#354 May 14, 2019
Matt writes: On April 28th, the movie world lost a true giant: filmmaker John Singleton, whose 1991 masterpiece, “Boyz N the Hood,” remains one of the most astonishing feature debuts in cinema history. Roger Ebert awarded the picture four stars, writing that it was one of “the best American films of recent years.” Roger’s thoughts regarding the entirety of Singleton’s career were detailed in a special compilation by Nick Allen, while Odie Henderson penned a deeply moving obituary for the trailblazing auteur. I was among the writers at RogerEbert.com who paid tribute to Singleton in a separate article, “Breaking Barriers.” Make sure to check out all the above links, as well as the “Siskel & Ebert” review of “Boyz N the Hood” embedded below.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). Directed by Jon Watts. Written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers (based on the comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko). Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jon Favreau. Synopsis: Peter Parker and his friends go on a European vacation, where Peter finds himself agreeing to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent. Opens in US theaters on July 2nd, 2019.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019). Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. Synopsis: This artful and intimate meditation on the legendary story- teller examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career. Opens in US theaters on June 21st, 2019.
The Farewell (2019). Written and directed by Lulu Wang. Starring Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Gil Perez-Abraham. Synopsis: A Chinese family discover their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies. Opens in US theaters on July 12th, 2019.
Sibyl (2019). Directed by Justine Triet. Written by Arthur Harari and Justine Triet. Starring Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel. Synopsis: A jaded psychotherapist returns to her first passion of becoming a writer. US release date is TBA.
The Lodge (2019). Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. Written by Sergio Casci, Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. Starring Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone, Riley Keough. Synopsis: A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place. US release date is TBA.
Ladies in Black (2019). Directed by Bruce Beresford. Written by Bruce Beresford and Sue Milliken (based on the novel by Madeleine St. John). Starring Julia Ormond, Angourie Rice, Rachael Taylor. Synopsis: An alluring and tender-hearted comedy drama about the lives of a group of department store employees in 1959 Sydney. US release date is TBA.
Ophelia (2019). Directed by Claire McCarthy. Written by Semi Chellas (based on the book by Lisa Klein). Starring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, George MacKay. Synopsis: A re-imagining of Hamlet, told from Ophelia’s perspective. Opens in US theaters on June 28th, 2019.
Hampstead (2019). Directed by Joel Hopkins. Written by Robert Festinger. Starring Diane Keaton, James Norton, Brendan Gleeson. Synopsis: An American widow finds unexpected love with a man living wild on Hampstead Heath when they take on the developers who want to destroy his home. Opens in US theaters on June 14th, 2019.
American Woman (2019). Directed by Jake Scott. Written by Brad Ingelsby. Starring Christina Hendricks, Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul. Synopsis: A woman raises her young grandson after her daughter goes missing. Opens in US theaters on June 14th, 2019.
Rim of the World (2019). Directed by McG. Written by Zack Stentz. Starring Lynn Collins, Annabeth Gish, Michael Beach. Synopsis: Four misfit teenagers join forces to save the world when an alien invasion interrupts their summer camp. Debuts on Netflix on May 24th, 2019.
Blinded by the Light (2019). Directed by Gurinder Chadha. Written by Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Sarfraz Manzoor. Starring Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra. Synopsis: In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Opens in US theaters on August 14th, 2019.
Crawl (2019). Directed by Alexandre Aja. Written by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen. Starring Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson. Synopsis: A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators. Opens in US theaters on July 12th, 2019.
I Am Mother (2019). Directed by Grant Sputore. Written by Michael Lloyd Green. Starring Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard. Synopsis: A teenage girl is raised underground by a kindly robot “Mother” — designed to repopulate the earth following the extinction of humankind. But their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news. Debuts on Netflix on June 7th, 2019.
We’ll End Up Together (2019). Directed by Guillaume Canet. Written by Guillaume Canet and Rodolphe Lauga. Starring François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Gilles Lellouche. Synopsis: The result of the small handkerchiefs “Petits mouchoirs”, 7 years later. The band, which erupted, is found on the occasion of the anniversary surprise organized for Max. US release date is TBA.
Leto (2019). Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov. Written by Kirill Serebrennikov, Mikhail Idov, Lili Idova and Ivan Kapitonov (based on the memoirs by Natalya Naumenko). Starring Teo Yoo, Irina Starshenbaum, Roman Bilyk. Synopsis: A love triangle emerges around a rock and roll musician, his protege and his wife in 1980s Russia. US release date is TBA.
Summer Night (2019). Directed by Joseph Cross. Written by Jordan Jolliff. Starring Analeigh Tipton, Bill Milner, Lana Condor. Synopsis: A coming-of-age story about the complexities of young romantic relationships. Opens in US theaters on July 12th, 2019.
It: Chapter Two (2019). Directed by Andy Muschietti. Written by Gary Dauberman (based on the novel by Stephen King). Starring James McAvoy, Javier Botet, Jessica Chastain. Synopsis: Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. Opens in US theaters on September 6th, 2019.
Matt writes: The towering television icon recently reminisced with our contributor Donald Liebenson about his agelessly uproarious sitcom, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” in light of its return to MeTV. Click here for their full conversation.
Matt writes: Our complete coverage of highlights from the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, as reviewed by Brian Tallerico and Nick Allen, are contained within this table of contents. Enjoy!
Metropolis (1927). Directed by Fritz Lang. Written by Thea von Harbou. Starring Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich. Synopsis: In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Black Christmas (1974). Directed by Bob Clark. Written by Roy Moore. Starring Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder. Synopsis: During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.
Jesus of Nazareth (1977). Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Written by Franco Zeffirelli, Anthony Burgess and Suso Cecchi D’Amico. Starring Robert Powell, Olivia Hussey, Laurence Olivier. Synopsis: Beginning before the Nativity and extending through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, this mini-series brings to life all of the sweeping drama in the life of Jesus, as told by the Gospels.