It's been a rather silent summer so far on the indie front with films such as "The Rover", "Words and Pictures" and "The Immigrant" failing to gain any traction at the specialty box office. Only "Chef" has enjoyed any kind of tasty returns since the calendar struck June but this week there are some possible box office breakouts.
Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley star in the music industry dramedy "Begin Again" from Weinstein and "Once" director John Carney. The film was originally titled a very clunky "Can A Song Save Your Life?" I don't know the answer to that gripping query but I do know the answer to the question "Can A New Title Save a Mark Ruffalo/Keira Knightley film?". Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener and Mos Def co-star and the film is produced by Judd Apatow. Opens New York and Los Angeles this week with further expansion in the coming weeks.
Joon-ho Bong's festival fave "Snowpiercer" gets a rare theatrical only roll out from distribution Radius/TWC. The sci-fi actioner stars Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer and residents of a futuristic world where a train (the Snowpiercer) travels the globe, carrying survivors of a failed global-warming experiment.
Day and date theatrical and VOD we have Magnolia's "Whitey: the United States of America VS. James J. Bulger", an eagerly anticipated documentary focusing on legendary Boston crime figure Whitey Bulger who, along with FBI help, eradicated organized crime competition in the city in the 1960's and 1970's by exterminating key members of the Italian Patriarca crime family. The docu focuses on Bulger's rise to fame, his relationship with his Massachusetts State Senator brother Billy, his life as an informant for the FBI, and his final days of freedom spent in a nondescript Santa Monica, California apartment building.
Lionsgate offers up three runs of the political documentary "America", which imagines how the country would look if the United States had actually lost the Revolutionary War.
The folks at Weinstein are very busy this week as they also open the biopic of the legendary fashion designer, "Yves Saint Laurent", in two runs this Wednesday. French actor Pierre Niney stars as the enigmatic Saint Laurent.