Welcome to your movie-geek roundup of what’s new and worth your attention on the big screen and streaming at home. Let us know in the comments what you’re going to be watching!
The Fate of the Furious (Now Playing)
Going in Style (Now Playing)
Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin play three down-and-out old guys hoping to score it big with a bank heist in Going in Style. Their scheme comes about after they find themselves in dire straights when they’ve lost their jobs and pensions, while at the same time desiring to support their families and maybe get that new kidney one of them has been needing for some time. The plot is kept fairly loose and light to never capitalize too much on the plight of Americans being screwed out of their money by banks and corporations. Staging such a painfully relatable scenario for a ludicrous bank heist would be insulting if it weren’t for the saving grace of the leading actors. All three of them are in top form and are thankfully given enough scenes to banter and showcase how much chemistry they have together. There are even some surprisingly effective performances by Matt Dillon, Christopher Lloyd, and Kenan Thompson. It’s a light elderly comedy more amusing for the talent assembled than the script they’re given.
Escape From New York (Now Streaming)
There’s nothing quite as imaginative, macho, and campy as John Carpenter’s postapocalyptic action classic. Kurt Russell stars in his most iconic role as Snake Plissken, a rogue soldier who has a chance at freedom if he can successfully rescue the president of the United States from the dangerous streets of New York. Everything about this movie is amazingly fun, from the hokey vision of the future to the surprisingly competent special effects to the all-star cast that includes Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, and Donald Pleasence, among others. And how could you not dig Snake’s constant scowl, grizzled facial hair, and eye patch? He’s such a bad-ass of a character that it’s a shame he was reduced to surfing in the sequel.
Hello, My Name is Doris (Now Streaming)
Sally Field may be a little miscast as the old and out-of-touch Doris, but she still does an amazing job at filling out the role of this quirky little protagonist. Faced with an evolving workplace and being the oldest of the employees, Doris falls in love with her younger co-worker John (Max Greenfield) and attempts to modernize herself to be more desirable. Despite her ridiculous scheme of setting up a fake social-media account and attending the same concerts as John, Doris still maintains her lovable and fragile personality throughout. She can easily blend into the crowd of crazy 20-somethings by bestowing her inspirational knowledge of baking. And it’s hard not to fall for the surprisingly adorable Field, despite the movie’s failing efforts to make her appear older and more wrinkly than she is. Her acting is also top notch, especially in a scene in which she has a mental breakdown around cleaning her house that I don’t think any other actress could have nailed so well.
Watership Down (Now Streaming)
Easily the most traumatizing of PG-rated animated films, especially so close to Easter, Watership Down not only adheres closely to Richard Adams’s original novel but goes further to make it even darker and bloodier. Told from the perspective of rabbits, a few cottontail characters decide to desert their warren to find a new sanctuary, away from the corrupt old rabbits that will lead them to their doom. Their journey to find this new home is filled with frightening dangers, including predatory birds, violent hunters, and hounding rabbit authority figures eager to slash throats to maintain order. Featuring a cast of unorthodox voices, including John Hurt and Michael Graham Cox, Watership Down is a surprisingly intelligent and spiritual animated film from first-time director Martin Rosen. The images of a bunny hallucinating a field of blood and the tearfully catchy song “Bright Eyes” by Art Garfunkel are impossible to forget. Just make sure your kids are a little older before sharing this horrific adventure with the family.
So, what will you be watching?