Here's your weekly round up all the fresh lo-fi movie news and trailers not tied to mega-franchises or superheroes.
Alt Movie Pick of the Week - "1917"
Who's in it?
Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Andrew Scott, Daniel Mays. Directed by Sam Mendes.
What's it about?
In the thick of World War I, two British soldiers embark on a daring mission to prevent 1,600 men (including a brother of one of the soldiers), from walking into a trap.
What's the buzz?
"1917" seems to have come from behind to become an awards frontrunner, since it winning two Golden Globe Awards last week for Best Picture - Drama and Best Director (Mendes). However, this movie has been generating plenty of buzz since its limited release last month, accumulating 32 award nominations and three additional wins, so far, on top of the two Golden Globes. As the movie expands to a wide release today, this WWI drama has become a must-see event and a very likely contender for the Best Picture Oscar.
Who's it for?
Not only is "1917" a compelling war drama that you can easily put in the same camp as Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" or Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk," it's also a visual feat. Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins took pains to make the film as immersive as possible, making it feel as if the film was shot in long one-take. From this you are placed head-first into the story where you get whisked around the blood and muck of the trenches, as you follow the two soldiers on their mission. As Chris Klimek of NPR says, "["1917"] musters extraordinary technical daring in the service of a homily that boils down yet again to simply, 'War is Hell.'" That stands as a good enough reason in our opinion for Mendes to have stepped aside from directing James Bond's upcoming adventure. "1917" currently has an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Where can I watch it?
"1917" is now playing in theaters nationwide.
★ Other Indies Now Playing: Afterward, Les Miserables, The Woman Who Loves Giraffes
Drama / 2019 / R
During World War I, two British soldiers -- Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake -- receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades -- including Blake's own brother.
Beyond the Theater: New Indies Now Streaming on a Platform Near You
Noovie's Streaming Pick ⇨ Three Christs - A psychiatrist (Richard Gere) investigates three schizophrenic patients (Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins, and Bradley Whitford) who think they are Jesus Christ.
The Murder of Nicole Brown SImpson - Follows Nicole Brown Simpson (Mena Suvari) in her last days, while suggesting that someone other than O.J. might have killed her.
Hot Indie Trailers
▶️ Ordinary Love - A long-time married couple (Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville) faces challenges following the wife's diagnosis of breast cancer. In theaters February 14th.
▶️ First Cow - A loner and a cook make their way out to the Pacific Northwest in the 1820's and join forces with a Chinese immigrant on a business venture. In theaters March 6th.
Drama / 2019 / PG-13
Two travelers, on the run from a band of vengeful hunters in the 1820s Northwest, dream of striking it rich -- but their tenuous plan to make their fortune on the frontier comes to rely on the secret use of a landowner's prized dairy cow.
Indie News Flash
Here's your run-down of the freshest indie news and fun features on cinematic classics that hit the web this week.
- 'Parasite' Series in Development at HBO - "Parasite" director Bong Joon Ho and "Succession" producer Adam McKay are teaming up to take Ho's awards hit and Palme d’Or-winning thriller and adapt it for a limited series on HBO. Indiewire
- Female Characters Taking the Lead - San Diego State University's annual industry report -- the aptly named "It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World" -- was released this week showing positive gains for female characters in film. According to the report, in the past year, 40% of protagonists were women -- up from 31% in 2018. Men still were in the majority, however, at 43%. Deadline
- Hostless Oscars Once Again - ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed the Oscars will be hostless once again for the second year in a row. Last year's host-free telecast was seen as a success, both in terms of ratings and in how well the format worked to produce a more streamlined event. The Wrap
- QT's 9.5th - Quentin Tarantino promises a four-hour cut of his Golden Globe winner "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" will be released sometime next year. Collider
- '20 Years in the Desert' - YouTube is planning to release a documentary covering the formation and evolution of music festival Cochella. The doc will feature artists like Billie Eilish, Kanye West, Daft Punk and others waxing poetic, and will drop on March 31 via YouTube Originals, just weeks ahead of the concert's kickoff in April. Rolling Stone
- Oscar Analysis - As you place your bets before Monday's Oscar nomination announcement, keep in mind that the Golden Globe Awards might not actually be a good predictor of Oscar glory. Vanity Fair
- Harshest Award Snubs - "La La Land" didn't really win; the best movie of all time misses the big prize; and Marisa Tomei shocks everyone in '93. These are just three of the seven biggest upsets in Oscar history. KMOX
- 2019's Must-Watch Movies - These 35 great movies from the past year are now streaming on a platform near you! Indiewire
- 2020 Look Ahead - There's lots to look forward to this year in cinema, from Pixar originals and long-overdue sequels for '80s classics like "Bill and Ted" and "Top Gun," to Chris Nolan's time-bending thriller and Spike Lee's Vietnam-set treasure hunt. GQ
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