Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen
PG; 1 hr. 42 min.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. (Synopsis by Pixar)
Arguably the best film that Pixar has made. This is a deeper movie than you might expect, but still manages to be funny and touching in a way that only Pixar has mastered. See it.
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
R; 1 hr. 55 min.
A critical hit and audience favorite out of the Sundance Film Festival, in DOPE, Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself. (Synopsis by Open Road)
Not many coming-of-age stories can also claim to be true comedies. A smart and well-written script creates what may be the second movie this week in contention for best film of the year. See it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Neill Blomkamp
R; 1 hr. 59 min.
In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind. (Synopsis by Sony)
Previously reviewed by The Dagger.
Theatrical Releases – Week of June 26
Director: Seth MacFarlane
R; 1 hr. 55 min.
Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law. (Synopsis by Universal)
Check out Cliff’s review on The Dagger later this week.
Director: Patrick Brice
R; 1 hr. 20 min.
In an attempt to acclimate to Los Angeles, a young couple spends an increasingly bizarre evening with the parents of their son’s new friend. (Synopsis by The Orchard)
Using shock for comedy usually only gets you so far, but having a cast that is willing to run with the escapades helps bridge the gap. There is a soul missing from this film; it never gets past the physicality of the relationships. Still, it is a fun watch. See it.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
PG-13; 1 hr. 44 min.
Winner of the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL is the story of Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), an awkward high school senior whose mom forces him to spend time with Rachel – a girl in his class (Olivia Cooke) with whom he hasn’t spoken to since kindergarten – who was just diagnosed with cancer. (Synopsis by Fox Searchlight)
A deftly-written and well-acted comedy that never slips too far into sentimentality or vulgarity, while avoiding the genre norms. This is a smart comedy-drama that refines the young adult film into something more credible. See it.
Director: Boaz Yakin
PG; 1 hr. 51 min.
A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
Subtitle: Air Bud Goes to War. This film aims squarely for middle-age empty nesters. The acting is terrible and the overt sentimentality is closer to irritating than emotional. Skip it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
None of note