Sofa Cinemaphile: John Cho, meet Jon M. Chu

Newest, freshest, greatest, best. New releases streaming now in your living room.

Make sure you read all the way to the end, or you might miss that Crazy Rich Asians is out this week. Oops! Gave it away.

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Dir: Jeremiah Zagar; Starring Sheila Vand, Raúl Castillo, Evan Rosado

This movie looks BIG – a small story that will fill up your whole heart, and afterward, you’ll be bigger than you were before it became part of you.

Trailer   |  Rent it

 

Enriching

Dir: Carlos López Estrada; Starring Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal

I appreciate stories that fully embrace their complexity – and the world of 2018 Oakland seems about as complex of a setting as you can get. From reading up a bit, my sense is that this film succeeds at being witty and enjoyable in a buddy comedy way, tense and threatening in an American racism drama way, and deep and contemplative in a social commentary way. Sounds tricky, but google reviewer Nadjib Channel joins many critics and peers in his take that: “Blindspotting is strong, let me say that again Blindspotting is strong, I can’t emphasize that enough… This film packs a punch Y’all, it’s not your typical format here, there’s no happy ending nor a sad one, it’s a beautiful and brilliant showcase of everyday problems faced by people of every gender and race, it addresses so many things at once but it never comes across as convoluted.” Also, the two stars wrote the movie. That’s pretty neat.

Trailer   |   Rent It

 

Dir: Crystal Moselle; Starring The Skate Kitchen, Jaden Smith

Crystal Moselle, who made one of my favorite documentaries ever (The Wolfpack) came across a crew of girl skateboarders on the train in NYC and one thing led to another and now we get to enjoy this feature film about them, starring them.

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Dir: Robert Schwentke; Starring Max Hubacher, Milan Peschel, Frederick Lau

It’s a good time right now for Americans to remember that – as history taught us on a massive scale 70 years ago – identity and morality are elastic, especially in moments of desperation or self-preservation, and that individuals are capable of shocking brutality. In his review on Vulture, David Edelstein writes “The Captain has the structure of a classic mistaken-identity farce and the tone of a serial-killer film. It’s too bleak to laugh at and too absurd to cry over.” His full review on Vulture is really wonderful – check it out here.

Trailer   |   Rent It

 

Thrilling

Dir: Aneesh Chaganty; Starring John Cho, Debra Messing

My first reaction was that the combo of premise (Taken 7) + storytelling style (facetime meets shaky cam) seemed a little too cute to actually be good, but the general consensus is that Searching is a suspenseful, unpredictable, unsettling mystery. Because in reality, what would you do if your high school-aged daughter went missing? Probably look at her texts.

Trailer   |   Rent It

 

Dir: Lenny Abrahamson; Starring Ruth Wilson, Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling

A slow-burning gothic horror mystery in a beautifully decrepit setting with a classy cast; sounds from folks’ reviews that it’s more goosebumps than jump-scares. Is that your thing? Enjoy.

Trailer   |   Rent it

 

Revitalizing

Dir: Juuso Laatio, Jukka Vidgren; Starring Torstein Bjørklund, Antti Heikkinen, Ville Hilska

Katie Rife from the A.V. Club wrote “While the film’s attempts at slapstick can be painful – in a cringing way, not in a brutal way – Heavy Trip does succeed in creating perhaps the most charming ensemble of morbid dorks since What We Do In The Shadows.” An affectionate, detailed band saga/road movie about nerds. And, it’s Finnish!

Trailer   |   Rent It

 

 

Dir: Ken Marino; Starring Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens

I included this movie on the list for 3 reasons. 1: Ken Marino (of Wet Hot American Summer short shorts fame and champion of my heart) directed and his spouse, Erica Oyama, wrote the screenplay. They’re also responsible for an amazing web series parody of The Bachelor (Burning Love). They’re both so funny and weird this movie HAS to have some sparks of originality. 2. We may need a palate cleanser after The Captain. 3. I wanted to tell my friends about it: a tearjerker ensemble romantic comedy dog movie starring Elena from The Vampire Diaries. Just what you wanted!

Trailer   |   Rent It

 

 

Dir: Jon M. Chu; Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding

I am so in love with this movie, I want to watch it RIGHT NOW. I am actually going to stop doing this now and just go enjoy it.

Trailer   |   Rent it

 

 

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