New Releases for the Week of October 25, 2019


BLACK AND BLUE

(Screen Gems) Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Reid Scott, Beau Knapp, Mike Colter, Nafessa Williams, Deneen Tyler. Directed by Deon Taylor

A group of corrupt cops are caught in the act of murder on the bodycam of a young rookie cop. With nowhere to turn – chased by the neighborhood gang members who are out for revenge and the cops who are desperate to recover the footage and silence her, she must turn to an unlikely ally.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website
Genre: Action
Now Playing: Wide Release
Rating: R (for violence and language)

Countdown

(STX) Elizabeth Lail, Peter Facinelli, Anne Winters, Jordan Calloway. A young nurse downloads an app that predicts when the user is going to die – which in her case, is just three days. When she looks into it, she is shocked to discover that the app is horribly accurate.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Horror
Now Playing: Wide Release
Rating: R (for terror, violence, bloody images, suggestive material, language and thematic elements)

The Current War

(101 Studios) Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult, Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon. American titans Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla and George Westinghouse vie for their ideas to set the standard for American electricity. This film was set to come out a couple of years ago in time for Oscar consideration but the demise of Weinstein studios sent it to the shelf until now.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Biographical Drama
Now Playing: Wide Release
Rating: PG-13 (for some violent content and thematic elements)

Housefull 4

(Eros International) Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Bobby Deol, Pooja Hegde. Three couples in ancient India are parted, only to be reincarnated in 2019 with a chance to set things right. Unfortunately, the men are all preparing to marry the wrong women.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Comedy
Now Playing: AMC West Oaks, Touchstar Southchase, Universal Cinemark at Citywalk
Rating: NR

The Lighthouse

(A24) Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Valeria Karaman. Two lighthouse keepers on a remote New England island in the 1890s make an extraordinary discovery that is both beautiful and terrifying. From the director of the modern horror classic The Witch.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Horror
Now Playing: AMC Altamonte Mall, AMC Disney Springs, Cinemark Orlando, Regal Waterford Lakes, Regal Winter Park Village
Rating: R (for sexual content, nudity, violence, disturbing images and some language)

Made in China

(Viva) Rajkummar Rao, Mouni Roy, Amyra Dastur, Roman Irani. Stung by a series of failures, a middle-class Indian businessman tries his luck in China and finds a second chance at life.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Comedy
Now Playing: AMC West Oaks
Rating: NR

Pain and Glory

(Sony Classics) Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia, Julieta Serrano. The latest from legendary director Pedro Almodóvar follows an esteemed film director who is suffering through health issues. He encounters people from his past and present that remind him of past glories and present pains while rekindling his love for the eternal cinema.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Drama
Now Playing: Regal Winter Park Village
Rating: R (for drug use, some graphic nudity and language)

Parasite

(NEON) Kang-ho Song, Yeo-jeong Jo, So-dam Park, Woo-sik Choi. This year’s Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival follows the fortunes of the Kim family, perpetually unemployed who manage to weasel their way into the service of the wealthy Park family. Things look rosy for the Kim clan until they get caught in an unexpected incident.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website  
Genre: Dramedy
Now Playing: Enzian Theater
Rating: R (for language, some violence and sexual content)

ALSO OPENING IN ORLANDO/DAYTONA:

After Party
Bigil
Farming
The Gallows Act II
The Great Alaskan Race
Isa Pa With Feelings
Jesus is King
One Piece: Stampede
Saand Ki Aankh

ALSO OPENING IN MIAMI/FT. LAUDERDALE/KEY WEST:

Bigil
The Great Alaskan Race
Isa Pa With Feelings
Jesus is King
Kaithi
Khaidi
One Piece: Stampede
The Prize
Saand Ki Ankh
The Trouble with You

ALSO OPENING IN TAMPA/ST. PETERSBURG/SARASOTA:

Bigil
Full Count
The Great Alaskan Race
Immortal Hero
Jesus is King
Kaithi
Khaidi
One Piece: Stampede
Saand Ki Aankh

ALSO OPENING IN JACKSONVILLE/ST. AUGUSTINE:

Bigil
Give Me Liberty
The Great Alaskan Race
Isa Pa with Feelings
Jesus is King
Kaithi
Saand Ki Aankh

SCHEDULED FOR REVIEW:

Black and Blue
Countdown
The Current War
The Lighthouse
Parasite

Made in China


Made in China

Jackson Kuehn and Dan Sumpter ignore the elephant in the room...or is it a beautiful Chinese woman?

(2009) Comedy (IFC) Jackson Kuehn, Dan Sumpter, Bronwyn Cornelius, Deng Juan, Syna Zhang. Directed by Judith Krant

 

The American Dream is no longer exclusively the property of Americans. The rest of the world has caught up with us in that regard. In fact, it could reasonably be said that given the global economic climate, the American Dream has become de facto the Chinese Dream.

Johnson (Kuehn) dreams of being a multi-millionaire. He has brilliant ideas in the novelty field and is well-versed on how ideas like the Slinky, the ant box and fake dog poop catapulted their inventors into wealth and privilege. Johnson has an idea for a household hygiene product that could do the same for him.

The trouble is, finding investors for his idea is no easy task. The American economy is in a shambles and people are not investing so much these days, so the would-be entrepreneur has to look farther afield for seed money. He sets up a meeting with a Chinese investor on Craig’s List and despite the objections of his family, gathers up his life savings and jets off to Shanghai.

When he is stood up by his prospective investor, he meets instead Magnus (Sumpter), a Brit who knows people and can actually help Johnson achieve his dreams. Johnson impresses him with his pluck and never say die attitude, but Magnus has his own agenda. Can Johnson’s product become the next Pet Rock? Or is Johnson’s naiveté going to sink his dreams like one?

Krant, who played Chang on the “Total Recall” TV series, approaches her first feature with a kind of gung-ho attitude. She takes her camera to locations not normally visited by Westerners in China’s most Western city, the back alleys and side streets. Whether or not she got permission to shoot there is likely problematic. It gives the movie a much more authentic look than had they just stuck to the iconic skyscrapers and amazing buildings that make up Shanghai’s distinctive skyline.

It also makes for seat-of-the-pants filmmaking. One gets the impression that some of the script was written to fit the circumstances. While the overall story is stuck to, certain scenes and vignettes seem to come completely out of left field as if Krant had exclaimed “this is an awesome place to film! let’s write a scene around it!”

Kuehn has a kind of offbeat charm and Sumpter has some charisma as well; the acting overall is more or less solid. Nothing here is going to impress one way or the other in that regard. What you will remember is the movie’s overall charm, it’s devotion to novelty items (and yes, there was certainly some research done into the subject) and its use of Shanghai locations very effectively. For a movie that is virtually unknown other than by those who saw it on the Festival circuit in 2009 and 2010, it’s surprisingly well-made and enjoyable.

WHY RENT THIS: Shot guerilla-style on the backstreets and skyscrapers of Shanghai. Endearing lead character.

WHY RENT SOMETHING ELSE: One gets the feeling it was written on the fly.

FAMILY VALUES: There are a few sexual situations as well as some bad words here and there.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival.

NOTABLE DVD EXTRAS: None listed.

BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE: Not available.

FINAL RATING: 6/10

TOMORROW: Mother of Tears