Brock: "His name is Luca (2021)
He lives on the ocean floor
He wants to live on land with you
Like other films we’ve all seen before
Simple, pleasant, straightforward plot
Characters I’ve already forgot…
This is not one of PIXAR’s best
Trope-filled screenplay, lacking zest
Yes, visually stunning, like the rest."
Stuart: "Steven Soderbergh has directed all kinds of films throughout his long and prolific career, but crime capers like No Sudden Move (2021) are his specialty. Here's hoping this sloppy heist set in 1950s Detroit has the same zing as Ocean's Eleven or Logan Lucky. And while the cast may not be as A-list as Pitt and Clooney, I look forward to seeing Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, and Kieran Culkin set supporting roles aside to step into the spotlight for a rare star turn. (Plus the search parties can be called off... we found Brendan Fraser!)"
Arnie: "David Leitch and Derek Kolstad try to turn Nobody (2021) into another John Wick. Bob Odenkirk portrays a retired hitman forced to get back in the game when Russian mobsters threaten his family. Sound familiar? We're one dog away from Wick, which Leitch and Kolstad created. The attempt almost works. Odenkirk has the perfect downtrodden demeanor to play a suburban father pushed too far. Likewise, Christopher Lloyd and RZA are equally fun in their smaller roles (though Connie Nielsen is wasted as the frightened housewife...maybe setting her up to do more in a sequel?). The action is bone-crunching and hard-hitting, and the script by Kolstad matches the original Wick's escalation tactics. It looks like Wick, it sounds like Wick... but it doesn't quite measure up to Wick. Odenkirk does the best he can with the action choreography, but it lacks the grace and energy of Keanu Reeves' highly choreographed gun-fu. Additionally, Nobody director Ilya Naishuller (who never worked on Wick) seems content with rapid cuts or static camera angles that makes it feel like the film is pulling its punches. Still, a fun time and a very easy RECOMMEND."
Jakob: "While its exploration of art imitating life or vice versa is nothing new, horror buffs should find some fun in the backdrop of Censor (2021) set during the video nasty hysteria of the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Though be warned, this is arthouse horror that is more interested in atmospheric tension until its surreal third act. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of gore early on. There is; though most of it's portrayed through the salacious movies the censors debate the merits of. At just over 80 minutes, I still felt some lag and wish the film found a way to lean more into the craziness it plunges into by the end. However, its stylish cinematography invoking Italian giallos and central mystery of a censor believing she’s found her long lost sister starring in a trashing horror flick is more than enough to garner this film a watch."
Jason: “Enjoyed a best-of-binge through the career of TV cowboy-turned-cult film antihero Rick Dalton, including Tanner, The Fourteen Fists of McCluskey, and Sergio Corbucci’s Nebraska Jim; plus his iconic turns on Bounty Law, the Lancer pilot, the 1969 F.B.I. episode “All the Streets Are Silent” (except when Rick Dalton’s got a f***in shotgun, I’ll tell you that), and the biopic Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019). Dalton’s career was famously revived after he survived a home invasion by a bunch of dirty hippies in the summer of '69, and I still have to catch up on his post-Italian works. I will say that Antonio Margheriti's Operazione Dyn-o-mite! is a blast, and features some of the best work from Dalton’s longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth.”
Heath: "In The Heights (2021) is a superb movie musical that practically bounces off the screen with its high energy direction and staging. Anthony Ramos gives a star-making performance as bodega owner Usnavi in the culturally-diverse neighbourhood of Washington Heights, New York who dreams of making a better life for himself in his homeland of the Dominican Republic. Like a lot of musicals, the story is thin but the dazzling direction of Jon M. Chu and the catchy songs of Lin-Manuel Miranda make this a delight to watch throughout, even with its hefty 143 minute running time. We sadly get don't get to see too many movie musicals these days, but if you're a fan of the genre, move your feet and go and see this, in a theatre if possible as it was an amazing theatrical experience."
Santiago: "Netflix's The Komisky Method was never the streaming service's crown jewel, quality or popularity-wise, but it got by thanks to clever writing, the chemistry between Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, and some surprisingly moving moments. I watched the show's third and final season last week and while the absence of Alan Arkin is definitely noted, it still manages to be funny and poignant (the premiere in particular deals with his absence in a funny but tasteful way) and definitely is a good closer to a really good and underrated show."
Adam: "This week I look forward to watching another animated new release; America: The Motion Picture (2021). The premise seems bonkers, the animation looks fresh and new, and the cast is amazing! The plot claims: A chainsaw-wielding George Washington teams with beer-loving bro Sam Adams to take down the Brits in a tongue-in-cheek riff on the American Revolution. What’s not to love?"
What We're Watching: Friday, July 2
Brock: "His name is Luca (2021)
Brock: "I applaud what Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) is going for. There is a definite good-natured vibe, and fun silliness in the characters and the screenplay. I hesitate to say anything too negative about it because frankly I recognize this movie wasn't made for me or my comic sensibilities. Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo have exceptional chemistry, no doubt. They looked like they had a ton of fun, but I found them really annoying. Really liked Jamie Dornan throughout, and…
It’s getting hot just about everywhere and one of the best places to cool off this July will be the movie theater. You might even see one of your favorite hosts, as the month brings us four all-new theatrical releases, including some long-delayed tentpoles, that will get the Now Playing Podcast treatment. On the streaming front, the show will cover the latest Disney Plus Marvel series, while wrapping up a donation drive retrospective and delivering another Podbean Patron pick for…