The Strange Middle

So, it was Spider-Man last week and Batman next week. Time for the indies to step up and throw a bunch of counterprogramming at us, right? And another “Ice Age”, for the kids.

Beasts of the Southern Wild“: I was hugely conflicted about this Sundance sensation after seeing it; writing the review helped clarify a few things, and kept me from calling Benh Zeitlin a carpetbagger. So that’s something.

“Boy”: Taikta Waititi’s follow-up to “Eagle vs. Shark” has been knocking around the festival circuit for a couple of years, finally landing a local release through TIFF’s First Nations series. Susan still likes it.

Collaborator“: Martin Donovan’s directorial debut is a supple two-hander about a playwright (Donovan) and an old acquaintance (David Morse) whose couple of beers together turns, almost without incident, into a hostage crisis. A nice alternative to the flash and bang of most summer releases.

Fat Kid Rules the World“: Matthew Lillard’s gleefully messy young-adult dramedy settles in at the Projection Booth for a limited run. If you missed it at TIFF’s Next Wave film festival — and pretty much everybody did — you should check it out, if only to to see how thoroughly Billy Campbell subverts the teen-movie cliche of the Distant Dad.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift”: Well, of course they made another one. These things are hugely profitable and clearly  require minimal creative effort. And this one has Nick Frost instead of Simon Pegg, so I’ll see it eventually despite Rad‘s warning.

Neil Young Journeys“: Jonathan Demme’s third Young concert movie is basically more of the same, and as such recommended to Young’s most devoted fans — you know, the folks who won’t mind watching an entire song performed with a glob of spit on the camera.

“Union Square”: Nancy Savoca, who never quite turned into the indie sensation she was expected to be, returns with this character study starring Mira Sorvino as a lifelong screw-up facing middle age — badly. Susan says it’s worth a look.

And that’s everything. Oh, except that I’ll be introducing a screening of “The Rules of the Game” tonight at the Lightbox to help kick off TIFF’s Summer in France series. Come on down! We start at 9 pm; if you want to get there early and catch “Grand Illusion” beforehand, that starts at 6 pm. And speaking of the Lightbox, they’ve extended Universal’s “Jaws” restoration for a third week, so if you haven’t caught up to that yet … well, there’s probably something wrong with you.

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