Opening this week at a screen near you:

 

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Cruella   (2021) PG-13 

Cruella

Photo courtesy of Disney

The origin story of how a young girl named Estella (Emma Stone) became the legendary villainess Cruella, the woman who wanted a coat made up of puppies. But first, Estella must learn the ins and outs of the fashion world from the cold-hearted Baroness (Emma Thompson).    Cruella Website

What to Watch For: The cast includes Mark Strong as The Baroness’s valet, John McCrea as Artie, a 2nd hand fashion store owner, and Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser as Estella/Cruella’s partners in crime.

Word on the Street: The film is directed by award-winning Craig Gillespie, known for his films I, Tonya (2017), and Lars and the Real Girl (2007).

My Take: I can’t wait to watch Emma Stone and Emma Thompson on the screen together.

 

A Quiet Place Part II   (2020) R

A Quiet Place Part II

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

After escaping from their home, now the family (Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Noah Jupe ) must go into the outside world and soon realize that the world is far more dangerous than they ever experienced or imagined.     A Quiet Place II Website

What to Watch For: At first, John Krasinski did not want to be involved in the sequel but then decided to both write and direct it.

Word on the Street: Emily Blunt also was hesitant to make the sequel but was convinced when her husband John pitched her the bus scene that we all have seen in the trailer.

My Take: I can’t believe that I wrote about wanting to see this film back in December of 2019!

 

The Human Factor   (2019) PG-13

The Human Factor

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Documentary on the effort in the past 25 years that the United States has tried to negotiate peace between Israel and its neighbors.      The Human Factor Website

What to Watch For: The filmmakers were given unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes negotiations trying to secure a peace that has so far eluded the region.

Word on the Street: The film has played at film festivals worldwide, including the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the Jerusalem Film Festival, and the Hamptons International Film Festival.

My Take: I enjoyed director Dror Moreh’s two other documentaries, The Gatekeeper (2012) and Sharon (2007).

 

Plan B   (2021)

Plan B

Photo courtesy of Hulu

After an unfortunate first sexual encounter, straight-laced high-school student Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) and her best friend (Victoria Moroles) are on a mission; they have 24-hours to find the Plan B pill in America’s heartland.    Plan B Website

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What to Watch For: This is the second feature film directed by actress Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation).

Word on the Street: This is the 2nd feature film for lead actress Kuhoo Verma, who was Zubeida in the 2017 film The Big Sick and played Leela in the TV Mini-series Insomnia.

My Take: I can’t wait to see this film. I have been following Natalie Morales’s career since her role in the TV series The Middleman.

 

Blue Miracle   (2021)

Blue Miracle

Photo courtesy of Netflix

After a massive hurricane, a guardian (Jimmy Gonzales) of an orphanage and his kid’s team up with a washed-up boat captain (Dennis Quaid) for a chance to win a lucrative fishing competition.   Blue Miracle Website

What to Watch For: The film was shot on location in the Dominican Republic.

Word on the Street: Jimmy Gonzales is best known for his role as Canche on the TV series Mayans M.C..

My Take: I have been a fan of Dennis Quaid since his role as Mike in the 1979 classic Breaking Away.

 

Endangered Species   (2021) R

Endangered Species

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

An American family is on their dream vacation in Kenya when an attacking rhino overturns their safari van. Now the family is stranded in the vast African wilderness, and they are at the bottom of the food chain.     Endangered Species Website

What to Watch For: The film stars the real-life husband and wife couple of Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell.

Word on the Street: Director/co-writer M.J. Bassett started her career as a wildlife photographer and went on to host a number of series on wildlife adventures.

My Take: I love any film that is shot on location in Africa.

 

Dog Gone Trouble   (2019)

Dog Gone Trouble

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Trouble is a dog living the good life when his world is turned upside down when he gets lost and must learn to survive on the streets of the big city.     Dog Gone Trouble Website

What to Watch For: The voice cast includes Big Sean, Lucy Hale, Wilmer Valderrama, Joel McHale, Damon Wayans Jr., and Pamela Adlon.

Word on the Street: Director Kevin Johnson worked as an animator on the beloved classic animated film The Iron Giant (1999).

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My Take: This should be a good family film just in time for the summer.