The American Film Market: 10 Mindblowing, Modestly Budgeted Movies to Watch
Perusing the trade papers during the yearly American Film Market, when thousands of buyers from all of the world descend upon Santa Monica to pick over a buffet of independent, straight-to-video, and international movie fare, is a real treat, as both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are glutted with ads for low-budgeted curiosities propped up by recognizable talent that you may one day stumble across at the multiplex, or, much more likely, in the deepest, darkest corners of your Netflix recommendations pages. (There was a time we would've said "on the shelves of your local Blockbuster, but, uh, yeah.) To save you the time of thumbing through the trades yourself to pan for obscure cinematic gold, Movieline has assembled the best of this year's AFM ads so far, leaving you with nothing to do but pray that each finds the completion financing or distribution it needs to one day land in your mailbox in a red envelope. After the jump, get ready for cameos from Winona Ryder, Sly Stallone, Val Kilmer, and a host of other household and once-household names that will make your movieparts tingle with delight.
The Big One:
2008's surprisingly excellent Rambo (and by "surprisingly excellent," we mean "so incredibly ultramegaviolent that the entire theater whooped with delight each time an evil Burmese soldier was sheared in half by machine-gun fire") left many unanswered questions: How will our mom-jeans-wearing hero readjust to life in an ass-hugging, boot-cut world? Can Stallone improve upon his frenetic 2.59 kills-per-minutes pace? Will a back-to-basics Rambo abandon high-powered weaponry in favor of eviscerating each foe with his bare hands, jamming his meaty, battle-hardened paws into the soft bellies of his enemies and withdrawing steaming handfuls of wriggling, soupy guts? We may finally get those answers, and sooner rather than later. (More on the actual plot here, for those who aren't content to let their imaginations run wild.)
Two words: Billy Zane. Three more words: Doing murder magic.
That poor rabbit never saw him coming.
The message is clear: "Look, Arnold's not coming back. He's a little too old, too expensive, and too busy reveling in the lamentations of the Californians. But there's some money left in this barbarian thing, and we're gonna shake that loincloth until every last piece of gold falls out. " Our budget-conscious casting suggestion: this guy.
Bonus: From the director of two other totally pointless remakes of beloved genre classics!