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Noovie's Alt. Movies: 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,' and Other Gems

Here's the latest on what's new, what's next, and what you should watch this weekend from across the indie scene. Stay safe out there!

By Matthew Lissauer

Sacha Baron Cohen in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm."

© Amazon / Courtesy Everett Collection

This week's crop of cinematic gems include a sequel, a remake, a reimagining, a clever horror comedy, and other great films that will surely make a dent in what will be a long, extended awards season. Stay safe or stay in, and enjoy some pre-Halloween treats, as we round up all the fresh lo-fi movies and trailers that you can catch right now.

  • Noovie's Alt Movie Pick: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    © Amazon / Courtesy Everett Collection

    It's time to dust off that old Borat impression from 14 years ago, as Sacha Baron Cohen steps back into the raggedy grey suit of the famed, clueless Kazakh journalist. Between this week's Amazon debut of "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," and last week's more serious Netflix debut of "The Trial of the Chicago 7," this certainly is an interesting pairing of roles for Cohen. Interestingly, both movies have been generating Oscar buzz for the comedic actor (don't forget that Cohen was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for his adapted "Borat" screenplay). The subsequent "moviefilm" has also been producing its fair share of newsworthy controversy for a particular interview subject; after all, great comedy comes from great timing. Here, Borat returns to America with his daughter (Maria Bakalova) while meeting all sorts of interesting (and real) people in the hopes of learning what makes (and keeps) this country great.

    ‣ Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Comedy / 2020 / R

Synopsis: Kazakh funnyman Borat risks life and limb when he returns to America with his young daughter.

  • Rebecca

    © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Director Ben Wheatly ("Free Fire," "High-Rise") dares to go where few directors, like Gus Van Sant, Andrew Davis and D.J. Caruso went before him, each to mixed effect. "Rebecca," however isn't just a remake of thrillmaster Alfred Hitchock's 1940 Best Picture winner, instead it's more a retelling of the original source novel. As the newly married Mrs. de Winter (Lily James) arrives at her new husband's Maxim's (Armie Hammer) large family estate, she soon realizes the large shadow that's cast from Maxim's ex-wife, the deceased Rebecca.

    ‣ Where to watch: Netflix

Rebecca

Drama / 2020

Synopsis: A young newlywed arrives at her husband's imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death.

  • Roald Dahl's The Witches

    © HBO Max / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Speaking of remakes that are more reimaginings of the original source, "Back to the Future" director Robert Zemeckis gives us a visual feast with his version of Roald Dahl's classic kids' horror novel "The Witches." Older Millennials and Gen-Xers might remember the Angelica Huston-led version from the '90s, but here Zemeckis replaces some of that film's unintentional creepiness with a bit more charm and wit. It also helps that stars Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci and Octavia Spencer give us some perfectly hammy performances.

    ‣ Where to watch: HBO Max

Roald Dahl's The Witches

Fantasy / 2020 / PG

Synopsis: In late 1967, a young orphaned boy goes to live with his loving grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks him away to a seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world's Grand High Witch has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe -- under cover -- to carry out her nefarious plans.

  • Bad Hair

    © Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Elle Lorraine (HBO's "Insecure") takes the jump from small screen to feature film with a "scary-good" performance in this horror-comedy from director Justin Simien ("Dear White People"). Looking to make her way to the top of the image-obsessed TV side of the 1980s music industry, Anna (Lorraine) dons a weave. But, things soon turn on its head, when Anne discovers the weave has a mind of its own. "Bad Hair" was a critic favorite earlier in the year at the Sundance Film Festival.

    ‣ Where to watch: Hulu

Bad Hair

Horror / 2020

Synopsis: Terror strikes when a woman's new hair weave seems to take on a life of its own.

  • Coming Home Again

    © Outsider Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Based on a 1995 New Yorker essay, this new film from director Wayne Wang ("The Joy Luck Club") follows a Korean-American man (Justin Chon) who returns home to take care of his ailing mother (Jackie Chung). As he lends his support, and prepares his mother's traditional New Year's Eve dinner, he confronts memories of their past troubled and intense relationship. "Coming Home Again" premiered to rave reviews last year at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    ‣ Where to watch: Select theaters

Coming Home Again

Drama / 2019

Synopsis: A son cares for his ailing mother.

  • Over the Moon

    © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Netflix's new animated musical is a modern retelling of a classic Chinese myth, in which a young girl (Cathy Ang) builds a rocket ship to the moon so she can meet the moon goddess, Chang'e (voice: Phillipa Soo). "Over the Moon" showcases a marriage of traditional and CG-animation; plus look out for the wonderful Soo, who stunned viewers this summer with a powerful performance as Eliza Hamilton in the Disney+ airing of the Broadway hit "Hamilton." "Over the Moon" is also the final film project of screenwriter Audrey Wells, who sadly succumbed to cancer in 2018, just a day before the debut of what would become her penultimate film, "The Hate U Give."

    ‣ Where to watch: Netflix

Over the Moon

Animated / 2020 / PG

Synopsis: An adventurous girl builds a rocket ship to meet a mythical goddess on the moon.

  • Radium Girls

    © Juno Films /Courtesy Everett Collection

    In the 1920s, a group of trailblazing women advocate for safer working conditions after a number of their co-workers become sick from radium poisoning. Based on a little known true story, "Radium Girls" features strong performances from Joey King and Abby Quinn, and connects to modern times, showcasing women who spoke up at a time when they were brushed off as weak and powerless. "Radium Girls" premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

    ‣ Where to watch: Select theaters

Radium Girls

Drama / 2018

Synopsis: Early in the 20th century, women work at the U.S. Radium Factory, painting glow in the dark watches, unaware of the dangers of working with radium.

  • Hot Indie Trailer - The Prom

    © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Ryan Murphy brings to Netflix this feature adaptation of the hit Broadway musical "The Prom," starring a large ensemble cast that includes Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key and Kerry Washington. The story follows a group of fading theater stars who travel to the midwest to boost their public images as they advocate for high school student Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman), who was banned by the PTA from attending her prom with her girlfriend (Ariana DeBose).

    ‣ In select theaters and on Netflix December 11th

The Prom

Musical / 2020 / PG-13

Synopsis: Down-on-their-luck Broadway stars shake up a small Indiana town as they rally behind a teen who wants to go to the prom with her girlfriend.

  • Hot Indie Trailer - Farewell Amor

    Image Courtesy: Sundance Institute

    Ekwa Msangi's immigrant, yet wholly American, drama "Farewell Amor" was a breakout at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film follows an Angolan family as they adjust to their new American life and reconnect with their estranged family patriarch, Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), who fled to the United States years prior.

    ‣ In select theaters and on VOD December 11th

Farewell Amor

Drama / 2020

Synopsis: An Angolan woman and her daughter reunite with her husband after spending 17 years in exile. Now strangers, they find common ground in their shared love of dance.

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