FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of June 14

Who asked for a Men in Black reboot? Why would anybody want that?

RLJE Films

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week, someone rebooted Men in Black for some reason.

WIDE RELEASE:

Men in Black: International

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL - Official Trailer #2 www.youtube.com

The first Men in Black was just okay. It benefits from nostalgia goggles, but so do the Burger King tie-in toys it spawned, and nobody's going to argue that those were high-quality. There wasn't really any fan demand for a reboot of this franchise (are there even Men in Black fans?), and there probably wasn't any reason behind the decision besides "reboot everything." The point is, Men in Black: International doesn't seem like a story anyone genuinely wanted to tell, and the trailer reflects that. It looks painfully generic.

Shaft

SHAFT – Official Trailer [HD] www.youtube.com

Like everything else in 2019, the new Shaft arrives with a wink and a nod. Five films deep, the Shaft franchise has shifted from blaxploitation crime action to action comedy. The premise is really cool, centering around a new Shaft (Jessie Usher) teaming him up with the original two (Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree). The trailer seems fun, so hopefully the Shaft franchise can adapt to this new tone while still maintaining the serious themes that made it so culturally prescient in the first place.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Plus One

PLUS ONE Official Trailer www.youtube.com

Plus One is a rom-com about two friends who make a pact to be each other's plus ones at the many, many weddings they need to attend. It stars the incredibly talented Maya Erskine (PEN15) and was written and directed by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer, both writers for PEN15. The plot may sound a bit contrived, but that's part of the fun of rom-coms. The trailer looks funny and, again, Maya Erskine is fantastic. As such, Plus One is my PICK OF THE WEEK.

The Dead Don't Die

THE DEAD DON'T DIE - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters June 14 www.youtube.com

The Dead Don't Die is a horror movie with a cast. We know this because "CHECK OUT THIS CAST" has been their primary marketing point. I tend to distrust movies that market like this. If a movie needs to rely on the size and renown of its cast, it usually doesn't have a narrative that holds up on its own. Granted, the cast here really is great. Bill Murray, Adam Driver, and Tilda Swinton are phenomenal. But chances are that the movie itself is just okay, at best.

Hampstead

HAMPSTEAD Official Trailer (2019) Diane Keaton Romantic Movie HD www.youtube.com

Brendan Gleeson absolutely kills every role he's ever been given. I love, love, love him. Old people movies though? Eh. Queen of old people movies, Diane Keaton (Book Club, Poms, etc.) plays a widow who falls in love with a kooky squatter and, as a result, discovers the spice of life or something. Brendan Gleeson is, of course, the squatter who just wants to be left alone in a shack that the government is trying to take away. But he's about to find out that sometimes, the only thing better than a shack is shacking up with an old person. Nice.

The Pokemon Company

Going into Pokemon Sword and Shield, I was unimpressed with the new starter Pokemon.

Gen 8 starter evos Meh.The Pokemon Company

I normally gravitate towards fire-type starters, but Cinderace was a little too humanoid-rabbit-wearing-pants for my tastes. Inteleon was just "lol no." Rillaboom hit the closest to my usual favorite powerhouse aesthetic (think Charizard, Blaziken, and Incineroar), but something about him didn't quite feel right (or maybe I just don't connect with grass types?).

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FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of June 7

Dark Phoenix turns one of Marvel's greatest stories into typical blockbuster jargon.

20th Century Fox

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week, Dark Phoenix turns one of Marvel's greatest stories into typical Blockbuster jargon.

WIDE RELEASE:

Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix | Final Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX www.youtube.com

"The Dark Phoenix Saga" is still regarded as one of the best X-Men runs by many long-time comic book fans. The story revolves around Jean Grey's absorption of and corruption by the Phoenix Force: "The embodiment of the very passion of Creation—the spark that gave life to the Universe, the flame that will ultimately consume it." The transformation is dark, jolting, and ultimately tragic, resolving in one of the greatest character moments in Marvel's history. The new Dark Phoenix movie, on the other hand, looks very, very generic. The trailer is practically indistinguishable from every other run-of-the-mill, big explosion superhero movie from the past five years. Aside from the brilliant casting of Sophie Turner (she was born to play Jean Grey), there's nothing exciting to see here. What a shame for such a great storyline to burn out like this.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 - The Final Trailer [HD] www.youtube.com

If you wagged your tail for the first The Secret Life of Pets, then you'll be sure to howl at the moon for A Dog's Purpose 2. What else is there to say about this movie? You know exactly what it is––86 minutes of animated animals to shut your kids up. Except now the main dog, Max, is being voiced by Patton Oswalt instead of Louis C.K. because you know exactly why.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Late Night

Late Night Trailer #2 (2019) | Movieclips Trailers www.youtube.com

Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling star in Late Night, a movie about a long-running late night talk-show host who hires an inexperienced, minority female writer to round out her all-white male staff. The script was written by Kaling, and initial reviews suggest the movie is both funny and culturally prescient. Kaling is ridiculously talented, so if you're looking for a dose of socially conscious comedy this weekend, Late Night is your best bet.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The Last Black Man in San Francisco | Official Trailer HD | A24 www.youtube.com

The cinematography in this trailer is absolutely gorgeous. Shots frame characters amidst gorgeous sets filled with rich history. This is fitting as the plot follows two men, Jimmie and Mont, as they try to reclaim an old house built by Jimmie's grandfather in San Francisco. It won the Best Directing award and a Special Jury Prize for Creative Collaboration at Sundance this year, so it's most likely very good.

Itsy Bitsy

Itsy Bitsy (2018) Official Trailer www.youtube.com

Itsy Bitsy is a horror movie based on the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" nursery rhyme. This is honestly one of the worst horror movie trailers ever. The premise is awful, the acting looks awful, and heck, even the spider looks rubber. I kind of love it. In fact, screw it, this is my number one must-see movie pick for this weekend.

"A legend can't be explained by science," says an old man in the trailer. Seriously, please support this film.