Apologies on the day late! I might even switch to Fridays to better align new releases. But the movies are here! After a couple months of some new releases here and there (who could forget Godzilla vs. Kong), this week sees all recent releases. Just as the weather is starting to get nicer, there are more things to keep us inside, who would have thought. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll head to a theater soon, currently Spiral is in theaters, but if you can’t watch it at home, I don’t put them below (but if you can go safely, do it).
As always, stay safe. There’s no shame in say, watching a Dev Patel movie instead of going on a jog and getting a Grade II ankle sprain like me.
New or noteworthy…
Zach Snyder + zombies + a fun cast (Dave Bautista, Tig Notaro, Ana de la Reguera, Samanthan Win) = a loud, insane thrill ride. It’s overlong (as with all Snyder films) but you know what you’re getting with a title like Army of the Dead. Part heist, part thriller, part survival action flick, this has it all… unless you’re looking for grounded dramatic performances, of course. But it’s fun and it’s unabashedly what it set out to be. Trailer. 148 mins. Watch on Netflix.
The latest from writer/director Taylor Sheridan is an enigma. On one hand, it’s a high stakes action film with hired killers (one is Nicholas Hoult) chase a father and son, while the other is Angelina Jolie as a smokejumper who is battling her own inner demons. The two subplits invariably collide into a firestorm conclusion. But it kind of doesn’t give you enough meat for either story to be completely satisfying. The trademark brutal action is there, and Jolie puts in a solid performance, but might leave you a little wanting. Trailer. 100 mins. Find it on HBO Max for a month.
This french small-space thriller is as much a thinker as it is a thrill ride. But what a performance from Melanie Laurent as a woman trapped in a cryogenic chamber. As the mystery unravels (in ways you wouldn’t think), Oxygen keeps the tension balanced with thoughtful nuance. It’s subtitled, so beware (if you’re somehow still a subtitle-phobe in 2021) but the dub is ok, from the first few minutes. You might not love director Alexander Aja who has as many hits (Crawl, High Tension) as misses (Piranha 3D), but this one scratches a particular itch quite well. Trailer. 101 mins. Stream on Netflix.
A brilliant cast led by Amy Adams, Wyatt Russell, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Brian Tyree-Henry, et al… kind of gets lost in an unintelligible mess. I didn’t read the book, so maybe it’ll be more illuminating for fans of the source material. Adams is particularly good as an agoraphobic, drunk, pill popping, anxiety-ridden loner who thinks she witnesses a murder… or does she? Less psychotropic than say, Shirley or Annihilation, but not quite as thoughtful as Sharp Objects or Gone Girl. Trailer. 100 mins. Watch on Netflix.
This one isn’t new, but it’s new to streaming, so you can catch Dev Patel play the titular character in Armando Iannucci’s irreverent tale. Whimsical and fanciful, the life and times of David Copperfield (not the magician, lol) are a nice departure from the usually stuffy films of the same period (looking at you Jane Austen adaptations). They are few and far between now, but a perfect rainy day watch or if you just want to salve your soul
Barry Jenkins’s miniseries based on the telling of, well, the Underground Railroad (although not Harriet Tubman) is hard to watch, yet vital. It’s an enduring tale of survival and brutality and the darkest time in American history. Don’t watch to escape, watch to be reminded.Trailer. 10 episodes. Watch on Amazon Prime.
For last week’s recommendations, check it out here.