Over three years into our humble existence as an amateur film criticism blog, we’re still trying our best to evolve and make ourselves useful to anyone who wants to connect with us. As part of that effort, I plan to start filing these weekly reports on what’s playing on the big screen in & around New Orleans, the city we (the damned) call home. Hopefully, this will make our film recommendations more useful as you’ll better be able to tell what’s locally available on the big screen. Also, since we’re non-professionals, it often takes us longer to see & review new releases than we’d like, so this should be a quick way to share what we’re excited to see with other locals. So, here’s what’s screening in New Orleans this week:
New Releases We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Sticking around for a second week, this documentary about the life & times of Fred Rogers looks like a dangerously potent heart-warmer. The reviews are almost universally positive, I cry every time I see the trailer, and it’s difficult to imagine a timelier antidote for the trash pile that is modern existence right now than a return to the wholesome philosophy of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
2. Hearts Beat Loud – A heartfelt indie drama about a family treating a garage band project as a form of self-therapy was a formula that worked really well for me in last year’s Band Aid. I’m totally willing to repeat that experience with a cast this exceptional: Nick Offerman, Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, etc. etc. etc.
3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Britnee was admittedly much more enthusiastic about Jurassic World than anyone else around here, but I’m super curious about what director J.A. Bayona did with the material. His last movie, A Monster Calls, completely wrecked me and he has a consistent visual aesthetic that I really want to see applied in dino action. Also, there’s reportedly a stretch of this movie that’s a gothic horror tangent but with dinosaurs instead of ghosts? Who could resist that temptation?
4. American Animals – I just watched the entire Ocean’s 11 series for the first time in the past couple weeks, so you’d think I’d be a little burned out on the heist genre for a while. There’s something charming about the in-over-their-heads energy these teenage criminals project in the movie’s trailer, though. It looks a little like Thoroughbreds For Boys in a way I’m willing to take a chance on.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
1. Hereditary – Continuing the recent tradition of “A24 horror,” this slow burn freak-out is a tense familial drama that only gradually devolves into nightmarish mayhem late into its runtime. Just don’t go into it expecting traditional scares; it’s more disturbing than it is frightening.
2. SuperFly – Less iconic than the 1972 Super Fly and far less visually arresting than Hype Williams’s Belly, this low-grade, high-fashion action thriller still finds a worthwhile aesthetic of its own as a hyperviolent, feature-length Atlanta hip-hop scene music video. Catch it before our review goes up early next week!
3. Solo: A Star Wars Story – Putting the series’ Force mythology on the backburner, this is essentially a cheesy string of swashbuckling heist adventures set in outer space, a return to the original Star Wars recipe.
4. Ocean’s 8 – Soderbergh’s slick direction is sorely missed, but a phenomenal, women-led cast and an ingenious choice in setting allow this film to excel as a modern mainstream comedy. We just covered the entire Ocean’s 11 series for the most recent episode of the podcast and this easily ranked among Ocean’s 12 and (the unofficial entry) Logan Lucky as our favorite examples of the franchise. Britnee was especially into it.