Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in the New Orleans area this week. Put that MoviePass to work before the whole thing collapses!
New Releases We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
1. Blood Diner (1987) – Cult director Jackie Kong is bringing her underseen, underloved horror comedy gross-out classic to New Orleans for a free screening and Q&A at Bamboula’s on Frenchmen this Wednesday, August 1st. For a preview of Blood Diner’s gore-soaked tastelessness, here’s a transcript of the title card warning that opens the film: “While it is a sad fact that mass homicide and practitioners of Blood Cults infest our society, the producers of this film wish to express that they do not condone, nor do they want to inspire, any of the human butchery or violence portrayed in this film. If you feel you will be offended by such material, please leave the theater at once . . .” It’s great, hyperviolent fun and presumably even better experienced with a live crowd.
2. Blindspotting – Oakland is having an incredible year on the big screen. Following the city’s conspicuous presence in both Black Panther & Sorry to Bother You and preempting the return of Ryan Coogler’s Oakland-set Creed franchise this November, this intense-looking comedic drama about police shootings & gentrification has a strong chance of continuing Oakland’s trend of being heavily featured in some of the best movies of the year. It also promises to be a star-making opportunity for Daveed Diggs, currently best known as the vocalist of clipping. and cast member of Blackish & the musical Hamilton.
3. Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Tom Cruise is showing no signs of ceasing to be a cultist creep in real life, but his long-running action thriller franchise is on a creative upswing. When I ran through the entire Mission: Impossible series as a latecomer a few years ago, the most recent entry, Rogue Nation, was an easy favorite. I’m excited to see if that trend continues, with or without Cruise breaking free from his wicked overlords/co-conspirators in his private life.
4. Three Identical Strangers – The trailer for this documentary introduces a true, tabloidish tale of triplet brothers who were kept unaware of each other’s existence until they happened to discover their unlikely kinship by chance in their college years; it also teases a sinister tale of scientific cruelty & political corruption behind that bizarre occurrence. Looks like a very strange journey with plenty of you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up twists.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
1. Sorry to Bother You – The best film currently in theaters, no contest, just expanded into a single-week run at The Prytania Theatre. From Boomer’s review: “These continue to be dark days, and though we may not know how to fix them, we must not get used to them. And if you like your social commentary candy-colored but lacking in neat, pat answers, go see Sorry to Bother You. Hell, go see it even if that’s not your bag; your comfort zone could become your noose if you don’t push your boundaries.”
2. Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again – This decade-late sequel to the ABBA jukebox musical is notably better-made on a technical level than its predecessor (it shares a cinematographer with most Wes Anderson productions?), but it’s also a hell of a lot less horny & bizarre. For the most part, though, Here We Go Again delivers more of the same Mamma Mia! goodness, except this time with a little Cher for flavor. Britnee’s an especially big fan of this franchise and you can hear our dual review of both Mammas Mia! on the most recent episode of the podcast.
3. Unfriended 2: Dark Web – As a huge sucker for technophobic genre films about the evils of the internet, I whole-heartedly believe the first Unfriended deserves to be recognized as one of the best horror films of the decade. That bottomless love for the cyber-horror genre may have set my expectations a little too high for this more tempered follow-up, which trades in the supernatural computer-ghost antics of the first film for a more toned-down, single Skype session version of Nerve. It’s still a fun watch, though, an overall solid example of a genre I should know better than to hold in as high of a regard as I do.
4. Ant-Man and the Wasp – From Boomer’s review: “Like the first film, Ant-Man and the Wasp prioritizes fun shenanigans over the more superheroics of its MCU brethren. 2015’s Ant-Man was following in the footsteps of what was arguably the franchise’s first true comedy outing in Guardians of the Galaxy, but by foresaking that film’s space operatics for the more terrestrial mundanity of a heist film, it cemented a move that has come to be one of the motivating forces of why people love these movies and keep forking over money for them: humor, plain and simple. This is not a heist film, however, and unlike other outright comedic entries in the MCU, there’s not an easily-identifiable genre or style that director Reed has grafted the Ant-Man team onto this time around.”