Welcome to the first edition of my new weekly column, where I'll try to shed some light on some lesser-known alternatives to the big movies that are opening in theaters today. Each Friday I'll pick three movies that are available in a variety of outlets that should offer options for movie lovers working under any budget.
I love a trip to the multiplex just as much as the next person, but let's face it, there are plenty of weekends throughout the year when the only new options are (for example) The Roommate and Sanctum -- especially if you've already seen all the Oscar contenders and a Cedar Rapids isn't playing in your area yet. So here are my picks for this weekend:
I first saw Cold Weather in October, where it was my favorite of the dozen or so films I saw at the Chicago International Film Festival. I was thrilled to learn from director Aaron Katz after the screening that it had been picked up by IFC for an eventual theatrical and On Demand release. Well, that time has arrived.
I'd say the best way to describe the film is "mumblecore with a purpose," as a slacker working in an ice factory finally gains the motivation to put his abandoned forensic school education and love for Sherlock Holmes to use when his ex-girlfriend goes missing. The dialogue is just as natural as in Katz's previous features (Sundance Channel mainstays Quiet City and Dance Party, USA), but you'll find yourself swept away by the added intrigue of mystery -- even if the stakes are far lower than in, say, Taken or The Searchers.
Cold Weather is now playing in select theaters (New York and Los Angeles) and is available through IFC On Demand.
This thriller is shocking, exquisite, and darkly funny. It's also the type of film that delivers as a sleazy guilty pleasure, but it gets slapped with the "artsy-fartsy" label due to the fact that it comes from Korea. Subtitles aside, The Housemaid is every bit as accessible and entertaining as Match Point or any number of films Michael Douglas or Richard Gere starred in 20 or 30 years ago, while director Sang-soo Im's vibrant use of color is reminiscent to that of Pedro Almodovar (Volver, Broken Embraces). This might just be the perfect anti-Valentine's weekend movie for those lucky enough to avoid getting dragged into Just Go With It. Check out Brad's review from Cannes if you need further convincing.
The Housemaid is now playing in select theaters (NY, LA and DC) and is available through IFC On Demand.
This documentary is the definitive tribute to Lemmy Kilmister, the legendary frontman of quintessential punk-metal band Motorhead. Among those assembled to share their thoughts and experiences are Metallica, Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Billy Bob Thornton and 13-time WWE Champion Triple H. If you like Motorhead or are a heavy metal fan in general (like I am), then you'll love it. If not, I suspect you'll still find it utterly fascinating.
While it delves into the debauchery and backstage antics we've come to expect from rock docs, far more time is devoted to intimate looks at the man behind the legend -- his Civil War-era sword collection, relationship with his son and obsession with the bar trivia machine. Quite simply, Lemmy is a lot of fun.
Lemmy premieres tonight at 11:30 EST on VH1 before its DVD and Blu-Ray release this Tuesday (February 15).