September 01, 2009

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 1

Indie movies you may not have heard of this summer

This summer, like all summers before, saw its share of hits, misses and head scratching "what the..." moments in the movies. However, it seems that many films fell into one of three genres: action, chick flick, or family friendly.

While all this is well and good, Hollywood may have overdosed on the exploding, clichéd, CGI-animated fun.

While it is true that some people may never get sick of robots attacking cities, boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl (or boy-time traveler-meets-girl), or talking guinea pigs, there are those who want some variety, originality, or just something new.

One of the appeals of indie movies is that they often portray more realistic events, as opposed to the fog and mirror illusions of big Hollywood stunts. There may not always have a happy ending, or a story that makes perfect sense, but life can somehow be captivating, even if it seems mundane. To avoid the same old movies, check out some of these refreshing films that flew below the radar.

The Brothers Bloom: "The perfect con is when everyone involved gets just the thing they wanted." Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) are two brothers who went through countless foster homes together in their childhood. As adults, Stephen and Bloom become one of the greatest conning duos, until Bloom wants to lead an "unwritten life." Tapped to do one last con, Bloom agrees to try to con Penelope (Rachel Weisz), yet unexpectedly finds there is more-than-meets-the-eye with this mark.

It's interesting con movie that, perhaps, has one too many twists toward the end. The cast of characters are just as amusing and complex as the "Ocean's Eleven" crew, but more eccentric. Many can communicate effectively to the audience without a single word spoken. Besides, what other movie has Rachel Weisz juggling gassed chainsaws?

Check out for the seven minute opening scene that truly sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

"The Brothers Bloom" comes out on DVD and Blu Ray September 29.

(500) Days of Summer: "This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story." Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) leads an average life until he meets the girl of his dreams, Summer (Zooey Deschanel). The movie takes place over 500 days. The catch is that it is not shown in chronological order. Instead, the audience is taken back and forth on this whirl-wind "romance" between the two. The other catch is that it is shown only through Tom's perspective. Since he is the one who has decidedly found his soul mate, the audience is taken in and can sympathize with him as he tries to figure out if Summer is a friend, a girlfriend, or someone in between.

The unique approach of seeing good days, then bad days, then topsy turvy days definitely keeps the audience on its toes, much like being in a real relationship.

Fanboys: In 1999, die-hard fans of the "Star Wars" franchise waited with anticipation for "Star Wars: Episode 1". However, when Eric (Sam Huntington) becomes terminally ill and he realizes that he will not likely be able to see the theatrical release, his four best friends decide to put their plan to raid Skywalker Ranch (home of George Lucas) into action.

Some may say this flew under the radar for good reason. Still, "Fanboys", while pointless and sometimes hair brained, was just a fun film to see. Jammed packed with cameos from the original "Star Wars" cast and William Shatner himself, it separates itself from other generic road trip movies. It's a movie that Trekkies/Trekkers, "Star Warriors", and those who simply had to grow up with family and friends in these categories can enjoy. "Fanboys" is out on DVD.

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