"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Mar 032020

March 3

  • Dark Waters

    photo for Dark Waters Shocking and heroic story of an attorney (Mark Ruffalo) who risks his career and family to uncover a dark secret hidden by one of the world’s largest corporations and to bring justice to a community dangerously exposed for decades to deadly chemicals. Vitals: Director: Todd Haynes. Stars: Anne Hathaway, Mark Ruffalo, William Jackson Harper, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, Bill Camp. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Drama, Box office gross: $11.085 million, Universal. Extras: “Uncovering Dark Waters,” “The Cost of Being a Hero,” “The Real People.” 3 stars

  • Queen & Slim

    photo for Queen & Slim While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man (Daniel Kaluuya) and a black woman (Jodie Turner-Smith), are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense. Terrified and in fear for their lives, the man, a retail employee, and the woman, a criminal defense lawyer, are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people across the country. As they drive, these two unlikely fugitives will discover themselves and each other in the most dire and desperate of circumstances, and will forge a deep and powerful love that will reveal their shared humanity and shape the rest of their lives. Vitals: Director: Melina Matsoukas. Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Chloe Sevigny, Bokeem Woodbine, Sturgill Simpson, Kenneth Kynt Bryan. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 131 min., Drama, Box office gross: $43.491 million, Universal. Extras: Feature commentary with director-pProducer Melina Matsoukas and writer-producer Lena Waithe; “A Deeper Meaning”: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith and filmmakers discuss the complicated journeys of Queen & Slim; “Melina & Lena” behind-the-scenes look at the creative partnership between director-producer Melina Matsoukas and screenwriter-producer Lena Waithe; “Off the Script” screenplay featurette; “On the Run With Queen & Slim” behind the scenes with cast and crew in Cleveland and New Orleans. 3 stars


March 10

  • Bombshell

    photo for Bombshell A group of women take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network. Provocative real story of three whip-smart, ambitious, strong women who anchored one of America’s most powerful news networks — becoming headlines themselves when they risked everything to stand up to the man who made them famous. Vitals: Director: Jay Roach. Stars: Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Alice Eve, Jennifer Morrison, Mark Duplass, Tricia Helfer, D’Arcy Carden, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Allison Janney. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 108 min., Drama, Box office gross: $29.607 million, Lionsgate. Extras: “No Easy Truths: The Making of Bombshell” seven-part documentary: “Convergence: Genesis of the Film,” “Quid Pro Quo: Charlize, Nicole, Margot, John,” “Human Dynamics: The Ensemble Cast,” “Breaking the Fourth Wall: Visual Design,” “Layer by Layer: Makeup, Hair & Clothing,” “A Unique Skill Set: Jay Roach” and “Catalyst for Change: Parting Thoughts.” 4 stars

  • Uncut Gems

    photo for Uncut Gems Howie Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a once successful New York gems dealer whose gambling addiction has left his family and career in shambles, and him hundreds of thousands in debt. Always looking for the next big bet, Howie thinks he finally hit it big when he discovers a rare uncut rock of Ethiopian gems, with a very interested high-profile buyer. But the closer Howie gets to finally winning big, the more he is forced to realize he can’t keep running from the consequences of his actions. Vitals: Director: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie. Stars: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Lakeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel, Kevin Garnett, Judd Hirsch, Weeknd, Tilda Swinton, John Amos, Trinidad James. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 135 min., Drama, Box office gross: $46.550 million, Lionsgate. Extras: “Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems” featurette. 4 stars

  • Charlie’s Angels

    photo for Charlie's Angels Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott), and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska) are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend (Robert Clotworthy), whose security and investigative agency has expanded internationally. With the world’s smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe, there are now teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys taking on the toughest jobs everywhere. Under the guidance of Bosley (Elizabeth Banks), the Angels have to protect a revolutionary technology from becoming weaponized. They will have to rely on each other as their assignment becomes increasingly treacherous and even those closest to them can no longer be trusted. Vitals: Director: Elizabeth Banks. Stars: Naomi Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, Sam Claflin, Jonathan Tucker, Luis Gerardo Mendez, Djimon Hounsou, Patrick Stewart. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 118 min., Action, Box office gross: $17.803 million, Sony. Extras: Gag reel; five deleted scenes; four behind-the-scenes featurettes: “Stronger Together: The Sisterhood of the Angels,” “Elizabeth Banks: As BOSSley,” “Warriors on Set: Angels in Action” and “Tailored for Danger: Styling the Angels”; “Don’t Call Me Angel” music video featuring Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey. 2 stars

