It’s the revenge of the studios this week with big budget titles headlining like "Oz The Great and Powerful," "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" and "Movie 43." But for you indie fans there’s also the bizarre "Wrong" by Quentin Dupieux ("Rubber") and some essential titles from Criterion’s 101 Days of Summer over at Hulu.
'Oz The Great and Powerful'
James Franco plays the small-town magician who is swept off to a magical land where he becomes the biggest act—after confronting three powerful witches (played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams).
Why Watch It: Sam Raimi’s knack for bringing imaginary worlds to life is put to the test… and he succeeds.
'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'
Steve Carell and Jim Carrey playing competing musicians on the Vegas strip? Sounds like comedy gold, however, the box office numbers say different. Screw that! If you’re looking for something to watch tonight how can you resist this?
Why Watch It: And if you need more incentive, Steve Buscemi as Carell’s sidekick is as marvelous and over the top as his character name (Anton Marvelton).
Speaking of box office duds. This one didn’t get much love in theaters, but you have to be enticed by the sheer amount of name actors involved in this series of short films imagined by a struggling producer as he pitches ideas to studio heads.
Why Watch It: And behind the camera there’s talents like Bob Odenkirk, Peter Farrelly, James Gunn and Brett Ratner.
Almost two years after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Francis Ford Coppola’s latest film is finally available to American audiences. Val Kilmer plays a struggling writer who gets caught up in the small town murder mystery of a young girl and is visited by a spirit (Elle Fanning) who may have answers.
Why Watch It: Though he’s making much smaller/personal films now, you still can’t resist the talent of Coppola.
If you didn’t get enough of The Rock in "Fast & Furious 6"… or "Pain & Gain"… or all those promos for his new reality show, check out this more dramatic turn as he plays a dad who goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son.
Why Watch It: Think of the Fast franchise but with speeding big rigs.
Following his bizarre horror "Rubber," Quentin Dupieux returns with this equally bizarre journey of a man trying to get his life back in order by searching for the love of his life: his dog.
Why Watch It: With comparisons to David Lynch and Luis Buñuel, Dupieux’s brand of stories are for those looking for something a bit more challenging in their movie watching experience.
This Grand Prize winner at Slamdance 2011 is an intimate portrait of a grieving woman who brings in a homeless man and builds a relationship with him through the loss each has suffered in their lives.
Why Watch It: A tender film with a good heart.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Criterion’s 101 Days of Summer on Hulu offers a new title every day through Labor Day (with the titles for free to non-Hulu Plus subscribers for 48 hours). Here’s a few standouts.
One of the pillars of the French New Wave, Francois Truffaut’s look at misunderstood adolescents made him an instant star as well as his young lead actor, Jean-Pierre Leaud.
Before heading to Hollywood to make wacky comedies, David Gordon Green established himself as one of the decades’ top independent film director’s with his 2000 feature debut. In it we watch a group of North Carolina teens as they try to cover up an incident that will change their lives.
There’s nothing better than spending a summer evening watching Harold Lloyd. And he’s at his best here, playing “Speedy,” who after losing his job as a soda-jerk gets into the cab business which leads to a hilarious cameo by Babe Ruth, who narrowly survives a ride to Yankee Stadium in Speedy’s cab.