Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week.
New Releases We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
1. Eighth Grade – Teenage YouTube celebrity turned adult stand-up Bo Burnham has never been on my radar outside his small role as the most annoying man in the greenroom in last year’s The Big Sick. His debut film as a writer-director is all but guaranteed to challenge my lack of interest in his career so far. The trailers and early buzz for Eighth Grade make it look like a soul-crushing coming of age tale about teenage anxiety in the social media age. I’m looking forward to the film absolutely wrecking me just as much as I’m looking forward to seeing Burnham in a more forgiving light.
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.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
1. Sorry to Bother You – This is very likely the last week to see one of the summer’s wildest surprise gems on the big screen. 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. Three Identical Strangers – It’s been an incredible year for documentaries, both creatively & financially. Now that Won’t You Be My Neighbor is fading from local theaters, its documentary-of-the-minute slot is being replaced by something much more sinister: a bizarre tale of triplet brothers who were unaware of each other’s existence until they were in their late teens, which then develops into a continually twisty nightmare. Especially recommended for amateur conspiracy theorists & fans of true crime narratives.
3. 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 as lagniappe. 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.