Release Radar – April 29th, 2022

Without a major high-profile release, this is a weekend for fans of foreign films and documentaries.

Bubble (Netflix Apr. 28th)

Writer: Gen Urobuchi | Director: Tetsurô Araki

Starring (English voices): Zach Aguilar, Chris Jai Alex, and Bill Butts

I am not the biggest anime fan, but this is the kind of bizarre sci-fi premise that piques my interest. Bubbles that defy gravity have fallen on Tokyo, and it becomes an isolated zone for some young people dealing with loss. Take that as you may.

Memory (Theaters)

Writer: Dario Scardapane (screenplay) | Director: Martin Campbell

Starring: Liam Neeson, Monica Bellucci, and Guy Pearce

Somebody gave Liam Neeson a gun again. This time he’s an assassin that becomes a target after refusing a job. This is an adaptation/remake of the Belgian film by Erik Van Looy and Carl Joos, based on the book by Jef Geeraerts. Martin Campbell has some good, high-profile films under his belt, and Dario Scardapane’s work on the punisher makes for a good fit. Even though the cast is solid, the problem is that we have seen this movie from Neeson ad nauseam at this point and there can’t be that much more to gain here.

*Hatching (Theaters + VOD) – Editor’s Pick*

Writer: Ilja Rautsi | Director: Hanna Bergholm

Starring: Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Keikkilä, and Jone Volanen

In this Finnish film, a young girl who is trying desperately to impress her mother on the gymnastics mats comes across a bizarre egg. Wanting to have something for herself, she keeps it a secret and keeps it warm but things change in a hurry when it hatches. This one looks super creepy and as the directorial debut for Hanna Bergholm, I’m excited to see the execution of this concept. It looks like it’s pretty dark and has some interesting creature design to back that up. I don’t know what to expect, but I am exceedingly curious about this and that’s why it’s my Editor’s Pick.

Vortex (Theaters)

Written & Directed by: Gaspar Noé

Starring: Dario Argento, Françiose Leburn, and Alex Lutz

Gaspar Noé is one of the filmmakers whose work you have to take notice of. His work typically has notes of psychedelia, which is why I like it, and that could be the case here but this one looks more personal and emotionally centered. It takes a look at the last days of an elderly couple plagued by dementia so I imagine it’s going to be heavy. Maybe this one stands out because of where I am at in my life right now, but it would have been the Editor’s Pick if not for something creepier coming out this week. The word about this film has been all positive so far and yes, it’s Dario Argento, the revolutionary Italian filmmaker that stars in this one.

What Else Is New

Hello, Bookstore (Theaters)

Director: A.B. Zax

Starring: Matthew Tannenbaum, Shawnee Tannenbaum, and Sophie Tannenbaum

This documentary chronicles the struggles of a local, small-town bookstore during the Covid-19 pandemic. On the surface, it’s a story of the pressures facing small businesses during the global pandemic but, more importantly, it looks to be a story of community and its value. It looks pretty good, but it’s the kind of movie I will most likely watch at home.

Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen (Theaters)

Writers: Daniel Raim and Michael Sragow | Director: Daniel Raim

Starring: Robert F. Boyle, Jeff Goldblum, Rosalind Harris

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a documentary about the making of Fiddler on the Roof. If the film is near and dear to your heart, like it is for so many, then by all means. It looks pretty interesting, but again, this isn’t the kind of movie I am going to the theaters for.

Firebird (Theaters)

Writers: Peeter Rebane & Tom Prior (screenplay), Sergey Fetisov (story)

Director: Peeter Rebane

Starring: Tom Prior, Oleg Zagorodnii, Diana Pozharskaya

Adapted from the memoir of Sergey Fetisov, the story follows a soldier who has a secret same-sex relationship with a pilot on an Air Force Base in Soviet Russia during the 1970s. This is the feature debut for Petter Rebane who also co-wrote the screenplay adaptation with Tom Prior who stars in the lead. It’s always nice to see that kind of investment in a first feature and the early rating indicates that the passion translates.

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