Ghostbusters: Afterlife   (2021) PG-13

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

A single mom (Carrie Coon) and her two children (Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard) are forced to leave their home behind and move to a decayed farmhouse in Oklahoma, left to them by the children’s late grandfather. Strange things start happening in the town, including a series of earthquakes even though they don’t live anywhere near a fault line. Soon the kids will learn that their grandfather left behind a legacy of fighting and capturing ghosts.   Ghostbusters: Afterlife Website

What to Watch For: The film is from four-time Oscar-nominated Jason Reitman, whose father, Ivan Reitman, directed the original Ghostbusters film in 1984.

Word on the Street: This is the fourth film in the Ghostbusters franchise and a direct sequel to the first two Ghostbuster films from the 80s.

My Take: I can’t wait to see this film whose release kept being delayed by the COVID pandemic.

 

King Richard    (2021) PG-13

King Richard

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

From a very early age, Richard Williams (Will Smith) thought his daughters Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) could be the best tennis players of their generation. Against the odds and due to the strong belief in their father, they became superstars.    King Richard Website

What to Watch For: The film won Best Feature Film this year at both the Chicago International Film Festival and the Philadelphia Film Festival.

Word on the Street: The film is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, whose 2018 film Monsters and Men won the Outstanding First Feature Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

My Take: Could this be the role that finally gets Will Smith that Oscar?

 

The Power of the Dog    (2021) R

The Power of the Dog

Photo courtesy of Netflix

The ranch has always been a team effort between the hard-living Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his brother George (Jesse Plemons). Everything changes when Phil marries a widow, Rose (Kirsten Dunst), and brings Rose and her teenage son, Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), to live on the ranch. Life will never be the same on the ranch as Phil is determined to run both mother and son off his ranch, his domain.    The Power of the Dog Website

What to Watch For: The film is from Oscar winner Jane Campion, the filmmaker known for her films, The Piano (1993) and The Portrait of a Lady (1996).

Word on the Street: The film was the highlight of the 2021 Venice Film Festival and is an early Oscar frontrunner for Best Picture.

My Take: Jesse Plemons has become one of our finest character actors, giving us performances that never disappoint.

 

Julia    (2021) PG-13

Julia

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Documentary on the life of Julia Child, the first true cooking star who wrote a cookbook about French cooking when America was all about frozen food and quick meals from cans. Julia became a TV superstar that delighted the world with her unique style and taught the world that everyone can become a cook.    Julia Website

What to Watch For: The film contains a plethora of photos and correspondence from Julia and her husband that documents their lives together.

Word on the Street: Julia Child was the first celebrity chef and made Public Television a must for every American household in the 60s and 70s.

My Take: I am a massive fan of Julia Child and loved how she kept writing cookbooks and TV shows at an age that most people would have retired long ago.

 

India Sweets and Spices    (2021) PG-13

India Sweets and Spices

Photo courtesy of Bleeker Street

When college freshman Alia (Sophia Ali) comes home from college to her family’s posh New Jersey home, she discovers that she has become tired of the lavish dinner parties and the gossiping that her family is known for. When she falls for a store owner’s son, she discovers that her parents (Manisha Koirala, Adil Hussain) are hiding secrets from their past.     India Sweets and Spices Website

What to Watch For: Sophia Ali is best known for her role as Dr. Dahlia Qadri on the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy.

Word on the Street: The film’s name comes from an Indian grocery store and restaurant chain that is popular in Southern California.

My Take: I have been a fan of Manisha Koirala, who plays Alia’s mother in the film, since her brilliant performance in the 1995 film Bombay.

 

The Rumperbutts    (2015)

The Rumperbutts

Photo courtesy of Global Digital Releasing

Jack and Bonnie (Jason Hammel, Kori Gardner) have struggled for years with their musical careers. Their luck changes when they become stars of a kids TV show that is a huge success. After years of playing to sold-out shows of screaming kids, they are miserable and think of quitting the show and leaving each other. They meet Richie (Josh Brener), a mysterious man who offers to help them find their way back to making the music that they love.   The Rumperbutts Info

What to Watch For: Hammel and Gardner are in real life, an American indie pop duo called Mates of State. They wrote ten original songs for the film.

