New Releases for the Week of August 5, 2021


THE SUICIDE SQUAD

(Warner Brothers) Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone, Storm Reid, Peter Capaldi. Directed by James Gunn

A group of convicted supervillains are given a release from prison – closely supervised by Colonel Rick Flagg and the ruthless Amanda Waller – to take on a seemingly impossible mission: to stop a would be world conqueror who happens to be a giant starfish. Heads will roll and blood will spill in this Gunn-directed extraganza that may just be the DCEU movie we’ve been waiting for.

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

Genre: Superhero
Now Playing: Wide
(also on HBO Max)
Rating: R (for drug use, brief graphic nudity, language throughout, some sexual references, and strong violence and gore)

6:45

(Storyboard) Michael Reed, Augie Duke, Thomas G. Waites, Armen Garo. A couple on a vacation on an idyllic and quiet island to try and rescue their rocky relationship find themselves battling for their lives in an endless time loop of murder and horror from which there is no escape.

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

Genre: Horror
Now Playing: Regal Waterford Lakes, Regal Winter Park Village
Rating: R (for strong violence and gore, language throughout, sexual content and nudity)

All the Streets are Silent

(Greenwich) Rosario Dawson, Fab 5 Freddie, Moby, Darryl McDaniels. In New York in the late Eighties, two disparate subcultures – hip hop and skateboarding – converged. This is the story of how it happened and the lasting cultural impact of that convergence.

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

Genre: Music Documentary
Now Playing: Enzian On-Demand
Rating: NR

Annette

(Amazon) Marion Cotillard, Adam Driver, Ron Mael, Russell Mael. A stand-up comedian and his opera singer wife have a 2-year-old daughter with an unusual gift. From the offbeat mind of French director Leos Carax.

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

Genre: Musical
Now Playing: Cinemark Orlando
Rating: R (for sexual content including some nudity, and for language)

Blackpink: The Movie

(Trafalgar) Jennie Kim, Jisoo Kim, Lalisa Manoban, Rosé. This concert film/documentary celebrates the fifth anniversary of the global sensation Blackpink. And they said they’d never last…

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

Genre: Music Documentary
Now Playing: AMC Disney Springs, Cinemark Universal Citywalk
Rating: NR

John and the Hole

(IFC) Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Ehle, Taissa Farmiga. A disquieting tale of a 13-year-old boy with issues who holds his family hostage in a hole in the ground.

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

Genre: Thriller
Now Playing: CMX Orlando Plaza
Rating: R (for language)

Mandibles

(Magnet) Grégoire Ludig, David Marsais, Adéle Exarchopoulos, India Hair. A pair of none-too-bright friends are given a task of delivering a briefcase. They steal a car, only to find a giant fly in the trunk. This gives them the idea to train the fly to rob banks. This played the most recent Florida Film Festival and is making it out into a theatrical release.

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

Genre: Fantasy
Now Playing: Enzian
Rating: NR

Nine Days

(Sony Classics) Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Bill Skarsgård. Five souls vying to be born on Earth are interviewed by a man to determine if they are worthy.

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

Genre: Fantasy
Now Playing: AMC Disney Springs, Regal Winter Park Village
Rating: R (for language)

Notorious Nick

(Lionsgate) Cody Christian, Elizabeth Röhm, Kevin Pollak, Barry Livingston. A MMA fighter born with a partial left arm nevertheless dreams of becoming the light heavyweight champion and works towards that goal.

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

Genre: Action
Now Playing: Picture Show at Altamonte
Rating: PG-13 (for sports violence/action, and language)

Playing God

(Vertical) Hannah Kasulka, Luke Benward, Michael McKean, Alan Tudyk. A brother-sister con artist team try to convince a grieving billionaire that he is getting a face-to-face interview with God, with their mentor playing the role of the almighty.
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See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

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

COMING TO VIRTUAL CINEMA/VOD:

The Bergeron Brothers: Wedding Videographers (Tuesday)
Bleed With Me
(Tuesday)
Dark Stories
(Tuesday)
Eye Without a Face
(Tuesday)
The Florist
(Tuesday)
Materna
(Tuesday)
Never Gonna Snow Again
Night Drive
Sabaya
Sheep Without a Shepherd
The Swarm
Val
Vivo
Whirlybird

SCHEDULED FOR REVIEW:

Annette
Mandibles
Never Gonna Snow Again
Nine Days
Suicide Squad
Val
Vivo
Whirlybird

Us


The strangers in your skin.

(2019) Horror (UniversalLupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Madison Curry, Ashley McKoy, Napiera Groves, Lon Gowan, Alan Frazier, Duke Nicholson, Dustin Ybarra, Nathan Harrington, Kara Hayward. Directed by Jordan Peele

Some movies seize on an idea and do their level best to expand on it, explore it or otherwise concentrate their efforts on that single idea. Of course, some movies don’t have aspirations even that lofty. Then, there are movies like Us that are ao layered with ideas that it’s hard to sort all of them out. That can be a double-edged sword.

