Our movie critic Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, gives us his take on some new releases.
THE TOMORROW WAR (Amazon Prime)
Early on we hear Chris Pratt’s character Dan Forester proclaim that he’s meant to do something special after learning he’s rejected for a new job. He’s a high school teacher and that neighborly guy next door wanting something more in life. What comes next is something he could never have imagined. Soldiers from the future show up in the middle of a World Cup soccer game. They’re sent with a message that a big war is coming that will wipe everyone out. Dan is drafted for the war but told he will die in seven years. It’s up to him and other soldiers to battle a vicious alien species to save the future.
RATING: 1.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
SUMMER OF SOUL (in theaters, Hulu)
The legendary concert festival Woodstock is still talked about and remembered to this day. The Harlem Cultural Festival should also be talked about in that same fashion yet has been largely ignored until now. It’s the subject of the new documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). 100 miles away from the grounds of Woodstock stood the stage for the Harlem Cultural Festival in Harlem, New York. They both drew massive crowds in the summer of 1969. The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed but the footage has stayed covered in boxes and ignored since then. Now Questlove, the band leader for The Roots and The Tonight Show, takes us back to that powerful summer as the film’s director. There was a change of culture and history taking place in the Black Community. Some wanted peace while others went off to fight in the Vietnam War. This all comes after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr rocked the nation. There was rooting and rage in Harlem, and festival host and producer Tony Lawrence wanted to bring the community together through the power of music. He brought together heavy hitters like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips and more.
RATING: 5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
BLACK WIDOW (in theaters, Disney+)
Scarlett Johansson first introduced audiences to Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow back in 2010 when she first appeared Iron Man 2. Eleven years and many Avengers movies later, we get to dive deeper into her story with Black Widow. It was back in 1995 in Ohio when Natasha and her sister Yelena were separated from their parents as Agents of SHIELD appear to be after her father, who’s also known as infamous Red Guardian. The girls were then taken into custody and are forced to join a Russian army program for young girls. The story jumps to Natasha hiding out in Norway following the events of Captain America Civil War. It’s here where she’s reunited with her sister who has gotten her hands on a synthetic gas used for mind control. They must put their differences and rivalry aside if they want to stop the dangerous Black Widow program once and forever.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS