By Ryan Lattanzio | Thompson on Hollywood August 8, 2014 at 4:07PM
This weekend, avoid "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" at all costs and, instead, dive into an eclectic batch of indies and docs hitting theaters and VOD platforms.
Lasse Hallstrom's east-meets-west foodie film, "The Hundred-Foot Journey," opens today for those seeking a visual feast (in 35mm!). Adventurous moviegoers should also check out "Deepsea Challenge 3D," from producer James Cameron, at multiplexes.
Millennial rom-com "What If," starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan as what-else-but mixed-up 20-somethings looking for companionship, hits select cities, as does "The Dog," Drafthouse Films' doc about the true story behind "Dog Day Afternoon," and art doc "Fifi Howls From Happiness," about a visionary Iranian painter.
If you're feeling like a layabout this weekend, look for James Ward Byrkit's micro-budget (re: no-budget) sci-fi brain-bender "Coherence," and Gia Coppola's wistful teen drama "Palo Alto." And, finally, Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac," in all its parts and orgiastic splendor, can be streamed on Netflix.
Trailers and reviews below.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, USA, Disney
Starring Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Om Puri
62% Fresh | LA Times: "If there is room for romantic fantasy in your life, this cinematic equivalent of comfort food goes down easy enough, and it's hard to begrudge it that."
Read our interview with Hallstrom
Directed by Michael Dowse, USA, CBS Films
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver
73% Fresh | Salon.com: "There's nothing unfamiliar or unconventional about the thoroughly charming indie rom-com 'What If' - but that is precisely this movie's secret."
Directed by Allison Berg and François Keraudren, USA, Drafthouse Films
96% Fresh | AV Club: "As a portrait of a life lived strangely-and if you asked its subject, perfectly, with no regrets-'The Dog' is charming."
Deepsea Challenge 3D
Directed by John Bruno, Ray Quint, Andrew Wight, USA, National Geographic
43% Fresh | National Geographic: "This enthralling documentary, with a few brief moments of fictional re-creation, was made in conjunction with National Geographic Entertainment."
Read our interview with John Bruno
Fifi Howls From Happiness
Directed by Mitra Farahani, Iran, Music Box Films
100% Fresh | Village Voice: "Never less than addictively fascinating - Mohassess's story is a heroic torch of individualism battling mad-state ideology, from the Shah to the mullahs, and his autumnal stance toward all things non-Mohassess is hilariously derisive."