REVIEW: Three Films To Watch

While summer is typically the season for blockbuster hits that rake in hundreds of millions of dollars (think Incredibles 2 and Avengers: Infinity War), it’s also a time of year when some pretty good plots make their way to the big screen.

This past week, we’ve caught three of those films.

Sorry to Bother You – July 13
Director: Boots Riley
With: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Terry Crews
1 hour 42 minutes

Sorry To Bother You is staged in a not-too-distant future where black telemarketer Cassius “Cash” Green discovers the key to success and bring him into the universe of material glory. As his friends and co-workers organize in protest of corporate oppression, Cassius falls under the spell of his company’s druggy CEO Steve Lift, who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams, with a twist of course.

It was nice to see familiar screen faces like Lakeith Stanfield, Steven Yeun, Danny Glover, and Terry Crews in a movie that’s pretty hilarious yet acutely aware of the social struggles that are happening today. The narrative moves at a fast pace, keeping me intrigued and curious on what’s to happen next. Cash’s constant battle to get through everyday life (money, food, relationships, morals, etc.) is something we all can connect with. Finding a solution to build a life worth-while isn’t easy to come by, but when that door finally opens, most would do anything to obtain and maintain it, right? The film will leave you wondering how far you’ll go to reach a particular status in this world.

Written by Imani Lytle

Leave No Trace – July 6
Director: Debra Granik
With: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey, Dana Millican
1 hour 48 minutes

On the opposite side of the movie spectrum, there’s Leave No Trace, a film about a father and daughter lives a mysterious existence in Forest Park near Portland, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities, however, and they are sent on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call home.

Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie worked well off each other as a father-daughter duo and ultimately made the story that more real with their connection. Foster plays as a veteran with PTSD and decides to live a life outside the norm with his daughter, Tom. It was refreshing to see a young female who could defend and speak up for herself through such troubling times and in the end be able to choose her own path. The shots of Portland created a serene atmosphere throughout the film, making this movie enjoyable for anyone looking for something more slow-paced.

Written by Imani Lytle

Uncle Drew – June 29
Director: Charles Stone III
With: Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Lisa Leslie
1 hour 48 minutes

While some reviews might say this movie is slow to start, I’d argue that it’s taking the time to develop its characters. And I love that.

Catching previews for Uncle Drew a few weeks back I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the movie would be funny but didn’t expect a lot of depth. However, in the middle of witty jokes, clever bantering, and a hapless amateur coach down on his luck (and I mean DOWN DOWN DOWN on his luck – he lost his team, his girl, and his pride in a day), I found a pretty great story about camaraderie.

That story begins with Dax, the hapless amateur coach, who after draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic streetball tournament in Harlem is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival. Desperate to win the championship and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend: Uncle Drew (played by NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie) and prove that a group of seniors can still win the big one.

Written by Bianca R. Montes

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