Word on the Street: Josh Brener is best known for his role as Nelson ‘Big Head’ Bighetti on the TV series Silicon Valley.

My Take: The film is being re-released On Demand.

 

The Pebble and the Boy    (2021)

The Pebble and the Boy

Photo courtesy of Lightbulb Film Distribution

John (Patrick Nacnamee) learns that his father, who he barely knew, has died. He decides to take a trip on his father’s scooter, a prized Lambretta, bringing along his father’s ashes to scatter them in Brighton. With his new-found friend Nicki (Sacha Parkinson), John discovers much about his father and his love for the ‘Mod’ scene.   The Pebble and the Boy Info

What to Watch For: The film features music from Paul Weller, The Jam, The Style Council, Secret Affair, The Chords, and The Electric Stars.

Word on the Street: The film is written and directed by Chris Green, known for his award-winning films Best Laid Plans (2012) and Pretty (2017).

My Take: I am a huge fan of Patsy Kensit, who plays a woman from John’s dad’s past. Kensit is best known for her roles as the love interest of Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) and Eugenia, the disturbed wife in the 1995 film Angels and Insects.

 

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time    (2021)

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

Photo courtesy of IFC Films

Documentary on the life of author Kurt Vonnegut, the award-winning writer of books Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat’s Cradle and his friendship with filmmaker Robert B. Weide, who documented that friendship over a 25-year period.   Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time Website

What to Watch For: Robert B. Weide is best known for his Oscar-nominated documentary Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998), and his Emmy-nominated direction of the hit TV series Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Word on the Street: The film contains interviews with Vonnegut that have never been seen before.

My Take: Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors, so you know I will be seeing this film.

 

Zeros and Ones   (2021)

Zeros and Ones

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

JJ (Ethan Hawke) is an American soldier in Rome who discovers that his twin brother is caught up in a plot to blow up the Vatican. JJ must try to stop the bombing, even if his brother is involved.    Zeros and Ones Info

What to Watch For: The film had its world premiere at the 74th Locarno Film Festival, winning the Best Direction Award for Abel Ferrara.

Word on the Street: The film was shot on location in Italy.

My Take: Ethan Hawke is in one of my favorite films of the past ten years, the 2013 film Boyhood.

 

The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For    (2021)

The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For

Photo courtesy of Hulu

Documentary about the rise and fall of Von Dutch, a fashion brand of the 2000s that was a favorite of celebrities like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Justin Timberlake. A brand that was founded and run on sex, drugs, and possibly murder.     The Curse of Von Dutch Website

What to Watch For: Dennis Rodman and Paris Hilton are interviewed in the film series on the brand’s popularity.

Word on the Street: The three-part documentary series premieres on Hulu on Nov. 18th.

My Take: The trailer alone is fascinating enough to make you check out this documentary.

 

The Feast   (2021) R

The Feast

Photo courtesy of IFC FIlms

A young woman (Annes Elwy) is hired to serve a group of wealthy guests at a dinner party in a remote house in rural Wales. The assembled guests have no clue that they are about to eat their last meal.   The Feast Website

What to Watch For: The movie was shot on location in Wales and is a Welsh-language film.

Word on the Street: The film was a big hit on the horror and fantasy film festival circuit and was nominated for the First Feature Award at the 2021 London Film Festival.

My Take: I am always ready to see a good horror film.

 

Hide and Seek    (2021) R

Hide and Seek

Photo courtesy of Saban FIlms

A wealthy businessman (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) gets a lead on his long-lost brother that takes him into the underworld of squatters and vagrants. The more the man looks for his brother, the bigger chance that journey will tear apart his family and take him into madness    Hide and Seek Website

What to Watch For: Meyers is best known for his Golden Globe-nominated performance as King Henry VIII in The Tudors TV series.

Word on the Street: The film is based on the South Korean film of the same name.

My Take: Meyers was brilliant in the TV mini-series playing the lead role in Elvis in 2005.