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. BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee hasn’t exactly disappeared, but it feels like he’s been hiding in plain sight for the last decade or so by dedicating his efforts to small-scale, limited appeal experiments (like, for instance, a Kickstarter-funded remake of the esoteric cult classic Ganja & Hess). BlacKkKlansman appears to be a much better-funded, commercially minded picture than we’ve seen from the infamous indie auteur in a long while, one that filters satirical jabs at Trumpian racial politics through a classic buddy cop genre structure & a historical look back at the not-so-distant past of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s incredibly exciting.
2. The Meg – Halfway between JAWS & Sharknado, this Chinese-American co-production in which action star Jason Statham fights a mythically gigantic shark looks like exquisitely silly summertime fun. We’ve been blessed with one dumb shark movie a year on the big screen for the last few summers (including The Shallows & 47 Meters Down) and the tradition appears to be continuing with the biggest, dumbest entry yet.
3. 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.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
1. Eighth Grade – Bo Burnham’s directorial debut doubles as a teen girl coming-of-age drama and an Anxiety Litmus Test. Either you find the awkwardness of its protagonist’s last week of junior high amusingly adorable or it hits you like a relentless, anxiety-driven nightmare where each minor social interaction plays out with the creeping dread of a horror film. It’s an impressively intense tonal experience either way.
2. 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 (it’s now only playing at The Broad Theater). 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.”
3. The First Purge – I’m late to the table on singing this film’s praises in several major ways. Not only is its theatrical run on its last legs, but it’s also the fourth film in the Purge series, yet the first one I’ve ever seen. Imagine my surprise, then, that this fiercely political satire was the most fun I’ve had with a pure thriller since Nerve (high praise, I assure you). It’s down to just a couple screenings a day (only at the Elmwood AMC), so catch it before it disappears, no previous Purge experience required.