Article: Under The Radar, Summer 2013

So, we will kinda-sorta officially enter the summer on June 1st. And with that comes explosions, muscles, cars, muscle-cars, exploding muscle-cars, robots, and hot white men in tight primary colors saving the world. Well, like all years and the summers within them, there are always those somewhat unknown or under-the-radar flicks that get lost in the less than subtle noise of massive summer blockbusters -- and to a certain degree there's nothing wrong with that. I can't wait for Man of Steel and Pacific Rim! Star Trek: Now With Less Lens Flare and Iron Man 3: The Tony Stark Movie are awesome! I love these films, but I thought it would behoove me to let ya'll know about some equally great looking movies that you might never hear about.

Wrong (March 29th, kinda)
Okay, so I'm cheating a bit with this one. It came out, technically, on March 29th as a limited theatrical release in the U.S., but its utter weirdness is still being released around the world. From the director of the possibly less bizarre Rubber (a story about a murderous tire), Wrong looks like a Tim & Eric art film that actually has a plot. Far off-kilter and absurdly hilarious, this film's trailer alone had me cracking up.

Passion (June 7th, already released in France)
Rachael McAdams and Noomi Rapace make out and have psychotic lesbo-sex in the story of a manipulative boss who takes advantage of her protégée and reels her into a delightful mess of fraud, public humiliation, and murder. Oh, and sex. Lots of sex... I think.

Rapture Palooza (June 7th)
Two teenagers traverse the apocalypse on a mission to defeat the Antichrist... who is played by Craig Robinson. That is all.

A Hijacking (June 14th, limited)
Technically this came out in 2012 in Danish pastry land, but isn't getting released here until just now. This nerve-shattering film forces the audience to sit idly as Somali pirates hijack a Danish cargo ship, terrorize its crew, and engage in precarious negotiations with Copenhagen authorities. It looks stupidly intense.

Maniac (June 21st, and again, France got it first)

The cute and furry Elijah Wood stalks, brutalizes, and scalps innocent women fueled by a disturbingly unhealthy obsession with mannequins in this reimagining of the 1980 cult original. The entire film is shot from the killer's point-of-view and looks seriously hardcore in a way that most American horror films don't have the balls to attempt.

The Hunt (July 12th, limited. Already released in the Netherlands)
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, the star of the apparently critically acclaimed, yet criminally unwatched Hannibal series, and frighteningly awesome Le Chiffre from Casino Royale, The Hunt is set in the Christmas atmosphere of a Danish village and follows Mikkelsen's character who becomes wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a child. This looks like one of those movies that will make you frustrage in the comfort of your own home as you have a wonderfully awful time hoping the lead gets proper justice.

Only Gods Forgives (July 19th)
Nicolas Winding Refn directs Ryan Hotter-than-everything Gosling who plays an American hiding in Thailand who runs a Thai boxing club and also likes to smuggle illegal narcotics. His brother murders an underage prostitute, and, well, that sort of leads to a whole crap load of people getting butchered in a syrupy pool of vengeance.

Elysium (August 8th)
Yes, maybe this one doesn't really belong on here. I'd hope you're bound to hear more about this since Sony has sunk upwards of 120 million bucks into the production. Right now, though, whenever I mention the name, no one has any idea what I'm talking about. Written and directed by the same dude who made District 9, Elysium follows Matt Damon as he gets surgically fused to a bionic super-suit and has to breach the pristine utopia of the filthy rich who live splendidly in a ridiculously massive mega-city that reaches beyond the atmosphere of the planet. Needless to say, no one has ever attempted this before... and that's why it's going to work.  Oh, also, he can apparently flip cars with his cyborg mind according to the little context established in the trailer.

Prince Avalanche (August 9th)
Emile Hirsch stars as an oddball opposite Paul Rudd (who needs no introduction) in this strangely surprising buddy-comedy about two guys that paint road surface markers who spend the summer of '88 isolated in the wilderness of those winding back roads of Jeep commercials. Just watch the trailer. I'm having a difficult time describing just why this looks so damn good -- it has something to do with Emile Hirsch persistently stretching his acting chops as far as they will go before they tear off.

Sound off in the comments and let me know what I might have missed!

- J.G. Barnes