This Weekend's Indies: 'Zero Charisma,' 'All the Boys Love Mandy Lane," and More
Zero Charisma: This deep dive into nerd (and role-playing game) culture (from Tribeca Film and Nerdist, full disclosure) has been getting rapturous response from the fanboy press, many of whom are calling it the best geek movie of all time. Directors Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews already have a bona fide cult movie on their hands. Now it's up to the public to see just how big that cult can get.
Romeo and Juliet: This latest screen adaptation of Shakespeare's tale of star-crossed lovers stars Oscar-nominees Hailee Steinfeld and Paul Giamatti, Emmy-winner Damien Lewis, Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick, and in the role of Romeo, fresh-faced Brit Douglas Booth. The draw here is screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), not to mention the film's location shooting in the actual Verona.
Escape From Tomorrow: Perhaps inspired by Banksy in Exit Through the Gift Shop, this film was shot on the fly -- and without permission -- from inside Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Placing a horror fantasy within the walls of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, et cetera - genius.
God Loves Uganda: This is the second documentary release this year about the grim situation for gays and lesbians in Uganda. Call Me Kuchu focused on the day-to-day lives of the people in Uganda. God Loves Uganda pinpoints a laser focus on the religious groups -- financed and prodded by the American religious right -- who have stoked the fires of hatred in the African nation.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane: This movie was originally supposed to be released way back in 2006 (!!), before languishing in distribution purgatory for seven years. Since then, director Jonathan Levine has gone on to make The Wackness, 50/50, and Warm Bodies, so he's something of an established name now that Mandy is making its most improbable big-screen debut. The film is about that most elemental of horror conceits: the beautiful girl being stalked in an isolated location. Was it worth the wait?