Ryan's 5 Favorite Independent Films That Are Worth Checking Out
Annotation:Who doesn't want to be a hero? Well, diner cook Frank D'Arbo played by The Office's Rainn Wilson for one. He's too upset over losing his recovering addict wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) to the drug dealing Jacques (Kevin Bacon). After receiving possibly one of the most bizarre visions ever, Frank dons a maroon mask and costume and becomes The Crimson Bolt, a "hero" who everyone first sees as a violent psychopath (possibly due to his penchant for savagely attacking criminals with a wrench). After meeting the cussing comic book store clerk Libby, the pair resolve to partner up and get Frank's wife back. From the director of Slither.
Annotation:Gregg Araki's experiments with hyperreality yet again in the story of Smith, a queer college student who lusts after his surfer roommate named Thor and spends all of his free time with his snarky best friend Stella. Plagued by odd dreams with people he doesn't recognize, Smith eventually meets and connects with London, a sexy British girl he forms an instantaneous bond with. But something sinister seems to be lurking in the background, and as Smith starts to uncover the mystery behind a red-haired dead girl and men chasing them who wear animal masks. Gregg Araki also directed The Living End, Smiley Face, and Mysterious Skin among others.
Annotation:Emma Caulfield is Oona, a single girl who is looking for "the one." Finding that person is a lot easier now; TiMER is actually a device you can get implanted in your wrist for a small monthly fee. The device counts down and reaches zero once you find your soulmate. Despite their 98% approval rating, Oona's timer hasn't started counting down; her future soulmate hasn't gotten his TiMER yet. Despondent, she eventually begins dating her doe-eyed grocery clerk Mikey, a man much younger than herself. But when her TiMER finally starts it's countdown and Mikey's not "the one," will Oona defy fate for love?
Annotation:Trevor Wright plays Zach, a young artist with dreams of leaving his lower class San Pedro surroundings. With an irresponsible sister more interested in dating and partying that taking care of her son Cody, Zach is put in the position where he is responsible for watching his nephew most of the time. But when his best friend's older brother Shaun moves back to San Pedro, the pair form a bond that eventually starts to lead to something more. Zach is conflicted; he can't leave Cody, but wants a chance to fulfill his dreams. This film proves to be much more than just a realistic depiction of a young man struggling with his sexuality; it's about ultimately about the family you make for yourself.
Annotation:Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Brendan Frye, a teenager who discovers the body of his ex-girlfriend face down in a storm drain. What follows is Brendan's quest to find out what happened, who killed Emily, and why. Influenced heavily by old hardboiled detective stories (think Dashiell Hammett), the classic noir-inspired dialogue in this film is counterbalanced by it's suburban California setting. Aided only by a fellow student known as "The Brain," Brendan gets caught up in a tangled web of conspiracy, drugs, and deception.
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If you are looking for some other independent films suggestions, here's a list of films and theaters that Ryan has personally enjoyed over the past few years