Well, it’s here. The rest of the movies this year can wait until next year. Warner’s Godzilla vs. Kong is exactly what you’d think, so watch it if you’re into pure spectacle. Otherwise, we’ve hit a new month, which means summer blockbuster types will be coming, ahem, fast and furious. Also, the Oscars are this month (the 25th), so let’s hope the Academy doesn’t embarrass itself with another Green Book-type disaster.
New or noteworthy…
Look, it’s not Citizen Kane. But sometimes, you just need a popcorn movie where two famous kaiju’s fight one another. And it features a ton of famous people saying very poorly written lines. So turn up the volume, turn off the cell, and just watch what is a truly insane premise. And it’s the third movie in a rebooted franchise! Let’s hope there’s a sequel to the bout, a la Rocky. Trailer. 113 mins. Watch on HBO Max for a month or so.
The 2018 collab between Chinese animation studio Haoliners Animation League and the Japanese studio CoMix Wave . This animated drama is divided into three short stories: Rice Noodles, A Little Fashion Show, and Love in Shanghai. It’s fun, bittersweet, and hits all the beats of classic Eastern Asian animated storytelling, but it takes the edge off a long week. Trailer. 74 mins. Watch on Netflix.
Sci-fi or thriller…
George Clooney’s latest directorial turn doesn’t quite hit the mark (I think he’s fine at acting here, though), but the contemplative sci-fi flick is gorgeous and does a couple of nice things. With lofty conceits like a global pandemic and space exploration, the film really is grounded by human connection, in both settings. Not a bad flick to just turn on and enjoy without expecting too much. Trailer. 118 mins. Watch on Netflix.
A follow up to the cult classic 28 Days Later, the film follows a London in recovery after a zombie outbreak. Featuring young Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne and Imogen Poots, the film has more heart and chills than the average zombie flick, especially given the crush of z-content the last decade. It’s hard to follow up the Danny Boyle/Alex Garland joint, but if you want some scares (that don’t come from the news), check it out. Trailer. 100 mins. Stream on Hulu.
A truly insane film from the mind of Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse is more descent into madness than horror film. Featuring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers in a mystical New England post (in the 19th century), watch the duo oscillate between love, madness, disgust, and brotherly attraction. Shot in black and white and presented in intimate academy ratio, the film is a unique viewing experience. Not for the faint of heart. Trailer. 110 mins. Watch on Amazon Prime.
The logline says it all: A cocaine shipment makes its way to Europe, starting from the moment a powerful cartel of Italian criminals decides to buy it, to its journeys through Mexico, to its shipment across the Atlantic Ocean.
tl;dr: POV drugs.
With solid performances from Dane DeHaan and Andrea Riseborough, Zero Zero Zero is a unique take on the drug trade dramatization category. It’s been out for a bit, so there’s no rush to it, but for an action-y crime drama that doesn’t disappoint, watch on Amazon Prime. Eight episodes. Trailer.
Shoutout Letterboxd for helping the film community keep track!
For last week’s recommendations, check it out here.