Indiewire has weeded through the films hitting VOD this month to bring you 10 to look out for. Variety was key in selection, so you’ll find everything from a gore fest set in a mental asylum, to a documentary on the world of poker, to Robert Pattinson’s latest non-“Twilight” flick.
Here are the ten films to watch on VOD this May, in alphabetical order:
“All In: The Poker Movie” (May 1)
Hardcore poker players and anyone who enjoyed the Matt Damon-starring “Rounders,” will no doubt want to seek out “All In: The Poker Movie,” an entertaining look at how poker went on to come a nationally televised sport played and watched by millions. The film, directed by Douglas Tirola, takes aim at politicians — through interviews with a slew of professional players and celebrities (including Damon, Kenny Rogers and “This American Life” host Ira Glass) — who have managed to prevent millions from playing, and many from making a living via the game. HERE the director shares an exclusive scene from the film with Indiewire.
“Asylum Blackout” (May 4)
Previously titled “The Incident” back when it world premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, the re-titled “Asylum Blackout” follows three rockers, who work in the kitchen of a high-security asylum to pay the bills. When a storm black out the security system at the prison before dinner one night, the three are forced to fight for their survival and make it out of the asylum alive. Horror fans with an appetite for gore and unrelenting thrills won’t want to miss this one.
“Bel Ami” (May 4)
Robert Pattinson takes a break from his “Twilight” duties to woo a slew of women in “Bel Ami,” which had its world premiere at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. The film retells Guy de Maupassant’s tale of social climbing in 19th century Paris, with Pattinson starring as a young seducer who takes advantage of some influential Parisian ladies (Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas abd Christina Ricci). The film arrives on VOD via Magnolia Pictures before opening in select theaters.
“First Position” (May 11)
A hit at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival where it won the Audience Choice first runner up award for Best Documentary, “First Position” follows six young dancers as they compete at one of the most prestigious student ballet competitions in the world: the Youth American Grand Prix.
“Never Make It Home” (May 5)
Set across America’s heartland, the moving documentary “Never Make It Home” profiles hell-raising singer/guitarist Kirk Rundstrom of the country band Split Lip Rayfield, during his final tour after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. After being told that he has only two months to live, Rundstrom performs every show as if it were his last.
“The Perfect Family” (May 4)
Kathleen Turner takes on her first lead role in almost two decades (!) with hilarious and poignant results in “The Perfect Family.” Co-starring Emily Deschanel, Jason Ritter and Richard Chamberlain, “The Perfect Family” centers on a devout Catholic suburban mom (Turner) who is forced to reconcile her conservative beliefs with her own family’s out-there behavior. The film premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and hits VOD the same day it opens in select theaters.
“Polisse” (May 25)
Last year’s winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the French ensemble drama “Polisse,” directed by French actress Maïwenn (who also stars in the film), lands on VOD shortly after opening in theaters via Sundance Selects. The film, which plays like France’s answer to “The Wire,” explores the personal lives and daily grind of the Parisian Child Protection Unit. Go HERE for Indiewire’s review out of Cannes, where the drama world premiered.
“#ReGENERATION” (May 3)
Ryan Gosling narrates “#ReGENERATION,” a timely documentary that takes an in-depth look at the reasons behind the Occupy Movement, and the current state of social activism in the US. Writer/director Philip Montgomery follows theee seperate stories to best highlight the current climate: a collective of musicians working outside the corporate system; a twenty-something conservative couple with a second child on the way; and a group of five high-school students struggling to figure out how they fit into society. Interspersed are interviews with scholars, social activists and media personalities, including Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Talib Kweli.
“Take This Waltz” (May 25)
Fans of Sarah Polley’s stellar directorial debut “Away From Her” have been itching for a follow-up, and for good reason: That film came out in 2006. The Canadian actress/writer/director is finally back with her anticipated second feature, “Take This Waltz,” starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman. The romantic dramedy, which debuted to acclaim at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, centers on Margot (Williams), a happily married aspiring writer who begins taking a fancy to her neighbor (Luke Kirby) with disastrous results. See it on VOD before it opens this summer via Magnolia Pictures.
“With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story” (May 8)
With “The Avengers” opening this weekend in the US, there’s never been a better time to get to know the man behind it all, the legendary comic-book icon Stan Lee. This comprehensive and star-studded love letter to Lee explores the life and imagination of the man behind “Spider-Man,” “Iron Man,” “X-Men” and “The Avengers.”