BLOCKERS || Ever since the successes of “Bridesmaids” and “Neighbors,” Universal Pictures has been willing to take some chances on raunchy, out-of-the-box comedies and “Blockers” is the fruit of that. Starring John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz, the film follows these parents as they find out their daughters have made a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. The rest of the night includes insane situations like chugging beer in one’s butt and flipping a car that later explodes. The unique thing Universal does here, is gear a story towards young women taking control of their sexuality and pointing out the out-dated concepts and double standards people have in regards to teenage sexuality. Overall, the film produces some excellent performances in both age groups with John Cena and his on-screen daughter Geraldine Viswanathan proving to be the highlights.
A QUIET PLACE || Produces by Michael Bay, “A Quiet Place” is the directorial debut of actor John Krasinki and if early word is any indication, his debut is a success. Starring in the film with his wife, Emily Blunt, the original concept horror film about monsters that can only hunt you if they can hear you is captivating audiences and continuing to prove the power of the horror genre at the box office. Last year, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” his directorial debut which also happened to be part horror film, was all anyone could talk about early in the year and despite not having the deeper, racial/political tones to the film, this is ranking up there as well, although do not expect “A Quiet Place” to end up nominated for any Oscars. But I’ll settle for a new kind of horror film that also just happens to be super marketable.
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE || A film that could possibly have some Academy Award attention is “You Were Never Really Here” starring Joaquin Phoenix as a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who tracks down missing girls in his spare time, making the people responsible pay the price. Lynne Ramsey writes and directs and even if it only slightly comes close to the darkly toned nature of her previous work, “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” it will be well worth it. Phoenix looks on fire in this role, the character seeming to capture the best qualities of the actor. Phoenix won Best Actor and the screenplay won Best Screenplay at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, which does bode well not only for some Oscars attention but for the film’s bottom-line. It’s also garnering critical praise as well, so this definitely lands as a must-see.