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.

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.

FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of May 31

King Ghidora is #1 kaiju: CONFIRMED.

GIPHY

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

This week, Godzilla smashes scaly monster bods with King Ghidora.

WIDE RELEASE:

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters - Final Trailer www.youtube.com

The plot of Godzilla: King of the Monsters doesn't matter at all. The only thing that matters is that Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah are going to be smashing into each other for two hours, and King Ghidorah is the coolest kaiju, straight-up. This is the Godzilla movie you played out with your toys as a kid and that I still play out as a giant man-child, albeit very gently because all my Godzilla figures are mint-in-box.

Rocketman

Rocketman (2019) - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures www.youtube.com

Rocketman is a musical biopic about Elton John's rise to fame. Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) looks great as the larger-than-life musician, and early reviews have praised his performance. The color palette looks bright and vibrant, mirroring Elton John's glittery persona. If you're a fan of Elton John's music (honestly, who isn't?), this looks like one of the better musician biopics in recent years.

Ma

MA - Official Trailer www.youtube.com

Ma's premise is so stupid. Like, inconceivably stupid. It's a horror movie where the killer is a random lady (Octavia Spencer, way too talented for this) who lets teenagers drink at her house, and the teenagers accept her invitation because apparently, they have never heard of stranger danger. If the entire conflict of a movie can be solved by everyone agreeing not to go to a stranger's house, is that even a conflict? I like terrible movies, though, so I kind of want to see it.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Always Be My Maybe

Always Be My Maybe | Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com

Co-written by and starring both Ali Wong and Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat), Always Be My Maybe is a romantic comedy about two childhood friends who should probably end up together, except one of them is hooking up with Daniel Dae Kim and then Keanu Reeves. Ali Wong is a really great comedian, so it'll probably be pretty funny, and it's always great to see Randall Park getting more work, especially as a leading man. It's on Netflix this weekend, so definitely check it out.

Domino

DOMINO Official Trailer (2019) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brian De Palma Movie HD www.youtube.com

Poor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau just can't catch a break. First, his entire character arc was destroyed in the final season of Game of Thrones. Now, he's starring in this absolute clunker. But how can you tell Domino is a clunker without even seeing it? Great question! Normally, action movies put high-octane action scenes in the trailer. Domino decided to go the much less established route and have a man falling very, very slowly from a low roof. Someone, please get Nikolaj Coster-Waldau a new agent.

FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of May 24

Watch Will Smith degrade himself with blue body paint in Disney's "Aladdin."

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

This week, Will Smith degrades himself with blue body paint for our amusement.

WIDE RELEASE:

Booksmart

BOOKSMART Trailer (2019) Lisa Kudrow, Olivia Wild, Teen Movie www.youtube.com

Directed by Olivia Wilde and produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, Booksmart looks like a Gen-Z version of Superbad. The movie follows two high school seniors, Amy and Molly, who decide that the eve of their graduation is the perfect time to make up for "wasting" their teenage years on studying and achieving good grades. Early reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and the movie looks raunchy, edgy, and representative. Booksmart is easily my pick of the week.

Aladdin

Disney's Aladdin Official Trailer - In Theaters May 24! www.youtube.com

Disney's latest live-action adaptation is here, and like all the live-action adaptations before it, Aladdin looks...okay, I guess. Honestly, it's hard for me to understand the appeal of all these live-action Disney adaptations. They're technically fine, but considering the fact that animation brought so much of the inherent charm and magic to the originals, these remakes seem doomed to always come up short. Take Genie, for example. Animated goofball Genie is fun and awesome. Partially-CGI-blue-body-paint-Will-Smith Genie is just unsettling.

Brightburn

BRIGHTBURN - Official Trailer #2 www.youtube.com

What if Superman...was evil? That's pretty much the premise behind Brightburn, a superhero horror movie produced by James Gunn and written by his brother and his cousin. I love the idea of a horror movie that subverts superhero archetypes, but at the same time, the trailer looks surprisingly dull considering the subject matter. Ultimately, this might be more of a generic spooky boy flick than anything truly groundbreaking.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Diamantino

Diamantino – Official Trailer www.youtube.com

A Portuguese-language, genre-bending political comedy that made waves at Cannes 2019 (ultimately taking home the Grand Prize during International Critics' Week), Diamantino looks absolutely absurd. The plot follows a disgraced soccer star who sets out on a journey to find a new purpose for his life. The movie seems to involve incredibly bizarre imagery, including futuristic technology, galactic landscapes, and puppy fever dreams. If you appreciate bizarre cinema and can find Diamantino playing near you, I'd highly recommend checking it out.

Isabelle

Isabelle | Official Trailer (HD) | Vertical Entertainment www.youtube.com

If you ever watched The OC and wondered what Adam Brody is doing now, here's your answer. Isabelle is one of those horror movies that seems designed solely to pad Netflix's Halloween offerings. We've seen the premise a bajillion times––a couple gets haunted by some generic ghost girl––and outside of Ringu, I don't think it's ever been done well. I don't know what audience this movie is geared towards, but if it happens to be you, just go watch Ringu again instead.

FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of May 17th

Drop everything you're doing and go see John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.

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

Only one movie matters this weekend, and that movie is John Wick: Chapter 3.