As a young girl (Curry), Adelaide (Nyong’o) had a terrifying encounter in a mirror maze on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Now, as a married woman, her husband Gabe (Duke) is bringing her back to the scene of her greatest fear, and she’s uneasy about it. Along for the ride are her teenage daughter Zora (Joseph) and her younger son Jason (Alex).

They are joined at the seaside by their bickering friends Josh (Heidecker) and Kitty (Moss) as well as their prissy twin daughters Becca (C. Sheldon) and Lindsey (N. Sheldon). But more importantly, they are joined late that night by a startling and frightening appearance of their doppelgangers, who mean to replace them and take over their lives.

While ostensibly about a family’s fight for survival, there are all sorts of subtexts going on here – not full-on allegories, but more like suggestions of same. There’s some subtext about the difference between poverty and success and how thin that line can be; there’s subtext about racial politics in the late 2010s; there’s subtext about the inner battle we have with our own dark sides and there’s subtext about how we perceive our own identities and deal with our selves.

\Peele with only two movies (this and 2017’s Get Out) has become perhaps the pre-eminent horror director in America. He knows what frightens us, but more importantly, how to stage those fears to the very best advantage. The terror here is palpable and relatable, leading to a kind of stomach-churning feeling that this could be happening, right now, to you and you couldn’t do a damn thing about it. A good horror movie will affect you that way.

Much has been said about Lupita Nyong’o’s masterful performance here, I won’t add any more superlatives to that conversation – largely because other critics have already used them all up – but suffice to say that the most egregious snub at the most recent Oscars was the lack of a nomination for Nyong’o for her performance here. It is absolutely breathtaking.

Sometimes, you just want to have the bejezus scared out of you and this movie is absolutely perfect for the job. Although it does take perhaps a little too long to get rolling (particularly after a really unforgettable prologue), it takes one of those rare truly original ideas and does something spectacular with it. This is a can’t-miss for any self-respecting horror film fan and for serious cinephiles as well, and how often does that particular conjunction ever occur?

REASONS TO SEE: Scary in a gut-wrenching way. The concept is very original. Nyong’o gives a masterful performance.
REASONS TO AVOID: Takes a bit too long to get going.
FAMILY VALUES: This is profanity, violence and images of terror.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Some filming took place at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where The Lost Boys (1987) was also filmed; in fact, the Boardwalk has essentially remained unchanged since then.
BEYOND THE THEATERS: Amazon, AMC On Demand, AppleTV, DirecTV, Fandango Now, Google Play, HBO Max, Microsoft, Movies Anywhere, Redbox, Vudu, YouTube
CRITICAL MASS: As of 10/28/20: Rotten Tomatoes: 93% positive reviews, Metacritic: 81/100
COMPARISON SHOPPING: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
FINAL RATING: 8.5/10
NEXT:
The fourth day of Six Days of Darkness.

New Releases for the Week of March 22, 2019


US

(BlumHouse/Universal) Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Anna Diop. Directed by Jordan Peele

A woman with a mysterious trauma in her past can’t shake the nagging feeling that her family is in danger. Her husband thinks she is just over-stressed and takes the whole family to their seaside vacation home. There they encounter the silhouettes of a family – a family which turns out to be doppelgangers of themselves. What do these duplicates want? And how can you beat something that knows every thought you’re thinking before it even enters your mind?

See the trailer, video featurettes and an interview here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Horror
Now Playing: Wide Release

Rating: R (for violence/terror, and language)

Giant Little Ones

(Vertical) Maria Bello, Kyle MacLachlan, Taylor Hickson, Peter Outerbridge. Two boys, best friends since grade school, are cruising through high school as the “it” guys – swim team members, handsome, popular with girls. Everything changes though on the night one of them turns seventeen.

See the trailer and video featurettes here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Drama
Now Playing: Regal Winter Park Village

Rating: R (for sexual content, language and some drug/alcohol use, all involving teens)

Gloria Bell

(A24) Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera, Brad Garrett. A divorcee, happy to be single, spends her days working in a straight-laced office job and her nights dancing in the clubs of Los Angeles. There she finds an unexpected romance that brings both the joys of new love and the complications of a new man in her life.

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

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Now Playing: AMC Disney Springs, Barnstorm Theater, Cinemark Artegon Marketplace, Enzian Theater, Regal Oviedo Marketplace

Rating: R (for sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use)

Kesari

(Zee) Akshay Kumar, Panneeti Chopra, Ashwath Bhatt. The incredible but true story of a group of 21 undisciplined Sikh conscripts into the British Army who are forced to take on an army of 10,000 Afghans in a fort in the middle of nowhere in 1897.

