This year it's Summer Appreciation at Cinematical, but summer doesn't just mean one lumbering tentpole blockbuster after another. In fact, smaller distributors and indie studio arms often use summertime to offer some great low-key alternatives -- not big Oscar contenders, but smaller-profile festival favorites. And this summer is particularly rife with other options if and when you tire of all the sequels and franchises. Here are seven small films -- most but not all of which I've seen -- that you might consider supporting in the next three or four months.
1. The Brothers Bloom (May 15) - Rian Johnson's sophomore feature -- a character-driven fairy tale masquerading as a con man flick -- debuted at Toronto last year to muted acclaim. It's no Brick, but it's actually a fantastic summer offering: sunny, whimsical and bittersweet. Summit was originally set to release the film last fall, then last winter, before finally bumping it to May. It's legitimately funny and whip-smart, which should make it an attractive option in mid-May.