Chris Pine’s ‘Poolman’, Jamie Foxx Plays God, Eric Bana’s Aussie Cop Is Back & ‘I Saw The TV Glow’ Expands – Specialty Preview

It’s an indie grab bag and a fun one this weekend with the widely pummeled TIFF-premiering Poolman, (the people will decide), Jamie Foxx in comedy Not Another Church Movie, and Eric Bana’s Force of Nature: The Dry 2 sequel. Mubi and Strand Releasing are testing the market with limited openings Gasoline Rainbow and A Prince. A24 begins a slow rollout of I Saw The TV Glow.

The widest release on 1,180+ screens is Briarcliff’s Not Another Church Movie directed by Johnny Mack, starring Jamie Foxx, Vivica A. Fox, Kevin Daniels and Mickey Rourke. Daniels is Taylor Pherry (silent p), an ambitious young man on a holy mission from God (Foxx) — to tell his family’s stories and inspire his community. But the Devil (Rourke) has plans of his own.

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Vertical’s Poolman at 160+ locations is Pine’s directorial debut andhe also stars as Darren, a native Angeleno who spends his days looking after the pool of the Tahitian Tiki apartment block and fighting to make his hometown a better place. Tasked by a femme fatale with uncovering the truth behind a shady business deal, Darren and friends take on a corrupt politician and a greedy land developer. Starry cast includes Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Jennifer Jason Leigh, DeWanda Wise, Stephen Tobolowsky, John Ortiz and Ray Wise. Critics have not been kind, to say the least. Pine in an interview this week called the bad reviews “a real come to Jesus moment for me, in terms of seeing how resilient I am,” and said he still really loves the film.

IFC Films opens Force Of Nature: The Dry 2 by Robert Conolly in 153 theaters — a sequel to The Dry (2020), which was based on the 2017 novel by Jane Harper. Eric Bana reprises his role as Aussie police detective Aaron Falk. Set a year after the events of the previous film, Falk attempts to coerce further information about a corporate money laundering scheme from a company employee who refuses to help, then goes missing. With Anna Torv, Deborra-Lee Furness, Robin McLeavy, Sisi Stringer, Lucy Ansell, Jacqueline McKenzie, Tony Briggs, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor and Richard Roxburgh.

Well Go USAs’s western crime thriller The Last Stop In Yuma County, the feature debut of Francis Galluppi, debuts in 44 locations day and date. Premiered at Fantastic Fest and Sitges. While awaiting the next fuel truck at a middle-of-nowhere Arizona rest stop, a young traveling salesman (Jim Cummings) is thrust into a high-stakes hostage situation by the arrival of two menacing bank robbers (Richard Brake, Nicholas Logan). At 98% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Mubi’s coming-of-age Gasoline Rainbow from Bill and Ross Turner (Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets and Contemporary Color) opens at the IFC Center. Premiered at Venice (Orrizonti section) and played SXSW. With high school in the rearview, five teenagers from inland small-town Oregon embark on one last adventure, piling into a van with a busted tail light and heading for the distant Pacific coast. Starring newcomers Tony Abuerto, Micah Bunch, Nichole Dukes, Nathaly Garcia and Makai Garza.

At 92% with RT critics. Expands to additional markets next week including LA (Nuart, Laemmle Glendale), San Francisco (Roxie Theater), Seattle (Grand Illusion), and Austin (Austin Film Society), rolling out nationwide in following weeks.

Strand Releasing presents A Prince at the IFC Center in NY. The film by Pierre Creton premiered at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, winning the SACD Prize from France’s Writers’ Guild for the best French-language film. Set in Creton’s native rural Normandy, 16-year-old Pierre-Joseph enters a training college to become a gardener. There, he meets the men who will prove decisive in his apprenticeship, and in awakening his sexuality. Decades later, another school connection will change his life again. Stars Antoine Pirotte and Creton as Pierre-Joseph. Mathieu Amalric, Francois Lebrun and Gregory Gadebois lend their voices as narrators of the film’s poetic sequences. Written by Mathilde Girard, Cyril Neyrat and Vincent Barre.

Expansion: A24’s I Saw The TV Glow by Jane Schoenbrun (We’re all Going To The World Fair) expands to 21 locations after a strong opening on four last weekend. The director was honored this week by Boston’s Coolidge theater with breakthrough artist award. Stats from its first week out are showing 77% of audiences under 35. They’re also skewing young, queer, and male (at 60%), with 30% female and 10% non-binary. Half of the audience identified as LGBTQ+.

Most are frequent moviegoers, with 97% seeing at least one movie a month, and indie film/arthouse fans.

The ‘90s era trans coming-of-age horror-thriller, produced by Emma Stone under her Fruit Tree Banner, follows a teenager named Owen (Justice Smith) trying to make it through life in the suburbs. The weirdness starts when his older classmate (Brigette Lundy-Paine) introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show, a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack.

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