WIDE RELEASE:

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019 Movie) New Trailer – Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry www.youtube.com

It's no secret that I'm a huge John Wick fanboy. Few other franchises in movie history have managed to take material typically relegated to blockbuster shlock––in this case, absurd, hyper-violent action fare––and turn it into high art. But from the vibrant choreography to the expert cinematography to Keanu Reeve's career-best turn as the titular hitman, both prior John Wick movies have been absolutely awe-inspiring for action aficionados. I expect the trilogy's conclusion to follow suit. If you see one movie this weekend, make sure it's this one. And if you haven't seen the first two, do yourself a favor and watch them now.

The Sun Is Also a Star

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR - Official Trailer www.youtube.com


This latest big screen YA novel adaptation, The Sun Is Also a Star, follows star-crossed teen lovers Daniel Bae (Charles Melton) and Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi). He's a romantic. She's a pragmatist. Wacky hijinks ensue, mainly "will she or won't she be deported?" because, oh yeah, Natasha is an illegal immigrant from Jamaica. I doubt The Sun Is Also a Star will transcend its typical genre conventions, but it is nice to see a mainstream teen romance starring two minority characters.

A Dog's Journey

A Dog's Journey - Official Trailer (HD) www.youtube.com


Look, I don't know who keeps watching these dog movies. Are they for children? Do children love watching Dennis Quaid playing with dogs? I have no idea, but apparently, A Dog's Purpose did well enough that it got a sequel, and this is it. Based on the trailer, the dog's purpose was to hang out with Dennis Quaid in the first movie, and now its purpose is to hang out with Dennis Quaid's grandkid. So if you fall into the cross-section of people who love dogs and people who love Dennis Quaid, I guess this franchise is perfect for you.

LIMITED RELEASE:

The Souvenir

The Souvenir | Official Trailer HD | A24 www.youtube.com

Director Joanna Hogg presents a memoir-esque drama/mystery about a young film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) who enters into a complex relationship with an older man (Tom Burke) against her mother's (Tilda Swinton––Honor's real-life mom) wishes. The trailer looks great and initial reviews suggest that The Souvenir is a masterful narrative work. If it wasn't coming out on the same weekend as John Wick 3, I'd definitely be seeing it.

The Professor

THE PROFESSOR Official Trailer (2019) Johnny Depp Movie HD www.youtube.com


Remember when Johnny Depp was a bankable star? Remember when the quality of his roles went downhill but he was still doing mainstream Blockbuster fares like Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows. Well, those days are gone. Now, Johnny Depp is starring in The Professor, a surefire future entry on every bad movie podcast in existence. The premise seems to be that a professor, played by Johnny Depp, responds to a cancer diagnosis by being a big annoying asshole to everyone around him. "He's smoking weed? IN CLASS?!?!? WUUUUUUUT!"


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of May 10th

The first live-action Pokémon movie finally hits theaters with Detective Pikachu.

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

This weekend we want to be the very best, like no one ever was. Because Pokémon.

WIDE RELEASE:

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu - Official Trailer 2 www.youtube.com

Pokémon: The First Movie came out in 1999, right at the height of Pokémon fever. For 90s kids, it was the event of the decade. Everyone and their mother (literally, we were too young to go to the movies unattended) went on opening day, not just to see Mewtwo duke it out with Mew, but to get the promo card included with every ticket. Two decades later and there still hasn't been a single good live-action video game movie. Enter Pokémon Detective Pikachu to break the trend. Featuring a fuzzy, realistic Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds and a brand new promo card with every ticket, I expect to see every fellow trainer at the movies this weekend.

Oh, and here's the full movie in its entirety, leaked by Ryan Reynolds himself:

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu: Full Picture www.youtube.com

The Hustle

THE HUSTLE | Official Trailer | MGM www.youtube.com


In The Hustle, Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star as a pair of scam artists. Anne Hathaway, coming off her similarly scammy role in Ocean's 8, plays a master trickster, expertly ripping wealthy men off for everything they're worth. Rebel Wilson, on the other hand, is a low-level criminal who steps into the role of protege. I love a good female-oriented comedy, and the two leads here are both fully capable of carrying a movie on their own. The Hustle probably won't be groundbreaking, but it looks fun.

Poms

Poms | Official Trailer [HD] | In Theaters Friday www.youtube.com


Every year, without fail, we get like three old people movies. Old people movies are always about Dame Judy Dench or Diane Keaton doing old people stuff but with a spicy twist––things like going to an old people resort and smooching (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) or having a book club where they read erotica (Book Club). This presumably makes viewers, all of whom are also old people, feel like there's still more to their lives than watching FOX News and soiling their pants. Anyways, if you're an old person who wants to vicariously pretend you could still be a cheerleader, Poms is for you.

Tolkien

TOLKIEN | Official Trailer | FOX Searchlight www.youtube.com

J.R.R. Tolkien is easily one of the most defining figures of Western literature. His imaginative tales about a men's walking club have captivated readers for generations and established much of the groundwork for the entire fantasy genre. The biopic, however, appears unimpressive. On top of sporting a pretty boring trailer, Tolkien's estate has publicly stated they had no connection with and do not endorse the movie. Early reviews suggest Nicholas Hoult does a fine job as the famous author, but otherwise, the narrative seems to fall short.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Wine Country

Wine Country | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix www.youtube.com


Directed by Amy Poehler and starring a slew of SNL alums including Maya Rudolph and Tina Fey, Wine Country is a comedy about female friendship and alcohol. It looks like the kind of movie that might really speak to middle-aged people wrestling with doubts about their lives and relationships, but I'm not the target audience for that so what do I know? Luckily, this one will be debuting on Netflix, so if you don't feel like going out this weekend, you can watch it at home.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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