  • Spies in Disguise

    photo for Spies in Disguise Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is none of the above. But this unlikely duo must team up for the ultimate mission to save the world when a “biodynamic concealment” experiment transforms Lance into a brave, fierce, majestic … pigeon! Vitals: Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane. Stars: Voices of Will Smith, Tom Holland, Reba McEntire, Mark Ronson, Rachel Brosnahan, Jarrett Bruno. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 102 min., Drama, Box office gross: $65.050 million, Fox. Extras: Super Secret Spy Mode (an immersive, in-movie experience that takes you deeper into the story with Easter eggs, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes insights into the making of the film), “Infiltrating Blue Sky Studios,” “The Top Secret Guide to Gadgets,” “Then There Were Two” music video, “Freak of Nature” music video, “Making the Soundtrack: Then There Were Two,” “Making the Soundtrack: Freak of Nature,” galleries: color keys and moment paintings, character designs, locations, props and gadgets concept art. 2 stars


March 17

  • Jumanji: The Next Level

    photo for Jumanji: The Next Level Sequel catches up with Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner) and Bethany (Madison Iseman) three years after their first adventure in Jumanji’s mystical video game world. When Spencer goes missing inside the game ahead of the group’s planned reunion from college, his friends, along with his grandfather (Danny DeVito) and his grandfather’s friend (Danny Glover), once again inhabit the avatars of Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), “Mouse” Finbar (Kevin Hart), Professor Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black) and Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) to rescue him. As they return to Jumanji, they discover that nothing is as they expect. With more action and surprises, the players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape. Vitals: Director: Jake Kasdan. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Danny Glover, Danny DeVito. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 123 min., Action Adventure, Box office gross: $313.710 million, Sony. Extras: “Body Swapping: Snapping Into Character”; “Back Together: Reuniting the Cast”; “Level Up: Making Jumanji: The Next Level”; AR Game: An interactive collectible map that employs Augmented Reality to bring Jumanji to life through a smart phone, allowing users to create their own 8-bit Avatar, navigate a series of mini games and much more. Blu-ray adds Gag ree; “Rhys Darby Wants To Jingle”; “Scene Breakdown: Ostrich Chase”; “Scene Breakdown: Mandrill Bridges”; “Awkwafina Cat Burglar”; “NPC Confessions: Jurgen The Brutal”; “Grow Up”: Danny DeVito and Danny Glover help Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart get in touch with their inner grumpy old men; “Telenovela”: Kevin Hart gets lost in translation in this melodramatic promo; “VFX Pre-Vis: Zeppelin Battle”; “VFX Pre-Vis: Ostrich Chase.” 2 stars

  • Richard Jewell

    photo for Richard Jewell “There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have thirty minutes.” The world is first introduced to Richard Jewell as the security guard who reports finding the device at the 1996 Atlanta bombing—his report making him a hero whose swift actions save countless lives. But within days, the law enforcement wannabe becomes the FBI’s number one suspect, vilified by press and public alike, his life ripped apart. Reaching out to independent, anti-establishment attorney Watson Bryant, Jewell staunchly professes his innocence. But Bryant finds he is out of his depth as he fights the combined powers of the FBI, GBI and APD to clear his client’s name, while keeping Richard from trusting the very people trying to destroy him. Vitals: Director: Clint Eastwood. Stars: Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, Nina Arianda, Paul Walter Hauser, Ian Gomez. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 129 min., Drama, Box office gross: $22.345 million, Warner Extras: “The Real Story of Richard Jewell.” Blu-ray adds “The Making of Richard Jewell.” 3stars

