Summer blockbusters are nowhere to be found in the post-Memorial Day weekend, but the offerings range from disaster drama to sci-fi horror to documentary profile of a groundbreaking business owner.
A smart structural decision provides the human drama of the fact-based disaster drama Adrift
(pictured). An elliptical journey through an Egyptian filmmaker's episodic days makes for some intriguing moments in In the Last Days of the City
. The story of a pioneering black lesbian entrepreneur turns into the kind of feel-good video you'd make for your grandparents' anniversary in Jewel's Catch One
David Riedel finds a familiar-feeling plot, some nifty action and nauseating violence in the sci-fi thriller Upgrade
. The scrambled mix of sci-fi potpoiler, climate-change screed and earnest love story crashes to earth in How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Also opening this week, but not screened for press: Johnny Knoxville tries to keep a low-budget amusement park afloat in Action Point
; and the life of Joseph Smith's wife after his death gets the biopic treatment in In Emma's Footsteps
In this week's feature review, MaryAnn Johanson praises Beast
for giving a familiar tale of "vulnerable woman falls for bad boy" a complex female point of view.