It’s a tradition stretching back for decades: As the summer release schedule settles down to a steady trickle of blockbuster wannabes, smaller distributors start to unload older acquisitions as counterprogramming. This week’s offerings are older than usual — hell, North Mountain made its festival bow in 2015.
Darken: A nurse stumbles into a labyrinthene alternate universe inhabited by warring religious factions in Audrey Cummings’ new thriller … which just doesn’t have the budget to pull off its ambitious premise.
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts: Mouly Surya reinterprets the classic Western for present-day Indonesia, with Marsha Timothy as a young widow who refuses to be a bandit’s trophy, wreaking an awful vengeance upon him and his men. And that’s just the first act.
North Mountain: Bretten Hannam’s queer-themed indigenous thriller pairs Justin Rain and Glen Gould as a hunter and a fugitive who meet in a Nova Scotia forest, and forge a profound connection. Meredith MacNeill made it before Baroness Von Sketch Show, that’s how long it’s been on the shelf.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado: Neither Denis Villeneuve nor Emily Blunt is back for a second round, but Taylor Sheridan is having a moment so he wrote the next chapter in the bloody adventures of Thanos and The Collector. Rad really didn’t like it.
Uncle Drew: You know those commercials where NBA stars wear old-man makeup but still play a great game? Well, now they’re a movie. Poor Rad.
The Unseen: Writer-director Geoff Redknap and Rectify‘s Aden Young bring the invisible man into the real world with this muted character study, which is finally getting a theatrical run after two years knocking around the festival circuit.
Upgrade: Leigh Whannell’s latest stars Logan Marshall-Green — that guy you never recognize — as a man at the mercy of his cybernetic implants. (Isn’t that Gamer?) Rad really liked it, which is nice; he was due for a good one.
Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist: Kevin isn’t terribly impressed by Lorna Tucker’s surface-level profile of the designer who changed the fashion world.
Also, you know how I mentioned the second season of GLOW yesterday? I reviewed that too. And it’s great!