By Dino-Ray Ramos (DEADLINE)
This weekend’s slate of specialty streaming titles is a variety pack of a crime thriller, a documentary about mindfulness, an obsessive-compulsive dark comedy and…a movie titled Butt Boy.
Sonejuhi Sinha’s feature directorial debut Stray Dolls is set debut this weekend on a multitude of VOD platforms. The crime thriller, which bowed last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows Riz (Geetanjali Thapa), who has left her life of petty crime in India and is now working as a housekeeper at the Tides Plaza Motel managed by Una (Cynthia Nixon).
Riz clashes with her roommate Dallas (Olivia DeJonge) but find a bond through their opposite personalities. Dallas is a bit all over the map and isn’t afraid to have fleeting trysts with the motel’s resident drug dealer and Una’s son Jimmy (Robert Aramayo). Riz is guarded but stolid, reluctant to take any route forward that isn’t entirely legal. When Riz is forced to steal from one of the motel rooms, she sets off a series of events that entangle her in a web of crime. As a result she and Dallas are forced to take matters into their own hands.
Stray Dolls stemmed from Sinha’s short Love Comes Later, which was one of ten short films accepted to the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Last year, during Tribeca, Sinha told Deadline that Stray Dolls was informed by the director’s experience volunteering for the Women’s Prison Association, at a time when she was researching stories around women and crime, and how that takes place in America.
Considering we are in a time when some of us could use some peaceful centering, the documentary The Mindfulness Movement couldn’t be any more relevant. Produced and directed by Rob Beemer with Deepak Chopra and Jewel as executive producers, the feature docu sheds light on the increasing amount of people who are hopping on the mindfulness bandwagon. For those of you who don’t know, mindfulness is the peaceful quality of attention anyone can develop by simply focusing on the present moment in a non- judgmental way. For many, it is the key to creating a healthier, happier world — and we could really use that right now.
The Abramorama docu follows four people: Jewel, Dan Harris, Sharon Salzberg and George Mumford. They reveal their personal stories and how mindfulness transformed their lives. Their stories are stitched together via profiles of the leaders, history and science behind the movement. It puts the spotlight on places like the health care industry police forces, prisons, Fortune 500 companies and schools where mindfulness is helping to improve society.
As an added bonus, the audience can practice mindfulness during the film with an interactive experience where they have two chances to close their eyes and be guided meditations led by well-known mindfulness teachers.
I feel peaceful already. Watch the trailer below.
We are so used to seeing Wendi McLendon-Covey in comedic roles like Bridesmaids and The Goldbergs, so seeing her in something moodier is a welcomed change of pace — but it’s not terribly dark.
Written and directed by Independent Spirit Award and PGA Award winner Debra Eisenstadt, Blush follows Cathy, an obsessive-compulsive, middle-aged woman who is trying to keep it together as she has a suspicion that her husband is having an affair as the relationship with her 13-year-old daughter is becoming more and more distant. As a result, Cathy retreats to her sister’s home where she cat-sits, compulsively cleans and spies on a neighboring family. One by one these neighbors lure her into their lives and it inspires her to rebel against all the things bothering her in her life. As a result, things begin to unravel — including her sanity.
Blush made its premiere last year at Sundance under the title Imaginary Order and was acquired earlier this year by Gravitas Ventures. The film also stars Christine Woods, Max Burkholder, Steve Little, Catherine Curtin, Kate Alberts and Graham Sibley. Watch the trailer below.
Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi eco-thrillerSea Feverhad its virtual premiere on Thursday night and is now available on VOD. Directed and written by Neasa Hardiman the pic stars Hermione Corfield, Connie Nielsen, and Dougray Scott in a story about a crew on a ship in the deep Atlantic. When members of the crew succumb to a strange infection, a loner biology student must overcome her alienation and anxiety to win the crew’s trust, before everyone is lost.
Also opening this weekend is the Marc Meyers-directed horror We Summon the Darkness starring Alexandra Daddario and Johnny Knoxville. The film follows a group of girls who hear of a brutal satanic murder while on the way to a heavy metal concert. After the concert, the girls invite three guys to party — but it results in something darker and deadlier.
Tyler Cornack’s Butt Boy is set to assume the position on digital on April 14. Cornack stars as an IT engineer who has a harmless rectal kink — as the title suggests. When he wakes up after a routine prostate exam, his kink becomes an uncontrollable addiction and he becomes linked to a missing child. Eventually, Chip buries his desires in Alcoholics Anonymous and tries to move on with his life.
Fast forward five years and he becomes an AA sponsor of Russell Fox, a newly sober detective. It isn’t long before Chip relapses and Russell is brought in to investigate another missing child. Russell begins to suspect that Chip’s addiction may not be to alcohol, but something much more sinister.
Based on the novel by Katherine Center, Vicky Wight’s The Lost Husband follows a young woman (Leslie Bibb) as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together after the death of her husband. As she moves into her estranged Aunt’s (Nora Dunn) goat farm, she adapts to small-town life in Central Texas and falls for a handsome farm manager (Josh Duhamel) with a tragic past. The film is directed by Vicky Wight.
April 14 will also be the VOD debut of the Uruguayan coming-of-age drama The Sharks. Marking the feature directorial debut of Lucía Garibaldi, The Sharks made its world premiere at Sundance and follows a 14-year-old named Rosina who lives in a beach resort rumored to be plagued by sharks. Upon meeting the older Joselo, she feels a desire to get closer to him and begins to circle him — like the titular predator.