Growing up is hard. Growing up as a minority is even harder. I’ve only had a taste of this experience, as the things that set me apart aren’t as obvious as my accent or the color of my skin, but most of us have experienced the feelings of isolation that come from being different than everyone around them, just not to the extent that Morris feels in Morris from America.
Blair Witch is 2016’s second hidden horror sequel, joining 10 Cloverfield Lane in utilizing a late-game title reveal to cause a swarm of free internet buzz. Both film franchises are known for their unusual marketing strategies, which makes the tactic a bit less off-putting, but it still elicits fear that the flashy move is a cover for sub-par material. By the time 10 Cloverfield Lane was actually released, most viewers were genuinely surprised by its quality, and I’ve got a feeling that Blair Witch might become a similar shocker.
We like to remind ourselves that people stood up to the Nazi party. That’s why we get movies like Anthropoid, Valkyrie, and Schindler’s List rather routinely, showing us the brave few who put their lives on the line to stop a massacre. The problem with these movies is that the flip side of history always lingers in the background, with people who put their heads down or actively participated in the genocide filling the screen.
It’s hard not to wince when you see Matt Damon striding down the Great Wall of China. The attempts by American companies to break into China’s growing film market has been a mess so far, plagued by lawsuits, awkward plot detours to the country, and flat-out whitewashing. So while it’s not surprising to see a white actor fighting monsters from the Great Wall, the image still makes people cringe.
Get ready for a division, because King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is directed by Guy Ritchie. I’m sure some of you have already left, siting the modernist spin and frantic energy that Ritchie injects into his films as turnoffs, while others are sitting there gleefully awaiting a good time at the theaters.
We’ve seen Robert De Niro in a boxing film before, right? Yeah, it was just a little movie called Raging Bull, so there’s no way his return to the cinematic ring will overshadow what Hands of Stone is actually about. Okay, so everyone’s focusing on De Niro’s return as legendary trainer Ray Arcel, but the film is really about Ramírez’s Roberto Duran, a Panamanian boxer who was part of the dominant Fabulous Four during the 1980s.
A man and his dog come to the wrong town in writer/director Ti West’s In a Valley of Violence, but not because there’s ghosts or goblins running amok. The low-budget horror darling is leaving all the scary stuff behind for his western, providing him with brand new genre conventions to play with. The most obvious twist here is that the valley has some weird humor mixed in with its deadly reputation, which just might slow down the adversaries played by Ethan Hawke and John Travolta.
When a man exposes government programs that sound more like conspiracy theories than reality, you can bet that someone will make a movie about it. It only took three years for the story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to hit theaters, but that doesn’t mean that it was easy to do. Co-writer and director Oliver Stone has spoken very publicly about the struggle to get financing for Snowden, which he claims was turned down by every major studio in Hollywood.
The Space Between Us is the classic boy meets girl story, except the boy and girl are on different planets and the boy doesn’t know who his father is. It’s science fiction, romance, mystery, and medical drama all rolled up into one hopefully neat package. Admit it, if the film can pull off all these threads, it’ll be a pretty great movie.