CALLERI: Something different for your weekend home movie watching

In “Some Kind Of Heaven,” a resident of a retirement community feels alone in a crowd. (Magnolia Pictures)

There are major studio-backed mainstream films, and there are those unusual features that need a little nudge to earn the attention of movie fans. Three such movies are the horror comedy “I Blame Society,” the retirement documentary “Some Kind Of Heaven,” and the relationship drama “Two Of Us.”

Digital streaming and Video On Demand through your cable provider are the primary means of watching these new films, and wintry weather gives you an added incentive to stay warm and watch something off-beat.

Additionally, the Virtual Cinema program’s “Two Of Us” can be accessed on the Dipson Theatres and North Park Theatre websites. The latter is also hosting “Some Kind Of Heaven.”

In “I Blame Society,” a Los Angeles woman with hopes of being a filmmaker hasn’t made the breakthrough about which she’s long dreamed. Gillian is a bit quirky, and her friends have often jokingly told her she’d make a great murderer. She even considered making a documentary using that nugget of information. Wallowing in her creative malaise, she returns to the idea of exploring “the perfect murder.”

Before you can say Alfred Hitchcock’s “Pyscho,” Gillian goes a little bit off the rails. Blood flows as she becomes the serial killer she was formerly only going to examine. The film has a nifty cleverness to its conceit, and there are some credible jolts amidst the dark laughs. “I Blame Society” is directed by Gillian Wallace Horvat, who also plays Gillian the character. Horvat co-write the screenplay with Chase Williamson. As director, she has a good eye for what’s disturbing, and she understands the moodiness of an ignored creative person’s psyche.

“Some Kind Of Heaven” tells us that retired folks are willing to uproot themselves from wherever they live, sell their house, say goodbye to their family and friends, and then re-create their exact same living situation elsewhere. This includes familiar stores, cinemas, and restaurants, buying a new house in the process, and living behind a wall. No children allowed. No family. But, a chance to make new friends. This supposed Shangri-la is called The Villages, and it’s in Florida and more than 120,000 people live there. With 12 golf courses, three libraries, and no one under age 55, it isn’t called Disneyland for seniors for nothing.

The interesting movie is directed by Lance Oppenheim, who chronicles organized fun, which generally consists of synchronized swimming, cheerleading, and billiards. He also needs a stronger element: actual stories about people; therefore, he focuses on a lonely widow looking for love and a married couple whose husband has discovered illegal drugs. He’s giddy and goofy and his wife is fit to be tied. However, life in The Villages isn’t all one big happy golf cart rodeo. You’ll find delusion, bleakness, and melancholy, as well. There’s also a con artist, who gets through the gate, acts as if he belongs, and looks for women to fleece. Security!

In “Two Of Us,” the exquisitely acted story being told is about two septuagenarian women who live separately in an apartment building in a small French town. Their neighbors think they are just friends, who happen to reside on the same floor. The truth is somewhat greater than that. Madeline (Martine Chevallier) and Nina (Barbara Sukowa) have been lovers for decades. They are from a generation that stayed quiet about a romance such as theirs.

This is the first feature directed by Filippo Meneghetti, and it’s a debut to remember. He co-wrote the well-structured screenplay with Malysone Bovorasmy. The beautiful cinematography is by Aurelien Marra. The goal of Madeline and Nina is to leave France to live in Rome, Italy so that they can be together freely. However, there are challenges to their plan and complications in their lives when determined neighbors – curious, inquisitive, and gossipy – begin to intrude upon their peaceful and comfortable existence. “Two Of Us” develops the feel of a mystery. As the dramatic tension and anger rises, the movie falls into an experience well worth watching.

Michael Calleri reviews films for the Niagara Gazette and the CNHI news network. Contact him at moviecolumn@gmail.com.

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