Opening this week at a screen near you:
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The Forever Purge (2021) R
Adela (Ana de la Reguera), and Juan (Tenoch Huerta) have made a new life for themselves in Texas. They survive the night of the annual Purge and think all is well, but then realize that all the rules are broken as a sect of lawless marauders decide that the Purge does not stop at daybreak and may never end. The Forever Purge Website
What to Watch For: This is the fifth Purge movie in the series.
Word on the Street: Cassidy Freeman, best known for her role as Lutessa ‘Tess’ Lena Luthor in the TV series Smallville, plays the pregnant wife of a ranch owner played in the film by Josh Lucas.
My Take: I have been a fan of Ana de la Reguera since she played Vida in the TV series Eastbound & Down.
The Tomorrow War (2021) PG-13
The world is amazed when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 with a message that mankind is on the brink of losing a war with a deadly alien species. The only hope is for soldiers and civilians alike to come from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), a high school teacher who leaves his family behind to save the world for his daughter’s future. The Tomorrow War Website
What to Watch For: The outstanding cast includes Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Sam Richardson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Edwin Hodge, Alexis Louder, and Betty Gilpin.
Word on the Street: The film is directed by Emmy award-winning Chris McKay, who directed both Lego Batman movies.
My Take: I will watch anything that Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe in the TV series 24) is in.
The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021) PG
The Templeton brothers (voiced by Alec Baldwin and James Marsden) have grown up and drifted from each other, but they are about to be brought back together by a new boss baby and discover that brotherly bond that they had used to succeed in the past. The Boss Baby: Family Business Website
What to Watch For: The all-star voice cast includes Amy Sedaris, Eva Longoria, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Jeff Goldblum, and Ariana Greenblatt.
Word on the Street: The film is directed by Tom McGrath, who also directed the first Academy Award nominated The Boss Baby film.
My Take: I think that Amy Sedaris, who voices the new Boss Baby, is one of the funniest people on the planet.
Summer of Soul (2021) PG-13
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Documentary about the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival that celebrated Black history, culture, music, and fashion. The footage of the festival has never been seen until now. Summer of Soul Website
What to Watch For: The film features performances by Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson, B. B. King, the 5th Dimension, and more.
Word on the Street: The film is directed by Questlove and won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for Documentaries at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
My Take: People have forgotten how big and influential Sly and the Family Stone were in the 60s and 70s. I can’t wait to see their performance in this film.
Zola (2020) R
A waitress and part-time stripper named Zola (Taylour Page) meets Stefani (Riley Keough) and strikes up a quick friendship. Stefani talks Zola into taking a weekend trip to Tampa to make some fast and easy money. It’s a trip that Zola will regret ever taking. Zola Website
What to Watch For: The film is based on a true-life adventure that waitress A’Ziah ‘Zola’ King told in a ‘Tweetstorm’ of 148 tweets in Oct. 2015.
Word on the Street: The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and director/co-writer Janicza Bravo was the winner of The Director to Watch at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
My Take: Riley Keough has undoubtedly made a name for herself with roles in American Honey (2016), The Lodge (2019), and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Audible (2021) PG-13
Documentary that focuses on football player Amaree McKenstry-Hall that plays on the Maryland School of the Deaf as he and his teammates defend their winning streak on the field while coming to terms with the tragic loss of a close friend. Audible Website
What to Watch For: The film is directed by Matthew Ogens, known for his award-winning documentary features American Native (2014) and Home + Away (2018) and the Emmy winning From Harlem with Love.
Word on the Street: Executive producers of the film include Emmy nominated creator of the Friday Night Lights TV series Peter Berg and deaf actor/model Nyle DiMarco, winner of America’s Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars.
My Take: I can’t wait to watch this documentary because the trailer looks fantastic.
Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over (2019)
Since the 70s, when Lydia burst on the scene in New York City as the preeminent No Wave icon, Lunch has built a lifetime of music and spoken word performance devoted to the right of any woman to indulge, seek pleasure and speak out about injustices of the world. This documentary follows the career of a woman who forged her own path to expose the patriarchy, sexual abuse, the cycle of violence, and corporate greed, bringing her passionate artistry to the stage for all to see. Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over Website
What to Watch For: The film is directed by Beth B., known for her documentaries Exposed (2013) which explored the far edge of burlesque and Breathe In, Breathe Out (2001), which followed three veterans and their grown children as they revisited Vietnam to heal old wounds.
Word on the Street: The Boston Phoenix named Lunch one of the ten most influential performers of the 1990s.MORE NEWS: CW69 Sports Interview: Jack Bauerle
My Take: I saw Lydia perform as front-woman for her band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks in the late 70s.