  • Black Christmas

    photo for Black Christmas Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. But as Riley Stone (Imogen Poots) and her Mu Kappa Epsilon sisters—athlete Marty (Lily Donoghue), rebel Kris (Aleyse Shannon), and foodie Jesse (Brittany O’Grady) — prepare to deck the halls with a series of seasonal parties, a black-masked stalker begins killing sorority women one by one. As the body count rises, Riley and her squad start to question whether they can trust any man, including Marty’s beta-male boyfriend, Nate (Simon Mead), Riley’s new crush Landon (Caleb Eberhardt) or even esteemed classics instructor Professor Gelson (Cary Elwes). Vitals: Director: Sophia Takal. Stars: Imogen Poots, Cary Elwes, Brittany O’Grady, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Madeleine Adams, Ben Black, Lucy Currey, Simon Mead, Caleb Eberhardt. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Horror, Box office gross: $10.429 million, Universal. Extras: TBA. 2 stars

  • A Hidden Life

    photo for A Hidden Life From visionary writer-director Terrence Malick comes this story based on real events about an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), who refused to fight for the Nazis during World War II. Drawing from actual letters exchanged between the Austrian farmer and his wife Fani (Valerie Pachner) while Franz was in prison, the film follows the family’s remarkable journey of love and sacrifice. After being absent from his wife and daughters for months during mandatory basic training with the German Army, Franz is permitted to return to his peaceful Austrian countryside home. But when the war unexpectedly escalates, Franz is called up to fight, and as a new soldier, to swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler and the Third Reich. Yet, despite pleas from his neighbors, fellow soldiers and even trusted clergymen, Franz repeatedly refuses to take the oath. This decision lands the peasant farmer in prison, where he awaits trial for treason. Meanwhile, not only must Fani take care of the family’s farm and their three daughters, she is ostracized by neighbors who have succumbed to the Third Reich’s demands for loyalty. Eventually, Franz’s case goes to trial. He is found guilty and sentenced to death. But his unwavering beliefs and love for Fani and their three children keep his spirit alive in this powerful drama. Vitals: Director: Terrence Malick. Stars: August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon, Karin Neuhäuser, Tobias Moretti, Ulrich Matthes. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 174 min., Bio Drama, Box office gross: $1.730 million, Fox. 2 stars


March 24

  • 1917

    photo for 1917 In 1917 at the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers -—Blake’s own brother among them. Vitals: Director: Sam Mendes. Stars: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 159 min., War Drama, Box office gross: $155.867 million, Universal. Extras: “The Weight of the World” Sam Mendes discusses his personal connection to World War 1; “Allied Forces: Making 1917”: shows how the one shot, 360-degree format was executed and the pivotal role Academy Award-winner Roger Deakins served in bringing Mendes’ vision to life; “The Music of 1917”; “In The Trenches” behind the scenes with the cast; “Recreating History” production design featurette; commentary with director/co-writer Sam Mendes; commentary with director of photography Roger Deakins. 4 stars

  • The Grudge

    photo for The Grudge After a young housewife murders her family in her own house, a single mother and young detective tries to investigate and solve the case. Later, she discovers the house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death. Now, she runs to save herself and her son from demonic spirits from the cursed house in her neighborhood. Vitals: Director: Nicolas Pesce. Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye, Jacki Weaver. 2020, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Horror, Box office gross: $21.107 million, Sony. Extras: “The Cast of the Cursed” featurette, “Designing Death” featurette, “Easter Egg Haunt” featurette: writer-director Nicolas Pesce brings to light the plethora of hidden Easter Eggs throughout the film which are homages to the previous works in the Ju-On franchise, extended scenes, alternative ending. 2 stars


March 31

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    photo for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker The battle between the Jedi and the Sith comes to a thrilling conclusion in this final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. A year following the events of The Last Jedi, the remaining members of the Resistance are forced to confront their past while taking on the First Order one more time. The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron’s journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences. Vitals: Director: J.J. Abrams. Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Naomi Ackie, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Greg Grunberg, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 142 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $514.238 million, Disney. Extras: “The Skywalker Legacy” feature-length documentary; “Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase”; “Aliens in the Desert”; “D-O: Key to the Past”; “Warwick & Son”: Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dons the Ewok costume once more; this time joined by his son Harrison; “Cast of Creatures.” 3 stars

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