‘Night of Kings’, ‘Lucky’ and More Flowing Gems

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It’s not just the summer blockbuster season at the reopened multiplexes; Streamers are also growing with mega productions like “Battle of Tomorrow” and “Street of Fear” dominant advertising space and home pages. But if those aren’t your cup of tea, don’t worry—we’ve got a handful of American indie, foreign movies, and thoughtful documentaries to fill your summer nights.

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The Netflix movie “Gunpowder Milkshake” doesn’t just attract attention with its stellar cast; it is also director Navot Papushado’s first feature film in seven years, whose predecessor is this terribly influential thriller, written and directed by Aharon Keshales. When a child is abducted and brutally murdered, the victim’s father and a renegade cop separately team up to kidnap the prime suspect and torture him for information; All three men find themselves in an isolated cabin where Papushado and Keshales deftly use and distort our preconceived notions of good, bad and evil. Extremely unpredictable and darkly funny, but not for the faint-hearted.

With each passing year, it seems more certain that “Jackie Brown” is the best movie of Quentin Tarantino’s career – but despite all that hangover and growing goodwill, audiences still haven’t discovered this breezy crime comedy, which is a “Jackie” prequel. Based on Elmore Leonard’s 1978 novel The Switch, “Life of Crime” introduces the characters of Ordell Robbie, Louis Gara, and Melanie Ralston (played here by Yasiin Bey, John Hawkes, and Isla Fisher) as they shuffle into a plot. to kidnap a wealthy socialite (Jennifer Aniston). Daniel Schechter directs deftly and with a light touch, and his screenplay beautifully captures the impromptu humor and springy storytelling rhythms of Leonard’s novels.

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“Is this your first time here?” Blackbeard asks the new prisoner Roman, who shakes his head; “here” is Ivory Coast’s infamous La Maca prison, and the first scenes of Philippe Lacôte’s thrilling drama present many disturbing details of life inside. But realism soon gives way to ritual, as Blackbeard—Dangôro, or the condemned king—employs the young Roman to tell stories to the people of the prison during that night’s crimson moon. Roman (played by Koné Bakary with an appropriate mix of horror and intensity) fears this makeshift situation and its tough crowd, but as he overcomes that fear and gains his trust, his voice becomes stronger and his stories come through. to a lively, often splendid life.

Director Lynn Shelton The last feature film was as captivating as any film about a Confederate sword could be, a down-to-earth, limp, slightly melancholy, and utterly entertaining ensemble comedy. This sword was left to Cynthia (Jillian Bell) by her grandfather, who insists it is proof that the Confederacy has won the war; Marc Maron stars as a pawnshop owner who discovers that the sword is quite valuable, with or without a ridiculous backstory, and a rather tense journey begins with a potential dealer. As always, Shelton fills the movie with compelling and touching character moments, and Maron gives his best acting yet.

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Austin-based filmmaker Bob Byington has developed a certain and unmistakable style over the past decade – his films are short, funny, self-conscious, unapologetically bizarre, and unmistakably sarcastic. Her latest film is the story of a small-town teacher (Kaley Wheless) involved in a sex scandal, motivated more by boredom and marital unhappiness than by lust (her disgust with her husband for each other is one of the film’s best). running jokes). Wheless, who also co-wrote the story, is a real find, his dry line readings a good match with Byington’s sarcastic wit. And narrator Nick Offerman says, “Every story has something wrong. A rapscallion. A… a slug? I may need a thesaurus to continue.”

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It’s been 21 years since the bootleg success of “Scary Movie” brought back the fake movie that has floundered since the glory days of both Mel Brooks and “Airplane” crew Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker and hastened its ending as the movie’s finale. Various sequels, spin-offs, and alumni projects have almost buried the form in witty, laugh-free exercises in pop culture outcries. The only oasis in the desert of fools is David Wain’s ridiculously hilarious posting of brilliant romantic comedies featuring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd in the “You’ve Got Mail” riff as rival candy merchants in New York City. ) “like another character” in their stories.

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Few movie actors have enjoyed such a loving farewell. Harry Dean Stanton, the penultimate movie role is the inimitable and prolific character actor who is also one of the few lead actors (with more than 200 credits to his name). The 90-year-old firecracker and grump plays the title character, who knows his end is near, but doesn’t come out quietly. Director John Carroll Lynch himself is an outstanding character actor – he played Frances McDormand’s husband in “Fargo” and the prime suspect in “Zodiac” – and he treats the lead actor with love and respect, surrounding him with a handful of friends and predecessors. David Lynch, Tom Skerritt, and Ed Begley Jr. including collaborators.

While director Claire Denis and actor Juliette Binoche are two of the most fascinating forces in French cinema, they had never worked together before this character-driven drama. However, it’s an ideal collaboration that highlights their unique talents and non-slave attitude in their work. Binoche is in her best form as a happiness-seeking Parisian artist, but not through the usual cinematic resolution of a male partner – although there are partners, many of them and the various ways they fail her provide both richly comic situations and clever sensuality. resonance.

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Actor Michael Rapaport, known for his fast-paced speeches in movies like “True Romance” and “Bamboozled,” proved to be a successful documentarian with this loving yet candid tribute to the groundbreaking ’90s rap group A Tribe Called Quest. Much of the painting is an evocative musical history of the trends and sounds of their original era, which the filmmaker lovingly captured. But documenting their reunion for their “Rock the Bells” tour goes into more illusory waters to capture long-standing resentments and outrageous conflicts and become something like “Let It Be” for hip-hop heads.

By Mark Harris’ recent (and excellent) biography “Mike Nichols: A Life” The respected stage and film director spent a lot of rehearsal time in his later years telling stories of the good old days. It’s a taste of it in this documentary, which features their last interview with Elaine May on the stage of the John Golden Theatre, where they performed their Broadway show (held in the summer of 2014). Focusing on his early years, the film concludes with his Oscar win for “The Graduate” – offering a brief but informative snapshot of his directing approach and philosophies. But as a personality portrait it is most valuable; He’s as sharp as a master and endlessly hilarious, his comic timing and personal anecdotes have been refined and refined over the years of storytelling.

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