The directing debut of actor Chris Messina, Alex of Venice is as notable for what it doesn't do as for what it does. This is the story of a married parent suddenly forced to realign priorities when their spouse walks out. Think Kramer vs. Kramer - and then make the central character a woman instead of a man.
When James Bond rebooted with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, the blend of old-school spy tale and modern-action sensibility seemed right -- if still a little restrained. Imagine now what would happen if James Bond were put in the hands of someone who was willing to not just rethink the secret-agent film but blow it up all together.
Written and directed by the team of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this film presents a flock (coven? pride? school?) of vampires sharing a flat in contemporary New Zealand. The documentarians supposedly not only have been granted access to film the vampires' private lives but have been promised that the vampires won't eat them.
Black Sea, a crisply tense film from Kevin MacDonald, is always compelling and even, occasionally, surprising. While submarine films inspire the guessing game of who will be the next to die horribly and who might survive, Black Sea never quite goes where you expect it, thanks to the script by British playwright Dennis Kelly.