With summer in full swing, what better to do during this hot month than
stay inside a cool air conditioned space and catch up on some must see
indies available on VOD? To help you figure out what to watch, we’ve compiled a
list of the 10 best indies to watch on VOD this month.
“The Time Being” (July 23)
A young artist named Daniel (Wes Bentley) encounters a mysterious and eccentric benefactor (Frank Langella) who offers to fund his art as long as he is willing to take on some strange assignments. Daniel must find the balance between the need for money and the desire for personal and artistic integrity. The fragile moral relationship between a young and corruptible man in need and a mysterious patron has been trodden before on paper (“Great Expectations,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray”), but this big screen exploration seems to hold just as much drama, and, from the trailer, the vague promise of unsettling lines being crossed. Brand new director Nenad Cicin-Sain helms the film in a promising directorial debut.
“The Look of Love” (July 7)
British comedy vet Steve Coogan stars as a rich London business man — who is in the business of pornography and strip clubs. This is the true story of Paul Raymond who made it big as the owner of premier strip clubs in London’s Soho area in the 60s and 70s. Anna Friel and Imogen Poots also star as his wife and daughter in a story that promises to give an interesting look into family life when Daddy just happens to be a sex club mogul.
“Scenic Route” (July 26)
Friendship turns sour when two friends try to reprise a road trip they had years ago. Their lives were better back then, but they’ve since drifted apart. Things get tense when one friend (Dan Fogler) stages a car breakdown to give them time to bond and the other (Josh Duhamel) finds out, but the danger becomes real when they find out the car is actually broken. Mid life crises become the least of their problems as the stranded and estranged friends struggle to survive the wild — and each other.
“Only God Forgives” (July 19)
If “Drive” is any indication, Ryan Gosling and director Nicholas Winding Refn are a match made in heaven for crime drama. In Refn’s latest tonal follow-up, Gosling plays Julian, a man who runs a Bangkok boxing club as a drug front, but is sucked back into his family’s own criminal history when his brother is murdered and his cold-as-steel mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) demands that Julian avenge his death.
“I Give It a Year” (July 3)
This promising British romcom from the producers of “Love Actually,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” and “Notting Hill” follows a newly married couple who are dissatisfied with their marriage just days after the wedding. This comedy from the mind of Dan Mazer, the man behind “Borat,” promises to be raunchy and snarky, but also smart enough to hold its ground against the golden age of British romcoms that it is being likened to.
“Grabbers” (July 19)
When a small Irish fishing village is attacked by mysterious blood-sucking creatures, the residents discover that the only way to fend them off is to get drunk enough to keep their blood alcohol content in the safety zone. But how long can they drink to hold out against the monsters, and how can they defend themselves from danger if they’re inebriated? This sci-fi horror/comedy mashup poses some interesting questions, and it’s worth a rental to see how using alcohol as a defense weapon pans out.
“Drinking Buddies” (July 25)
This film boasts a stellar ensemble: Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, and Ron Lingston, and looks to be a breakout summer comedy for writer-director Joe Swanberg. Johnson and Wilde play co-workers at a brewery and potential flames — the only problem is that they’re both in serious relationships. How do they navigate the field of temptation with each other when their job is literally to make (and also drink) beer? Questionable decisions will ensue, but their feelings for each other may be more than just the beer talking.
“The Lifeguard” (July 30)
Kristen Bell stars as a former valedictorian who is stuck in a rut and quits her big deal reporting job in New York to return to the last place she felt happy: her hometown in Connecticut. She may be too cool for the suburbs, but she takes a job as a lifeguard and starts to backslide into her old high school life, and her interest in high school boys. Writing and directing is first-timer Liz W. Garcia.
“Just Like a Woman” (July 5)
“Just Like a Woman” follows two friends (Sienna Miller and Golshifteh Farahani), housewives who escape a cheating husband a layoff, and two unhappy marriages by embarking on a road trip from Chicago to Santa Fe to compete in a bellydancing competition. This female friendship drama is written by Joelle Touma and Marion Doussot and directed by Oscar nominee Rachid Bouchareb (“Outside the Law”).
“Magic Camp” (July 9)
This documentary from Judd Ehrlich (“Run for Your Life,” “Mayor of the West Side,” “Science Fiction Land”) is exactly what it sounds like: a documentary about magic camp. With the tagline “Welcome to the real Hogwarts,” the film promises to document the story of magic-obsessed kids who congregate at a camp where they can be themselves and brush up on their tricks (or should we say “illusions”?) These kids are training at Tannen’s Magic Camp, the same place that taught David Copperfield, Criss Angel, and David Blaine, and they all hope for a chance to take their sleight of hand to the big-time stage.