GO UNDERGROUND: TAMPA BAY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL
Hollywood takes a breather this weekend, with only one new nationwide release that's definitely not awards material.
Might be a good weekend to go underground.
The third annual Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival begins tonight at Britton 8, 3938 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. That's underground zero for the festival until Sunday, when the movies move to Carrollwood Villagio Cinemas, 11778 N Dale Mabry Highway.
Tickets are $8 per screening session, $15 for a day pass and $25 for the VIP full festival pass.
This year's lineup includes 156 features, documentaries and shorts from filmmakers, some of whom may not even be names in their own households. But they're ambitious, dedicated, all those things that artists can lose when they become successful. That makes them interesting, perhaps worth a try.
Exhibit A: Tonight's opening night selection is Corey Horton's tender comedy Waiting on Mary, which stars local stage actor Brian Shea as a jilted man retreating into a fantasy life as a colonial gentleman. Audiences enjoyed it at the Gasparilla and Sunscreen film festivals. Show time is 7 p.m., with a short film before and party afterward.
The festival's centerpiece is Shooting Clerks, a tribute to underground cinema pioneer Kevin Smith. Former Palm Harbor resident Ryan James produced this re-enactment of Smith filming his seminal 1994 comedy Clerks, inspiring a generation of filmmakers working with maxed-out credit cards.
Smith is listed as executive producer, and several Clerks actors appear in the film, a recent award winner at the Orlando Film Festival. Shooting Clerks screens at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Check the complete lineup for the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival at tampabayundergroundfilmfestival.com.
OPENING Thursday: INCARNATE
That lone nationwide release I mentioned? Just a demonic possession flick called Incarnate (PG-13). Move along. Nothing to see here.
Or is there? Incarnate stars a pretty good actor on a professional roll.
Aaron Eckhart, above, recently scored in Sully as Tom Hanks' co-pilot and Bleed for This as Miles Teller's boxing trainer. Incarnate pegs him as Dr. Seth Ember, a scientist prowling the subconscious minds of exorcism candidates. His current case naturally involves a possessed child, just as Linda Blair willed it.
Believe it or not, no advance screening of Incarnate was offered for review.
In theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 Moonlight: Barry Jenkins' Miami story, one of 2016's finest films.
2 Arrival: Unique science fiction movie, with Amy Adams in top form.
3 Loving: True story of a 1967 court case over interracial marriage.
4 Bleed for This: Miles Teller moves up a weight class in solid boxing pic.
5 Moana: Is there anything in movies Dwayne Johnson can't do?
(Dates subject to change)
Dec. 9: Miss Sloane; Manchester by the Sea; Office Christmas Party
Dec. 16: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Collateral Beauty
Dec. 21: Jackie; Passengers; Lion; Assassin's Creed; Sing