Opening the week at a screen near you:

 

Come Play (2020) PG-13

Come Play

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

Oliver (Azhy Robertson) is a lonely little boy who feels different from everyone else. Desperate for friends, Oliver turns to his cell phone and tablet. There he discovers Larry, a mysterious creature using Oliver’s devices to break into our world.     Come Play Website

What to Watch For: Writer/director Jacob Chase based this film on a short film he made in 2017 called Larry.

Word on the Street: Jacob Chase, besides his award-winning short films, is known for his work on commercials.

My Take: Looking forward to seeing horror films right before Halloween.

 

Martin Eden (2019)

Martin Eden

Photo courtesy of Kino Lorber

Martin (Luca Marinelli) is a humble sailor who saves a man, Arturo (Giustiniano Alpi), from a beating. Arturo takes Martin to his family home, where he meets Elena (Jessica Cressy), Arturo’s beautiful sister with whom Martin falls instantly in love with. Martin decides to become the man that Elena is worthy of and pursues his dream of writing for a living. However, these are challenging times, and Marin begins to write about things he cares about, all of which will bring him in conflict with Elena and her world.     Martin Eden Website

What to Watch For: Luca Marinelli won the Best Actor award at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, and the film won the Platform Prize at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Word on the Street: Critics have compared Marinelli’s performance in the film to a young Robert De Niro.

My Take: From what I hear from other film critics, this is a shoo-in to be nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.

 

Holidate (2020)

Holidate

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) are two people that have something in common; they hate being single during the holidays with all the parties and judgment from their meddling families. So, when the two strangers meet, they decide to be each other’s ‘holidate’ for every festive event in the coming year.    Holidate Website

What to Watch For: The film was shot in Atlanta, GA, and the St. Patricks Day scenes were shot at the Irish pub RiRa in the city.

Word on the Street: The cast includes Kristin Chenoweth, Frances Fisher, and Jessica Capshaw.

My Take: This is the perfect film to get ready for the upcoming holiday season.

 

Radium Girls (2018) 

Radium Girls

Photo courtesy of Juno Films

Bessie (Joey King) and Josephine (Abby Quinn) are two sisters who work in a watch factory painting a radioactive liquid to the faces of watches so that they glow in the dark. When Josephine becomes deathly ill, Bessie leads a group of factory workers to advocate for safer work conditions after Bessie discovers the effects of radium poisoning.     Radium Girls Website

What to Watch For: The film won the Best of the Best award at the 2018 Adirondack Film Festival.

Word on the Street: Co-director Lydia Dean Pilcher was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Academy Awards for her work on the film Cutie and the Boxer.

My Take: I have been a fan of Joey King since her role as Greta Grimly in the Tv series Fargo.

 

The Craft: Legacy (2020) PG-13

The Craft: Legacy

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

When Lily’s (Cailee Spaeny) mother re-marries, Lily moves into a new home, feeling like an outsider. After a horrible first day, she meets three fellow students (Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna) who invite Lily to join their group, a group of witches. Soon the four discover that their newfound powers are more than they bargained for.     The Craft: Legacy Website

What to Watch For: This is a sequel to the 1996 film The Craft.

Word on the Street: The film is written and directed by actress Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces, New Girl), who starred in, wrote/directed the 2017 award-winning Indie hit Band Aid.

My Take: I am a big fan of Michelle Monaghan, who plays Lily’s mother in the film.

 

Bad Hair (2020)

Bad Hair

Photo courtesy of Hulu

In 1989, Anna (Elle Lorraine) works for a music television station. She has the talent but is told that she doesn’t have the right hair, the right face, or the right look to make it in the image-obsessed world of TV. She strikes a bargain with the new head of the music network, Zora (Vanessa Williams), who sends her to get a weave, but Anna soon discovers that this new hairstyle has a mind of its own and people around her are dying.     Bad Hair Website

What to Watch For: The cast includes Jay Pharaoh, James Van Der Week, Lena Waithe, Kelly Rowland, Laverne Cox, Blair Underwood and Usher.

Word on the Street: The film is written and directed by Justin Simien, known for his award-winning 2014 film Dear White People.

My Take: I am a fan of Justin Simien after seeing his film Dear White People at the Atlanta Film Festival a few years ago.

 

Us Kids (2020)

Us Kids

Photo courtesy of Impact Partners

Documentary on the student activists that came out of the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The film follows the March For Our Lives movement from the point of view of three of the students; Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Samantha Fuentes.    Us Kids Website

What to Watch For:  The film has been killing it on the film festival circuit, including winning the Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Crested Butte Film Festival.

Word on the Street:  The film is directed by Kim A. Snyder, known for her documentary’s Newtown (2016), One Bridge to the Next (2008), and I Remember Me (2000).

My Take:  I loved Snyder’s 2016 film Newtown, one of the best documentaries I saw that year.

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