Opening this week at a screen near you:


Candyman   (2021) R

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Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

The supernatural killer Daniel Robitaille, aka the Candyman, used to terrorize the residents of the Cabrini Green neighborhood. It’s been ten years since the Cabrini towers have been torn down, and Candyman has been forgotten. Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is an artist whose career is on the downswing, and looking for inspiration, he unknowingly opens the door to the Candyman, and Anthony’s sanity begins to unravel as a terrifying wave of violence is unleashed.    Candyman Website

What to Watch For: The film is co-written by Jordan Peele, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker known for his movies Get Out (2017) and Us (2019).

Word on the Street: This is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name that starred Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd. This is the fifth film in the Candyman series.

My Take: This film has been discussed for so long (delayed due to the pandemic) that I hope it lives up to the hype.


Flag Day   (2021) R

Flag Day

Photo courtesy of United Artists

When growing up, Jennifer (Dylan Penn) looked up to her father, John (Sean Penn), a man that seems larger than life to her. John taught his daughter about love, joy, and how to make life feel like a grand adventure. However, John had a secret; he was one of the most notorious counterfeiters in American history and always on the run. Now Jennifer must confront her father’s past and reconcile the bond between a daughter and her father.    Flag Day Website

What to Watch For: The film is directed by Sean Penn and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

Word on the Street: The cast includes Regina King, Katheryn Winnick, Josh Brolin, Josh Brolin, and Hopper Penn (Sean’s son).

My Take: While Sean Penn has directed feature films before (The Crossing Guard (1995), Into The Wild (2007)), this is the first film that he has directed where he also has starred in.


Vacation Friends   (2021) R

Vacation Friends

Photo courtesy of Hulu

Marcus and Emily (Lil Rel Howery, Yvonne Orji), while on vacation, meet a couple (John Cena, Meredith Hagner) who are wild and thrill-seekers. Marcus and Emily decide to let loose and have a blast with their new ‘vacation friends.’ Months later, Marcus and Emily are back at home and about to get married when guess who shows up uninvited at their wedding? It seems that what happens on vacation doesn’t always stay on vacation.     Vacation Friends Website

What to Watch For: The film has been in the planning stages since 2005, and everyone from Nicolas Cage and Will Smith to Chris Pratt and Ice Cube were attached to the film at different times.

Word on the Street: This is truly the summer of John Cena, with his return to the WWE and his films F9: The Fast Saga, The Suicide Squad, and now this film.

My Take: I am a fan of Meredith Hagner from her years on the TV series Royal Pains as Libby.


He’s All That   (2021)

He's All That

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Padgett (Addison Rae) is a famous influencer who has just suffered a breakup with a boyfriend that went viral, a boyfriend that she made a star. She decides she can do it again and accepts the challenge of taking loner Cameron (Tanner Buchanan), considered her high school’s biggest loser, and give him the ultimate makeover.      He’s All That Website

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What to Watch For: This is a remake of the 1999 film, She’s All That. The stars of that film, Rachael Lee Cook and Matthew Lillard, also appear in this film.

Word on the Street: Actress Addison Rae has turned her Internet career as an influencer into a movie career. He’s All That is her second film, the first being the 2020 film The Hype Life.

My Take: Most people don’t remember that Rachael Leigh Cook’s big break was an anti-drug TV spot where she flung a frying pan around showing us, ‘This is your brain on drugs.


Together   (2021) R


Photo courtesy of Bleecker Street Media

A long time couple (James McAvoy, Sharon Horgan) are only together because of their child. Now because of COVID, they are stuck in lockdown and must re-evaluate their relationship and themselves.   Together Website

What to Watch For: The film is co-directed by Stephen Daldry, a three-time Academy Award nominee (The Reader (2008), The Hours (2002), Billy Elliot (2000)), and Justin Martin (Second Unit Director, The Crown TV Series).

Word on the Street: The film was shot during the COVID lockdown in the UK in ten days.

My Take: I will love seeing Sharon Horgan on the screen again. I loved her in Military Wives (2019).


Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed   (2021)

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed

Photo courtesy of Netfilx

The untold story of painter Bob Ross, the host of longtime TV series The Joy of Painting, who brought us an appreciation for nature with his kind and gentle demeanor. Beyond the soothing voice, the hair and the nostalgia for his series is a mystery that many have yet discovered.    Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed Website

What to Watch For: The film is directed by Joshua Rofe, known for his documentary series Lorena and Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole.

Word on the Street: The Joy of Painting TV series won three Emmy Awards and was on the air from 1983 to 1994.

My Take: The trailer gives out almost nothing about the film, so this will be interesting to watch.


Summer Days, Summer Nights   (2018)

Summer Days, Summer Nights

Photo courtesy of Epix Studios

It’s the summer of 1982, and life is good on Long Island. JJ (Pico Alexander) is working for his dad (Edward Burns) at the Beach Club when he falls for Debbie (Lindsey Morgan), while Frankie (Anthony Ramos) reconnects with the girl who got away (Caitlin Stasey). Summer is coming to a close, and will those relationships last or just be a summer fling.    Summer Days, Summer Nights Website

What to Watch For: The film is from award-winning director Ed Burns (The Brothers McMullen (1995), She’s the One (1996), Purple Violets (2007), Nice Guy Johnny (2010).

Word on the Street: The cast includes Zoe Levin, Jon Rudnitsky, Rita Volk, Amadeus Serafini, and Susan Misner.

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My Take: I have been waiting for this to come out for the past year or so.