You’d Think It Was Thanksgiving or Something

Can you spot the phenom?It’s an absolute dead zone this weekend for studio releases, Sony having apparently claimed the frame by opening its Michael Jackson concert movie/necro-doc “This Is It” on Wednesday. So it’s an indie battleground out there.

“Amreeka”: Fresh from its debut at the Toronto Palestine Film Festival last month, Cherien Dabis’ drama about a woman and her son who exchange the tensions of Gaza for the garden of tolerance that is the American Midwest drops into commercial release this week. Susan liked it, but for some reason her review has yet to go up on the NOW site.

Bronson“: Powerhouse director Nicolas Winding Refn (he of the “Pusher” trilogy) tries his hand at prison psychodrama with the true story of Britain’s most violent prisoner … and comes up a little short, though Tom Hardy gives a thoroughly committed performance in the lead. As in, he should be.

“The Collector”: The screenwriter of the fourth through sixth “Saw” films wants to play his own game … but don’t worry, kids, sado-porn is still on the menu! Andrew liked it more than I liked “Saw VI”, so factor that into your considerations.

More Than a Game“: True story: I was at the ACC when LeBron James played his 50-point game against the Raptors. Didn’t really appreciate it at the time, and now that I’ve seen Kristopher Belman’s thrilling documentary about James’ formative years in Akron, Ohio, I wish I could be there for it again. Even if that does mean cheering against my own team …

Three Blind Mice“: Matthew Newton’s deft little drama about three Australian sailors trying to enjoy one last night’s leave in Sydney has been kicking around the festival circuit for more than a year now. I finally caught up to it last week, and really liked it. You should check it out.

Plenty more stuff to do today, so you’ll excuse me if I dash out early …

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