While most movie theatres are closed for the foreseeable future, and there aren’t any new releases in the theatres that are open, here are some movies you can watch at home:
The following are this week’s new releases available on digital platforms:
Scoob! (2020) PG
Scooby (Frank Walker) and the gang need to figure out who is unleashing the ghost dog Cerberus. Scooby and his friends find that the dog they love has an epic destiny that is greater than anyone would have expected. Scoob! Website
What to Watch For: This animated film has an all-star voice cast including Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriquez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, and Ken Jeong.
Word on the Street: The film shows us for the first time how Shaggy and Scooby met and their teaming cup with Velma, Daphne and Fred to launch Mystery Incorporated.
My Take: This is the beginning of what will be the Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe.
Capone (2020) R
47-year-old Al Capone (Tom Hardy) has been released from prison after ten years and is back with his wife at his home in Florida. Al is suffering from dementia and other ailments, causing him to relive his past while at the same time, being watched by the FBI, hoping to find money that Al has tucked away. Capone Website
What to Watch For: Writer-director Josh Trank received excellent reviews for his feature debut film Chronicle in 2012.
Word on the Street: The supporting cast includes Linda Cardellini as Capone’s wife, Matt Dillon as Capone’s best friend, and Kyle MacLachlan as Capone’s doctor.
My Take: I have been a big fan of Tom Hardy since his fantastic performance in the 2008 film Bronson.
On the last night of her college freshman year, Izzy (Isabelle Barbier) tries to finally lose her virginity but her only hope is if she and her two best friends can get her into the exclusive, invite-only ‘Crush Party.’ CRSHD Website
What to Watch For: This is the feature-film debut of writer/director Emily Cohn.
Word on the Street: The film had its World Premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and Cohn was listed by the New York Times as one of nine filmmakers to have on your radar.
My Take: Sadie Scott, who plays one of Izzy’s best friends, is known for her role as Rosalyn on the TV series Sweetbitter.
Straight Up (2019)
Todd (James Sweeney) is gay and hasn’t had any luck finding love. Rory (Katie Findlay) is an actress who is just looking for a roommate. Rory and Todd discover that they might not be your typical couple but they just might be great at being together. Straight Up Website
What to Watch For: Kate Findlay plays Lisbeth on the CW series Nancy Drew.
Word on the Street: Actor James Sweeney, who plays Todd, also wrote and directed the film.
My Take: The film is part of the Plaza Theatre screening program.
The Wrong Missy (2020)
Tim (David Spade) goes on a blind date from hell with Missy (Lauren Lapkus). Lucky to end the disaster date, three months later, Tim meets a woman, Melissa (Molly Sims), by chance in an airport, and she is everything he could ever want in a woman. He decides to invite Melissa to a corporate retreat and, by mistake, invites Missy instead, and Tim’s life will never be the same. The Wrong Missy Website
What to Watch For: The supporting cast includes Sarah Chalke, Jorge Garcia, John Farley, Rob Schneider, and Geoff Pierson.
Word on the Street: Director Tyler Spindel also directed Spade in the 2018 film Father of the Year.
My Take: The film is from Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison Productions.
Here are my reviews of movies just released on DVD/BluRay:
The Call of the Wild (2020) PG
Buck is a beloved family dog whose heart is even bigger than his enormous size. Buck is kidnapped and sent to the frozen tundra of the Yukon. Buck learns to be a sled dog and eventually a companion to John Thornton (Harrison Ford), a man who wants to get lost in the winter wilderness, leaving his former life behind. The film starts out with an introduction of a dog, who is clumsy, running amuck in a large household, destroying the reception of a wedding, and showing up for the family photo with a Turkey leg in his mouth. Is this the latest Scooby-Doo movie? No, it’s an adventure film starring a dog that is created entirely by CGI at the cost of at least 120 million dollars (possibly up to 150 million after retakes). Buck, the dog, never looks real throughout the film, because the filmmakers constantly go to closeups of the dog as he gives expressions that an actual dog would never give us. If you are a fan of Harrison Ford, please note that he is only in about half of the film, the rest of the film is Buck’s experiences of being abducted to be sold as a sled dog in the Yukon and his attempts to become a sled dog for a mail delivery team. The film tries to pull the heartstrings every chance it can, mostly relying on those facial closeups of Buck, but it never comes close to delivering any sort of emotion. Young kids may enjoy some of the action sequences, but even those fail to create any tension as too often they end in attempts at humor. I recommend that you watch the 1935 version of the film instead. While not great movie, it at least has Clark Gable and a real dog as Buck. My Rating: Cable
Birds of Prey (2020) R
After breaking up with the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) joins up with Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to take on Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) to save a young girl named Cass (Ella Jay Basco). After the disappointing Suicide Squad, I had meager expectations going into this film, but I am happy to reveal that this film is a blast to watch. Margot Robbie dominates the screen as she plays Harley, who is trying to get over her breakup with The Joker. Robbie is having a great time playing this nutty character, and she gives the part her all. The humor in the film is laugh out loud funny, and the action sequences are flat out amazing. I loved the cast, especially Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as Huntress, a woman with quite a chip on her shoulder along with an inferiority complex and Ewan McGregor as the wacky Roman Sionis, a man who when crossed delights in cutting off peoples faces. I hope this film is a big success, and they make a couple of sequels, as Robbie pitched to the studio executives that this film should be part of a trilogy. While it’s pretty small, there is a bonus scene at the end of all the credits that is a fun end to the film. My Rating: Full Price
The Photograph (2020) PG-13
Mae (Issa Rae) is the daughter of a famous photographer, a mother she has a troubled past with. Mae falls for a journalist named Michael (Lakeith Stanfield) when a writing assignment crosses their paths. Will the past come between the two lovers? When I see Atlanta based producer Will Packer’s name in the credits, I always know that I will be getting a film that will satisfy in the end, and with this romantic film, we get just that. What I liked about this film is that it treats both sides to the story of Mae and Michael equally, as both fall for each other pretty fast even though both lovers have been burned recently by past relationships. A solid date movie that is perfect for Valentine’s Day weekend, the film has just enough twists and turns in the story to keep us interested to see if the couple is going to end up in the end together. The film is greatly helped by the chemistry of the two leads, and Issa Rae is an actress whose presence on the screen demands our attention. I get asked all the time why Hollywood doesn’t make more romantic films, and all I can say is every once in a while they get one right. My Rating: Full Price
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again