a perfect time to start re-watching “Gossip Girl.” – Arno

Free State of Jones (2016) Poster

Free State of Jones (2016)

Certificate R   –   Action | Biography | Drama | History | War

Metascore: 50/100 (12 reviews)
As civil war divides the nation, a poor farmer from Mississippi leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army.

Gary Ross

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THE BUZZ: Free State of Jones chronicles the true story of Newt Knight, a white Mississippi native who deserted from the Confederate army and, with the help of both poor white farmers and African-Americans, took over Jones County, declaring it an independent state. Knight’s then-radical beliefs included racial, gender, and economic equality. The film promises Matthew McConaughey in his rebel hero mode, stirring monologues, and a chance to learn about an obscure chapter of American history. – Sara

The Neon Demon (2016) Poster

The Neon Demon (2016)

Certificate R   –   Drama | Horror | Thriller

Metascore: 58/100 (20 reviews)
When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
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THE BUZZ: Glitter, models, mayhem! Danish writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn elevates the horror movie to new arty levels. According to IMDb trivia for the film, he shot it in chronological order, and the ending was created and improvised on set. This film marks Refn’s third film in competition for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. – Chako

Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) Poster

Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016)

Certificate Not Rated   –   Crime | Drama | Thriller

Set in present day Mumbai the story follows the life of a serial killer Ramanna who is inspired by an infamous serial killer from the 1960s, Raman Raghav. His strange obsession with Raghavan, a young cop keeps growing as he closely follows him without his knowledge and often creates situations where both of them come face to face.

Anurag Kashyap

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THE BUZZ: Gangs of Wasseypur filmmaker looks to have another global hit on his hands with this cop vs. serial killer thriller that steeps itself in some true crime scenarios that occurred in 1960s Bombay.

Swiss Army Man (2016) Poster

Swiss Army Man (2016) – [Limited]

Certificate R   –   Adventure | Comedy | Drama | Fantasy | Musical |Romance

Metascore: 56/100 (12 reviews)
A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.
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THE BUZZ: Yes, the Sundance VIPs either hated or loved this. But remember that that world of people are seeing movies for free and they’re running on little sleep and free booze. So, why not make your own decision about this unconventional movie that stars Paul Dano, who never seems to make a horrible choice with his roles? And who doesn’t want to hitch a ride on Daniel Radcliffe? – Arno

Wiener-Dog (2016) Poster

Wiener-Dog (2016) – [Limited]

Certificate R   –   Comedy

Metascore: 68/100 (12 reviews)
A dachshund passes from oddball owner to oddball owner, whose radically dysfunctional lives are all impacted by the pooch.

Todd Solondz

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THE BUZZ: Eight films in, Todd Solondz wraps around to connect Welcome to the Dollhouse to his current worldview, which has only lightened up a smidge with age. It has to be a motivating time for filmmakers such as Solondz, who have never had difficulty getting into the festival circuit or earning indie distribution deals; considering the worldwide VOD/streaming platform, his latest work has a chance of reaching his widest audience to date.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) Poster

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Adventure | Comedy | Drama

Metascore: 76/100 (10 reviews)
A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

Taika Waititi

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THE BUZZ: Looks like the new movie from What We Do in the Shadows‘s Taika Waititi is set to capitalize on its various success thus far — it’s won a fair share of festival awards, became the first New Zealand film to earn over NZ$1 million during its opening weekend at the domestic box office, and has been out-performing mainstream releases in Australia. Kudos to Marvel for recognizing an original voice and hiring Waititi to direct Thor: Ragnarok.

Les Cowboys (2015) Poster

Les Cowboys (2015)

Certificate R   –   Drama

Metascore: 37/100 (4 reviews)
When his daughter goes missing from their prairie town east of France, Alain and his young son, Kid, head out to find her. The journey takes the men to some far-off and unsettling places in what begins to feel like an endless quest.

Thomas Bidegain

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THE BUZZ: Art-house interest in this reimagining of The Searchers might wake up the specialty box office this summer, which thus far hasn’t produced many breakout hits aside from the noteworthy Love & Friendship, The Lobster, and a couple others.

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (2016) Poster

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (2016)

Certificate R   –   Documentary

Metascore: 76/100 (7 reviews)
An in-depth look at the life and work of avant-garde musician, Frank Zappa.

Frank Zappa

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THE BUZZ: The freaky and cool older high school kids we emulated always wore Frank Zappa t-shirts and preached his gospel through his live recordings, studio albums such as We’re Only in It for the Money, and, after we ingratiated ourselves into their circle, late night showings of the movie200 Motels. In short, Zappa was probably one of the most conventional people ever to be labeled a freak, and an artist whose compositions will continue to earn respect over time.

Breaking a Monster (2015) Poster

Breaking a Monster (2015) – [New York City]

  –   Documentary | Biography | Drama | Music

Metascore: 69/100 (6 reviews)
BREAKING A MONSTER chronicles the break-out year of the band UNLOCKING THE TRUTH, following 13-year-old members Alec Atkins, Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins as they first encounter stardom and the music industry, transcending childhood to become the rock stars they always dreamed of being.

Luke Meyer

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THE BUZZ: Back in 2006/2007 and onward, maybe you were in New York City and encountered a young heavy metal trio set up on the sidewalks or in one of the public parks. Or perhaps you came across clips of Unlocking the Truth’s performances on YouTube as they began to earn a worldwide audience. Just made this documentary will be your first exposure to the band, who, after a Kafkian experience going from an independent band to part of the Sony Music roster, just saw their first record released this week.

Misconception (2014) Poster

Misconception (2014)

Certificate PG-13   –   Documentary

The complex subject of population growth is observed via three individuals who are tackling the topic on a personal level.

Jessica Yu

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THE BUZZ: This Jessica Yu documentary is 2+ years old at this point; initial reviews indicated the project boils down its complex subject matter to pat conclusions, and we’re wondering if some edits have been done for its wide release?