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

The Wedding Guest

(IFC) Dev Patel, Radhika Apte, Jim Sarbh, Harish Khanna. A mysterious man travels from Britain to Pakistan to attend a wedding but not to celebrate – he intends to kidnap the bride. As the kidnapper and his hostage goes on the run through the dark side of the sub-continent, secrets will be revealed and an attraction will develop.

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

Genre: Thriller
Now Playing: Barnstorm Theater, Regal Winter Park Village

Rating: R (for language, some violence and brief nudity)

ALSO OPENING IN ORLANDO/DAYTONA:

Cruel Intentions: 20th Anniversary
One Great Love
Out of Blue
Trading Paint
Ulan

ALSO OPENING IN MIAMI/FT. LAUDERDALE:

Cruel Intentions: 20th Anniversary
Dragged Across Concrete
The Highwaymen
I Am Cuba
June
Out of Blue
Styx
Woman at War

ALSO OPENING IN TAMPA/ST. PETERSBURG:

Cruel Intentions: 20th Anniversary
June
Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn
Trading Paint
Transit

ALSO OPENING IN JACKSONVILLE/ST. AUGUSTINE:

Bell Bottom
Cruel Intentions: 20th Anniversary
Ulan

SCHEDULED FOR REVIEW:

Gloria Bell
Out of Blue
Us

Black Panther


King T’Challa surveys the kingdom of Wakanda that the world sees.

(2018) Superhero (Disney/Marvel) Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Andy Serkis, Florence Kasumba, John Kani, David S. Lee, Nayibah Be, Isaach De Bankolé, Connie Chiume, Dorothy Steele, Danny Sapani, Sydelle Noel. Directed by Ryan Coogler

 

It is not accidental that Black Panther was released during Black History Month. It is a movie that has gone on to make history and brought huge crossover appeal to the segment of African-American audiences who aren’t necessarily going out to see superhero movies – although obviously a large chunk of them are. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is Shaft in spandex though – this is a superhero movie that is going to set the bar for superhero films that follow it.

T’Challa (Boseman), King of the African nation of Wakanda, also carries the mantle of the Black Panther, the protector of his country who is mystically endowed with superpowers. He inherits a country that is technologically advanced but has chosen to hide its true nature so that they don’t become targets. Their isolationism is a sticking point with Erik Killmonger (Jordan), nephew of the recently deceased King, who was raised in America after the murder of his father. He sees things from a much more global point of view and thinks Wakanda should be sharing their technology – particularly their weapons – to help oppressed people of color to rise up and throw off the yoke of colonialism.

There’s a lot more to the film than that but this is a short review. Sure, it’s got the eye candy and jaw-dropping action sequences we come to expect in a superhero film – and they are well done here, make no mistake about it – but also, they are not the be-all and end-all of Black Panther. Rather, they are a jumping off point to discuss more weighty matters – racial relations, colonialism, turning a blind eye to suffering, sexism – things not normally a part of the superhero film equation. It should also be mentioned that the Dora Milaje – the King’s army – are all women and  are the most badass fighting force to turn up in a superhero film ever, even more so than the Amazons of Wonder Woman.

It should also be mentioned that this might be the most talented ensemble ever in a superhero film. The crème de la crème of African-American actors do their thing on this film and none of them turn in anything less than their best. Gurira from The Walking Dead brings the badassery of Michonne and bringing onto the big screen and giving it an African twist. Nyong’o plays a spy and the ex of T’Challa and she plays a fine love interest. Whitaker lends gravitas to his role as T’Challa’s mentor. Best of all though is Wright as the king’s kid sister – a scientific genius responsible for many of the gadgets used in the film. She steals nearly every scene she’s in.

All in all, this is a movie that lives up to the hype and re-confirms that the superhero genre is not just for fanboys but for fans of all sorts. Just for the record, Black Panther isn’t a great superhero film because it has an African-American hero – it would be a great superhero film no matter who the lead was. Come to think of it, Black Panther isn’t just a great superhero film – it’s a great film period.

REASONS TO GO: This is a benchmark for all superhero films. Jordan and Boseman are both terrific in their roles. Coogler hits the director’s A list with his big and bold vision.
REASONS TO STAY: Some of the CGI doesn’t quite work.
FAMILY VALUES: There is lots of violence, superhero and otherwise, as well as a rude gesture.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Jordan has appeared in all three of the feature films directed by Coogler to date.
CRITICAL MASS: As of 4/6/18: Rotten Tomatoes: 97% positive reviews: Metacritic: 88/100.
COMPARISON SHOPPING: King Lear
FINAL RATING: 8.5/10
NEXT:
The Workshop