New Releases for the Week of June 11, 2021


IN THE HEIGHTS

(Warner Brothers) Melissa Barrera, Stephanie Beatriz, Anthony Ramos, Ariana Greenblatt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Grace, Jimmy Smits. Directed by Jon M. Chu

Based on Miranda’s pre-Hamilton hit Broadway musical, a young bodega owner in Washington Heights saves every penny he can and dreams of a better life.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Musical
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: PG-13 (for suggestive references and some language)

A Perfect Enemy

(Brainstorm) Dominique Pinon, Tomasz Kot, Marta Nieto, Athena Strates. A successful architect meets a chatty young woman in the Paris airport, and ends up missing his flight. Installed in an airport lounge to wait for another, the fortuitous meeting suddenly turns sinister and possibly criminal.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Action
Now Playing: Studio Movie Grill Sunset Walk
Rating: NR

Censor

(Magnet) Niamh Algar, Michael Smiley, Nicholas Burns, Sophia La Porta. Set in the 1980s era of the British “video nasties,” a film censor views a horror film that is eerily suggestive of the disappearance of her own sister years before. This sends her down the rabbit hole where the lines between reality and fiction become blurred.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Horror
Now Playing: Enzian
Rating: NR

The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2

(Lionsgate) Mike Epps, Katt Williams, Bresha Webb, Danny Trejo. A best-selling author moves his family into his childhood home, where along with his oddball neighbors he must do battle with a neighborhood pimp who may or may not be a vampire.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Comedy
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: R (for brief nudity, sexual content and pervasive language)

The Misfits

(The Avenue) Pierce Brosnan, Jamie Chung, Tim Roth, Nick Cannon. A master criminal is recruited by a group of unconventional thieves to pull off a daring gold heist. However, he soon discovers that the heist may have unintended far-reaching consequences on his life and the lives of many others.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Action
Now Playing: Cinemark Orlando
Rating: R (for some language/sexual references and brief drug use)

The Perfect Candidate

(Music Box) Mila Al Zahrani, Dhay, Nora Al Awad, Khalid Abdulraheem. A young Saudi doctor unexpectedly decides to run for civic office. The fact that she’s the first woman to run for such an office puts the town and her family into an uproar. This played last year’s Florida Film Festival; a link to the review can be found under “Scheduled to be reviewed” below.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Drama
Now Playing: Enzian
Rating: NR

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

(Columbia) James Corden (voice), Elizabeth Debicki (voice), Margot Robbie (voice), Domhnall Gleeson. Bored with life in Thomas and Bea’s (now married) garden, Peter strikes out for the big city and meets up with some dodgy characters, causing chaos for his entire family.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Family
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: PG (for some rude humor and action)

Queen Bees

(Gravitas) Ellen Burstyn, James Caan, Ann-Margaret, Jane Curtin. After reluctantly moving into an assisted living facility, a senior meets up with a clique of mean-spirited women and an amorous suitor.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Dramedy
Now Playing: Amstar Lake Mary
Rating: PG-13 (for drug use, suggestive material and some language)

COMING TO VIRTUAL CINEMA/VOD:

Dream Horse
Holler
Lust For Gold
(Tuesday)
Night Walk
(Tuesday)
Occupation: Rainfall
Queen of Spades
(Tuesday)
Rogue Hostage
Songs for a Sloth
(Tuesday)
The Space Between
(Tuesday)
Take Me Somewhere Nice

SCHEDULED FOR REVIEW:

Censor
The Perfect Candidate

Monsters and Men


Not everything is black and white.

(2018) Drama (NEONJohn David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chanté Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan, Cara Buono, Grant Jaeger, Josiah Gabriel, Emilie Allen, Brian Pollock, Joe Tippett, J.W. Cortes, Giuseppe Ardizzone, Steve Cirbus, Samel Edwards, CJ Wallace, Joshua Rivera, Lana Young. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green

 

Timing can be everything in the movie business. Monsters and Men tackles a subject that is near and dear to Hollywood’s heart; police brutality in African-American neighborhoods (in this case, Bed-Stuy in New York City). Family man Manny (Ramos) hears an altercation at a local bodega and chances upon a heated confrontation between white cops and Big D (Edwards), a local neighborhood figure who sells loose cigarettes outside the bodega. When the confrontation turns violent, Manny captures it on his cellphone.

He is torn as to whether to make the video public; he’s just started a new job working security while his wife (Jones) is finishing up her degree. He is arrested on trumped up charges. Dennis (Washington), a cop of African-American heritage, is not to thrilled with the overall situation but is under enormous pressure to keep his opinions to himself. He has a unique viewpoint which surfaces at a dinner party. Then again, there is Zyrick (Harrison), a high school baseball player who has unlimited potential whose father (Morgan) is proudly inviting major league teams to check his kid out. He has a career to think about and every reason to keep quiet but there’s this activist (Adams) who gives him food for thought. Meanwhile, a vigilante incident is fanning the flame, turning Bed-Stuy into a powderkeg ready to explode.

The movie is divided into three chapters and has a curiously unfinished feeling about it; even though there is a climactic moment that essentially brings the narrative to a close, the broken-up narrative doesn’t serve the film well. Although Washington stands out talent-wise and the young, largely unknown cast delivers surprisingly strong performances.

I think the movie also suffered from a timing issue; there had been a number of similarly themed movies released over the past two years and I think that there was a kind of audience fatigue going on for the subject so Monsters and Men fell off the radar a little bit which it may not have deserved, flawed or not.

Green definitely has a good eye and I think his only problem here was in his choice of narrative structure. A more linear means, while less bold, would have served the narrative better. I can’t say that this stands up well with some of the other films of similar subject matter, but I can say that especially for those who haven’t yet burned out on the subject, it is worth checking out just to get an early preview of Denzel’s kid, who will be headlining a Christopher Nolan blockbuster this summer and will likely be a huge star after that.

REASONS TO SEE: Washington has legitimate potential to step out of his dad’s shadow.
REASONS TO AVOID: Dividing the film into three separate chapters gives it a feeling that the story is not being fully told.
FAMILY VALUES: There is plenty of profanity and some violence.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: This is the third time Washington played a cop in 2018; the other two occasions were BlacKKKlansman and The Old Man and the Gun.
BEYOND THE THEATERS: Amazon, AMC On Demand, AppleTV, Fandango Now, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Redbox, Vudu, YouTube
CRITICAL MASS: As of 2/22/20: Rotten Tomatoes: 65% positive reviews: Metacritic: 68/100
COMPARISON SHOPPING: The Hate U Give
FINAL RATING: 5/10
NEXT:
The Times of Bill Cunningham