Welcome to LATINA’s Friday Film Roundup, our bi-weekly picks for the new movie releases on our radar.
Weeks like these are always interesting. There is very clearly one movie on track to become the weekend’s biggest success, so much so that distributors are avoiding this Friday like the plague. With the MCU’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” making landfall on May 5th, the only other movies that stand a chance are rom-coms and indie releases. However, that isn’t a bad thing at all. The upside of having one major movie dominate the box office is that indies like the ones we mention below get a chance to shine with audiences looking for something a bit different. And that’s exactly what moviegoers this weekend are getting.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (In Theaters May 5th)
A threequel nearly five years in the making, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is a cinematic victory lap for writer-director James Gunn and his ragtag group of galaxy-guarding misfits. The entire cast is back for one last round, including Chris Pratt as Peter Quill and Zoe Saldana as Gamora 2.0, who has no memory of Quill or the romance that developed between them. Elsewhere, Bradley Cooper’s character Rocket Raccoon comes to terms with his origins and Drax struggles to find a purpose in life that doesn’t end with “the Destroyer.” If you’re excited about “Vol. 3” there’s a good chance you’re going to love it. Be sure to check out our review of the film before you go to the theater this weekend!
“Love Again” (In Theaters May 5th)
For those of you who have no interest in sentient trees, raccoons, and otters, worry not. “Love Again” stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Sam Heughan as Mira and Rob, two complete strangers who find each other in the midst of grief. The romcom puts a 21st-century spin on a classic meet-cute, having Mira incessantly text her boyfriend’s old phone after his untimely passing two years prior to the events of the film. When Rob absorbs that number thanks to a new work phone, the two develop an unconventional romance and learn to, as the title suggests, love again.
“One Ranger” (In Theaters and On VOD May 5th)
Don’t let the direct-to-video stigma fool you: action director Jesse V. Johnson is the real deal. With films like “Triple Threat” and “Avengement” under his belt, Johnson is one of the genre’s best working filmmakers. The kinetic and inventive way he shoots hand-to-hand combat and large-scale set pieces, alike, make him a necessity for fans of well-crafted carnage. His latest release, “One Ranger,” stars Thomas Jane as a Texas sheriff dragged into an international assassination plot full of twists, turns, intrigue, and conspiracies. The film, as many of Johnson’s do, looks like a thoroughly entertaining throwback to the heyday of 80s actioners. If you’re looking to stay in this weekend and watch something fun, “One Ranger” is for you.
“Chile 76” (In Theaters May 5th)
There is a growing canon of Chilean films about the tyranny of Augusto Pinochet, a ruthless dictator who toppled Chile’s democratically-elected government and installed a fascist regime that endured through the 1970s and 80s. There are countless stories about one of the darkest eras in Chile’s history, including the brilliantly animated stop-motion film, “The Wolf House.” However, “Chile 76” takes a much more grounded approach, following a Chilean socialite who is suddenly tasked with harboring a fugitive of the Pinochet regime. Critics are praising the film as a beautifully constructed film that tells a vital story. As far as films about Latino history go, this will surely be one of the year’s best.
“The Eight Mountains” (In Theaters May 5th)
You know, “Guardians Vol. 3” isn’t this weekend’s only two-and-a-half hour epic about friendship, legacy, and rebuilding. For those looking for something a bit more intimate (“Guardians of the Goat Farm,” anyone?), look no further than “The Eight Mountains” from directors Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch, the acclaimed duo behind 2012’s Oscar-nominated film, “The Broken Circle Breakdown.” This new film depicts the four decade friendship between its central leads, Pietro and Bruno (Luca Marinelli and Alessandro Borghi, respectively), as they attempt to build a cabin together following the death of Pietro’s father. The film was shot in the Italian Alps and is absolutely gorgeous to look at. However, the screenplay and performances are also garnering acclaim for how they depict the realities of a lifelong bond.
“The Curse of Wolf Mountain” (On VOD May 9th)
We can’t end this week’s roundup without a quick shoutout to Danny Trejo, the seemingly ageless 79-year-old actor who today works just as much as he did when he rose to prominence in the 1990s. He appears alongside “Saw” actor Tobin Bell in a nasty little slasher about two brothers returning to the eerie Wolf Mountain, where their parents died many years prior. With their cannon fodder — I mean, friends — in tow, a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one. Is it reinventing the wheel? No, definitely not. Does it look like something that would be fun with a group of friends and a case of beer? Without a doubt.