In an attempt to bring you the best of what’s out there I give you my “High Spots” of the week, three noteworthy things you need to check out:
1. Blockers – Coming off of WrestleMania weekend, you might think I’m exhausted to death about talking about wrestling and wrestlers but I think John Cena’s new film deserves some recognition. The movie is about three parents banding together to prevent their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night. Starring alongside Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz, Cena makes his first step towards a Dwayne Johnson like big screen career with a film that feels like it has a sweetheart nestled in the raunchy horn dog humor with a refreshing direction of three girls trying to figure out the pitfalls of sexual relationships, going against the norm of the usual American Pie male driven fare. Blockers may be, in some parts, exactly what you think it’s going to be but it still has room to surprise you.
2. A Quiet Place – You may know him, above everything, as Jim from The Office but as a filmmaker, John Krasinski has now arrived. With two small indie films under his belt, Krasinksi co-wrote and stars opposite his real life wife Emily Blunt in this horror film that is downright terrifying to an uncomfortable degree. The story takes place in a “post-fall” world where the last human are being hunted down by creatures that track by sound, centred around Krasinki, Blunt and their two children. Be warned, A Quiet Place is not only the title of the movie but also a descriptor of what your theater experience will be like. Bearing that in mind, if you want to grab popcorn, nachos or anything else crunchy, everyone in the room will hear you eat. Not deterring you from that concession visit but in a world where we are increasingly horrible and lack courtesy in the cinemas, well, don’t be “that guy”.
3. Sweet Virginia – A film that definitely flew under the radar and one I had the privilege of seeing at the Vancouver International Film festival, this story plays as an understated and soft-spoken Coen Brothers style feature. Director Jamie Dagg makes his first film not based on his own script and has two brilliant actors in Jon Bernthal and Christopher Abbott playing against their stereotypical roles, which are performed masterfully. Bernthal plays a quiet motel owner in a sleepy little Alaska town who may have a tenant who was responsible for a cold-blooded multiple homicide that kicks off the film. Abbott plays the secondary character with a seething rage that feels unpredictable, giving the film a deep-seated tension that doesn’t leave until the credits hit the screen. Jamie Dagg has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. I will have my interview from when the film was released up for you to listen to soon.