Pick of the Litter – August 2017


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Annabelle: Creation

(New Line) Miranda Otto, Anthony LaPaglia, Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman. A dollmaker and his wife are struck by a horrible tragedy when their little girl dies in a car accident. Grieving for years, they eventually open their home to a nun and several girls from an orphanage who need a place to stay. However, the dollmaker and his wife are hiding a terrible secret; in a moment of weakness, they allowed what they thought was the spirit of their deceased daughter to inhabit a doll they call Annabelle. But what lives inside Annabelle is something far more evil. Quietly, the Conjuring universe has become a very lucrative horror franchise with spin-offs and sequels in the works. August 11

INDEPENDENT PICKS

 

Columbus

(Superlative) John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin. Some movies are visceral and gritty; others are almost like daydreams washing over you like an incoming tide on a tropical beach. Columbus is like that as a young Korean man goes to Columbus, Indiana where his estranged father – a famous architect – lies in a coma. There he meets a bright young woman with a promising future who has her whole life ahead of her but is choosing to stay in Columbus to care for her drug-addicted mother. This movie was one of the most talked-about films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. August 4

Icarus

(Netflix) Bryan Fogel, Grigory Rodchenkov, Nikita Kamaev. A chance meeting with a Russian scientist led journalist Bryan Fogel into a netherworld of sports doping. As the story started to take the twists and turns of a Cold War-era spy thriller, people connected with the story began to turn up dead. One of the greatest scandals in the history of sports unravels before your eyes in this highly anticipated Netflix documentary. August 4

The Only Living Boy in New York

(Roadside Attractions) Callum Turner, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Beckinsale. A recent college graduate tries desperately to find himself at home in New York City. Despite the best efforts of his parents – or maybe because of them – he finds himself adrift. When he falls in love with a beautiful young girl whose only interest in him is platonic he feels doubly lost but then he discovers that his father is having an affair with a beautiful woman and when he stalks her and eventually begins to interact with her, his whole life changes. This is the latest from director Marc Webb who wowed me with his (500) Days of Summer. August 11

Dave Made a Maze

(Gravitas) Nick Thune, Stephanie Allynne, Kirsten Vangsness, Scott Krinsky. One of the most imaginative and enjoyable films to come out of this year’s Florida Film Festival gets its theatrical release. Dave, a kind of aimless drifter, constructs a cardboard maze in his living room one boring weekend while his girlfriend is out of town. When she comes home, she discovers that he has become lost in the maze which is much larger on the inside. Enlisting some of his hipster friends, she mounts a rescue expedition over his objections – you see, this labyrinth comes complete with a minotaur. You can read my review of the film here. August 18

Beach Rats

(Neon) Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff. A young man living on the outskirts of Brooklyn struggles to find his own identity, desperate to escape a stagnant home life. Caught between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend and older men he meets online, he is left with a choice to be who he is or to be who everyone else wants him to be. This was one of the unsung films to come out of Sundance but it could wind up having some Oscar implications later this year. August 25

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August 2017


Annabelle 2

AUGUST 3, 2017

The Layover – DirecTV

AUGUST 4, 2017

The Dark Tower
Detroit

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Expands Further
68 Kill – Limited
Armed Response – limited
Brave New Jersey – Limited
Broken Mile – Limited
Chronically Metropolitan – Limited
Columbus – New York City/Los Angeles
Icarus – Netflix
It’s Not Yet Dark – Limited
Kidnap – Limited
Savage Dog – Limited
We Love You, Sally Carmichael – Limited
Wind River – Limited

AUGUST 8, 2017

Cut Shoot Kill – Limited
The Transfiguration – VOD

AUGUST 9, 2017

After Love – Limited
Machines – New York City

AUGUST 10, 2017

Dark Light of Day – Vimeo
Exorcism of the 7th Demon – Limited

AUGUST 11, 2017

Annabelle: Creation
The Glass Castle
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

A Taxi Driver – Limited
Good Time – Limited
In This Corner of the World – Limited
Ingrid Goes West – Limited
Mune: Guardian of the Moon – Limited
The Only Living Boy in New York – Limited
Open Water 3: Cage Dive – Limited
Pilgrimage – Limited
Planetarium – New York City
The Trip to Spain – Limited
The Veil – Limited
Whose Streets? – Limited

AUGUST 15, 2017

Baby Steps – Limited/VOD

AUGUST 16, 2017

Deuces – Netflix
The Wound – New York City

AUGUST 18, 2017

The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Leap
Logan Lucky

Planetarium – Expands to Los Angeles
California Typewriter – Limited
Dave Made a Maze – Limited
Gook – Limited
The Ice Cream Truck – Limited/VOD
Lemon – Limited
Liza, Liza, Skies are Grey – New York City/Los Angeles
Marjorie Prime – Limited
The Monster Project – Limited
The Nile Hilton Incident – New York City
Patti Cake$ – Limited
The Queen of Spain – Limited
Sidemen: Long Road to Glory – Limited

AUGUST 22, 2017

Clarity – VOD
Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web – Limited

AUGUST 23, 2017

My Talk With Florence – Amazon Prime

AUGUST 24, 2017

Rememory – Limited/VOD
What Carter Lost – ESPN

AUGUST 25, 2017

All Saints
Birth of the Dragon

Good Time – Expands Wide
Ingrid Goes West – Expands Wide
A Gentleman – Limited
Beach Rats – Limited
Bushwick – Limited
Cinema Novo – Limited
The Clash – New York City
Crown Heights – Limited/Amazon
Death Note – Netflix
Evil Deeds – Limited
Ghost House – Limited
Legend of the Naga Pearls – Limited
The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis – Limited
Polina, danser sa vie – Limited
Red Christmas – Limited/VOD
Tulip Fever – Limited
The Unknown Girl – Limited
The Villainess – Limited

AUGUST 29, 2017

Oxenfree – Limited/VOD
Stasis – Limited/VOD

AUGUST 30, 2017

Deimosimine – Limited
The Teacher – New York City

AUGUST 31, 2017

Blackmail – YouTube
Murder on the Cape – Amazon